2023 Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals Preview: What to Expect

2023 Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals Preview: What to Expect

4 min read

South Africa Cheering post Quarterfinals Rugby Win

The Road to the 2023 Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals

Excitement reaches its pinnacle as Argentina, New Zealand, England, and South Africa storm their way into the 2023 Rugby World Cup semi-finals.

Both heart-thumping matches are scheduled at the iconic Stade de France in Saint-Denis. Argentina and New Zealand are prepped to clash in the first showdown, while the following day, England and the Springboks will lock horns.

England Halts Fiji's Dream Run to Secure Semi-Final Spot

England proved their mettle by overcoming Fiji's spirited challenge with a 30-24 victory, marking their sixth entry into the Rugby World Cup semi-finals.

Sunday's match was a beacon of hope for the northern hemisphere, especially after Ireland and Wales' quarter-final exits. As Fiji rallied with a formidable second-half comeback, England's skipper, Owen Farrell, stepped up, delivering a pivotal drop goal and a penalty in the last eight minutes at Stade Velodrome, Marseille.

In a highlight of the game, Joe Marchant notched a try for England, solidifying their dominance over the Fijian squad.

The English team now looks ahead to a high-stakes face-off against the reigning champions, South Africa, in the upcoming semi-finals.

Despite their relentless effort, Fiji fell short of scripting history by becoming the first tier-two nation to advance to the semi-finals post the rugby professional era commencement in 1995.

Contributing a whopping 20 points, Farrell was instrumental in steering England to their hard-earned win. With the game's outcome uncertain even after the usual 80 minutes, Fiji's unyielding spirit kept fans on tenterhooks as they pursued a match-winning try.

England's prowess was further showcased by tries from centers Manu Tuilagi and Joe Marchant. Farrell's accuracy with the boot, especially a timely drop-goal, helped England establish a comfortable 21-10 lead by halftime. They seemed in command for a majority of the match until Fiji's resilient challenge in the last 20 minutes.

Fiji showcased their talent with tries from Viliame Mata, Peni Ravai, and flyhalf Vilimoni Botitu. However, they'll be reflecting on missed opportunities, including three simple goal shots and errors which inadvertently alleviated England's pressure.

Interestingly, just six weeks prior, the English side faced skepticism after their loss to Fiji in a pre-World Cup game at Twickenham. But with this recent victory, England has silenced critics and reaffirmed their status as top contenders in the World Cup.

Springboks Edge Out France in Thrilling Quarter-Final Upset

In a heart-stopping conclusion to the quarter-finals, South Africa narrowly clinched a victory, dashing the hopes of host nation France in the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The final score stood at 29-28, as the Springboks advanced to the next stage, leaving the French squad in dismay.

Playing on October 15, 2023, at the Stade de France near Paris, the teams showcased an unforgettable performance, reflecting the essence of world-class rugby. France's dreams were crushed by the slightest margin of just one point, forcing captain Antoine Dupont and his teammates to exit the World Cup in utter shock. This unexpected turn of events marks the first significant setback for French coach Fabien Galthié in the past four years.

Mirroring the intensity of the recent Ireland-New Zealand match, the game's fervor was palpable throughout. With neither team willing to back down, both French and the defending champions, South Africa, exhibited relentless tenacity, holding spectators on the edge of their seats.

Contrary to expectations of a physically dominant strategy from the Springboks, they chose a different path to triumph. Under the leadership of Jacques Nienaber, South Africa displayed impeccable tactical prowess. Stunning the French defense, the Springboks managed to secure three tries in the initial half, credited to Kurt-Lee Arendse, Damian de Allende, and Cheslin Kolbe.

Ahead of the match, Galthié had remarked on South Africa's meticulous strategy, noting their adaptability and deep tactical thinking. Their win over France is a testament to their sharp gameplay, ensuring their legacy in the tournament continues.

Now, the rugby world waits with bated breath for what's next in this exhilarating World Cup journey.

As history seems to repeat itself, South Africa is set to challenge England once again, reminiscent of the 2019 World Cup final. The winner will face off against the triumphant team from the Argentina vs. New Zealand duel.

See "Quarter-finals See New Zealand and Argentina Advance in Rugby World Cup" for highligts on Saturdays Quarterfinals.

Upcoming Semi-Final Fixtures: 🗓️

Argentina vs. New Zealand

  • Date: Friday, October 20
  • Venue: Stade France, Saint-Denis
  • Kick-off: 21:00 local (20:00 BST, 19:00 GMT)

England vs. South Africa

  • Date: Saturday, October 21
  • Venue: Stade France, Saint-Denis
  • Kick-off: 21:00 local (20:00 BST, 19:00 GMT)

Stay tuned to RugbyAllstar for more thrilling updates! 🌟

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