Quarterfinals: New Zealand and Argentina Advance

Quarterfinals: New Zealand and Argentina Advance

3 min read

New Zealand Cheering

The 2023 Rugby World Cup has witnessed two enthralling quarter-final matches that kept fans on the edge of their seats. In an action-packed showdown at the Stade de France, New Zealand secured their spot in the semi-finals by defeating Ireland 28-24, while in Marseille, Argentina ended Wales' World Cup journey in dramatic fashion.

New Zealand Overcome Ireland's Challenge

In a clash that defied expectations, New Zealand produced a stellar performance to edge past Ireland 28-24. The All Blacks, who entered the match as underdogs for perhaps the first time in World Cup history, held their ground throughout the game, fending off Ireland's relentless attacks.

The match began with New Zealand asserting their dominance, as Richie Mo'unga's precise kicking resulted in two early penalties. Winger Leicester Fainga'anuku's try extended their lead to 13-0 within the first 20 minutes.

Ireland, however, mounted a spirited comeback, with Johnny Sexton's penalty and Bundee Aki's try narrowing the gap. Ardie Savea's try restored New Zealand's lead, but Aaron Smith's sin-binning for a deliberate knock-on gave Ireland an opening, leading to Jamison Gibson-Park's try just before halftime.

Starting the second half with a numerical advantage, Ireland couldn't breach the All Blacks' defense, and Mo'unga orchestrated a pivotal try, with Will Jordan extending New Zealand's lead.

Despite Ireland's determination, a penalty try and a sin-bin for New Zealand's Codie Taylor couldn't change the outcome. Jordie Barrett's late penalty sealed the win for the All Blacks, leaving Ireland once again heartbroken in the quarter-finals.

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Argentina Ends Wales' World Cup Journey in Dramatic Fashion

In another thrilling quarter-final clash, Argentina prevailed over Wales, winning 19-17 in a game filled with twists and turns.

Wales began brightly, taking a 10-point lead, but Argentina fought back with four Emiliano Boffelli penalties. Tomos Williams' brilliant individual effort momentarily restored Wales' lead before late tries from Joel Sclavi and Nicolas Sanchez sealed the win for the Pumas.

The match's turning point came when English referee Karl Dickson, replacing Jaco Peyper due to injury, made a controversial decision regarding a shoulder charge by Argentina lock Guido Petti on Wales center Nick Tompkins. The decision allowed Pumas prop Sclavi to score, giving Argentina a lead they would hold onto.

Despite Wales' valiant efforts, including a late chance to clinch victory, Argentina's defense held firm, securing their place in the semi-finals.

Both matches showcased the unpredictability and drama that makes rugby such a captivating sport. New Zealand will face Argentina in the semi-finals, setting the stage for a thrilling all-Southern Hemisphere showdown.

As the Rugby World Cup continues to deliver unforgettable moments, fans eagerly await the semi-final clashes that promise even more excitement and drama on the road to crowning a new world champion.

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