All the talk this week is about how England are lucky to make the semi-finals, but every game you start you’re a chance of winning. Having said that, the smart money is on South Africa and my not so smart money is with them as well.
It rained steadily overnight in Paris, and there are light showers drifting across the field as the game starts. If New Zealand and Argentina played their semi at a sprint yesterday, this match could only be described as a Sunday stroll. Both sides are used to slowing games down, and today no one is trying to speed things up.
The first half highlights were six kicks at goal. Very little rugby was played, and there was about eight minutes of time off. The only fans who could possibly be happy with that as a spectacle would have to be English. England lead 12-6 at half-time.
More rain for the second half. Both teams continued to play as little rugby as possible. Farrell kicked a lovely drop goal from about 40 metres out to stretch England’s lead to 15-6. At about the 68th minute mark, South Africa rolled off the back of a five metre lineout and Faf threw a nice cutout pass to Snyman who fell over the line for a try that looked like slow motion. With ten minutes to go England’s lead was just two points at 15-13.
78 minutes in and South Africa kicked a penalty shot from 49 metres out to sneak in front 16-15.
South Africa defended gallantly for the final two minutes and a bit of extra time. South Africa are through to the World Cup final.
The Game Changer
Snyman’s 77 minute try and South Africa’s second half scrum.
The Man of the Match/Standout Player
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Penalties: Farrell 4 Farrell drop goal
South Africa: 16
Penalties: Libbok, Pollard 2