l’essentielThe players of the England rugby team had to dig deep to overcome the brave « Flying Fijians » on Sunday, October 15th in Marseille (30-24). They will face the winner of the France-South Africa match for a spot in the final, on Friday, September 21st at Stade de France (9pm).
Struggling at the start of this World Cup, England regained their form to ultimately qualify for their sixth semi-final in history after a nerve-wracking match against brave Fijians (30-24) on Sunday, October 15th in Marseille.
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However, it will probably be necessary for them to find other strategies than relying on a reliable scorer (Farrell) in order to hope to beat the winner of the clash between France and South Africa on Saturday at the Stade de France, which will be played in the evening (9:00 PM) on the grass of Saint-Denis. These are two opponents with whom they have unfinished business: the thrashing received from the French at Twickenham in the Six Nations Tournament in March (53-10) and the defeat in the final of the 2019 World Cup in Japan (32-12) against the Springboks.
« I cannot reword »
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But Steve Borthwick’s men were scared until the end, allowing the Fijians to equalize (24-24) ten minutes before the final whistle. – Five minutes of Fijian madness – After two almost identical tries from their centers, Tuilagi (14) and Marchant (23), bulldozing their way through, it was the kicker Farrell who added points to the scoreboard. And the Fijians seemed too inconsistent to truly disturb them, with the only moment of magic in the first half being the pass between the legs of fly-half Botitu for Mata’s try (28th minute), recovering a loose ball about ten meters from the English try line.
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But within five minutes, everything almost changed for the XV de la Rose. Try from the prop Ravai with strength (64), then a new try from the fly-half Botitu, after a superb breakthrough in the field by his second row Nasilasila (69): with the two conversions, the Fijians had equalized. And England had conceded as many tries (3) in one match as they had since the beginning of the World Cup, even though their defense seemed solid…
But it was ultimately the foot of fly-half Owen Farrell, with a drop goal first (72), and then a final penalty (77), that sent England to the semi-finals, under the watchful eye of Princess of Wales Kate. A Farrell who has further extended his lead over the legend Jonny Wilkinson as the highest scorer in the history of the England rugby team (1,206 points against 1,179 now).
Total respect ?#RWC2023 | #ENGvFIJ pic.twitter.com/nBYc5MQOB4
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 15, 2023
Therefore, reaching the semi-finals, thanks to a favorable draw and a Group D that did not present any strong opponents, except for a determined Argentina who also qualified for the semi-finals after their impressive performance against Wales on Saturday, the English team now has a week to further improve. They hope to secure a fifth place in the final.
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Si les cotes des bookmakers ne seront sans doute pas de leur côté, les chiffres eux sont plus rassurants: l’Angleterre n’a été battue qu’une seule fois sur ses cinq rendez-vous en demi, en 1995, laminée 45-29 par les All Blacks de Jonah Lomu. Et elle avait battu la France en 2003 et 2007…