This weekend was the Semis for the Rugby World Cup. The losers from the two rounds play in the Bronze final for 3rd place and the winners compete for the Webb Ellis Cup in the Final next weekend.
Saturday was the France vs. England match. I’ll be honest, I wanted France to win, purely out of revenge. Yes, I know that Australia screwed up (they just couldn’t hold it together in the scrums and their forward pack was a mess), but that didn’t stop me from wanting England to lose out of pure spite. At halftime, it looked promising. France was ahead 6 to 5. Like so many other of the matches this World Cup, this game was a kicking game. And neither team’s kicker was doing all that well. And while England scored a try, their kicker missed a penalty and several drop goals. Ultimately, though, it was the missed kicks that did France in. France missed all four of their attempted drop goals, and while they did hit their penalty kicks, it wasn’t enough. They lost 9 to 14. A low scoring game decided by the kickers. So England gets a chance to win the Cup for the second time. Bummer. Needless to say, I will be cheering against England no matter who they play in the Final. I just want them to lose. Pure revenge and all that.
Which brings me to their opponents in the Final. Argentina put up a good fight, but they were no match for South Africa. The Springboks are one of the best. They played a solid game, scoring multiple tries and getting the conversion points on all of them. Argentina just doesn’t have the same breadth of skill and experience. This is the first time ever that Argentina has made it to the Semi Finals in the World Cup. South Africa, on the other hand, consistently reaches the top four. And while Argentina did score a try and several penalty goals, it wasn’t enough to beat South Africa and they lost 13 to 37. But kudos to Argentina for doing as well as they have, and no matter what, they are one of the top four teams in the world.
So the Bronze Final (for third place) will be between France and Argentina. This, if you remember, is a repeat of the opening World Cup match the beginning of September. Argentina beat France in a surprising upset then. Needless to say, France is going to do everything they can to prevent that from happening again. Should be an interesting game. And of course, I want Argentina to repeat their victory over France. Go Pumas!
And the big Final championship match is South Africa versus England. Traditionally, South Africa is one of the main rivals of Australia, being one part of the Tri-Nations (the other being New Zealand). So I should be cheering against South Africa. But my desire to see England lose is winning out over the long standing rivalry. I just want England to lose. Period. Petty? Maybe. But I don’t particularly care if it’s petty. I’ll still be sitting on my couch cheering for South Africa to win the Cup next weekend.