The Rugby World Cup is nearly over, with only the finals and the third-place match scheduled. This tournament has seen plenty of upsets and great matches, including the silencing of New Zealand at the hands of England. The two teams that will be facing off against one another in the finals are England and South Africa. Both teams have proved to be worthy, with both teams having competed against equally skilled competition. The third-place competitors are New Zealand and Wales, two teams that are traditionally among the semi-finalists. Despite going for third, it will certainly be an interesting game due to the fight that they each put up in their semi-final contests.
The first semi-final game played this past weekend was on Saturday between England and New Zealand. Both teams were ranked high before the tournament and had some strong wins previously. The game started with England immediately getting a try, which was made by Manu Tuilagi, as he forced his way through defenders after being lateraled the ball just a few feet from the goal line. He was able to push through the mound of New Zealanders and put England on the board just under two minutes in.
England was able to score again just minutes before half after a penalty on New Zealand. This penalty was taken by George Ford and found its way between the post to put England up 10-0 at half time. Ford got another opportunity to score off a penalty in the first minutes of the second half. With the English up 13-0, New Zealand needed to answer desperately. And they did just a few minutes later with a try themselves. These were the only points that New Zealand would score, however, with the English playing lockdown defense. The final score for the game was 19-7 as England scored once more after New Zealand.
The other game that was played was a much closer match, as South Africa defeated Wales by a final score of 19-16. The game started quite slow on the offensive side of things with the first points being scored at the 14-minute mark. Handre Pollard scored for South Africa after a beautiful penalty kick. Just a few minutes later Wales’ Dan Biggar marched in with his own kick, easily finding his target from the very edge of the field. As South Africa scored, Wales would match shortly after keeping the game very close. But in the last minutes, South Africa got an opportunity to break the tie with a penalty shot. Pollard, who had made every shot this game, came in clutch and put South Africa ahead, ultimately sending them to the World Cup Finals.
Both games were extremely exciting and promise for a great game Final match. This game will be played at 5 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2. The match for third place will be played at 5 a.m. as well on Friday, Nov 1.