We now know the semi-final line up for this year’s rugby world cup!
I have posted twice on the subject (here and here) and was going to not post again until we knew the winner and, except that I have been captivated by what has gone on in the quite different quarter final games played today and yesterday, I might have kept to this plan. Disappointingly, I did not get to see the full matches and had to content myself with snippets and other peoples write ups. Also, I take no pleasure that on this occasion my predictions were right and the semi final line ups feature only southern hemisphere sides.
Here are my views on the games that have just been played.
South Africa 23 Wales 19
Wales played heroically, but did not have enough to overcome an ever improving South African side.
New Zealand 62 France 13
While enigmatic France were disappointing, nothing should take away from New Zealand brilliance.
Ireland 20 Argentina 43
It looked as it might be a close run thing but Argentina continue to impress and were deserved winners.
Australia 35 Scotland 34
Brave Scotland came so close to pulling off the shock of the tournament and can consider themselves unlucky despite being up against a very good Australian side.
I continue to enjoy the rugby and have been privileged to witness some superb performances and a good deal of neutral agreeable drama. I look forward to the remaining games. Like many pundits, I predict an Australia versus New Zealand final but each will need to overcome stiff opposition first. Given what I have seen, I am going to change my prediction as to the eventual winners, which I now think will be New Zealand. I will give my final thoughts following the final but offer two for now. The refereeing aided by video technology has been to a high standard (although I doubt today’s Scotland team would agree) and has helped in being able to enjoy the games. The New Zealand, France game in particular illustrates why rugby should put country before club and not go the same way as football.