South African rugby players beat France 29:28 in the quarter-finals of the World Cup after a balanced fight and can now think about defending their title. The English favorites also qualified for the semi-finals, beating Fiji who sacrificed 30:24. The previous championship finalists’ narrow victory was only settled in the end thanks to two successful kicks from captain Owen Farrell.
Already on Saturday, the Argentine and New Zealand rugby players fought to participate in the semi-finals. The English will face off in a replay of the last title fight against reigning champions South Africa to progress to the final.
In Paris, in front of nearly 80,000 supporters in a packed Stade de France, the French fought an intense battle against the South Africans from the first minutes. The first half, in which both teams scored three fives each, was won by the home team thanks to a penalty at the end at 22:19, and after the break they further increased their lead . However, the Springboks turned the score around within two minutes thanks to a five-pointer, a conversion and a free goal and defended a narrow lead in a thrilling battle at the end.
England led 21-10 after the first half at the sold-out Stade Vélodrome in Marseille and extended their lead to 24-10 at the break. Fiji, who reached the World Cup quarter-finals for only the second time, managed to equalize thanks to two five-pointers and successful conversions with ten minutes remaining.
Farrell ultimately did not let himself be surprised with two successful kicks. The record holder for points scored in the English national team took care of a total of 20 points for the winners.
Rugby World Cup – Quarter-finals:
Marseille: England – Fiji 30:24 (21:10),
Saint-Denis: France – JAR 28:29 (10:19 p.m.).
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