The top nine teams in the World Rugby rankings advance to the tour. Only South Africa and Scotland remain among the top teams, with Ireland eliminated in the death round. Let’s see who are the favorites in the world semi-finals?
Two quarters that felt like early finals
We knew this from the beginning: It was going to be a completely lopsided knockout draw. Thus, the chaos of World Rugby, which decided to determine the groups of this world cup three years in advance, is officially over. France’s games against South Africa and Ireland’s games against New Zealand were two games that would have deserved a much different stage than the first qualifying round. The madness of the organizers of this world cup Instead, it will force us to see two of the four strongest teams on the planet exit the stage already in the quarter-finals.
World Rugby’s chairman, Englishman Bill Beaumont, has repeatedly said there is no alternative. According to Beaumont, logistical reasons actually forced the international federation to take action. Planning world cup groups as early as 2020. It is a shame that France and Ireland, meanwhile, have become fleets, while England and Wales are at their lowest moment of action for perhaps thirty years.
The match will start on Friday, October 14, at 21:00, with the galactic match between Ireland, who came first in group B, and New Zealand, who finished behind France in group A. Irish team, Easily at the top of the world rankingsHe won the 2023 Six Nations by winning the Grand Slam (five wins out of five) and enters the clash with a record of 17 wins in a row. The last defeat against the All Blacks dates back to July 2, 2022; The defeat was 42 to 19 at Auckland’s Eden Park during the boys’ summer tour, coached by Andy Farrell.
It was New Zealand who knocked Ireland out of the World Cup in Japan four years ago. Even so, the two XVs challenged each other in the quarter-finals and Tuttineri gave the Irish fifteens a harsh lesson; With a score of 14 to 46, Ireland are aiming to make amends next Saturday. This success is within the Farrell boys’ reach. The All Blacks did not have the best moment in their history Despite having an oval and still competitive squad, they showed many shortcomings and suffered two defeats in their last two matches against Ireland in July 2022. Moreover, the team coached by Foster lost against France in their first match of the World Cup.
Les Bleus, the hosts and absolute favorites to win the final, will challenge South Africa at the other end. this is the luxury quarter of the world cup The French easily passed the group and gave the impression that they came to the tournament in very good shape, despite the many injuries that plagued their team.
Antoine Dupont will be added to the group ready to start against Namibia in Marseille on 21 September due to a maxillary-zygomatic fracture. The French number 9 is the strongest player in the world and coach Galthié I will try to get him to train.until the last moment, even with a special protective mask.
South African Springboks, defending champions They did not inspire at first. A narrow defeat against Ireland and minimal pace in the remaining rounds to bring home qualification. But be careful: South Africa remain one of the strongest teams in the tournament and a surprise victory that would prematurely topple the French hosts cannot be ruled out.
Worst quarter final in history
Wales v Argentina, the lower half of the draw opens at the Velodrome in Marseille on Saturday, October 14 at 17:00. Wales has rebounded after the problems of the last two years around the figure of totem coach Warren Gatland and they showed a certain compactness in the first stage, which they went on to win by full points.
But the Argentinian Pumas, after a disastrous defeat against England in their first game, brought home the minimum result given the group they were in, beating Japan, Samoa and Chile and going straight into first place, despite a generally unspectacular level. struggle for elimination. Among these quarter-final matches of the Rugby World Cup, the match between Wales and Argentina is undoubtedly technically the poorestThe match between two teams with a completely open prediction, who achieved a miraculous success in the group draw and managed to reach this stage of the competition.
The situation is similar in England and Fiji. The English played their worst game of the first half of the World Cup and even risked losing to the much less popular Samoa on the final day. Fiji, on the other hand, is a team on the rise, flashy and a little crazy, and they deserved this match. Despite some referee decisions They injured him in the first game against Wales.
Based on what has been seen in the last six months, Fiji can be said to start as favourites, also given the first-ever victory over the British just over a month ago in a test preparation for the world championships: 30 at 22:00 in London. But pay attention to the XV of the squad, abrasive and highly experienced teamWho could draw the joker in the chaos of the schizophrenic Fijian game?