Rugby World Cup: upsets set the Semis
This is why they play the games.
In two somewhat stunning turns, the #1 and #2 ranked teams in the world, New Zealand and Australia, are sent to the sidelines by England and France who will meet in one semi. Argentina, winners over Scotland 19-13 (sorry Gordon) and South Africa (37-20 over Fiji) meet in the other semi.
England, a completely different team with Wilkinson back at fly, beat Australia 12-10 via four Wilkinson penalty kicks and stellar forward play (which is hard for a winger like me to admit that forwards can control the game). Wilkinson is now the leading points man in RWC history, with 234 to Gavin Hastings 227, with more to come in the semis.
France, playing off their home turf (the game was in Cardiff), beat the number one team in the world, 20-18. Trailing New Zealand 13-3 at halftime (after two missed penalties and a missed drop), France scored to tries and the conversions plus a penalty goal in the second half, while holding New Zealand to a try. New Zealand’s Luke McAlister missed a drop goal in the 80th minute that could have one the game for the All-Blacks.
The Springboks were up over Fiji 20-6 but Fiji scored twice to even the score with twenty minutes left. South Africa held it together and closed out the match with tries by Juan Smith and Butch James.
Argentina beat Scotland to enter the semi-finals for the first time in RWC history. cotland’s Chris Cusiter scored a try in the 63rd minute to get the Bravehearts close, but it wasn’t enough to push them through.
The IRB rankings will be out tomorrow!
Anyone got tickets for the semis????