Rugby giants lock in semi berths - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rugby giants lock in semi berths

10/11/2003 05:56:27 AM Comments (0)

France and England on Sunday night took starkly contrasting routes into their World Cup semi-final clash while Australia will be looking to finally dismiss its wobbly cup form against New Zealand as the final four took shape over the weekend.

The Six Nations aristocrats meet in Sydney next Sunday with reigning world champion Australia taking on New Zealand on Saturday also at Telstra Stadium to decide who represents the south.

France made it through with a surprisingly easy 43-21 win over a disappointing Ireland.

England then was given an almighty shock by wonderful Wales, trailing 3-10 at half-time and badly rattled before dusting themselves down to claw their way back to a 28-17 win.

It meant that the top four ranking teams in the world are in the semi-finals setting up renewals of two rugby classics steeped in decades of history.

France got on top of Ireland from the first exchanges smothering the Irish attacks with blanket defence and ripping them apart with their talented runners.

The French were 27-0 up at half-time effectively putting the game away and although they lost some of their composure and discipline in the second half, Ireland never looked like closing the gap.

The win left the usually intense Laporte beaming with confidence. "We are here to win the World Cup and I think we can win it," he said. "We will give all we have to give in the semi-finals."

England, like New Zealand last week, took an early lead only for Wales to tear them apart with the kind of attacking rugby usually associated with the Barbarians.

Coach Clive Woodward rang the changes at half-time introducing Mike Catt for the shell-shocked Dan Luger as they risked being on the receiving end of the biggest upset in World Cup history.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news