RWC: Who makes the semis? – Tilly J

It’s been a whirlwind of emotions for rugby fans in the past few weeks with Portugal’s Os Lobos winning their first RWC match, the Flying Fijians squeezing into quarterfinals, Australia’s Wallabies facing elimination and Owen Farrell beating Jonny Wilkonson’s most points scored record (1186).This weekend is going to be full of blood, sweat and tears as many of the best teams are battling out to reach the semis and New Zealand, South Africa and France are the only teams in rugby history to reach the quarterfinals in every single world cup. Mr Hodson told me that it would be pretty hard to guess who’s going to win the Rugby World Cup or even get through to the semis due to the heat in the quarterfinals, but I’ll give it my best shot. These quarter finals will probably be the most intense ones rugby has ever seen so you better tune into ITV this weekend to watch them.

Wales vs Argentina ( Saturday 14 October, 17:00 – Stade de Marseille):

I want to say Argentina’s Los Pumas will win this match but the last time we saw these teams meet face to face in November 2022 at the Millenium Stadium, the Dragons won 20-13. I don’t think many tries will be conceded and even less conversions, but either way neither team will make it to the last leg of the finals as they will playing against the All Blacks or Ireland, who will most definately knock them out. The Dragons having Louis Rees-Zammit, Josh Adams and a 920kg scrum, they are defiantely going in for a fight and will be playing with the proper Welsh spirit but Los Pumas will retaliate especially as they have Julian Montoya, Santiago Carreras and a 963kg scrum. Probably the least exciting out of the four matches, but still worthwhile watching. VAN LOS PUMAS!!!!

Ireland vs New Zealand ( Saturday 14 October, 20:00 – Stade de France, Saint Denis):

Let’s hope the Irish aren’t too intimidated by the All Black’s Haka and that they put as much effort into the games as they do singing Ireland’s Call. The last time we saw Ireland battle New Zealand was in July 2022 at Sky Stadium, Wellington in New Zealand which Ireland won, 32-22. Ireland has conquered the pool stage (coming first by 4 points) which included South Africa and Scotland, which gives them an advantage as the Irish now have the sheer determination to finish what they have started and to achieve the end goal of winning the RWC 2023. New Zealand are now ranked 4th in the world compared to Ireland’s 1st but, hopefully, the Kiwi Barrett brothers, Sam Cane and a 929kg scrum will pull through. However, as the stats never lie, I think that Ireland are going to win this match as the Irish team consists of Jonny Sexton (3rd in most points scored – 51 and 2nd in most conversions – 15), Josh Van Der Flier and Bundee Aki (has the most runs in the tournament so far – 61). ÉIRINN GO BRÁCH!!!!

England vs Fiji ( Sunday 15 October, 17:00 – Stade de Marseille):

Using the Summer Series as a reference, it’s going to be a close one for sure. The Flying Fijians won 30-22 against the Red Roses at Twickenham for the first time during the summer (this luck followed them into the RWC, when they won against the Wallabies for the third time in history, in 69 years), even though three tries were scored by Jonny May, Marcus Smith, and Joe Marchant. To be honest, I have no idea who’s going to win this, I hope England do as Fiji lost their last match to Os Lobos, however, the Red Roses just scraped a win against Manu Samoa, 18-17 so Steve Borthwick better get a strong team with even stronger tactics ready for Sunday. I hope Henry Arundell is included in the starting team so he can score a wave of tries like how he did against Chile. No matter which team wins this weekend, they will 99.9% get eliminated in the semifinals as they will be either facing South Africa, the previous champions, or France, the hosts, who are two of the best teams in this world cup. GO ENGLAND!!!!

South Africa vs France ( Sunday 15 October, 20:00 – Stade de France, Saint Denis):

Will South Africa eliminate the hosts like they did in the 2019 RWC with Japan?? Will France’s home crowd cheer them onto victory with the french l’esprit??? The only question I can answer is that this match is going to be a nailbiter! Last time the Boks played Les Bleus, France divided and conquered, winning 30-26 in November 2022 at the Stade Velodrome, Marseille in the Autumn Series BUT over 13 matches, the Boks won 9, drew 2 and lost 2 against the French, let’s hope Faf de Klerk puts as much effort in as he does washing his hair. France have a cracking line up this RWC with Damian Penaud (no.1 in most tries,6, and clean breaks,11), Thomas Ramos (no. 1 in points scored, 61, and conversions, 19) and with the return of the scrum-half star Antoine Dupont. Let’s hope Faf’s hair doesn’t get caught in Dupont’s mask for his cheekbone, no one wants to ruin those lucious locks!! ALLEZ LES BLEUS!!!!

My predictions:

France will win against South Africa and will face England in the semis and then, advance to the finals. Ireland will win against the All Blacks, win against the Welsh in the semis and the, proceed to the finals. I want Ireland to win the tournament but I think France will be a mighty opponent. The first half of the finals will definately sway in France’s favour and then at half-time, Andy Farrell will share words of wisdom, which will inspire the Irish and lead them onto victory. The crowds will be singing Zombie by the Cranberries as Jonny Sexton brings the trophy to the team and the celebrations will last for ages.

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