South Africa Keeps Title Defense Alive With Thrilling Win Over France
In one of the most thrilling matches in Rugby World Cup history, South Africa kept their title defense alive with a dramatic quarterfinal victory over France. Playing at Stade de France, the Springboks came from behind to end France’s 18-game winning streak on home soil and book their place in the semifinals against England.
The match featured six tries and multiple lead changes that captivated the energetic crowd. Both teams scored three tries each in a frenetic first half before France took a slim lead into halftime. The second half was more tactical but no less dramatic as South Africa ultimately prevailed by a single point.
France Come Out Fired Up But Springboks Counterpunch
An expectant home crowd urged the French team on right from the start, hoping this would be the year they finally capture an elusive World Cup title. The hosts came out full of intensity, moving the ball quickly to poster boy Antoine Dupont in his first match back from injury.
France drew first blood when Cyril Baille crossed over in the corner for an early try. However, South Africa quickly responded through Cheslin Kolbe’s try to even the score. Damian De Allende then burst through a gap to give the Boks the lead, showing the champion’s mentality to counterpunch.In addition, you can also read an article on- Argentina Stuns Wales in Epic Rugby World Cup Quarterfinal Upset
Back and Forth Half Sees France Take Slim Lead Into Break
The tries kept coming in a highly entertaining first half for the packed stadium. Peato Mauvaka powered over from close range to bring France level again. A stunning defensive play from Kolbe denied France’s conversion, keeping the score even.
Kolbe then turned from defender to attacker, latching onto a perfectly weighted grubber kick from Jesse Kriel to score in the corner. But Baille answered again with his second try of the half to swing momentum back to Les Bleus. France took a slim 20-18 lead into halftime after Thomas Ramos added a conversion and penalty.Additionally, you can also read about- All Blacks Triumph Over Ireland in Epic Rugby World Cup Quarterfinal
Second Half More Cautious As Boks Regain Lead
After the frantic opening forty minutes, the second half saw both sides be more cautious with possession. Each team understood the gravity of mistakes in such a close knockout match.
The tense back-and-forth continued until the Springboks engineered space close to the try line for Eben Etzebeth to charge over and give South Africa the lead again. A long penalty from Handre Pollard extended the advantage as the Boks’ experience shone through.
France Threaten Late But Boks Hang On
With time winding down, France tried valiantly to keep the ball alive and snatch a win on home soil. Urged on by their fans, Les Bleus attacked desperately in the closing moments.
But as the ball spilled forward, South Africa gathered and booted it into touch to clinch a semifinal berth. The French crowd applauded both teams for an all-time classic match as the Springboks lived to fight another day in defense of their title.
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