France 28-29 South Africa: Defending champions overcome hosts in World Cup thriller

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France: (22) 28
Tries: Baille 2, Mauvaka Cons: Ramos 2 Pens: Ramos 2
South Africa: (19) 29
Tries: Arendse, De Allende, Kolbe, Etzebeth Cons: Libbok 2, Pollard Pen: Pollard

South Africa kept the defence of their title alive with a thrilling quarter-final victory over France in one of the greatest matches in World Cup history.

Eben Etzebeth’s powerful late surge saw the Springboks come from behind to end France’s 18-game winning run on home soil and book a semi-final with England in a repeat of the 2019 final.

Both sides scored three tries in a pulsating first half at Stade de France before a Thomas Ramos penalty handed the hosts a narrow lead at the interval.

Ramos added another three points as France, led by their returning talisman Antoine Dupont in their pursuit of a maiden title, looked to wrestle momentum from the defending champions in a more attritional second half.

But Etzebeth’s try overturned the deficit before Handre Pollard’s huge penalty from inside his own half proved to be decisive.

Another Ramos penalty brought France to within a single point, to set-up a tense finale at the same venue that witnessed another last-eight thriller between New Zealand and Ireland just 24 hours earlier.

France were urged on by their partisan home support as they looked to keep the ball alive with the clock in the red, but as it spilled forward and Kurt-Lee Arendse gathered to pump it into the stands, the French challenge ended as the Boks celebrated.

More to follow.

Table of Contents


France: Ramos; Penaud, Fickou, Danty, Bielle-Biarrey; Jalibert, Dupont (capt); Baille, Mauvaka, Atonio, Woki, Flament, Jelonch, Ollivon, Alldritt.

Replacements: Bourgarit, Wardi, Aldegheri, Taofifenua, Cros, Macalou, Lucu, Moefana.

South Africa: Willemse; Arendse, Kriel, De Allende, Kolbe; Libbok, Reinach; Kitshoff, Mbonambi, Malherbe, Etzebeth, Mostert, Kolisi (capt), Du Toit, Vermeulen.

Replacements: Fourie, Nche, Koch, Snyman, Smith, De Klerk, Pollard, Le Roux.

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)

Source: BBC News

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