In a duel of great physical rigor, this Saturday South Africa and England defined the semifinal 2 of the Rugby World Cup 2023 in Paris. The result, 16-15, was defined two minutes from the end with a Handré Pollard penalty that meant the victory and passage to the final of the Springboks over The Rose.
In this way, South Africa will defend the title and will face New Zealand for the second time, as in 1995 (when they beat them). The final will take place on Saturday at 16:00 Argentinean time, at the same venue.
Meanwhile, Los Pumas will play against England, the match for the third place, on Friday 27, from 16:00 hours of our country, at the Stade de France, in Saint Denis. The match will be the revenge of the match that opened Group D in Marseille, where the South American team lost 27-10 against the British.
The Albiceleste will try to repeat their best performance in the highest competition of the discipline and climb the podium, as they did in France 2007 where they won the bronze medal.
𝗦𝗶𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗲 𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗱𝗼𝘀. 𝗔𝗻𝘁𝗲 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗼𝗱𝗼.- Los Pumas (@lospumas) October 21, 2023
There's still one more game left! Let's go! 🇦🇷#SomosLosPumas | #MásPumasQueNunca pic.twitter.com/7qjCRhlRlt
In order to arrive focused to next Friday, the team led by Michael Cheika had this Saturday its recovery day. While on Sunday, the players will have their day off. On Monday they will start training and on Wednesday the team that will play the last battle against the English will be known.
Go for more and inspire
After the tough defeat against the All Blacks, the coach of Los Pumas, Michael Cheika, said that the desire of the whole Argentine team is the same: to get the bronze medal.
"We want to be on the podium, to equal Argentina's best result in the World Cup," he told the press. And he sent a message to the fans: "On Friday, don't worry, we will be ready. We need to suffer this, learn from things that happened," he said.
For his part, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, member of the coaching staff and former wing of the Albiceleste who was present at the third place in France 2007 and the fourth place in England 2015, explained in a dialogue with La Nación that one thing or the other is not the same.
"To come out third, to recover from a very hard blow against a great team like All Blacks, that would speak of another brick, another step forward of this team. This is what this team wants to build. To learn from our mistakes, to move forward. It would be a good closing, a very good World Cup," he argued.
"We have between 48 and 24 hours to digest, learn and analyze what happened to us. But the focus is still very clear: we want to go for more, we want to inspire. Not for the medal itself, but for what this match means for the group. It will be the last one this group will play together", he added.
Corcho Fernandez Lobbe, now must transfer his experience to the group of players that arrives beaten from last Friday but is convinced that in any battle that comes up, Los Pumas "will be ready to go to the front".
This time, the coaching staff will have a difficult decision to make: let the same starters that started the match against New Zealand play , make some changes or field an alternative team. It is possible that the second option is the most viable, taking into account that some Argentine players will be playing their last match with the blue and white, and that the Australian coach will reach the end of his contract at the end of the World Cup.
"It's the last game for this group. You never know what can happen next. I don't think any of them have announced their retirement, for now. The 23 players we think are ready to finish the World Cup in the best way possible will play. We haven't analyzed it with the staff yet. Physically, all 33 are available. I am convinced that the team has the focus and determination to go out and win on Friday. I can see it in their faces, in their expressions, I can feel it", he concluded.