Post-match Report – The Semi-Finals’
"One more game ,80 more minutes and a possible life changing experience for players, coaches and management alike is what`s at stake this weekend when the Boks take on their Northern Hemisphere rivals, England in the biggest showpiece in rugby."
Who will be crowned this weekend as Rugby World Cup champions 2019
It`s easy to beat the All Black on paper or around the braai, we have all done that many times before but you have to first of all give Eddie Jones, England coach his dues and then take a bow as the team executed an almost flawlessly crafted game plan for 80 minutes. I cannot remember when last and I don’t think ever seen an All Blacks team so outsmart, outmuscled and outplayed. England made one mistake in the 57th minute and that led to The All Blacks only try and 7 points of the game.
The England performance was one of the best from a game plan executing perspective I have ever seen. It can only described as a rugby masterpiece and will form a great part of Rugby World Cup history but what was even more impressive and refreshing was the way in which The All Blacks graciously accepted their defeat. If you wear The All Blacks jersey you win around 77% of all your games since test results been recorded or 590 odd All Black test matches ever played, just to put that into perspective. There was NO moaning about anything other than “Well done England today we were beaten by the better team.” I only have the utmost respect for that!
Most supporters and fans apart from The Welsh had The Boks down to win and most by a slightly bigger margin than the eventual 3 points off Handre Pollard`s boot in the in the 76th minute of play. Semi-final rugby is all about winning whether by 1 or by 100 points, it makes no real difference other than the style and confidence you get as a team by executing the game plan and tasting victory in doing so. The Boks team and in particular Faf De Klerk kicked a fair amount of ball onto The Welsh back three and it`s been a crucial part of The Boks game plan during Rugby World Cup 2019. Damian De Allende had another outstanding test and scored The Boks only try. I mentioned his form last week and the influence of his play in the midfield for The Boks will have to be just as good if not better, to contain the likes of Farrell and Tuilagi on Saturday but more about that later in the week.
Looking back at The Boks results and play over the last 20 test matches one cannot ignore the constant improvement and growth as a team. Fans and supporters want to see results right from the start of a new coach`s reign and it`s no different in any rugby playing country and in fact all team sports. The Boks other than their improved results and improved win ratio has only seen a steady climb in World Rankings and it will be a showdown between the number one ranked England when they take on the 2nd best ranked team in the world ,South Africa come Saturday.
This week will all be about the same again for The Boks with regards to preparation and trying to stick to doing everything as per the last few weeks. I know it is so easy to say but from a players and management point if view it is crucial to stay calm and to relax as much as possible- easier said than done, it is a Rugby World Cup Final week after all.