Springboks knock out hosts France in pulsating clash to reach RWC semis

Kurt Lee Arendse in action for Springboks against France. Photo/SA Rugby

Defending champions Springboks booked a Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final against England after beating hosts France 29-28 at Stade de France on Sunday, October 15.

Springboks twice came from behind to overcome France in a pulsating encounter and secure a semi-final date with England back at the Stade de France next Saturday.

The hosts made a blistering start with an early try from prop Cyril Baille but they failed to deal with two high kicks as first Kurt-Lee Arendse sprinted to the corner before Damian de Allende plunged over to give the Springboks a 12-7 lead.

France drew level with a try from hooker Peato Mauvaka, Cheslin Kolbe charging down the conversion from Thomas Ramos before the South Africa wing raced onto Jessie Kriel’s deft grubber to score, only for Baille to grab his second try and Ramos to land a penalty – for a high tackle by Eben Etzebeth which earned the second-row a yellow card – to give Les Bleus a 22-19 interval lead.

Ramos extended their advantage with a penalty, but Etzebeth stretched over with 14 minutes left, replacement Handre Pollard converting and adding a penalty which proved decisive despite a late reply from Ramos.

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