World Cup Semi-Finals – part 2

Interesting to compare the fortunes of last night’s semi-final coaches, after that magnificently ugly game. The winning coach looks to the final, the losing one to his next job – as minister of sport. Tonight the, surprisingly, unbeaten Argentinians take on the, also, unbeaten South Africans at the Stade de France – 8pm kick-off. Extensive coverage as usual online with streaming video, radio commentary and text at the Beeb, and possibly the Guardian. RTÉ’s preview this time goes against the favourites and predicts what would be yet another surprise win for the Pumas.. but I suspect that the Springboks might escape this time.. as does Michael Lynagh.. just. Eddie Butler, on the other hand, has been given a prediction

“A Welsh witch – her own words – told me in Paris that Argentina would win. ‘It has been deemed,’ she intoned. Why should I suppose to provide anything more rational?”

1st Half Early indications of the expected brutal battle between the forwards, and the testing kicking game from both sides. And Argentina seem to have the advantage. Until an interception brings the first try at 8mins. 32mins in Argentinian turnover in SA territory leads to a brilliant try for Habana. Half-time South Africa 24 – 6 Argentina. SA winning more set-piece play and Argentina showing plenty of enterprise and flair. But an error-strewn half which ends with the Pumas gifting the Springboks a 40th minute try. 2nd Half 44mins in. Video ref called in. And Argentina have a try. 65mins in. Lots of errors.. mainly from Argentina. 70mins in. Another penalty. 74mins in. And again. 76mins in. Habana interception again and another try. 78mins in. Smith for SA with a high tackle causes a row that threatens to spill over. Sin-binned. Followed shortly afterwards by Argentina’s Contepomi. Full-time South Africa 37 – 13 Argentina. Although, as Francois Pienaar pointed out, the final score wasn’t [necessarily] a fair reflection of the game. Errors and ill-discipline undermined the Pumas adventure but South Africa were winning more of the set-piece play.. although they were also error-prone and were definitely on edge in the first half. South Africa go through to meet the magnificently ugly English in the final. So much for Welsh witches..


  • Dewi

    Welsh witch eh ?

    You send me to some strange and mysterious places Pete…

    Tonight ? God knows – at least I hope he does because everyone else has been wrong on everything….

  • Pete Baker

    Thought you’d appreciate that quote, dewi. ;o)

  • dewi

    Fierce stuff but SA got more muscle – easy second half for them… Famous last words

  • Pete Baker

    So much for Welsh witches..

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Looked to me like Habanna late tackled an Argie -though not sure – bad news if he is cited.

  • Rubicon

    SA the better team on the night. As for the commentary – they consstantly ignored the game to use any excuse to praise England. It was unprofessional, insufferably arrogant and – almost without exception – bollick ignorant.

    This erst-while well wisher to England will be watching the final with the volume off – at least until the Box are 20 points up!

  • dewi

    S4c ok lol – welsh witches as bad at prediction as the rest of us.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    but that was a good joke about Bledisloe cup as the competition between the 7th and 8th W.Cup teams and another corker when he said Wilko and Catt were as good as Hernandez and Contepomi.

  • Dewi

    Solved my dilemma – going to watch Proclaimers instead – “Now I could walk five hundred miles and I could five hundred more…”

    And in a month of misery there is always some good news – Cerys is home !

  • Pete Baker

    “Cerys is home.”


    Did she stop-over in Paris..? ;o)

  • Dewi

    She can stop where she wants and when she wants but ………what a girl

    Probably the 46th time I’ve posted that

  • Michael Robinson

    S Africa went to town on the Argentinian mistakes.

    I think the boks will need to be a lot more creative and daring against England as they can’t rely on England to make the same number of mistakes that the Argentinians did tonight.

    England have proved that if there’s twenty minutes to go and a few points in it, they have the will and game plan to snatch a result.

    The RWC final will be the 4th time S Africa has played England this year. S Africa’s record is Played 3, Won 3, Points for: 149, Points against: 32.

  • Dewi

    Michael – South Africa will rip England apart – it will be the most one sided final in history………just ask those Welsh witches !

  • Pete Baker


    I’d agree with most of that analysis – although the record from games this year won’t count for much in the final.

    Additionally, South Africa relied on their dominance of set-piece play against Argentina.. as they have done against other teams they’ve faced so far.

    They can’t rely on that against this re-invigorated England side.

  • Pete Baker


    re: Welsh witches

    See previous comment on Cerys’ Paris stop-over.

  • Michael Robinson

    Dewi – I’m inclined to agree with you but it depends what sort of start S Africa get.

    A few early scores from S Africa and the title is theirs – England don’t have the penetration in the backs to chase a lead and the more they try, the more S Africa will exploit any mistakes.

    But if theres a few points in it with 20 minutes to go…

  • Dewi

    And I hate it with all my heart but Wilko changes stuff,,,,bastard !

  • Dewi

    Nos da – best of luck (Can you feel those gritted teeth )

  • patrique

    England never look like scoring tries. If they had faced New Zealand last night, probably about 30 points in it. South Africa, who will not be bettered in the forwards, should win by about 30 as well.

    The new rankings after the cup should be
    1: New Zealand
    2: Boks
    3: Argentina
    4: France
    5: Ireland/England.

    Not a lot of change then, bar Australia who were over rated anyway.

  • abucs

    Agree with the comments about the forwards.
    If the BOKS can at least match the English, then barring nerves they should win.

    If England get over the top of them in the forwards they’ll go pretty close to winning it.

    The first team to defend their title.

    No, what am i saying, stop it now !! :o)

  • againstthehead

    Think the final will be a lot tighter than you guys think. The pumas error count was shocking. Almost all the Boks points game from interceptions/turnovers. SA created very little going forward. Sackie has been in terrific form and should handle habana reasonably well. 10, 12 and 15 need big games for england. But if england can keep the scoreboard kicking via JW they may be in with a shout. SA should win, but it wouldn’t suprise me if england just sneek it.

  • darth rumsfeld

    glorious news

    we Ulster Scots can now give our wholehearted support to our Calvinist brethren from RSA against the nambypamby arrogant effete English.
    Agree with againstthehead though that it will be a tight match, and on the other hand English luck has to run out sometime- every team they’ve played have made the mistakes that have cost them the game

  • moochin Photoman

    Does anyone else thing that the coverage of the live games has been pretty poor?
    Its as if the director has never watched rugby, some of the angles have been atrocious.
    I’d say that the South Africans played a pretty dirty game around the fringe.Berger should have been penalised a couple of times in the first half.
    I’d agree that the Boks will have to play better than they did last night…they didn’t create that much and England will not be making as many mistakes for them to capitalise on.
    Gonna be a tight final but i think the Boks will win it, having already stuffed England they must feel confident.

  • Why the f— do you people have to bring religion into everything. the sooner we English have our own country and cease paying our taxes to subsidize you religious maniacs across the sea, the better for us all. It can’t come soon enough. English nationalism has been steadily growing and growing and the tide will not be stopped. This charlatan Brown is pathetic, he’s running scared. England for the English (especially amongst the young), Scotland, Wales and Ireland should go it alone.

  • moochin Photoman

    what the feck has this to do with the rugby?

  • Dewi

    In office in Cardiff today…I jest not the staff have just spent lunch break learning the South African anthem. After three…

    Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika
    Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo,
    Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
    Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo

    For us geeks –

    It is the only neo-modal national anthem in the world, by virtue of being the only one that starts in one key and finishes in another. The lyrics employ the five most populous of South Africa’s eleven official languages

  • páid

    Darth isn’t a religious maniac. Like me, I suspect he doesn’t really believe in God, but if anyone says a word about His Blessed Mother… 🙂

  • ulsterfan

    Some one earlier (patrique) mentioned that the new world rankings will show Ireland in joint fifth position with England.
    What nonsense Ireland will be lucky to be in the top ten and certainly will be a few points worse than England.

  • Gabrielle

    Current IRB World Rankings:

    1(1) NEW ZEALAND 89.63
    2(3) SOUTH AFRICA 89.32
    3(6) ENGLAND 87.18
    4(2) FRANCE 84.83
    5(5) AUSTRALIA 84.21
    6(4) ARGENTINA 83.16
    7(7) IRELAND 78.66
    8(8) SCOTLAND 76.83
    9(9) FIJI 75.82
    10(10) WALES 74.08

  • patrique

    I know. And if you look at the current soccer ratings, the USA are about No 3, and Italy 14.

    I am talking about real rankings. I mean Argentina beat France, Ireland beat England by a cricket score, every year since 2003. As for the Aussies, who have they beaten?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    “the sooner we English have our own country”

    thats fine talk when you wont feck off out of the occupied 6 north eastern counties and dont you Englezes start fighting with Ulster Prods – thats our job. Cheek.

    re. Rugby: any talk of Rugby rankings should inlcude 9: Fiji 10: Wales – as a diminutive Taff
    , with an advanced knowledge of exposives, sneaks aobut here from time to time.

    C’Mon the BOK – Africans to strike back at Evil Empire.

  • Dewi

    I’m not rising Sammy….

  • Martin

    “Ireland beat England by a cricket score, every year since 2003. ”

    Patrique – “Cricket Score”????? What absolute rubbish. Other than in 2007 (where the win was deserved – albeit at the peak of Ireland’s performance for this year) Ireland have beaten England by less than a converted try in the 2000s (in 2006 in highly dubious circs but having berated the Kiwis for being sore losers all week I should leave it there), lost heavily in ’03, and have never won the Six Nations in that period . Less than 7 don’t count as a cricket score.

    Additionally, Ireland have never beaten France in that period, a feat England have acheived twice in 2007 alone. When did you last win in the SH?

    You’ve had the sign over us since ’04, indeed have been a bit better than us, but you have not, save for early this year, been THAT much better than us. Beating us gave you the impression, sadly, that you were world beaters without ever winning the 6N. We, as Irish people consistently point out, have been awful. So what is the acheivement in a series of (again – excluding the magnificent performance in Feb 2007) very close wins indeed?

    Compare the cohesion and solidarity of the England team now to the extraordinary on-pitch bollocking BOD gave Peter Stringer after that intercept try and, if I were were Irish, I would be worried. Can you imagine Phil Vickery or Keith Wood doing that outside the dressing room? This is a team game. Even on a man-to-man basis the only area in which Ireland, on current the basis of this world cup, has an obvious clear advantage over England is in midfield and if O’Driscoll isn’t playing even that isn’t so obvious.

    Even 30 points isn’t a cricket score. We beat you by that in 2003 and what happened in 2004?

  • darth rumsfeld


    I’m sorry if you took me seriously. Noone else does. It just amuses me that the left of centre (oops, now I’ve brought politics into sport) will be cheering for hulking Afrikaaner grandchildren of the Broederbond, (and the superb Habana) against your countrymen ( and Laurence Bruno Nero D’Allalgio,as well as confused Sith Afrikan Mike Catt).

    And I do indeed believe in God, whose existence was surely proven by the fate of the arrogant Josh Lewsey after his obscenely unsporting gesture towards the French full back after his try.

    Seriously folks, the fate of the Union depends on a win for the colonials. Four more years of English crowing would force the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish to dismantle the nation we built for them, and leave them to their own devices- and they’d never be able to repay us for our navvies, soldiers, scientists, philosophers and politicians who dragged them up from being an insignificant European peripheral nation renowned only for piracy, bad food, and congenital self-loathing……:0)

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    thats what we have been telling you for years – the Englezes just dont understand us Irish – better off throwing your lot in with us.

  • Outsider

    Why the f— do you people have to bring religion into everything. the sooner we English have our own country and cease paying our taxes to subsidize you religious maniacs across the sea, the better for us all. It can’t come soon enough. English nationalism has been steadily growing and growing and the tide will not be stopped. This charlatan Brown is pathetic, he’s running scared. England for the English (especially amongst the young), Scotland, Wales and Ireland should go it alone.


    First of all its Northern Ireland and not Ireland.

    Secondly England was glad of the sacrafices made by us Irish in two world wars and many from this part of the world continue to serve crown and country in places such as Iraq. Don’t forget what made England, loosing Wales, NI and Scotland will not serve it well long term, loosing you however will serve it well.

  • patrique


    Ireland never beat France at Rugby. France are about No 4 in the world. The whole point I was making was that Ireland were not very good. They might even rank joint 5th with England now.

  • patrique

    P.S In 2005 England beat Australia by one run, I think at Trent Bridge, to much rejoicing and talk of a thrashing. One run, a cricket score.

  • Martin

    OK, Patrique, you got me 😉 (putting my anorak on the Edgbaston Test was actually won by a massive 2 runs in 2005 and I certainly don’t think the reports if this - – is anything to go by described it as a thrashing)


    2006 Was this when the player legitimately hacked the ball on BEFORE it went into touch and Brian Moore thought that he was at a NFL game?

  • Martin

    Not getting into that debate! The margins were tight and either side could have won. As I said above if I moan about dodgy refereeing calls I am a rank hypocrite. They all even out.

    Although I’m not sure that we are talking about the same event. I’m talking about when many perceived that the ball had touched the whitewash. If it had, and I am not arguing this point as video evidence was not conclusive and any ref could have called it either way, whether it was before or after a hack on, it was out of play.

    Law 19, Definitions –
    “The ball is in touch when it is not being carried by a player and it touches the touchline or anything or anyone on or beyond the

    Many, including me, say it may have touched the touchline and was, therefore, in touch. No-one is saying anything about the legitimacy of the prior hack on.

    It doesn’t matter anyway because Ireland probably deserved the win. Just don’t tell me it was a “thrashing” or a “cricket score”.