ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Wednesday Oct 23, 2019

Rugby World Cup semi finals show that the North-South divide appears to have all but closed

At the last Rugby World Cup in 2015, the southern hemisphere nations highlighted a gap with their northern counterparts after none of the Six Nations teams advanced to the semi-finals for the first time.

ADVERTISEMENT

In England four years ago, the southern hemisphere sides simply played at a faster pace across the park and their skill execution under pressure was at a much higher level. This weekend, however, the semi-finals will show how much the gap between the south and north has narrowed.

The All Blacks face England in the first semi-final clash between southern and northern-hemisphere sides since 1999, when New Zealand were upset by France.

Six Nations champions Wales face Rugby Championship winners South Africa at Yokohama Stadium on Sunday.

“I think that is what has made them go away and improve,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told reporters in Tokyo when asked about the north’s last World Cup performances.

“Not so much improve but think about how they play the game and how they get what they want from their rugby,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

“They have come back over the last four years and all those home nations have played really good rugby.

“Two of them (Wales and Ireland) have been number one in the world in the last month or so and two are now in the final four, so they have made some great improvements.”

Those advances have produced better results since the last World Cup, as Ireland, England and Wales have all gone on lengthy unbeaten streaks.

Ireland won their first two games against the All Blacks and their first match in South Africa.

ADVERTISEMENT

Wales ended a 10-year, 13-match losing streak at the hands of the Wallabies and beat them again in pool play in Japan. England and Ireland also won test series in Australia.

Video Spacer

England have built an impressive record in the last four years.

They have lost just three times in 18 games against southern hemisphere opposition since the last World Cup — two to Sout h Africa and in their only game against the All Blacks last year, something coach Eddie Jones is eager to rectify in Yokohama.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” Jones said.

“Look at what we’ve done as a team over the last four years, we’ve had some great wins, we’ve had some significant losses. We have learnt from those.

“Progressively, we’ve built a game that we think we can take New Zealand. We’re just excited by the possibility.”

Related Articles

  • 81 WEEKS AGO

    If you can get your head around it, these...

  • 103 WEEKS AGO

    You've never seen any Rugby World Cup drop...

  • 104 WEEKS AGO

    TOP 10: Rugby World Cup 2015 was filled with...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Henry Arundell wonder try shows he is the real deal

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Watch: Blues score two STUNNING tries against Queensland Reds

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Racing 92 know how play ‘GORGEOUS’ rugby

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Teddy Thomas rinses defence with BLISTERING pace

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Every Ulster try scored in Europe this season..and it’s glorious!

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Concussion protocol extended to longer period on the sidelines

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Fans shocked as Saracens half back escapes red

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Fans outraged after shocking Owen Farrell moment

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Big Rugby Collision In South African Schools Match

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Sickening Shot Leaves Motionless

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Prince Edward skins opposition with Royal Goose Step

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Watch: Four legged friend causes chaos on the rugby field

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    George Kruis pulls off UNBELIVABLE trick shot conversion

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Disastrous moment butchers certain try in Top 14 clash

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Hooker scores masterful try

View All

Funnies

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Great Performance On The Pitch Followed By A Legendary One Off It

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Wallabies New Ad Outrages English Fans

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Prop Leaves Everyone For Dead With Epic Dummy

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Watch: The Internet Remains Undefeated In Champions Cup Build-Up

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: First It Was BoJo Now It's ScoMo

View All

Amateur

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: South African Schools Rugby Is On Fire

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    Watch: Epic Speech Epitomises Rugby Values

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Epic touchline conversion from Tighthead seals the deal

  • 20 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Veteran props compared to Tadhg Furlong in new viral video

  • 87 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

View All

Player Features

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    England name strong team to face Australia

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Wales in danger of Willie Le Roux masterclass

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Luther Burrell hits out at racist jokes in rugby

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Potential England starting line up

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    England winger tests positive for Covid after arriving in Australia for summer tour

View All