The Springboks knocked out the hosts, France, last night in a scintillating match that will forever go down as one of the most exciting ever nights in international rugby.
The match came just 24 hours after tournament favourites Ireland were blasted out of the competition by an All Black side that had clearly saved their best rugby for the biggest occasion.
As big occasions go, the final quarter-final between France and South Africa was surely not going to be able to match the previous nights antics…but match it, it did.
The battle was ferocious, the skill levels through the roof, and the passion enlightened. Led by their incredibly talented captain Antoine Dupont, France were looking deadly on every attack. Their variety of attacking options were plain to see, but disguised beautifully from the defence.
As the game continued, the visitors were able to counter the home side with their own impressively skillful attack, playing an elusive style of rugby that the Springboks would not normally employ.
The back and forwards of the match culminated in an incredible final passage which saw South Africa come away with the victory. Scenes have since emerged of the sheer jubilation in the coaches area, where Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Neimbar are seen knocking back what appears to be champagne in celebration.
Check the footage here:
— Jack Tunney (@JackTunneyRugby) October 16, 2023
On the other flip of the coin, it was a sad evening for French rugby, with their captain appearing desolate in the following press conference, and fans expressing their sheer disappointment on their journeys home following the match.
France head coach Fabian Galthie reflected: “For four years we wrote a beautiful page of French history that the players can be proud of.
“We can also be sad tonight because of the result.
“No regrets. You’re allowed to lose like we did today. We did everything to optimise our potential.”