Two matches to go, and one of them could potentially be the most bruising of all.
The other takes place on Friday, when the All Blacks and Wales do battle in the match that nobody ever wants to play, the so-called Bronze Final.
Take a second to think back to our match in 2015. Who did we play, and what was the score?
I’ll save you a trip to Google and tell you it was Argentina, and we won 24-13.
TVNZ [the country’s public broadcaster] will not screen the All Blacks’ playoff for the Rugby World Cup bronze medal with Wales on Friday night.
Instead Kiwi fans will have to put up with Coronation Street.
TVNZ confirmed to the Herald today that it will not be covering Friday’s bronze medal match and will air Coronation Street instead, saying “it’s not our choice”.
“TVNZ was given rights to cover 12 matches and unfortunately the bronze game wasn’t one,” a TVNZ spokeswoman said…
All Blacks supporters have been left in shock that the state broadcaster doesn’t have the ability to show the swansong clash for All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen and skipper Kieran Read.
They were so sure they’d make the final that they didn’t bother with a Plan B – classic.
Here at home, the SABC have announced that they will broadcast the final live, which is great news for those who want to see the game grow.
(If only they could pay all the local musicians and producers they’ve stiffed, but that’s a story for another day.)
South Africa’s chances of winning the William Webb Ellis trophy hinge on our defensive capabilities, and the stats prove that we’re an incredibly tough outfit to score against.
We’ve put in plenty of big hits, although we don’t feature in the Rugby World Cup’s compilation video released yesterday.
Still, it’s always worth watching a few bone-crunching tackles to pass the time:
It’s like they didn’t watch our quarter-final showdown with Japan, although they did at least acknowledge Faf ‘the giant slayer’ de Klerk.
For those Springbok fans fielding abuse from around the world with regards our brand of rugby, you’re not alone.
Rassie Erasmus knows the feeling, reports Sport24:
Erasmus was asked on Tuesday what he made of suggestions that the Boks were playing “boring” rugby at the tournament.
“If one understands where we’ve been coming from – being number six, seven or eight in the world – we’ve got certain challenges, and one of them was always to redeem ourselves and become a power again in world rugby, and try to get to number one and two,” the coach explained.
“By doing that, you have to have some building blocks in place, and we’ve followed a certain route and played according to the stats, and the way the game is being refereed currently and what gives you good results in the short term and on the scoreboard.
“So, we certainly accept that there are some things in the game that we have to improve, and we take it on the chin.
“But we feel that we have put ourselves in a position to maybe win the World Cup, and we are in the final.
“Yes, we accept the criticism, but we are also happy that we are in the position to compete for a World Cup final, which is where we ultimately want to be.”
It’s ugly, but it gets the job done.
One bright spark for the Springboks’ attacking game is that Cheslin Kolbe has been declared fit, and you would expect him to slot back in for S’bu Nkosi.
As Saturday draws closer, and the whinging about our brand of rugby grows louder, be sure to tell the Kiwis, Ozzies, and anybody else who will listen that we still have a shot at glory.
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