The group matches of the 2023 Rugby World Cup concluded last Sunday, leaving eight teams to battle it out in the knockout stage. Among them are four European nations and four from the southern hemisphere. Notably, Australia failed to make it to the quarter-finals for the first time in the tournament’s history.
A thrilling month of rugby commenced on September 8 with France’s spectacular victory over New Zealand, culminating in the pool stage’s conclusion in Toulouse. Despite a historic defeat against Portugal, Fiji managed to secure a spot in the knockout round, setting up a clash with England.
In the quarter-finals, Ireland, the top-ranked team in the world, will face off against the All Blacks, while hosts France will take on defending champions South Africa. Another exciting fixture will see Wales challenging Argentina, who narrowly defeated Japan to advance to this stage.
Wales vs Argentina – Saturday, October 14, 5 pm, Marseille:
Wales, initially underestimated due to their fifth-place finish at the Six Nations, surprised everyone by topping Group C ahead of Fiji. They will now confront Argentina, a team that struggled against England but managed to progress by overcoming Japan.
Ireland vs New Zealand – Saturday, October 14, 9 pm, Saint-Denis:
Ireland lived up to their world number one ranking by winning all four pool matches, including a significant victory against reigning champions South Africa. Despite never having won a quarter-final before, they are eager to break this streak against the three-time champions, New Zealand, a team they defeated twice last year during a tour of New Zealand.
England vs Fiji – Sunday, October 15, 5 pm, Marseille:
England, with a shaky start to the tournament, displayed a solid performance in the pool stage, led by George Ford’s exceptional kicking game. They face a formidable challenge from Fiji, the unexpected team in the quarter-finals, who eliminated Australia in the pool stage and stunned England with a historic win at Twickenham in August.
France vs South Africa – Sunday, October 15, 9 pm, Saint-Denis:
France advanced smoothly through the pool stage, highlighted by their impressive victory over New Zealand in the tournament opener. However, the injury to star captain Antoine Dupont cast a shadow on their progress. In their pursuit of a maiden World Cup title, France faces defending champions South Africa, who are aiming for an unprecedented fourth title.
As the tournament reaches its intense knockout phase, rugby enthusiasts around the globe eagerly anticipate these thrilling encounters, with each team vying for the coveted Rugby World Cup trophy.