We have arrived at an exciting quarter-final weekend; an irresistible force meets an immovable object in what will likely become one of the game’s defining moments.
At stake will be nothing less than perfection on both teams; every second counts in determining who leaves with regret in their hearts.
As hosts of the Rugby World Cup and boasting one of the finest squads ever to represent their region at this level, France must do something no Northern Hemisphere team has managed in World Cup knockout play: defeat the Springboks.
France has performed unprecedentedly this year as they prepare to host their second World Cup tournament. Last year’s Six Nations champions have been building up for matches like these for five years and face a test when facing reigning world champs.
France has already excelled at their home tournament this year, with one of their standout victories coming against New Zealand on opening night 27-13. But due to Antoine Dupont’s absence during pool stage matches, their tactics had to adapt accordingly – but with him back for this game with Destiny on Sunday, a lot will depend on one of the world’s finest player.
After their success four years ago in winning it all, South Africa will understand what it takes to succeed at the World Cup. They dominated prior encounters against France before their loss at Marseille last November.
Dupont is hugely significant from a French perspective, if he returns close to one hundred per cent, the French will be tough to beat. France has yet to lose a home test match with their skipper, which could be a trend to follow this weekend in a thrilling showdown for a semi-final spot.
France is riding high thanks to overwhelming home support (though some may say that could prove their undoing), an adept manager, and having one of the world’s finest players at their disposal. Although France may crumble at some point, betting against everything coming together at once for them would be foolish.
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