One of the off shoots of being at so many World Cup matches is that I haven’t had hours to sit and watch the games I haven’t been at.  I was listening on the radio to the quarter final between Scotland and Australia so heard the outrage when Australia were awarded what was clearly then and has been stated after the fact as being incorrect.  The rest is history, Bernard Foley, on fire with the boot scored the 3 points and Australia progressed to the semi-final.

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Of the 4 team in the semis they were the one I hadn’t seen live, based on the group matches I was looking forward to seeing them.

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On the other hand this would be the 4th week in a row I’d have the pleasure of watching Argentina!  My Category B ticket again saw me behind the posts on the middle tier – in the front row this time which gave me a pretty good view I have to say!

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I was on the end of the row again, the organisers must love Billy no Mates like me to even things off – my neighbours were 2 very lovely Australians – Damien Elton and Trent Wicker, they were both very softly spoken and avid Wallabies!  They were combining watching the World Cup with playing a few games of rugby.

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I know it’s very irreverent of me but goodness I find the Argentinian anthem strange – it’s all about the music until virtually the end, I love how the fans hum along as it builds up.  I had a bit of a singalong to the Australian anthem myself, rugby matches will seem a bit odd without a song before the game starts!

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I found myself with very mixed emotions, I’ve loved watching Los Pumas – wow they’ve played some great rugby; yet from day one I’d felt that Australia would be the only team who could challenge the All Blacks.  So, I guess I was happy either way as long as I saw a good match!

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The return of David Pocock from injury would have left many teams with a quandary as his No 7 shirt had been more than adequately filled by Michael Hooper.  No such problem for the Wallabies – they just included them both!  With Pocock packing down at Number 8.  They were joined in a formidable back row by unsung hero Scott Fardy.

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This was another match where the stats don’t tell the story of the game – Argentina had more territory and more possession but there was no way through the Australian defence for them.  This wasn’t to be a repeat of the try fests for Los Pumas – Australia made a mighty 157 tackles, 60 more than the Argentinians.

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The only way to points for the South Americans was through the boot of Nicolas Sanchez; Australia gave away 12 penalties – 5 of them were kickable and this man really doesn’t miss many!  That made 15 points for Argentina.

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Australia on the other hand treated us to 4 tries – Adam Ashley Cooper showing that anything Julian Savea can do he can to!  He scored his hat trick – the 3rd was shout out loud exciting!  Drew Mitchell made what must be one of the runs of the tournament, flying towards the posts!  He passed to Ashley Cooper who was in the clear, he ran in to cap his match off.

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Rob Simmons had started the scoring, running in to score after intercepting a Sanchez pass, it was the start Australia needed.

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The final score was Argentina 15 Australia 29 – resulting in a final matching 2 classic rivals.  A mouthwatering proposition!  My neighbours were understandably ecstatic – how unpleasant of a fellow English fan to say to them when Damien said – We’re in the final!  The response?  You won’t win it!  Just plain nasty!

  • Cost of Ticket       £320

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