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Brodie Retallick Rugby World Cup 2019: South Africa’s boring tactics, England’s strategy in face of haka and other talking points from semis

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Brodie Retallick Rugby World Cup 2019: South Africa’s boring tactics, England’s strategy in face of haka and other talking points from semis

Brodie Retallick My brother says this plugin is astonishing!

  • Brodie Retallick Wales vs South Africa was not a classic of free-flowing rugby. There were an astonishing 81 kicks in 80 minutes of play.

  • Brodie Retallick Springbok scrum-half Faf de Klerk squared up to giant Wales lock Jake Ball, is 26 centimetres taller and 36kg heavier.

  • Brodie Retallick England formed an inverted V-shape wedge to face the challenge of the New Zealand haka, the traditional war-dance.

South Africa will take on England in the final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup after vanquishing the challenges of Wales and New Zealand.

In Yokohama, England rode into the final with a spectacular 19-7 defeat of the All Blacks on Saturday a day before South Africa slotted a penalty with four minutes to go to break Welsh hearts in a hugely tense finish.

Brodie Retallick Rugby World Cup 2019: South Africa’s boring tactics, England’s strategy in face of haka and other talking points from semis

Wales’ Jake Ball and South Africa’s Faf de Klerk scuffle during the Rugby World Cup semi-final. AP Photo

Here are the biggest talking points from both semi-finals:

Grinding it out

The stats don’t lie — Wales vs South Africa wasn’t a classic of free-flowing rugby. There were an astonishing 81 kicks in 80 minutes of play.

Maybe over-awed by the occasion, world-class players seemed unable to collect the simplest of balls cleanly, resulting in 12 scrums, many of which had to be reset several times.

In contrast to the England-New Zealand semi-final, when the crowd barely had time to breathe, the dreaded Mexican wave was deployed after only 20 minutes of dire rugby and the most noise they made was belting out “Sweet Caroline” at half-time.

Both camps admitted it wasn’t great for the neutral. “There was not a lot of flowing rugby played,” said Welsh coach Warren Gatland, adding that the Springboks “might have to be a bit more expansive” to beat England in the final.

Man-of-the-match Handre Pollard, the Springbok fly-half, said there were no regrets about their style of play. “Grinding it out is something we believe in. That’s what it takes to win play-off games and World Cups,” he said.

Size doesn’t matter

One of the biggest cheers of the night was when livewire Springbok scrum-half Faf de Klerk — who was again a constant threat — squared up to giant Wales lock Jake Ball, their mismatched confrontation beamed onto the stadium big screen.

As a boxing bout, it would not be allowed. De Klerk, instantly recognisable with his flowing blonde locks, stands 5ft 7in (1.72m) and weighs 13st 12lb (88kg). Ball, equally unmissable with his shaggy beard, is 26 centimetres taller and 36kg heavier.

The two grabbing each other’s shirt collars nose-to-nose with

These modules are quite adorable!

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