The last of the 2023 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals promises to be an absolute cracker. France and South Africa will duel in Paris for the right to play England in a week’s time, with tonight’s victor very likely to be pronounced the favourite to go all the way and lift the trophy later this month.
In the blue corner, Antoine Dupont has been passed fit to start only three weeks after requiring facial surgery in a big boost to Les Bleus as they look to win the World Cup for the first-ever time and, on home soil, many believe their time is now. However, they have often struggled to beat South Africa.
In the green and gold corner, a Springboks side determined to show they can still rule the world by successfully defending their trophy, despite coming off second-best in their pool-stage battle with Ireland. Follow France vs South Africa LIVE with Standard Sport’s match blog!
TRY! France 25-24 South Africa | Etzebeth, 67′
Etzebeth forces his way over right under the posts!
France 25-19 South Africa | 66 mins
Mauvaka has had a superb game for France and he departs for Bourgarit as South Africa feed a fresh scrum and pop it out inside their 22, Kriel breaking the line nicely but the eventual kick is snaffled up by Dupont…
But the Springboks get the penalty for Dupont not releasing the ball!
France 25-19 South Africa | 64 mins
Koch the latest introduction from the Boks bench and he’s straight into the scrum.
South Africa legend Bryan Habana tells ITV1 he’s got “no nails left” and urges his side to set up encampment in the France half as soon as they can to try and wrestle the lead back.
France 25-19 South Africa | 63 mins
From six tries in the first half, a record for a World Cup knockout first half, to just three penalty points in the last 22 minutes since the break, this game has turned from wildly thrilling to wildly tense!
France on the ball looking to force open a significant scoreboard lead with De Klerk putting in some vital defensive work before the ball is dropped.
France 25-19 South Africa | 61 mins
Le Roux gets away with a seemingly forward pass out wide with South Africa back in the France half… and once more the Springboks drop the ball.
It’s France’s determined defence that is the difference-maker for the hosts right now.
France 25-19 South Africa | 60 mins
Aldegheri replaces Atonio for France’s next change ahead of the scrum and the Boks win the penalty!
Line-out opted for as they target the try… but they lose it. Mega for France!
France 25-19 South Africa | 58 mins
Jalibert scuffs his kick from the penalty and ends up flying it a yard or two BACKWARDS into touch! France forced to line-out from their own 22 here and Kolbe rushes the ball back upfield from their kick.
South Africa straight back onto France here but the ball is knocked on and Les Bleus escape!
France 25-19 South Africa | 56 mins
De Klerk is looking to get the ball flowing quickly off the bench and Pollard kicks high… Kolbe wins it!
The first Springboks surge of the half now and Smith drags them over the 22 but France want a penalty.
They get it!
Penalty! France 25-19 South Africa | 54 mins
Dupont chats to the referee to assure Ramos isn’t kicking from too tight an angle but no dramas from the kick!
France lead by six.
France 22-19 South Africa | 53 mins
Advantage to France as we get back underway from the scrum.
Fickou does well to wriggle through a challenge but the penalty is called by the referee, and the hosts will kick for three points.