Steve Borthwick’s side were superior in the Rugby World Cup semi-final, but that counted for little on a night of twisted logic
There’s about an hour on the clock at the Stade de France, and the World Cup semi-final has gone missing. I mean this quite literally. The World Cup semi-final between England and South Africa is, simply put, not there. What the 80,000 people in the stadium are staring at in the meantime through the sheeting rain is not immediately clear. A mass of amorphous wet shapes. Lots of big men scrabbling around on the ground and then very slowly standing up again. Medics and support staff trotting on to the pitch and then trotting off. Lots of talking. Lots of substitutions.
The ball itself hasn’t been seen since about the 35th minute. This is sport as a kind of dark matter, an anti-spectacle, a curious ontological experiment into whether a game of rugby can exist if no actual rugby is being played.
Written by Jonathan Liew at the Stade de France
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2023/oct/21/rugby-world-cup-semi-final-england-game-of-their-lives-south-africa under the title “Dominant England played the game of their lives. And South Africa still won | Jonathan Liew”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.