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South Africa eliminated the hosts. © APA/afp / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT

Rugby World Cup surprise: South Africa beats France

Former rugby world champions England and defending champions South Africa are in the semi-finals of the World Cup in France.

The South Africans somewhat surprisingly prevailed against the French hosts on Sunday evening with 29:28 (19:22) in Saint-Denis. England, champions in 2003, previously defeated outsiders Fiji 30:24 (21:10) in Marseille. Favorites England started strongly and quickly gained a lead, but Fiji managed to equalize at 24:24 in the second half.

In the fight for a place in the final, the English now face South Africa. The French fought them off in a thrilling encounter and secured their ticket to the next round late on. The final will also take place in Saint-Denis on October 28th.

Big disappointment at Antoine Dupont & Co. © ANSA / YOAN VALAT

The All Blacks from New Zealand and Argentina face each other in the second semi-final. On Saturday evening, three-time world champion New Zealand beat world number one Ireland 28:24 (18:17) in a dramatic quarter-final at the Stade de France. Argentina surprisingly won against Wales 29:17 (6:10) in Marseille and made it into the semi-finals for the third time.

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