Wales tackle France within the third 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-final on Sunday, with Warren Gatland hoping to information the Dragons to simply their third semi-final ever.

Each groups are unbeaten in Japan; Wales topped Pool D with 4 wins, the primary time they’ve achieved that feat since 1987. France, in the meantime, earned three wins earlier than Storm Hagibis put paid to their Pool C finale in opposition to England.

The 2 groups in fact have historical past within the knockout levels of the competitors, and that is the place we start our speaking factors.

THE HATEFUL EIGHT

during semi final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Wales and France at Eden Park on October 15, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Alain Rolland sends off Sam Warburton in opposition to France in 2011.

There two have historical past, each previous and current. Wales followers nonetheless marvel what might need been eight years in the past in Auckland, when the Dragons had their wings clipped by referee Alain Rolland, captain Sam Warburton despatched off with 61 minutes of the sport to play for a tip deal with on Vincent Clerc.

Wales nonetheless may and doubtless ought to have received the sport, however ultimately misplaced 9-8. Within the ensuing remaining, nervy New Zealand – nothing in comparison with the dominant juggernaut they’re as we speak – edged house 8-7 to elevate a second crown and finish discuss of psychological fragility.

It’s a consequence that’s nonetheless uncooked for these Wales gamers who suffered Eden Park ache, as former centre Jamie Roberts wrote in his Telegraph column forward of the match.

There was and stays an actual sense {that a} maiden title was therefor the taking in opposition to a barely restricted and fearful host nation in 2011, had Wales not fallen to the French.

Likewise, Les Bleus are nonetheless haunted by a newer failing, their Six Nations defeat to Wales initially of the 12 months. The hosts stormed right into a 16-Zero lead on the Parc des Princes however contrived to lose 24-19. No group has ever held such an interval lead in a Six Nations sport beforehand and surrendered it.

Solely two groups Argentina in final years Rugby Championship in opposition to Australia and Wales in a pleasant with France in 1996 have given away larger leads in worldwide rugby historical past. Even by their spectacular means to implode, this was messy.

THE FRUSTRATING FRENCH

Alivereti Raka

The one factor that may all the time be anticipated from the French is the surprising, which makes them an intriguing and harmful prospect for Wales on Sunday.

Maddeningly inconsistent for a protracted interval now since their 5 and Six Nations glory days, France will enter 2020 with out a Six Nations title in a decade. They received 5 of the primary 11 from 2000-10. They completed backside in 2013 and have annoyed and failed for much too lengthy.

And but they’re able to unfathomable brilliance. They beat England in final years Six Nations and possess aptitude and high quality of their ranks, with younger weapons Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack and Damian Penaud all main the cost.

Additionally they possess a knack for turning up on the large stage. They’ve featured in three World Cup finals, together with England. Solely New Zealand and Australia (each 4) have extra appearances.

They’ve been runners-up on all three events – in 1987, 1999 and 2011. Within the inaugural event they dispatched co-hosts the Wallabies 30-24 within the quarter-finals. In 1999 they blitzed the All Blacks 43-31 in one of many World Cups most memorable matches. New Zealand have been once more the victims in 2007, crushed 20-18 within the final eight.

Jacques Brunels sides 2019 World Cup serves as the proper microcosm to their general productiveness. Sensible in a 23-21 opening Pool C win in opposition to Argentina that might have gone both approach, they then toiled in opposition to the USA, holding a precarious 12-9 lead with 13 minutes to go earlier than chopping unfastened to win by 24 factors.

Their remaining sport in opposition to England was cancelled as a consequence of a storm. Who is aware of what storm awaits Wales in Oita.

WINGMAN WANTS TO BE TOP GUN

Josh Adams

Once you consider weapons Wales may use to take out France, Dan Biggars proper boot instantly springs to thoughts. As does George Norths ferocious energy working or the virtually telepathic imaginative and prescient of Jonathan Davies.

However it’s the silent but lethal mini gun in Warren Gatlands arsenal that might show probably the most potent.

Josh Adams is the joint main tryscorer on the event and two data are in his sights. Shane Williams six tries for Wales on the 2007 World Cup and the eight tries scored by Jonah Lomu (1999), Bryan Habana (2007) and Julian Savea (2015).

The primary is a report haul for a Welshman at a World Cup. The opposite three collectively maintain the report for many strive strains crossed at one event. Adams has 5 from 4 video games and has admitted he’s seeking to chase each data down.

That he is able to even achieve this is exceptional given the place hes come from – he solely made his Wales debut 21 months in the past.

The season following the final World Cup, Adams – who was at Worcester Warriors – spent it on mortgage at Cinderford, within the third tier of the English league system.

Now he’s blazing a path on the video games largest stage, torching the stats sheet by way of clear breaks made, 13, which is probably the most in Japan. His ending in opposition to Fiji was lethal and key to killing off their sizeable menace.

Though Wales head into the unknown, Adams not lives in anonymity.



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here