Marshy’s Cup Call: Four best teams made it


The World Cup’s four best teams are in the semi-finals. It’s exciting stuff.

Argentina’s playing well enough to push Australia, but with a few key players returning I’m picking the Wallabies to win.

The Springboks have got the players and the nous to push the All Blacks.

They’ve got enough guys who have been in big games - like the 2007 World Cup final.

Just look at the likes of Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen and Fourie du Preez.

They won’t be scared of the All Blacks - they relish playing them.

Their problem is they run out of gas. South Africa just don’t have the same power, pace and tempo off the bench as the All Blacks do.

With the age in that South African side, I think the All Blacks will blow them away in the last 20 minutes.

We shouldn’t get carried away with the semis being a southern hemisphere showdown.

Remember, two northern teams were within a whisker of winning their quarter-finals.

Wales really pushed South Africa - perhaps they would have won if they’d been more ruthless in those first 10 minutes. They’ll learn from that.

The Scots were always going to dig deep. And the Aussies had the weight of expectations and injuries to key players.

Those games could have gone either way.

Ireland, on the other hand, were pretty depleted - and weren’t well directed from nine and 10. Argentina had better game control - especially from Nicolas Sanchez.

The southern hemisphere teams really haven’t had the same injury worries as Ireland and Wales, in particular.

We’ve managed our way through our pools a lot better. How? The obvious thing is southern hemisphere teams have more depth. Look at England - their depth is really questionable.

I don’t think that they are a million miles away - and it’s not like I’m saying they’ll never beat a southern hemisphere team. But they don’t have the depth to compensate when their major players are unavailable.

A quick word on Craig Joubert. Ultimately his bad call in the Scotland game’s his responsibility. But he relies on touch judges and there were other things missed that aren’t being talked about. Joubert’s a good ref and he made a mistake. That’s rugby.

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