England v South Africa review
England skipper Owen Farrell refused to shed light on the reason for his post-match scuffle with South Africa star Willie le Roux. Tempers boiled over after the semi-final clash between the two nations, with players from both countries involved in the heated confrontation.
England were cruelly beaten 16-15 by the Springboks in the World Cup semi-finals on Saturday night, with a late penalty from Handre Pollard proving decisive. Steve Borthwick’s side dominated proceedings but ultimately were unable to prevent South Africa from sealing a remarkable comeback at the Stade de France.
Farrell kicked every single point for England on the night and played a key role in guiding his team to such a strong position against the Springboks. The skipper was therefore unable to hide his frustration following the defeat, angrily confronting Le Roux after the full-time whistle sounded.
The pair were seen pushing one another and exchanging words, with players from each team coming to the aid of their teammates before the scuffle was diffused. Farrell opted not to explain the cause of the confrontation when quizzed about the incident in a post-match interview, saying: “It was nothing. Nothing. Just a misunderstanding.”
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The 32-year-old’s decision to remain professional so soon after such a crushing loss and not divulge matters was praised by many, and Farrell showed his class throughout his media duties after leaving the pitch.
The fly-half showed his class by heaping the praise on his teammates when speaking with BBC Radio 5 Live on Saturday evening, commenting on how he was proud to be part of such a unified group. He explained: “I am unbelievably proud of this group and what they have done over these past few months together. It has not all gone our way as everybody knows, we have had everything thrown at us. It has been a rollercoaster.
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“I’m glad where we have built to, but gutted we don’t have a crack at the big one next week. I am massively proud of this group and I hope everyone back home is as well. I am massively proud of how we have built, the support has built over the World Cup and that performance shows how proud we are to be English and to wear this shirt.
“I think we have made a start of going forward and there is a lot to come from this group.” Farrell will remain a key part of Steve Borthwick’s squad in the future, leading by example in a young squad that have only been working together for the last four months.
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