Argentina, England battles for third place

Argentina plays England in the Rugby World Cup’s third place play off today with both sides licking their wounds from two very different semifinal losses and having already met during the tournament.

The Pumas were pitifully hammered 44-6 by a rampaging New Zealand but can equal their best-ever finish in the tournament with a win at the Stade de France.

Steve Borthwick’s valiant England, champions in 2003, led holders South Africa until Handre Pollard’s 77th minute claimed the 16-15 victory for the Springboks.

“As a player when you have had a defeat, especially the nature of Saturday night, if you could run out there and play again you would,” Borthwick told reporters this week.

“It’s the same as a coach. I am excited about the development of the team, how they have dealt with tough situations,” the former England captain added.

The two teams met in their opening game of the World Cup, with George Ford’s three drop goals helping England to a 27-10 success in a humid Marseille.

Both sides were clinical, if not expansive, as they reached last weekend’s last four, where they came undone against the two best teams in the world.

“For us, for everything we did and for the country, to be able to win bronze is to finish as high as we can,” Argentina coach Michael Cheika said.

“Also the experience for everyone in the group, for the future and the legacy of the most experienced players.

“Finishing as high as we can was always the goal,” the Australian added. —SuperSport.

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