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An England-Wales final? Jones and Gatland have the knowhow to deliver it | Robert Kitson

Posted On: 21 Oct 2019   |   Posted By: The Guardian

New Zealand and narrowly South Africa are the semi-final favourites but the Antipodean coaches of England and Wales have the experience to make both games tantalisingly close Some Rugby World Cup semi-finals stay longer in the memory than others. For every stunning sporting spectacle - Sydney 1987, Dublin 1991, Cape Town 1995 and Twickenham 1999 - a good number have been unable to match the hype. Often they are not even close: in no fewer than nine of the 16 semi-final contests to date there has been a double-figure margin of victory. Major surprises, historically, have also been relatively sparse. Of those 16 games, a mere three were won against the head, so to speak. France, both in 1987 and 1999, totally confounded expectations but, otherwise, probably the biggest shock was New Zealand's decisive 22-10 loss at the hands of Australia in 2003.

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