Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rugby World Cup 2007 - Bronze Final

France and Argentina met again at Rugby World Cup 2007 as the two losing semi-finalists battled it out for the Bronze medal. Both teams made changes after losing their respective semi-final matches but Argentina made the game their own, putting in their best performance of the tournament and showing the world that the Bronze Final is a crucially important fixture.

In previous Bronze Final's teams and their supporters had entered the games with negative talk. They were disappointed to have lost their Semi-Final match but were not even interested  in playing. New Zealand captain, Taine Randall famously said we don´t want to play the match in an interview several days before the Bronze Final from Rugby World Cup 1999.

Teams commonly, were not too interested in the match itself and this reflected badly on the players and the fans. In Paris for the 2007 Bronze Final Argentina changed this by playing the Bronze Final like it was the Rugby World Cup Final itself. Passion drove the players and their companionship for one another was a lesson to all teams already eliminated.

The Bronze Final has meaning and is a very important fixture. The likes of Taine Randall should be highly embarrassed about not wanting to play in the 1999 fixture, claiming that the match was pointless. Los Pumas not only proved his comments to be of poor sportsmanship but also proved that finishing third is a tremendous honour. The pride of Los Pumas is a vivid memory from France 2007 and is an indication of what to expect should Rugby World Cup 2023 be held in Argentina.

It would be the final time that captain, Agustin Pichot would play for Argentina. Others such as Manuel Contepomi, Omar Hasan, Lucas Ostiglia and Gonzalo Longo would also retire from the national team following Rugby World Cup 2007.

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