Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024
alert-–-england-15-–-6-south-africa:-owen-farrell-scores-four-penalties-and-drop-goal-to-give-his-side-halftime-lead-in-tense-match-against-the-springboks-–-as-20,000-england-fans-brave-the-paris-rain-to-cheer-from-the-standsAlert – England 15 – 6 South Africa: Owen Farrell scores four penalties and drop goal to give his side halftime lead in tense match against the Springboks – as 20,000 England fans brave the Paris rain to cheer from the stands

Captain Owen Farrell has scored four penalties and a drop goal to give England a halftime lead of 15-6 in their World Cup semi-final against South Africa, as 20,000 fans brave the Paris rain to cheer on their heroes from the stands. 

Fans in Red Rose jerseys took to their seats in the soggy State de France, but not before sinking pints in the run-up to the match against the Springboks.

Steve Borthwick’s squad came into the clash as the underdogs, with bookies giving odds of just 5/1 to beat the current world champions. 

Despite the odds, England’s army of supporters are hopeful as the men in red lead at halftime, with former England fly-half Paul Grayson describing it as a ‘dream start’.

Farrell has scored four penalties and a drop goal so far which puts his side – dubbed the underdogs prior to kick-off – ahead in a sensational first-half. It’s not over yet though as the Springboks will be looking for a quick turnaround when the second half gets underway.

A young England fan cheers from the stands prior the Rugby World Cup semifinal match between England and South Africa

Dressed-up supporters of England react before the semifinal match

England supporters cheer on their team from the stands with a flag which read: ‘Rugby’s Coming Home’

England players line up during the national anthems before the match

A fan of South Africa poses for a photo holding a banner that features imagery of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Steven Kitshoff of South Africa

‘There’s no reason why we can’t do it,’ said Tony Brett, 43 from Bath. ‘Whatever happens it’s going to be a great game.’

READ MORE: England vs South Africa – Rugby World Cup semi-final LIVE: Owen Farrell and Freddie Steward start as 2019 finalists face-off with a spot in the final on the line

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Mr Brett was part of a travelling army of fans from the UK who were in the French capital for the Saturday evening clash.

‘We might be underdogs, but England can certainly do it,’ said Simon Goss, also 43 and from Bath.

Father and son Toby and Nick Walter, aged 51 and 19, from Sevenoaks in Kent, also believed England had a fighting chance.

‘England to win by three points is my prediction,’ said Mr Walter, who was wearing a British & Irish Lions kit.

‘We’ll be wearing our white England kit at the game,’ he said, adding: ‘We’re England first and Lions second.’

Richard and Ben Summers, another father and son, aged 52 and 25, from Sheffield, attended the New Zealand win against Argentina on Friday night as a warmup to the England game.

‘If every player is at his best, and South Africa make a few mistakes then – yes – we can do it,’ said Mr Summer senior.

Toby and Nick Walter, father and son from Sevenoaks in Kent, don their red British Lions kit in Paris

Gavin Howard with daughter Holly, 18, arriving at the Gare du Nord, Paris for the Rugby World Cup semi-final between England vs South Africa

Richard and Ben Summers, father and son from Sheffield, are already sinking pints in Paris ahead of England’s semi-final match against South Africa at the Rugby World Cup 

Simon Goss and Tony Brett from Bath are also getting into the spirit in France 

Some 20,000 England fans are expected to watch tonight’s match in the Stade de France. Pictured is England captain Owen Farrell celebrating his team’s win over Fiji in the quarter-finals last week 

‘We follow England, Sheffield and Knottingley rugby club and know that the game can throw up all kinds of surprise. Whatever happens, it should be a superb night.’

Supporters swept in on the Eurostar and were seen singing Swing Low in the bars.

Chloe Wells, 30, is backing England to beat the Springboks and go on to win the World Cup.

Ms Wells, of Surrey, who got her nails painted with red roses, said: ‘Of course we’re going to do it. We’re going to go all the way.’

She travelled with friends Josh Ervin, 31, Augusto Burtolome, 28, and George Jones, 28.

Mr Ervin said: ‘We’re expecting the worst and hoping for the best. We’re keeping everything crosssed.’

David Jackson, 59, of Warwick and Chris Allen, 55, of Buxton have been following England from the start of the tournament.

Mr Allen said: ‘I have just bought tickets for the final, I think we are going to do it tonight.

‘South Africa have been battered by France, if we turn up we’ve really got a chance.’

South Africa fan Tyran Saayman (left) with England fan Adam Dodkins (right) at the Gare du Nord in Paris 

Mr Jackson, who paid £400 for his tickets, said: ‘This is the same team that beat New Zealand in the semi final at the last tournament, I think we can be confident.’

Mike Parker, 62, of Twickenham and Kevin Watt, 59, of Barnett, got samurai England hats made at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Mr Watt said: ‘England getting to the semi finals has been the biggest deception on French soil since the D Day landings.

‘We’ve flown under the radar from the start. We weren’t expecting them to get out of the group stages and now we’re one march away from the final.’

Mr Parker said: ‘Steve Borthwick needs knighting if we win this. He’s been brilliant.

‘I think it’s going to be a great night and we’re in with a shout.’

Adam Dodkins, 39, of Aylesbury travelled over with South African Tyran Saayman, 38, of Oxford.

Mr Dodkins said: ‘Tyran is more confident than me, but I think we can do this. We need to keep it a 10 man game and kick everything.

‘If we win this I won’t let him forget it.’

Marcus Smith of England feeds a pass during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 Quarter Final match between England and Fiji at Stade Velodrome on October 15

Mr Dodkins has been to every World Cup match since 2007 with his father before he sadly passed away from Covid two years ago.

Mr Saayman said: ‘As soon as I saw it was South Africa England I said we’re going. It’s great to be here – but I think the tournament will end for England tonight.’

Gavin Howard, 52, came over for the game on the Eurostar with his 18-year-old daughter Holly from Bristol.

Ms Howard said: ‘I think if we keep it a tight game we might have a chance – but we’ll have to get lucky.’

The Howars bought their tickets on September last year.

Mr Howard said: ‘I’m quite surprised we’ve made it this far. I’m not sure we’ll get much further, but I hope I’m wrong.’

Tonight’s clash comes on the anniversary of two famous British military victories which fans hope will spur England on to.

On October 21 1805, British military hero Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson  led the Royal Navy to one of its most famous victories at the Battle of Trafalgar. 

Lord Nelson’s fleet of 27 warships where outnumbered when they took on and defeated the 33 ships of the combined French and Spanish armada. 

The exactly 94 years later, in 1899, English soldiers from the Devonshire and Manchester regiments were among those who triumphed in the Battle of Elandslaagte in South Africa. 

Troops fighting for the South African Republic under General Johannes Kock were roundly defeated in the town of Elandslaagte, north of Ladysmith, during the Second Boer War. 

An epic performance by England’s warriors was again required if they were to have any chance of beating Rugby World Cup champions South Africa.

Ollie Lawrence of England poses for a photograph with a fan after the Rugby World Cup France 2023 Quarter Final match between England and Fiji

As fans arrived by train, plane and car, a vast security operation unfolded to keep them all safe.

France is on maximum terror alert following the killing of a school teacher by a self-styled ISIS terrorist in Arras, north of Paris, a week ago, and multiple bomb alerts.

The Palace of Versailles, Louvre Museum and Eiffel Tower have all been shut down at various times over the past week because of false warnings.

In 2015, three ISIS suicide bombers targeted the Stade de France during an international football match between France and Germany attended by the then French president, François Hollande.

The latest fears come as tensions mount across the world because of the Israel-Hamas War in the Middle East.

Today will also see England taking on South Africa in the Cricket World Cup. 

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