- New Zealand are big favorites to reach the final when they play Argentina
- The All Blacks were stunned by England in the last four of the 2019 World Cup
- All Blacks legend Dan Carter was at his team’s camp ahead of Friday’s match
New Zealand coach Ian Foster insisted his team have learned from their 2019 semi-final defeat to England as they prepare for a last four clash with Argentina with the help of Dan Carter.
The All Blacks have reached the business end of the World Cup for the fourth tournament in a row despite being on the wrong side of a major upheaval in Japan.
England shocked the world by beating the southern hemisphere giants to reach the final four years ago.
New Zealand are once again heavy favorites to reach the 2023 final when they play the Pumas on Friday evening.
‘As far as results are concerned, we are not living in the past. World Cups are really about the present and the best team of the night,” said Foster.
New Zealand are big favorites to reach the final when they play Argentina on Friday evening
Ian Foster’s All Blacks have reached their fourth consecutive Rugby World Cup semi-final
New Zealand rose to the challenge of the favorites to continue the Irish curse in the quarter-final
‘If you go into a World Cup semi-final with the expectation that the past will repeat itself, you have problems. We discussed the conversation about 2019 in a short time.
‘It doesn’t stick in our minds. We have taken most of the lessons we learned from 2019 with us.”
Foster’s side sensationally defeated Ireland – then world number 1 – in the quarter-finals, with captain Sam Cane, Jordie Barrett and Ardie Savea among the outstanding players.
‘It’s a final, definitely a final. The ‘no tomorrow’ concept from the last match is exactly the same for this one,” said Foster, who will leave his role after the tournament.
In the run-up to this World Cup, the All Blacks have had regular visits from former top players including Carter, Richie McCaw and Conrad Smith.
The idea is for them to take a closer look at Foster’s current set-up and pass on any wisdom as part of a ‘legacy group’ made up of those who have represented New Zealand with distinction.
Foster revealed that ex-fly-half Carter – a World Cup winner in 2011 and 2015 – had been in his team’s camp ahead of the match against Argentina.
“He (Carter) hit base with a couple players,” Foster said. “The team and I love it because they (ex-players) have a rich history of loving this shirt and knowing what it stands for.
‘We couldn’t get too close to Dan because he had a nice cream jacket on, which meant none of us could hug him because we were all dirty. He was quite protective, so we kept our distance!
“But it was great to have him there.”
Argentina are a shocking presence in the semi-final. Michael Cheika’s Pumas were terrible in their opening defeat to England, but also pulled off a surprise in the quarter-final by eliminating Wales.
Michael Cheika’s Argentina is surprisingly present in the last four, after surprising Wales
All Blacks legend Dan Carter was in his team’s camp ahead of the match against Argentina
They are a significant underdog, but only defeated New Zealand last year.
Wet weather is forecast for the match, which could have an impact, although New Zealand’s handling and accuracy under pressure against Ireland was phenomenal.
Argentina captain and Leicester hooker Julian Montoya said: ‘As soon as you step on the pitch you believe you can win. We beat New Zealand – it confirms we can beat anyone.
‘I have full confidence in our team and in all our players. This is the time to play the best game of our lives and give it our all.”
Argentina: Mallia; Boffelli, Cinti, Chocobares, M Carreras; S Carreras, Bertranou; Gallo, Montoya (captain), Gomez Kodela, Petti, Lavanini, Gonzalez, Kremer, Isa
Replacements: Creevy, Sclavi, Bello, Alemanno, Bruni, Bazan Velez, Sánchez, Moroni
New Zealand: BBarrett; Jordan, Ioane, J Barrett, Telea; Mo’unga, Smith; De Groot, Taylor, Lomax, Whitelock, S Barrett, Frizell, Cane (captain), Savea
Replacements: Taukei’aho, Williams, Newell, Retallick, Papalii, Christie, McKenzie, Lienert-Brown.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Kick-off: 8 p.m. (Stade de France, Paris)