South Africa to face New Zealand at Twickenham in 2023 Rugby World Cup warm-up

By Sports Desk October 24, 2022

World champions South Africa will face New Zealand in a 2023 Rugby World Cup warm-up at Twickenham in August next year, two weeks before the tournament in France kicks off.

The pair will meet at England's national rugby union stadium for just the second time as teams begin to firm up their preparations for the tournament, with the Springboks also booking a clash against Wales a week prior.

Having faltered in the semi-finals to England at Japan 2019, the All Blacks will be out to chase a first world title since 2015, when they defeated rivals Australia - with their last Twickenham meeting with South Africa coming in the last four of that tournament.

"The Springboks and All Blacks share one of the greatest rivalries in rugby, and to face them at Twickenham will be an exciting experience for the players and our fans," said Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.

"The match will take place shortly before we kick off our World Cup campaign, and both this encounter and the Test against Wales will be vital for us to measure ourselves before the competition and to put the final building in blocks in place so that we can enter the showpiece in the desired form."

South Africa will compete in Pool B alongside Ireland, Scotland, Tonga and Romania at next year's tournament, while New Zealand will fight it out in Pool A with hosts France alongside Italy, Uruguay and Namibia.

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  • “This is my dream”: Rutherford rates 68* against New Zealand as best knock of his career “This is my dream”: Rutherford rates 68* against New Zealand as best knock of his career

    West Indies batsman Sherfane Rutherford rates his well-compiled half century against New Zealand at the ICC T20 World Cup on Wednesday as his best knock.

    The 25-year-old came to the crease with the hosts teetering at 22-4 in the sixth over after bring put in to bat at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba.

    On a pitch that he described as “tacky” and “spongy” in the post-match press conference, Rutherford took his time in the early part of his innings before accelerating to a top score of 68* to help the West Indies post a match-winning 149-9 from their allotted 20 overs.

    Rutherford described the innings as perhaps the best of his career, so far.

    “I will put it as my best knock. It’s a World Cup. This is my dream. I’ve always wanted to play in a World Cup and this one is going to stay close to my heart. Hopefully, I can continue to take out good innings like this for my team and for myself,” he said.

    At the halfway point of the innings, the West Indies were 49-5 and Rutherford says head coach Daren Sammy’s advice was to bat time and take it deep.

    “He was just telling me to take it deep. I was batting with Akeal (Hosein) so I told him to keep going but my role was to basically take it to the 15th or 16th over but after we lost wickets I just told myself to try and take it to the 20th over and try and maximize those last two overs which they had to make up with two bowlers,” he said.

    The Guyanese hard-hitter was recently a part of the Indian Premier League with the Kolkata Knight Riders and, despite not getting a game, he says he has been using that time to prepare for situations like the one he faced on Wednesday.

    “I pattern my game off these situations. Even before the World Cup, I try to put myself in positions in the nets where I have to bat properly and then have to excel in the end so I think it’s good to see that my plans and my work are coming to show,” he said.

    He faced a similar situation when the West Indies found themselves 79-5 batting first in the third T20I against Australia in Perth in February.

    Rutherford and Andre Russell put on 139 for the sixth wicket with Rutherford finishing 67* off 40 balls.

    He says the main thing he took from that innings was the importance of giving himself time at the crease.

    “The innings in Australia is one that I kept close to me and, even though it was a good innings, I try to pick a few things out of it. One of the few things was give myself time. It’s always a process and when you look too far ahead you can forget about the process so, for me, it was just ball after ball, give myself time, run singles and get myself ready so that in the back end I can make up,” he said.

    Finally, Rutherford made mention of the crowd at the Brian Lara Stadium.

    “When batting I try not to worry about the crowd. I just try to look at what’s in front of me and focus on the process but it’s good to have some support. It’s good to have the home crowd with us and hopefully they can keep supporting us,” he said.

    The West Indies will next take on Afghanistan at the Daren Sammy Stadium on June 17.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Rutherford the difference for West Indies, says Powell and Williamson Rutherford the difference for West Indies, says Powell and Williamson

    Captains Kane Williamson and Rovman Powell were in agreement that Sherfane Rutherford was the difference in West Indies' 13-run victory over New Zealand. 

    Rutherford hit an unbeaten 68 off 39 balls for the co-hosts as the Windies secured a 13-run victory over their opponents to reach the Super-8 stage at the T20 World Cup.

    The 25-year-old came to the crease with West Indies 22-4 inside the powerplay, and responded with a career-best effort that repaired the early damage, including hitting 37 runs from the final two overs to secure the win. 

    "We told the guys that somebody has to play a blinder," Powell said after the match. "It wasn't going to be an easy wicket because of the inclement weather.

    "We always believe that individual brilliance in T20 cricket is needed some time and Sherfane's innings was a fantastic knock. It gave us confidence and at the halfway mark, we believed [we could win]."

    The result sees New Zealand on the brink of elimination from the tournament following their 84-run defeat to Afghanistan in their opening group fixture, with Williamson admitting his side were beaten by a beautifully timed innings by Rutherford. 

    "The margins in the match are fine and in conditions like that, two or three balls where the match-up suits, that can be the difference," Williamson said at his post-match press conference.

    "We saw a fantastic knock from Rutherford and he certainly timed it beautifully and got his match-up. I think at the end of the day, that was the difference."

  • Rutherford drags West Indies into Super 8s as Black Caps left on brink Rutherford drags West Indies into Super 8s as Black Caps left on brink

    Sherfane Rutherford hit an unbeaten 68 – including a staggering 37 from the final two overs – as West Indies reached the Super-8 stage at the T20 World Cup with a 13-run victory over New Zealand.

    The co-hosts looked to be on course for their first defeat of the tournament when they slipped to 22-4, Trent Boult finishing with a team-best 3-16 for the Black Caps.

    Rutherford had little support and initially made slow progress, only to dial it up in the dying stages, smashing three maximums off Daryl Mitchell in the 19th over then hitting two fours and another six off Mitchell Santner in the 20th.

    New Zealand's chase never really got going as their middle order collapsed, Windies paceman Alzarri Joseph finishing with figures of 4-19 and Gudakesh Motie going 3-25.

    Joseph's delivery saw Glenn Phillips caught by Rovman Powell at long on for the innings' crucial wicket, the all-rounder hitting 40 off 33 balls as none of his team-mates managed above 26.

    While West Indies retain a perfect record at the top of Group C, New Zealand are on the brink of an early exit. They must win their remaining matches against Uganda and Papua New Guinea and hope other results go their way to advance.

    Data Debrief: Rutherford's rescue act

    When West Indies found themselves teetering in Trinidad and Tobago, Rutherford bailed them out.

    His 68 runs at number six represents the second-best score ever recorded by a batter coming in at six or lower at the T20 World Cup, after Cameron White managed 85 versus Sri Lanka in 2010.

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