Tom Curry counting on experience against South Africa for World Cup semi-final

By Sports Desk October 20, 2023

Tom Curry knows what it takes to defeat South Africa as he braced England for the fight of their lives in Saturday’s World Cup semi-final at the Stade de France.

Curry was part of the side that was crushed by the Springboks in the 2019 final, but he also played in England’s two victories against their rivals in 2018 and 2021 as well winning with the British and Irish Lions that same year.

Having experienced highs and lows against the reigning champions, Curry has built up an insight into the type of performance needed to topple the world champions.

“I’ve been lucky enough to experience both sides. I understand what it takes and it’s going to be a lot so can’t wait to go after it this weekend,” the all-action openside said.

“It’s always a great game when you play against them. We know the Springboks and they’ve developed their game. They’ve matured and we have as well.

“This is a clash between two very exciting teams and we can’t wait to go. It’s a semi-final. If that’s not enough to get you up for a game then I don’t know what will.

“For me there’s no place you’d rather be than in a semi-final against South Africa.”

Wing Elliot Daly is another survivor from England’s harrowing defeat in Yokohama four years ago and one of a small group of players whose international careers were revived by Steve Borthwick’s appointment in December.

The versatile Saracens back, who had fallen out of favour with Borthwick’s predecessor Eddie Jones, believes that experience has no relevance to Saturday’s rematch.

“It was disappointing four years ago but the feel around this team is that it’s a very different team to then,” Daly said.

“I had a bit of time out from the squad and then when I came back in, there was a different feeling within this group. We’re going to try and harness that.”

Daly will form a back three with Jonny May and Freddie Steward, who has been reinstated in the number 15 jersey after losing it to Marcus Smith for the quarter-final victory over Fiji.

Even if Smith had not been ruled out by concussion, however, it is unlikely Steward would have been overlooked given he has the skills needed to deal with South Africa’s precision kicking game.

“Fred’s been brilliant since he started playing for England. The confidence he’s shown since the start of the World Cup campaign has been brilliant,” Daly said.

“He’s a rock at the back under the high ball and he’s really starting to grasp the attack game now.

“He’s making really good decisions on the edge, which are usually putting me in space, which is nice. He’s a quality player and we back him all the way.

“The relationship between us in the back three now is brilliant – we can talk to one another on the field and make sure we’re in the right positions to try to take advantage of any space back there.”

Related items

  • Second washout stops England and Pakistan's T20 World Cup preparation Second washout stops England and Pakistan's T20 World Cup preparation

    For the second time this series, England and Pakistan saw a game abandoned due to rain, this time at Sophia Gardens on Tuesday.

    After their opening game at Headingley was washed out, the teams endured another frustrating day in Cardiff as the umpires called off the third match without a single bowl being bowled.

    England’s 23-run victory at Edgbaston on Saturday means they have an unassailable 1-0 lead in the series.

    However, Pakistan have one last chance to level things at The Oval on Thursday before both teams head off to the United States for the T20I World Cup in June. 

  • Owen gives Bellingham 'massive chance' of Ballon d'Or success Owen gives Bellingham 'massive chance' of Ballon d'Or success

    Michael Owen believes Jude Bellingham has a "massive chance" of winning the Ballon d'Or after a stand-out debut season at Real Madrid.

    Los Blancos won their 36th LaLiga title, losing just one of their league games while finishing 10 points clear of second-place Barcelona.

    Bellingham ended the league campaign as Madrid’s top-scorer, netting 19 LaLiga goals and added another four in the Champions League to help them on their way to the final.

    The attacking-midfielder has also created more chances under pressure (19) than any other midfielder in the Champions League, with four of those resulting in an assist for a Madrid teammate.

    Bellingham is due to join up with England for Euro 2024 following the Champions League final as the Three Lions aim to win their first major trophy since 1966.

    Bellingham is among the favourites to get his hands on the Ballon d'Or and would be the first Englishman to win it since Owen himself in 2001.

    "The Ballon d'Or comes to players who have an exceptional season, not only personally, but who have had a season where they have won something or multiple titles," Owen told TNT Sports.

    "If Jude Bellingham goes and wins LaLiga, which he already has done, as well as the Champions League all while being one of the stars of the show in that team, then he has got to be in the conversation.

    "A lot will depend on Euro 2024 with England. If he has a good tournament and England go far, then you could rightly say that he has a massive chance."

    Bellingham will face former club Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on Saturday as Madrid aim to lift a record-extending 15th title in the European Cup.

  • “We got taught a lesson”: van der Dussen credits Windies for dominant performance in T20I series “We got taught a lesson”: van der Dussen credits Windies for dominant performance in T20I series

    South Africa stand-in Captain Rassie van der Dussen gave his West Indian counterparts all the praise in the world after his side suffered a dominant 0-3 defeat in their three T20Is from May 23-26 at Sabina Park in Kingston.

    The hosts won last Thursday’s first encounter by 28 runs, their biggest win over South Africa in T20Is, and followed it up with a 16-run win in the second game on Saturday and a dominant eight-wicket triumph in the third match on Sunday.

    The skipper put the South African performance down to an inability to quickly adapt to the conditions of the Sabina Park pitch.

    “We just couldn’t adapt early enough. Yes, we had a long week in terms of layovers in Miami and so forth. I think we saw that in the first match but you can’t keep making the same mistakes,” van der Dussen said after Sunday’s game.

    “I think we just got taught a lesson on how to play in Caribbean conditions, especially from a bowling front. It was a difficult wicket to bat on. I think they just out-skilled us, especially with the ball,” he added.

    When asked about positives he could take from the three games, he singled out openers Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks as well as young leg-spinner Nqaba Peter who played the last two games, the first two T20Is of his career.

    The 35-year-old, who was left out of South Africa’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, says an adjustment he hopes the team makes with the bat is to take a few more chances up front.

    “Maybe just be a bit braver. We saw the way the West Indies play, especially in the power play. They really take it on and when the ball’s newer, it’s easier to score than in the back end when the ball gets soft,” he said.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.