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Owen Farrell explains his final whistle clash with Willie le Roux

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

Owen Farrell has shrugged off his post-final whistle altercation with South Africa’s Willie le Roux.

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Saturday’s Rugby World Cup semi-final ended in rancour in Paris, the England skipper getting involved in a heated exchange with the Springboks replacement and other players from both sides joined in before the anger eventually subsided.

Asked what had occurred, Farrell said: “It was nothing. Nothing. Just a misunderstanding.”

The out-half was the scorer of all 15 of his team’s points and it appeared for a long while that his 53rd-minute drop goal, which was preceded by four successful first-half penalty kicks, would be enough to edge England into the final next weekend versus New Zealand.

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However, the Springboks struck with a 69th-minute converted RG Snyman try to cut the margin to 15-13 and they then moved 15-16 ahead with Handre Pollard’s 78th-minute penalty from long range.

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“I’m sat here disappointed but unbelievably proud of what this group has done over this past five months together,” said Farrell, sitting at the same auditorium top table where his father Andy had sat seven days earlier when talking about Ireland’s quarter-final exit to the All Blacks.

“It’s not all gone our way but to build up to a performance like we did, ultimately to come short to a great team like South Africa, I’m sat here disappointed but unbelievably proud of what this group has done.

“The contest was always going to be a good one. We knew that before the game. I thought the fight that we showed throughout the game, we thought we might have done enough to win but unfortunately South Africa had a bit to say in that, so congratulations to them.

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“I felt like we were playing well. I felt like we were playing to our plan. I felt like we were showing what we were capable of and to do that on a stage like this, in a semi-final, is exactly what you want.”

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