Like all Michael Cheika’s teams, Australia were way too streetwise, together and opportunistic for Argentina. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Some of the previously optimistic Irish fans who had bought tickets for the semi-finals made the trek to Twickenham over the weekend. There were clear(...)

Australia’s scrum coach Mario Ledesma takes part in a team training session in Teddington, south west London. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty

In the end, this week’s public silence proved deafening. “I had no idea what he was doing, I just push on the side, mate.” That’s the point. Even Mich(...)

Argentina stand arm in arm before the game against Namibia. “For them to win,” says journalist Alejo Miranda, “I think they have to have an early lead, like they did for example against South Africa in Durban.” Pphotograph: Jason Cairnduff/Inpho

The Pumas are the outstanding success story of world rugby in the professional era. They are also the most improved team in the world over the last fo(...)

France’s head coach Philippe Saint André (right) speaks with his captain Thierry Dusautoir during a training session at Newport High School ahead of the World Cup quarter-final match against New Zealand. Photograph: Getty.

New Zealand v France Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, 8.0 TV3 , ITV No team spooks the All Blacks at the World Cup quite like the French, and with good r(...)

France warm up for the game against Canada. “The World Cup is really something special in France.  It’s a competition that works well with the French for some reason.” Photo: Darren Staples/Reuters

And so it has come to pass pretty much exactly as expected. France were long ago cast as 18/1 outsiders, incapable of finishing in the top half of the(...)

France produced arguably the greatest World Cup comeback when they beat the All Blacks at Twickenham 1999. Photograph: Getty

In 1987 France, weary from their thrilling semi-final win over Australia, were mere participants in the World Cup final, as New Zealand were coronated(...)

Toulon celebrate winning the European Champions Cup after beating Clermont Auvergne at Twickenham on Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

So Toulon are entitled to be labelled the European Cup’s greatest ever team? For a club which only competed in one Heineken Cup prior to its current t(...)

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre. “He may  be a practical coach but the French media stone him for his inability to settle upon a team.” Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Only place to begin is at the end of Paris. When the Ides of March were overcome.Sexton had been carted off (not an omen just another reason to avoid (...)

Toulon beat both Munster and Leinster on the way to defending their European crown last season. Photograph:   Billy Stickland/Inpho

No less than having the offices in Dublin, there’s little doubt that five Irish Heineken Cup wins in a seven-year period (2006 to 2012) did not go (...)

In years to come, they may yet refer to Saturday’s game at the Stade de France as the Battle of Saint-Denis. (...)