Moroni channels his inner Martinez

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez played a huge role in helping Argentina secure the football World Cup in 2022 and social media streams from Buenos Aires to Bariloche have been alive with parallels between the cult star and Los Pumas rugby centre Matías Moroni.  

Just as Martinez spread himself miraculously to deny France's Randal Kolo Muani what looked like a certain winner in the Qatar 2022 final, so 32-year-old Moroni flung himself at Wales' Louis Rees-Zammit to prevent the winger from diving in at the corner in the dying minutes of last Saturday's first quarter-final. 

With Moroni now a bona-fide hero, could he do a Lionel Messi and lead Argentina to a second helping of World Cup glory in just 18 months? 

Martinez, meanwhile, also found himself being used by French supporters to sum up Cheslin Kolbe's remarkable charge-down of the first-half conversion attempt by Thomas Ramos in France's agonising quarter-final defeat by the Springboks.

Best dad ever

Tears flowed almost as readily as tries during Rugby World Cup 2023's extraordinary quarter-final weekend but there may never have been more wet eyes in bars, pubs and living rooms across the world than when Johnny Sexton's son tried to comfort his devastated dad. 

Minutes after seeing his father's remarkable career come to an end after 37 fruitless phases ended in another quarter-final defeat, the little man looked up, with concern plastered all over his face, and told Ireland's record-breaking fly-half "you're still the best dad". 

The footage has predictably gone viral with parents everywhere no doubt showing the clip to their kids... 

Bilingual fans

When a BBC Wales camera crew approached an Argentina supporter after the quarter-final between the two teams in Marseille, they were probably not expecting a greeting in Welsh.

Proudly wearing a blue-and-white top following Argentina’s 29-17 victory, the fan said: “Hello, shwt i chi? Rhodri dw i (hello, how are you? I’m Rhodri).” 

Rhodri went on to explain he learned Welsh at school growing up in Patagonia, a region at the southern tip of South America that has a strong connection with Wales after settlers travelled across the Atlantic to establish a Welsh community in the region in the 1860s.

Switching to English, Rhodri said: “I was surrounded by Welsh growing up. We love the culture, we love the language, and we try to keep the whole culture alive. We love the Welsh people and you’re most welcome in the south of Argentina any time you want to come.”

Given the close links between the two countries, perhaps Wales fans will switch allegiance to Argentina for their semi-final with New Zealand on Friday now their own hopes of glory have ended.

Public holiday

If South Africa needed any more motivation to win RWC 2023, other than becoming the first nation to win a fourth title and only the second to defend the trophy, their country's president has provided it.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said he will consider making Monday 30 October a public holiday for South Africans if the Springboks win the Webb Ellis Cup the day before.

"South Africans are revelling in this incredible success that our boys have achieved in Paris," he said. "Many of them [South Africans] felt that we should declare [Monday] as a public holiday, and I declined. I said we would only consider that when they [the Springboks] win the final, which I will be personally present [for]."

The Boks must first negotiate their way past England in Saturday's second semi-final before they can look ahead to a final against either New Zealand or Argentina.