first_imgThe semis of the competition are almost set. Two of four quarterfinals were honoured on Saturday, and the boys started being separated from the men..South Africa 23-19 WalesSouth Africa are through to the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup.They scraped through after a late try from the excellent Fourie du Preez in what was the expected hugely physical and often brutal battle, mainly thanks to an outstanding performance in attack and defence from flanker Schalk Burger, the boot of Handre Pollard and a mammoth collective show of power in a compelling second half.It was never pretty but in the end the South Africans probably just merited it. They were much the better side in the second half when Wales simply could not find positions from which to attack.But you did have to feel for Wales. Their defensive effort was simply one of the most courageous and committed you could wish to see in Test rugby. Captain Sam Warburton had one of those matches when those who question his influence just look ridiculously foolish. He was simply magnificent, so too were Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau in the back row.New Zealand 62-13 France Not so much a French revolution as the meekest of French surrenders, then. It was always a high-risk tactic invoking an uprising in an effort to beat the All Blacks and this one backfired.Badly. Les Bleus’ apparently mutinous foot soldiers were routed, humiliated at the Millennium Stadium by the defending world champions who fired out an ominous warning to the rest of the teams left in this competition, and in particular their semi-final opponents South Africa.The All Blacks not playing well? If this is them playing badly everyone else might as well give up now.New Zealand were imperious, with Julian Savea grabbing a hat-trick and the man of the match prize. In truth, it could have gone to any number of black-shirted players.Ma’a Nonu, all rampaging runs and offloads, was utterly devastating. Ben Smith likewise. Dan Carter showed glimpses of the form which once made him arguably the finest 10 in the history of the game.Tawera Kerr-Barlow came on and scored two late tries but by then the scoreboard operator was struggling to keep up. The hands, the angles, the speed at which they attacked. SUNDAY’S SCHEDULEIreland meet Argentina in the penultimate quarter-final of the 2015 Rugby World Cup later today and the match kicks off at noon (Ghana time).Scotland will play Australia in the final quarter-final at 3pm Ghana time as they aim to reach their first semi-final since 1991 at Twickenham.All games will be available on SuperSport. –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports. All Rugby World Cup games available on SuperSport chnnel 206.last_img

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