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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 05:22 GMT 06:22 UK
World Cup golden moments
South Africa 44-21 England
World Cup quarter-final, 24 October 1999
Stade de France, Paris

De Beer's famous five
by Jannie de Beer

I was really pretty worried going into the game as England had been playing really well. They were unlucky to have lost against New Zealand with Jonah Lomu again proving the difference on the day.

And they had the full squad going - that was the really worrying factor.

But, in the back of our minds, we were happy not to be playing England at Twickenham. Them being away from home gave us a bit more confidence and made the tie more 50-50 going into it.

I remember being pleased with one England selection in particular. England didn't pick Jonny Wilkinson for the game, they picked Paul Grayson instead.

Richard Hill fails to halt a de Beer drop goal attempt
England's defenders were too slow to shut down de Beer

Grayson's a very good player but a lot like me - he can kick and is good at passing but he is not such an attacking player.

I was happier to play against him rather than Jonny and I knew it was going to be kicking that would make the difference.

We were looking for options going into the game. I remember Brendan Venter coming to talk to me the night before and he said we needed to have a look at how England defended.

He felt that, with a rugby league defensive coach, they seemed not to be pushing on the defence and instead waiting to attack and get quick turnover.

When we looked at footage, we saw that opposition fly-halves had time to make decisions and we thought drop goals might be an option.

But in the first half we never got an opportunity as we had to defend a lot.

In the second half, the first two drop goals were not planned.

If it wasn't for the fact that that first kick went over I probably would have given drop goals a miss

For the opener, I kicked up field and Matt Perry kicked back. Percy Montgomery received it and created a ruck. I got the ball and had no support. So I thought "go for it" and it went over it.

Percy then just flung the ball straight to me for the second and, in the same scenario, I hit it again.

When those went over, we decided we'd give this more of a go and work for it. So the remaining three were planned and aimed for.

If it wasn't for the fact that that first kick went over I probably would have given drop goals a miss.

But the pitch was very firm, like pitches in South Africa, and that helped the cause. I guess it was just meant to be on that day.

I didn't really get to celebrate the moment in the dressing room because of all the interviews. But I didn't mind in the slightest. It was great to share it with the world.

England were a very good side and needed something special to outdo them. And even now I think England would have reached the final had we not beaten them.

Interview by Matt Majendie

Players remember

1999: Australia win

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