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Rugby World Cup 2011: Sunday's quarter-finals as they happened

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By Mike Henson

1046: The match report is in which is my cue to sign off and stand down. On which note Springbok coach Peter De Villiers has made a post-match speech to the media that sounded an awful lot like a resignation. Official confirmation is not yet forthcoming, but we'll let you know on the site as soon as we do. Thanks for your company. Goodbye.

1041: Mils Muliaina departs down the tunnel with a commemorative silver cap perched precariously on top of his head. A massive showdown with Tri Nations champions Australia looms next Sunday. A 0900 BST kick-off in that one and in Saturday's Wales v France match-up.

Twitter
Wyn on Twitter: "So we have the same final 4 as in the 1st Rugby World Cup in '87 the last time it was held in NZ. Come on Wales! #BBCRWC"

1033: With a bit more Test match experience and without the yellow card that hindered them in the final quarter, the Pumas first major southern hemisphere scalp might be sooner rather than later.

1030: The Pumas, set to join the Tri Nations, proved that they will not be out of their depth in this company.

1028: That was distinctly uncomfortable in the first half for the favourites, but on the plus side they learned plenty about their possibilities at fly-half in a less-risky enviroment to the one they will play in next weekend. Cruden has done enough to sneak ahead of even a fit-again Slade I would think.

All Black captain Richie McCaw: "We kept chipping away but we knew that we would get the chances and that is what happened in the second half. We got some quick ball and, with the wind behind us, we got some points. Credit to Aaron Cruden, he probably didn't think he would be playing 60 minutes of a quarter-final earlier this week. He had a lot to learn but I thought he did well."

Full time
FULL-TIME NEW ZEALAND 33-10 ARGENTINA

80 min: NZ 33-10 Arg The All Blacks briefly threaten to heap more late points on the Pumas. It would be unjust though and the Argentina defence holds out to the final whistle.

Try graphic
78 min: NZ 33-10 Arg Second row Brad Thorn strolls in after Jimmy Cowan had sparked a break down the blindside. Cory Jane palmed the ball back from the brink of the touchline to Read who drew the final man and popped up to his fellow forward as the defence ran out of numbers. Cruden slots the extras.

CONVERSION NEW ZEALAND 33-10 ARGENTINA

TRY NEW ZEALAND 31-10 ARGENTINA


74 min: NZ 26-10 Arg Jimmy Cowan is on at scrum-half for the All-Blacks in place of Weepu.

73 min: NZ 26-10 Arg An Argentina infringement is punished with another pinpoint kick from Weepu. The Pumas' gnarled old warrior Mario Ledesma departs for the touchlines and possibly out of international rugby as he is replaced with tears in his eyes.

PENALTY NEW ZEALAND 26-10 ARGENTINA

Try graphic
69 min: NZ 23-10 Arg New Zealand home and dry now surely, but it could have been very different. With Cruden marshalling his backline with authority, the All Blacks have men over on the left wing. Kaino flicks a no-look pass to Kieran Read who trundles over. However Rodriguez had gambled everything in defence on snatching an interception of that final pass. He was a fingertip or so away and it would have taken some catching to stop him going in at the other. Weepu misses for the first time with the conversion.

TRY NEW ZEALAND 23-10 ARGENTINA

65 min: NZ 18-10 Arg Martin Rodriguez, standing up at fly-half, hints at a kick before slipping inside Kaino, dancing clear of another defender and sending a low one skidding into touch. Lovely little cameo.

63 min: NZ 18-10 Arg The All Blacks are almost in as Read and McCaw offload out of the tackle in quick succession. Cruden shows a little dummy but is scragged before he can give the final pass to Smith. Ali Williams is on for Sam Whitelock in the second row.

60 min: NZ 18-10 Arg Six from six for Weepu with a straightforward kick. Cory Jane wriggles away from the Pumas off the restart, but Argentina turn over the ball.

PENALTY NEW ZEALAND 18-10 ARGENTINA

57 min: NZ 15-10 Arg No try says Shaun Veldsman up in the gods so instead it is a chance for Weepu to add three.

Yellow card
57 min: NZ 15-10 Arg Richie McCaw may have jammed the ball between post protector and the ground for a try, the replays are being studied by the video officials. Meanwhile referee Nigel Owens gives a yellow card to Nicolas Vergallo for his infringement.

55 min: NZ 15-10 Arg The All Blacks are camped on the Pumas line with Argentina a man down through injury.

Twitter
Simon Mohammad on Twitter: "Argentina, your time is now......the ghosts of NZ RWC are looming....#bbcrwc"

54 min: NZ 15-10 Arg A bustling break by Nonu who hands over to Cruden before getting the ball back. A trio of Pumas latch onto the centre to stop the move in its tracks. Weepu chips to the corner where Cruden is waiting, but Imhoff is on hand to shove him out before he can cross and ground.

52 min: NZ 15-10 Arg The stocky figure of Weepu is pulling the strings for the All Blacks. His big boot clears up to halfway from the base of a breakdown.

50 min: NZ 15-10 Arg Sonny Bill Williams sniffs a gap up the line, but Gonzalo Camacho goes low and hard to tie up his man. Juan Jose Imhoff is on for the Pumas in the centres.

48 min: NZ 15-10 Arg Penalty awarded the hosts' way and Weepu slots in usual no-nonsense style.

PENALTY NEW ZEALAND 15-10 ARGENTINA

47 min: NZ 12-10 Arg The All Blacks head back downfield immediately with Cruden's stuttering sidesteps serving him well.

46 min: NZ 12-10 Arg An absolute monster of a kick from Marcelo Bosch and the Pumas are within a score, any score.

PENALTY NEW ZEALAND 12-10 ARGENTINA

45 min: NZ 12-7 Arg Whitelock steals the line-out ball that follows but the All Black backs make a mess of a complex run-around and Owens blows up for blocking. Penalty for Argentina.

44 min: NZ 12-7 Arg Keven Mealamu is pinged for not staying on his feet in a ruck and Argentina nudge their way up to halfway. Colin Slade is wrapped up in a heavy coat on the touchlines watching on.

Twitter
Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "New Zealand failed to score a first half try in a Rugby World Cup match for the first time since 1999. #BBCRWC"

41 min: NZ 12-7 Arg The All Blacks swap Isaia Toeava on for Mils Muliaina at the start of the second half.

Twitter
World Cup winner Will Greenwood on Twitter: "All Blacks very flat, but it is what Argentina do so well. Org is great, slow ball down, hard."

Twitter
Lewis Wright on Twitter: "Epic contest of the 12s. Brain of Contepomi vs the Brawn of Nonu. #bbcrwc"

0925: A fair bit of it may be psychlogical, but the loss of Carter does seem to have clogged up the All Blacks backline. Slade was not able to loosen the leash on the runners outside him. Let's see if Cruden can do any better in the second half.

Half time
HALF-TIME NEW ZEALAND 12-7 ARGENTINA

40 min: NZ 12-7 Arg Owens blows for the interval and the All Blacks jog off towards some peppery half-time words from Graham Henry.

39 min: NZ 12-7 Arg From bang in front, Weepu gives it a fair thump to keep the All Blacks edging forward.

PENALTY NEW ZEALAND 12-7 ARGENTINA

37 min: NZ 9-7 Arg Again the Pumas are putting their paws in where they are not allowed and Weepu points to the posts.

35 min: NZ 9-7 Arg The All Blacks recover as Weepu extends his immaculate record from the tee after a Puma's infringement. They are in a battle here though, no mistake.

PENALTY NEW ZEALAND 9-7 ARGENTINA

32 min: NZ 6-7 Arg Slade, still struggling, gives way to Aaron Crudden at 10 for ANew Zealand.

Twitter
Katharine Merry on Twitter: "Nearly spat out my weetabix! ARG lead....7 6 game on! #bbcrwc"

Try graphic
30 min: NZ 6-7 ArgThe only sound in Eden Park is of Kiwi jaws dropping. A barnstorming break from number eight Leonardo Senatore from the base of the scrum, Contepomi tips on a pass and although the All Black cover hauls down the inital break, flanker Julio Farias Cabello burrows over for one of the tries of the tournament so far. Exquisite kick from the touchline from Contepomi to add the extras.

CONVERSION NEW ZEALAND 6-7 ARGENTINA

TRY NEW ZEALAND 6-5 ARGENTINA

27 min: NZ 6-0 Arg An immediate chance for a Pumas riposte as Sam Whitelock takes out an Argentinean jumper in the line-out. Contepomi's penalty looks good initially, but sways wide as it nears the posts.

25 min: NZ 6-0 Arg A gentle swing of the peg from Weepu does the business.

PENALTY NEW ZEALAND 6-0 ARGENTINA


24 min: NZ 3-0 Arg Vergallo flings his attempted pass to fly-half Fernandez straight over the dead ball line before Roncero is blown up for not getting straight at the resulting scrum. A chance of Weepu to double the lead.

22 min: NZ 3-0 Arg Weepu chips crossfield to Jane who gathers before floating one of his own ahead for Muliaina to chase. Nicolas Vergallo is across to clean up for Argentina.

20 min: NZ 3-0 Arg First quarter gone and the Kiwi lead is only three points. The crowd decibels have noticeably dropped and Slade, who hasn't fully shaken off his knock, is in discussions with the team physio. Interesting times.

Whistle
18 min: NZ 3-0 Arg Slade is up and running and looks to have put Kieran Read in for the first try, but the rather casual way the All Blacks made use of the overlap gives Santiago Fernandez enough time to rush across. He gets just enough on the number eight to force his toe onto the whitewash. Great cover.

16 min: NZ 3-0 Arg Slade attempts to loop his arms over and flick a pass out of tackle, but he looks to be injured in the process. The physio is on while the game continues around him.

14 min: NZ 3-0 Arg Argentina give away a penalty of holding on as Keven Mealamu gets over the top of a ruck and won't be shifted.

11 min: NZ 3-0 Arg Scrum-half Weepu plugs it straight through the middle to calm any Kiwi nerves.

PENALTY NEW ZEALAND 3-0 ARGENTINA

11 min: NZ 0-0 Arg Penalty chance for New Zealand as the Pumas stray offside. Piri Weepu, rather than Slade, steps up to take it on.

10 min: NZ 0-0 Arg Space for Jane on the wing, who burns clear of his opposite number but duffs a chip ahead straight into touch.

8 min: NZ 0-0 Arg Argentina holding their own for the moment. Full-back Martin Rodriguez chances his arm with a drop-goal, but his effort dips under the crossbar.

7 min: NZ 0-0 Arg Weepu has a dart but is lifted off his feet in the tackle by Julio Farias Cabello. But an error from Slade almost lands his side in the mire. He takes his eye off a regulation pass from Weepu and it slips out his hands through his hand and bounces back through his legs. Argentina hack through but Conrad Smith strains every sinew to get back and bail his team-mate out.

4 min: NZ 0-0 Arg Winger Horacio Agulla feels the full force of Nonu as he is thumped into touch by the centre.

2 min: NZ 0-0 Arg Welsh referee Nigel Owens blows up for the All Blacks wheeling the scrum and the Argentines clears with a big kick that stays in play but buys plenty of territory.

2 min: NZ 0-0 Arg Welsh referee Nigel Owens blows up for the All Blacks wheeling the scrum and the Argentines clears with a big kick that stays in play but buys plenty of territory.

1 min: NZ 0-0 Arg Under way and Sonny Bill Williams combines with fellow wing Cory Jane as the Kiwi's roll up to the Pumas' 22. Fizz of excitement in the crowd ever time Williams looks likely to get his giant mits on the ball.

0832: It was the 'Kapa O Pango' version with that controversial "slit-throat" gesture at the end. Top marks to Ma'a Nonu for his personal performance in it, highly commeded to Mils Muliania.

0830: Weepu, bristle-faced and wide-eyed, leads the haka.

New Zealand: Mils Muliaina; Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Sonny Bill Williams; Colin Slade, Piri Weepu; Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Brad Thorn, Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (capt), Kieran Read
Argentina: Martin Rodriguez; Gonzalo Camacho, Marcelo Bosch, Felipe Contepomi (capt), Horacio Agulla; Santiago Fernandez, Nicolas Vergallo; Rodrigo Roncero, Mario Ledesma, Juan Figallo; Manuel Carizza, Patricio Albacete, Julio Farias Cabello, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Leonardo Senatore

0827: What of the Pumas then? Felipe Contepomi has admitted that even a perfect performance may not be enough to derail the All Blacks. "If both teams play at 100% then the odds will be against us but it is sport and anything can happen in that 80 minutes," he said. Time for the team line-ups....

0825: Mils Muliaina trots out on his own ahead of his team-mates to take the crowd's acclaim as he wins his 100th cap.

0823: Coach Graham Henry could have opted to deploy scrum-half Piri Weepu at stand-off, but he has placed the weight of a nation's hopes and expectations on the shoulders of the 23-year-old Hurricane. Penny for the thoughts of Harlequins Nick Evans perhaps? The 31-year-old was Carter's understudy at the 2007 World Cup, but has been left out of the All Blacks set-up since opting to move to London in 2008. Still, a win against Leicester yesterday isn't a bad way to spend the weekend.

0819: After a groin injury ruled out All Blacks golden boy Dan Carter, he is the man tasked with steering the team to their elusive World Cup from fly-half.

0817: And you're back in the room. Who would want to be in Colin Slade's shoes today then?

Twitter
Damon Evans on Twitter: "Every group winner has now lost to the group runner up. Is that an omen for the Kiwis?"
Good shout Damon. On that note, we switch our attention to Auckland. Back with you in five minutes with coverage of New Zealand v Argentina on this very page.

0758: A cracking performance from James O'Connor whose composure at the back and off the tee was key to Australia's defensive dig for victory. More than twelve minutes in the Aussie 22 for the Boks and only three penalties to show for it. Unimpressive stats for De Villiers to swallow.

Twitter
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce on Twitter: "Springboks had remarkable 75% of territory in that match. Aussies have wriggled out of the grinder and into the semis. #BBCRWC"


0754: Australia hooker Stephen Moore combines over and under-statement in the space of two seconds. "They were very direct. I'm thrilled to still be alive," he tells ITV.

Twitter
Tangphastic on Twitter: "How the Aussies won I'll never know after a bruising encounter with South Africa. Great match though. Congrats to the Aussies #bbcrwc"

0751: Courageous stuff from Australia who found a path to victory despite being starved of the ball for the whole of the second half. The prospect of Quade Cooper against a whole nation in a trans-Tasman World Cup semi-final just moved a step closer.

Full time
FULL-TIME SOUTH AFRICA 9-11 AUSTRALIA

80 min: SA 9-11 Aus The Australia scrum holds strong and Genia gleefully punts the ball over the touchline to bring the contest to an end and start the Aussie celebrations.

80 min: SA 9-11 Aus The ball goes to the ground. It looks to have gone backwards but Lawrence spots a knock-on as Matfield attempts to rescue the situation. That looks like the end for South Africa now.

79 min: SA 9-11 Aus Lambie is tackled hard, but retains the ball. South Africa within penalty range now, just over halfway.

78 min: SA 9-11 Aus A much-needed turnover for South Africa with less than 100 seconds remaining. Last chance?

77 min: SA 9-11 Aus Genia box-kicks into the corner and the Boks are struggling for territory.

76 min: SA 9-11 Aus A fumble by JP Pietersen before Louw is held up in the tackle by Horwill and Elsom. The Springboks are without the ball at the scrum and there are four minutes to go.

74 min: SA 9-11 Aus Beale off for Anthony Fainga'a at 15 for Australia, while the Boks ready Butch James on the touchline.

72 min: SA 9-11 Aus Full-back O'Connor's kick slides gracefully through the middle and Australia have eight minutes to take this rearguard action through to victory and the last four.

PENALTY SOUTH AFRICA 9-11 AUSTRALIA

71 min: SA 9-8 Aus Touch judge Roman Poite might have handed the Aussies a lifeline. The Frenchman spots Danie Rossouw swiping Semo's leg as the Aussie jumps in the line-out and O'Connor has a penalty on the angle and a fair distance out.

70 min: SA 9-8 Aus Australia have not mustered much of a threat after the break. They have ten minutes to conjure something.

67 min: SA 9-8 Aus Neither Genia or Cooper are firing on all cylinders today, especially in this second half. Berrick Barnes is on for McCabe in the centres.

65 min: SA 9-8 Aus Pressure from the Springboks as they move within six metres of the line. Pocock steals the ball at the breakdown to apparently relieve it, but Genia's kick clear is charged down. The referee spots a Bok infringement to spare Genia's blushes.

63 min: SA 9-8 Aus A towering up-and-under from South Africa, but O'Connor is equal to it as he jumps, juggles and finally claims.

62 min: SA 9-8 Aus Tatafu Polota Nau on for Stephen Moore at hooker for Australia.

61 min: SA 9-8 Aus Not the prettiest stuff from the Boks but undeniably effective as their forwards line up to take a pop off Du Preez. Burger then attempts to add some width but his pass is at Danie Rossouw's toes. Back to Plan A.

59 min: SA 9-8 Aus The Boks manoeuvre their way within range and Steyn drops into the pocket before clipping the ball between the posts to put his side ahead for the first time.

DROP-GOAL SOUTH AFRICA 9-8 AUSTRALIA

Twitter
Boulders8 on Twitter: "There's a game threatening to break out here. Springboks just can't quite put it all together at the moment." #BBCRWC

58 min: SA 6-8 Aus Australia place themselves needlessly under pressure as Cooper smacks his 22m drop-out straight into Du Plessis, but the Boks can't take adavantage. Horwill, another star for the Aussies so far, tussles on the floor and wins a penalty for his side to clear.

56 min: SA 6-8 Aus Easy for Steyn and this is bubbling up nicely for the final 25 minutes.

PENALTY SOUTH AFRICA 6-8 AUSTRALIA

54 min: SA 3-8 Aus Australia infringe though and Steyn will have a decent-looking penalty opportunity to move his side up to within a score.

53 min: SA 3-8 Aus O'Connor helps his pack out, picking up Spies and, with the help of Elsom, shoving the Bok number eight out into touch. Superb from the winger.

52 min: SA 3-8 Aus Du Plessis turns the screw in his first scrum and forces the Aussie front row backwards. Bok forwards beginning to gain the upper hand.

49 min: SA 3-8 Aus South Africa ring the changes: on comes Bismarck du Plessis and Francois Hougaard with Smit and Habana giving way.

47 min: SA 3-8 Aus Peter de Villiers bashes his fist into the desk in his coaches booth as Lawrence calls another forward pass. Habana was just streching his legs and testing O'Connor down the left wing.

Whistle
45 min: SA 3-8 Aus Controversy. De Villiers breaks through the backline and feeds what seems to be the scoring pass to Lambie. But the referee pulls them back, claiming the ball strayed forward. Bok disbelief, but the replays look like the Kiwi got it right.

43 min: SA 3-8 Aus The ball bobbles between the legs of Du Preez at the back of the breakdown and Ioane picks up and hacks on. Steyn is across to ease him out of contention for the loose ball with a shoulder.

42 min: SA 3-8 Aus Direct stuff from the Boks as they crash the ball up over several phases but Pocock and Samo team up to knock Fourie back and stem the momentum.

41 min: SA 3-8 Aus Back up and running in Wellington as an outside-of-the-foot grubber from Cooper doesn't quite come off and Steyn returns fire with a blast downfield.

0700: Stat-attack: 62 tackles from Australia of which six were missed, while South Africa missed five of their 26. Plenty more of that kind of thing on the RWC official site.

Twitter
Graham Shearer on Twitter: "Scrappy 1st half with the Boks with all the ball and territory.Aus are slowing SA ball down but can they keep it up in the 2nd half?"

0656: The Springboks are looking a little toothless out wide and their attempts to press home their advantage up front are being frustrated by an Australia side that have stood strong in defence and always carry menace with the ball in hand. Time for De Villiers to introduce Bismarck du Plessis off the bench perhaps?

Half time
HALF-TIME SOUTH AFRICA 3-8 AUSTRALIA

40 min: SA 3-8 Aus Louw is round the side of a ruck quickly, snags Genia and earns his side a penalty as the Aussie number nine hangs on. The clock is past the 40-minute mark and Steyn opts for an ambitious shot at goal. It is on the angle and almost on half-way. He gives it a hefty whack but it fades short. That's your lot for the first half, says referee Lawrence.

Twitter
Opta Stats on Twitter: "4 - Australia haven't won four consecutive matches against SA since 2000, a run which started with a win in the 1999 RWC semi-finals. Battle."

38 min: SA 3-8 Aus Regulation kick from Steyn splits the uprights to get the Boks motoring.

PENALTY SOUTH AFRICA 3-8 AUSTRALIA



36 min: SA 0-8 Aus Massive hit from Samo on Habana as the winger comes in off the touchline looking for work. But Australia get the wrong side at a breakdown and the Boks have a penalty bang in front to close the gap.

34 min: SA 0-8 Aus South Africa are struggling to secure clean ball with Pocock hunting down every tackled Bok. JP Pietersen is pinged as he attempts to cling on and Pocock gets slaps of congratulation from his team-mates.

32 min: SA 0-8 Aus Another turnover for Australia and they can ease the pressure with a boot downfield. How much are the Boks missing Brussow?

31 min: SA 0-8 Aus The Boks seem to have an overlap for a split-second but the Australia drift defence forces Habana to check inside and he can only run into the midriff of McCabe.

30 min: SA 0-8 Aus Du Preez hoists the up-and-under and Beale and Pietersen compete manfully as it drops out the sky. Neither can claim it but O'Connor's impressive start to the match continues as he gathers, beats a defender and breaks upfield.

26 min: SA 0-8 Aus A touch of confusion between Cooper and Pocock and referee Lawrence blows up for an offside. Steyn points to the posts, but his attempt drifts left. The Boks still to make an impression on the scoreboard.

24 min: SA 0-8 Aus Smit and Steenkamp attempt to impose themselves round the fringes, but they are running into a wall of yellow. Massive strength from Pocock as he strips the ball from Fourie to take possession for Australia.

21 min: SA 0-8 Aus So far Australia's forwards are containing the power of their Bok counterparts.

21 min: SA 0-8 Aus Spies picks and goes from the back of the scrum and is hauled down short. Burger attempts to burrow over the last few yards, but a stealthy Aussie hand dislodges the ball from his grasp. Australia turn the ball over for O'Connor to clear to green-and-gold relief.

20 min: SA 0-8 Aus Worring times for South Africa as Brussow limps off with a knee problem. His departure brings Bath-bound Francois Louw into the fray. That scrum still to come...

17 min: SA 0-8 Aus High and handsome from O'Connor to add the three. But Australia are immediately under the cosh as Lambie's clever grubber pins Cooper into the corner. The Boks will have a scrum within five of the Australia line.

PENALTY SOUTH AFRICA 0-8 AUSTRALIA

15 min: SA 0-5 Aus An electric break from Kurtley Beale from deep who is only dragged down after buying his team 60 yards or so. A powerful drive from James Horwill then follows and draws an infringement from the Boks. O'Connor will have a very kickable chance from the tee.

Try graphic
11 min: SA 0-5 Aus South Africa's line-out ball was safe and secure, but Burger's attempt to bang it up is disrupted by Samo's big hit. The ball bounces free and Pat McCabe darts for the line before flipping a pass to captain James Horwill to crash over. A touch of gamesmanship over the conversion as JP Pietersen gets a flier off the line, doing enough to put off O'Connor who pushes his kick left.

TRY SOUTH AFRICA 0-5 AUSTRALIA

10 min: SA 0-0 Aus Jean de Villiers threatens with a half-break but Australia recover the ball and Cooper more than regains the ground lost with a hoof into the corner. Cooper still being roundly booed by the New Zealanders in the crowd by the way.

8 min: SA 0-0 Aus The Springboks showing some adventure as they spread the ball to Habana. Fourie's off-load to Brussow is a little limp though and the flanker knocks on as he attempts to pick up on the bounce.

6 min: SA 0-0 Aus Matfield steals line-out ball from Moore's throw-in and South Africa are well set on the Australian 22.

5 min: SA 0-0 Aus David Pocock smashes straight through Brussow in their first straight contact situation and Australia are looking keen to run the ball. Genia slings a pass across to Cooper in the shadow of his own posts after their second scrum came under pressure.

2 min: SA 0-0 Aus Early examination passed by the Australian front row, but an error from Quade Cooper as the ball slips through his grasp as he attempts to field a kick downfield. The Kiwis in the crowd enjoyed that.

1 min: SA 0-0 Aus Victor Matfield goes on a little rumble around the fringes before second row partner-in-crime Danie Rossouw knocks on to give Australia an early scrum and a first test of their front row.

Whistle
0601 BST: New Zealand's Byrce Lawrence is the man in charge, South Africa to kick-off. And we are go.

Australia: Kurtley Beale; James O'Connor, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane; Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Dan Vickerman, Radike Semo, James Horwill, Rocky Elsom, David Pocock.
South Africa: Patrick Lambie, JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez; Gurthro Steenkamp, John Smit (capt), Jannie du Plessis, Danie Rossouw, Victor Matfield, Heinrich Brussow, Schalk Burger, Pierre Spies.

It's sunny
0558 BST: The teams are out and standing to attention for the anthems in the watery Wellington sunshine. Time for a full rundown on the starting line-ups then...

0556 BST: Keep an eye on the openside battle today, it is likely to be another good un after the Warburton v O'Brien scrap in the Wales v Ireland match in the same stadium yesterday. Heinrich Brussow, the man who shot to prominence with his destructive displays against the Lions in 2009, is back in harness after a serious knee injury Australia and will go toe-to-toe with man mountain Pocock.

0553 BST: This is the most experienced team in Springbok history with 836 caps in their starting XV alone.

0550 BST: That looks like a convincing case against South Africa then. Especially when their attempts to bully the Wallabies up front will suffer from the absence of their enforcer-in-chief Bakkies Botha. They will also miss the punch of Francois Steyn in midfield who has flown home injured. Hold on though because what they do have is spades and spades of experience and a dead-eyed goal kicker in Morne Steyn.

0546 BST: They may have wobbled to defeat against Ireland in the pool stages, but Australia have been strengthened by the return of Stephen Moore and James Pocock who were missing from a depleted pack in that loss. In the back division Digby Ioane has recovered from a broken thumb.

0540 BST: Down to business in Wellington. Australia coach Robbie Deans has returned to the same backline that helped the Wallabies beat South Africa 14-9 in their last encounter, in Durban two months ago. That win, a third successive victory over the Springboks, improved Australia's record to five wins from the last six matches against Peter De Villiers' side.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Twitter
0537 BST: To put me right and throw some predictions for today's clashes my way the details are on hashtag #BBCRWC or via text on your UK mobile on 81111.

0534 BST: Five of six World Cups have been won by the nations below the equator so it is likely that we will be watching the winner somewhere in amongst that quartet isn't it? Hang on, I think I can hear the furious tapping of Welsh keyboards….


0530 BST: Morning all. Yesterday the northern hemisphere contenders were whittled down to two, today is the southern hemisphere's turn. South Africa v Australia is coming up in half an hour's time with New Zealand against Argentina due to get under way at 0830 BST.



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see also
Rugby World Cup fixtures and results
26 Sep 11 |  Rugby Union
South Africa 9-11 Australia
09 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
New Zealand 33-10 Argentina
09 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
South Africa coach set to resign
09 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup round-up
09 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup tables
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
Rugby World Cup 2011 team guide
08 Sep 11 |  Rugby Union


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