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Last Updated: Monday, 10 November, 2003, 06:36 GMT
How the quarters were won and lost
By Jonathon Moore
Rugby union editor

What were the key quarter-final moments in a thrilling weekend at the Rugby World Cup?

Mealamu punishes Muller's mistake

NEW ZEALAND 29-9 SA

At just 13-6 down in Melbourne after the break, South Africa were still well in the game.

Growing in confidence they had finished the first half strongly with fly-half Derick Hougaard's second penalty bringing his side back within a converted try.

With 43 minutes on the clock, Jorrie Muller burst through the black shirts and tore into the Kiwi 22.

Scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen was on hand for an easy score, but Muller failed to make the pass out to his left and the score went begging.

Thirteen minutes later, hooker Keven Mealamu effectively sealed the match after a superb break by Jerry Collins.

A hand-off by the All Blacks number eight set up a maul on the 22 and Mealamu broke away, ducking through two Springbok tackles, to seal a vital 21-9 advantage.


Walsh's whistle frustrates Scots

AUSTRALIA 33-16 SCOTLAND

Scotland came out firing in Brisbane's opening World Cup quarter-final and pushed the defending champions hard in the opening 40 minutes.

With the scoreboard reading 6-3 in favour of the Wallabies, fly-half-turned-centre Gregor Townsend spotted Kenny Logan in space on the left wing.

Townsend's cross kick landed deep inside the Aussie 22 and, with the defence firmly committed, Logan tore forward - until referee Steve Walsh blew his whistle.

Despite an obvious advantage, Walsh brought play back and awarded Scotland a penalty after witnessing Wendell Sailor punching lock Stuart Grimes in the face.

To the disbelief of the boys in blue, Sailor even escaped a yellow card.

More bad luck followed when, after going into the break at 9-9, the deadlock was finally broken when Phil Waugh stepped into a ruck from a seemingly offside position and fed the ball out.

Stirling Mortlock burst through a dismal tackle from Glenn Metcalfe and crossed underneath the posts for a score that sounded the death knell for the Scots.


French trio run riot in Melbourne

FRANCE 43-21 IRELAND

Ireland never looked in the running against France and, from the opening whistle, struggled to make their mark on the game.

At the heart of an awesome French performance was the back row of Serge Betsen, Olivier Magne and Imanol Harinordoquy.

The French number eight opened his side's account after just three minutes and all three kept the green shirts going backwards in a blistering display of power and pace.

If there was a turning point, it probably occurred well before kick-off.

Despite all their efforts, Ireland struggled to break through the French defence.

The absence of injured full-back Geordan Murphy was never more evident.

France, for their part, look in pole position to reach the final, but England will surely have something to say in Sydney next weekend.


Scintillating Robinson lifts England

ENGLAND 28-17 WALES

When the whistle blew to signal the start of the second half in Brisbane on Sunday, England were trailing 10-3.

They had been outplayed by a valiant Wales side who crossed twice in the opening period and the men in white were struggling to create any space with the ball going forward.

All that changed on 43 minutes, when Ben Cohen picked up a loose clearance from Gareth Cooper and threw the ball to his full-back.

England needed a score - and quickly - and Jason Robinson was on hand to lift his country's spirits.

Beating Mark Taylor on the inside he then left five Welsh players in his wake, before feeding Will Greenwood.

The Harlequins centre dived over for a straightforward score and England never looked back.

Despite a spirited Welsh fightback, Clive Woodward's side held out to book their semi-final spot against France in Sydney.



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