Rugby World Cup 2011 - South Africa 9-11 Australia
Outgoing South Africa coach Peter de Villiers tells Gabriel Clarke 'the players made my decision'
Pocock, Iaone and McCabe talk after win over South Africa as centre McCabe admits Boks dominated
'You can't teach that kind of mongrel and that spirit' says victorious Australia captain
A philosophical Jean de Villiers says they'll have to live with referee's decisions
Australia's David Pocock says it took a big effort from the entire Wallabies team to beat South Africa
Australia hooker talks to Craig Doyle and Michael Lynagh during the team's lap of honour in Wellington
Australia survive Boks battering to dump out champions
A late James O'Connor penalty goal sent Australia through to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals with a thrilling 11-9 victory over South Africa in Wellington.
Despite spending the majority of a brutal first half defending their own line, the Wallabies held an 8-3 lead at half-time after skipper James Horwill scored the only try of the match in the 11th minute.
South Africa's dominance continued at the resumption and the Wallabies were forced to play from behind when Morne Steyn landed a 56th-minute penalty and a drop goal on the hour.
The Wallabies made a rare trip into Springboks territory and were awarded a penalty by referee Bryce Lawrence after Danie Rossouw was penalised for dragging down Radike Samo in the lineout.
O'Connor steadied his nerves and calmly slotted the winning kick from 35m in the 72nd minute to secure an unlikely victory that was underpinned by an enormous defensive effort.
Man-of-the-match David Pocock produced arguably the finest performance of his international career while Horwill was inspirational throughout.
The Wallabies will now face either New Zealand or Argentina in a semi-final at Eden Park next Sunday.
It was a cruel end for the defending champions, who enjoyed 75 percent of territory and 57 percent possession in a dominant display.
The Springboks had the better of the early exchanges but the Wallabies posted first points when Horwill scored the opening try against the run of play.
A raking kick from Quade Cooper found touch deep in Springboks territory.
South Africa won the lineout but the ball spewed out to Samo who found Pat McCabe, who charged at the line before sending Horwill crashing over.
The Wallabies almost doubled their advantage from the restart when Kurtley Beale sliced through and linked with Stephen Moore, who was cut down in a desperate cover tackle from Schalk Burger.
The Springboks suffered more pain in the 20th minute when star flanker Heinrich Brussow was forced from the field with rib damage.
South Africa spent the remainder of the half in Wallabies territory but only had a 39th-minute penalty goal from Steyn to show for their dominance.
The Springboks came out firing at the resumption and looked certain to score their opening try five minutes in but Peter de Villiers' final to Patrick Lambie was called forward as the full-back planted the ball.
Steyn bridged the gap with a penalty goal four minutes later and the sharp-shooter gave the Boks their first lead of the contest on the hour with a drop goal from 28m.
Lambie shaved the post with an audacious drop-goal attempt soon after while Fourie du Preez looked certain to score when he swooped on a loose pass.
But a crunching tackle from Cooper saved the day.
South Africa made 141 carries in this match, beating 13 defenders and making 488 metres in the process, Australia’s comparative stats were just 57 carries, beating five defenders and making 284 metres.
South Africa’s loss ends a run of 11 straight wins in the World Cup, a sequence dating back to 2003.
South Africa failed to score 10 points in a RWC match for only the third time in their history.
The Wallabies have won four consecutive matches against the Springboks for the first time since 2000, a run which started with a win in the 1999 RWC semi-finals at Twickenham.
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