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Relive the 4 greatest moments in the history of the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals

16 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Relive the 4 greatest moments in the history of the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals

In the latest instalment in a special series, we look back on the most iconic quarter-final moments - recreated as you have never seen them before

The quarter-finals of the World Cup are upon us and the drama and excitement of the knock-out stages always creates unforgettable new chapters in the continuing story of international rugby’s showpiece event.

The line-up for this year’s last eight has brought together some old rivals who have previously been involved in some of the most incredible matches that the tournament has ever seen.

Now, in the latest instalment of our series reliving the most memorable events from each stage of the competition to date, we reflect on the four greatest moments in Rugby World Cup quarter-final history.

They include wonderfully-crafted tries, plenty of late drama and scarcely-believable upsets, and, in some cases, all three rolled into one…

Stephen Jones try for Wales v England (2003)

Despite being eliminated at the quarter-final stage, Wales still managed to make quite an impression at the 2003 World Cup just a few months after suffering the humiliation of picking up the Six Nations wooden spoon.

Steve Hansen’s side had already given the All Blacks a scare in their final group game with a thrilling 53-37 defeat, and they continued in the same vein when facing England in the last eight.jones-walesWith half an hour gone in Brisbane and England ahead 3-0, Shane Williams collected a wayward cross-field kick before dancing around Ben Kay and feeding Gareth Cooper, who quickly burst between two defenders before spinning the ball out wide to Gareth Thomas.

The covering Jonny Wilkinson managed to send the full-back to the floor with a tap tackle, but not before he had offloaded on the way down back to Shane Williams.

The little winger fumbled the pass but still managed to gather and fling the ball back inside in one swift movement to the supporting Stephen Jones, who dived over to put Wales ahead and complete a fine counter-attack.

Despite outscoring England by three tries to one Wales were ultimately overcome 28-17, but the heart and verve of their performances heralded a recovery for Welsh rugby.

How Warren Gatland would love to summon up some more of that underdog spirit when his depleted side take on South Africa on Saturday.

Yannick Jauzion try for France v New Zealand (2007)

A shock defeat to Argentina in the pool stages meant hosts France were forced to play their 2007 quarter-final at the Millennium Stadium, although it was Les Bleus who would go on to pull off the biggest upset of the tournament against favourites New Zealand.

The stage for an unforgettable night was set after the French stood in formation to stare down the haka in a vivid display of the tricolore – a stark contrast to the All Blacks who were off-colour in both style and appearance after lining up in their changed grey strip.

Despite dominating the first half New Zealand found themselves only 10 points ahead at the break and, after a French comeback reminiscent of their 1999 semi-final, had a Rodney So’oialo try to thank for an 18-13 lead.jauzion-franceThen, with 10 minutes to go, Damien Traille set off on a barraging run from behind a France scrum just inside their own half.

Having punctured the Kiwi defence his offload to Frederic Michalak was waved on by referee Wayne Barnes despite going forward, as the fly-half streaked away into the New Zealand 22.

Approaching the try line and surrounded by defenders, he checked his run before lobbing a pass inside to the onrushing Yannick Jauzion to dive over and set up the match-winning conversion.

With the same two sides meeting in the same stadium on Saturday, stand by for another match to remember.

Diego Albanese try for Argentina v Ireland (1999)

Having never reached the last eight and with just one win from their three previous World Cups, Argentina were outsiders for their 1999 quarter-final play-off against Warren Gatland’s Ireland, who had never failed to make the knock-out stages proper.

With five minutes to go and trailing 24-18, the South Americans put their faith in a wonderful set-piece move straight from the training ground as Agustin Pichot fed the back line from a faltering scrum.alba-argFirst receiver Felipe Contepomi used two dummy runners to distract the defence before firing a pass off his wrong hand to Gonzalo Camardon coming in off his wing, who in turn slung a miss pass out to Diego Albanese.

With nothing but open space in front of him the hurtling winger was too quick for the covering defence, leaping over the line to score the only try of the game and put the Pumas just one point behind.

Gonzalo Quesada then added a difficult conversion to give Argentina the lead for the first time before slotting another penalty, as they held firm during eight minutes of unrelenting Irish pressure on their own line to spark wild scenes of celebration at the final whistle.

A breakthrough moment for Argentinian rugby, the result signalled the start of their emergence as a genuine force that Ireland will face once again on Sunday.

Michael Lynagh try for Australia v Ireland (1991)

Ireland were the undoubted underdogs when they took on Australia in their 1991 quarter-final at Lansdowne Road.

However, after flanker Gordon Hamilton had made a 40-yard dash to romp home with five minutes left on the clock to give them an 18-15 lead, the home side were on the cusp of one of the greatest World Cup shocks of all time.lynagh-ausYet they were caught unawares after fly-half Michael Lynagh took a quick tap from a penalty to launch a desperate counter-attack – as Tim Horan, Jason Little and David Campese all made valuable ground.

They eventually won a scrum deep into the Irish 22, but rather than get in the pocket for a drop goal to potentially draw the game Lynagh made the bold decision to call an intricate move between the backs.

After receiving the ball from the scrum-half Lynagh moved the ball on to Horan who swung a miss pass out to full-back Marty Roebuck as his centre partner Little looped around to feed Campese.

The winger was dragged down just a metre short of the line but popped the ball to the onrushing Lynagh who had tracked the move all the way to bundle over for his second try of the game and give Australia a precious one-point lead which would see them through to the semis.

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