1. SA losing to Japan
Was this SA rugby’s darkest moment? Perhaps. No-one expected the two-time world champions to fall to the ‘Brave Blossoms’. Eddie Jones’s charges tackled harder, ran straighter, and were generally more determined than a Springbok team filled with superstars.
2. Bryan Habana equaling Jonah Lomu’s record
Habana, a veteran of three World Cups and 114 caps, may still go on to beat Lomu’s record when the Springboks face Los Pumas in the 3rd/4th place play-off on Friday. For now, however, his 61st-minute try against the US Eagles places him as the joint-highest try scorer in World Cup history.
3. Craig Joubert’s call against Scotland in the quarter-final
Greig Laidlaw’s reaction in the video below says it all. Despite not playing their finest match, the Wallabies managed to sneak into the semis courtesy of a contentious call made by Craig Joubert. Not to be outdone by the hordes of outraged fans, the IRB went so far as to release a statement correcting the call made by Joubert.
4. Heyneke Meyer’s reactions
No two matches are ever the same when it comes to Heyneke Meyer’s reactions. There is no doubting his passion and he wears his heart on his sleeve – sometimes quite literally, you would think. Here is a moment from the quarter-final that sums up his enthusiasm for the game, and his country.
5. SBW consoling Jesse Kriel
If this didn’t bring a tear to your eye then you must have a heart made of stone. Instead of celebrating his semi-final win with his team-mates, All Black centre Sonny Bill Williams walks on over to a dejected Jesse Kriel hunched against the posts, shares a word; a hug, and helps him up. A testament to the beautiful game.