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Eight teams have become four at the Rugby World Cup after an epic set of quarter-finals that had a bit of everything.
On Saturday, England and New Zealand beat Australia and Ireland respectively in high-scoring demonstrations of the fine form both sides are in. Their semi-final promises to be an epic.
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen congratulates his players after their win over Ireland
The following morning Wales and South Africa triumphed with more attritional brands of rugby. Warren Gatland’s Dragons progressed after a daft and reckless red card from France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina allowed them to come back from the brink. The Springboks, meanwhile, strangled the life out of Japan to end the hosts’ World Cup dream with relative ease after a tense first-half.
In amongst all that, there were some stellar performances as the best rugby players on the planet went head-to-head in the sport’s showpiece competition.
Here,Sportsmailpresents its team of the week after the quarter-finals…
Beauden Barrett 15 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
The two-time world player of the year was at his brilliant best against Ireland, scoring a try and creating so much with his pace and skill as he was named man of the match. His partnership with Richie Mo’unga is working so well that there isn’t even a question of Barrett moving back to fly-half now.
Beauden Barrett celebrates scoring a try against Ireland in the World Cup quarter-final
Beauden Barrett 14 Makazole Mapimpi (South Africa)
A matchwinning display by the Springbok wing. His early try was pivotal in the stopping Japanese momentum gathering, then he added a another in the second half as South Africa stretched clear. Made a match-high 111 metres – nearly double the man in second place, Japan’s Kotaro Matsushima. Even won two turnovers.
Makazole Mapimpi barges through Kotaro Matsushima on his way to scoring his second try
Beauden Barrett 13 Virimi Vakatawa (France)
The only man to make it in from a Fran
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