They may have run ten tries past the USA, but the Springboks took greater pleasure from preventing the Eagles form scoring in London on Wednesday.
While Bryan Habana will dominate the headlines for his hat-trick, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer was pleased to see his team keep their defensive structures for all 80 minutes.
“We are really happy with our defence, we have only conceded one try in our last three games and that was an interception (against Scotland),” said Meyer, who had particular praise for the youngsters in the midfield.
“You have to win World Cups with defence.
“I’m proud of the guys, we mauled well and scrummed well. We stuck to our gameplan.
“That’s Springbok rugby, that’s power rugby. We need to keep out feet on the ground and stay humble but at stages we played some great rugby.
“I’m happy we scored tries but happy we didn’t concede.
“We weren’t sharp in the first half… usually we haven’t played a game with three days turnaround. We haven’t faced that in our lives.
“The senior guys must get a lot of credit for putting their bodies on the line.
“A lot of credit to my captain, he stuck to the gameplan.
“I made a few minor changes at half-time. We needed more composure.
“The youngester, Handre, Damian and Jesse don’t have the experience but they also defended well. That’s one of the great positives.”
Meyer insisted that he didn’t have a preference between playing Wales or Australia in the quarter-finals.
“It’s going to be cracker of a game but it depends what happens on the day,” he said.
“The only team I would not want to face is Japan,” he joked.
“It almost cost me my… I won’t go into that now”
Captain Fourie du Preez praised his side for the way they have coped with the pressure since their opening defeat to Japan.
“After the Japan game every single game was a knockout. Whether that was good I don’t know,” he said.
“The team has responded really well to the pressure.”