Two of the bluest bloods in all of rugby got the quarterfinals started. South Africa, despite pacing the series with three tournament titles from four, have not been in top form in Vegas, though still dominated pool play. Australia, though playing mightily in defeat to Fiji, entered with a 2–1 mark.
A heads up play by Lachie Anderson to take a penalty quickly, put Australia ahead. James Stannard’s conversion built the lead further. An injury to Justin Geduld in the third minute, hampered the South African effort. Nevertheless, the Ruhan Nel try under the post less than a minute later, along with Cecil Afrika’s conversion tied things up. The go-ahead score by Siviwe Soyizwapi was disallowed with a foot in touch. In the second half, however, Soyizwapi got his try in the second minute. Afrika’s conversion attempt failed, opening the door for Australia to take the lead. Australia seized that opening with a try from Philip Snyman. Stephan Dippenaar’s conversion put Australia ahead. South Africa regained the lead with a Branco du Preez assist to Rosko Specman for the score. du Preez could not add the conversion, keeping Australia a try from the victory or a drop goal from extra time. Australia avoided the danger of selfish efforts on the final drive, but a penalty at the end caused by nothing more than a trip by an Aussie over a South African on the deck, gave the day to the Blitzboks. South Africa 17, Australia 14.