November 8 down the years
Wallabies and All Blacks set up semi-final
Stirling Mortlock scored a try to help Australia in to the World Cup semi-final on this day in 2003
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Rugby World Cup favourites New Zealand knocked South Africa out of the competition with a competent 29-9 quarter-final victory in Melbourne. The Springboks proved little match for the All Blacks with a workmanlike performance, although the Kiwis' usual scoring touch eluded them for much of the contest. Leon MacDonald, Keven Mealamu and Joe Rokocoko all scored tries for New Zealand, while Derick Hougaard was the only scorer for the Springboks with three penalties. Meanwhile, Australia also secured their passage in to the final four. The Wallabies responded to a resurgent Scotland showing in the first half to blow the Scots away with three second-half tries from Stirling Mortlock, George Gregan and David Lyons, finishing with a 33-16.
Wales centre Jamie Roberts was born in Newport. Roberts came to prominence with Cardiff Blues during the 2007 Rugby World Cup, slotting in to the backline on the wing and retaining his place following the end of the tournament. His form in the early part of the season led to an international call-up by new Wales boss Warren Gatland for the 2008 Six Nations. He made his debut on the wing against Scotland at the Millennium Stadium during Wales' Grand Slam run. He started Wales' first summer Test against South Africa at fullback before being switched to the centre for the second, where he remained for the 2009 Six Nations. His form in his new position led to a call up for the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa, where he played two Tests and was named as the Lions' 'Player of the Series'.
New Zealand beat France 19-7 in a ferocious encounter in Toulouse, a game that turned out to be a full dress rehearsal for the first World Cup final seven months later. Buck Shelford scored the All Blacks' try, with fullback Kieran Crowley scoring three penalties and a drop-goal. France's try came from their genius in the centre, Philippe
Argentina, always a difficult proposition at home, sprung a surprise for John Eales's Wallabies, winning 18-16 in a Test in Buenos Aires. A strong Australian side started the game, with future World Cup-winners Stephen Larkham, Ben Tune, Owen Finegan and Joe Roff all starting alongside the legendary Tim Horan. Finegan and Tune were on the scoresheet, but efforts from Rolando Martin and Agustin Pichot were too much for the tourists.
Captain Geoffrey Crawshay, a prominent figure in Welsh public life and the founder in the 1920s of the famous rugby touring team that was likened to the "Welsh Barbarians", died.
Former Wales scrum-half Clive Rowlands gave a masterful performance as captain of West Wales in their narrow 14-21 defeat by the All Blacks, who were skippered by Colin Meads while Brian Lochore was rested.
The All Blacks, playing under floodlights, lost 19-13 against Peter Wheeler's Midlands Division. In front of 17,000 delirious supporters.