A magnificent 13-man defensive effort and another assured kicking display by Bernard Foley earned Australia an 15-6 victory over Wales on 10 October, earning them a World Cup quarter-final meeting with Scotland and leaving the Welsh to face South Africa.

Both teams had already been assured of progressing thanks to their victories over England, but there was still everything to play for at Twickenham, with the Pool A winners earning an easier route to the final. The losers, even if they get past the Springboks, would probably have to play holders New Zealand in the semi-finals.

The match was effectively decided during a remarkable spell midway through the second half when, despite being down to 13 men after two yellow cards, Australia repelled everything Wales threw at them to protect a six-point lead. Australia scrumhalf Will Genia and lock Dean Mumm were sin-binned within four minutes and then key flanker David Pocock was forced off with an injury around the hour mark.

Australia coach Michael Cheika said afterwards: "It was pretty tight and I think it was a different type of game for us compared to the games we've played so far so we had to show a different skin and obviously very pleased with the result. Plenty of imperfections in our game and that's something we're going to have to improve before we get to the quarter final.

"I'm not shy to say that I was very proud of the lads because that's a very difficult situation considering the context of the game also, and I was very proud of their resilience there and their intent to go and do what they did."

Speaking about the double sending off, Cheika added: "We definitely don't want to be doing that again, that's for sure because we got away with it this time, but we won't get away with it at this level too many times."