There could hardly be a more fitting game to kick off proceedings in the quarterfinals and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to suggest the rivalry between the two has defined the tournament's history. Those memories aren't limited to the final act either.
Ugly tackle from 'The Beast' Sad finish to a brilliant tournament The World Cup semi-finals have been finalised after Japan's gritty World Cup campaign came to an end at the hands of a ruthless South African side. It comes after Wales also won through to the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup after one of the most thrilling, controversial knockout games in the history of the tournament.
It also sets two blockbuster semi-finals for next weekend with the top four nations in the world going head-to-head. After the Wallabies quarterfinal loss to England, there was more bad news for Australia. Along with Michael Cheika stepping down as coach, Australia plummeted to its equal lowest place in history — seventh, one position behind Japan.
The rankings system was introduced in and the Wallabies were lucky not to drop to eighth after France lost a thriller to Wales.
But some more salt to the wounded Wallabies. A return to success is necessary for the Wallabies or the side will continue to sink to all-time lows.
It was inspiring scenes as the pro-Japanese crowd was in full voice despite the scoreline with players brought to tears from the national anthem. Japanese coach Jamie Joseph said he was disappointed but proud of the courage of his side. Barnes said it might be time for the Rugby World to give more opportunities to teams in the lower tiers.
Japan does not sit in the Rugby Championship and sure as hell does not sit in the Six Nations. A rolling maul from the Springboks forwards allowed scrumhalf Faf de Klerk to run out and score.
Just three minutes later, Makazile Mapimpi scored his second try to make it and all but close out the game. It's been thrilling stuff with attacking football but bad mistakes leaving it such a low scoring game.
Another telling blow was at the end of the half when a South African rolling maul was saw the ball come out and a player climb off the ground after a tackle.
Referee Wayne Barnes gave Japan a penalty, ending the half in a thrilling and desperate match. Wallabies legend Phil Kearns said "that's a try every day of the week" but conceded that the world was behind Japan. Justin Harrison said it was a flip of a coin but it was good to see a referee make a decision.
But if it went to TMO, it would have been what everyone was talking about, was it red or not but because he was decisive, we've sort of moved on from it.
But the fans don't care. This has been one of the most extraordinary halves of rugby I've ever seen.