Rugby: Five great World Cup knockout wins

New Zealand players celebrating after Julian Savea (centre) scored a try during their Rugby World Cup match against France at  Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on Oct 17, 2015.
New Zealand players celebrating after Julian Savea (centre) scored a try during their Rugby World Cup match against France at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on Oct 17, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - France's 62-13 thrashing by New Zealand on Saturday broke two unwanted records in the World Cup knockout stages - the margin of defeat and points scored by the winners.

Here are five other mis-matches in the World Cup knockout stages (Note: 1995 was the first edition when tries were worth five points):

1. 1987 semi-final: New Zealand 49 Wales 6

Wales had defied the loss of several key players to reach the semi-finals, but against a formidable All Blacks side, they were exposed badly. Their frustration at the measure of the thrashing got to second-row forward Huw Richards, who punched an All Black in a line-out but was himself then knocked unconscious. His bad day at the office was made worse when he was given a red card as he was stretchered off. Wales scrum-half Robert Jones summed up the bitter experience: "It is an extraordinary experience to play against a team which is so much better than you. Within two minutes, we were in awe of them." The All Blacks went on to win the inaugural title while the Welsh bounced back to beat Australia in the third-place play-off.

2. 1995 quarter-final: South Africa 42 Samoa 14

Samoa had upset the established order for the second successive World Cup in reaching the last eight. However, the fairy tale ended abruptly against the South African hosts, for whom Chester 'The Black Pearl' Williams - the only black player in the squad - was the star of the show, scoring four tries on his World Cup debut. He was the first Springbok to pull off such a feat and would share in their remarkable win against hot favourites the All Blacks in the final. New Zealand's 48-30 win over Scotland, also in a 1995 quarter-final, was the previous record for points scored by the winners until Saturday's destruction of France.

3. 1999 quarter-finals: South Africa 44 England 21

South Africa found their diamond in Jannie de Beer, who tortured England - and their coach Clive Woodward, who had said publicly, "Judge me on the World Cup". The God-fearing fly-half scored 34 points with his boot, including a record five drop-goals which only added to the humiliation. Ironically the Springboks were to lose to Australia in the semi-finals through a long-range (believed to be from 48 metres) wonder drop-goal by Stephen Larkham. It was also the final Test de Beer ever played. Fortunately for Woodward, he survived his bold statement and four years later, England won the trophy - thanks to a drop goal.

4. 2003 quarter-finals: France 43 Ireland 21

A far happier memory for mercurial Frederic Michalak and a France side coached by Bernard Laporte. This was the game where a 21-year-old Michalak announced his great talent in destroying the Irish - led by their 2001 world player of the year Keith Wood - as he toyed with them in open play and kicked 23 points. However, it was not a sign of things to come as he disappeared in the semi-final loss to eventual champions England, who were to deny Laporte again in the 2007 semi-finals.

5. 2007 semi-finals: South Africa 37 Argentina 13

Argentina had been the surprise package of the tournament and had in Juan Martin Hernandez, 'The Magician', a player of mesmerising talent and trickery. However, his magic deserted him and the Pumas were put to the sword by the eventual world champions, South Africa. The Springboks' hero from Saturday's nail-biting win over Wales, Fourie du Preez, was among the try scorers that day but it was another of their present squad, Bryan Habana, who caught the eye. He scored two tries, including a stunning individual effort - chipping ahead and, despite being obstructed, collecting the ball to touch down. Argentina bounced back to beat hosts France for a second time in the tournament for third place.