Moore puts forward case for the defence
Captain Stephen Moore has labelled the Wallabies' tenacious 15-6 victory over a brave Wales in a tryless World Cup battle at Twickenham as one of the greatest defensive efforts he has been associated with in his 99 appearances for Australia since 2005.
The Wallabies defended grimly and repelled Wales with just 13 men after both forward Dean Mum and half Will Genia were shown yellow cards in then second half.
"I'm tremendously proud of the guys. That is one of the best defensive efforts I have been involved with," Moore said.
The reward for the Wallabies was a quarter-final clash with Scotland which edged out Samoa 33-30, and also the knowledge they had avoided a semi-final showdown with World Cup heavyweights South Africa and the All Blacks.
Fly half Bernard Foley, who scored a record 28 points against England last weekend, scored all of Australia's points with a perfect five from five with the boot in a game that, despite not producing a try, was tough, tense and exciting.
Coach Michael Cheika felt the effort to repel Wales with a 'backs-to-the-wall' mentality was a better effort than the attacking win that bundled England out of the World Cup.
Cheika was in his skipper Moore's corner on that, saying players had to dig in for each other.
"I'm not sure how we got it done," the coach said. "There wasn't much talent there. It was just getting stuck in and working hard for each other and trying to resist the opposition.
"It's not complicated. We just tried to keep it fairly simple, just working hard for each other.
"That comes through training hard, trying to get better every day during the week.
"You don't magically find that on the weekend. It's something we've worked hard on, I suppose."
Having shown during the World Cup campaign they can play with an attacking flair or shoulder arms and defend for long periods, the biggest worry for the Wallabies ahead of the quarter-finals could be injuries.
No.8 David Pocock couldn't finish the game against Wales because of a calf injury after copping a knock mid-game, while fullback Israel Folau is playing with an ankle injury.
Meanwhile, host England exited the competition with a 60-3 romp over Uruguay, Jack Nowell and 37-year-old Nick Easter each scoring three tries.