The Springboks knocked out the hosts, France, last night in a scintillating match that will forever go down as one of the most exciting ever nights in international rugby.
The match came just 24 hours after tournament favourites Ireland were blasted out of the competition by an All Black side that had clearly saved their best rugby for the biggest occasion.
As big occasions go, the final quarter-final between France and South Africa was surely not going to be able to match the previous night’s antics…but match it, it did.
For a neutral, it was the perfect game of rugby to enjoy, for fans of either side it was a nightmare. The score ping-ponged from team to team throughout the match, with no fan allowed a moment to relax and take a comfortable breath.
France were eventually eliminated from the tournament by the three-time World Cup winners, South Africa in jubilant scenes at the Stade de France. For some French players, they felt like they were hard done by with some of the refereeing decisions.
Rugby is a subjective game, refereeing have to make decisions in the heat of the moment in the instant with the eyes of the world watching them – not an enviable job.
Speaking in front of the worlds press after the match, Dupont was asked to give his thoughts on the performance of New Zealand referee Ben O’Keefe.
“It’s hard to talk about things because there is a lot of disappointment, a lot of frustration”, started Dupont. “We want to see the images again – which will give us even more disappointment and even more frustration – but I think some clear and obvious things weren’t whistled.
“I don’t want to be a bad loser and moan about the refereeing but I’m not sure the level of refereeing was up the level of the game today.
“I don’t know if the match was lost at that point, but at crucial moments, we could have had a penalty. When you’ve gone forward 60 metres and you’re slowed down in the rucks, it’s pretty easy to whistle.
“That doesn’t take anything away from the South Africans’ great game, who got on top of us at the breakdown. They played a great game.”