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Australia edges South Africa 11-9 in quarterfinal

Updated: October 09, 2011, 02:51

WELLINGTON, New Zealand(AP) Winger James O'Connor landed a 72nd-minute penalty as Australia ralled to beat South Africa 11-9 in an intense Rugby World Cup quarterfinal on Sunday, ending the title defense of an aging Springboks team and keeping the Wallabies on track to become the first team to win the tournament three times.

O'Connor's 30-meter goal retrieved the lead for Australia, which had led 8-3 at halftime with a try to its captain James Horwill an hour earlier but which had fallen behind under relentless pressure through the second half.

Springboks flyhalf Morne Steyn kicked a penalty and a dropped goal to give South Africa a 9-8 lead after 59 minutes, a sniff of victory, before O'Connor rewarded a valiant Wallabies defensive performance with the winning goal.

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