Wales captain Sam Warburton says his team have no fear of playing South Africa in Sunday's quarter-final at Twickenham.

The Welsh somehow conspired to lose 15-6 to an at-one-stage 13-man Australian team at the weekend to sentence themselves to the half of the draw that pits them against the Southern Hemisphere powerhouses.

If Wales had shown more enterprise on attack and varied their play when they had the two-man advantage, they might have found the gaps to score tries but battered away one-dimensionally against a valiant Wallabies defence.

Had Wales won, they would have had a relatively comfy quarter-final clash against Scotland. Instead they face the Boks, and if they win that game, probably the All Blacks in the semifinals.


"The last time we played the Boks we beat them [in Cardiff last November] and we should have beaten them in Nelspruit [the teams played each other three times last year, twice in South Africa in June]," Warburton said. "Why would we think we can't beat them again?

"There is no easy way to win a World Cup and we have always accepted that we are going to have to beat the best teams to do it. That has not changed," Warburton said. "We are down that we lost a game we should have won but the talk soon changed to taking on the Boks, a team we know how to beat after playing them a lot last year."

After Willie le Roux had starred in the first test in June for a comfortable Springbok win, the Boks narrowly won 31-30 in the second test, at the Mbombela Stadium, with Warburton adding that two penalty tries awarded to the Boks by referee Steve Walsh were contentious.

"We can take massive confidence from the fact that we could easily have won that game on their home turf if it had not been for the second penalty try in the final seconds. And then we beat them in the next game we played."

Warburton admitted that South Africa will be a tougher proposition than Scotland but again said his team had the ammunition to beat the Boks.

"One thing this group of players does not mind is a challenge and it will be a tough challenge against the Boks on neutral territory," the captain said. "That is what great teams are made of - being able to bounce back - and I am more than confident we can do that because we have proved it to ourselves in the past."

While the Welsh will continue to talk up their chances in a bid to get over the blow to their psyche, there was also physical damage inflicted by the Wallabies. Wing Liam Williams is out because of an ankle injury and a major concern is the head knock suffered by key centre Jamie Roberts, who will be undergoing the routine concussion protocols this week.