With the competition nearing its finale, a number of players stepped up in their team's bid for a spot in the big dance. Christopher Reive highlights those players in the form XV of the semifinals.
1. Joe Moody (New Zealand)
While the result was a disappointing one for the All Blacks, Moody could be proud of his performance. For the second straight week he performed to an elite level across the paddock, getting involved everywhere he could – be it running the football, contesting the breakdown or making tackles.
2. Ken Owens (Wales)
Did his job well across the park, particularly at the set pieces and on the defensive side of the football. Got stuck into his work at the ruck to help provide quick ball for the back line.
3. Frans Malherbe (South Africa)
Played his role in a strong defensive performance by the Springboks, making plenty of tackles and filling gaps in the middle. He got stuck into plenty of grunt work and was strong at set pieces.
4. Maro Itoje (England)
Adding to his already impressive bid for Player of the Tournament, Itoje was everywhere against the All Blacks. Reliable as ever, he seemed to make a point of attending every breakdown he could possibly get to, forced a few turnovers and stole a lineout.
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
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Worked hard in a game where good defence was paramount. The Welsh captain made his presence felt at the breakdown and caused some problems for the South Africans as he got in over the ball.
6. Tom Curry (England)
One of his side's leaders in carry metres, Curry played his part in a dominant performance by England's loose trio. An ever-present contestant at the breakdown and reliable at set pieces, Curry worked tirelessly throughout the contest in an impressive 80-minute stint.
7. Sam Underhill (England)
Ran hard every time he got the opportunity for a carry, caused trouble for the All Blacks at the breakdown, got in over the ball and was a powerhouse on the defensive end.
8. Billy Vunipola (England)
In a dominant performance by the English forwards, Vunipola set the tone by attacking the breakdown with intent, taking some strong carries and defending well.
9. Faf de Klerk (South Africa)
It was far from a banner week for starting halfbacks as all four involved in the semifinals had their struggles. But while he made some plays that were mediocre at best, de Klerk made up for it with his defence – making a good number of the tackles he attempted and forcing a couple of turnovers.
10. Handre Pollard (South Africa)
If there's one player in the tournament you'd want taking a shot at goal to win you the game, Pollard is the guy. While he hasn't been at his usual standard off the tee through the World Cup, he made no mistake when it mattered most. Against Wales, he slotted 5-5 for 14 points, including the 76th-minute match-winner in the 19-16 victory.
11. Makazole Mapimpi (South Africa)
While he did what he could on the attack with his limited opportunities, it was his defence that saw him stand out against Wales. Mapimpi found a way to get himself involved in the defensive efforts of his side, making a number of important tackles.
12. Damian de Allende (South Africa)
The Springboks' Mr Reliable was again their calming presence in the midfield, scoring a try to cap of a solid attacking performance, while defensively he was again terrific. One of the best and most consistent players of the tournament as a whole.
13. Manu Tuilagi (England)
Not one to do too much in the way of forcing his way into the game, he played it as it came to him – which saw him score a try less than two minutes into the game. He did plenty of work at both ends of the paddock in an impressive performance.
14. Anthony Watson (England)
Damaging on the wing with some strong and effective carries, Watson proved to be a tough man to bring down, beating defenders and looking to send teammates away on his inside. Filled his role superbly on defence all game.
15. Willie le Roux (South Africa)
Le Roux did what he could to help the Springboks' attack and found some success with ball in hand. He was generally well positioned at the back for the side, held his own when tested and stepped up with make some important kicks in open play.