The weeks around the knockout stages of a Rugby World Cup are strange days indeed. They are anxious and excited days, where players seek to come to terms with the ever-present realisation that each match will either be their last or another step on the way to winning the whole damn thing.

The quarterfinals are the first, and perhaps the most edgy and hardest of the three rounds of games left. They have been the undoing of teams expected to saunter through. These are the days when coaches seek to stay true to their beliefs, trusting in the processes and the players who have got them to this stage.

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