Wales skipper Sam Warburton has paid tribute to the 'massive performance' by his side which led to a momentous 22-10 quarter-final victory over Ireland in Wellington.
The boys are thrilled and it's a massive achievement, it's brilliant
Warburton, who has rapidly become one of the stand out performers on the world stage during RWC 2011, led his side to the World Cup semi-finals after seeing Shane Williams, Mike Phillips and Jonathan Davies score tries to put Wales in command at the 'Cake Tin'.
With Rhys Priestland, another player maturing at international level at high speed, and Leigh Halfpenny adding the remaining points with the boot, Wales reached the final four stage for the first time since 1987.
"It was a massive performance, we knew they had a lot of big ball carriers and there was a lot of tackling stopping them on the gain line because they are dangerous, it was a fantastic defensive effort," said Warburton.
Wales were never behind after Williams' 56th try for his country inside the opening few minutes, and Warburton claimed making a quick start had been a focus of their preparations.
"We always say we don't start good enough, and we started perfectly today and it was just what we wanted. It's easier to be ahead of the game than chasing it. It's a massive achievement and we have worked so hard.
"The team in 1987 did it (reached the last four) and got third place. But we have the semi next week, the boys are thrilled and it's a massive achievement, it's brilliant."
Try scorer Phillips added: "It's an historic win, the boys have been outstanding in the lead up to this game. We have so much respect for the Irish boys and I feel sorry for them. They are great players and outstanding gentlemen but we were superb today."
Ireland hit back with a try from Keith Earls and five points from Ronan O'Gara's boot but they were almost always chasing the game and defeat signals the end of the World Cup road for the likes of O'Gara, Paul O'Connell and captain Brian O'Driscoll.
O'Driscoll said: "We got outplayed in the second half, they scored two good tries, maybe there was some weak defence but we are very disappointed to be going home.
"It was a great opportunity after winning the group but they proved worthy semi-finalists and good luck to them.
"We needed to deliver a performance similar to against Australia or Italy last week, but we didn't, we knocked on too much ball and when you turn too much ball over against quality of opposition they make you pay and we are the ones left disappointed."
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Wales U20 face a tough group in the Junior World Championship with France, England and Japan lying in wait but Attack coach Jason Strange and back rower Tom Phillips are looking forward to the campaign ahead.
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.