AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Pride and penitence were mixed with pain in the aftermath of weekend Rugby World Cup quarterfinals which left four survivors nursing injuries of varied severity and four teams dealing with defeat with degrees of resignation.
New Zealand's 33-10 win over Argentina, which earned a semifinal against archrival Australia, had a grim sequel when flyhalf Colin Slade and fullback Mils Muliaina were ruled out of the tournament, deepening an injury crisis that began when it lost star playmaker Dan Carter.
Muliaina fractured his left shoulder and Slade tore a groin muscle, forcing New Zealand to test against its vaunted resource of quality players.
Flyhalf Stephen Donald and winger Hosea Gear had both accepted the end of their international careers when they missed selection in New Zealand's initial World Cup squad, but have now been called back to test duty.
Donald, who will join the English club Bath in November, has played 22 tests but has struggled to reach the standard that test rugby demands of a flyhalf and is already associated with one of New Zealand's most galling losses to Australia.
New Zealand's game unraveled when he came on as a replacement for Carter in a Bledisloe Cup test in Hong Kong in October last year. The All Blacks surrendered an early lead and went on to lose 26-24, their only loss of that season.
The loss of Carter and Slade leaves Aaron Cruden, who missed initial World Cup selection and has played only seven tests, as New Zealand's new first-choice flyhalf.
"Have we got the depth? We'll find out in the next two weeks I guess," coach Graham Henry said. "Where we're lucky is that the guys who're coming in have played test match football.
"They've been with this group in the last 12 months. They've been here, they know the players, they know the environment we live in and they know the rugby we're trying to play, generally speaking. "
England centre Manu Tuilagi and All Blacks winger Cory Jane took the role of penitents Monday, publicly apologizing for off-field misbehaviour. Tuilagi was briefly detained by police Sunday after leaping from a ferry as it prepared to dock at a downtown Auckland jetty and swimming to shore.
The 20-year-old Tuilagi was returning from scenic Waiheke Island on Auckland's Waitemata Harbor, where some England players chose to wind down after Saturday's 19-12 quarterfinal loss to France. He was quick to apologize to embarrassed team officials, but fined 3,000 pounds ($4,700) by England's Rugby Football Union for his action.
"I'm really sorry," Tuilagi said in a statement. "It was a silly thing to do and I apologize to everybody for any inconvenience caused."
England manager Martin Johnson, under fire after a series of off-field indiscretions from his players during the tournament, described Tuilagi's actions as "an irresponsible thing to do."
"Manu has been disciplined internally and I have warned him about his future conduct."
Jane also apologized for his drunken night out with teammate Israel Dagg 72 hours before the All Blacks' clash with Argentina. He said he made a "stupid choice" to go out drinking before such an important match.
"After making a poor decision the other night and having it thrown all over the paper this morning I knew I had to go out there and play well (against Argentina)," Jane said.
Departing Argentina still took pride in its World Cup performance, despite its loss to New Zealand. The Pumas followed up their third placing at the 2007 tournament in France with another sound performance, showing they are ready to take advantage of their admission to an expanded southern hemisphere test tournament next season.
"Even though we were beaten, we were proud of the players," coach Santiago Phelan said. "We cannot forget that we were playing the best in the world. For Argentine rugby, it was important to reach the quarterfinals."
Captain Felipe Contepomi, a doctor, said Argentina rugby remains in good health, despite a limited diet of matches against top nations.
"I know I can go into the dressing room and look everyone in the eye," he said. "Obviously we are not happy to lose, but I am proud of the guys. Overall, it was a good tournament. We all worked together."
South Africa has an uncertain future as it faces the retirement of several senior players and the resignation of coach Peter de Villiers, who told reporters after his team's 11-9 loss to Australia "there's a time to come and a time to go." By inference, De Villiers meant the time had come for him to go.
Australia now moves into a classic semifinal against New Zealand, a match certain to add to the long and colorful rivalry between the Antipodean neighbours.
"It's fantastic," Australia's New Zealand-born coach Robbie Deans said. "We know each other well as teams, there's a huge amount of history. There's no more history than between the Wallabies and the All Blacks and there's a lot of history at World Cup time, as well, so it's going to be great."
The Australian Rugby Union moved Monday to rally support behind the Wallabies as they attempt to end a 25-year losing streak against the All Blacks at Auckland's Eden park.
"Now is the time for Australians to show the world that we are united behind ... the Wallabies," the national rugby union said in a statement Monday, kicking off a week that will heavily feature the rivalry. "ARU is calling on Australians everywhere to let the Wallabies know the All Blacks might be playing to 'A Stadium of 4 million' but here in Australia we're one team of 22 million."