Cape Town - You win some, you lose some.

The expression is especially applicable, from a "last four" perspective, to the Springbok rugby side, who boast a pretty straightforward World Cup semi-final record: won two (1995, 2007), lost two (1999, 2015).

But if they get past Wales in Yokohama on Sunday, to bolster their win percentage in last-four clashes to 60%, Bok fans will take further heart from the fact that the Boks haven't yet lost in the tournament's showpiece.

Here is a recap of the four Springbok RWC semis appearances, from most recent:

2015: South Africa 18 New Zealand 20 (London)

This was an All Black side (defending RWC champs from 2011 on own soil) probably as good as any in their history, led by Richie McCaw and also still featuring one Dan Carter at flyhalf.

Against that backdrop, a Bok team back on a four-game winning roll after the massive Brighton upset at the hands of Japan made a commendable fist of the chilly, sometimes rain-lashed semi at packed Twickenham: the first World Cup meeting between the great rivals since the 2003 event.

Yet NZ's slight mastery overall of an uncompromising duel could not be disputed, especially as they notched the only two tries via Jerome Kaino and Beauden Barrett.

The Boks did hold the aces 12-7 at the break, and were never out of reach on the scoreboard primarily because of the clockwork efficiency of Handre Pollard (and later Pat Lambie) off the penalty tee.

Come the final whistle, though, and they couldn't exactly be said to have been hammering at the consummately composed All Blacks' line; they'd have had to have gone an unlikely "coast to coast" to score.

It would be the final Test match for acting captain and legendary scrumhalf Fourie du Preez, who wasn't fit enough for the successful bronze playoff against the Pumas.

2007: South Africa 37 Argentina 13 (Paris)

Neither side played with special polish in a sometimes tetchy affair, marked by the Boks earning early (Fourie du Preez) and late (Bryan Habana, his second) intercept tries that knocked the stuffing from the underdogs who did boss some periods of play.

But the Boks had enough cool-headed individuals in their midst to ensure a comfortable enough journey into the showpiece against England, recording four dot-downs to one against the Pumas.

They had, after all, had the kitchen sink thrown at them in the earlier quarter-final by Fiji, but eventually repelled the Pacific Islanders as well.

That there was plentiful daylight in points between the two teams, at the final whistle, was quite strongly down to experienced fullback Percy Montgomery having a faultless day with his place-kicking: 7/7, including all four conversions and three penalties.

1999: South Africa 21 Australia 27 (London)

Just a week onward from the "Jannie de Beer match" - when the flyhalf had nailed an unprecedented five dropped goals against England - another battle of the boot took shape.

But, at least for the lion’s share of a typically tight semi-final, this one was largely about accuracy off the tee, where both Matt Burke (the Wallabies' fullback) and De Beer excelled.

Not a single try was registered on the day at Twickenham, but Burke goaled eight penalties for the eventual winners and De Beer six, plus one almost inevitable drop - though he’d been off target with a couple of ambitious others.

The huge irony of the occasion, though, in a game that went into novel extra time from an 18-18 deadlock, was that wiry Aussie pivot Stephen Larkham, who had never previously landed a dropped goal, vitally succeeded with one in the additional time from a long way out ... and standing on an injured knee.

The result consigned the Boks to the bronze playoff, though they did earn those medals by beating the All Blacks, and coming home with tails reasonably high.

1995: South Africa 19 France 15 (Durban)

Two days of teeming rain had turned Kings Park into a lake, only an hour or two before the scheduled kick-off.

But Francois Pienaar's immortal Boks of that year, later to be crowned RWC champions, had at least two reasons to be grateful to Welsh referee Derek Bevan.

First, for his agreement to delay the start by 90 minutes rather than declare the match abandoned: the latter approach would have eliminated the Boks on a technicality, as they had had a player sent off earlier in the tournament (James Dalton against Canada) whereas Le Bleus had a clean disciplinary slate.

Much later, and on the still sodden, slippery and energy-sapping field, however, Bevan ruled that French lock Abdelatif Benazzi had dotted the ball short of the try-line in a frenzied French finish when replays suggested suspiciously otherwise.

It could have made all the difference, but instead the lone try of the semi being registered by Ruben Kruger, coupled with Joel Stransky's pinpoint place-kicking, went a long way to ensuring the nail-biting SA triumph (a later Natal-bound Thierry Lacroix booted five penalties in reply).

Legend has it, too, that at a sequence of exhausting defensive scrums right at the finish, burly Bok lock Kobus Wiese implored his puffing tighthead Balie Swart: "We can go down, up, forward, left, or right ... but there is no way we are going back."

At a post-tournament banquet a week later, Durban whistleman Bevan would later be offered a gold watch by controversial SA Rugby supremo Louis Luyt, something he diplomatically said "I could have done without".

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