A couple of Super 12 players makes all the difference. Captain Paul Warwick vouched for that after Australia returned to the force of old last night. Four legs into the IRB Series and Australia are languishing in an embarrassing eighth place with 12 points, a massive 56 behind arch rivals New Zealand. Losing was becoming acceptable. That's anathema to Aussies. So the Australian Rugby Union took matters in hand, beefed up the squad with a couple of Super 12 players and bingo ... the team have been turned around. That much was clear after Australia beat Samoa 19-12 in their final pool game last night to earn the 'easier' quarter-final today - against South Africa, rather than New Zealand. 'We expected to be in this position,' Warwick said. 'We are extremely confident going into [today's] quarter-final against South Africa. We have been playing in Bowl finals in the last couple of tournaments so it's great to be back in contention for the Cup. We'll give it a good shot. But we haven't done anything yet. 'It's been a disappointing year for Australian sevens but the combination of a few new guys and releasing a couple of Super 12 players have aided our cause,' Warwick said, referring to Elia Tuqiri, who has just returned from Super 12 duty with the Waratahs in South Africa, and Peter Hewat, who is contracted to the Waratahs. Elia is a cousin of Wallaby winger Lote Tuqiri and was drafted in at the last minute for Hong Kong. 'Adam Ashley-Cooper has also just come back from South Africa with the Brumbies,' Warwick said. 'These guys along with the likes of Matt Hodgson, who is also with the Waratahs, help the young guys and give them a bit of confidence. Obviously, the results are showing. 'It helps breed a winning culture. It's been a disappointing year for all the young guys and they have got used to losing. Hopefully, this tournament, we can turn this around.' Australia raced into a 19-0 lead, thanks to tries by Warwick, Tuqiri and Luke Inman and Samoa were always chasing the game. They restored some respectability with David Lemi and Sailosi Tagicakibau scoring, but it was all in vain. 'We did the early work to get that lead and slowed up a bit,' Warwick said. 'We have been run down a few times in the past so it is good to get one of those close ones tonight.' Australia showed no mercy to Chinese Taipei in their first match, winning 68-0, the highest score of the tournament. But Warwick rated the Samoa win higher because of the quality of the opposition. 'This morning was great from an attacking point of view. But for about 10 minutes tonight we were very impressive defensively,' he said. Australia have beaten South Africa 11 times in their 18 meetings, but South Africa have won the last three. However, a strengthened Australia could reverse that trend early this afternoon. And waiting for them are likely to be England, whom Warwick rates as the main dangers for the title along with New Zealand. 'England were sharp and along with New Zealand are the teams to beat,' he said. The name of Richard Haughton, the England flying machine, will be on everyone's lips. 'I'd like to have some of that pace and I'm sure half our team would,' Warwick said. And how to beat England? 'The key is you don't give the ball away easily,' he said. 'The simple thing about sevens is if you've got the ball they can't score. Defensively, you can't rush up on them because if you make an error you are gone. Defensive strategy comes into it with those types of players, but if you overmark him, [Ben] Gollings or someone like him can do the business. They are just a good team.' Samoa coach John Schuster could not hide his disappointment as his players headed back to the changing rooms, wandering whether they had made it through to the Cup. He needn't have worried. They qualified but will face New Zealand in their quarter-final today. 'Basic errors cost us dearly,' said Schuster. 'Silly passes and basic knock-ons led to turnovers and you can't afford that against any side.' Samoa have only beaten New Zealand twice in 16 meetings, and have not threatened the Kiwis in their two clashes in this year's series, losing 21-7 in Wellington last month and 33-0 in Dubai in December.