New Zealand reached the final winning its round robin group defeating Argentina, Namibia, Georgia and Tonga then defeating France in the quarter-finals and South Africa in the semifinals. It’s the defending world champion team.
Australia reached the final winning its round robin group defeating Fiji, Uruguay, England and Wales then defeating Scotland in the quarter-finals and Argentina in the semifinals. It’s back to the Rugby World Cup final after the one lost in 2003.
New Zealand starts the game with great intensity but Australia defends well until the 8th minute, when a foul gives Dan Carter the opportunity togive the All Blacks a 3-0 lead with a penalty kick. Australia tries to react and when Owen Franks doesn’t bind in a scrum, at the 14th minute Bernard Fowley can give his team the tie at 3-3 with a penalty kick. New Zealand dominates possession but attacks in a chaotic way and can’t get over the excellent Australian defense. At the 27th minute Carter gives the All Blacks a new lead at 6-3 with another penalty kick after suffering a high tackle. At the 36th minute Carter scores again a penalty kick following an Australian offside to bring the score to 9-3. Three minutes later Nehe Milner-Skudder ends a good New Zealand’s offense with a try that, after Carter’s conversion, ends the first half with a 16-3 lead for the All Blacks.
At the beginning of the second half New Zealand attacks again and Ma’a Nonu with a great run scores a try already at the 42nd minute. Dan Carter misses the conversion and the score is 21-3 for the All Blacks. Australia finally manages to attack and at the 52nd Ben Smith gets a yellow card for a foul tackle. The Wallabies take advantage of the situation and immediately score a try with David Pocock that, after Bernard Fowley’s conversion, reduce the gapt to 21-10. New Zealand tries to fight back but at the 60th Tevita Kuridrani scores a try for Australia that, after the transformation of Fowley, brings the Wallabies close at 21-17. Back in 15, New Zealand attacks again and at the 70th Carter scores a drop kick that gives the All Blacks a 24-17 lead. At the 76th Carter scores again, this time on a penalty kick from more than 50 meters after an Australian collapsed a scrum. Beauden Barrett marks in an incredible way, almost a coast-to-coast kicking the ball on an Australian offense and bringing it back to a try. After Carter’s conversion the score goes to 34-17, which is the final one that marks New Zealand’s victory, confirming its world champion title.
Australia played very well almost every game of this World Cup only risking against Scotland. Today, however, the team played only inadequately, with a first half in which the team had only a defense generally good but very little offense. In the second half the tam took advantage of the yellow card to Ben Smith but eventually it was too little. The good news is that after a few years of disappointing results the Wallabies are back to top level.
New Zealand began this World Cup with not very convincing matches but the team showed that it was only waiting for the games that really matter. In the final the All Blacks risked only in the 10 minutes played in 14, otherwise they dominated. Richie McCaw (photo ©Shudde) is even more a legend by becoming the captain who led New Zealand to two consecutive Rugby World Cup titles. For some veterans this was the last match with the All Blacks so it’s more than ever a special moment and the party will be definitely huge.