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World Cup wait over for All Blacks

23 October 2011 10:40 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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New Zealand won the 2011 Rugby World Cup holding off under-estimated France 8-7, ending their 24 year wait for the Webb Ellis trophy, at Eden Park in Auckland today – the lowest scoring and closest final in World Cup history.  

France, a team that lacked direction and had its disharmony widely reported, were heavy under-dogs but they saved their best for last, as they made the All Blacks work for all 80 minutes eventually falling antagonising short.

If the match were to be decided on stats France would have won with all the conviction the All Blacks lacked, enjoying 55 percent of territory, forcing 24 more tackles and securing 55 percent of the ball. But there was only two and a half minutes of possession that was going to matter the most, and that was at the end, which the All Blacks monopolised as they kept composure to hold on to the ball.

The French controlled much of the opening play, camped in the All Blacks half, but were unable to make any headway. The All Blacks had their first scoring opportunity in the sixth minute, but Weepu dragged the penalty wide missing another penalty in the 26th minute along with the conversion from Woodcock's try.

The All Blacks had drawn first blood in the 15th minutes when Piri Weepu kicked to touch off a French infringement, with prop Tony Woodcock scoring off a well-worked set play from the subsequent line-out.

It was not a good game for starting fly-halves as France's Morgan Parra took a knee to his head, and though playing on, was substituted a little later and Aaron Cruden – the All Blacks' third fly-half of the World Cup – injured his knee after the first 30 minutes, replaced by the experienced Steven Donald.

France had a chance to pull back three points straight after the second half kick-off, but the kick by Dmitri Yachvilli was also wide.

In 45th minute Donald did what Weepu failed to do all evening and with a successful kick put the All Blacks 8-7 ahead.

French Captain Thierry Dusautoir then scored a try against the run of play when Weepu made a mistake at the ruck gifting the ball to Francois Trinh-Duc. Weepu kicked the subsequent kick-off into touch and with that coach Graham Henry had seen enough from the man dubbed as the ‘All
Blacks' saviour’, following Dan Carter's injury, and he was substituted for Andy Ellis.

The All Blacks repeatedly conceded the ball after the try, their backs lacking composure and its trademark fluency, the French played with an added spring in their steps controlling most of the possession and making the headway.

This made for an exciting and equal passage of play, but the ball changed hands several times with uninspiring rugby courtesy some aimless kicking, the next score never coming, as the All Blacks held on with some defiant, sometimes desperate, defence.

Unconvincing yet enough, and the All Black wait was over.
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  • citizen Sunday, 23 October 2011 12:35 PM

    All Blacks All Blacks All Blacks.......yohooooooo!!!


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