The script could not have been set more perfectly. After the final whistle blew at Twickenham the rest of the rugby fans were left with a cliff hanger scenario. What will happen in the final. Two of the best teams in the world. Two of the best coaches in the world. The best referee in the world. Two sides with legends set to bow out. Most notable will be the end on an era not just in New Zealand-Australia but in the world. The most notable departure will be that of Richie McCaw. The most capped player of all time. Sadly this final is not about Richie. It is a game that has the echoes of perfection to it. Number 1 vs Number 2. Whoever comes out on top will be deserving of the accolade of World Champions. Both sides are sitting on a 10-1 record and with so much at stake expects an explosive evening.
It has been an amazing last five weeks and the All Blacks will look to finish of strong as they have gradually got better every week. Some would say the Wallabies had a tougher run but New Zealand had the small matter of taking on the Springboks, France, Tonga, Georgia, Namibia and Argentina. These sides may have undoubtedly lacked variety to worry the defending champions but had the physical abilities to bother them. New Zealand took a battering and have survived remarkably. What the difference is now, is the ability of their final opposition Australia who have done well to combine brute physicality with variety and variation. Australia who faced Fiji, Uruguay, England, Wales, Scotland and Argentina could say they have faced similar opposition to the All Blacks.
The Wallabies victory this year was against this All Black side and it was when ‘Pooper’ was introduced and theAll Blacks could not handle them at the breakdown . What most will ignore is the fact that New Zealand was at hand to miss countless kicks and Dan Carter almost sealed a miss-on the World Cup squad. The next game was a completely different affair as the All Blacks at home sent the Wallabies packing. Australia may take comfort in the rotation but all that comes out the window in a game, set for a neutral ground that will grab the attentions of millions.
The game will be decided by who will outwit and execute better. The Wallabies and All Blacks match-up will be an exciting affair non-the-less and will leave some in tears of joy or disappointment.
Dan Carter vs Bernard Foley– The two pivots will need to be at their A-game. They will need to be kicking perfectly and marshaling their back lines with prowess. Foley is the new kid on the block while Carter is the veteran that could end his career in what dreams are made off. The match up to watch and definitely plays a pivotal role on who will keep Bill after Saturday.
Poser : Something is set to change or better yet, remain the same. New Zealand have never won the World Cup outside New Zealand. Australia have never lost a Rugby World Cup game in the United Kingdom. No team has ever defended a World Cup, while no side has had the opportunity to win a Tri-Nations or Rugby Championship in the same year as being crowned Champions. History to be made and one last go at breaking a record.
Prediction : What can be distasteful and easily disrespectful would be the way the Australian media has taken to this game. They have gone as far as to ridicule, insult and show no respect to new Zealand and more so to Richie McCaw. The “Richetty grub” statement will be the sole reason I hope the All Blacks send off their legends in style by not only being the most successful rugby side in the world but in history. On ability either side can win it, but New Zealand just seen to have the edge. Good thing about rugby is there is no guarantees. It could be a fairy tale for New Zealand or Australia could crash the party!