The All Blacks did it again! On Sunday morning at 5am NZ time will be the kick off of a great classic of international rugby: New Zealand vs Australia. It is the first time our 2 nations meet at a Rugby World Cup final.
Twickenham will be the host of the 155th official confrontation between New Zealand and Australia. It all started on the 15th of August 1903 when New Zealand won their very first game against Australia (final score 22-3). Since then, our 2 nations met about every year for some epic matches. But New Zealand has until now dominated Australia with a total of 103 wins against 42 for Australia since the very first RWC in 1987.
But while the All Blacks are the clear favourites for the final, the Wallabies have proved to be very motivated and difficult to beat. So what are the threats the All Blacks will be facing?
1. An impressive back row
The Wallabies made a statement in Sydney when David Pocock and Michael Hooper combined to dominate the breakdowns and cut off the All Blacks’ ball supply. And in recent months, they have definitely proven that their back row screams danger. Cheika decided to sacrifice the Bledisloe Cup and put them on ice with the World Cup down the line. It was then time to release the beast and fighting this dynamic duo will be extremely important to the All Blacks’ plans. But there’s more than just this duo puzzle to contend with – blindside flanker Scott Fardy is a force in his own right. Muscling up to these guys is going to be crucial.
Forget about Cooper, Foley will certainly be running the show. He has become Australia’s Dan Carter by kicking high pressure goals consistently during this tournament.
3. A fierce defence
The All Blacks scored a total of 36 tries in this tournament, 10 more than Australia and have proved to be the best attack of the World Cup so far. But Australia’s fierce defence have only conceded 5 tries in their 6 World Cup games. That said, our boys in black only conceded 4 tries with 2 blank sheers in their 6 matches. We can only expect the highest level from these 2 teams.
Just a few days left to the final kick off. Watch the match live on Prime TV on Sunday 5am and back the All Blacks!