It was a busy weekend of sport this weekend, so if you were too busy with the start of the World Series to keep up with the final of the Rugby World Cup then here’s a recap of all you need to know.
Both finalists had a tough journey to the final. Australia nearly didn’t make it out of the quarter-finals after Scotland lead until the final minute when they gave away a penalty. Foley scored it and they won by the smallest of margins, 35-34. New Zealand had a difficult time making it out of the semi-finals after they had to come from behind twice against South Africa. The six penalties South Africa scored weren’t enough to beat New Zealand though, who won 20-18.
The first forty minutes was once again filled with penalties, with New Zealand scoring three against Australia who only managed to score one before half time. It wasn’t until the last minute before half time when Milner-Skudder scored the first try and Carter scored the conversion.
At half time New Zealand looked comfortable at 16-3. It looked like the second half was going to be more of the same when Nonu caught Australia’s defence napping and scored their second try within 42 minutes.
It looked like New Zealand had already won the tournament but they faced a stiff comeback from the Australian side. Australia took advantage when New Zealand’s Ben Smith was set to the sin bin and a try from Pocock and a conversion from Foley cut the gap to 11.
Just over 10 minutes later Australia’s Geina spotted Foley in some space on the right wing, who caught the ball before passing to Kuridrani who scored their second try.
After a conversion from Foley there was just four points separating the two teams with 15 minutes to go. But a heroic performance from Carter who scored a superb drop goal and an impressive penalty from the half way line was enough to put New Zealand 10 points ahead with six minutes to go.
The icing on the cake was a final try from Barrett in the final minute and a conversion from Carter to make the final score 34-17. The score line makes it look like it was an easy win, but it was one of the exciting and competitive finals in a long time.
Unfortunately we’re going to have to wait another for years for the next World Cup final but bookmakers Bet365 are already offering odds of 11/10 for New Zealand to win its forth world title. It might even be a repeat of this year’s final as Australia are second favourites at 4/1. Although England failed to take advantage of being on home turf this year and went out disappointingly early, but despite that they’re still fourth favourites at 9/1 to win the 2019 tournament. If you think you already know who will win in 2019, you can enhance your bet with free bonuses via the Bookies website.
Many described this year’s final as one of the greatest in the sports history, so 2019 has a lot to live up to. What is clear is that many people won’t be too shocked if this strong New Zealand squad has a big part to play in it after a dominant performance in this year’s final.