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New Zealand the world's best - finally
Steve Hitstirrer
17:30 AEST Mon Oct 24 2011

Steve Hitstirrer is a well-travelled, sports-hardened, armchair expert, prepared to tear the scab off a whole range of sporting wounds. Love him or hate him, you’ll find indifference is not an option.
Steve Hitstirrer
  Have your say on the All Blacks.

Congratulations must go to New Zealand for confirming once and for all that they are the world's most dominant rugby playing nation. Joining Australia and South Africa on The Webb Ellis Cup for a second time, this rugby-crazed country has gone wild in celebrating the end of a 24-year anomaly.

Clearly New Zealand should be the only country listed on the great gold cup, but every four years since winning the inaugural tournament in 1987, they have somehow managed to fail on the big stage. Rugby runs through the veins of all Kiwis, it is the only sport that truly matters to them and the happiness of the nation seems to be heavily pinned to the All Blacks' fortunes. Over the years they have produced some of the world's greatest players and regularly dominated all challengers, but have failed to add another world cup to that initial success.

This time, on home soil, they overcame adversity, took on the world's best and emerged triumphant again at last. When Dan Carter, arguably the world's best player, shredded his groin during a training run, the All Blacks looked to be in trouble. They turned to their second choice fly-half, their third choice fly-half and finished the final with their fourth choice fly-half on the field. They went through more fly-halves than a pond full of hungry frogs. Rumour has it they would have recruited Quade Cooper had he not been injured – they had slipped that far down their list of quality No10s.

Their defence throughout the tournament really stood out as the reason for their success. The black wall of tacklers which faced every opposition attacking move was just about impenetrable. If a player dare break the first line of All Blacks defence there was always a swarm of cover defenders lurking just behind to tidy up and dominate the breakdown. The All Blacks crossed for 40 tries during their seven games in the tournament, while conceding only eight. Only two teams, France and Canada in their pool matches, managed two tries against them in the one game.

In a dour final the All Blacks strangled the life out of a fired up and courageous France. With their backline stifled by solid French defence and Piri Weepu's inability to gel with the new stranger standing outside him, the All Blacks turned to their forwards to craft their only try. France enjoyed a mountain of possession, but apart from the second-half try to captain Thierry Dusautoir, they were unable to convert ball in hand to points.

The All Blacks rightly join Australia, which lists rugby as its fourth most popular winter football code and South Africa, a nation which was banned from the first two tournaments, in a southern hemisphere dominance of The Webb Ellis Cup. It is a wonderful achievement from our little cousins across the ditch, one which will ensure the nation's prosperity and happiness for at least another four years.

Of course the next tournament will be hosted by England, a world away from New Zealand's Eden Park fortress. On the three occasions that the All Blacks have made it to the final, they have won twice – both at Eden Park. Seeing how the All Blacks have so far been incapable of winning a Rugby World Cup on foreign soil, there will much relief across both islands that International Rugby Board chairman Bernard Lapasset says they could one day host the tournament again.

"Yes, why not?," he said.

"It has been one of the best tournaments ever. The Rugby World Cup is not just to make money, it is also for rugby and we have a lot of rugby reasons to come back to New Zealand.

"New Zealand proved they are a great rugby nation and have a great capacity to run a big and successful tournament."

Wave your black flags, celebrate loud and long New Zealand, because justice has finally prevailed. The best rugby playing nation in the world has conquered the Rugby World Cup for a second time. The All Blacks will be world champions for four more years and no one can take that away.


Have New Zealand finally proven themselves to be the best in the world?
With the monkey off their backs will they defend their title in England?
Did you watch the whole final or go off to wash your hair half-way through?

User comments
France should have recieved a penalty 35m out with about 8 mins left. Didnt get it for some reason. That was the game right there. ABs very very "lucky?"
you can hear the whining? thats rugby boys! question- how was ritchie mcknight able to beat frogs 2x,wallabies etc etc on one leg? answer- cos he was always lying down ! ha ha ha love it, gotta go replay of semis are on cheers girls
I was very doubtful that any southern hemisphere referee was going to be able to control the tactics of Richie McCheat and co., but hey, this guy gets the call, after being called consistent. The only consistency in his calling, like all southern refs was his absolute gutlessness to penalise the ABs for their constant flouting of the laws. We get this week in and week out, especially with the "better" NZ teams in the Super 15. It drives one to the point of utter frustration, that I prefer watching the European comp. Even the most substandard European ref would have called the ABs many intransigences, they are so glaringly obvious. Why does the best side in the world need to cheat all the time?
Of course their would be some bad vibes from some of the comments on here. Yep, they have always been the best team. It's a waste of money that all sponsors have poured into the Wallabies - but then the media through out the world cup have always negatively commented against Wallabies and All Blacks - guess who won in the end ??? Yep, totally agree, peeved at Channel 9 - sooo typcial - I was expecting to see the presentation of the world cup, but was replaced by some ridiculous drama about Prostitution and Drugs!!!! TYPICAL - There'S so fewer WANNABIE jersey's around Sydney. As for biased reporting - that's nothing compared to the BIASED commentary from ex Wallabie players and Sports Commentators - TYPICAL - I admit it was a very slow game but in the end The All Blacks hung in there. Kia Kaha Bro's - you have spirit, culture, Unity and the staunch support of All Black Fans. As for the Haka and the national anthem - love it!! Every time I hear this it's for our people and culture!
What's with all the negative comments? At the end of the day the best team over the past 4 - 6 years won, There are a whole lot of 'What if' comments here trying to undermine a great victory for NZ and the all blacks (eg what if france got two more points), so i'll put it to you this way... What if sam warburton hadn't been sent off the week before in the semi final? what if france didn't score any bonus points through the round robin? what if Daniel carter didn't get injured (1st choice), what if colin slade didn't get injured (2nd choice), what if Aaron cruden didn't get injured (3rd choice), what if richie McCaw was 100% fit, what if...what if ...what if...
the AB's didn't bring their best game to the final, the French played out of their skins....but they still weren't good enough! Some people are simply AB's haters, and there is absolutely no logic in their train of thought. It wouldn't matter to you how many games the AB's won and by how many points, you would still never accept them as being number one......oh well you guys have got 4 years to get over it.
Listen to you all. Carrying on like little spoilt brats in the schoolyard. I'm not convinced some of you even watched the game with twaddle and whingeing. By the way the All Blacks have been one of the most successful teams in world sport (fact). As for the comment from John Melbourne about the poor sods still have to live there, your'e a twit
Why the negative comments from obviously disgruntled WANNABIE fans? Lol. At the end of the day the All Blacks have been consistent, sure not the best game they had but imagine the pressure. They are still the best team in the whole world. I was totally disgusted with Channel 9 - in not showing the final presentation of the All Blacks receiving the Cup - but that's soo typical of Channel 9 - they do this every time the All Blacks kick ***. Big Kia Ora to the bro's. As usual you played consistently through out the comp - its one of those things where obviously pressure and nerves got the better of your game. Don't worry about the haters on here, they're just sore that they get stomped on as usual, lol!!
Absolutely brilliant tournament. Allblacks versus Aussie was a great game to attend. Cant compare a game like this to an innocuous boring game of AFL.
mean moari haka All Blacks who cares if they won by 1 point or 100 points when you challenge a warriors haka you disrespect there mana ( culture ) so go hard my bros we can hold our heads high over here in Australia and New Zealand for the next 4 years and no one can take this away from us KIA KAHA
Where have you been hiding Brian? the All Blacks have been ranked no 1 for the past 4 years, they have held the no 1 spot for more years than all the other teams put together so of course they deserve it, doesnt matter if you win by 1 or 100, still a win. Maybe you should do some homework before you open your trap.
Ah give it a rest all you arm chair critics! The winner of the tournament is the winner, blaa blaa grizzle all you like. If you were so inclined it would be you on the field or like the journalist above writing the article, qualified to report. But your not, so eat ur pie, drink ur fanta or the iced coffee you slug on each day and remember your off the field, your not on it. Ya pack of pie eating grizzlers.
Well , yes they did win the cup after 24 years of trying , however the French were not helped by Craig Joubert sub standard referring , his policing of the breakdown (allowing All Blacks to lie on the wrong side of the ruck ) and the offside line was deplorable and rugby will suffer until the standard of referring reaches that of the players . Joubert , Bryce LAwrence and Wayne Barnes should be sent to the Sin Bin never to return Was it true that Craig was made an honourary All Black or was he just scared he wouldn't get out of the country if the Blacks had lost
Found the game fascinating. Don't need a lot of tries to make a great game, definitely not boring. The whole world cup has been great, wonderful to see the emergence of Russia, Georgia and Romania onto the world stage they standard is definitely improving. Hope Russia is successful in hosting the 2023 World Cup.
I thought France were actually a touch unlucky not to take the title. I wonder if the Kiwi's would still consider themselves the Worlds best if France had scored 2 more points and the All Blacks choked again. New Zealand won? Yep that is a fact. New Zealand the best in the world? Not so sure about that. One win when it mattered in 24 years is nothing to go overboard about, and even then, it was only by a solitary point. A solitary point that meant the difference between being also rans or supposedly,"the worlds best".
J The only thing that is laughable is the comment you wrote about the journalism , not once did he say it was "one of the greatest world cup finals". Maybe you should read it properly before you make a comment like that and also your spelling has got alot to be desired.
what a *** this would be journalist is.
What a boring game of Rugby 8-7....Honestly unless you were a supporter of either team...watching paint drying would have more interesting......A few home town decisions were the difference....In saying the truth the all blacks were the best team in the tournament
They may have on the World Cup but the poor sods still have to live there
They saved their worst game for last! The french played the better rugby! The all blacks tactics were shocking and they tried to hold an 8 - nil advantage with mistake free football! They only just got away with it! Actually felt for the french! Kiwi in Perth
Really J? Laughable? You think this article was produced to invoke laughter? Noooo.... surely not. S.Hitstirrer. That is the name of the "journalist" here. Take a closer look J... He's holding a spoon. I wonder what he's planning to stir? Good stuff Steve! You've hooked another dummy! Love your work mate! Keep on stirring!
Does anyone really care, found the whole tournament boring as bat ***. Games were determined and ruined by referee decisions.
It is the South African Currie cup rugby final this upcoming Saturday 29th May 2011. The Lions {Johannesburg ) vs The Sharks ( Durban ) How many people are aware of the fact that the coaches for both of these teams are New Zealanders. The Sharks coach's name is John Plumtree and The Lions coaches name is John Mitchell. John Mitchell is a former All-Black coach, And he also coached the Super 14 team The Force ( Perth ) This is the first time in South African History that both South African Currie Cup Finalists will have Kiwi coaches. This illustrates that the New Zealand coaches are the best in the world.
So all this proves is they stiffeled the opposition attack better than anyone else in the whole competition.Who cares????
what a laughable, biased disrespectful piece of journelism. one of the greatest world cup finals.

Special feature: All the colour from New Zealand
Photos: All Blacks world championsNew Zealand have fought off a brave French team to win the Rugby World Cup again after 24 long years.

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