Have your say on the All Blacks.
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.
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?