Some people call it the true championship match of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Well, if it’s true then the New Zealand All Blacks can sing “We are the Champions!” already as they gave Australia a massive beatdown, 20-6, in their semifinal draw. Starting with a fierce haka, the All-blacks were all business in the first half as they grab the lead, 14-6, at the end of the opening half of play. The second half was no different as the Kiwis just held the Aussies in their territory for much of the final half.
It was comforting for the All-Blacks to play at Eden Park, where the men of Gold and Green have never beaten the All-Blacks since 1986. It was the first time though in World Cup history that New Zealand beat Australia. They will now try to use the home court advantage to the hilt in the finals.
The finals will pit New Zealand against France. It is a rematch of the first ever Rugby World Cup finals. In 1987, the finals was played at Eden Park, where the All-Blacks gave France a neat rugby lesson with a score of 29-9 for their first and only World Cup title. Incidentally, the 3rd place match was between winners Wales and Australia.
It is like 1987 all over again and the hosts would wish for the same results. France has finished in second place every 12 years and 2011 is 12 years from their last runner-up finish. We will find out if history will repeat itself next week. For now, Congrats New Zealand!!!!
- 2011 Rugby World Cup Semifinals: France makes it to the final with the help of a red card (caloysports.wordpress.com)
- Rugby World Cup 2011: Quarterfinal Results (caloysports.wordpress.com)
- New Zealand beat Wallabies to reach Rugby World Cup final (cnn.com)
- All Blacks Advance to Rugby Finals (online.wsj.com)
- You: 2011 Rugby World Cup: Wallabies not looking back ahead of All Blacks face-off (france24.com)