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New Zealand heaved a sigh of relief as the All Blacks ended a valiant Wallabies' World Cup dream 20-6 after a high intensity semi final at Eden Park.
The Wallabies, hamstrung by the All Blacks absolute forward dominance and another error-filled display from Quade Cooper, looked dangerous but were unable to register points against an ominous looking New Zealand.
The Wallabies weathered a torrid opening to the much anticipated clash and went without the ball for a long unbroken spell after Quade Cooper's opening kick-off left the field on the full.
Back rowers Jerome Kaino, Kieran Read and skipper Richie McCaw led the way as the Wallabies were starved of territory and possession to the extent that four missed shots at goal from New Zealand had no bearing on the final outcome.
So complete was New Zealand's early dominance that the ball didn't cross into the Wallabies attacking half until the eighth minute and Australia didn't have possession of the ball in the attacking half until the fourteenth minute.
Fullback Israel Dagg made sure the All Blacks got points out of their mountains of possession when his line break and superb offload in the tackle put centre Ma'a Nonu over for his fourth consecutive try in matches against Australia.
New Zealand continued to dominate every facet of play as David Pocock was twice penalised for leaving his feet at the ruck. Weepu's usually accurate boot was having an off day as he missed one of two shots at goal in quick succession.
The All Black territorial ascendancy was turned into a drop goal by Aaron Cruden in the 21st minute.
Australia looked dangerous with the few opportunities they had in the opposition half.
Digby Ioane broke the line and was stopped inches short by a three man tackle after his foray. O'Connor's penalty kick made sure the Wallabies left with points on that occasion and Cooper's drop goal added three more in the 32nd minute.
The All Blacks re-established a lead and went further ahead courtesy of two Weepu penalties either side of the break - in the process kicking New Zealand's 2000th World Cup point.
Australia arrested the tide of possession against them briefly and had three attacking opportunities scuppered before the All Blacks once more re-asserted their authority.
The lead grew to 14 points when the Wallabies scrum was laid to waste and lifted by the powerful All Black machine. Weepu, who had left the field, returned as a blood-bin replacement to kick the points and leave no questions as to who would advance to the final.
The vast majority of the 60,087 fans at Eden Park were kitted in black and chanted 'Four more years' as the Wallabies were consigned to a third-place play-off against Wales on Friday.
All Blacks 20 (Try: Nonu, Pen: Weepu 4, DG: Cruden) Wallabies 6 (Pen: O'Connor DG: Cooper)HT: 11-6 All Blacks
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