All Blacks win World Cup

John Edwards, Yahoo!7 October 23, 2011, 8:50 pm

Twenty-four years of waiting for New Zealand ended as the All Blacks held France 8-7 to win their second World Cup at Eden Park.

A physically brutal clash ended one-try a piece as the fighting French threatened to pull off the unlikeliest of victories until the All Black forwards took control in the final minutes.

With one point separating the teams the All Blacks took the ball into the tight forwards and did not give the ball away until full-time was blown.

The game lost both starting fly-halves as first Morgan Parra was replaced by Francois Trinh-Duc on 22 minutes following a heavy fall and later All Black Aaron Cruden was helped from the field after being caught awkwardly in the tackle.

The French showing an aggressive intent advanced on the All Black's Kapa o Pango haka to the extent they encroached past halfway.


The fiesty French kept up the early onslaught controlling the ball for much of the early exchanges.

French captain and man of the match Thierry Dusautoir paid a heavy toll for not releasing on attack as Weepu's kick for touch sent Les Bleus retreating.

Jerome Kaino claimed the lineout and sent the ball to Tony Woodcock who was waiting to waltz over and open the scoring as a gap opened in the middle of the two forward packs.

The All Blacks had the better of the sparse scoring opportunities but Piri Weepu's wayward boot - missing two penalties and a conversion attempt - had a nervous nation on edge at the half.

The All Blacks held the French scoreless but five points was not the points buffer they had earned.


Stephen Donald took over kicking duties after the resumption and was successful with his first attempt.

The All Blacks looked frayed minutes later after the French broke following loose ball at the ruck. The now free-spirited France blew a four man overlap in the left corner before centering the ball for Dusautoir to cross over under the posts.

Trinh-Duc's conversion cut the lead to one as the All Blacks began to look a less organised side.

France looked the better of the two sides in the closing minutes as both territory and possession swung their way.

The All Blacks backed by the Eden Park crowd who finally decided to lend their voices to the fray as the nation's forward machine wound down the final minutes with superb ball control.

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