OK…My prediction may have been a little off the mark!
What a fantastic final though! Incredible rugby from New Zealand and Australia, both really hungry for a historic third world cup victory. High scoring, too, for a final. Can’t fault it. In the end, the ABs showed real flair and sublime handling, as well as some bone-crunching defending during the crucial third quarter, which was enough to see them home and dry. Sonny Bill Williams’ offload to feed Ma’a Nonu for a scintillating midfield charge and subsequent try was a personal highlight. It was also great to see Richie Mcaw and Dan Carter bow out of international duties on such a high and with two great performances – supposing, of course, they do indeed decide to call time on their All Blacks careers.
Australia were certainly value for money in the final too, especially when New Zealand were reduced to fourteen men. David Pocock was again superb – he has been without a doubt one of the best players of this tournament, a real physical presence and, importantly for an openside flanker, a real nuisance.
Many congratulations to New Zealand. I hope the team and all their fans enjoy celebrating. This has been an epic tournament, it’s been a pleasure to watch many corners of the UK lit up by some fantastic rugby on the pitch, and the fantastic supporters off it.
Here’s to Tokyo 2019.