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Pre-Match - Australia vs New Zealand (31 October 2015)

Stefan Terblanche 02/11/2015

Well done to the Boks for a 3rd place at Rugby World Cup 2015. I know it wasn’t the best performance and what you came here for but at least you guys are taking something home for all the hard work and effort.

I am back in the United Kingdom for the final hurrah of this year’s Rugby World Cup and with kick off hours away, I am still very excited about it even though The Boks played their final game last night. With the weather perfect for rugby at the moment and with the style of play from both New Zealand and the Wallabies this final has the potential of being the best one ever. With records smashed along the way during this year’s tournament in terms of crowd attendances and profits taken I think it is safe to say that this year’s tournament has been the best one ever. I guess we always say that at the end of every tournament and I honestly hope that we will say exactly the same again in 4 years time after the tournament in Japan. Japan will be the 1st ever non-traditional rugby playing nation to host this tournament and it will be very interesting to see how they go about their business and how the rugby world will react and support this global rugby showpiece.

With all the positive talk about this year’s Rugby World Cup one would like to see the perfect end to this tournament and for different nations and for different reasons the same results can mean the difference between a successful or a disappointing Rugby World Cup.

The 2 best teams of the tournament will face one another today to determine a winner. It is very interesting to know that these 2 teams have only lost one game this whole rugby season including the Rugby World Cup. What is even more interesting is the fact they have lost that one game to each other making it a 1 all standing for the year going into today’s game. It doesn’t come bigger than a Rugby World Cup Final and I am sure that past results from earlier this year will be the last thing on any of these player’s minds but just an interesting piece of info nonetheless.

I always thought that Australia would do well looking at their form and more importantly their style of play going into this year’s tournament. In Michael Cheika they have unearthed a fantastic coach with old school values, not when it comes to style of play but when it comes to doing the basics very well. Where before the Australians have struggled with their set piece and did okay in defence we have seen a complete turnaround and change of attitude in this regard. They are now not only hugely competitive with a solid scrum but they have also developed one of the best defensive records in the tournament. In former Wallaby playmaker and now backline coach Stephen Larkham they have a very creative rugby brain and that was exactly how he played the game as well.

If we look at their opposition today in the final, we will find that the best team in the world for the last few years the All Blacks are there again. They have been consistently good and in fact the best and have just fine-tuned the way they have always played the game. Some of the best players in not only this team but in All Black history will play their last test tomorrow but for them it will be more about winning the game than having a perfect send off. I know it should go hand-in-hand but it’s slightly different in this regard.

So to call a winner is extremely hard but I will stick with the team I backed right from the start, the Walabies. Like the rest of the tournament labelled the best Rugby World Cup to date I honestly believe that today’s final will be one of the best, if not the best ever.

I am truly blessed by the rugby gods to attend this game and I am quietly excited about this game. I will have a final wrap of the whole tournament in 2 days time and I am looking forward in sharing it with you all and getting your views as well. It’s been a fantastic 6 weeks and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

See you in the stands at Twickenham!

Stefan

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