New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen believes Saturday’s World Cup final against Australia has the potential to buck a recent trend.
And while the 2015 instalment is no different in terms of how high the stakes are, both teams have a reputation for playing adventurous, attacking rugby.
So while today’s All Blacks have the pressure of expectation heaped upon them, spare a thought for their counterparts nearly a century ago.
Cheika is sure it will be another big chapter in punishing duels at this World Cup. “It’s simply on the All Blacks beating the Wallabies tomorrow morning”.
Veteran winger Adam Ashley-Cooper has played more Tests than all bar two other Australians but said it took until the past year for the significance of his position to dawn on him.
“A lot of the talk has been about David Pocock and we understand he is a threat, “But there are so many other parts of the game to concentrate on”.
Captain Richie McCaw has indicated he will retire but has shelved making a decision until he returns to New Zealand.
Black market touts paid more than £700 for top-end seats at the Australia v New Zealand clash, hoping to sell them at well over the odds.
He missed the 8-7 win over France in the 2011 final because of an injury he suffered during the tournament one of several that have bedevilled his career but which has produced a world record 1,579 points from 111 games.
Cheika has played up the underdogs tag. But he has aces up his sleeve with Pocock a hot contender for player of the tournament.
He said: “For us, it’s only a couple of hours on the train, but it will feel like a long way back if we lose!”
‘For us, it’s there but it means nothing really. “We’ll be looking to put in a performance all of us can be proud of”.
On Friday. The Wallabies Cup preparation was potentially undermined after Cheika and his scrum coach Mario Ledesma were filmed carrying pieces of paper outlining tactical details.
If the breakdown is going to be decisive, it is on the wings where the action will be.
The teams have also each lost one final – New Zealand to South Africa in 1995, and Australia to England in 2003.
Japan’s stunning progress at the World Cup has been recognized with its inclusion as one of four nominees for World Rugby’s team of the year award.
They have done a few redesign work of their own and have come up with a new livery for an Air New Zealand jet should Michael Hooper be hosting the trophy high for the Wallabies. They have shown great character. They have all been remarkable servants of the game.
It’s the No1 ranked side in the world and reigning world champions up against this year’s resurgent Rugby Championship victor for the chance to become the first nation ever to win three World Cups.
Tony Stuart is a Wallabies supporter born in New Zealand – yes, there is such a thing. No matter what code, what occasion.
Out in town in the run-up to the final, fan support looks heavily in favour of the All Blacks, with supporters seen in the team merchandise everywhere you go.
Australia have only beaten New Zealand five times in their last 25 meetings, most recently recording a 27-19 win in Sydney back in August.