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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 06:29 GMT 07:29 UK
Wallabies on top of the world
Australia are the only team to have won the World Cup away from home and the only side to have won it twice.

The victories came in England in 1991, and Wales four years ago.

Three of the four World Cup matches they have lost were by a score or less, two coming in the opening tournament.

Australia's John Eales celebrates the 1999 World Cup final win with his team-mates
Played 22 - W:18 L:4
1987: Fourth
1991: Winners
1995: Quarter-finals
1999: Winners
The first World Cup, held in Australia and New Zealand, was scheduled to culminate with a showdown between the co-hosts.

Nobody had told France, and Serge Blanco in particular.

The mercurial full-back stole in during the dying moments of the semi-final for a try in the corner that sealed the Wallabies' fate.

The Welsh then secured a famous victory over the Australians in the third place play-off thanks to a last-minute penalty conversion from Paul Thorburn.

There was to be no final-minute heartbreak four years on and instead it was Australia who inflicted the pain on others.

Having progressed from the pool stages with a 100% record, Australia were minutes away from a last-eight defeat to Ireland in Dublin.

It was left to fly-half Michael Lynagh to go over in the dramatic closing stages to hand the Australians a 19-18 victory.

Buoyed by that success they beat defending champions New Zealand the following weekend, largely thanks to the magic of David Campese.

He scored one and then played his part in the all-important second by collecting a Michael Lynagh chip, jinking past a couple of flailing tackles and passing the ball over his shoulder to the supporting Tim Horan, who crashed over.

And on to England at Twickenham for the final.

Roared on by the home crowd, England had the pre-match advantage. But in a tight and tense affair, the only try of the match was scored by prop Tony Daly.

The final 12-6 result could have been closer, had Derek Bevan awarded a penalty-try for a deliberate knock-on by Campese, but it was not to be England's day.

England gained revenge in South Africa four years later.

After Australia progressed through the pool stages, they faced their northern hemisphere opponents in the quarter-finals.

With the scores tied at 22-22, the Wallabies were undone by a 40-yard drop-goal from Rob Andrew in injury-time.

Four years later though, the Australians once again went all the way.

After winning their pool matches, beating Wales in the quarter-finals and South Africa in the final four, they faced the might of France in the climax after the Europeans surprisingly turned over New Zealand in the semis.

But the French seemed to have spent their energies in the previous match.

A tight defence, plus a flurry of mistakes which led to seven converted penalties by Matt Burke and one try apiece from Owen Finnegan and Ben Tune, helped Australia to their second World Cup.

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