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Page last updated at 10:39 GMT, Sunday, 23 October 2011 11:39 UK

World Cup final 2011: New Zealand v France as it happened

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By Ben Dirs

1130: Right then, that's the 2011 Rugby World Cup done and dusted - and what a spendid staging it was. Great country, great people, great rugby, great games, great drama - both on and off the field - some great stories. Tense final... but in the final reckoning, the best team in the tournament won. Hope you enjoyed it and remember to get stuck into all the post-match news and fluff on this website. I'm off to have a play around with our World Cup XV, one or two tweaks to be made... see ya...

Twitter
George Pearson on Twitter: "motm in my opinion has to be Harinordoquy, an exceptional game in the line-out and deserves to be a winner."

France captain Thierry Dusautoir: "It's a real pity but I'm very proud of my boys - we lost two games in the pool but made the final. We read a lot of stuff this week [about how we would lose] but we proved a lot of people wrong today."

New Zealand coach Graham Henry: "Marvellous. The people have been have been outstanding in support of the team and the Rugby World Cup. I'm so proud to be a New Zealander standing here. There was a bit of turmoil up there in the coaching box, but Richie and the boys just hanging in there right through 80 minutes to win this thing is superb. This is something we've dreamed of for a while, we can rest in peace."

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw: "The guys dug as deep as they've ever dug before, I'm just so proud of everyone. We couldn't have been under more pressure but we stuck tight and got there in the end. To lose a guy like Dan Carter [is very difficult] but the next guy stepped up. I take my hat off to 'Beaver' [Stephen Donald] but it is hard to pick out one guy."

Twitter
BBC Sport website's chief sportswriter Tom Fordyce on Twitter: "What a contest. Congrats to new world champs New Zealand, chapeau to fantastic French performance. Got a feeling it might be lively tonight."

FULL-TIME NZ 8-7 France France make way, and here come the All Blacks... Stephen Donald hamming it up on stage - fishing for whitebait on the Waikato River two weeks ago, he's just kicked the decisive points in a World Cup final. Dan Carter gets the biggest cheer of the night, though, a bitter-sweet occasion for him. Prime Minister John Key will hand the cup to McCaw... and up it goes! McCaw looks more relieved than elated, as if a boulder has been rolled from his shoulders. Wonderful scenes up on the podium, some sort of sing-song going on, Auckland is having it - I repeat, Auckland is having it - it's going to be one heck of a raz-up tonight...

FULL-TIME NZ 8-7 France Here come the French, led up by inspirational skipper Thierry Dusautoir. Devastation writ large across their faces - glad they played so well, though, at least they'll get some dues now, they had the hosts rocking and rolling all the way through that second half. Lievremont recieves his runners-up medal - a figure of fun throughout the tournament, he very nearly turned out looking like a genius.

FULL-TIME NZ 8-7 France Graham Henry's lower lip all a-quiver? Surely not. Black suit and tie, as if dressed for a funeral, maybe he was fearing the worst. Here comes the Webb Ellis trophy - cracking little pot, might be the best in sport...

FULL-TIME NZ 8-7 France McCaw looks like he's been out on the lash for seven weeks - bags under his eyes, crows feet, absolutely ruined. Great player, great captain, great game, he'll have a few scoops tonight. A word on France - they staggered their way into the final, were awful at times, but you have to say they were magnificent tonight. All over New Zealand in the second-half, a whole host of stars among them. And to the man who's just tweeted saying any man who doesn't have Harinordoquy in their World Cup XV is an imbecile, you might have a point... taxi for Parisse...

FULL-TIME NZ 8-7 France Magic moments at Eden Park, wild scenes of jubilation among the New Zealand players, contrasted with sheer desolation among the French. My oh my, who thought it would be as close as that? One of the most excruciatingly tense games of rugby you'll ever see - France captain and man of the match Dusautoir was magnificent, as was back-row mate Harinordoquy. For the All Blacks, it was all about Kieran Read and that man McCaw. Monumental efforts from monumental men.

Full time
FULL-TIME NZ 8-7 France THAT'S IT! THE HURT IS OVER - NEW ZEALAND WORLD CHAMPIONS AGAIN!

79 mins - NZ 8-7 France The All Blacks looking to keep it tight with only three minutes remaining. Franks take it into contact and here comes Williams... PENALTY! Eighty seconds to go, Harinordoquy coming in from the side, and Donald cocks the hammer. French heads go down before Thorn, 36, takes it clean at the line-out...

77 mins - NZ 8-7 France France have lost it in contact! Cheers ring round Eden Park, the All Blacks have the chance to clear their lines. Poor old Doussain it was that knocked on at the base after some rollocking work by Rougerie, who bounces off opposite number Conrad Smith. McCaw down for treatment and the crowd goes wild when he's finally hauled back onto his feet, like a statue of some ancient god.

75 mins - NZ 8-7 France Dusautoir with a couple of carries, it's all France at the moment, the All Blacks have frozen. Trinh-Duc in the pocket but it ends up with Medard, who takes it into contact. France inching towards the All Blacks line and here's Harinordoquy on the charge... the All Blacks turned over by Dusautoir, before Smith puts in a big hit. Attritional, this really is the sporting equivalent of trench warfare... French scrum! Right in front, might be in Trinh-Duc's range. Sonny Bill on for Nonu in the centres, Jean-Marc Doussain replaces Yachvili at scrum-half for France - it's his debut! With five minutes left in a World Cup final! And he's 20!

71 mins - NZ 8-7 France Harinordoquy with his eigth take of the evening - doesn't matter if it's Servat or Szarzewski chucking it in, Harinordoquy will claim it. Palisson looks to dart down the left and does well to get rid of it as he's being ushered out of play.

69 mins - NZ 8-7 France Dagg takes the mark and that's a great clearance, deep into the French half. Harinordoquy with his seventh line-out take of the evening, he's been extraordinarily good this evening. Veeeery clever kick from Donald, switching direction and setting up a line-out just outside the French 22.

67 mins - NZ 8-7 France Traille goes on a burst after a fine take, ripping the ball from Dagg's arms in midair. Dagg's taken a knock, but it looks like he'll continue. Szarzewski is on for Servat at hooker for France, who make a mess of New Zealand's scrum again. Very worrying times for New Zealand, they're not in this at the moment.

64 mins - MISSED PENALTY NZ 8-7 France Ali Williams concedes a penalty for hands in the ruck but Trinh-Duc misses touch with his penalty clearance. Fine scrum by France and the All Blacks pack is sent marching backwards - penalty! Trinh-Duc from bang in front - deary me, he's missed that by a set of posts. That's pressure messing with you, Francois...

62 mins - NZ 8-7 France Twenty minutes remaining and Poux is penalised for collapsing again - Donald clears his lines. Harinordoquy burgles the All Blacks line-out and the French have certainly had the better of their opponents in that area of the game. The All Blacks with a turnover, Traille stripped of the ball, but the attack is too lateral and Donald eventually runs into touch.

59 mins - NZ 8-7 France Harinordoquy claims at the line-out, Trinh-Duc with a searching kick for territory. The French line-out working well, Harinordoquy with another clean take. Dagg slices a clearance off the outside of his right boot, this is all looking a bit ominous for the hosts - another clean take, this time by Pape, and Mermoz goes on a rumble... makes yards, but there's a knock-on and New Zealand will get the chance to relieve the pressure.

54 mins - NZ 8-7 France Weepu is off, Ellis on; Hore on for Mealamu at hooker. The shock of shocks is all on with half an hour remaining. Big scrum from the All Blacks and they string some phases together. Donald with the half-break... Ali Williams, on for Whitelock, on a burst before Nonu attempts to break through, to no avail - the All Blacks in retreat with ball in hands, France tackling like demons. Williams hit by Bonnaire before Nonu coughs the ball up in contact - France swarming, New Zealand rattled, no shape at all in attack.

48 mins - TRY (Dusautoir) NZ 8-7 France Clerc has limped off to be replaced by Traille... AND HERE COME FRANCE! Trinh-Duc is having a great game since he replaced Parra - the fly-half goes flying through the middle after a kick from Weepu goes straight into his hands, Yachvili loses his footing, but France have numbers. Rougerie takes the ball up and French captain Dusautoir eventually touches down next to the posts. Crash, bang, wallop, what a fixture... Trinh-Duc pops over the extras, one point in it...

46 mins - PENALTY (Donald) NZ 8-0 France Over it goes, just inside the right upright from Donald...

45 mins - NZ 5-0 France There's a been a Lord's-like murmer around Eden Park for most of the night but it's turned up a notch as Dagg goes on a dart through the middle. Read with a great, soaring take at the line-out - he's having some night - and it's a penalty from bang in front. Donald grabs the ball and places it on the tee...

42 mins - MISSED PEN NZ 5-0 France They're out for the second half, it's Trinh-Duc with the restart... Jane underneath it and he's immediately engulfed by white shirts. Medard with a bit of space and it's France with phases at the start of the half. Rougerie bumps Nonu off before McCaw is pinged by Joubert for hands in the ruck. Chance from out left for Yachvili... looks to have slippered that over, but it dies just short of the bar...

HALF-TIME - NZ 5-0 France Some strange goings on after Stephen Donald entered the fray, with Israel Dagg assuming kicking duties out of hand. Donald is, after all, a career fly-half and a more experienced kicker than Dagg. Interesting to see if Graham Henry will demand that Donald be trusted. Remarkable story, either way...

Twitter
Ken Mitchell on Twitter: "NZ might not be choking just yet, but they're definately playing with a lump in the throat #bbcrwc"

HALF-TIME - NZ 5-0 France The French team will be buzzing in their shed, absolutely buzzing - written off by every man and his dog, all of a sudden they'll be looking round and thinking "you know what, chaps, we can ruddy well do this".

Half time
40 mins - NZ 5-0 France Marvellous take by Yachvili, smooth as silk. Clerc with a woeful kick through, Weepu clatters it into touch and that's half-time - intriguing first 40, and who'd have thought France would only be down by five? All to play for...

Twitter
Ryan Kirkham on Twitter: "Could these missed kicks be decisive?Or is there 2 much class in this NZ team? Dan Carter would have NZ out of sight by now #RWCFINAL #BBCRWC""

38 mins - NZ 5-0 France Servat burgled again at the line-out but France have won it back inside the New Zealand 22. Trinh-Duc attempts the drop-goal but it's wild and windy and wide. Good take by Dagg, who then pirouettes out of a Palisson tackle. But here comes Trinh-Duc, scything through the All Blacks defence, making a monkey of Kaino with a dummy off the right hand... Great tap-tackle by Weepu to bring him down, massive moment that. All Blacks scrum...

33 mins - NZ 5-0 France The French scrum penalised for engaging too soon and the All Blacks clear to the halfway line. Line-out stolen by Whitelock and here comes Thorn... Cruden down for the All Blacks! Clutching his knee - he's been targeted by the French. Stephen Donald patrols the line, looking on with interest - fishing for whitebait a couple of weeks ago, now contemplating World Cup glory... Cruden's a goner, here comes Donald, the All Blacks' fourth fly-half of the tournament. World Cup debut in a World Cup final - that's some tale...

32 mins - NZ 5-0 France Kaino with a rare mistake under the high ball, French put-in. Trinh-Duc with a nice touch-finder - Jane looks to have that covered but his heel just touched the whitewash. Servat knocks-on in the All Blacks 22, the hosts with a chance to clear their lines.

29 mins - NZ 5-0 France Great take from the restart by McCaw, dart from Dagg and Weepu with a neat kick through. The All Blacks doing the basics right (other than that goal-kicking) and keeping the thumb-screws tightened. Trinh-Duc with a good clearance but the All Blacks line-out is running like clockwork now after a ragged start and Read claims again. Kahui grubbers but that's French centre Rougerie mopping up. Maxim Mermoz down now, France in the wars.

26 mins - NZ 5-0 France Nallet does the business at the line-out before Yachvili clears his line. Mealamu looks to have shaken off the nerves and finds Thorn at the line-out before McCaw is turned over. Replacement fly-half Trinh-Duc will be pumped for this, but he's been turned over there and given away a penalty just right of the posts. Another awful kick form Weepu - three missed now, and none of them have been remotely close.

23 mins - NZ 5-0 France Read on the rampage and he breaks one tackle and offloads. Good defence from France but Nonu makes a half-break before Dagg is nudged into touch on the left flank. Parra off again, and this time for good - tears from the French half-back, and no wonder. Yachvili with the steepling box kick and that's a crackerjack take from the spring-heeled Kahui. Cute kick from Dagg, that really is a peach, pressure on France...

20 mins - NZ 5-0 France Parra is back on - weird, he looked out of it. Plus, he was off for ages, they presumably called it a blood injury, although I didn't see much claret. The first scrum finally arrives after 18 minutes - New Zealand with an early shove, but Weepu gets another chance. France penalised for angling in, Poux the villain, although not sure referee Craig Joubert got that one right. He didn't get that right either, not straight from Mealamu at the line-out, but the All Blacks have attacking ball...

16 mins - NZ 5-0 France Magic from Jerome Kaino at the line-out - the All Blacks number six taps down to prop Woodcock and the veteran goes barrelling over for the first try of the game. Missed conversion from Weepu and the French will have been stunned by that, they had made a very bright start.

Try graphic
15 mins - TRY (Woodcock) NZ 5-0 France Great one-handed take from Dusautoir at the rear of the line-out but he's penalised for holding onto the ball. Weepu belts a heat-seeking kick into the French 22, attacking line-out 5m out... WOODCOCK'S OVER FOR A TRY!

11 mins - NZ 0-0 France Harinordoquy with a solid take at the line-out but here comes Nonu - big hit, but whoever it was hasn't got up yet. Rougerie with a cheeky kick into the All Blacks 22, but Mealamu finds Read at the line-out. McCaw making a nuisance of himself at the breakdown, as Parra finally drags himself to his feet - think he's off though, not sure he knows where he is, time for Trinh-Duc at fly-half...

11 mins: Harinordoquy with a solid take at the line-out but here comes Nonu - big hit, but whoever it was hasn't got up yet. Rougerie with a cheeky kick into the All Blacks 22, but Mealamu finds Read at the line-out. McCaw making a nuisance of himself at the breakdown, as Parra finally drags himself to his feet - think he's off though, not sure he knows where he is, time for Trinh-Duc at fly-half...

8 mins: ... the nerves continue to jangle, Weepu scuffing that penalty attempt miles left of the uprights. Nallet goes bullocking through before Mas mops up on the floor... France bossing this at the moment, looking to put width on the ball, but it finally goes loose and here comes Dagg... fine kick from Nonu, the All Blacks into France's 22 for the first time in the match...

5 mins: Parra gets munched by Conrad Smith but this is a good start from France, plenty of possession - before Palisson is pinged for holding on. Relief for New Zealand and Thorn manages to snaffle another iffy throw from Mealamu. Read with a 'no-eyes' pass, but Kahui is ushered into touch... penalty! France off-side, Weepu takes aim...

3 mins: Medard under Cruden's high ball, safely taken. Yachvili's box kick goes out on the full and that gives New Zealand a throw-in on the France 10m. Bonnaire, however, burgles the All Blacks line-out and here comes Clerc, scuttling down the right flank. Terrible pas from Yachvili and Medard doesn't even get a hand on it - very nervy start, which we might have expected...

1 min: The All Blacks in black, France in white, Piri Weepu gets us under way...

0900: New Zealand national anthem in the bag, here's the Haka - the French, ever a little bit weird, line up in an arrow-head formation. Holding hands... and here they come! Dusautoir brings them walking forward... now creeping, not walking... and you have to say this is great drama...

0857: Only nine players have scored tries in World Cup finals, and no player has scored more than one. Players standing shoulder to shoulder in the tunnel, three Maoris let rip with their horns and here they come, parting before the William Webb Ellis trophy and making their way onto the Eden Park turf. Between them, these teams average more than 50 Tests per man - but that doesn't mean they won't be quaking. Stand by for La Marseillaise - Against us of tyranny, The bloody banner is raised, Do you hear, in the countryside, The roar of those ferocious soldiers? Bit strong, but you get their point.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Conor, Hayling Island, via text on 81111: "I think 28-7 to New Zealand, the French scoring just before half-time, going in five points behind the All Blacks."

0848: In 10 minutes, it will be Haka time - how will the French react? Will they glow like rods of iron? Or will they melt like candles? Almost there, folks, almost there...

Twitter
BBC Sport website's chief sportswriter Tom Fordyce on Twitter: "Right - predictions o'clock. I'm saying All Blacks by 12-15 points. What's that? Fair enough - 15 on the nose. Over to you..."

0834: Hope springs for France - they have played 13 Tests at Eden Park, winning six of them, including two against the All Blacks. Their 46% win rate at the ground is the best of any nation other than New Zealand. Here's a nice stat for you: Owen Franks, Sam Whitelock, Aaron Cruden and Israel Dagg were not even born when New Zealand last won the World Cup back in 1987. At the other end of the spectrum, lock Brad Thorn, at 36 and 262 days old, would usurp England's Jason Leonard as the oldest World Cup winner if his side win today.

0827: New Zealand have won their last 16 Test matches at home, a winning streak that stretches back more than two years. Under coach Graham Henry, the All Blacks have lost only three home Tests, against South Africa (twice) and France. France haven't exactly razzle-dazzled out back in this tournament, but one player who might have the tools to unlock the All Blacks defence is winger Vincent Clerc - he's scored six tries in the tournament, and along with England's Chris Ashton is the joint top-try-scorer in the tournament.

0817: As I am sure you are already aware, these two sides met in the pool stages, when the hosts ran out 37-17 winners. And here's a startling stat for you - when the French rumbled the All Blacks in the 2007 quarter-finals, skipper Dusautoir made an astonishing 38 tackles - more than the entire All Blacks side between them. There are four men in the New Zealand match-day squad who played in the quarter-final loss to France in 2007 - Tony Woodcock, Richie McCaw and Ali Williams all started that game, while replacement hooker Andrew Hore came off the bench.

0812: The last time New Zealand lost at Eden Park was to France, in 1994, courtesy of one of the greatest tries off all time. Les Bleus were trailing with three minutes to play, and pinned deep inside their 22 by a New Zealand kick. Then this happened...

Twitter
BBC sports news correspondent Dan Roan on Twitter: "Astonishing atmosphere in centre of Auckland - World Cup Final less than 3 hours away. Match not won yet but the party has already started"

Twitter
BBC Sport website's chief sportswriter Tom Fordyce on Twitter: "And no-one - not a single person - thinks it'll be anything other than an All Blacks win. France can't win, can they? Can they? Or can they?"

0759: This is the 51st Test match between the All Blacks and France - the All Blacks have won 37, France 12 and there has been one draw. Remarkably, the All Blacks have won 20 of 24 Tests between the sides in New Zealand, and even more remarkably, they haven't lost at Eden Park - against anyone - since 1994. The players didn't even get paid in those days...

0750: This is the seventh World Cup final and a repeat of the very first back in New Zealand in 1987 - the All Blacks mullered France that day, few would be surprised if that happened again at Eden Park. Only nine tries have been scored in World Cup finals, could be a few more than the average today. Or will there? France being France, they'll fight fire with fire up front and, who knows, actually start chucking it about out back. And if that happens, God alone knows...

0745: Morning all. So, here it is, the 2011 Rugby World Cup final - New Zealand versus their old hoodoo team France. I have yet to meet a man, woman or child who thinks France have any chance of winning this one. Although my mother thinks Marc Lievremont's side have got a chance, but she knows absolutely nothing about the great game of rugby union and that assertion is based entirely on the fact she thinks Thierry Dusautoir is a "very handsome man". Follow the game here live and make sure to get involved.



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see also
New Zealand 8-7 France
23 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup final photos
23 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Jeremy Guscott's World Cup final analysis
22 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
New Zealand unchanged for final
21 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Lievremont wants final hangover
22 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
All Blacks have to win - Shelford
22 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
France name same team for final
20 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup fixtures and results
26 Sep 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup tables
09 Aug 06 |  Tables


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