Jay Buchan
Jay Buchan Rob Williams

It’s a matter of trust for Wallabies to win World Cup

OPINION

IT IS the match two nations have been waiting 28 years for.

Of the seven previous Rugby World Cup finals only one had neither Australia nor New Zealand in it.

That was 2007's bore-athon between South Africa and England.

Before the semi-final against South Africa All Black skipper Richie McCaw had spoken about the need for his teammates to trust in one another.

It was the lack of trust that cost South Africa when it mattered most.

With South Africa leading 12-10 in the second half, All Black centre Ma'a Nonu put a step and swerve on his opposite Daniel de Allende, giving experienced Bok winger JP Pietersen a choice.

Pietersen could either stay on his wing and mark Beauden Barrett or go in and help de Allende stop Nonu.

He chose the latter, not putting his faith in de Allende to make the tackle, and left this wing exposed.

It is the most common defensive read a winger is forced to make and, with more than 60 test caps, Pietersen knew what he was doing.

His lack of faith in de Allende cost his team the match.

Barrett's try and Carter's conversion gave New Zealand a crucial 17-12 advantage with 25 minutes left.

Tactically the biggest challenges of the final are the All Blacks' need to nullify the Aussie back-row; while the Wallabies have to stop the All Blacks' line-breaks.

If Argentina can find ways to make 13 line-busts against Australia, what might New Zealand do?

Across the board they can do it either individually, with an off-load or by recognising and exploiting an overlap or gap.

But the Aussies have proven they have the trust in each other and their system, stopping everything that's come so far.

But New Zealand offer much more of a threat than anything that's come before. It could all come back to how well individuals handle the occasion.

In 2011, halfback Piri Weepu almost cost his team the Cup with some brain explosions when the pressure was highest.

Against South Africa, New Zealand went into its shell for a while and there were some signs of panic, particularly from halfback Aaron Smith, which could be tested in the final.

But they were no more culpable than the Aussies, who went close to self imploding when Argentina ramped up the pressure in the second half, trailing 22-15.

A try to the Argies then could have had dire consequences given they had all the emotion.

But Australia stuck strong and showed their faith in each other and the game plan, which was rewarded when Drew Mitchell set up Adam Ashley-Cooper's match winning try, when seemingly nothing was on.



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