Classic Match -1987 Rugby World Cup Final

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

One-sided then, One-sided now.

Sunday’s Rugby World Cup final sees a repeat of the inaugural denoument from 1987 as the All Blacks meet les Bleus. Amazingly, 1987 remains the only time New Zealand have lifted the Webb Ellis trophy and unless the bookmakers have it totally wrong, they’ll notch up number two this weekend.

The French arrived at that final after a surprise 30-24 semi-final victory over the Aussies, which remains one of the greatest games ever seen in the World Cup. Their attempts however to beat the All Blacks were nowhere near good enough as New Zealand dominated from start to finish against an exhausted French side.

The key man in the game was the great Kiwi fly-half Grant Fox, who kicked New Zealand into constant control, to the delight of the 48,000 capacity crowd at Eden Park.

The first half saw NZ open up a 9-0 lead with a drop goal from Fox, before the star of the World Cup Michael Jones scored the first try of the game. France briefly threatened to make a game of it at the start of the second half with a penalty from Didier Caberabero, but New Zealand quickly stamped their authority on the game with tries from David Kirk and John Kirwan, which added to Fox’s accurate kicking, saw the French trail 29-3 going into the final moments.

A late try from Berbizier did little to regain French pride and in truth the game didn’t make for the greatest of spectacles. It will however always be remembered as being the first ever World Cup Final, and now 24 years later, all expectations are on New Zealand to repeat their debut feat.

Four years ago, England got cuffed by South Africa, before going on to give them a game in the final. Few expect the French to get any closer to the All Blacks than they did four weeks ago.

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