Campo's skills, Gregan's sledging and Dagg's magic - get ready for round four of a classic World Cup rivalry 8 years ago

Campo's skills, Gregan's sledging and Dagg's magic - get ready for round four of a classic World Cup rivalry

We think this one is going to be different, we want this one to be different.

Rugby World Cup finals, like most world cup finals, tend to be tense, tight affairs, which often tend to go easy on the entertainment value.


The winners will always tell you they could not give a fiddlers' what the game is like and their fans will be so riddled with tension that they don't notice, but we perennial world cup final neutrals notice.

But we think this one is going to be different.

Some ridiculous tries, early shocks and thunderous encounters have made this a great tournament to date and there is every chance it will all be crowned with a fitting final.

Let's not tempt fate though by looking forward too much, instead let's reflect on the World Cup rivalry between Australia and New Zealand that has run the gamut from the sublime to the nasty and back to the sublime.


The Wallabies may have only won five of their last 25 Tests against the All Blacks but at the World Cup they still hold the whip hand, leading 2-1. Much like their World Cup triumphs, New Zealand's only win over Australia came on home soil.

1991 semi-final, Lansdowne Road: Australia 16 New Zealand 6

The home of Irish rugby was pulling for Australia, even after their last-gasp quarter-final win over Ireland, and the Dublin crowd was not disappointed.


The Wallabies filleted their neighbours, with David Campese sharpening the knife. Campo scored the first try after seven minutes and set up the second with the most sublime little over the shoulder, no-look pass to Tim Horan (above).

They were 13-0 up at that stage against the defensing champions and out the gap. They would go on and beat England in the final at Twickenham.

2003 semi-final, Telstra Stadium: Australia 22 New Zealand 10 (1)


As soon as Stirling Mortlock intercepted a Carlos Spencer pass and ran the length of the field to score you feared for the tournament's great entertainers.

With a back three of Joe Rococoko, Mils Muliaina and Doug Howlett the All Blacks had torn the tournament to shreds before coming up against the hosts.

However with an early lead to defend, Australia shoved the ball up their collective jumper and strangled the life out of the All Blacks.

Wallabies scrum-half George Gregan ensured a lifetime of enmity across the Tasman Sea by taunting the All Blacks with the now infamous "Four more years boys, four more years".

It would be twice that long in fact before New Zealand would reclaim the Webb Ellis, but we don't think Gregan has ever been credited by AB fans for his misplaced optimism.


2011 semi-final, Eden Park: New Zealand 20 Australia 6


Israel Dagg. Remember Israel Dagg? Let the ridiculous offload above refresh your memory. That's how highly Nehe Milner-Skudder is rated by Steve Hansen - after just two Tests (against Australia) he was selected in the squad ahead of Dagg.

In fairness to Milner-Skudder, he has repaid that faith with five tries in as many World Cup matches and, along with Julian Savea he has been at the sharp end of a New Zealand attack that has the potential to cut teams open at will.

The same was thought four years ago but in the end New Zealand, shorn of Dan Carter, managed only two tries in their last two matches.

Dagg presented this one on a plate for Ma'a Nonu in the sixth minute and by restricting Australia to one penalty and a drop goal, the boot of Piri Weepu kept the All Blacks comfortably ahead of their rivals.

"Four more years, four more years," the Auckland crowd chanted at the final whistle. They will be hoping that mean-spirited prediction also proves optimistic.