RWC 2011 Final Post-Match Reaction: France 7 New Zealand 8

It’s all over. New Zealand are World Champions!

A gutsy, gritty finish to a fantastic final. They have been the best team throughout the whole tournament. France though today were incredible. Rougerie, Trinh-Duc, Yachvili and the incredible Thierry Dusautoir put in inspirational shifts. They made New Zealand work so hard today. An interesting refereeing performance from Craig Joubert as well.

If you’re a Kiwi, huge congratulations to you. Give us all your thoughts on the final below.

108 thoughts on “RWC 2011 Final Post-Match Reaction: France 7 New Zealand 8

  1. Incredible final. Very tense and top quality. The highest standard of rugby of any final so far imo. Devastated the French didn’t take it. I thought they were the better side, but if not France, then New Zealand. They were slightly outplayed at home, but it’s the final, and given the pressure you could forgive them. It’s the old story of kicking again. If the French nailed their kicks they could have won it. Very unlucky. Dussatoir for player of the tournament?

  2. Great game.

    Surprisingly, I think France were the better team today. They almost took it.

    But the kiwis have consistently been the best team in the world and they deserve the cup.

  3. There was no way the French would be allowed to win – even the English commentators said the New Zealanders were getting the benefit of the doubt with ref decisions.
    Why couldnt Ritchie Macaw even thank the french for a good game.

    1. A few ‘home ground’ penalties, but then the Kiwi try resulted from an unforced error by France, and they also introduced a debutant halfback with five minutes to go, one point down in the RWC final – who promptly knocked on.

      They had their chances…

    2. I agree …why couldn’t the New Zealand captain at least acknowledge the contest and how well France played….. bad form NZ… bad form.. it is just a game

      1. Tell that to a kiwi! Brace for the ‘best world cup ever, best team ever, best final ever’ type chat.

        The kiwis enter the ‘dual champions’ club and deservedly so. But one could argue that they can’t win one away from home.

  4. If Piri made his kicks, there would be no way the French would have even come close, but he didn’t and that made for the drama

    1. That’s rubbish. Trinh-Duc, and Yashvilli had their chances too. It was very tight.
      The key moment in the game for me was the ankle tap on Trinh-Duc, who looked unstoppable with the ball in hand. He would have been totally clear but for that tackle. That try would have given the French enough time and momentum to win it I think. Alas, he was stopped just about!

      1. oh, and Piri Weepu made that ankle tap on Trinh-Duc so he’s my vote for player of the year now. If not him, then Dusautoir please. Nonu bottled it. New Zealand were outplayed. Joubert (meat eater) favored the Kiiwis.

  5. I am no fan of the French but found myself rooting for them, no-one really gave them a prayer before the match but they played out of their skins and imho made the AB’s look pretty ordinary for much of the game. But it’s all about winning & congrats to the AB’s, over the whole of the WC they have been the outstanding team.

  6. Even when ABs win people try to minimize their performance. The Aussies can’t win at home because they can’t cope with home pressure. The Boks one their 1st Rwc against a sick ABs team who thrashed them a tr later. Their 2nd RWC in 07 was by not playing anyone other than ENGLAND. U can make statements about every team to find negatives. 85 percent winning record over last 100 tests. There is no doubt who is the best consistently.

  7. Cramps, “can’t win away from home” is a the ABs are the winningest team in history winning away from home. As a Kiwi I am in a room with 42 people and we all think France was awesome. As for best this and best that I say again. No team EVER has the ABs record since professionalism took the game over or prior. So if they r not the best who is?

    1. Can’t knock the all blacks’ consistency, or their winning record. I agree that they’re deserved winners.

      I was just having a little dig about only being able to win the RWC at home. Just a bit of niggle.

    2. yeah, but for all that huff and puff, you were a tamed beast. Everyone is human.
      I though the French were mentally tougher than you today. They had the bottle, the momentum, the skill, the flair, and pace etc. They made you look second rate. The French lost that game by not taking their kicks. You were outplayed. All they had to do was take the kicks and you would have been toast.

      1. New Zealand missed 8 points with the boot. How many did France miss? I actually can’t remember but I don’t think it could have been much more or even as many..SO to say the French lost the game by not taking their kicks is true – but a retarded way of looking at it – because NZ missed just as many.

        The ref was biased. IF there were a few 50/50 calls in favour of NZ then I think that’s fairly standard in a home ground RWC final. The French got far more of a hand up in 2007 – 22 missed penalties in the 2nd half. Nothing like that here.

        The best team won at the end of the day – converting into points is the only worthy measure of a team. It was close obviously though. well done france. everyone in NZ is full of praise for the French. I think Richie was simply to stunned he just plainly forgot – the man could hardly speak.

        1. yes the man could hardly string the words together !!!!
          he is the captain for his rugby skills but not for his capabilitity with the English language.

          But perhaps he just thought it was going to be a walk over and when it was not he just did not know how to explain himself .
          Gracious is not a word which most professional sportsmen of any sport have in their vocabulary .

  8. we did it!!!!!!!! we did it!!!!!!! after the world cup in 95, you can,t believe how good this is!!!!!

  9. Congrats to the All Blacks, I think they deserve it on overall form even if the French were marginaly better today.

    There were some dodgy refereing decisions, not criminal but as said on TV, the AB got all the 50/50 calls. There was a high tackle just before the penalty that donald kicked and I thought Franks was lift his outside foot off the floor putting downward force on Poux that forced him to crumple. BUT NZ deserve a little luck due to their consistant performance during the WC and the year. I’m happy for them.

    I have to say though, what kind of a game did Thierry Dusautoir have, I think one of the best I have ever seen from anybody anywhere, ever. Add to that the fact that he has held together a group of disfunctional players without any help from the coach and you have to say he is one hell of a captain.

    So is Ritchie though, you have to hand it to the AB for deraling with all the injuries at 10, how many teams could have dome that

  10. Congrats to the Blacks! Globally u have been the best, even if not today…French were better.8 / 7 is not so glorious (to be compared with the poor 9 /8 France – Wales).
    One thing will be kept in French memory: the scandalous NZ newspapers, so injurious, so arrogant during the past week.They have insulted France.
    They should learn about humility.
    Happily NZ supporters and your population is very fair play and really nice!
    Congratulations again from a French supporter, Patrick, Paris France.

  11. France played the better game. FACT. NZ were beyond LUCKY on the day. FACT! Sorry, do I sound French? Well, I am :) Having said that, I agree that NZ played a better tournament – semi-final agianst Aust. was proof of the pudding… ***trying to be dignified in defeat***!!!

  12. France played a better game, but Yachvilli’s opening penalty in the opening minutes of the second half would’ve surley one them the game…but the Blacks had a better tournament and there performence in the semis was worthy of the cup…

  13. I’m sorry, but did nobody else think that Joubert was too scared to ref the match properly? How many high tackles and killing of the ball by “the world’s best player” does it take to I’ve a penalty in the the last 15 mins of the match? I agree that NZ were the best team in the tournament, but they didn’t play well enough to win the match … Craig Joubert did that for them!

    1. yeah, I thought they were fully ready to bottle it in the second half, and I strongly believe if the French scored first, they would have been all over them. The AB’s are beatable, and still every bit bottlers. Under a different ref, they would have lost.

  14. Balon et al. As a NZ Maori, i thought the French played fantastic, and silenced the media. You all say that the french played the better game, but our defense won at the end of the day – whos talking about that? Also – if Piri Weepu knocked over all the kicks that NZ earned in the first half, the scoreline and context to the second half would have been a lot different. The French also had chances. But such is the game. I thought Joubert done a great job and was very fair and penalised both teams when they infringed because NZ did a few times, and were blown up accordingly. Accusing Joubert as one sided is a cop out by sore losers quite frankly. The best team with the greatest heart won – and we should all be thankful for a great tense match which was free of referreeing controversy so that the sides themselves decided the outcome. We thank the (sometimes erratic) French for rising to the occasion to give us a memorable final match that topped off a great tournament in the land of the long white cloud.

  15. No amount of crowing about poor losers can conceal the facts. Unfortunately for neutrals the biggest topic of conversation was the performance of Mr Joubert. The AB’s were the team of the tournament and of the last four years. However they relied on a seriously flawed home town refereeing performance to win the final. What a pity!

  16. All Cheats. Ref was lazy at the break down. 7min to go, 10m in AB terrirtory, the French pushed and popped the entire AB front row – penalty! No Juobert lets it go just as he did the constants break down infringements and shielding inside runners with loitering fwds. France were on fior and the better teams. From Australia.

  17. Unfortunately, typical expected response from a not so gracious in defeat plumber, “mate.” It was a game of 2 halves – NZ definately had the first and the French definately the second. But 10 penalties against the french (come on – they arent all imagined infringements by Joubert (a south african not a “home town” ref) as you would have us believe – maybe they actually did infringe?) and 13 errors by the french showed they had their chances but didnt take them. Dont blame the ref people – thats a cop out. It was a fair game, and in a pressure cooker final, it game down to sheer will – and the all blacks had more of that than the french. The only stat that mattered was the final score at the full time, all said and done. Peace!

  18. Never mind about all u people comments…u’re just jealous b’cos AB beat the hell out of your teams!!!…..

  19. Hi everybody….I was watching this fantastic final…in a packed Bar in San Francisco….and I was in France when we host the World Cup in 2007 .In France AB have millions of fans….and they wanted to make sure for a great tournament ..and .that what.s happened…big time…this year your Press and media were absolutely awful…stupid and mean…comments by players as well…So i am asking them a question? How do you feel today? NZ were outplayed and got very lucky, the crowd in the Stadium were crapping in their pants…scared to death….but France was like Wales if you miss your chances ..if you don’t take your chances ..Blame yourself…Congrats to you..

    1. Well said Dominique. And that’s the way to deal with the Hakka. Embrace it. Embrace the battle. The All Blacks like to think they are some mysterious force that cannot be stopped. They are only human rugby players, and against France, the emperor had no clothes. Even Richie McCaw said he thought the French were going to win it. They were crapping themselves alright. The French were all over them, and have a way better temperament. They enjoyed the atmosphere whereas it got the better of the AB’s with Nonu having a bad game, and NZ generally lacking in any edge. The AB’s missed Carter more than the French missed Parra though.

      1. and as for temperament- massive yarn by you Balon. THe AB’s had more pressure on them than any other team can imagine – if you are a real fan I wont have to convince you of that. The French were written off and no-one expected anything. Yet we won. we defended for 20mins and didnt concede any obvious infringements. That’s temperament.

    2. I feel fantastic – this tournament is being lauded by the world media as incredible and we have been amazing hosts .

      The world media wrote off the French, not the All Blacks – NZer’s have lost to France too many times to not expect an amazing final.

      Get over yourself – in 2007 the All Blacks were on the receiving end of Wayne Barnes and when we complained we were called poor losers – he missed up to 22 penalties – we had 77% possession and 80% territory for an entire half and still lost because France tackled their hearts out and we didn’t capitalise.

      This game was a game of two halves but it was nothing like that – we were too strong on defence and had too much stamina – we deserved to win and you re a bit of a wanker for trying to take that away from us

      1. Noone can take it away from you. But we can wind you up :) France were better in attack I thought and were unlucky. The NZ try was soft. Could have gone either way. You are the champions. Don’t worry about that part!

  20. Every reasonable person must acknowledge that AB performace during the RWC was amazing – unfortunately AB v. Australia was not a final match – it would be good for the game and the best advert for the sport you can imagine. France play at RWC was horrible – just look at their matches one after another – nobody can simply deny it – it is just clear. Rgd the ref – well, I did not see this guy to protect the AB “try zone” against French. Did you?

  21. Bottom line is that the best team in the tournament won without a shadow of a doubt, sure it wasn’t a pretty final but i’d rather a team win it that won all of their games rather than one that lost two in the group stage especially to Tonga!

    The only thing I will say is that it has created a bit of a monkey for New Zealands back as South Africa, Australia and England have all won The World Cup outside of their own countries, New Zealand haven’t and lets face it, its easier to win at home than it is away!

  22. What a game, and what an environment to be in!

    Was a true RWC Final – both sides had amazing defence. Still in a state of disbelief that the ABs managed to pull it off. Hugely proud of them!

    Thierry Dusautoir – what a player. In the last RWC 2007 QF he made 38 tackles against the ABs and this time he scored a try as well as tackling like a demon. He is a big game player all right! Sad for France; have produced the best teams to not have won the RWC. And are still the team that can go from one end of the spectrum to the other in the quickest amount of time.

    Very disappointed with some of the comments on this blog in recent weeks with continual moaning about the refereeing of the games and the insinuation or outright accusation of bias or cheating by what are professional referees.

    The game of rugby is not like snooker or darts and if you are a rugby fan you need to realise that. There are many areas of the game that are grey – most of all the ruck. I have no doubt that if a referee wanted to be absolutely pedantic he could blow his whistle at every ruck in any given high-intensity match for a technical infringement such as leaving the feet, not being bound to another player, or not-releasing / handling the ball.

    However, the best refs in the game referee in the spirit of the game by trying to allow the game to flow while making it as fair a contest as possible. So please ask yourself what kind of game you want to watch or play – I for one certainly don’t want one where the whistle is blown every 30 seconds.

    An as a final comment: please don’t judge all Kiwis on our media. They are paid to generate controversy not to be humble! I think if you asked the average person who was travelled down here for the RWC their experience would be positive (I have talked to quite a lot myself and that was the feedback I got).

  23. A great tournament embraced by the whole of NZ , the flavour of this came through in the media but those who travelled (not me unfortunately ) have confirmed this .

    In one sense I’m almost sad that the next Final will not be held in one country Wales (and France ?) having snaffled a group as the price for voting for England . While this means that Wales will play at home it does mean a dilution of the impetus and public awarenes that can be built up when a whole country gets on board. Anyway if we had to travel up to Twickenham or Wembley or Manchester for Welsh games this would emphasise the fact that the World Cup is different.

    NZ missed their kicks (most of them anyway ) and wo by one point other sides missed theirs and lost by the same margin (well Wales anyway ) on such small margins World cups are won and lost.

    1. Why is it that the Welsh always need to take a pop and England?

      England hosting in 2015 has nothing to do with the fact the last time England hosted was 1991 and oh by the way Wales hosted in 1999 if you need reminding, so why should Wales host again before the country where the game was invented?

      To be honest it seems like an act of faith for a poor small country to use the Millenium Stadium as a home ground as we have more than enough adequate stadia in England.

      1. Can’t for the life of me see how my comment is seen as having a pop at England ! My comment was that Wales “snaffled” a home group as a price for voting for the RFU to hold the next World Cup although historically this relates to a similar voting trade off in the 99 Cup.

        I then expressed a preference for the Cup to be held in one country in this case England and that I would be happy to travel there to see Wales games .

        So my support is for a Cup in one country and nothing whatever to do with Wales/England .

  24. Partly the final just showed a weakness in rugby as a game: the team with more penalties wins. Wales was clearly the better team in the semi, and France was clearly the better team in the final. As good as nz are otherwise, they were mostly outplayed in the final. Referees have too much descretion in rugby, who can even understand why half of the penalties are given and when?

    1. That isn’t true. The team with more points wins. Your choice of game for proving your point is very selective. What about the Aus vs NZ semi? The Wales vs Ireland quarter? SA vs Namibia? Any of the other thousands of games played each year. There are plenty of games won by means other than kicking 3 point penalties. Just maybe not Scotland vs England ;-)

      Also France weren’t clearly the better team in the final. They did finish stronger though. The stats show the game was pretty even in most parts (–new-zealand-v-france-20111023-1me9g.html)

      There is another form of the game which a lot of people favour as its simpler rules and structures mean that referees make fewer ‘arbitrary’ decisions. It is a great game in its own right. Maybe this is the game for you?

      1. Here, here Tana, couldn’t of said it better myself, Neutral is obviously Welsh and still griping about the right decision for the sending off in the Semi, get over it and move on!

  25. First of all, I can confirm that I have eaten my hat. Allain Rolland did not ruin the final and France did not get wallopped by 25 points. I apologise to both of the above!

    Secondly, well done NZ – worthy winners, and although I would suggest France shaded the play in the final, it is the score on the board at the end of 80 mins that counts.

    HOWEVER, I am somewhat dismayed by the comments that have been made above. Joubert had a poor game. He missed several infringements on up and unders, one of which led up to the game winning score, didn’t spot some huge offsides, seemed lax at the breakdown and scrum. In my opinion most of these were to the favour of the AB’s. At the end of the day the team on the field plays the game as they can and the AB’s took advantage of this – good luck to them.

    I think just about every neutral has the same opinion on the reffing, but I can’t believe the comments the kiwis on this blog have made. If I had a penny for every time Wayne Barnes has been blamed for losing the AB’s a RWC I’d be a rich man, so what do you do when you benefit from a poor ref – you just blame the rest of the World for being ungracious. I’m sorry but I’ve just lost a huge amount of respect for the kiwis as a nation – you winge more than us poms!

    1. Im with you staggy.

      as a neutral, i thought reffing was really poor.

      I think about 4 high tackles went unnoticed, 2 right in front of the touch judge.

      I actuualy thought for once, conrad smith got schooled by his oppsite number. Rougerie was huge.

      1. Yes, sorry, forgot to mention the high tackles! Never thought that any of them were really dangerous but they were high and should have been penalised. Most of them were worse than the one that Delon Armitage (I think it was him?) got cited for on Patterson. I wonder how many citings will come out of this game or will it all be conveniently forgotten!

    2. yes I agree about the referring .
      they are now professionals which means a) we can expect the best b ) when they make mistakes they can expect criticism .

      there was far too much inconsistency and the referees were far too ” prominent “. the best referee is the one who is unseen and respected by the players. it appears that such a beast no longer exists in the professional world of modern rugby .
      However , the rugby world has got to learn and move forward after every world cup so here’s hoping to a more consistently high standard of referring and to coaches being more adventurous especially the English one !!!!

      As for the AB’s they were not the world class team we had all been lead to believe and they one by one point. That is the fact and the Kiwis will have to come to terms with that .

    3. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Kiwis do whinge about the ref at least as much as supporters from other nations. And it is a fair generalisation that Kiwis have blamed Wayne Barnes for the loss to France in 2007.

      However I am a Kiwi and I don’t see blame the ref for that game. I have always argued that the ABs had more than enough possession, territory, and shots at goal to have won the game, regardless of the referee.

      The fault for that particular loss was with the players and coach, not the ref. Mauger could have been on the field to take a drop goal. Luke McAllistar could have landed a relatively easy penalty kick. McCaw should have realised the ref wasn’t going to give many penalties to the defending team and shouldn’t have persisted with one-off pick and goes.

      France had the opportunity on Sunday to win the game but missed their kicks. If they had landed them and won the game then many Kiwis would no doubt have found something to nit-pick about the game. In which case I would have been disappointed with their complaints too.

      The losers of all of the close games in the tournament that I can remember had their opportunities to win and didn’t take them. Yes it could be argued that they should have had more or less opportunities and that is the fault of the ref, but if you don’t take the ones that you are given to you then that is the fault of the players.

  26. I’m happy in a way the AB’s won it as they have been consistently the best.
    But, I’m also happy they didn’t win it in style and the French were the better team. This is reflected in Thierry Dusoutoir getting man of the match.:

    “Two debating points. Why did Joubert stop play when Cruden was injured but not when Parra went down. Dusautoir went absolutely mad at Joubert and quite right too. Poor reffing.

    And secondly how did that injury happen exactly. New Zealand TV not keen to show the replay. Did anybody catch it? ”

    For ONCE, New Zealand were not the best team in a game, and rugby is all the better for it. They are deserved champs but they are not super human – far from it!
    The French were more relaxed and composed in the second half, and if they got a break, they would have had the AB’s on the ropes.

    1. balon, amazingly we tend to agree on this!

      Personally, I think that the AB’s do not play many games under pressure (because they normally win by a country mile) and therefore are not as used to it as most of the other teams in the tournament who normally have much closer games and consequently have the experience to cope with it. This tends to come home to roost in a pressure cooker such as the RWC.

      Therefore what I am trying to say is that the AB’s would probably be more successful if they weren’t as good!!

    2. I’m in agreement with both of you guys.

      For me, the jury’s out on the tournament as a whole. I think that the IRB has to sit down and work out a tournament plan that is entertaining and develops the minnows – ie through fairer match scheduling (granted that’s been agreed) and establishing the plate competition. Also the sponsorship fines were a farce.

      It also seems a shame that I (and others) have a lower opinion of the kiwis than before the tournament began. The stories of poor treatment of spectators (mostly from nations like Australia who have helped New Zealand with the Christchurch Earthquake clean up) and booing of Quade Cooper (and before you get into that, let’s remember that McCaw did start it by kicking him in the nuts), may have been partially media beat up but everything from the Prime Minister wading into the debate on England’s black jersey to threatening a boycott of the 2015 world cup just came across as churlish and small minded.

      I look forward to catching up with the guys who went there to see what their experiences were like.

      1. Another interesting point about ‘Les blancs’. They won the toss and could have stuck the AB’s into white gear and worn blue themselves. That alone was big. I think the French were too kind. But, wearing white did allow them to take the moral high ground, and be fully psyched to beat them, which they should have and almost did!

        1. Yep, fantastic show of sportsmanship by France.

          Also loved the way that challenged the Haka. Best response to it I have ever seen!

          One thing is for sure is that no matter how France have played even weeks before, when it comes to knock out rugby against the ABs they bring their A game!

      2. I have to say that I spent some time in NZ when younger and found everyone I met to be sound and pretty fair minded – that’s what makes the whingeing that’s going on harder to stomach.

        It’s normally us English that shoot ourselves in the foot and make ourselves unpopular! I am quite happy to pass over the baton on this one by the way, although I’m sure that our powers that be, will find a way to make ourselves unpopular again as it has been at least 10 days since English rugby has done anything wrong!!

        And totally agree with your other comments. They have to sort out the reffing as well. I am concerned that the game is so fast and so much is at stake, that we may end up with more refs in a game, perish the thought. I think American Football has 7! How many do football have now? I think there are about 5 fourth officials! TV coverage doesn’t help in that all mistakes by the ref are clearly there for everyone to mull over.

        Another thing that’s been bugging me (sorry – starting to rant) – how many weeks will McCaw be banned for after kneeing Parra in the head. Lawes got two weeks for less and McCaw does have history, but I bet it isn’t even cited!

    3. I don’t agree with this new policy of the ref not pausing play for injuries after a stop in play at all! How can a ref tell if a player has seriously injured themselves or not?

      In one of the other games (maybe Arg vs NZ) one of the players (Lobbe I think) was down injured for a long time for what looked like a serious injury and the play was very close to him – what if he had a broken leg and someone else landed on it? Doesn’t seem in the players best interests at all. Maybe it is in the TV advertising partners’ best interests in terms of controlling the length of the game more tightly? Does anyone know the reasoning?

      Great game by France – definitely worthy of a RWC final. The ABs started well but their structure fell apart (or more likely was taken apart by the pressure applied by France) in the second half and they were clinging on for dear life. Never believed that it would be a blowout by NZ though as plenty of people had expected. I still remember ’07 and ’99 too clearly. ’11 will be a happy memory for me though :-)

  27. Anyone got any views on one incident just before the kiwi try – I thought that a French player got taken out in the air by a kiwi under a high ball. Not sure who either player was, but remember thinking it could have been a yellow at the time. The kiwi didn’t even try to play the ball – just grabbed the Frogs shirt and pulled him down. Fortunately it wasn’t dangerous, but Warburton did have the letter of the law rammed down his throat!

    Is my memory correct? – I’ll blame a large wedding party with free bar the night before if it isn’t!

    1. I seem to remember the same thing

      Re McCaw’s knee to Parra’s head. I thought it was distinctly dodgy at the time and the lack of replays made me even more suspicious.

      However, I’ve had a good look at this and now think it was entirely innocent – he seems to have been focused on Dusautoir and Parra was just unfortunate

      1. I didn’t think Lawes was intentional – still got cited and banned! For the record I didn’t think McCaw’s knee was intentional.

  28. Surely the AB’s try should have been dis allowed, clearly a well worked move straight from the training field, am I the only person who noticed that the AB’s number 8 Kieran Read took out Imanol Harinordoquy off the ball, preventing a covering tackle on Tony Woodcock.

    1. as a kiwi i do have to say that we should have thanked the french..what a game. a game to go down in history.

      If it was a purposeful decision then it might have something to do with the fact that the french came out and said before the game that they were going to purposefully target McCaws foot during the game – that if they could injure key players (like carter in07) then they’d have a better chance.

      i dont know if you guys got that but but it was a massive story here. I know that the NZ (and world) media were unfair to them during the build up but thats pretty shocking and i lost a bit of respect for them

      1. I don’t think that that would be true. I really hope not anyway.

        France are a very honourable team. Their decision to allow the ABs to have the right to wear their traditional kit showed great sportsmanship.

        I have been to France quite a few times, including the 2007 RWC. Every time I have been there and the French realised I was an AB supporter they have been amazingly friendly and welcoming. I also think that the average French supporter is extremely gracious in victory and defeat – you only need to ask someone who was at Cardiff. I have also seen them applaud the ABs when they won in France and yet boo their own team for not playing well. Can’t see that happening any time soon in NZ.

        I think it was a big oversight by Richie to not acknowlege the French in his post-match interview, but it was also an oversight by the interviewer who, as a Kiwi, was too busy revelling in the victory.

        I would really like to see Richie make a public apology for the oversight as I would hate to think that the great rugby relations between these 2 nations was damaged by it.

        1. well it is true one of their coaches said it during the pre match hype. I saw it on the news. The French are an honourable team – no doubt – and we have a lot to learn in terms of their passion. But they also have a reputation for dirty paly – eye gouging etc. In fact, Keith Quinns has just come out and revealed that someone close to the team informed him that richie McCaw was targetted and eye gouged:

          Im just saying, before everyone starts bagging NZers as arrogant – given that we usually thank our opponents- perhaps there is a reason we didn’t.

          1. Wow, that’s a real shame. I really hope that people and the media don’t try to tarnish the whole French team and their wonderful game for that moment though.

  29. Hi! I felt like ginving my French point of view. AB’s were the best team throughout the tournament (even during the lasts maybe 8 years). But you’ve got to win a final to be the champions. And it looks like they won it thanks to the ref but i was expecting such “home” ref.
    I feel bad because I think France showed a class difference to the blacks during this final and hadn’t it been for the AB’s slowing down the balls illegally, we would have had more chance scoring a 2nd try.
    + I think it’s really stupid from the French line-out to jump with 2blocks when defending less than 10 meters from the try line.

    I don’t mind so much now, because it’s really weird to watch a final on a sunday morning, and it’s not the best to go party (why the hell do it on a sunday??!!!!).. I bet nobody went to work on monday in NZ. So it would have been annoying to spoil a historic sport moment and not be able to really enjoy it during a full week-end!

  30. From comment 45, no I’m not welsh, Australian but a neutral one. Nz clearly beat Australia in the semi, my point is one about the code, and the role of the referees within it. In soccer it is a miserable performance by the ref if he makes 2 or 3 poor decisions in the whole game. How many of those did we see on Sunday. To me, and apparently from judging the rest of these comments, the better team lost on Sunday, due in large part to a miserable referee, home ground advantage is a pathetic excuse in international sport today.

    1. As I have repeatedly said, the contact area in rugby (especially the ruck) makes it a more complex sport than most others, including soccer – after all offsides, fouls, hand balls aren’t that hard to call are they. For this reason it will always be possible for different people to interpret the ruck differently from how the referee interprets it. This doesn’t make the ref wrong though.

      It seems maybe the IRB need to make yet another attempt to make the breakdown easier to ref in order to make this less of a grey area and more of a black and white area.

      I disagree that the better team lost (of course I would – I am a Kiwi). France lost 2 pool games in this tournament, one of them to the ABs by 20 points, the other to a ‘minnow’ team. It seems like the title “World Champions” would not quite suit such a team.

      1. I often only read reactions

        But if you think that “World Champions” would not quite suit a team that lost 2 pool games. Please change the rules before …

        If the world champion is not the team who win the final … please say it first.

        1. Yes, of course you are right, winning the final earns a team the right to call themselves World Champions.

          I guess my point is that pretty much all previous RWCs have been won by the team that was dominant for a period of years at that time. Aussie won at the peak of the Eales era in 99. England were beating the SH teams on a regular basis around 2002 and 2003 and their key players like Johnson and Wilkinson were the best in the world. SA from 2006 to 2009 were on top of their game with wins over the Lions and beating NZ for 3 times in a year for the first time for over 50 years. They also ended a string of defeats by England.

          NZ went into the RWC this time as clear favourites. They have had arguably the 2 best players in the world for quite a long time. They have had several grand slams in recent years, defeated SA 3 times last year, beat Aussie 10 times in a row. The timing of this tournament coincides with a peak in performance by them.

          France struggled throughout the tournament and had a great game against England and then a better one against NZ in the final. Before that though Japan pushed them, Tonga beat them, NZ smashed them, and they scraped past a 14 man Welsh team.

          If they had won on Sunday then fantastique for them and it would have been a glorious victory. However, lets be honest – if they had won it would have been a huge upset. The same as if England had beaten SA in the final in 2007.

        2. The better team won because they had more points. If we depart from this rule in this situation then we undermine most RWC’s.

          In all RWC’s there have been games where the reffing was controversial – look at 07 – France were given a huge leg up by Barnes (im not just talking about forward passes). IF NZ had won that game – what would have happened after that? We are left with ‘collateral’ everywhere in every world cup.

          It sucks but we just have to deal with it. IMO the reffing was sometimes average but i also think alot of people on here are getting carried away too. the penalty count was 10-7 (not outrageous), and France stuffed up a lot of their chances. Also, NZ’s kicks were a lot easier – if Piri hadnt had a nightmare the game could have gone down a whole different direction – it wasn’t all French Splendor – we dominated the first 30mins.

      2. Have to disagree with you to a certain extent. As a football coach (for my sins!), I still understand the laws of rugby better than football – however most of the law interpretation on a football field revolves around the ball, except for offside which is generally governed by the linesman (Sorry – assistant referee!). On a rugby pitch the ref needs eyes in the back of his head to watch the defence going offside behind him and the skulduggery in the ruck in front of him!

        Also how hard is it to call a high tackle or taking out a player in the air – not that hard, but seeing it when everything else is going on is a problem or at least it seemed to be for Joubert. I just think that the game is too fast for one ref to handle and I dread saying that.

        Sorry but also disagree with your last comment. The AB’s are World Champions. However had France won they would have been World Champions. It isn’t whether you lose games on the way, it’s who wins the final that counts. It also doesn’t matter that I think France shaded the play in the final, the AB’s were ahead on the score sheet at full time.

        1. To be fair in my first comment I did say Yes, of course you are right, winning the final earns a team the right to call themselves World Champions. And I do agree that it is the score sheet the counts; it seems that other people are missing that point and just blame the ref.

          Which leads me to next point: although you may understand the rules of the game, and I may understand them, that doesn’t mean that if we were reffing a particular game that we would draw the same conclusion over whether or not team x or team y infringed at the breakdown or scrum.

          You only have to look at the continued spectrum of praise and criticism, and amount of penalties in some games or turnovers in others, for players like McCaw and Pocock to see that the rules, though understood by refs, players, and most fans, are very open to interpretation. This makes it quite absurd to me that the refs are continually criticised to such a strong degree. It seems that fans of all teams and from all nations are forever placing blame on the refs for their teams’ results, and I don’t think that that is in the Spirit of the great game of Rugby.

          As for this particular game, I have to watch a replay before I can concur with you, though as you said, taking a player out in the air and being tackled high should be fairly straightforward calls for a ref and the touch judges to call as there are only 2 players involved.

          The critical things in the game that I do remember from watching it the first time though are quite a few missed kicks from both teams and a good break (from Rougerie?) that was only stopped by a desperate ankle tap…all opportunities to win the game that were missed by the players ;-)

          1. Fair comment – I was replying to your 8.38am comment – just slow typing it!!

            As to the laws – I agree it is easy to sit in a chair and shout at the screen with the benefit of a tv replay, or a tv angle on the incident. There are also some areas where infringement is a matter of opinion and I think most rugby players and supporters take the “some you win, and some you lose” attitude in the long run, while arguing with the decision at the time. (Just for the record, I would in no way say that I understand all of the laws of the game – as an ex flanker and wing, I have no idea what goes on in the front row!)

            I still contend that the reffing on Sunday was poor and quite a number of infringements in all of the areas mentioned already were missed. Some were quite clearly penalties. I’m not having a go at the AB’s – they can only play the game as it is reffed on the day – good luck to them. I’m not really blaming the ref as I think he reffed it as well as he was capable of. I am however blaming the system which allows so many infringements to go unpunished. How you sort that out, I do not know, but then I’m not paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to manage the game at an international level. (I am always open for such job offers if available!!)

  31. My opinion is from an half french guy

    Joubert, not a great game for him. Ok, some reasons

    – He is a SH referee, which mean he knows well all AB players. He dont know well all French players.
    In order to keep autorithy in final he watch more closely French players.
    – He was at Eden, with a crowd. So he has unfortunately some responsability in security. He stops the game for Cruden not for Parra
    And I dont think it is relevant for the final victory
    – SH and NH have the same rules, but not the same appreciations of the rules. I dont know if someone can have a good one, but SH referee have often a very bad appreciation during the scrum

    I will not blame the ref. because each time in Union when the score is tight .. the calls make the diff.
    3 “so called” Poor ref :
    Aus – SA
    Wales – Fr
    Nz – Fr

    It is quite in-human, but the winner is “choosed” by the ref.
    You have to accept this. During a final in a 50/50 call .. who can blame the ref to give the ball to “the accepted best team of the last 4 years” ?

    Now my point why France was unable to push :

    – Too much fight in the non-lethal area. Too much strength lost in the 40 – 50 meters aera.
    – No lucidity in kick, they refuse to “give” the ball, which is good, but France was unable to play in the last 22.
    – Expacting referee’s whistle during the last 10 minutes on scrum when searching a “Drop position” would have been preferable.

    – No relation between Centres and Wingers during ALL the RWC, not only during final
    the only moment in RWC where there was relation is vs England, why ? because england back are so strong and heavy that they play near the ruck. Clerc and Palisson were also near to fellow action.
    Vs Wales and NZ, wingers were isolated in order to fellow Williams, Jane or Dagg.
    Wingers only touch the ball via Médard during counter, in their last 30 … which is quite useless.

    – No ingenuity after pick and go. What to do with the ball ? France in second half advance on every impact, but was unable to use the advantage.
    Trinh Duc was not fellowed

    NZ win the match … but lost something
    They often in WC consider themself as victime (1995 and 2007 at least) of the system
    Now the harder begin for them. The NZ press is ugly …

    For France the “Hyde and Jeckyll” syndrome is now accepted.
    As said one of my english friend

    “The french team is not suitable as world champion, but we need it in order to not have a boring world cup”

    1. “The french team is not suitable as world champion, but we need it in order to not have a boring world cup”

      Oh how gracious for the French, does that mean that a team present in, five semi finals, three or four finals and now third in the IRB rankings will always be there to prop up the obvious champions.

      That sounds a bit like the NZ press, much suited for soccer style tabloid reporting.

      1. to be fair the whole world wrote them off just just us. God the French were good.

        I agree with you Benedict though, we (NZ) have lost something…but i think we ll actually be better for it.

        Until we start decimating most teams again for the next four years, upon which time we ll go back to being arrogant. Only natural.

        1. I didn’t. I fancied them heavily at 6~7 /1 and when they got that try I really started to regret not putting on the bet! France didn’t need to beat Tonga, they didn’t need to beat New Zealand and they didn’t need to score a try against Wales (14 men). They needed to bring their A games against England and NZ (2nd. game) only and they did. I’m curious what would have happened if Mad Marc started with Trinh-Duc for the first half and brought Parra on for the second. We’ll never know!

  32. France, leave IRB, a nauseating anglo-saxon “mafia” organization.
    I have never seen a shame like this: Joubert and the All Blacks cheaters never penalized. How can a shame like this can exist?? Unbelievable and certainly something very very bad for the reputation of rugby and it’s so sad.
    I respected All Blacks but now, it’s really over for me!

    1. That s poor form by you Carhillen. Its not the AB’s fault they werent penalised – you think France wouldn’t try and get away with it? what about the entire 2nd half in 07? what about the eye gouge on Richie McCaw – you can see that footage its all over the net..

      yet we haven’t laid a complaint – this chat just creates further bad blood.

    2. however upset you rightly are leaving the RFU would be like leaving the EU
      you wont do that will you !!!!!

  33. Well i’m french and i’m very proud of my team. Why still talking about referee?maybe Craig joubert protects the all blacks but in 2007 the 2nd try of France it’s not available. Congratulations for AB which is the best team in the world and i think personnaly that sunday night there was just one team in the world which could do what France did. The all blacks deserve to win their world cup but now they all Know that it always will be a big fight against France and that’s why we can be proud. We are so close of AB’s level.congratulations to Wales by the way, incredible tournament!!

    1. “and i think personnaly that sunday night there was just one team in the world which could do what France did. ”

      2 teams could have. Australia at their best would be the other. For attacking style of rugby, NZ, Aus, and France are the most impressive IMO. Great to see that those teams are #1, #2, and #3 in the world after this world cup. That’s the benefit of a generally poor showing by no. 10’s at this WC. It was great WC. But not in the opinions of English, SA, or Irish/Samoans even. Best final ever as far as I’m concerned. Unfortunately, England have by far the biggest rugby population, so this WC might not be remembered or regarded in the way it should. I hate to say it but SA, Ireland, and England getting knocked out might have been a good thing for the spectacle, and quality in the end. Samoa beating Wales and then beating Ireland might have also been better for spectacle, but Samoa are still missing something, as are Ireland – quality backs.

      1. Not sure about Australia in a final – sure their backs and their number 7 are extremely dangerous but I don’t think their tight 5 are there yet and they need someone else in the loose trio to backup Pocock.

        France and SA are the 2 teams I was most worried about seeing in the final against the ABs. Reason why is because they both have extremely strong tight and loose forwards, heaps of experience in key positions, and very accurate goal kickers. I think SA’s weakness though is they haven’t focused much on attacking back play for a long time; they definitely should have done more with 75% or so possession in the 1/4s. France however can put together some amazing tries when they feel like it.

        I think Robbie Deans should go coach England and focus on the backs and Martin Johnson should go to Aussie and focus on the forwards.

        Samoa could do with a bit more structure in the forwards and a better tactical kicking game. They took SA apart in the backs department though when they ran – I have never seen the wraparound work so well. Missed Pisi a hell of a lot in their game against Wales too.

        1. I disagree with you. France and Aus are much more mobile than SA. The AB’s would have carved more opportunities against them in the final, just as they did in the tri-nations. Steyns’ kicking would have been the main issue.

    2. Very gracious of you Antoine – you should be very proud. And don’t worry I for one always worry when the All Blacks are going to play the French – especially in the knock out stages of the World Cup!

      I thought it was amazing how the French team pulled together as the tournament got tighter. Dusautoir must be a fantastic captain to have kept the team together when it looked like the coach and players were falling out.

      Would be interested in seeing how the French prepare for the big games vs the other games as they were a whole different team on Sunday.

  34. Jeremy is judging my message poor…

    And yours, what do you think it is??

    Sorry, but go around the world and you will see how this match has been for the reputation of ABs.

    Why don’t you speak on they destroyed M. Parra by two times intentionally?

    Why don’t you speak of the bad influence on Joubert that is a coward (more than 30 fouls against ABs not sanctionned on rucks, on mauls, on scrums, on high tackles, for Parra intentional destruction)?

    Why don’t you speak of the garbage nz press that has insulted France as usual with the anglo-saxon press (french bashing)?

    Didn’t you see that there is absolutely no fair play from ABs that are considered as cheaters. Go read for example the SAs and what they think about the final, abour their referee Joubert and about the final?

    Why Mac Caw has the right to do what he wants (and other ABs) on every match then it is systematically penalized for other teams and continue over and over cheating on rucks (if he had a “good spirit”, he will not repeat again and agian these types of actions)?

    Didn’t you read that the rugby world is fed up of this ABs favoristism?

    I suggest France to leave IRB that is an anglo-saxon mafia organization and Lapasset is their servile servant. For sure and i am not the only one to say this, it’s very very bad for rugby and its so-called fair-play.

    By masking all these hard facts, sure you will have a “civilized” conversation but it will be only an illusion and you will lock rugby in a very bad trend, like the football.

  35. Well said Carhillen. It should be added that during the France-Wales semi final, fans was outraged at ref Roche sending off their captain on a flagrant penalty. Those same fans are now turning a blind eye to ref Joubert for not respecting the rules. Sorry for the AB, they have come to beleive that winning outside the rules is better then competing with dignity, win or lose.

  36. Hey all you Knockers. Go have a look at the tape of Wayne Barns efforts in the 2007 quater final All Blacks v France. Just make sure you take off those le blue rose tinted glasses. Referee’s are human & make mistakes, just tell me who deserved to win that game. France played with great guts & character last Sunday. Lets hope their fans can feed off that. Your day will come, just as ours arrived last Sunday. Mr Joubert’s referreeing was certainly no worse than what Mr Barnes dished out four years ago, so suck it up & move on. I personally would love the breakdown to be less subjective, lets face it a penalty could be given to either side most breakdowns if a referree went by the book.

  37. It’s not because of the referee of we lost sunday, we had our chances. If trinh-duc succeed in his kick 10min before the match’s end,i think that all blacks Would never come back. And stop saying that the AB’s won without dignity, Because you have to remember that If France was in final it’s just because Canada beats Tonga.all i have to say is that we had a fantastic gamme last sunday. And we Will see in 4 Years with the same final i Hope.Go France!!!

    1. I hope to be at the next RWC in England and think it is a perfect place for France to win their first Trophy…at Twickenham…wouldn’t that be a sight to cheer all French hearts ;-).

      Great game on Sunday and good luck for the next one to all teams!

      Hope England can host a great one too!

  38. Feel cheated by the ref. missed forward passes, missed illigal rucking, did not penanlize McCaw when he cheated, cheated and cheated. I dont know how McCaw cheated but Im sure that he did because he is a cheat. Ref was a cheat as well. Dont know how he cheated but because he loss the test to us he must have cheated.

  39. Wales were cheated big time and it was McCaw who turned a blind eye, after the dekliberate poke in the eye by a Frenchman. It should have been Wales RWC. Lets see who rules the 6 Nations!

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