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There is now clarity in the land - the future of the Rugby World Cup is now in the hands of the New Zealand All Blacks. It is theirs to win or lose!
The future of the hosts New Zealnd in the 2011 Rugby World Cup is finally clear. After a wait of 24 years since they won the first ever Rugby World Cup in 1987, also in NZ, the nation knows there is only one hurdle standing in the way of the mighty All Blacks and a second ever RWC - Les Bleus - France - the bogey team for the All Blacks.
Yesterday NZ knocked their great neigbours and rivals out of the reckoning for the cup, with a magnificent effort and 20-6 semi-final win against two time cup winners Australia. The day before in the other semi-final the French had knocked out an extremely unlucky Wales from making the finals of the cup. Neither France or Wales have won a cup.
New Zealand has been knocked out of reckoning by France in two previous world cups, including the quarter finals just four years ago. New Zealand the perennially ranked Number One side in world rugby union. NZ had also lost their previous final against South Africa in 1995, in South Africa, in extra time by a single 3 point dropped goal. They had been undoubtably the favourites and top ranked team in world rugby.
Now that has all been consigned to history. Just six weeks ago 20 teams from all parts of the globe including the US, Canada and Argentina from the Americas; from Europe; the United Kingdom and Ireland; Africa; Asia; Australasia and the Pacific competed in pool play over four weeks. Twelve teams returned home and eight remained for the knockout playoffs.
Now the finalists have been found:
Australia will playoff with the terribly unlucky Welsh side for third and fourth.
New Zealand will play France in the grand final for the Webb Ellis Cup - the supreme trophy in world rugby union football.
That much is clear - in just one week it will all be over and a new RWC champion crowned - the unofficial world champion as well.