Sonny Bill Williams offloads to Ma’a Nonu, who shredded the Australia defence to score New Zealand’s second try of the final. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

New Zealand 34 Australia 17 So sometimes sport leaves no room for argument and does do perfect finales after all. The best team of the last fou(...)

Richie McCaw and Dan Carter hold aloft the Webb Ellis Cup after New Zealand’s win over Australia in the World Cup Final at Twickenham. Photograph:      Stu Forster/Getty Images

New Zealand 34 Australia 17 Simply the best, and perhaps now the best of all time. In any event, it’s hard to argue a case for a better team in(...)

 Michael Cheika arrives for the World Cup semi-final against Argentina at Twickenham. Cheika has led Australia to a first World Cup final in 12 years. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Listening to Michael Cheika calmly take all refereeing decisions on the chin, it’s been hard to equate this remodelled man with the coach who once ber(...)

All Blacks prepare to perform the Haka before last week’s semi-final victory over South Africa at Twickenham. Photograph: Getty Images. 1:43

The top-two sides in the world. The two most complete sides in the tournament. The world’s best referee. The forecast is set fair, for Twickenham, (...)

New Zealand’s Richie McCaw is tackled by Australia’s David Pocock during the 2015 Rugby Championship. Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

THE BREAKDOWN Richie McCaw Position: Flanker. Age: 34. Height: 1.87m/6’ 2”. Weight: 107kg/16st 12lbs. Caps: 147 (27 tries) Why he’s so importan(...)

Centre Matt Giteau is a popular member of the Australia squad. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire 1:46

As the tournament progressed The Giteau Rule made England’s four-year plan to be successful at their own tournament look badly flawed. If Australia ma(...)

Australia’s Adam Ashley Cooper, Scott Fardy, Scott Sio, Israel Folau and Michael Hooper after the press conference. Photograph: Henry Browne/Reuters

Michael Cheika insists Australia have ignored messages of goodwill hailing their passage into the World Cup final as they refuse to target anything ot(...)

Dan Carter is the complete player. His tactical kicking, his passing, his defending were all on the money against South Africa at Twickenham. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images 1:43

On the evidence of the past fortnight New Zealand would beat Australia by 20 points if Saturday’s game was anything other than a World Cup final. Ever(...)

“Games against New Zealand can go all over the shop. Sometimes it opens up, sometimes it closes down,” says Australia assistant coach Stephen Larkham. Photograph:  Peter Cziborra/Reuters

World Cup finals in most sports tend to be anti-climactic, taut, low-scoring affairs. Understandably, neither coaches nor players are inclined to be t(...)

Australia head coach  Michael Cheika congratulates David Pocock after the Rugby World Cup semi-final victory over Argentina at Twickenham. Photograph:   Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Not exactly La Bombonera but for this night Twickenham’s groove was nothing like a rugby stadium. The 80,025 crowd was riddled with passionate Argent(...)