New Zealand celebrating in Twickenham after winning the World Cup. For all of Dan Carter’s magnificence, Ma’a Nonu was the key figure in delivering tries.Photograph: AFP Photo /Franck Fife

How will this World Cup be remembered? That question must be viewed from two perspectives – the champions and Ireland’s – because each provides vastly(...)

New Zealand’s fullback Ben Smith  passes to his captain Richie McCaw during World Cup final against Australia at Twickenham. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Did you spot all those tricolours in Twickenham? The ultimate triumph of hope over Argentina. In the end our people had to make do with being neutral (...)

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(...)

David Pocock and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe  in last week’s semi-final: Pocock  gave a wonderful display of thievery against Argentina. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

New Zealand and Australia will take the field on Saturday with each bidding to be the first nation to claim a third Rugby World Cup. Fans of free-flo(...)

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(...)

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen: “Leadership  . . . is a learning skill. Self-belief is a massive thing.” Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

By the end, it was all black alright. Seemingly half of New Zealand had travelled over, and as Twickenham was engulfed in rain and a black sky more li(...)

New Zealand’s winger Nehe Milner-Skudder  evades South Africa’s flanker François Louw  during the  semi-final  of the 2015 Rugby World Cup  at Twickenham on Saturday. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary, the first man to conquer Met Everest For the ages. The greatest team of all time (...)

South Africa’s lock Lood de Jager  is tackled Dan Carter, Owen Franks  and New Zealand captain Richie McCaw  during the  Rugby World Cup semi-final a Twickenham. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

It had been an absorbing, brutally physical encounter in sharp contrast to the often bitter and violent rivalry of decades gone by. Yet as befits the (...)

New Zealand’s Jerome Kaino scores his side’s first try during the Rugby World Cup semi-final against South Africa at Twickenham. Photograph:  David Davies/PA

New Zealand 20 South Africa 18 “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves,” - Edmund Hillary For the ages. The greatest team of all time met an(...)