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(...)

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(...)

Argentina’s Guido Petti Pagadizábal tries to hold up   Australia’s   flankers David Pocock (left) and Michael Hooper  in last week’s Rugby World Cup  semi-final  at Twickenham. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP

Historically, when a man touched your ball at the base of a ruck he was met with outright violence. This was accepted by the errant openside. Evidence(...)

Australia hooker Stephen Moore was born in Saudi Arabia to parents who hail from Galway and Mayo. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

An Irishman may well go where Keith Wood, Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell could not by lifting the William Webb Ellis trophy on Saturday evening. (...)

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(...)

Australia’s Adam Ashley-Cooper scores his second try during the Rugby World Cup semi-final against Argentina at Twickenham. Photograph:  David Davies/PA

Australia 29 Argentina 15 The Pumas will go home to a heroic welcome after next Friday’s bronze play-off, and will do so as the great entertainers of (...)

 David Pocock of Australia passes the ball during a training session at The Lensbury Hotel in London. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The state David Pocock and Israel Folau show up in may dictate this result. Their loss, along with Scott Sio’s busted-up elbow, would equate to Ire(...)

David Pocock returns from injury and will play at number eight for Australia in Sunday’s World cup semi-final. Photograph:   Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

Australia’s chances of toppling Argentina in Sunday’s World Cup semi-final have improved after David Pocock and Israel Folau were passed fit for the T(...)