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(...)

Victory for Australia will see their hooker and captain Stephen Moore, who lived in Galway until he was five years old, collect the William Webb Ellis trophy. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP Photo/Getty Images

In Australia and New Zealand the word Anzac is sacred. Anzac is the acronym for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers who fought in(...)

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

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, (...)

Australia’s prop Scott Sio runs with team-mates during a team training session in Teddington, west London. Photograph: Getty Images

Scott Sio has overcome injury and returns to the Australia side in time for the Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand at Twickenham. The prop r(...)

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’s scrum coach Mario Ledesma takes part in a team training session in Teddington, south west London. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty

In the end, this week’s public silence proved deafening. “I had no idea what he was doing, I just push on the side, mate.” That’s the point. Even Mich(...)

 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(...)

Scotland players react after their last gasp World Cup quarter-final defeat to Australia. Photograph: Getty

Australia 35 Scotland 34 Almost every game at this World Cup has provided some memorable thrills and spills but this was up there with the most grippi(...)

Australia’s outhalf Kurtley Beale in action against Wales. Beale did superbly when coming on as an early replacement against England. Photograph: AFP Photo

The preamble has been dominated by suspensions and injuries. Scotland’s appeal of the three-match bans imposed on hooker Ross Ford and secondrow Jo(...)

France’s Mathieu Bastareaud and Yoann Maestri bring Ireland hooker Rory Best crashing to the Millennium Stadium turf. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The risk is to list out all 23 Irish players and wax lyrical about their extraordinary performance. What harm? They were extraordinary and so too were(...)