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The New Zealand All Blacks took a giant step closer towards ending their 24-year wait to win the Rugby World Cup as they powered past Australia in today’s semi final with a 20-6 victory.

The New Zealand All Blacks took a giant step closer towards ending their 24-year wait to win the Rugby World Cup as they powered past Australia in today’s semi final with a 20-6 victory.

Having never lost to the Kiwis in a World Cup, the Wallabies were the slowest out of the blocks with public enemy number one in New Zealand, Quade Cooper, kicking straight into touch from the kick off.

The All Blacks pounced on this mistake with a scything run through the midfield from Israel Dagg ending with a sublime one-handed pass to Ma’a Nonu who crossed the line for the first points of the night.

Piri Weepu missed the conversion, but this initial foray set the scene for the rest of the half as the men in black set up camp in the Australian territory.

Weepu slotted home a penalty to make it 8-0 before a rare bit of possession for Australia saw James O’Connor break the defence line and then Digby Ioane forcing some desperate protection of the Kiwi line.

A rare mistake from Richie Mccaw led to the first points for the Wallabies with a penalty for O’Connor.

The All Black domination ran through the rest of the first half as they calmly set about picking apart every section of the Australian game. Penalties from Weepu and a drop goal from Cooper saw the sides go in at half-time with the scores at 14-6.

Australia needed early points in the second half to try to claw their way back into the game but a schoolboy error from Pat McCabe handed their opponents an easy three points.

The following 15 minutes saw Australia throw everything they had against the New Zealand lines. The black wall held strong throughout, and frustration started to creep into the Wallabies’ game leading to an inevitable penalty allowing the Kiwis to creep towards a margin of safety.

The All Blacks proceeded to destroy the Australian forwards with a series of strong scrums and mauls which seemed to suck the life out of the entire Aussie XV and Weepu, back on the pitch as a blood replacement, struck another penalty taking the score to 20-6.

Despite a late yellow card for Sonny Bill Williams, the Australians had no answer to the clinical performance of New Zealand and the All Blacks will march on to the final against France with huge confidence.

Words by Rich Woolgar




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All Blacks defeat Australia in Rugby World Cup semi final - PHOTOS
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