by Brendan Cole

1115 The mournful 'Now Is The Hour'/'Po Atarau' is being sung - a very important song for New Zealand and Maori culture that dates from the early 20th century, it is the song they used to sing at the end of tours.

Both teams are trooping round the field, thanking their fans - and Brent Pope is a proud and emotional New Zealander back in the studio.

1110 Donal Lenihan tells us that Imanol Harinorduquy stepped forward as France left the stage and kissed the trophy with tears in his eyes before walking away.

But it is New Zealand's moment and Richie McCaw has the trophy in his hands now and he raises the trophy over his head as fireworks go off behind him - a nation lets out a breath, and looks ahead to a big night of celebrations.

It is a bit subdued until McCaw gestures his team-mates forward, and they all stand and cheer, as the pictures that will flash round the world are taken.

A huge fireworks display kicks off and there will no doubt be celebratory hakas, a huge party in Auckland and a fantastic night all over New Zealand.

1103 France have accepted their second place medals - the players look devastated but none more than Lievremont, who looks like he has seen a ghost.

A stunning display from them - but not quite enough. They faced down the Haka and backed it up with a huge display. They troop off to the right now, and New Zealand step up to get their medals.

McCaw leads them forward, followed by Mealamu. Dagg and Jane are next, they can head out for a few beers tonight. They have been the team of the tournament without doubt, but they were second best for a huge part of this final.

Cruden also comes forward for his medal, along with Woodock. His try proved crucial for New Zealand in the end.

Brad Thorn is next and gets a huge cheer. The camera then picks out a giddy Stephen Donald, who can barely believe he is on the podium after playing an hour.

Mils Muliaina and Dan Carter come forward in suits and get huge cheers from the crowd.

Graham Henry also gets a cheer and they are all on the stage now.


80 mins Thorn wins the lineout at the front and a final chaotic maul from New Zealand brings the 24 year wait to an end. And Ellis kicks it out to bring the game to a slightly disappointing end - but it is New Zealand's tournament.


78 mins Scrum on the NZ 10m line. The scrum goes down but Reed picks and carries it, making a few yards. And McCaw stands over the ball for an age - New Zealand will try to pick and go the game to death from here. They make four or five carries before a penalty is given to New Zealand for Harinorduquy going off his feet. New Zealand celebrate - can France win this lineout?

76 mins The New Zealand scrum is again under pressure but Doussain moves it away and Rougerie smashes into Smith, who comes off much the worst. Rougerie runs on for another 10 yards but at that ruck, a little knock on sees New Zealand get the ball.

McCaw is on his knees now - a collision in that ruck shook him.

75 mins And France win that ball and move it along the line to Palisson, but he can't make headway. It is kept in but the support players are then shoved to touch. Lineout NZ on their own 10m line. They win that and kick it to Palisson.

France start to attack running relentlessly and moving it from wing to wing - the rucks are desperate every time. Medard gets it and runs back towards his forwards. Slow ball.

Szarzewski picks and goes. And then Pierre makes a few yards. And there is a desperate scramble in midfield but Dusautoir gathers a loose ball and turns to come again. They are on the New Zealand 10m line now and a final frantic ruck sees Joubert award a scrum to France.

Nonu is off for Sonny Bill Williams. Doussain is on for his first cap - with Yachvili off.

71 mins And France produce a great play - powerful maul off Harinorduquy's take, and Reed pulls it down. Penalty. That is kicked to touch on the halfway line.

69 mins Superb take by Harinorduquy in the middle of the line and Yachvili then kicks it up on top of Kahui. He sets it up, and Donald then finds a sweet kick to the line - touch on the French 22. Julien Pierre is on for Pape.

67 mins New Zealand wins this scrum and kick it down to Traille. He puts up a poor high kick but makes up for the error by catching it himself and France start running it on halfway before a poor kick by Trinh-Duc is caught by Dagg and smacked down to touch on the French 22.

Szarzewski to throw it in........

66 mins Could that sub cost France this game?

The dropout is long to Traille, and he puts up a high kick and claims it in a contest with Dagg. Super catch, but France knock it forward in a good position on the New Zealand 22m line.

65 mins But Trinh-Duc does not connect - 22 dropout to France, and Szarzewski is on for Servat.

64 mins And France miss touch with that penalty - the kick is returned and a messy ruck sees Joubert award a scrum to France. And then it is a penalty to France!

On halfway, Hore popped up. Trinh-Duc will have a shot to put France ahead.......

62 mins But France win the lineout and chip it to touch - not a great one. NZ lineout in their own half. France get their hands on this one too, but they are turned over. They attack the blindside but a poor line from Donald sees him run into touch.

And off that lineout, Williams is penalised. Penalty France just outside their own 22m line.

58 mins And France win this lineout and put Mermoz up the middle. But the ball goes to deck and is knocked forward and New Zealand get a penalty off the scrum which Donald kicks to touch up on the 10m line.

57 mins And France win that lineout and after two good carries, Trinh-Duc kicks over Kahui and into touch. He fires a pass from touch to Dagg, who catches over his head and kicks to touch.

And France win this lineout and again, they carry well in the middle before kicking behind Jane. Dagg collects on his line and kicks to touch - but only on the New Zealand 22m line.

55 mins The New Zealand scrum is under pressure but France move it along the line after it collapses to Rougerie - and his kick hits off a New Zealander and bounces to touch. Lineout France on their own 10m line.

52 mins Jane takes it off the wing and then off some poor ball, Donald makes a break and forces his way forward into the French half. And Donald is firing some good passes along the line, New Zealand are inching forward. But a ball pops out the back of a ruck, Woodcock losing his cool and Ellis has to scramble.

They go back to carrying on half-way but some massive hits from France are upsetting them, and a knock forward from Nonu gives France the ball - scrum to them.

The go-to men are not producing.

50 mins And Weepu kicks the restart straight out on the full and that is his last act - Andy Ellis is on for him. Whitelock and Mealamu are also off - Ali Williams and Hore are on.

And France drill this scrum and put Harinorduquy running. They attack and offload over some phases before Yachvili kicks to the corner - Jane gets there and feeds Dagg, who runs it!

He slips but New Zealand win the ruck and Ellis kicks to touch up near halfway. A free kick is given against them for taking too long though. An injury to Poux slowed them down.

47 mins Vincent Clerc has gone off for Damien Traille - Medard moves to the wing. Off the restart, Harinorduquy drops the kick and New Zealand are turned over - a ridiculous little kick off the deck by Weepu picked off.

And France are racing at the posts, Rougerie just stopped short! The attack almost ends but France win a key ruck on the right and then Dusautoir gets in under the posts - lovely line, superb leadership!

And the conversion is kicked by Trinh-Duc!

France 7-8 New Zealand (try Dusautoir, conv Trinh-Duc)

45 mins And the ball is run at the midfield by Nonu and then France are penalised for going at it with their hands. Donald will take this shot at goal and he gets it - not a great kick, but it went over near the right hand post.

43 mins A high kick by Medard is not long enough and Kahui takes a stunning catch and makes yards. New Zealand on the front foot, and Weepu chips it over the French - Trinh-Duc is the only man back there and he takes a hard - high? - shot from Franks.

It is set up and kicked to touch up near the French 10m line.

40 mins Trinh-Duc kicks it off long to Cory Jane, and he is hit straight away and sets up a ruck. Weepu kicks it high but Harinorduquy takes a fantastic catch and France run it at them down the far side - Trinh-Duc looping around and feeding Medard. And they go the other way then, Rougerie then charges down the left wing.

And then they are turned over by McCaw but he is then pinged for playing the ball on the deck. McCaw looks furious at Joubert for making that call!

Yachvili just misses it though - across the face of the posts.

HALF-TIME: France 0-5 New Zealand

Brent Pope: "I am really worried. This is exactly the position I didn’t want to see the All Blacks in."

40 mins McCaw gets to the overthrow and sets it up. And Weepu gets the ball and punts it straight to touch to end the half.

Surprising that NZ refused the chance to keep playing?

39 mins And Dagg's kick for the line is poor - bouncing to a Frenchman. They are slowed on their own 10m line, until Clerc tries to find touch. A very poor effort, it goes straight out. Lineout to NZ on the French 10m line.

35 mins Weepu takes the dropout short, and McCaw taps it back to Mealamu. It is kicked long to Medard then, and he launches a high one which Dagg takes. Dagg runs it back and breaks Medard's tackle. It is then kicked again down the line, where Rougerie gets it and passes to Trinh-Duc. A fantastic run by him sees him dummy Kaino and get a quick 60 metres but the next attack sees New Zealand execute a good 'choke' tackle and get a scrum in their favour.

And Nonu is given that ball off the scrum - France pressured it -and Dusautoir is penalised for not releasing the tackled player just outside the NZ 22m line.

34 mins And the penalty is given to France at this scrum, and Medard kicks for the line. Not a great kick - to touch outside the 22m line. And France win that and go to a pick and go and short pops game, before Trinh-Duc tries a drop goal but misses to the right. 22m dropout for NZ.

34 mins And Cruden gets up to play on, but he winces and doubles over in pain and has to go off. Stephen Donald is on - New Zealanders don't trust this guy one bit. The fourth choice 10.

33 mins Kicked to touch up near halfway, and France have a lineout. But it is won at the back by New Zealand and they start running it out wide. But play stops as Cruden has a knee problem now, and replays show a hyper-extension under Trinh-Duc's tackle. Stephen Donald is the man on the bench.

32 mins Early engage call is given against France - they have got nothing from the ref.

31 mins Kaino drops the dropout - scrum France. It is under pressure but Yachvili gets it away to Trinh-Duc, and Trinh-Duc puts in a lovely kick over Cory Jane's head, lovely kick bouncing towards the line. Jane turns and gets it and flips it inside to Dagg, but Nigel Owens has spotted a foot in touch 15 metres from his own line.

Lineout France. They win it and the forwards start rumbling, but a little knock on releases the pressure. Scrum for New Zealand.

29 mins The ball is won and New Zealand attack out wide off the top. A big carry by Reed gets them going forward and with France scrambling, Kahui chips for the line but Rougerie gets to it first and dots it down. Another 22m dropout for France.

28 mins Nallet wins it at the front and Trinh-Duc finds a good kick to touch - up on the French 10m line. Can the French lineout deliver a steal?

27 mins Weepu misses by a mile again - really poor, they could be almost away by now.

McCaw catches the 22m dropout and they come again. Dusautoir smashes Cruden again but Dagg and Thorn get them going forward again before Weepu kicks for the corner and finds touch 10m from the French line.

24 mins The New Zealanders maul this ball - making 10m, but Bonnaire gets through the middle of it and McCaw only just gets it to Weepu. A good tackle on Smith in midfield and a strong counter-ruck gives France the ball, but New Zealand turn it over straight away at the next ruck and then get a penalty as France played it on the deck. Weepu will have a shot from a fairly central position. He should get it........

23 mins The ball is won by France and kicked high on top of Kahui, who takes and sets it up. After a couple of carries, a superb kick by Israel Dagg puts France right back in the corner of the field - 5m from their own line.

But Yachvili takes Nallet's tap down - he was pressed - and kicks to touch on the 22m line.

22 mins The ball is thrown long again and Reed gets it at the back. It is set up and New Zealand settle into taking up some hard carries from the New Zealanders get them 20 metres. Really challenging stuff physically. Parra is again looking shaky. Some big carries from Reed up the middle - but then they go wide and Dagg is pushed to touch on the French 22m line.

Parra is on his knees on the sideline and Trinh-Duc is back on - for good this time.

19 mins The first scrum collapses - France not really going for it - but the second collapses as they tried to put the pressure on. Kicked to touch up on halfway.

18 mins France try to maul it, but Mealamu gets into the heart of it and hangs on - forcing a scrum call in New Zealand's favour.

17 mins The restart is run out of defence by New Zealand and they make a quick 70 or 80 metres, moving it over to Kahui before getting pinged near the French 22 for hands in the ruck.

And a good kick by Medard sees them move it up the New Zealand 22. Parra is coming back on. He looked shaky a few minutes ago.

15 mins TRY! And it is a try for Tony Woodcock! Whitelock caught it in the middle, Woodcock looped around from the front, Reed put in a little block and he ran through a huge hole.

From out on the right, Weepu misses the kick.

France 5-0 New Zealand (Try Woodcock)

13 mins The ball is overthrown and though Dusautoir gets it at the rear, he is penalised for holding on. Weepu kicks the penalty up to within 7m of the French line.

12 mins The lineout is won by New Zealand and kicked high down the line again. Trinh-Duc gets his hands on it as France run it back, and the ruck sees New Zealand penalised. They kick a penalty up to the New Zealand 10m line.

10 mins Nonu smashes into Parra from off the top ball, but Bonnaire grabs a loose ball at the next ruck and it is quickly kicked in behind New Zealand - lineout to them 10m from their line.

Read wins that and Weepu kicks down the line. Medard runs it back and after a pick and go, it is moved wide to Mermoz, who chips it to touch. Parra is going off, he is not sure where he is. It wasn't the tackle, a knee from McCaw did the damage - accidental by the looks of it, but not good to see.

9 mins Harinorduquy wins that win easily, and they maul and then kick through Yachvili - superb kick, it is in touch inside the New Zealand half.

8 mins But it is a poor effort by Weepu from out on the left, and he misses by a good 5 yards. And France recover the bouncing ball, and move it wide to Clerc. The ruck is frantic but France are just about winning their own ball. Palisson has another run - it is touchline to touchline stuff but off slow ball, Nallet's offload fails and goes to Nonu.

New Zealand run it then - Cruden gets smashed by Dusautoir out on the right - before Nonu steps in a kicks for touch. Good kick, it bounces to touch inside the French 22.

4 mins And New Zealand kick up to the French 10m line, where the lineout is again not well thrown but tapped back on the New Zealand side. And then Cruden is tackled behind the gainline and off the next ball, Richard Kahui is knocked into touch. But referee Craig Joubert has given another penalty - offside this time.

3 mins But the New Zealand lineout is overthrown and Bonnaire carries it forward. France attack along the right wing then, Clerc making some yards. The ball is slowed down by McCaw on the far wing next, but France keep coming - despite some big hits from New Zealand.

But then Palisson is pinged for holding on to the ball on the ground after running well.

1 min France spilled the restart but Medard caught a high kick at full back and set it up. From there, however, Yachvili kicked straight to touch on his own 10 line.

France: Medard, Clerc, Rougerie, Mermoz, Palisson, Parra, Yachvili, Poux, Servat, Mas, Pape, Nallet, Dusautoir, Bonnaire, Harinordoquy. Replacements: Szarzewski, Barcella, Pierre, Ouedraogo, Doussain, Trinh-Duc, Traille.

New Zealand: Dagg, Jane, Smith, Nonu, Kahui, Cruden, Weepu, Woodcock, Mealamu, O. Franks, Whitelock, Thorn, Kaino, McCaw, Read. Replacements: Hore, B. Franks, A. Williams, Thomson, Ellis, Donald, S. Williams.

0900 And now time for the Haka.

France have lined up in a strange formation, all holding hands and with Dusautoir at the point of the V. And the are advancing forward towards the Haka during it and have linked arms now.

The crowd is not too happy it seems, but France keep coming forward.

Good stuff from them, let’s hope they can back it up.

0855 Good morning and welcome to this morning’s RWC Final tracker.

The teams have are on the pitch and the anthems are about to begin.

Thierry Dusautoir looks focussed and ready for action.

‘God Defend New Zealand’ is again well sung by a passionate crowd – spine tingling – as the players stand with arms linked.