Rugby World Cup final: Five New Zealand players to watch
Matt Haynes | October 29, 2015
As we look ahead to the eagerly anticipated Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia in our comprehensive build-up we focus on the All Blacks and which five players could make the difference.
Arguably the player of the tournament so far, the winger who has drawn comparisons to former All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu has been nominated twice for try of the tournament. Having played a crucial part in the quarter-final demolition of France, in which he scored his second hat-trick of the World Cup.
If he plays to his best, he can run riot over Australia who will do well to keep him quiet and is 15/2 to cross first.
Another All Black to be nominated for an award, the 24-year-old is in contention to win Breakthrough Player of the Year and provides almost as much of a threat as Savea on the other side. Known for his explosive, spontaneous side-stepping sorcery the wing wizard, once afforded space will punish opponents.
The best kicker in world rugby, the 33-year-old is vying for his second World Cup win and his conversions can make all the difference against Australia. It is the fly-half’s intelligence and awareness that is perhaps his strongest asset; his ability to conduct the pattern of play crucial to the way the All Blacks operate.
It is this awareness that also enables him to find smart kicking positions for drop goals which, in the end, may be decisive.
New Zealand’s captain fantastic will be hoping to bow out on a high when he appears in his last match against Australia. A keen gliding enthusiast, the 34-year-old will be hoping his side fly out of the blocks and is 11/2 to score anytime.
Another veteran, who surpassed his 100th appearance mark against Tonga in the group stage, he joins his captain and Carter plus Conrad Smith and Keven Mealamu in making their final All Blacks appearance.
A player who puts his body on the line time and again, his contribution is often overlooked by the perhaps, more glamorous stars of the side and is 3/1 to score in the anytime market.
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