TIME TO SHINE: Bernard Foley must play well.
TIME TO SHINE: Bernard Foley must play well. Alastair Grant

Only perfection will do in World Cup final

IT IS going to be a great occasion as all World Cups are.

You have arguably the best team in the world in New Zealand, with one of the biggest contenders challenging them.

Both sides have had their element of luck getting through and New Zealand could have easily dropped a game against South Africa.

Historically, Australia has got a very good record in the northern hemisphere and we have won our two World Cups in that part of the world in 1991 and 1999.

New Zealand is a well-deserved favourite.

When Australia has won World Cups in the past - Michael Lynagh in 1991 and Stephen Larkham in 1999 - the flyhalf has really stood up.

Australia's Bernard Foley has to perform really well at 10, just like a quarterback in gridiron or a halfback in rugby league. Our hopes probably hinge on him.

I think our scrum will stand up okay and there won't be much in the lineout.

I think our back row of Hooper, Pocock and Fardy will match New Zealand.

They have got some tremendous backline threats but Foley's direct battle with Dan Carter may well decide this match.

History shows experience counts for a lot, so the experience of Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith in the centres will be a major factor.

Wings Drew Mitchell and Adam Ashley-Cooper have played about 170 Tests between them.

Ben Smith and Israel Folau will be a key match-up.

Smith has arguably been the best fullback in the world but Folau has not been in great form.

The forwards will cancel each other out, it is how the Australian backs manage the game.

Foley has to outplay his man and Folau has to step-up and outplay Smith.

We have to get our tactics right.

New Zealand has got the monkey off their backs with their World Cup win in 2011 and they always carry the weight of their nation into games.

I think they appear relaxed enough now and are taking a great deal of confidence in with them.

Australia take a lot of belief in and we can beat them - and we did beat them this year.

We play them all the time in Super Rugby so we know their players incredibly well, unlike the northern hemisphere teams that play New Zealand.

Familiarity can breed confidence.

My experience playing the All Blacks is that you pay dearly for every mistake.

You can get away with things against the South Africans and other sides but every mistake you make against New Zealand they will nail you to the wall and capitalise.

When we beat them when I was coach, we had a perfect second half which is what Australia has to do.

You tend to lose rugby matches, not win them sometimes and that is never more evident than when you play New Zealand.

The pressure will mount and we saw the Springboks last week show that in the first 10 minutes they had the ball.

For the next 25 minutes New Zealand camped in their half waiting for a mistake against the Springboks or a penalty.

The All Blacks didn't create anything and the Springboks didn't give away a penalty or make a mistake and that is why there was only two points in it.

New Zealand will pressure you and pressure you and try to accumulate points.

They will kick for field position; it is how we manage bringing that ball back into play and how Folau runs it back.

I think the game is there for us to win.

We are capable.



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