/Rugby: Australia and New Zealand Hope to Make World Cup Memories

Rugby: Australia and New Zealand Hope to Make World Cup Memories

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New Zealand captain Richie McCaw, with the ball, after scoring a try against Australia last year. As a loose forward, McCaw is not expected to score much, yet he has registered 11 tries against the Wallabies in his career.

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Michael Bradley/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

LONDON — Rugby union’s World Cup final is always a great occasion, but it has yet to produce a great match. The tournament stages its eighth final at Twickenham Saturday, and it is still waiting for a climax memorable for the quality of the rugby.

Like all previous finalists, Australia and New Zealand are focused on winning. The winner will become the first to lift three World Cups, while New Zealand aims to be the first to retain the trophy. Looking good is secondary.

In the past, most finalists have played timid, risk-averse rugby, evidently more fearful of losing than hopeful of winning. Rugby’s complexity means one team with that mind-set can spoil a match, and in the…

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