New Zealand v Australia is desired World Cup final for rugby purists

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Those of you who read my ramblings last week will see I correctly predicted the four Rugby World Cup semi-finalists – South Africa v New Zealand and Argentina v Australia.

I just wish I went to the bookies!

As far as predicting the finalists goes, I don’t think it is a certainty that New Zealand and Australia will meet by any means – although that is the outcome I am hoping for on behalf of all of the rugby purists.

I think tomorrow’s clash between South Africa and New Zealand will be a very physical game.

I just hope New Zealand talent will overcome South African brute force.

You want to see the style of rugby the All Blacks play rewarded.

The patriotic side of you starts off wanting England to win but, now they are out of the competition, you just want the best game of rugby.

If we are going to try to promote the game in England then everyone wants to see an outstanding match and I think New Zealand v Australia gives you that.

I am not decrying South Africa or Argentina at all – they have done very well to get to where they are.

But would you go and pay money to watch them?

For a purist of the game, to attract people to the sport you want the ball thrown around.

You can’t knock them (South Africa and Argentina) for their methods though.

Their coaches are not going to get sacked are they?

Rugby is a professional sport and a results game and whatever tactics they employ will all be within the rules, there is no problem with that.

Scotland and Australia’s high-scoring quarter-final had drama to the death – people were talking about it a couple of days afterwards.

That’s what we want from the final. For people to say: ‘What a great game that is, I will take that up.’

The midfield combination for the All Blacks are always exciting to watch with (Conrad) Smith, (Ma’a) Nonu and (Dan) Carter – they just play the game so well.

South Africa, though, will look to Schalk Burger and their back row of big physical men to test New Zealand.

In terms of Sunday’s game between Argentina and Australia, the former will begin as underdogs but could comfortably pull off an upset.

If you look at Argentina’s squad – the way it has gone for them and where they have rested lots of players, they are probably the freshest squad in the tournament.

With the style of game they play you can see them beating Australia, without a shadow of a doubt.

They have a great goal kicker, a good set of forwards and play to their game plan.

Australia have been picking up injuries and played three hard games in a row against England, Wales and Scotland.

To win four games of such physicality and magnitude is a tough ask.

I think flanker David Pocock is key for them – he was badly missing against Scotland.

The other players did okay but are not in his class.

If he doesn’t play then you increase Argentina’s chances by a significant margin.

That said, I am sticking to my guns and predicting a New Zealand v Australia final.