The Wallabies trounced France in the 1999 final at Twickenham.
The Wallabies trounced France in the 1999 final at Twickenham.

‘Four more years boys!’ 20 best Aussie World Cup moments

WHETHER it be a piece of Michael Lynagh magic, an incredible field goal or Campo's incredible try, the Wallabies have certainly left a substantial imprint on the Rugby World Cup.

Here are 20 of their most memorable moments.

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1 MICHAEL LYNAGH v Ireland, 1991 (quarter-final, Dublin)

There would have been no glorious 1991 World Cup triumph but for the heroics of Michael Lynagh at Dublin's Lansdowne Road in a quarter-final thriller.

When backrower Gordon Hamilton galloped over late, Irish fans ran onto the field in delirious uproar as an 18-15 upset loomed.

As fill-in skipper, Lynagh's composure was supreme.

He called for a long kick-off and the pressuring chase gave the Wallabies a late lineout chance.

The ball was spun to David Campese and, as the ball came backwards, the ghosting figure of Lynagh picked it up on the half-volley.

He dived for the tryline and the great escape, 19-18.

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Michael Lynagh was the decisive factor in the win over Ireland in 1991.
Michael Lynagh was the decisive factor in the win over Ireland in 1991.

 

2 STEVE LARKHAM v South Africa, 1999 (semi-final, Twickenham)

You want epic? Try banging over a 48m field goal in the rain to break a 21-all deadlock in extra time of a World Cup semi-final.

Did we say Steve Larkham had never kicked a field goal in 28 previous Tests or for the Brumbies?

Larkham knew as he lashed out for an improbable field goal that his corked knee was barely going to last the distance in the marathon.

"There wasn't a lot of pain after that last kick," Larkham said wryly after his showstopper.

 

3 DAVID CAMPESE v New Zealand, 1991 (semi-final, Dublin)

The "Wizard of Oz" was at his sublime peak in this 16-6 semi-final classic at Dublin's Lansdowne Road to inflict the first loss on the All Blacks in World Cup history.

The 13-0 first half was lauded as the best rugby ever played by the Wallabies.

"Campo" was up to his ears in it and set up the finest try in Australia's World Cup history.

Michael Lynagh dabbed a kick ahead and Campese caught the defence off guard with the deceptive angle at which he swooped on the ball.

His sidestep turned Kiwi John Timu inside out and a miracle ball came next...a no-look pass over the shoulder into the mitts of the young Tim Horan, who dashed away for the try.

Camp makes the decisive break against the Kiwis in 1991 with Tim Horan in hot pursuit.
Camp makes the decisive break against the Kiwis in 1991 with Tim Horan in hot pursuit.

4 STIRLING MORTLOCK v All Blacks, 2003 (semi-final, Sydney)

The Mortlock intercept try was the emblem of a brilliant, pressuring Wallabies performance.

The Wallabies skittled All Blacks runners early and that line speed paid off when a Carlos Spencer pass was snatched by centre Mortlock, who raced 80m to score.

The Wallabies jumped to 13-0 and won 22-10 less than four months after a 50-21 thrashing from the men in black on the same turf in Sydney.

One of the crowning achievements of Eddie Jones' coaching career.

 

5 DAVID POCOCK v South Africa, 2011 (quarter-final, Wellington)

The Wallabies flanker produced the most influential individual display of the 2011 World Cup in this improbable 11-9 triumph.

He was an immovable boulder around the ball and one gem of a turnover in the second half turned the one-way tide of Springbok runners yet again.

"The Wallabies without Pocock is like Hamlet without the prince," England playmaker-turned commentator Stuart Barnes said.

The gutsy Wallabies were forced to make 143 tackles compared to South Africa's 51 as the Boks dominated almost every facet.

 

6 TIM HORAN v South Africa, 1999 (semi-final, Twickenham)

Horan conquered Test-eve vomiting, stomach cramps and legs like jelly to inspire the Wallabies to one of their most famous wins...a gripping 27-21 result in extra-time.

The Player-of-the-Tournament was running on just three flimsy slices of toast, all he could keep down in two days before taking a seat next to the bus toilet en route to Twickenham.

Twice, he brushed through South African flanker Andre Venter, he careered into rare open space from set plays, he crashtackled Percy Montgomery and organised with a cool head.

 

7 BERNARD FOLEY v England, 2015 (Twickenham)

Foley's brilliant best as a No.10 in Test rugby. At half-time, the scoreboard read Foley 17-England 3.

He grabbed the big moments. His second try was a beauty from a set play off phase ball when he flattened up in attack, fed Kurtley Beale a lovely inside ball and backed-up outside for the try. Slotted seven-from-seven as goalkicker in a throbbing Twickenham cauldron.

 

8 BEN McCALMAN v Wales, 2015 (Twickenham)

The most influential 32 minutes of his Test career. Holding up giant Welsh centre George North over the tryline was one of the most significant Wallaby tackles since George Gregan (1994) and Enrique Rodriguez (1986) helped decide Bledisloe Cup victories.

The side was down to 13 men at the time when he somehow bounced to his feet with a big second effort to get under the Welshman to tackle him for a second time in the same play.

 

9 JOHN EALES v England, 1991 (final, Twickenham)

This was the future Wallabies skipper as a lean and lofty 21-year-old in just his 10th Test.

He started redefining the skills of a lock in this glory-or-bust final when he cut down England flyhalf Rob Andrew to save a certain try. The English won a mountain of ball and it was resolute moments of defence like this that won the tight, tense final 12-6.

Owen Finnegan (right) helped inspire the Wallabies’ 1999 success.
Owen Finnegan (right) helped inspire the Wallabies’ 1999 success.

10 OWEN FINEGAN v France, 1999 (final, Cardiff)

Try! This well-rehearsed attack from a lineout summed up everything the 1999 champions did so well.

Replacement hooker Jeremy Paul threw long and accurately to John Eales at the tail.

When halfback George Gregan was fed the ball, the subtle role of lock David Giffin was to loop around him as a decoy to draw off the defence an extra half pace.

Gregan timed his backhand flick pass perfectly to replacement backrower Owen Finegan who surged through a gap. He bullocked by five Frenchmen before really deciding he would grab the try himself in a 30m gallop.

 

11 THRILLER AT CONCORD OVAL v France, 1987 (semi-final, Sydney)

The inaugural World Cup need a dramatic semi-final spectacle like this in Sydney with the lead changing five times in the second half. Scores were locked 24-all with time almost up when 11 Frenchmen handled before Serge Blanco's dash to the tryline.

Sure, there was a little French knock-on in the lead-up but so too was there one in the lead-up to David Codey's try.

 

12 ELTON FLATLEY v England, 2003 (final, Sydney)

England's Will Greenwood dropped one of the classic lines when he said Elton Flatley had "balls as big as a house" for knocking over a penalty goal on full-time to extend the final into extra time.

Flatley stepped up again with a score-locking penalty goal in extra time before Jonny Wilkinson's field goal created World Cup history for England.

 

13 DREW MITCHELL and ADAM ASHLEY-COOPER v Argentina, 2015 (semi-final, Twickenham)

Winger Drew Mitchell uncorked five sidesteps off his left foot in a veering diagonal dash to set up the match-clinching try for great mate Adam Ashley-Cooper. We're into the final, baby.

Three tries in a World Cup semi-final for Ashley-Cooper finished off the excellence of his inside men. His composure to get the job done without errors was huge throughout the 2015 tournament.

 

14 TONY DALY and EWEN McKENZIE v England, 1991 (Final, Twickenham)

As plain as any World Cup try could ever be but so sweet and so important.

It was the only try of the 1991 final from point blank range. Prop Tony Daly accepted the two-handed lineout win of standout backrower Willie Ofahengaue. Prop pal McKenzie pushed and tugged Daly and the ball over the tryline and the pair looked up from the turf in triumph.

 

15 ANOTHER CAMPO CLASSIC v Argentina, 1991 (Llanelli)

Winger David Campese stamped his special magic on the 1991 tournament from the outset with two tries and the final pass for another to young shadow Tim Horan.

Jinking, stepping, untouchable...Campo at his best. It was a big first-game statement in the Welsh town at the 1991 showpiece.

George Gregan was excellent against the All Blacks in 2003.
George Gregan was excellent against the All Blacks in 2003.

16 "FOUR MORE YEARS BOYS" v New Zealand, 2003 (semi-final, Sydney)

The snipe from Wallaby leader George Gregan was like a dagger to the heart for the numb All Blacks and every Kiwi wrestling with their World Cup demons.

It was one of the World Cup's great sledges over the prone frame of rival halfback Byron Kelleher as the Aussies closed in on a semi-final boilover that extended the Kiwi drought.

Another classy, alert, organising and sharp-passing night from Gregan as skipper and halfback, too.

 

17 CHRIS LATHAM v Namibia, 2003 (Adelaide)

On a field used to cricket scores, fullback Chris Latham racked up five tries in the 142-0 stroll against Namibia at Adelaide Oval.

It was all great fun. Latham made an "A" finger sign to the TV cameras after scoring one try to acknowledge young daughter Ashley.

 

18 CAPTAIN CLASS v France, 1999 (final, Cardiff)

Skipper John Eales had scratches around his own eyes from French eye-gouging when he made the statesman's call to mute outrage at the gutter tactics of his opponents.

Rather than soil history with a public spray, he only talked up the grand success of the final, all it meant and the heroic Aussies who were holding aloft the Webb Ellis Cup.

Matt Giteau scored 27 points against Fiji 12 years ago.
Matt Giteau scored 27 points against Fiji 12 years ago.

19 MATT GITEAU v Fiji, 2007 (Montpellier)

A personal haul of 27 points from centre Matt Giteau in this big 55-12 pool win in France.

The inside centre was the star of the show with two tries and his goalkicking was true.

He organised and ran and kicked like a player in full control of his game.

A rare high point in Australia's failed tournament.

 

20 DAMIAN SMITH v England, 1995 (quarter-final, Cape Town)

The Wallaby winger was Israel Folau for a spectacular, soaring moment. Smith plucked a Michael Lynagh high ball from the sky above the English defence and rolled over for a try.

Brilliant but lost in a painful quarter-final exit for the defending champions.

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