1999 Rugby World Cup: how the Wallabies won

by RUGBY.com.au staff

The Wallabies won their second World Cup in 1999 at Millennium Stadium.

Australia 35 (Tries: Tune, Finegan Conversions: Burke 2 Penalties: Burke 7) def France 12 (Penalties Lamaison 4)

Date: November 6, 1999

Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Attendance: 72,500

The Wallabies entered the 1999 final after one of the most iconic semi-finals in World Cup history.

Their defence had an intimidating reputation at the World Cup to that point, while their final foes were known for their width and back line threats.

Their opponents, France, came in off a similarly classic game, with Le Bleus upsetting New Zealand on the way to the decider.

It was Australia, though, that was able to carry its momentum through to the final match of the tournament.

The French booted the first points of the game just two minutes in through Cristophe Lamaison, before Burke replied in the fourth to level the scores.

France looked to gain the ascendency with a second penalty kick and Abdel Benazzi nearly had a try before the score was disallowed due to a knock on.

The boot of Matt Burke played a critical role, with the fullback converting the side’s two tries and booting another seven penalties to score 25 points for the game.

It was through his boot that they took a 12-6 lead into half-time, capitalising on the poor discipline of their opponents.

More penalties on the other side of half-time gave them a 21-12 buffer as the game ticked on.

Ben Tune stretched out that lead, when  pounced on a gap on a defensive inefficiency scoring in the corner for the game’s first try and put Australia in the box seat for the final win.

Wallabies bench player, Owen Finegan, followed his lead in injury time to put the ultimate icing on the cake at Millennium Stadium.

The 35-12 win saw the Wallabies become the first team to win the Webb Ellis Trophy for a second time by what remains as the biggest World Cup final winning margin.