Final: Australia Triumph
Australia v England, 12-6
(Twickenham, London, 2 November 1991)
In the lead-up to the Final, England ran the gauntlet of much criticism and taunting for their "boring" style of play, especially after their drab semi-final against Scotland, which was in sharp contrast to the Wallabies' thrilling, creative victory over New Zealand in Dublin.
England who had been so conservative changed and ran the ball. In a reversal of styles, the Wallabies did not. But, as would happen again in 1999 and 2003, the Australian defence was unyielding. They conceded only three tries in the whole 1991 World Cup and they were not about to bow to Jeremy Guscott and Co, even if they were acting out of character. In 2003 they conceded only one try – to the USA.
That said, only a controversial intrusion by David Campese stopped a probable try. Peter Winterbottom passed to Rory Underwood who would have had a clear run to the line, had a Campese's extended hand not got in the way. The referee decided it was a genuine attempt to catch the ball and did not penalise Campese or award a penalty try, as many argue to this day he should have done.
Instead the Wallabies got the only try – not one of threequarter wizardry but one more in the England mould. Willie Ofahengaue won a line-out on the England line and the Wallaby pack drove prop Tony Daly over for the only try of the match.
Queen Elizabeth II presented the Webb Ellis Cup to Nick Farr-Jones, smiling widely.
Pens: Lynagh 2
Pens: Webb 2
Australia: Marty Roebuck, David Campese, Jason Little, Tim Horan, Bob Egerton, Michael Lynagh, Nick Farr-Jones (captain), Troy Coker, Simon Poidevin, Willie Ofahengaue, Rod McCall, John Eales, Ewen McKenzie, Phil Kearns, Tony Daly.
England: Jon Webb, Rory Underwood, Jerry Guscott, Will Carling (captain), Simon Halliday, Rob Andrew, Richard Hill, Mike Teague, Peter Winterbottom, Mickey Skinner, Wade Dooley, Paul Ackford, Jeff Probyn, Brian Moore, Jason Leonard.
Referee: Derek Bevan (Wales)