New Zealand booked their spot in the World Cup Final next week with a determined performance against Australia who they beat 20-6 in their semifinal at Eden Park on Saturday.
The world's No.1 team will face France at the same venue next week in a repeat of the two teams that contested the 1987 Final which New Zealand won on home soil. Australia continued their losing streak at Eden Park and will face Wales in their third place play-off next week.
The All Blacks started the game in dominant fashion, playing their rugby deep in Australian territory, and they struck the first blow when dynamic fullback Israel Dagg broke the line and hurtled towards the corner before offloading to Ma'a Nonu who crashed over for the try.
Scrumhalf Piri Weepu missed the touchline conversion and his next two attempts at goal but he was able to extend the lead to 8-0 after 13 minutes and the home side looked in control.
The Wallabies refused to roll over and they fought hard, getting on the board through the boot of James O'Connor. The All Blacks replied via a drop goal from flyhalf Aaron Cruden which was cancelled out by a similar effort from his counterpart Quade Cooper.
Weepu landed another penalty before the break and New Zealand went into the changerooms at half-time with a 14-6 lead.
The second half was a tense affair, with both sides grappling for control of the game, but it was the All Blacks who managed to make it count on the scoreboard with two further penalties from Weepu's boot taking the lead out to 20-6 in the last ten minutes.
The Wallabies threw everything they had at them as they tried to play themselves back into the game but the determined New Zealand defence stood firm.
There was time for some late drama when replacement Sonny Bill Williams was shown a yellow card for failing to use his arms in an attempt to bring Cooper down to ground. It meant that the Wallabies finished the game camped on the All Blacks tryline but they could not find a way through.
More to follow...
For New Zealand:
Pens: Weepu 4
Yellow card: Sonny Bill Williams
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Richard Kahui, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Brad Thorn, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Sonny Bill Williams.
Australia: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Anthony Fainga'a, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Radike Samo, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Dan Vickerman, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Berrick Barnes, 22 Rob Horne.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Romain Poite (France)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
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