This is the game nobody wants to play. They went into the semifinals hoping for the final and here they are disappointed also-rans. We look back at all the previous RWC third-place play-off matches since 1987.
1987 - Wales 22 Australia 21
Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua, on June 18
The game got off to a sad but dramatic start.
In the opening minute the referee spoke to David Codey for the injudicious use of the elbow. Three minutes later Fred Howard found Codey guilty of using his boot on a player and sent him off.
Australia had to play virtually the whole match with 14 players. Still they led 15-13 at half-time and 21-16 till wing Adrian Hadley dived over in the corner for a try which burly Paul Thorburn converted from touch.
Wales played a new cap in this match. Richard Webster was playing club rugby in Australia when he was called up to replace Richie Collins.
After their loss to France in the semifinal, Australia rather lost interest in the World Cup and, under their coach Alan Jones, did not enter this match with enthusiasm.
Tries: Roberts, Paul Moriarty, Hadley
Cons: Thorburn 2
Pens: Thorburn 2
Tries: Burke, Grigg
Cons: Lynagh 2
Pens: Lynagh 2
Wales: 15 Paul Thorburn, 14 Ieuan Evans, 13 John Devereux, 12 Mark Ring, 11 Adrian Hadley, 10 Jonathan Davies, 9 Robert Jones, 8 Gareth Roberts, 7 Richard Webster, 6 Paul Moriarty, 5 Stave Sutton, 4 Richard Moriarty, 3 Anthony Buchanan, 2 Allan Phillips, 1 Steven Blackmore.
Australia: 15 Andrew Leeds, 14 Peter Grigg, 13 Matt Burke, 12 Andrew Slack (captain), 11 David Campese, 10 Michael Lynagh, 9 Brian Smith, 8 Simon Poidevin, 7 Steve Tuynman, 6 David Codey, 5 Troy Coker, 4 Steve Cutler, 3 Andy McIntyre, 2 Tom Lawton, 1 Cameron Lilicrap.
Replacements used: Nick Farr-Jones for Grigg, Enrico Rodriguez for Lilicrap.
Referee: Fred Howard (England)
1991 - New Zealand 13 Scotland 6
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, on October 30
It was a harsh match for both sides.
The Wallabies had knocked out the All Blacks and the tough Scots had lost just 9-6 to England, which was the score till the 80th minutes of this match when Walter Little scored. This try came after a period of strong Scottish pressure.
For New Zealand:
Pens: Preston 3
Pens: Gavin Hastings 2
* The try was still worth four points.
New Zealand: 15 Terry Wright, 14 John Kirwan, 13 Craig Innes, 12 Walter Little, 11 Va'aiga Tuigamala, 10 Jon Preston, 9 Graeme Bachop, 8 Zinzan Brooke, 7 Michael Jones, 6 Andy Earl, 5 Gary Whetton (captain), 4 Ian Jones, 3 Richard Loe, 2 Sean Fitzpatrick, 1 Steve McDowell.
Replacement used: Shayne Philpott.
Scotland: 15 Gavin Hastings, 14 Tony Stanger, 13 Scott Hastings, 12 Sean Lineen, 11 Iwan Tukalo, 10 Craig Chalmers, 9 Gary Armstrong, 8 Derek White, 7 Findlay Calder, 6 John Jeffrey, 5 Doddy Weir, 4 Chris Gray, 3 Paul Burnell, 2 John Allan, 1 David Sole (captain).
Replacement used: Peter Dods.
Referee: Steve Hilditch (Ireland)
1995 - France 19 England 9
Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, on June 22
France had come within a centimetre or two of winning their waterlogged semifinal against South Africa while England had been rolled over by New Zealand. They then had to march over to Pretoria for this match.
It was 3-all at half-time and then 6-all early in the second half but after that France pulled away.
Tries: Roumat, Ntamack
Pens: Lacroix 3
Pens: Andrews: 3
France: 15 Jean-Luc Sadourny, 14 Emile Ntamack, 13 Philippe Sella, 12 Thierry Lacroix, 11 Philippe Saint-André (captain), 10 Franck Mesnel, 9 Fabien Galthié, 8 Albert Cigagna, 7 Laurent Cabannes, 6 Abdel Benazzi, 5 Olivier Roumat, 4 Olivier Merle, 3 Christian Califano, 2 Jean-Michel Gonzalez, 1 Laurent Benezech.
Replacement used: Olivier Brouzet.
England: 15 Michael Catt, 14 Ian Hunter, 13 Jeremy Guscott, 12 Will Carling (captain), 11 Rory Underwood, 10 Rob Andrew, 9 Dewi Morris, 8 Steve Ojomoh, 7 Ben Clarke, 6 Tim Rodber, 5 Martin Bayfield, 4 Martin Johnson, 3 Victor Ubogu, 2 Brian Moore, 1 Jason Leonard.
Referee: Dave Bishop (New Zealand)
1999 - South Africa 22 New Zealand 18
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on November 4
South Africa had lost in extra-time to Australia in the semifinals, while New Zealand had been run off their feet by France in the second half of theirs.
These two sides never take it easy on each other and never lack motivation to play each other. It was a hard match with just one try - scored by exciting Breyton Paulse, who, like Gio Aplon in 2011, had his thrilling talents rather ignored in the World Cup
For South Africa:
Pens: Honiball 3
DGs: Montgomery 2
For New Zealand:
Pens: Mehrtens 6
South Africa: 15 Percy Montgomery, 14 Breyton Paulse, 13 Robbie Fleck, 12 Pieter Müller, 11 Stefan Terblanché, 10 Henry Honiball, 9 Joost van der Westhuizen (captain), 8 André Vos, 7 André Venter, 6 Rassie Erasmus, 5 Mark Andrews, 4 Krynauw Otto, 3 Cobus Visagie, 2 Naka Drotské, 1 Os du Randt.
Replacements used: Chris Rossouw, Ollie le Roux, Albert van den Berg, Ruben Kruger, Swanepoel.
New Zealand: 15 Jeff Wilson, 14 Tana Umaga, 13 Christian Cullen, 12 Alama Ieremia, 11 Jonah Lomu, 10 Andrew Mehrtens, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Taine Randell (captain), 7 Josh Kronfeld, 6 Reuben Thorne, 5 Royce Willis, 4 Norm Maxwell, 3 Kees Meeuws, 2 Mark Hammett, 1 Craig Dowd.
Replacements used: Anton Oliver, Carl Hoeft, Dylan Mika, Pita Alatini.
Referee: Peter Marshall (Australia)
2003 - New Zealand 40 France 13
Telstra Stadium, Sydney, on November 20
New Zealand had fallen to Australia in the semifinals, France 24-7 to England. To say that there was little French interest in this Thursday match would be an understatement.
They certainly did not pick their best team and the All Blacks had little trouble winning, scoring six tries to one though they led only 14-6 at half-time.
Well-executed first-half tries to Chris Jack and Doug Howlett were balanced by a try to Pépito Elhorga early in the second half. Dimitri Yachvili's conversion, on top of his penalty and drop-goal brought the score to 14-13. The score suggested that it was anybody's game. It was not.
Two successive tries to the All Blacks, by Joe Rokocoko and Brad Thorn (who will be playing in Sunday's RWC Final - his final Test), set them on the winning trail.
For New Zealand:
Tries: Holah, Howlett, Jack, Muliaina, Rokocoko, Thorn
Cons: MacDonald, Carter 4
New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Leon MacDonald, 12 Aaron Mauger, 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 Carlos Spencer, 9 Steve Devine, 8 Jerry Collins, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Reuben Thorne (captain), 5 Ali Williams, 4 Chris Jack, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Dave Hewett.
Replacements used: Mark Hammett, Carl Hoeft, Brad Thorn, Marty Holah, Daniel Carter, Caleb Ralph.
France: 15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Pépito Elhorga, 13 Tony Marsh, 12 Damien Traille, 11 David Bory, 10 Gérald Merceron, 9 Demetri Yachvili, 8 Christian Labit, 7 Patrick Tabacco, 6 Sébastien Chabal, 5 Thibault Privat, 4 David Auradou, 3 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 2 Yannick Bru, 1 Sylvain Marconnet.
Replacements used: Raphaël Ibañez, Jean-Jacques Crenca, Fabien Pelous, Olivier Magne, Frédéric Michalak, Brian Liebenberg, Nicolas Brusque.
Referee: Chris White (England)
2007 - Argentina 34 France 10
Parc des Princes, Paris, on October 19
It is by far the best Argentina has done at a World Cup and in doing it they twice beat France in the same World Cup - a fate that could again be France's lot in 2011 after losing to New Zealand in their pool match.
Tries: Felipe Contepomi 2, Hasan Jalil, Aramburu, Corleto
Cons: F Contepomi 3
Pen: F Contepomi
Argentina: 15 Ignacio Corletto, 14 Federico Martín Aramburu, 13 Manuel Contepomi, 12 Felipe Contepomi, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Agustin Pichot (captain), 8 Juan Martín Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Gonzalo Longo, 6 Martín Durand, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Rimas Alvarez Kairelis, 3 Omar Hasan Jalil, 2 Alberto Vernet Basualdo, 1 Rodrigo Roncero
Replacements used: Martín Ayerza, Eusebio Guiñazu, Esteban Lozada, Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Nicolás Fernandez Miranda, Federico Todeschini, Hernán Senilhosa.
France: 15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Aurélien Rougerie, 13 David Marty, 12 David Skrela, 11 Christophe Dominici, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Jean-Batiste Elissalde, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Jérôme Thion, 4 Lionel Nallet, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Raphaël Ibañez, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
Replacements used: Sébastien Bruno, Sébastien Chabal, Rémy Martin, Pierre Mignoni, Vincent Clerc.
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)
By Paul Dobson
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