1991 Rugby World Cup Final

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1991 Rugby World Cup Final
Event 1991 Rugby World Cup
Date 2 November 1991
Venue Twickenham Stadium, London
Referee Derek Bevan Wales

The 1991 Rugby World Cup Final was the final match of the 1991 Rugby World Cup, the second edition of the rugby union competition, to decide the world champions. The match was played on the 2nd November 1991 at Twickenham Stadium, London, and was contested by the host nation England, and Australia (also known as the Wallabies). Australia won the match 12–6.[1]

England had reached the final by playing an attritional, forward dominated game, but appeared to respond to heavy public criticism from David Campese and rejected this style of play in the final.[2] They chose to play a more expansive and open game, but failed to master it in the short time they had to practice it. The change in play was an attempt to unsettle the Australians, however, this proved flawed.[3]

Match summary[edit]

First half[edit]

In front of a crowd of over 56,000 spectators at Twickenham stadium,[4] the English and Australian teams met for battle. At the Grand Twikham stadium For both teams it was their first Rugby World Cup Final. Australia's resilient defence was to the fore in the opening half. Viliami Ofahengaue and Simon Poidevin both performed well in continually holding up the English attacking threat. Australia opened the scoring on 27 minutes with a Michael Lynagh penalty. Despite English dominance in possession, the only try of the match was scored just three minutes later by prop Tony Daly, touching down for a try following Ofahengaue's break from a line-out and subsequent drive from the Australian forwards. Michael Lynagh converted the try. At half-time Australia led England 9–0.[5]

Second half[edit]

England continued their open, running style but failed to crack the Australians. Webb put England on the scoreboard after an hour with a successful penalty kick. Lynagh added a further penalty for the Wallabies after 65 minutes. With the score at 12–3 to Australia, England had secured an overlap in an attack.[6] Peter Winterbottom looked to pass to England winger Rory Underwood but the pass was knocked down by David Campese. This was seen as a deliberate knock-on designed to foil an England score. Welsh referee Derek Bevan awarded the penalty and waved away England calls for a penalty try. Jonathan Webb slotted his second penalty of the game but no further England points were to follow. Though not a classic match, the better team won on the day,[7] Australia were rewarded for their efforts and captain Nick Farr-Jones held the Webb Ellis Cup triumphantly.

Match details[edit]

2nd November 1991
Australia  12–6  England
Try: Daly
Con: Lynagh
Pen: Lynagh (2)
Match report Pen: Webb (2)

FB 15 Marty Roebuck
RW 14 Bob Egerton
OC 13 Jason Little
IC 12 Tim Horan
LW 11 David Campese
FH 10 Michael Lynagh
SH 9 Nick Farr-Jones (c)
N8 8 Troy Coker
BF 7 Viliami Ofahengaue
OF 6 Simon Poidevin
RL 5 John Eales
LL 4 Rod McCall
TP 3 Ewen McKenzie
HK 2 Phil Kearns
LP 1 Tony Daly
Australia Bob Dwyer
FB 15 Jonathan Webb
RW 14 Simon Halliday
OC 13 Will Carling (c)
IC 12 Jeremy Guscott
LW 11 Rory Underwood
FH 10 Rob Andrew
SH 9 Richard Hill
N8 8 Mike Teague
OF 7 Peter Winterbottom
BF 6 Michael Skinner
RL 5 Paul Ackford
LL 4 Wade Dooley
TP 3 Jeff Probyn
HK 2 Brian Moore
LP 1 Jason Leonard
England Roger Uttley

This match was the last broadcast by Australia’s national broadcaster the ABC.[8]


  1. ^ "1991: Wallabies pip England". BBC. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Peatey, Lance. "1991: England tactics costly in the final". WWOS. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  3. ^ "A Change of Pace: England falter at the RWC 1991". Official RWC 2015 Site. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  4. ^ Seeckts, Richard (2 November 1991). "Wallabies claim their first World Cup". ESPN.co.uk. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "RWC 1991: Wallabies mean machine triumphs". Official RWC 2015 Site. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  6. ^ Mackenzie, George. "Wallabies Pip England". BBC. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  7. ^ Rugby News Services. "RWC 1991: Wallabies mean machine truimphs". Official RWC 2015 site. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  8. ^ "Australia wins the 1991 Rugby World Cup". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2014.