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All Blacks beat France 8-7 in World Cup Final

Updated: October 23, 2011, 05:49


AUCKLAND, New Zealand(AP) New Zealand survived the last of an uncanny spate of flyhalf injuries to close a cavernous gap in its rugby history, beating France 8-7 in a gripping Rugby World Cup final to become the third team to win the title twice.

All Blacks No. 10 Aaron Cruden limped from the field with a knee injury after 33 minutes, joining predecessors Dan Carter and Colin Slade as casualties of the tournament and leaving New Zealand's fourth-choice flyhalf, the often vilified Stephen Donald, to sustain its World Cup hopes.

France also lost its starting flyhalf, the adapated scrumhalf Morgan Parra, after only 22 minutes in a match of grim physical attrition and his replacement, Francois Trinh-Duc played both the hero and villain as a tense final unfolded.

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