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Brilliant lineout move sets up Woodcock's try

Updated: October 23, 2011, 07:39


AUCKLAND, New Zealand(AP) Rugby teams often say they keep something up their sleeve for big moments. New Zealand saved a beauty for the Rugby World Cup final on Sunday.

The All Blacks' only try in the 8-7 victory came from a brilliant lineout move just meters from the France tryline. It led to prop Tony Woodcock rushing through a chasm in the defense and diving over in the 15th minute for the first points of the heartstopping match.

New Zealand fooled France in the lineout, set up by Piri Weepu's penalty kick to the right corner. Front jumper Sam Whitelock and his lifters rushed forward leaving a huge gap behind them. Keven Mealamu threw over them to flanker Jerome Kaino, who tapped down in front of him to Woodcock charging through the hole.

The burly loosehead prop easily brushed aside France scrumhalf Dimitri Yachvili and scored.

Woodcock, the All Blacks' most capped prop with 83 tests, was one of four in the team who played in the 2007 quarterfinal defeat to France, beside fellow forwards Richie McCaw, Ali Williams and Andrew Hore.

The 30-year-old Woodcock suffered a foot ligament strain that sidelined him for three months this year. The All Blacks coaches sweated on his recovery, and he was fit just in time to play the last two Tri-Nations matches to prove his readiness before the World Cup.

His value was underlined by his starting every match in his second World Cup, and scoring his first try in the competition. It was also his eighth test try, and first against anyone other than Australia or South Africa.

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