New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen believes Saturday’s World Cup final against Australia has the potential to buck a recent trend.
The last two World Cup finals have produced a total of just two tries and have been games dominated by nervous tension.
And while the 2015 instalment is no different in terms of how high the stakes are, both teams have a reputation for playing adventurous, attacking rugby.
“The pressure will be on both teams, but I don’t think that will inhibit either one of them,” Hansen said.
“The Australian team will play to their strengths, and we will play to ours. Given the conditions are okay, I think we will see see some running rugby. Whether that results in a lot of tries depends on how good the defences are.
“We are looking forward to it immensely. I know, win or lose, we will put in a performance we will be proud of.
“If that’s good enough to win, great. If not, we will look at ourselves and ask what we need to do better.
“But we won’t be inhibited by the occasion. This group is in a good place and excited about what’s coming, and we’ve got a bit of talent, so if we play well, the result might come our way.”
New Zealand will become the first nation to claim back-to-back world titles if they beat Australia, and All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter is relishing the challenge that awaits.
“It’s a big occasion and one that this team and myself are pretty excited about, but it’s just a matter of controlling those emotions and not thinking too much about the outcome,” said Carter, who makes his 112th and final Test appearance before embarking on a three-year deal with French club Racing 92.
“It’s not about me. It is not about guys playing their last game. It is about this 2015 All Blacks side that has been working extremely hard all year.
“My motivating factor is just wanting to go out there and play the best I possibly can for my team-mates alongside me.”
Carter was injured during the 2011 pool stages – New Zealand went on to be crowned world champions without him – and England 2015 was on his mind when he signed a fresh four-year contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union shortly afterwards.
“In the back of my mind, after 2011, the reason I signed a four-year deal was to give myself another chance of a World Cup,” he said.
“I was looking that far ahead. It was in the back of my mind – to be here. I just wanted to be a part of this side for this World Cup.”