Three Jonny Wilkinson penalties and a try from Jason Robinson have England leading Australia 14-5 at half-time in the RWC final.
Australia started as they had done against the All Blacks in the semi-final and went in front in the 7th minute when Lote Tuiqiri gathered a superb cross-field kick from Stephen Larkham to score a try in the left-hand corner. Elton Flatley's conversion struck the upright. Jonny Wilkinson registered England's first score with an 11th minute penalty. Throughout this early stage the Ausssie defence was impressive as their ball-handling in the wet conditions.
In the 18th minute Larkham was penalized just outside his 10 metre line - he was also taken off to have a blood injury treated - and Wilkinson kicked England ahead (6-5). He was wide with his first drop-goal attempt four minutes later and when Australia knocked on in the 25th minute England countered and should have scored but Ben Kay knocked-on when all he had to do was hold and fall over for a try. But they reacted magnificently, had Australia in all sorts of trouble in a five-metre scrum and when the home side were penalised Wilkinson's radar-like penalty extended the lead (9-5). From the restart Matt Giteau - who had come on for Larkham - was flattened by Josh Lewsey, England were penalised for dropping a scrum but from just inside the England 10 metre-line, Flatley dragged his penalty attempt wide. That was a significant miss because England, already beginning to grow in confidence seemed to be lifted still further by that miss.They went further ahead with a minute to go to half-time when Lawrence Dallaglio, linked with Wilkinson to send Jason Robinson in at the corner (14-5). From an Aussie point of view the half time whistle couldn't come quick enough.
Five Irish sporting legends - Sonia O'Sullivan, Tony McCoy, Barry McGuigan, Henry Shefflin and Niall Quinn - visited Ireland camp on Wednesday evening for a memorable get-together with the squad. Ireland team manager Michael Kearney fills us in.
Speaking ahead of Ireland's crunch clash with France, scrum half Eoin Reddan said: "Everyone trained very hard today. Obviously we've a huge game at the weekend. We're all in no doubt about how much it means to people back home, and how much it means to us here."
Ireland prop Mike Ross talks about the preparations for Sunday's showdown with France. He also noted there is very little between the two teams at present, mentioning Ireland's 2014 and 2015 wins but also the fact that France have 'a much better World Cup record than we do.'
Looking forward to Ireland's Pool D decider with France next Sunday, hooker Sean Cronin said: "There's a great buzz around the squad. These big games are what you look forward to when it comes to World Cup time."
The gym isn't just about lifting weights, and different players require different loads depending on the training programmes. Strength and conditioning coach John Kiely and Iain Henderson talk us through today's session at Celtic Manor.
Iain Henderson feels this is 'more than likely the best Ireland team ever to compete in a World Cup'. "If we get all our stuff right, our set piece, and get some good counter attack, I don't see any reason why we can't turn the French over," he said, speaking ahead of Sunday's Pool D decider.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt announces the team to play Italy in the Rugby World Cup on Sunday and gives an update on the fitness of Jared Payne and Rob Kearney. Jonathan Sexton also talks about playing with a new centre pairing.
Ireland team manager Michael Kearney says Robbie Henshaw has trained fully this week and is available for selection for the Italy game. Meanwhile, the injuries sustained by Rob Kearney (glute strain) and Jared Payne (bruised foot) are being monitored.
Plyometrics, movement speed work, jump work and some heavy loaded lifting - all in a day's work for the Ireland squad as they hit the gym at Surrey Sports Park today. Strength and conditioning coach Jason Cowman and Ireland centre Darren Cave talk us through the session.
Ireland team manager Michael Kearney talks about the incredible atmosphere created by the Ireland fans for the Canada game and looks forward to a similar backing for Joe Schmidt's men against Romania at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.