Final moments - 1999
By Mick Donohoe
Australia 35-12 France
6 November 1999 - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Two converted second-half tries by Australia and an impeccable day with the boot for full back Matt Burke, including seven penalties, confirmed Australia as two-time winners of the world cup.
Burke's 25-point haul, the most points scored by a player in a cup final, relegated France to bridesmaids for the second time in as many attempts.
Both teams earnt their place in the decider after epic semi-finals. Australia needed extra-time to win a tight contest with South Africa 27-21, a Stephen Larkham drop goal in the second period breaking the deadlock.
New Zealand were their expected opponents in the final, establishing a 24-10 lead against France early in the second half. However, Les Bleus then scored 33 unanswered points in a spell of scintillating rugby on their way to a shock 43-31 win.
Burke on target
Ahead 6-3 early, France had an opportunity to extend the lead through Abdel Benazzi, but the rampaging forward's effort was disallowed because of a knock-on.
Burke's radar-like boot gave Australia a 12-6 advantage at the break before they piled on the pressure in the second half.
France were still in the game at 21-12, after three further Burke penalties and Christophe Lamaison's fourth, but Wallabies wing Ben Tune scored in the corner to put the result beyond doubt.
Replacement Owen Finegan put the final nail in the coffin in the dying minutes after piercing through a gap in the French defence.
In the space of a week the mood in the French camp had turned from euphoria to disappointment as John Eales, Tim Horan, the player of the tournament, and Jason Little got their hands on the Webb Ellis Cup for the second time.