26 Oct 2015

Wallabies play underdog card

6:12 pm on 26 October 2015

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has instantly grabbed the underdog tag for Sunday's Rugby World Cup final and said the All Blacks have Australia's measure.

The new and improved Wallabies beat Argentina's Pumas 29-15 in Monday morning's second semi-final to set up a mouth-watering Cup final with arch-rivals New Zealand, also at Twickenham.

But Cheika's moved quickly to claim the All Blacks are the overwhelming favourites, and admit that his much-improved team are bracing for the ultimate Test.

Wallabies Tevita Kuridrani and Adam Ashley-Cooper during the Rugby World Cup semi-final win over the Pumas at Twickenham, London, England. Sunday 25 October 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz

Wallabies Tevita Kuridrani and Adam Ashley-Cooper Photo: Photosport

Adam Ashley-Cooper scored a hat-trick which, combined with another steely defensive display, was enough to win the Wallabies through to their fourth Cup final - the same number as New Zealand.

The dream final between the world's two best teams will create history, with the victor becoming the first nation to hoist the William Webb-Ellis trophy three times.

Steve Hansen's New Zealanders are looking to become the first team to defend the World Cup, while Cheika's Australians' unbeaten record in the United Kingdom across three World Cups goes on the line.

Australia's head coach Michael Cheika (L) arrives for a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE

Australia coach Michael Cheika (L) arrives for the semi-final against Argentina at Twickenham Photo: AFP

Springboks mentor Heyneke Meyer heralded this All Blacks line-up, boasting all-time greats Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Conrad Smith among others, as the greatest of all time.

And while his Wallabies counterpart wasn't willing to support that compliment, Cheika did happily accept they're not the favourites in Sunday's decider.

"You've got to go back in the history annals, they've had some pretty special teams haven't they?" he said.

"They're obviously the world's No.1 aren't they. They're there for a reason. We've only beaten them once, I think, out of the last 10 - around something like that - so they'd be feeling pretty good.

"They've got our measure and it's going to be up to us to do something special, do something extra to just be competitive."

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