After 6 weeks and 48 matches, the winner of the Rugby World Cup was decided by a single point.
Despite holding the number one ranking and home ground advantage, the All Blacks only just scraped home by the slimmest of margins, in a tournament dominated by defense.
Antagonism between French coach Lievremont and his players ultimately cost them the Cup. In the last quarter of the match, when advice to position for a field goal was needed, there was no sign of communication between coaching box and players. Numerous opportunities to set for a shot at goal were spurned in favor of attempts to run wide around an impenetrable All Black defense.
Camped well inside the All Blacks half, the game was there for the taking; a field goal would have ensured an improbable French victory.
On the podium at the post-match presentation it was noticeable that the positioning of a group of officials ensured distance was maintained between a solemn Lievremont and his players.
As if they needed anything further to tarnish their dubious reputation, the dark side of French rugby was once again unveiled with indisputable video evidence of a despicable eye gouge by Aurelien Rougerie on a defenseless Richie McCaw.
Although the IRB took action against the French for taking a few steps towards the hakka, and against players for wearing non-sanctioned mouthguards during the tournament, in their wisdom they intend to do nothing about the eye-gouging.
There were further accusations that a photographer was spat on by lock Pascal Pape amid a physical altercation between French players and photographers, and recent reports quote Harinordoquy as saying that the team ignored Lievremont from the early stages of the tournament.
Had the French not been such a rabble, they would have won the Cup.