Final is a clean sheet, says All Blacks coach

Australia ended a four-year winless run against their local rivals with a 27-19 victory in Sydney on 8 August.

France take on the All Blacks in the 2015 Rugby World Cup on Saturday 17 October 2015. New Zealand beat France 62-13. Picture: @rugbyworldcup via Twitter.

LONDON - New Zealand and Australia know each other extremely well and can both point to a win in their last two meetings but All Black assistant coach Ian Foster says everything in the past will count for nothing in Saturday's Rugby World Cup final.

Australia ended a four-year winless run against their local rivals with a 27-19 victory in Sydney on 8 August, only the All Blacks' third defeat since winning the 2011 World Cup, but a week later New Zealand restored order in the shape of a five-try 41-13 thrashing in Auckland.

Asked on Monday about what the teams could take from those matches, Foster told reporters: "I think it's a total clean sheet.

"The lessons we learned from Sydney and Eden Park we've already applied in our game and put them into practice.

"It's a great rivalry and clearly we've played each other a few times but it's pretty special to play in a World Cup final against them."

Foster was typically businesslike when asked about the significance of the game for the team's elder statesmen such as Dan Carter and Richie McCaw and potentially three or four more who are set to retire after the World Cup.

"I don't think we need to spend much time on it at all," he said.

"It's the Rugby World Cup final. We've talked about this particular game for a long, long time. We've had to work hard to be here and now for all the team, whether they're thinking of moving on or not, this is all about the here and the now. This is the moment.

"There will be plenty of time afterwards to talk about people, but we don't want to waste this opportunity."

Lock Brodie Retallick echoed those thoughts, saying that nobody was thinking about the departing big names.

"I'm sure they wouldn't want that either," he said.

"Obviously, it's going to be a special day for them but maybe afterwards we'll reflect on that."

It was a special day on Monday for winger Nehe Milner-Skudder, who was earlier shortlisted for World Rugby's "Breakthrough Player of the Year" award.

"I've just heard about it and I'm blown away," said Milner-Skudder, who made his debut in that Sydney test, scoring two tries, and has scored a further five at the World Cup.

"I'm enjoying every minute of it at the moment and it's a privilege to be nominated."

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