20 Oct 2011

Teams attempt to rally for bronze final

4:59 pm on 20 October 2011

Members of the Australian and Welsh sides say it may be hard to rise to the occasion for the Rugby World Cup bronze final.

The defeated semi-finalists play each other at Eden Park on Friday night.

For some, it is the chance to play for pride, but a former All Black who has been in their boots questions whether the bronze final should exist at all.

Wales coach Warren Gatland admits it is going to be a challenge for his team to regroup after last weekend's 9-8 defeat by France. It was the side's first Rugby World Cup semi-final.

Australian back Adam Ashley-Cooper seems in two minds about whether he would rather be heading home.

Former All Black prop Craig Dowd remembers only too well having to play in a grim match against South Africa in 1999. He thinks the tournament would be better off without the bronze final, saying it is effectively a nothing game.

But, in hindsight, Dowd says he would have loved to have had a bronze medal from that tournament. He says those playing should seize the opportunity to get a medal they may treasure in 20 years and up-and-coming players should take the chance to shine.