All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock has revealed that the audacious move performed off a line out take was rehearsed and “saved for the final”.
In the end it was the try that won the All Blacks the Rugby World Cup, with Jerome Kaino taking a clean throw from Keven Mealamu, who then palmed it neatly down into the gleeful arms of Woodcock, who crossed for the team’s only try of the match.
With the 83-test prop strolling over unchallenged in the 15th minute, one could have predicted – something that history has supported over recent years – that the All Blacks were going to cut loose and put on more tries.
Yet while the French forwards looked dumbfounded with being tricked by a move straight from the training paddock, they rolled up their sleeves and prevented any more scores from the All Blacks.
When Woodcock crossed coach Graham Henry was seen obviously patting assistant Steve Hansen on the back, clearly a move the forward’s coach had devised.
Woodcock said he was glad it worked.
"We put that one up our sleeve and saved it for the final, so I'm pretty happy it came off," he said.
"It was pretty satisfying to have that move up our sleeve. It was definitely a team effort.
"It just opened up and just to get over the line, it's pretty special for me."
Woodcock, one of the ten original members of the current World Cup squad who featured in France in 2007, admitted that the fight back from France, when Thierry Dusautoir scored his try in the 47th minute, had him thinking about the horrors four years ago.
"Throughout that last 20 minutes, I definitely had thoughts of what happened in 2007 running through my head," he said.
"It hasn't sunk in. It's unbelievable.
"Especially after 2007, what happened there and being involved in that, I'm just so rapt to get the win."
The most capped All Blacks prop in history said he knew it would be a titanic battle, but he didn’t expect it to be quite so competitive.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game," said Woodcock.
"We probably didn't want it to be that tight, but it was gutsy effort from everyone. It was definitely an interesting battle."