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Some Kiwis think it's all over for World Cup.

A NEW Zealand newspaper seems to think the All Blacks have already won next year's Rugby World Cup after Saturday's stunning demolition of Australia.

The New Zealand Herald's front page carries a plug to a column by outspoken columnist Chris Rattue , with the headline 'Just give us the World Cup now'.

In his column, Rattue claims the current crop of All Blacks will be unbeatable in Japan if they keep their team together.

He also says outside-half Beauden Barrett, who scored a record four tries against the Wallabies at Eden Park, is the greatest number 10 ever to play the game.

"It's time to jump the gun," he wrote.

"They might as well hand over the Webb Ellis Cup now, with the All Blacks looking this good.

"If this All Blacks team holds together --and that's no gimme considering some of the players' ages and injury histories -- they will be unbeatable at the World Cup in Japan next year.

"They've got so many strings to their bow, the most important being an ability to up the ante when under pressure. They've also got Beauden Barrett, who ripped the Wallabies apart at Eden Park on Saturday night."

"Barrett may come to be widely regarded as the greatest No 10 to pull on a rugby jersey, and he's certainly already the best I've seen."

Barrett's display in the 40-12 victory was certainly a performance that left many people in awe.

Remarkably, there had even been calls for him to be replaced by Richie Mo'unga in the starting team ahead of the match. Such a notion was proved to be somewhat flawed by one of the great individual performances of recent times.

The 27-year-old, who features among the list of the top 20 best paid players in the world right now , grabbed his first after just 12 minutes, cutting a lethal angle through the Wallabies defence before adding a further three to help him become only the fourth All Black to reach the 500 point mark.

The All Blacks are huge favourites with the bookies to lift the Webb Ellis trophy next year for a third consecutive time at 11/10. Ireland are second favourites at 9/2, followed by England at 7/1. Wales are sixth favourites at 18/1. Steve Hansen's side have lost just three of their 33 matches (to Ireland, Australia and the British and Irish Lions) since the last World Cup.

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<B Beauden Barrett crosses for his third try against Australia

<B George North on a typical barnstorming charge during the Ospreys' pre-season game with Saracens

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Aug 28, 2018
Words:430
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