Rugby World Cup 2015: New Zealand hold off Australia to secure consecutive crowns
New Zealand beat Australia to win back-to-back World Cup crowns
The All Blacks wrote their names into history on Saturday as they became the first nation to claim back-to-back World Cup crowns.
It was a thrilling final at Twickenham in what was the last game for a host of All Blacks stars – most likely including skipper Richie McCaw and star fly-half Dan Carter.
Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ma’a Nonu crossed for tries either side of the interval as New Zealand raced into a 21-3 lead against Australia.
But the All Blacks have never previously won a World Cup not staged on home soil and when Ben Smith was given a yellow card the Wallabies came storming back.
David Pocock and Tevita Kuridrani both went over while Smith was in the sin bin and at 21-17 before the hour mark, the game was back in the balance.
But the All Blacks are not the world’s No.1 side for nothing – they have only lost three times since claiming the World Cup crown back in 2011 – and they saw out the game expertly.
Carter – who missed that triumph four years ago with injury – kicked a drop goal and a booming penalty from the halfway line to stretch the lead back out to ten points.
And there was still time late on for replacement Beauden Barrett to race clear in the closing stages to seal a 34-17 victory.