Rugby World Cup Final, Twickenham: New Zealand 34 (Tries: Milner-Skudder, Nonu, Barrett; Cons: Carter 2; Pens: Carter 4; Drop goals: Carter) Australia 17 (Tries: Pocock, Kuridrani; Cons: Foley 2; Pens: Foley)
Dan Carter excelled as New Zealand defeated Australia 34-17 in the World Cup final at Twickenham.
New Zealand were on top from the start, forcing Australia on to the back foot. Carter’s ever-accurate boot opened the scoring with an excellent penalty kick.
His opposite number Bernard Foley was on equally good form, though, levelling things up after Ben Smith had been penalised for a knock-on.
But Carter added two further penalties before Nehe Milner-Skudder scored the first try of the final on the right wing, which the fly half then converted to give the All Blacks a 16-3 lead at the break.
Ma’a Nonu increased the advantage with a marvellous solo run shortly after half-time.
Ben Smith complicated things for the All Blacks when he got himself sent to the sin-bin for tipping Drew Mitchell over. David Pocock capitalised immediately with the Wallabies’ first try, which Foley converted. Seconds before Smith could rejoin the fray, Tevita Kuridrani added another plus Foley’s extras, reducing the All Blacks to a four-point lead.
Yet the All Blacks maintained the advantage, with Carter adding a drop goal and a penalty in the closing minutes alongside a converted Beauden Barrett try, and were worthy champions.
What next for the world champions? As another generation of stars move on after this World Cup win, will the newbies step up to assert their mantle? And can anyone really replace the likes of Daniel Carter and Richie McCaw? This was the perfect swansong for them – but also highlighted just how great the departing players are.
MATCH IN A TWEET
— Alex Thomas (@alexthomascnn) October 31, 2015
39’ TRY! And it’s Nehe Milner-Skudder, who’s been wonderful this tournament. He finds himself in so much space on the right wing, and a neat exchange of passes gives him his chance.
42’ TRY! And what a try! And what a man to score it! There’s Ma’a Nonu, who’s been terrific all afternoon. He gets the ball and makes a fantastic run, going half the length of the pitch, running inside and powering off on the diagonal.
53’ TRY! And Pocock finishes off the move! He takes advantage of that extra space left by the exit of Smith as the Wallabies push forward.
63’ TRY! Now then! There’s Kuridrani over, thanks to great creativity from Beale again, who’s been very good this afternoon.
70’ DROP GOAL! Oh, Daniel Carter. The fulcrum of the All Blacks team with a marvellous quick step, creating himself space for a nifty drop over the posts.
78’ TRY! That’s that, then. Ben Smith’s clever decision-making makes up for that earlier yellow card, and Barrett runs on and gets it over the line.
New Zealand – Smith B, Milner-Skudder, Smith C, Nonu, Savea, Carter, Smith A, Read, McCaw, Kaino, Whitelock, Retallick, Franks, Coles, Moody.
Australia – Folau, Ashley-Cooper, Kuridrani, Giteau, Mitchell, Foley, Genia, Pocock, Hooper, Fardy, Simmons, Douglas, Kepu, Moore, Sio.