New Zealand create double history with Rugby World Cup final win over Australia

New Zealand's Richie McCaw lifts the Webb Ellis Cup
New Zealand's Richie McCaw lifts the Webb Ellis Cup

NEW ZEALAND 34 AUSTRALIA 17

New Zealand made sporting history at Twickenham as they became the first team to be crowned Rugby World Cup winners for a second successive time.

Tries in each half by wing Nehe Milner-Skudder and centre Ma’a Nonu, followed by a late Beauden Barrett breakaway score, plus 19 points from All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter - including an important late drop-goal - in his 112th and final Test before joining French club Racing 92, saw New Zealand home 34-17.

It extended their record World Cup winning run to 14 Tests, and means the Webb Ellis Cup will remain New Zealand’s property as they claimed a third world crown since the competition began 28 years ago.

But they were briefly given a second-half scare as Australia threatened a remarkable fightback from 18 points adrift after 42 minutes as number eight David Pocock and centre Tevita Kuridrani scored tries, with fly-half Bernard Foley converting both touchdowns that followed an earlier penalty.

It proved to be a pulsating final, brilliantly refereed by Welshman Nigel Owens, but New Zealand had enough in the tank to guarantee a winning farewell to Test rugby for the likes of Carter, Nonu, Conrad Smith and probably 148 times-capped Captain Marvel Richie McCaw.

The tournament’s best two teams played out a thrilling spectacle, with Australia often giving as good as they got, but New Zealand ultimately possessed a mastery of the key moments as they dug deep into rich resources of experience to see them home.

It was the first time New Zealand won the trophy outside their own country and they became the first nation in history to win three World Cups.