New Zealand became the first nation to retain the Rugby World Cup as Dan Carter inspired the All-Blacks to a third World Cup crown with a convincing 34-17 victory over Australia.
The retiring Carter was responsible for 19 points as tires from Nehe Milner-Skudder, Ma’a Nonu and Beauden Barrett helped the All-Blacks to become the first country to win three World Cups.
Dan Carter and Bernard Foley exchanged early penalties in the first-half before Milner-Skudder scored New Zealand’s first try right before half-time following from a further two penalties and the conversion from Carter gave the All-Blacks a 16-3 lead into the break.
Just two minutes into the second-half, Ma’a Nonu surged ahead for a second try after picking up on a loose ball to further extend New Zealand’s lead to 18 points.
Australia began to make a comeback as tries from David Pocock and Tevita Kuridrani along with successful conversions from one of the player’s of the tournament Bernard Foley reduced the deficit to four points with 15 minutes remaining.
However, it was Dan Carter again who denied the Wallabies what could have one of the greatest comebacks as his drop goal and a fourth penalty of the game made sure New Zealand were not going to throw this away.
Beauden Barrett’s late try was the icing on the cake as Dan Carter completed his international career with another conversion as New Zealand deserving won a third World Cup.
On Friday night, South Africa claimed the bronze medal as the Springboks proved too powerful for Argentina to take third place with a 24-14 win at the Olympic Stadium.
Tries from JP Pietersen and Eben Etzebeth along with 14 points from the boot of Handre Pollard helped South Africa to victory and although Argentina did put up a fight, the Springboks defence were too strong for the Pumas attack.
Despite their win, it was a bad night for Bryan Habana, as the 32-year-old missed four fine chances to break the all-time World Cup try-scoring record as he and New Zealand’s Jonah Lomu remain tied on 15 tries each.
New Zealand 34-17 Australia
Third-place Play-off Result
South Africa 24-14 Argentina