London, Nov 1: New Zealand became the first team to retain the Rugby World Cup in history after beating Australia 34-17 in the final at the Twickenham stadium.
The All Blacks dominated the first half and went ahead 21-3 early in the second thanks to brilliant tries from Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ma’a Nonu.
The Australians made a brave comeback and managed to narrow the gap to 21-17 with 15 minutes to go.
Dan Carter, playing his 112th match for New Zealand, extended the defending champion’s lead with a long-distance drop-goal and penalty.
Substitute Beauden Barrett made a solo run after receiving Ben Smith’s clearing kick in the dying minutes which sealed the victory for New Zealand.
Carter was outstanding under a ferocious Wallaby assault, landing 19 points from the tee, and his captain Richie McCaw was not far behind as their side was tested to the limit.
Carter, who missed the final four years ago due to injury, said after the match: “I’m pretty grateful to be where I am considering what happened four years ago. I’m so proud of the team. To win back-to-back World Cups is a dream come true – it’s a special feeling to be part of such a great team.”
Australia captain Stephen Moore said: “They thoroughly deserved to win. They have been the best team in the tournament and they played really well tonight.”(IANS)