Video highlights: All Blacks beat Wallabies 34-17 to win Rugby World Cup

Richie McCaw lifts the trophy (Getty Images)
Richie McCaw lifts the trophy (Getty Images)

History has been made.

In front of a sell-out crowd of more than 81,000 spectators at Twickenham, the All Blacks have outgunned a gallant Wallabies side 34-17 to win the Rugby World Cup.

The All Blacks have become the first country to win back to back world cups, and in the process become the first country to win three World Cups in total as well as their first away from New Zealand.

The crowd was very much behind the men in black and they obliged, though they had to overcome a spirited comeback from the Wallabies, after the All Blacks at one stage had a 13-point lead.

It is a dream finale for Richie Mccaw, Dan Carter,  Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith who have played in the black jersey for the last time.

Carter was at his very best, producing a Man of the Match-winning performance in his last game in the All Blacks jersey.

Twice he was hit in dubious tackles - but he continued on and was largely faultless with the boot.  His drop goal in the second half took the margin to seven points. His penalty to follow sealed the game.

The All Blacks made the early going, a break from Ma'a Nonu, some bone-crunching tackles especially a memorable one on Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper. Their reward was an eight minute penalty to Dan Carter.

But the Wallabies replied after the All Blacks were penalised for collapsing the scrum.

Seven minutes later the All Blacks wasted a kickable position with a tap-and-go only for Hooper to get the turnover.

The much vaunted Wallaby trio of Hooper, David Pocock, and Scott Fardy repeatedly made a menace of themselves at the breakdown. 

But the All Blacks forwards had a sensational opening 40 minutes with 70 percent possession, with lock Sam Whitelock particularly prominent.

In the 20th minute Carter went down, grabbing his knee, hit in a late tackle by prop Sekope Kepu. The Australian was penalised, but stayed on the park with Carter bouncing back quickly.

In the 28th, Carter got hit high again by the same player, kicking the penalty to take the All Blacks to 6-3.

The All Blacks were awarded a penalty somewhat luckily before the break when a pass from Nehe Milner-Skudder went forward. Carter's kick made it 9-3.

From the re-start Mccaw and Ben Smith featured as they showed some real attacking intent.

With 90 seconds to go before halftime, the All Blacks shifted right with Conrad Smith making the decisive break before Milner-Skudder dotted down in the corner.

With Carter adding the conversion it was 16-3 and a crippling blow psychologically to the Aussies.

Smith was replaced at halftime by Sonny Bill Williams. He made a trademark off-load with his first touch of the ball and within seconds Nonu was away.

He got the ball 35 metres out and pinned his ears back. He was not going to be topped.

At 21-3 the Wallabies were in a world of hurt.

The All Black scrum humiliated the Wallabies in the 50th minute and at times it was helter skelter attacking by both sides.

In the 52nd minute Ben Smith made a tackle that left the attention of, who else, but assistant referee Wayne Barnes. It looked to be a tip-tackle on wing Drew Mitchell and after referrals he was sin binned.

From the ensuing five-metre lineout the Wallabies crashed over to rolling maul specialist Pocock. It had Wallabies coach Michael Cheika punching the air, and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen looking on pensively.

The conversion by Bernard Foley took the score to 21-10 with 24 minutes to play. That really sparked the game into life, with the wallabies sensing an opportunity.

In the 64th minute they pounced, a chip kick was re-gathered inside the All Blacks 22m line and centre Tevita Kuridrani went over. It was 21-17 and suddenly game on. They had scored two tries while Smith was off setting up a riveting last 15 minutes.

In the 70th minute Carter hit a drop-goal to take them out to 24-17 and added another penalty from near halfway with six minutes left to send the crowd into hysterics.

It had been an epic performance from Carter, who only a day ago had talked about how he dreamed of kicking the winning points in a World Cup final as a 5 and 6 year old. Dreams do come true it seems.

And what about Beauden Barrett who came off the bench to add some real vigour in the backline. With two minutes left, Ben Smith made the break and Barrett toed the ball before re-gathering to score under the posts.

Carter added the conversion (of course) to take it to 34-17.

The glory of being world champions is theirs, as is the $150,000 per player that goes with it.

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