New Zealand win Rugby World Cup: Dan Carter hails victory

Fly-half Dan Carter has described leading New Zealand to Rugby World Cup history in his final international match as "the ultimate achievement".

He kicked 19 points as the All Blacks beat Australia 34-17 to become the first side to retain the trophy.

Carter, who is ending his international career to join French side Racing 92, missed the 2011 win through injury.

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'Hugely satisfied' McCaw revels in win

"It has been an amazing career and to finish like this is hard to believe," said the 33-year-old.

"This victory means a lot - it was a dark place four years ago and I've had to work extremely hard to be here today."

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Carter is the all-time leading points scorer in Test rugby, finishing with 1,598 after starring in Saturday's win at Twickenham.

He has twice been voted world player of the year and is shortlisted for the prize again this year.

"This win is right up there with everything I've done in my career - it is the ultimate achievement," he said.

"I'm proud of the boys and what they have achieved. Becoming the first team to retain the trophy shows how special this side is."

New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter

Hansen hails the "two best All Blacks"

Captain Richie McCaw and fly-half Carter cemented their places as the two best players in All Blacks history with the win, according to coach Steve Hansen.

"Richie is the best All Black we have ever had and Dan is a close second," he said.

"The only thing that separates them is Richie has played 149 matches at flanker, which is unheard of - you put your body on the line every time you go there.

"The challenge for the other guys now is to to try and become as great as him and Dan."

New Zealand win World Cup
McCaw and Carter have won a combined total of more than 250 caps for the All Blacks

McCaw coy on retirement talk

McCaw seemed to indicate that he is not thinking about retiring after leading his nation to their third Rugby World Cup victory.

"I still don't want it to end," said the 34-year-old flanker, who also skippered the All Blacks to their 2011 triumph.

"I'm still part of this team, I'm going to enjoy today, how can you have enough of this?

"I don't think you ever have enough of it. If you get moments like this why would you ever call it a day."

New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw
McCaw joined ex-England prop Jason Leonard as the most capped player in Rugby World Cup history with 22 appearances

A nation parties... at 7am

Despite the final starting at 5am (16:00 GMT) back home, thousands of New Zealand fans set their alarm clocks early to watch the final.

And, following the victory, capital city Wellington went into party mode.

Jubilant supporters poured out of pubs on the capital's Courtenay Place entertainment strip, with cars flying All Black flags, tooting their horns and strangers in All Black jerseys and scarves hugging on the pavement.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key tweeted his congratulations, describing the All Blacks players as "absolute legends".

After the match, he also told the BBC: "My feeling is obviously one of elation now that we've got to the final whistle - and great pride.

"We have a team that has achieved something that no one else has in rugby terms, winning back-to-back World Cups."

New Zealand fans celebrate winning the World Cup
Supporters, such as these in Auckland, massed to celebrate New Zealand's win
New Zealand fans celebrate winning the World Cup
These fans in Wellington had to get up early to cheer on their heroes

"All Blacks deserve to be world champions"

New Zealand deserved their victory and to be crowned world champions, admitted Australia coach Michael Cheika.

Cheika, 48, has transformed the fortunes of the Wallabies since replacing Ewen McKenzie, who resigned in October last year after three straight defeats.

But he conceded that his side were not good enough to match the All Blacks.

"We fought back bravely, but they're the world champions and they deserve to be," added the former Leinster boss.

"New Zealand won fair and square and they've been the form team since the last World Cup. We wanted to challenge them tonight, and I think we did, but we just came up short."

Sonny Bill gives away medal

Sonny Bill Williams gives away medal
Williams has played rugby union and rugby league for New Zealand, and competed as a professional boxer

New Zealand centre Sonny Bill Williams, who earned admiration and praise for consoling opposite number Jesse Kriel in the wake of the All Blacks' semi-final win over South Africa, showed generosity in victory once again.

The 30-year-old gave his medal to a young fan who had been tackled by a security guard after attempting to run onto the pitch to celebrate with the players.

Fan celebrates being given Sonny Bill Williams medal
This lucky fan walked away with a World Cup winners' medal

Williams said that he felt sorry for Charlie Lines and hoped that "the medal made it a night to remember for him."

Williams was also part of the All Blacks team that won the tournament four years ago and will attempt to win gold with the New Zealand sevens team when rugby union makes its Olympic debut in Rio in 2016.

Social media reaction

Russell Crowe
Gladiator actor Russell Crowe, born in New Zealand but resident in Australia, is diplomatic over the result
Rupert Murdoch
Australia-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch attended the match, accompanied by American model Jerry Hall
Winston Reid
West Ham defender Winston Reid was part of the New Zealand football team that made the finals of the 2010 World Cup
Greg Normal
Two-time major-winning golfer Greg Norman commiserates with his fellow Australians
Melanie Blatt
Former All Saints singer Melanie Blatt was supporting the All Blacks
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