The mighty All Blacks are still champions of World Rugby, and if you haven’t heard already, it was all about Daniel Carter.
Known as the best first five in the history of the game, Daniel Carter sealed his undying legacy in the 2015 World Cup final by notching 19 of his sides points including a drop goal that pushed the deficit beyond a try for the Wallabies. Carter then sealed the deal with a penalty from deep in his own half, clinching victory for the All Blacks and ending a brilliant career on the best note.
It was Carter’s finest performance in the black jersey – bar absolute none.
All Black captain Richie McCaw had the opportunity to score a try in what is expected to be his last game on the international level, but unselfishly, McCaw handed the ball off to Nehe Milner-Skudder to secure the first try.
The Wallabies were god awful in the first half, losing control of possession in contact on four occasions in the opening quarter, and while it took the All Blacks nearly an entire half to convert in the red zone, the reality is the losing of the game for the Wallabies came from their worst first half performance of the tournament.
The half time talk worked for the Wallabies, but not until the game was well beyond their grasp, and two tries while All Black fullback Ben Smith was in the sin bin counted for little more than a shimmer of hope in the end.
When it came to the crunch and the opportunity to snatch the game was there, the Wallabies couldn’t hold possession, they went into a panic, and then Drew Mitchell dropped the ball, allowing Beauden Barrett to chase down the loose ball and score under the posts.
The final score was 34-17 at full time, and the All Blacks didn’t just win on the scoreboard, they run the much talked about battle of the breakdown.
The heart has to go out to Wallabies coach Michael Chieka, he has installed a new sense of belief, attitude, and professionalism to the squad in such a short time at the helm, and to come so close and not quite get the cherry will no doubt be a bitter pill to swallow.
Much will be made about the result and what it means going forward, but for the here and now history has been made, the All Blacks are the first team to win successive World Cups and Richie McCaw has become the first captain to lead a side to this feat.