New Zealanders will celebrate long and hard, after 24 years of World Cup heartache ended in Auckland on Sunday.
The All Blacks recorded a 8-7 win over France at Eden Park, a game that produced one try each.
While the curse of the All Black flyhalf struck again - with Aaron Cruden leaving the field late in the first half with a knee injury - it was the fourth-choice No.10, Stephen Donald who slotted what turned out to be the match-winning penalty.
New Zealand showed plenty nerves in the face of a motivated French onslaught, and they benefitted from some very lenient calls by the referee, but the Kiwis held on to claim the Webb Ellis Cup.
As former All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick said, maybe the Kiwis didn't deserve to win this match, but they deserved to win the World Cup.
Jan de Koning rates the New Zealand players!
15 Israel Dagg:
He made good metres with the ball in hand, but a poor penalty kick (for touch) late in the first half undid the good work. He did well to control a poor pass from Kahui and was good under the high ball.
14 Cory Jane:
Limited opportunities with the ball in hand and was well-watched by the French defence. Made no major mistakes, but was rather quiet.
13 Conrad Smith:
There was a big tackle on Parra, but he was very disappointing with ball in hand. He often ran at a 45-degree angle and cutting down the space for his outside backs. He - made plenty of tackles, but also slipped four tackles.
12 Ma'a Nonu:
He was always a threat with the ball in hand and managed to break the line on occasion. Great kick early in the first half, after the French pinned New Zealand in their own half, but also conceded a penalty. Made plenty of tackles.
11 Richard Kahui:
His options were not always the best, kicking the ball unnecessary at times. There was a great touchfinder midway through the second half.
10 Aaron Cruden:
The curse of the All Black flyhalf struck again at this World Cup. He was not allowed as much room as he would have liked and forced into mostly a passing game - then left the field after he hyper-extended his right knee in a tackle in the 34th minute.
9 Piri Weepu:
His first two penalty-kicks were shockers and his conversion was also wide. He won a penalty at a ruck and then produced a great touchfinder. However, he was under pressure from Dusautoir, and got nailed a couple of times. There was a big mistake at the base that resulted in France's first try and then a restart directly into touch - taken off straight afterwards.
8 Kieran Read:
Crucial in the line-outs, after a shaky start by Mealamu, and strong with ball in hand. There were plenty of first-half carries - breaking the line - and he made a nuisance of himself on the ground. Also pushed his tackle count into double figures.
7 Richie McCaw (captain):
Scrapping well on the ground, and even though he was pinged on occasion, he worked hard on defence and collected a few huge bombs. There was a brilliant tackle on Maxime Medard late in the game and racked up the highest tackle count of all the Kiwis - literally putting his body on the line.
6 Jerome Kaino:
He was again a monster at the breakdown and on defence. There was the odd knock-on, but worked hard throughout the games as he always does.
5 Brad Thorn:
There was simply far too much off the ball stuff from the veteran and his line-out work not that great either. He made up for it with some good work on defence.
4 Sam Whitelock:
Worked hard to disrupt the French maul and racked up a huge tackle count. But he disappeared after the break and was pulled off early.
3 Owen Franks:
Made some good tackles and worked hard at the breakdown. He was also lucky to have some scrum calls go his way.
2 Keven Mealamu:
Started with a poor early throw at line-out, but recovered and worked very hard on defence. We didn't see enough of his ball-in-hand efforts, which had become a trademark over the years.
1 Tony Woodcock:
There was a crucial early penalty turnover that he won and scored the opening try from a classic set-piece move. However, he was penalised at a first-half scrum and missed a few tackles. Overall, a good day at the office.
16 Andrew Hore (on for Keven Mealamu, 49th min):
Mixed bag. Had a line-out throw pinched and then did well to pinch a ball on the ground. However, he then conceded a scrum penalty.
17 Ben Franks:
18 Ali Williams (on for Sam Whitelock, 49th min):
Conceded a penalty at a maul late in the game, which gave the French good field position. Was lucky the French did not make more of what could have been a huge blunder.
19 Adam Thomson:
20 Andy Ellis (on for Piri Weepu, 49th min):
Passed 14 of the 20 balls he received in his stay on the field, but he did produce a couple of neat kicks over the top.
21 Stephen Donald (on for Aaron Cruden, 34th min):
Tried hard to miss his first penalty-kick from right in front, but turned out to be the team's match-winner. Had a great run and made more than 20 metres, then also a clever kick late in the match to win field position for the All Blacks.
22 Sonny Bill Williams (on for Ma'a Nonu, 76th min):
Not enough time to rate accurately.
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