New Zealand ended a 24-year World Cup drought when they edged France 8-7 in an epic Final in Auckland on Sunday.
In a game of inches the teams scored one try each, but a Stephen Donald penalty trumped a Francois Trinh-Duc.
New Zealand showed early nerves in the face of a motivated French onslaught, but they benefitted from some very exceptionally lenient calls by the referee
And then the curse of the flyhalves struck again, as Aaron Cruden injured his knee late in the first half and Donald stepped up to slot what turned out to be the winner.
The French had their chances, such as a missed penalty by Trinh-Duc with just over 10 minutes to go, but in the end the scoreboard will reflect on the All Blacks as the victors.
More to follow...
For New Zealand:
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Richard Kahui, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Brad Thorn, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Sonny Bill Williams.
France: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Morgan Parra, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Lionel Nallet, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 William Servat, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Fabien Barcella, 18 Julien Pierre, 19 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 20 Francois Trinh-Duc, 21 Jean Marc Doussain, 22 Damien Traille.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Nigel Owens (Wales)
TMO: Giulio De Santis (Italy)
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