LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Ruthless New Zealand withstood a rousing fightback from Australia before crushing the Wallabies 34-17 at Twickenham to become world champions for a record third time and the first team to retain the Webb Ellis Cup.
Tries from Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ma‘a Nonu, a superb early second-half score in his last test, had the clinical All Blacks 21-3 ahead after dominating territory and possession.
Ben Smith’s yellow card gave the Wallabies renewed hope and they hit back through tries from David Pocock and Turid Kuridrani to set up a thrilling final 16 minutes before Dan Carter’s drop goal, long-range penalty and Beauden Barrett’s late try settled an absorbing contest.
Man of the match Carter kicked 19 points in a fitting finale to his international career after missing the 2011 final through injury.
The All Blacks have lost just three times in 54 matches since their triumph on home soil four years ago. (Reporting by Justin Palmer)