Wellington: New Zealand rugby fans across the country on Sunday celebrated a thrilling 34-17 win over arch-rival Australia in the Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham, becoming the first side to retain the Webb Ellis Cup.
The All Blacks were cruising 21-3 early in the second half before Ben Smith`s yellow card opened the door for Australia, who got back to within four points with tries by David Pocock and Tuvita Kuridrani.
But flyhalf Dan Carter, who missed most of the 2011 tournament through injury, stepped up with an exquisite drop goal and a 50-metre penalty to put the result beyond doubt.
All Blacks fans crammed into bars in the capital Wellington, with runners competing in the Auckland Marathon enjoying the match pre race on a big screen.
Captain Richie McCaw became the first man to lift the Rugby World Cup twice. Of his 148 test appearances, an all-time record, he has celebrated victory on a remarkable 131 occasions and suffered defeat only 15 times.
"This is not the first time but it is the last time but he deserves it," said one fan carrying a poster of McCaw, who is expected to retire from the game.
However, man of the match flyhalf Dan Carter drew special praise in his last outing in an All Blacks shirt, with one man enjoying his cool drop kick late in the game.
"I knew as soon as he struck there it was going over man. Go the All Blacks, what a win."
Excited fans drove through Auckland city centre, honking their horns and waving flags to celebrate a record breaking third world cup title.
"Best morning of my life," said one elated fan.
"[Richie] McCaw, [Dan] Carter, [Aaron] Smith, the big five, they all stood up. What more do you want mate?" said another.
"It`s never a question, it`s always All Blacks, always All Blacks so yeah and total respect for what they do, the hard work they put in, their families, giving up time for them to be over there," added one female fan.
"It was brilliant, I`m really proud of all the boys, they pulled together at the end and just, Richie [McCaw], good to see him off like that eh, really stoked, really stoked. Dan [Carter] played a flawless game which is good, all the boys came together at the end and really proud of them. Go New Zealand, go New Zealand," added another fan.
New Zealand have now won every World Cup match since losing to France in the 2007 quarter-finals.