On this day in 2015: All Blacks defeat Australia to win Rugby World Cup

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New Zealand made sporting history at Twickenham on this day in 2015 after they beat Australia 34-17 to win the World Cup for a second-successive time.

The All Blacks were also the first side to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy on three occasions after retaining the crown they had won four years earlier.

A 16-3 half-time lead was soon extended before the Wallabies mounted a comeback but Dan Carter’s ice cool drop goal was followed by a penalty which established a comfortable lead that Beauden Barrett added to with a try at the death to make history.

Both Southern Hemisphere nations had to survive tight knock-out matches to reach the showpiece event with Australia edging out Scotland 35-34 following a Twickenham thriller in the quarter-finals, while New Zealand narrowly battled past South Africa in the semi-finals by a two-point margin.

Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ma’a Nonu tries either side of half-time put the All Blacks in control after the opening 40 had contained some huge hits mixed in with flair and skill.

Australia mounted a terrific response when David Pocock and Tevita Kuridrani crossed over but Carter showed his class with some flawless kicking before replacement Barrett sprinted away onto Ben Smith’s kick to confirm New Zealand’s win.

Beauden Barrett is mobbed by his New Zealand team-mates after scoring in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final against Australia
Beauden Barrett was mobbed by his New Zealand team-mates after scoring in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final against Australia (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Captain Richie McCaw retired a month later to bow out of union’s top table, having at the time played a world-record 148 Tests, winning 131 of them.

All Blacks’ Milner-Skudder, Conrad Smith, Julian Savea and Carter were named in the 2015 World Cup dream team after the tournament had concluded.

Savea’s tally of eight tries equalled the most in a single World Cup, which was also matched by compatriot Jonah Lomu and South African Bryan Habana.

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