On this day in 2015: New Zealand retain World Cup as Carter and McCaw bow out

Dan Carter admitted he could hardly have had a better ending to his glittering international career after his man-of-the-match performance helped New Zealand to a third World Cup triumph on this day in 2015.

The fly-half’s flawless kicking put New Zealand in control and then ended Australia’s hopes after the Wallabies threatened a comeback, as he finished with 19 points in a 34-17 victory at Twickenham.

New Zealand’s win meant they became the first team in history to retain the World Cup after their success on home soil four years earlier.

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw later hung up his boots after winning 148 caps, with New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen rating McCaw and Carter as the best All Blacks of all time.

Hansen said: “Richie is the best All Black we have ever had, and Dan is a close second.

“The only thing that separates them is Richie has played 148 matches at flanker, which is unheard of. You put your body on the line every time you go there.

“The challenge for the other guys is to try and become as great as him and Dan.”

New Zealand’s Richie McCaw lifts the Webb Ellis Cup
New Zealand’s Richie McCaw lifts the Webb Ellis Cup (Mike Egerton/PA)

Hansen also paid tribute to Australia for putting up a strong fight in the second half.

“On a night like this, it’s extremely tough for the loser, but I thought Australia were magnificent in the way they approached the game, they never went down.

“At 21-3, you could be fooled into thinking the game was over, but at 21-17 they could easily have come back.”

All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams, meanwhile, gave his World Cup winner’s medal to a fan in the Twickenham crowd after the game.

Young All Blacks supporter Charlie Line tried to race on to the pitch to celebrate with his heroes, only to be stopped by stewards.

Williams was then pictured meeting Line, and draping his medal around the youngster’s neck.