The Latest: Dan Carter yelled at ball for drop goal
Oct. 31, 2015
LONDON (AP) — The latest at the Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia (all times local):
After getting injured during New Zealand's Rugby World Cup-winning campaign four years ago, Dan Carter was relieved to finally be on the field in the final this time. And it was Carter's kicking that secured the Webb Ellis Cup for a record third time for the All Blacks.
No kick was perhaps more important than Carter's audacious dropped goal after Australia narrowed the score to 21-17.
"I was just yelling at the ball, 'Go! Go!'" man-of-the-match Carter said amid the celebrations on Twickenham. "I wasn't sure I had enough. I was just relived to see it go over."
As Carter prepared to collect the trophy, the flyhalf said: "I'm pretty grateful to be where I am after what happened four years ago ... it's a pretty strong group of guys. We try to do things that no other team has done before."
It was likely to be the 33-year-old Carter's last match for New Zealand as he is going to play club rugby in France.
"He is one of the great players isn't he?" New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said. "To be able to come out and show all of his skills tonight is pretty special."
New Zealand had a commanding 21-3 lead early in the second half but a couple of Australian tries made it seem the final would be more anxious for the defending champions.
Carter ensured it wouldn't be, as he extended his world-record test points tally to 1,598.
"I knew the momentum was against us," New Zealand captain Richie McCaw said. "It was a matter of not panicking and doing the simple things to get the ball back and get the control back ... it shows the caliber of the men we've got."
New Zealand has won a record third Rugby World Cup, and become the first team to successfully defend the title after beating Australia 34-17 in a breathless final at Twickenham.
New Zealand led 21-3 soon after halftime, then Australia attempted to pull off the biggest comeback in tournament history. The Wallabies scored two converted tries to cut the gap to four, but the All Blacks pulled further ahead with a Dan Carter dropped goal and penalty for breathing room at 27-17 with five minutes to go.
Australia stayed on attack, and in the last minute a fumbled pass was scooped up by New Zealand fullback Ben Smith, who chipped ahead for replacement back Beauden Barrett to score and finish a thrilling match.
New Zealand leads Australia 21-10 with a quarter to go in the Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham.
The All Blacks, up 16-3 at halftime, scored their second try less than two minutes into the new half. Sonny Bill Williams, on for center Conrad Smith, made offloads with his first two touches, and Ma'a Nonu slipped into open Australian territory, stepped around Kurtley Beale and beat the cover to the line.
Carter couldn't convert, but at 21-3, New Zealand was asking Australia to make the biggest comeback in tournament history to win.
Australia scored its first try while New Zealand fullback Ben Smith was in the sin-bin for a tip tackle on Drew Mitchell. The Wallabies drove No. 8 David Pocock over from a lineout, and Bernard Foley added the two points to cut their deficit to 11.
New Zealand led Australia 16-3 in the Rugby World Cup final, scoring the only try moments before halftime.
After a long buildup, winger Nehe Milner-Skudder was given a free run into the right corner for his eighth try in his eighth test, and Dan Carter made the conversion from the sideline, under pressure from Kurtley Beale's charge. Carter, the leading scorer in test rugby, also landed three penalties to be perfect off the tee.
Australia counterpart Bernard Foley kicked over their only points to tie the score in the 13th minute.
The score was a fair reflection of a half in which New Zealand dominated the attack, making Australia commit to 68 tackles, more than twice as many as New Zealand. The All Blacks were also getting over the gainline, as Australia missed 17 tackles, and New Zealand only two.
The trial in defense was wearing down Australia, which lost two starters in the half, lock Kane Douglas badly twisting his left knee after jumping for restart ball, and inside center Matt Giteau coming off second best in a tackle on New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick.
Both teams are trying to win the World Cup for a record third time.
The Rugby World Cup final was 3-3 through the first quarter after penalty kicks each by New Zealand's Dan Carter and Australia counterpart Bernard Foley.
Carter slotted first in the seventh minute, reward for the All Blacks' brilliant start, including a Ma'a Nonu break into the Wallabies' 22.
New Zealand remained on attack until an Australian clearance was knocked on All Blacks fullback Ben Smith. That gave Australia a scrum, in which New Zealand was penalized for collapsing. Foley landed the kick from 25 meters out.
Moments later, New Zealand had a penalty in front of the Australia posts, and scrumhalf Aaron Smith quick-tapped, but flanker Jerome Kaino was penalized for not releasing, and Australia cleared.
Argentina lock Tomas Lavanini has been cited for charging into a ruck or maul without using his arms in the third-place loss to South Africa on Friday.
His hearing will be on Sunday in London before judicial officer Terry Willis of Australia.
As famous as any of the 30 players on the field at Twickenham is Nigel Owens. The referee's reputation in rugby has soared even higher during this tournament.
The Welshman is respected for his no-nonsense management of big matches as much as his sharp retorts to players during matches, where referees are heard on television broadcasts through their microphones.
Owens has broken down barriers by being one of the few openly gay men in sports and he engages with rugby fans through Twitter — even in the hours before Saturday's final (https://twitter.com/Nigelrefowens ).
Here is an Associated Press interview from earlier this year with Owens: http://bit.ly/1N1Tpuc
And here is a collection at some of his best quips and put-downs: http://bit.ly/1N1ThuM
Princes William and Harry are watching the final at Twickenham in west London. But it is the younger, bearded brother Harry — fresh from an official visit to Washington where he saw President Barack Obama — who will present the trophy. The 31-year-old Harry is honorary president of the tournament organizing committee.
Joining the princes in the royal box is International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, ahead of rugby sevens making its debut at the games in Rio de Janeiro next year.
Sebastian Coe, who ran the London Olympics in 2012 before becoming president of track and field's governing body in August, is also in the luxury seats alongside New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, and former Australian premier John Howard.
English movie director Guy Ritchie, New Zealand-born Aussie country star Keith Urban and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan also secured the prime seats in the stadium.
In unseasonably warm London, rugby's top two teams are competing for the World Cup. New Zealand and Australia are facing off at Twickenham in the eighth final.
Despite host England being humiliated by exiting in the pool stage, World Cup organizers are celebrating the culmination of the most successful tournament in its 28-year history: 97 percent of tickets have been sold — 2.4 million — and hundreds of thousands of foreign fans have flown in for matches.
Beside a third title, New Zealand is seeking to become the first team to successfully defend the Webb Ellis Cup. Dan Carter will be bowing out of international rugby, looking to extend his world-record tally of 1,579 test points. Another All Black, captain Richie McCaw, is also set to end his international career after a world record 148th test.
Australia is eyeing its first of the 21st century after being stunned by England on home soil in 2003. Inside center Matt Giteau is the only player in the team, or reserves, who featured 12 years ago.
The two occasions the Wallabies lifted the World Cup were in Britain: At Twickenham in 1991, and the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff eight years later.