LONDON, October 31 – All Blacks fans at Twickenham said they felt utterly elated after watching New Zealand win the Rugby World Cup for a record third time on Saturday.
The final whistle in their 34-17 triumph over Australia was just the starting gun for a long, long night of celebrations in London.
“I feel elated. It doesn’t get bigger or better than this,” said Nick Randell, 23, from Auckland.
“To be able to witness Richie McCaw and Dan Carter play their last Test match and lift the trophy together was amazing. It was an absolute privilege. I’ll never get over it.
“I just want to hug and kiss someone right now.”
Jordan Norgate, 24, from Taranaki on New Zealand’s North Island, said he was struggling to take it all in.
“It was absolutely outstanding from the get-go. The team showed a lot of intensity. Australia came back when we had a man in the sin bin,” he said.
“It’s absolutely unbelievable. It takes a while to sink in. I’ll be having a few pints on London town.”
Meanwhile Australians at the home of English rugby thought their side had fought valiantly but gave credit to the all-conquering All Blacks.
“We were always the underdogs. We had to give it our best shot and we certainly came stronger in the second half,” said Dave Whitelaw, 64, from Perth in Western Australia.
“New Zealand played to a game plan that was predictable but very difficult to beat.
“David Pocock, Michael Hooper and Scott Fardy were outstanding.
“But McCaw and Carter — their depth, their knowledge and their talent is outstanding and the world has to acknowledge a great team.
“The All Blacks were worthy winners and with that comes humility. It was great to see so many wonderful people in union in this great place.”