All Blacks are Rugby World Cup champs

18:50, Oct 24 2011
NZ v France
All Blacks coach Graham Henry pregame.
NZ v France
All Black captain Richie McCaw warming up.
NZ v France
A young All Blacks' fan at Eden Park.
RWC: New Zealand v France
Ma'a Nonu warming up.
RWC: New Zealand v France
The cup is shown.
NZ v France
The French stand resolute before the All Blacks haka.
NZ v France
The French stand resolute before the All Blacks haka.
NZ v France
Imanol Harinordoquy of France is tackled by Ma'a Nonu and Richie McCaw of the All Blacks.
NZ v France
French centre Aurelien Rougerie tackled by All Black blindside flanker Jerome Kaino.
RWC: New Zealand v France
Richie McCaw in action.
RWC: New Zealand v France
French centre Aurelien Rougerie in action.
NZ v France
French left wing Alexis Palisson isn tackled by All Black captain Richie McCaw.
RWC: New Zealand v France
Tony Woodcock scores the opening try.
NZ v France
All Black prop Tony Woodcock celebrates with his teammates after scoring the first try of the match.
RWC: New Zealand v France
Tony Woodcock scores the opening try.
NZ v France
All Black left wing Richard Kahui hits the French defence.
NZ v France
All Black fullback Israel Dagg in action.
NZ v France
All Black second-five Ma'a Nonu is tackled by French centre Aurelien Rougerie.
NZ v France
All Black left wing Richard Kahui and French right wing Vincent Clerc collide in the air.
NZ v France
All Black first-five Aaron Cruden lies injured.
NZ v France
French replacement Francois Trinh-Duc is tackled by All Black halfback Piri Weepu.
NZ v France
Players from both sides watch a drop goal attempt.
NZ v France
Action during the final.
NZ v France
All Black Richie McCaw attempts to block a French kick.
NZ v France
All Black second-five Ma'a Nonu taking on the French defence.
NZ v France
French captain Thierry Dusautoir scores.
NZ v France
All Black fullback Israel Dagg runs the ball upfield.
NZ v France
All Black replacement Stephen Donald in action.
NZ v France
The All Blacks.
NZ v France
All Black lock Brad Thorn after New Zealand's narrow win against France.
NZ v France
The players postgame.
NZ v France
All Black prop Tony Woodcock celebrates.
NZ v France
The All Blacks celebrate.
NZ v France
The All Blacks celebrate.
NZ v France
The All Blacks celebrate.
NZ v France
The All Blacks celebrate at Eden Park.
NZ v France
The All Blacks celebrate.
NZ v France
Captain Richie McCaw of the All Blacks lifts the Webb Ellis Cup.
NZ v France
Captain Richie McCaw of the All Blacks lifts the Webb Ellis Cup.
NZ v France
Captain Richie McCaw of the All Blacks lifts the Webb Ellis Cup.
NZ v France
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw holds the Webb Ellis Cup aloft.
NZ v France
Captain Richie McCaw of the All Blacks lifts the Webb Ellis Cup during the Rugby World Cup final.
NZ v France
The All Blacks celebrate.
NZ v France
All Black halfback Piri Weepu celebrates the All Blacks win with his child.
NZ v France
Richie McCaw of the All Blacks performs a haka with his teammates as they celebrate.
NZ v France
All Black fullback Israel Dagg & Zac Guilford celebrate after the final whistle.
NZ v France
Richie McCaw of the All Blacks hugs Graham Henry, coach of the All Blacks.

After a year of tragedy; lives lost in Christchurch's devastating earthquakes and in the mine at Pike River, the All Blacks have given New Zealanders cause to celebrate.

If followed a nail-biting 80 minute game in which the French challenged the All Blacks at every opportunity, New Zealand's 8-7 victory was hard fought.  

"Marvellous," All Blacks coach Graham Henry said shortly after the win.

NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
A spontaneous haka breaks out on Wellington's Courtney Place.
NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
Fans react to the All Blacks victory over France.
NZ v France
Wellington's Courtney Place is swarmed with rugby fans after the All Blacks' victory.

"The people have been outstanding in support of this team, in support of this Rugby World Cup. I'm so proud to be a New Zealander standing here."

Henry admitted it had been "terrible" up in the coaches' box as they endured a tension-filled second half in which the French threw everything during another one of those famous World Cup upsets they specialise in.

"You just reflect over the last seven weeks and what the people have done throughout the country. It's quite outstanding," added Henry. "Richie and the boys just hanging in there throughout 80 minutes to win this thing, it's just superb."

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France RWC
French supporters Ines Filsack and Camille Fabbri show their true colours as the French team arrives in Auckland.
France RWC
French supporter Florence Ichter joins in the festivities while she waits for the French team to land.
French team
The French team is officially welcomed at Auckland International Airport.
French team
The French RWC team is officially welcomed at Auckland International Airport.
French team
The French RWC team is officially welcomed at Auckland International Airport.
French team
The French RWC team is officially welcomed at Auckland International Airport.
North Shore welcome the French
AUTOGRAPH: French Player Lionel Nallet signs autographs.
North Shore welcome the French
WELCOME:French player Maxime Mermoz arrives at The Spencer On Byron.
North Shore welcome the French
GREETINGS: Fans greet the French team.
French rugby team
The French rugby team were officially welcomed at Orakei Marae.
French rugby team
The French rugby team were officially welcomed at Orakei Marae.
French rugby team
The French rugby team were officially welcomed at Orakei Marae.
French rugby team
The French rugby team were officially welcomed at Orakei Marae.
World Cup arrivals
A fan watches as France captain Thierry Dusautoir leads the French rugby team onto the Orakei Maree during the officail welcome.
RWC: France v Japan
French left wing Maxime Medard takes the high with Japan second-five Ryan Nicholas looming.
RWC: France v Japan
French Fabrice Estebanez heads for the try line.
RWC: France v Japan
French Francois Trinh-Duc in action.
RWC: France v Japan
Imanol Harinordoquy of France in action.
RWC: France v Japan
Cedric Heymans of France in action.
French fans kiss ahead of the Japan v France match in Auckland.
RWC: Canada v France
Wing Vincent Clerc of France dives over to score the opening try.
RWC: Canada v France
France's David Marty fends off Canada's Ander Monro.
RWC: Canada v France
Canada's Aaron Carpenter tackles France's Fulgence Ouedraogo.
RWC: Canada v France
France's Damien Traille scores a try.
England v Romania
Fans enjoy the atmosphere in Auckland prior to the match between France and New Zealand.
NZ v France
France supporters cheer.
NZ v France
New Zealand All Blacks players perform the Haka as France players watch.
NZ v France
New Zealand All Blacks captain Richie McCaw tackles France's Morgan Parra.
NZ v France
All Black first-five Dan Carter cuts through the defence to set up Israel Dagg for a try.
NZ v France
Maxime Medard of France kicks the ball down field.
French rugby fan
A French rugby fan wears a hat shaped like a rooster at the All Blacks v France match at Eden Park.
RWC: France v Tonga
French fans pregame.
RWC: France v Tonga
Tongan fans pregame.
RWC: France v Tonga
Wing Sukanaivalu Hufanga of Tonga breaks through the challenge from Julien Bonnaire of France to score the opening try.
RWC: France v Tonga
Tonga's Samiu Vahafolau in action.
RWC: France v Tonga
A general view of the Wellington Regional Stadium.
RWC: France v Tonga
A scrum.
RWC: France v Tonga
Tonga's Taniela Moa tackles France's Maxime Medard.
RWC: France v Tonga
Tonga's Taniela Moa is tackled by France's Morgan Parra.
RWC: France v Tonga
Tonga's Taniela Moa in action.
France fans pose prior to kickoff.
Fin
Fans at the France v England game.
RWC: Wales v France
Welsh captain Sam Worburton earned a red card after this tackle of French wing Vincent Clerc.
RWC: Wales v France
French halfback Dimitri Yachvili climbs over Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny for the high ball.
RWC: Wales v France
Welsh captain Sam Worburton earned a red card after this tackle of French wing Vincent Clerc.
RWC: Wales v France
French replacement Julien Pierre celebrates victory.
RWC: Wales v France
The French celebrate their win.

Henry also had some special praise for fourth-choice No 10 Stephen Donald who played 46 minutes and kept his cool magnificently.

"Didn't he do well - superb.

"This is something we've dreamed of for a while. We can rest in peace now.

Welcome for the All Blacks
Aucklanders come out to greet their rugby heroes.
Welcome for the All Blacks
A proud All Blacks squad in Auckland - are these the 2011 World Cup winners?
Welcome for the All Blacks
Isaiah Toeava, Mils Muliaina and Ma'a Nonu don headwear at the All Blacks' official welcome.
Welcome for the All Blacks
Young and old came out to offer their support - including stunning Aarush Patel.
Welcome for the All Blacks
The key man - No 10 Dan Carter soaks up the Auckland atmosphere.
Welcome for the All Blacks
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw takes part in the traditional Maori welcome at Aotea Square.
Welcome for the All Blacks
Richie McCaw and coach Graham Henry at Auckland's Aotea Square.
All Blacks meet
All Blacks Andy Ellis, Keven Mealamu and John Afoa were at Rebel Sport in Auckland today to meet the fans.
All Blacks meet
All Blacks Andy Ellis at Rebel Sport in Auckland today chats with a happy fan.
All Blacks meet
All Blacks Andy Ellis, Keven Mealamu and John Afoa were at Rebel Sport in Auckland today to meet the fans.
All Blacks meet
All Black John Afoa meets with one rugby fan at Rebel Sport in Auckland.
All Blacks meet
All Black Keven Mealamu, right, meets French tourist Alain Lapeyre, who gets some memorabilia signed.
New Zealand vs Tonga
Sonny Bill Williams goes for the line during the All Blacks vs Tonga opening match.
Richie McCaw and Piri Weepu lead the New Zealand haka.
ALl Blacks pictures
John Afoa jumps off a diving board in Hamilton.
All Blacks p
Zac Guildford jumps off a diving board.
All Blacks pictures
Ali Williams and Ma'a Nonu mucking around at a swimming pool.
All Blacks pictures
Cory Jane at a swimming pool in Hamilton.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' Piri Weepu signs some autographs.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' Brad Thorn talks to some fans.
ABs gallery
The All Blacks' front rowers relax in a swimming pool in Hamilton.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' Sonny Bill Williams prepares to throw a ball.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' winger Zac Guildford and Liam Messam hongi.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' centre Sonny Bill Williams leaps high at practice.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' flyhalf Dan Carter sits out training.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' prop Ben Franks carries fellow prop John Afoa.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' assistant coach Wayne Smith high fives fans.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' star Dan Carter sits out training with a back strain.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' flanker Adam Thompson takes a water break.
ABs gallery
The All Blacks players warm-up.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' Cory Jane at practice with Zac Guildford.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' Kieran Read sits out training with an ankle injury.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' centre Sonny Bill Williams signs an autograph for a fan.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' centre Sonny Bill Williams and Isaia Toeava signs autographs.
ABs gallery
All Blacks' prop Ben Franks signs an autograph for a fan.
RWC: NZ v Japan
Graham Henry, coach of the All Blacks, looks on pregame.
RWC: NZ v Japan
The All Blacks perform the Haka.
RWC: NZ v Japan STRAP
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RWC: NZ v Japan STRAP
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RWC: NZ v Japan
Richard Kahui of the All Blacks goes over to score the second try.
RWC: NZ v Japan
All Black Andy Ellis passes the ball from the base of a scrum.
RWC: NZ v Japan
All Black right wing Cory Jane is wrapped up as Victor Vito leaps to his aid.
RWC: NZ v Japan
Andy Ellis of the All Blacks goes over to score his try.
RWC: NZ v Japan
All Black Colin Slade scores.
RWC: NZ v Japan
Andrew Hore of the All Blacks goes over to score a try.
RWC: NZ v Japan
All Black replacement Sonny Bill Williams scores and celebrates with All Black second-five Ma'a Nonu.
RWC: NZ v Japan
All Black replacement Sonny Bill Williams setting up a try.
All Blacks photos
Sonny Bill Williams signs a fan's shirt a fan day in Christchurch.
All Blacks photos
Jimmy Cowan lets a fan sit on his knee.
All Blacks photos
Jerome Kaino plays charades.
All Blacks photos
Kieran Read does some lineout practice.
All Blacks photos
Ma'a Nonu on the charge at All Blacks' training.
All Blacks photos
Graham Henry reacts to a question at an All Blacks press conference.
All Blacks photos
Richie McCaw seemed to be moving freely at training, following his calf injury setback.
All Blacks photos
Kieran Read tests out his troublesome ankle.
All Blacks photos
Dan Carter runs the cutter at All Blacks training.
All Blacks photos
Israel Dagg and Sonny Bill Williams get help from Piri Weepu during their warm-up.
All Blacks photos
Portrait shot of Richie McCaw ahead of his historic 100th test against France.
All Blacks photos
Dan Carter signs a girl's leg.
NZ v France
All Black first-five Dan Carter cuts through the defence to set up Israel Dagg for a try.
Ma'a Nonu
Ma'a Nonu arrives at Wellington Airport with the All Blacks.
Ma'a Nonu
Israel Dagg arrives at Wellington Airport with the All Blacks.
Try celebration gallery
Israel Dagg's rooster? duck? cobra? sign made after his try in the All Blacks' game against France remains open to interpretation.
Dan Carter injury
The concern is there for all to see on the All Blacks faces and star playmaker Dan Carter limps off with a tournament-ending injury.
NZ v Canada
New Zealand All Blacks' Zac Guildford scores a try.
The All Blacks perform the Haka prior to the game.
New Zealand All Blacks' Victor Vito scores a try.
New Zealand All Blacks' Israel Dagg celebrates with teammate Zac Guildford after scoring a try.
New Zealand All Blacks' Israel Dagg reacts on his way to scoring a try.
NZ v Canada
The All Blacks score a try.
Centre Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks breaks through the tackle from Phil MacKenzie of Canada to score his team's ninth try.
Sonny Bill Williams
Sonny Bill Williams works out at the AUT gym in Takapuna ahead of the All Blacks World Cup quarter final match against Argentina.
Victor Vito
All Black Victor Vito works out at the gym at AUT in Auckland ahead of the quarter final this weekend.
All Blacks
Richard Kahui, Sonny Bill Williams, Adam Thompson and Cory Jane arrive for a gym session at AUT Akoranga.
QF3: Argentina v New Zealand STANDARD
Sonny Bill Williams in action.
QF3: Argentina v New Zealand STANDARD
All Black replacement Aaron Cruden in action.
QF3: Argentina v New Zealand STANDARD
All Blacks fullback Mils Muliaina in action.
QF3: Argentina v New Zealand STANDARD
All Black no.8 Kieran Read scores.
NZ v AUS
A young All Blacks supporter waits for the game to start.
NZ v AUS
New Zealand's Isreal Dagg passes to Ma'a Nonu as he is tackled by Quade Cooper of Australia.
NZ v AUS
Ma'a Nonu of the All Blacks slides over to score the opening try of the match.
NZ v AUS
All Black first-five Aaron Cruden kicks a drop goal.
NZ v AUS
New Zealand All Blacks' Piri Weepu attempts a penalty.
NZ v AUS
Ma'a Nonu scores the first try of the match for the All Blacks.
NZ v AUS
All Black halfback Piri Weepu kicks a penalty.

"I am [happy]... I've just got so much respect for what the boys have done over eight years. It's been outstanding."

All Black captain Ritchie McCaw said the country should be proud of this group of men. "I'm absolutely shagged...we had to dig as deep as we have ever dug before...[but] we got there in the end."

French captain Thierry Dusautoir said he was very proud of his boys. "It's a pity. We are disappointed. I am really disappointed."

All Blacks v France
Jonah Lomu removes French fullback Pepido Elhorga from the field of play, during the All Blacks 37 - 12 win over France, in 2001.
All Blacks v France
The All Blacks celebrate their win over France at Stade de France. The All Blacks won the game 39 - 26 November, 2000.
All Blacks v France
Jonah Lomu of New Zealand passes the ball during the Rugby Union World Cup 1999 match against France played at Twickenham, in London. France won the match 43-31.
All Blacks v France
Carlos Spencer leads teamates in the Haka prior to New Zealand's' 40-13 win over France in their Rugby World Cup 2003 third and fourth playoff match.
All Blacks v France
Philippe Bernat-Salles of France celebrates his try during the Semifinal match of the Rugby World Cup, 1999.
All Blacks v France
Jonah Lomu at Parc des Princes in Paris, 1995.
All Blacks v France
Philippe Sella of France is tackled during the Rugby World Cup Final against New Zealand in 1987. New Zealand won the match 29-9.
All Blacks v France
Clarke Dermody (L) and Richie McCaw of the All Blacks wear pink shirts for an Adidas photo shoot in Paris, France, 2006.
All Blacks v France
France's Emile Ntamack slips past All Black Daryl Gibson in the test at Athletic Park, 1999.
All Blacks v France
David Kirk scores in the 1987 Rygby World Cup final.
All Blacks v France
Jonah Lomu on his way to scoring in the 1999 Rugby World Cup semifinal.
All Blacks v France
Dan Carter leaves field during the All Blacks loss in the 2007 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal.
All Blacks
Players react following Rugby World Cup 2007 quarterfinal.
All Blacks v France
All Blacks do the haka ahead of their loss in the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
All Blacks v France
Players react following the All Blacks' last home loss to France in 2009.
All Blacks v France
French players react to their victory over the All Blacks in 2009.
All Blacks v France
All Blacks' Cory Jane on his way to scoring against the French in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
All Blacks v France
All Blacks' Sonny Bill Williams looks to pop a pass during the 2011 Rugby World Cup pool match against the French.
All Blacks v France
The 1987 Rugby World Cup final at Eden Park. The All Blacks v France. Michael Jones attempts to charge down a kick with David Kirk on the right.
All Blacks v France
The 1987 Rugby World Cup final at Eden Park. The All Blacks captain David Kirk realises the game is won.

More than 60,000 at Eden Park celebrated as New Zealand regained the Holy Grail of rugby, last claimed 8892 days ago.

It was a night for celebration as all the pain, all the angst, all the national soul searching of the intervening years poured out into a black-clad celebration as the All Blacks swept aside France, as they had in 1987.

It was a night for revenge, for the settling of scores with a side that had bundled New Zealand out of the Cup in 1999, then again in the 2007 quarterfinals, one of the darkest days in the history of the treasured black jersey.

All Blacks Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg, Owen Franks, Sam Whitelock and Zac Guildford were not born when New Zealand last won the Cup, and reserve Victor Vito was just three months old.

For McCaw, it was the ultimate prize at the end of a tournament in which he dragged his aching body through ruck after ruck, tackle after tackle, to finally lay to rest the misery of the quarterfinal loss in Cardiff four years ago.

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