The All Blacks returned home to a frenzy of hakas and hysteria on Wednesday, with even the players stunned as 50,000 fans packed central Auckland to celebrate their Rugby World Cup triumph.
Dan Carter bowed out as the king of rugby Saturday when he kicked the All Blacks to a historic 34-17 World Cup victory over Australia at Twickenham.
All Blacks center Sonny Bill Williams gave his World Cup winner's medal to a boy who he said was tackled by a Twickenham security guard after Saturday's final.
Australia coach Michael Cheika said the only way for the rest of international rugby to keep pace with world champions New Zealand was by sheer dogged persistence.
The two best teams in the tournament. Nos. 1 and 2 in the world. Archrivals. Neighbors. Records at stake.
England will get a hand on the World Cup after all -- Prince Harry, fifth in line to the British throne, is to present the trophy after Saturday's final between Australia and New Zealand, organizers said.
Welshman Nigel Owens said he was "humbled" to be chosen to referee Saturday's World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia.
Michael Cheika's father was his harshest critic as a rugby player but his courage in leaving Lebanon for a new life in Australia has been an example in hauling the Wallabies to the World Cup final.
With a resurgent Argentina piling pressure on, an incisive Drew Mitchell moment regained control for Australia and set up a Rugby World Cup final against archrival New Zealand.
In the capital of rugby-obsessed New Zealand, bars are packed by breakfast time when the All Blacks are playing in the World Cup.