Rugby World Cup final: LIVE

By NZ Herald staff

Live updates from around Auckland as the city prepares for the Rugby World Cup final between the All Blacks and France later tonight.

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Fans navigate the Auckland viaduct ahead of the Rugby World Cup final. Photo / Cassandra Mason
Fans navigate the Auckland viaduct ahead of the Rugby World Cup final. Photo / Cassandra Mason
00.46am: Thank you for joining for all your live updates throughout the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Tonight the All Blacks were crowned 2011 Rugby World Cup champions after a stunning 8-7 victory over France in a true test match between two proud rugby nations.

Congratulations to the All Blacks!

Ka kite and goodnight.

00.32am: Henry continues from the press conference:

He coped "badly" throughout the match and said the team probably would not have won the game a few years ago. "We prepared to play in a situation that was unexpected."

"We will keep learning - we will learn from this World Cup. I think it is great for the New Zealand public."

Henry on how he felt during the game
Some thoughts went through the mind - I dont think I should repeat them.

Henry on getting a second chance as coach
Said he was "thankful" for decision, "it is a real privilege to coach the All Blacks."

Henry on future

"I'll just enjoy the night, and the next few days."

Grant Hansen
"The most pleasing thing is we ended up ahead by one point. I am pleased with the mental performance."

He said the win was "because the players believed in themselves and each other".

00.22am: World Cup winning All Blacks coach Graham Henry at tonight's press conference:

Personally you've got some peace. And that's a great feeling. He attributes the win to the leadership shown by his senior players.

Henry on Cardiff:

Some thoughts went through the mind....we did enough to win.

00.19am: Richie McCaw continues: The 2007 loss helped them tonight.

"We knew we were going to be in for a hell of a game. We realised that from last Sunday."

"I wanted to test myself in the toughest conditions and it can't get any tougher than tonight."

00.10am: World champion All Blacks captain Richie McCaw at the press conference:

"The big thing was not panicking. The senior players we talked about being in those situations over the years. Last thing we wanted to do when momentum went against us was panic and we managed to hold on."

"Last week we showed the best rugby we could play today we probably didn't play our best but we played good enough.

On Donald:

"I had a wee though the week he came in that he could kick the winning goal and be the difference. He played 50 minutes and he said he couldn't have played 51 - that was enough for him.

00.02am: Brad Thorn spoke to SkySport about his 'proud' night and he had plenty of raw emotion during his interview.

"I'm so proud of this country.

My strength comes from the Lord Jesus Christ and I've been so blessed.

Wow. I'll be talking about this when I have no teeth."

23.53pm: All Blacks number eight Kieran Read was evidently giddy and emotional with tonight's victory when speaking to SkySport about tonight's victory.

"The first think I though about after the victory was history. We have had awesome support it's been nice.

Im pretty buggered, tired and its definitely [the victory] with us for the rest of our lives

23.53pm: French captain Thierry Dusautoir had this to say about tonight's narrow defeat to the All Blacks.

"I am obviously very disappointed with the result of the match but I don't feel like criticising the referee. I'm very proud of the lads and everything they gave.

Tonight everyone was nervous. Them and us. There were thirty guys on the pitch and we were all scared.

We were lucky the previous rounds. Tonight we were not lucky."

23.45pm: Stephen Donald has been speaking to SkySport saying that the winning feeling hasn't sunk in yet and it probably wont for another couple of weeks.

After kicking the winning penalty he had a quick word with Richie McCaw about specifics of the game before the skipper told him to 'get on with it.'

Tonight he is extremely proud to be a New Zealander.

23.38pm: The Auckland CBD is buzzing with world champions fever.

There are plenty of people on the streets celebrating the All Blacks victory.

Plenty of emotion and high spirits from All Blacks fans who celebrate a long absence from the trophy cabinet.

Not only is it New Zealand flags flying high with Tongan, Samoan and South African flags waving in the air in New Zealand's biggest city.

23.21pm: The world champions perform a celebratory haka to their All Blacks faithful.

Huge roar for the boys when they finish Ka Mate.

23.20pm: The All Blacks circle the field in a lap of honour with thousands of fans on their feet as they circle the field.

The French are also performing a lap around the field with William Servat carrying a French flag.

23.14pm:The big question when the All Blacks party goes long into the night is: who will sleep with the Cup?

A New Zealand tradition when winning a rugby trophy, my best bet it will be Richie who ends up laying with William Webb Ellis (the Cup).

23.12pm:It was the first time that Richie McCaw had touched the William Webbb Ellis cup as he refused to touch it on previous occasion as as he felt that he had not earned the right to take hold of the gold mug.

Now he will hold it for the next four years.

23.09pm:Richie McCaw lifts the William Webb Ellis cup
23.06pm:All the players have received their medals with big cheers for notable omissiona Mils Muliaina and Dan Carter

23.02pm: The French side are now receiving their awards.
23.00pm: Referees Joubert, Rolland and Owens receiving their medals.

Graham Henry has just spoken, he's so proud of his team.

10.55pm: The All Blacks clinch a thrilling one point World Cup win, among the closest ever. France came to play and were unlucky not to win.

nzherald's Paul Harper says "absolute elation as the final whistle is blown." Boos from the French fans.

The awards ceremony is now about to begin.

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