Ma’a Nonu (AFP)
Twickenham – Ma’a Nonu scored a dazzling try in his final Test as he helped New Zealand win an unprecedented third World Cup title on Saturday but insisted he would never don the All Blacks jersey again.
The 33-year-old centre received a superb pass from substitute Sonny Bill Williams and set off on a stellar 40-metre run to the line to put New Zealand 21-3 ahead against Australia just after half-time.
With a 34-17 victory assured, the final whistle at Twickenham closed the door on Nonu’s 103-cap Test career.
“It’s time to go, and life goes on,” he said, before reflecting on the match.
“I’m pretty tired but relieved and really overwhelmed in terms of what happened,” he said.
“We had a big job in hand trying to win it back-to-back, out of the country. I thought we hit patches in terms of our game during the pool stages but when it comes down to the crunch, we had to play our best rugby.”
The pass from Williams was “a great ball. Sonny is the best offloader in the game at the moment”, he said, adding that he was surprised to reach the try line.
“I thought we had a real focus on what was in hand,” he said, reflecting on the World Cup final build-up.
“We pretty much put behind us who was leaving and who’s last game it was. I thought (captain) Richie (McCaw) nailed it on the head this week in terms of what was at stake and what we needed to do.”
He added: “I think it’s key that we stick together over the next 48 hours. It’s probably the last time we see this team together.”
Nonu is switching his club career from Wellington side the Hurricanes to French club Toulon.
“I’m not looking forward to that at the moment. I just want to enjoy this,” he said.