Carter beaming ahead of first RWC final

New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter couldn't hide his happiness after getting the chance to play in his first Rugby World Cup final.

Carter was outstanding for the All Blacks as they defeated South Africa 20-18 to make next week's main event.

A sharply-executed drop goal at the start of the second half followed by a rip on Schalk Burger to set up Beauden Barrett's try were two highlights from Carter's impressive outing.

"You should have seen the smile on my face at the end of the game. To hold out there in that last five minutes was awesome," Carter said. 

Carter's drop goal to make it 10-12 at the start of the second half was a key turning point in the contest.

He revealed: "It can be a bit of a psychological blow to the opposition when you go down to 14 men and you concede points so we just wanted to control the game a little bit if there's any chance to take the shot. Luckily it flew off the boot pretty well." 

Carter should now play in his first World Cup final, having been sidelined through injury four years ago, while he also went off injured during New Zealand's quarter-final loss to France in 2007.

The all-time leading Test points scorer also had to contend with Bryan Habana attempting to charge down his conversion of Julian Savea's try.

"I've no idea to be honest. He was pretty close to my kick and I think he just got a bit excited and left a bit early," Carter added.

"You know it's the rules of the game that you get another kick. It was a pretty important kick looking back now."

Carter also dismissed concerns over his some bandaging on his knee, saying it was just a precaution.

"Yeah, it's good. Got through the game well. Bumps and bruises so it's all part of it," he stated.

"You know I recover well and I'm looking forward to next week."

Try-scoring replacement Barrett added that he had been impressed with Carter's drop goal attempt.

Barrett said: "I loved the drop kick. I thought that was class. He showed a lot of poise. I am learning off him every day. With his goalkicking, he has not missed many."