(CNN) -- New Zealand's hopes of winning the Rugby World Cup on home soil have suffered a massive blow with the news that star player Dan Carter will miss the rest of the tournament due to injury.
The fly-half, who holds the world record for international points scored, suffered a groin problem in training ahead of their final Group A match against Canada on Sunday.
However, the hosts did little to show Carter's injury had affected them as they ran in 12 tries on the way to a 79-15 win in Wellington.
Carter had been due to captain the All Blacks in the absence of regular skipper Richie McCaw, but his place in the starting line-up was taken by deputy Colin Slade, with Andrew Hore skippering the side.
Aaron Cruden, 22, has been drafted into the squad as extra cover by coach Graham Henry, having been a close contender for selection after a superb domestic season.
The 29-year-old Carter had played in two of New Zealand's first three wins, missing the Japan game with a back problem, and his absence will be sorely felt as the top-ranked All Blacks seek a first title since triumphing as hosts of the inaugural tournament in 1987.
Team doctor Deb Robinson said Carter, who has scored 1,250 points in 85 Tests, had torn a tendon in his groin.
"The scan confirmed our worst fears that the tendon has torn, which means he is out of the tournament," she said.
Henry said the squad was coming to terms with the news.
"He has worked so hard to be at a peak for the Rugby World Cup. We will rally around him and pull together as a team," Henry told reporters.
"He's one of the best players ever produced by this country, this was going to be his pinnacle. It's a tragic situation for a highly-talented sportsman.
"He's a key All Black, not only as the person who navigates the side on the field, but also off the field."
It is the second time that Carter has suffered World Cup misery. He went off injured against France four years ago as the All Blacks suffered a shock defeat in the quarterfinals -- the rugby-mad country's worst showing at the four-yearly event.