'Burger kept coming for me'
SPOTLIGHT: All Black legend Dan Carter believed he had a target on his jersey when he came up against one particular opponent.
And it comes as no surprise that it is a Springbok.
Carter, 38, in an interview with Newstalk ZB‘s Simon Barnett and Phil Gifford, says Bok loose forward Schalk Burger was the “toughest-minded” player he’s ever faced.
“He was tough,” Carter said. “I kept looking at my All Black jersey wondering if I had a target like in the middle of the jersey or something because he kept coming for me.
“He was having a huge battle with our big forward pack. He just kept going. He didn’t stop. He was physical and just his leg drive was incredible.
“A real competitor and absolute top bloke off the field as well. His mindset was a little bit different when he was out there competing. That just made him such a tough opponent to come up against.”
Meanwhile, Carter was ready to make his Blues debut in the clash with the Crusaders in the final round of Super Rugby Aotearoa. However, that clash got canned due the return of Covid-19 in the Auckland.
“The fans would have loved to have seen him play in New Zealand again,” Blues coach Leon MacDonald said. “He looked really good but he also offered a lot to us off the park. He was fit and ready to go and a good shot at being there.”
However, Carter did provide plenty of value off the field by working with Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu.
“He was Patrick’s right-hand man for most of the season and we’ve all seen him grow as a leader and a player, and Dan is a massive part of that,” MacDonald said.
“We know he is a Crusaders man at heart, but to put that aside and join the team is a testament to what a great guy he is.”
Source: NZ Herald & Newstalk ZB