Dan Carter: 'The perfect 10'
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: In the wake of All Blacks great Dan Carter’s retirement on Saturday, here is a look at some of his career highlights.
All Blacks v British & Irish Lions, 2nd Test, July 2 2005
Already an established All Black, Carter announced himself as a rugby superstar in the second Test against the Lions in Wellington.
Carter scored 33 points in the 48-18 victory, bagging two tries, four conversions and five penalties to seal the series for the home team.
It was a performance that saw Carter hailed as “The Perfect 10”, cementing him as New Zealand’s first-choice flyhalf for the next decade and sending his profile into the stratosphere.
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All Blacks v Australia, World Cup final, 2015
Carter displayed indifferent form in the lead-up to the 2015 World Cup but hit his straps during the tournament, culminating in a man-of-the-match performance against Australia in the final.
Carter ran the Wallabies ragged in the decider at Twickenham and claimed a 19-point haul in the 34-17 victory.
To cap it off, he kicked his final conversion of the match with his wrong foot – his right – in response to a dare from teammate Aaron Smith.
All Blacks v Wales, June 21, 2003
Announcing his international retirement five years ago, Carter nominated his All Blacks debut against Wales in 2003 as a career highlight.
He scored a try, kicked six conversions and a penalty in the 55-3 win, but said it was about more than the points on the board.
“It’s such a dreamlike situation, your first All Blacks jersey, the whole country grows up wanting to earn one, and here was mine,” he later said.
Crusaders v Highlanders, April 14, 2007
Carter’s outrageous skills were on display when the he completed a seemingly impossible conversion that became known as “the boomerang kick” in a 2007 Super Rugby match.
Taken from the sideline, it initially looked like Carter had shanked his attempt wide but the velocity and spin he put on the ball saw it veer sharply at the last moment and sail through the posts.
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All Blacks v France, Rugby World Cup, September 24, 2011
The 2011 World Cup is probably not Carter’s favourite memory as he was ruled out of the tournament early with a groin injury sustained during training.
But it provided him with his first winner’s medal and his display against France in the pool stages showed how important he was for the host nation.
Carter set up two tries as the New Zealanders won at a canter 37-17 against a bogey team that had eliminated them in 1999 and 2007.
His absence was sorely felt in the final, when the All Blacks again faced Les Bleus but this time limped home against 8-7 in a nervy display.