HE HASN’T BEEN as big a force in recent years as he was at his peak but there is still something special about watching Dan Carter play rugby.
However, after years as the unquestioned All Blacks number ten a combination of injury and lack of form sees Carter fighting with Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett for a place in the national team.
This year’s Super Rugby campaign is crucial for Carter if he wants to re-establish himself as an elite number ten but it hasn’t quite gone to plan so far – DC played poorly and injured his calf in the opening round defeat to the Melbourne Rebels.
Since today is Carter’s 33rd birthday we decided to put together a little tribute to the great man with the hope that he can recapture his old form ahead of this autumn’s World Cup.
Here are five times the rugby world revolved around Dan Carter’s greatness.
The time he exploded against the Lions
Source: Ruddy Darter/YouTube
Even if Brian O’Driscoll had played in the second test of the 2005 Lions Tour to New Zealand, it would have been impossible to beat the All Blacks after Carter’s masterful 33-point haul. As well as scoring two tries, a scintillating break created another for Tana Umaga and it was the day everyone agreed on who rugby’s biggest star was.
The time he nailed this impossible kick
Source: Curtis Brownrigg/YouTube
DC’s attacking play can be so mesmeric that it is easy to forget he is one of the game’s most accurate kickers too. That being said… that conversion was just absurd.
The time he scored this try (and 28 others)
This was a lovely score but it is one small piece of a bigger picture – Carter holds the record for most test tries scored by an out-half.
The time he showed hands that were ever so soft
Carter’s ability to offload in traffic was on show in that Lions video, but this sublime flick out of the tackle from 2011 Tri Nations still stands out for me almost four years later.
The time he put on the ultimate brave face
Source: Simon Watts
Carter missing the knockout stage of the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand is one of the cruelest sporting twists imaginable. Nothing was going to stop the All Blacks that year – they won with their fourth-choice ten! – and the possibility that Carter might finish his career without winning the World Cup would be tragic (he was given a medal in 2011, but missing the majority of the tournament makes it very hollow).
I still remember a New Zealand news report after the injury where Carter’s parents were interviewed and it was as if the guy had died.
Happy 33rd birthday, DC!
What is your favourite Dan Carter moment?
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