All Blacks win bittersweet for Carter
November 17, 2013
Dan Carter's 100th Test was marred by injury © Getty Images
Dan Carter will take mixed emotions into his six-month break from rugby after his 100th All Blacks Test was cut short by injury against England.
Captain Richie McCaw says Carter was delighted his milestone was marked with victory but the continuation of his terrible run with injuries made the 30-22 win a bittersweet occasion.
Carter, 31, limped off with an Achilles injury in the 26th minute, having made an impressive start to the game. He kicked three-from-three shots at goal and the variety in his kicking game helped the tourists open up a handy lead.
He is very unlikely to play in the tour finale against Ireland next week, meaning he won't be sighted until at least the end of the Crusaders' Super Rugby campaign. The break is designed to clear up a host of injuries that have dogged him during the past two years, allowing five-eighth rivals Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett a chance to close in on the No.10 jersey.
"He's obviously very proud to play 100 Tests," said McCaw, a long-time provincial and international team-mate. "He would have loved to have been out there for 80 minutes and walked off injury-free. He's a bit disappointed by that but to get that milestone, he's got to be pretty proud and he's got a bit of a smile on his face, which is cool because he deserves that."
McCaw described Carter's career to date as "phenomenal" and counted himself lucky to have played alongside him for more than a decade.
"The calm head he has and the way he looks at the game is quite similar to me," he said. "You take for granted how good he is really. You expect great things every time he plays. He's been a big reason why the team have done as well as they have in recent times."
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