November 03, 2015
All Black veterans too good
All Black veterans too good
Who would have believed just a few weeks back, that one of New Zealand’s top sports journalist the NZ Herald’s Chris Rattue was calling for the dismissal of All Black great Daniel Carter from our mighty team. Rattue was adamant that Carter had to be dropped and there were many kiwis who agreed. In fact even I have to own up to thinking he might have had a point.
I didn’t think that they should drop Carter but there was no doubt there were questions about his form. Carter was not running, refused to take the line on, his passing wasn’t good and his kicking game was below par. In summary he looked like a shadow of the great player that he once was. So Rattue wasn’t making it all up, his view was based on facts and Carter was in mediocre form. He had been poor before the World Cup and then continued in that vein in the early rounds of the tournament. So for critics like Rattue and other so called experts they had had enough and wanted Carter replaced.
All Black Coach Steve Hansen and his selectors though were not about to concede to the Rattue’s of this world. They had heard the criticism of Carter this year and in fact last year when he played his worst ever test against Scotland, but they were convinced that they could work Carter back into form. And how right they have been.
Carter just got better and better at the World Cup which culminated in a magnificent performance from him in last weekend’s final against Australia. It was like watching a fairy tale unfold, so many of us wanted him to finish his career in style and he didn’t disappoint. His kicking, running and goal kicking was brilliant and it’s doubtful we would have won the final without him.
So thank goodness Steve Hansen and his selectors don’t take any notice of the critics. They know what’s required to win a World Cup and the experience that Carter has, Richie McCaw has, as well as Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Kieren Read, Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Owen Franks and Kevin Mealamu was the experience that proved invaluable in term of us winning this year’s Rugby World Cup. It really was a tremendous performance by our veteran players balanced with the youth and brilliance of young players like Nehe Milner Skudder and Julian Savea.
So congratulations to our fabulous All Blacks World Champions again and thank goodness for Steve Hansen and our All Black selectors who deserve the ultimate credit for standing by players like Carter when so many people wanted them to walk away from him.
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