Text: Dan Carter Tribute to the All Blacks perfect 10, Author: John Matheson
Daniel William Carter started his rugby Career at Ellesmere highschool where he played halfback. He was later persuaded in the 6th form by a selector to spend his last year of school at Christchurch boys high school where he would play first five eight. In 2001 Dans first year out of Highschool he spent a lot of the time playing for the high school’s old boys team because he wasn’t deemed good enough to play for the under 21 Canterbury Colts team and instead the provinces U19 side. Despite not making the higher caliber team, Dan was noticed enough to make the under 21 New Zealand Colts team for 2002 U21 World Cup, a team that would include several other All Blacks in the making. After making a strong showing in the tournament Dan was able to make the Canterbury NPC team where he was surrounded by 19 All Blacks including Andrew Mehrtens and Aaron Mauger. Carter was able to play several games despite all the high-quality players and he was selected for 2003 Crusaders side. This was a great opportunity for Carter with all of the professionals around him and all the knowledge he was able to gain. He would often think to himself when in the changing rooms, “what am I doing.”
After some good play throughout the 2003 super 12 campaign Carter was able to gain a spot in the All Blacks for their June tests where he debuts and scored 20 points. This would be enough for him to make the next few test sides and eventually the Tri-nation squad and World Cup squad. His World Cup campaign would be cut short due to injury but it was without doubt that he was going to be in the All Blacks future. 2004 was another great showing for carter in the All Black uniform as he had several outstanding games solidifying he would be a New Zealand’s first choice ten for years to come, receiving multiple compliments from former high-class rugby players and coaches like Sean Fitz Patrick and John Mitchell.
In 2005 Dan Carter solidified his place as one of the best First fives in World Rugby. 2005 was the year that the British and Irish Lion returned to New Zealand for the first time since 1993. This is where he would face off with one of the best first fives ever and perhaps the best at the time, Johny Wilkinson. Just two years ago he had lead England to there first World Cup Ever. It was the second test match where Dan Carter put his foot down and displayed just how good of a player he was when he scored 33 points scoring two tries, 4 conversions and 5 penalties. It has been talked about as one of the most complete games ever to played by a first five ever.
Since then Carter has continued to display world-class rugby and continue to be one of the greatest and a big leader for the All Blacks. He has struggled with injuries throughout his career and even played overseas in France due to an achillies injury as a way for recovery and in hopes to come back better. However, the biggest mark on Dan Carter’s career was in 2007 when the All Blacks failed to get it done at the World Cup losing to France in the quarterfinals, There worst placing ever. However much like his first World cup was plagued by injury as he limped off the field after 55 minutes with the scores locked at 13 apiece.
From his experiences, triumphs, and failures Dan has shown real resilience. It shows how much of a hard worker he was, looking to perfect his craft. His hard work ethic is shown not just in his ability to get better at becoming a good rugby player but a great kicker as well. Being the kicker on the team put’s a lot of pressure on him as games can be won by the kicker. So it shows his commitment to his team, his game, and love for the game because he has to work on becoming the best kicker as well. Often in his own, extra time because of how good he wants to be. I think he is a great role model for young kids as he has shown a passion for his craft and a strong work ethic, that is not always seen but still has an impact.