Carter accepts blame after 'selfish' move
October 31, 2010
Dan Carter has defended Stephen Donald © Getty Images
All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter has refused to absolve himself from blame in the wake of their record-ending Bledisloe Cup loss to Australia in Hong Kong.
The Canterbury playmaker was withdrawn after an hour as part of his continuing recovery from ankle surgery, leaving Waikato's Stephen Donald to be cast as villain with a late missed penalty and wayward kick contributing to New Zealand's demise.
Australia wing James O'Connor was the hero for the Wallabies, scoring a last-gasp try and conversion to end a 10-game losing streak against their fierce rivals.
Carter admitted that he could have played the full 80 minutes but after consultation with the medical staff agreed to call time after 60. He also refused to point the finger at Donald.
"I guess looking back I felt pretty good out there and I was probably a little bit selfish. I probably could have played the full 80," he said. "He's [Donald] pretty gutted but obviously we're in this as a team, you never blame anyone for things like that. We shouldn't have been in that position."
New Zealand head coach Graham Henry defended the decision to withdraw Carter, who has not played since the All Blacks wrapped up the Tri-Nations title in August.
"He was coming back from a reasonably major operation and we didn't want to risk injuring him badly going into the future," he said. "I think it was a good decision, we've got to make sure we look after people."'
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