Carter determined to clear final hurdle
July 4, 2011
Carter looks to move the ball during his side's Super Rugby semi-final victory over the Stormers in Cape Town © Getty Images
Crusaders fly-half Dan Carter insists his sixth Super Rugby Final appearance will mean little unless his side cap an epic season with victory over the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.
Carter steered the Crusaders to a 29-10 win against the Stormers in their semi-final showdown in Cape Town at the weekend in the latest remarkable act of a season spent entirely on the road after the Christchurch earthquake put their AMI Stadium home out of action back in February.
Praise has been heaped on the Super Rugby nomads for keeping their quest for an eighth title alive in such difficult circumstances but Carter and co are not done yet. "To win this competition would be very special for us after everything we have been through and also for the people back home," Carter told The Press. "A lot of people are patting us on the back already and telling us we have done well to get this far, but I know this side would not have been happy bumming out in the semi-final."
Carter went some way to silencing his recent critics with a 19-point haul at Newlands but was quick to remind everyone that is was a team effort that has brought them to the brink of an unrivalled sporting achievement. "After everything we have been through, this just makes us tighter," he explained. "Everyone would be disappointed if we didn't go all the way - not a lot has to be said."
Standing the Crusaders' way are an in-form Reds side that swept the Blues aside in their final four clash - thanks largely to the sublime skills of the Wallabies fly-half Quade Cooper. The two leading talents will go head-to-head in the final in what will be the first in a number intriguing match-ups in the next few months.
"Quade has just grown from the way he played last year," Carter said. "He is really leading them and creating a lot of opportunities ... He really is the danger man."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry