300 games and 19 years of tormenting defences for Feilding and Brad Carr is not done yet

Brad Carr registered his 300th game for Feilding against Te Kawau on Saturday.
Murray Wilson/ Fairfax NZ.

Brad Carr registered his 300th game for Feilding against Te Kawau on Saturday.

It has been 19 years since Brad Carr made his senior A debut for Feilding and he is still dazzling defences with his fancy footwork.

The 35-year-old ran out for his 300th match for Yellows on Saturday and promptly stepped his way into a gap and set up the opening try, with agility men half his age would have been proud of.

But it was the same piece of footwork he has used since he burst onto the scene as a exciting 17-year-old back in 1999.

Brad Carr's ability to beat defenders has been a constant through his 19-year career.
FAITH SUTHERLAND

Brad Carr's ability to beat defenders has been a constant through his 19-year career.

You'd forgive a young player for taking a couple of years to get accustomed to senior rugby, but not Carr.

The goal-kicking outside back was a star from the beginning, dotting down for 11 tries. It was enough for him to win the Manawatu Standard's best and fairest competition for club rugby and get called into the Manawatu team.

He would go on to play 17 games for Manawatu between 1999 and 2003, scoring 46 points.

Brad Carr has been playing senior A rugby for Feilding since 1999.
GRANT MATTHEW/FAIRFAX NZ

Brad Carr has been playing senior A rugby for Feilding since 1999.

But while his representative career stopped there, his club tenure was only just getting underway.

For his entire career, Carr's name has been one of the first on the paper for Yellows coaches when they name their starting side.

He has always been one of the most elusive players in the competition and few break his tackles on defence.

With club records being sketchy, his exact points tally is hard to confirm. But considering he bettered 100 points in 13 consecutive seasons while he was kicking goals, it is fair to say that he would be nudging the 2000 point mark.

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As he ran off the field last Saturday after match 300 against Te Kawau, he admitted his body was feeling a bit different to his debut match.

"The body is hanging in there," he said. "Every game it takes me the whole week to recover and then I do it all over again. But I just love it so it is a small price to pay."

That word "love" comes up a lot when Carr starts talking about rugby and why he keeps on playing.

"I still love it," he said. "I love the club, it is a good bunch of boys."

And hanging up the boots is not under consideration yet.

"I am not thinking of retirement yet," he said. "If I stop playing As, I will still be playing rugby."

"When I start getting carved up by the young fellows, then it is time to call it quits. But that is not happening yet, so I will keep going.

"I am real competitive so when I lose that urge to turn up to training and it is OK to lose, then I won't keep going."

Carr has noticed the game change during his career with dirty play less prevalent and a focus being put on pace.

"It used to be if you didn't come off the field with ruck marks, you hadn't played a game of rugby," he said with the sleeve of his jersey fitting ripped from the Rongotea hospitality at the bottom of a ruck.

"The physicality is still the same, but the speed is definitely faster."

And while Carr never had the lengthy representative career that he could have if things went differently, he had no regrets.

"I am happy with what I have done. I had opportunities to go overseas and play overseas, but I think of who have come before me and that is what I wanted to be part of, a chunk of history. Not many get to do what I have got to do."

There is little Carr has not achieved in Manawatu club rugby, but the Hankins Shield has proven elusive. 

Feilding will honour Carr's milestone when they hosts Feilding Old Boys-Oroua at Johnston Park this Saturday.

 - Stuff

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