Editorial: Just groin and bear it: follow Dan, move on

21:46, Oct 04 2011

It's the nature of today's two-second news cycle that Daniel Carter's groin injury has already been replaced as the top sports story by Rachel Hunter's son playing ice hockey for Great Britain.

Truly Fleet Street.

But the exit of Dan Carter from the All Blacks is worth far more than headlines, wanton sentimentalism and a collective groan from New Zealanders.

Carter's performance at a press conference on Monday was typical of a player who has always had both a heart and head for top class rugby.

Carter, along with his arsenal of superb skills, brought extraordinary bravery to his game.

So with respect to that kind of attitude, let's put his withdrawal from the Rugby World Cup in perspective.

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For those who want to take off a national day of mourning at the news, get a grip. It's a setback, for sure, but no disaster.

And in times like this it is always best to remember that this is far worse for Dan Carter than any other New Zealander. It is his world cup that has turned to ashes, not ours. Yes, we have been denied the pleasure of his confident athleticism, intelligence and ability to expertly marshall the troops. But the tournament is far from over.

At a press conference announcing his departure from the world cup, he was asked by one television presenter "how would New Zealand cope". The thing about Carter is he would never off his own bat make some assessment of the communal state of New Zealand's mental health at the news of his demise. It would be furtherest from his mind, one suspects.

Carter worked damned hard to get to where he was. His dedication to perfecting his kicking is almost worthy of geekdom. If there is any justice in the world – and it was hinted at by Steve Hansen – he may be around for the tussle over the Webb Ellis Cup in England in four years' time.

But that will happen only if he can be bothered dragging his 33-year-old body round for one last go. He may well have something better to do.

The Marlborough Express