Carter set for scan as injury spoils 100th test

DAVID LONG
Last updated 07:57 17/11/2013
Dan Carter
Getty Images
Dan Carter will undergo a scan on his Achilles to find out the extent of any damage.
Dan Carter
Getty Images
FEELING THE STRAIN: Dan Carter sits on the All Blacks bench with ice on his right Achilles after limping off in the first half of his 100th test against England.

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All Blacks centurion Dan Carter will undergo a scan on his Achilles to find out the extent of any damage.

One of the disappointing points of New Zealand's 30-22 win over England at Twickenham today was the sight to Carter limping from the field in the first half, to be replaced by Aaron Cruden.

It was supposed to be a memorable occasion for Carter as he joined the small band of New Zealanders who have played a century of tests for the All Blacks, but it was a game that he spent most of the time watching from the sidelines.

The last game of this tour is against Ireland next weekend in Dublin and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said Carter's participation in that test will depend on the results of a scan.

"He has hurt his Achilles, not the one he ruptured years ago but the other one," confirmed Hansen.

"It has been rumbling away for a while and he's obviously very sore. It's not ruptured I wouldn't think, but we won't know that until we get some scans.

"It is disappointing for him again, he's had a wretched time with injuries, but he made a major contribution in the time he was on, he kicked really well, put us in the right places and to achieve 100 caps is no mean feat.

"The style that he's achieved them in, there are not too many bad performances in that 100, so he should be pretty proud of himself."

Carter was the only casualty from the test, prop Tony Woodcock pulled his hamstring just before halftime and is unlikely to play next weekend.

As for the test, Hansen said it was one where both teams had their good and bad patches.

"If you broke the game down into quarters, the first 20 [minutes] we controlled, the next 20 they controlled, the next 20 was shared and we managed to get back on top, started to really dig into their line out ball and with the few scrums we had, we started to put some pressure on them.

"It was really pleasing from our point of view, but mentally we were in front for a lot of the game and then saw our lead slip away.

"When that happens that can play on your mind, but it didn't, the guys stayed in process, stayed connected with each other and came out on top."

Hansen paid tribute to the work his bench did in the test, which gave the All Blacks some extra energy to come back form being 22-20 down to take the game.

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"The things we talk about is that they're not just there to make up the numbers," he said.

"They are there to help change the game if we need to, or to lift the intensity of the game.

"Charles [Faumuina] came on and scrummed really well, Luke [Romano] came on and gave us some fresh legs and some nice ball carries in the middle of the park.

"So there was a lot of energy and spark from those guys and that's what you want. That makes a difference and that's what we saw in the last 15-20 minutes when those guys came on and they were the people that helped change the momentum of the game enough for it to come back our way."

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said he didn't feel the team panicked or dropped their heads when they'd lost their lead, instead there was the determination to roll their sleeves up and get stuck into it again.

"There is no point worrying about it that you've blown a lead," he said.

"You've just got to stick to what you've got to do next and the key to that was to get to the right end of the field and hold onto the ball.

"We showed that when we did that we put them under quite a lot of pressure and we scored a try because of that.

"We realised it was going to be a battle and that's what it was," he added.

"From the point of view of taking opportunities and in the end winning more moments, that's what the key to winning was, so we've got to be pretty happy with that.

"It was by no means perfect, don't get me wrong, but test matches when you've got 15 guys trying to stop you from playing, it's about winning more number of moments and taking opportunities and we did that pretty good."

- Fairfax Media

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