Sam Carter's father keeping advice to himself

Last updated 05:00 21/08/2014
Sam Carter
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RUNS IN THE FAMILY: Both Sam Carter and his father are Wallabies.

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Sam Carter wasn't overloaded with fatherly advice before he made his Bledisloe Cup debut, possibly because Dad doesn't have many fond memories of his solitary test against the All Blacks.

While Carter faced a tall order in just his second test when competing for lineout ball with Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick at ANZ Stadium last Saturday night, David Carter's adversary when Concord Oval was Sydney's premier rugby venue was imposing All Blacks' captain and No 8 Buck Shelford.

It wasn't an enjoyable July afternoon in 1988 for Carter senior as the then world champions muscled to a 32-7 win - the loose forward had to wait another 16 months before he was recalled to the Wallabies squad for a tour to France which marked the end of his five-test career.

So it was no surprise when the 2-metre tall Brumbies lock replied "not really" when asked if Dad had provided any particular insights before he faced Kapa o Pango.

"He's obviously told me the stories over the years and stuff like that. He's always been supportive and given me any advice but it's a very different game these days."

After playing the duration of a frustrating 12-12 draw, Carter is now capable of forming his own opinions on the dangers posed by the current world champions' personnel and while the All Blacks intensity was a step up from his test debut against France in June, the 24-year-old felt an underrated pack acquitted itself well.

The scrummaging battle was even and the Wallabies lineout also operated efficiently despite hooker Nathan Charles making a run-on debut after just two appearances off the bench.

Carter only had 80 minutes of test experience before confronting the All Blacks, and only because he played through the pain barrier after rolling his ankle early in the series opener against France.

The injury ruled him out of the two remaining tests but once passed fit he was a certainty for the Rugby Championship squad - and the Wallabies' first choice second row alongside lineout caller Rob Simmons.

Carter has effectively replaced James Horwill - the Wallabies leader at the 2011 World Cup and the Reds leader when they won their only Super Rugby title earlier that year - a development that might have been awkward with the 51-cap Queenslander still in the squad.

However, plenty of familiar faces eased the transition.

"Obviously there's 10 Brumbies in the squad which really helps me because I know all those guys on a personal level.

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"I played with most of the Waratahs guys at junior or uni level so that makes it a lot easier to fit into this environment," he said.

Carter also felt comfortable at test level after competing on an equal footing with Whitelock and fellow tighthead lock Retallick.

"It's exciting for me when I get to play those players because it's a test to see where I'm at as well."

Carter thought the All Blacks would also have a better appreciation of the Wallabies' set piece after the scrum refused to buckle and the lineout secured eight throws and stole two All Black feeds, though also losing three of their own.

"There were a couple of slip-ups but I thought our drills were pretty good," summed up Carter's assessment of the lineout.

- Stuff

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