Rugby Championship

Carter still a doubt for ABs

2012-09-16 12:23
Dan Carter (File)

Wellington - Flyhalf Dan Carter's calf strain is still causing him problems but he will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness before New Zealand embark on a two-game road trip to conclude the Rugby Championship.

While four wins out of four have put the world champions on the verge of clinching the title in the inaugural version of the southern hemisphere competition, they have a tough finish to the championship.

They play Argentina in La Plata on Sept. 29 and South Africa in Johannesburg on Oct. 6 and coach Steve Hansen told reporters that Carter, who missed the All Blacks previous two matches with the injury, was still causing some concern.

"No he's not running full noise yet. The medical staff think he will be (okay), but we'll have to wait and see," Hansen told Fairfax Media in Dunedin on Sunday.

"We'll probably make a decision late in the week, probably Friday."

Carter's calm reassurance was sorely missed in atrocious conditions against the Pumas last week, though his understudy Aaron Cruden grew into the game at Wellington Regional Stadium and looked more composed directing the team against the Springboks in Dunedin on Saturday.

"The two young guys (Cruden and scrumhalf Aaron Smith) drove us around the park quite well in the second half," Hansen said after the All Blacks snuck to a 21-11 victory over South Africa.

"They're continuing to grow and get experience and that experience will do us well in the future."

The All Blacks have won 14 successive tests and have had to do so largely without Carter, who has played just six of the matches due to injuries.

The youthful exuberance and growing experience of Cruden and Smith will be needed on their road trip.

While the All Blacks are undefeated in their 15 Tests against Argentina, winning 14 and drawing one, the Pumas are much tougher to beat at home than on the road.

The All Blacks only blemish on their perfect record was the 21-21 draw in Buenos Aires in 1985, while on their last two trips to South America they have had to grind out tough wins, 25-19 in 2006 and 24-20 in 2001.

The Pumas also drew with South Africa in Mendoza last month and will be fuming they let a rare away victory slip through their grasp on Saturday when they led Australia 19-6 in the second half only for the Wallabies to fight back and win 23-19.

Once they leave Argentina the All Blacks head to Johannesburg, where they will play the Springboks at the Soccer City stadium in Soweto and are likely to face the same physical encounter they came up against in Dunedin on Saturday.

The All Blacks were lucky to win the match at Forsyth Barr Stadium, with the normally reliable Springbok goal-kickers missing six shots at goal.

While their tactics under new coach Heyneke Meyer are one dimensional, they can nonetheless be effective and the Springboks are unlikely to let victory over the world champions slip from their grasp twice in one season.

Read more on:    all blacks  |  rugby championship  |  dan carter  |  rugby


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
  • SS4
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
  • SS5
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
  • SS7
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

16 August 2014
Australia v New Zealand, Sydney 12:05
South Africa v Argentina, Pretoria 17:00
23 August 2014
New Zealand v Australia, Auckland 09:35
Argentina v South Africa, rgentina 21:10
06 September 2014
New Zealand v Argentina, apier 09:35
Australia v South Africa, erth 12:05

Do you have faith in coach Heyneke Meyer taking the Springboks to the 2015 Rugby World Cup?

Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.