Rugby

Carter 'relished' pressure conversion

2016-06-18 15:29
Dan Carter (Getty)

Rennes - New Zealand legend Dan Carter revealed he was relishing the chance to be a Racing 92 hero with a last-gasp conversion to beat Clermont.

Racing and Clermont were tied 27-27 at full-time of their Top 14 semi-final in Rennes on Friday night, after which a Scott Spedding penalty from distance and a huge drop goal from Australian Brock James gave the Jaunards a six-point lead in extra-time.

But Racing's Argentine wing Juan Imhoff scored a breakaway try right at the death, leaving Carter with a conversion to win the match.

The 34-year-old didn't err and dissected the posts with pinpoint accuracy to send Racing into next weekend's final against either Toulon or Montpellier.

"You can't miss it, you have to get it," he said of the pressure kick.

"In all seriousness it's what you train for as a kicker, situations like that. The team had done so much hard work to get us in the position to win, so I didn't want to let them down.

"I just wanted to kick the kick, that's what I've trained so hard for, situations like that, so I was happy to reward the team for all their hard work."

Carter, the record points scorer in international Test rugby, has won everything there is to win in the southern hemisphere.

He won two World Cups with New Zealand, helped them to the Tri-Nations or Rugby Championship nine times and was part of the All Blacks side that whitewashed the touring British and Irish Lions in 2005.

He also won the Super Rugby crown four times with Crusaders.

He won the Top 14 crown once before, with Perpignan in 2009, although he played a minimal role as he ruptured his Achilles tendon after just five matches and missed the final four months of the season.

So he's delighted to be going to Barcelona's Camp Nou next week.

"Yeah, amazing! It was like my second home when I was living in Perpignan, it's a great place and to have such an important rugby game there is going to be amazing.

"It's a historical game, I'm extremely proud of the team to get there, but we go there for a reason: to try to win.

"It means a lot (to reach the final). Obviously to experience it (in 2009) was great but I didn't play."

Whoever Racing come up against in the final, Carter is sure they have what it takes to go one better than their losing experience against Saracens in last month's European Champions Cup final.

"The spirit is amazing, many other teams would have folded and not won that game (the semi-final). To show the amazing team spirit to win in the 100th minute was incredible.

"It's a team full of fighters, we play for one another and that's the most important thing."

Read more on:    racing 92  |  top 14  |  dan carter  |  rugby
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