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After a disastrous start Dan Carter put in one of his greatest All Black performances

By Sam Smith

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Dan Carter’s 2012 season for the All Blacks was one of his best as he went on to capture the World Rugby Player of the Year award for the second time in his career.

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But despite the All Blacks heading into that season off the back of a World Cup victory, Carter was returning back from the groin injury that had robbed him of being apart of the on-field team to win the William Webb Ellis.

His 2012 vintage would prove to the world that he was just as dominant as his earlier self, coming back from injury to star for the All Blacks in the first two tests against Ireland in July, winning the second with a clutch drop goal.

After completing an undefeated Rugby Championship with five wins and a draw, the All Blacks headed to Europe for their end-of-year tour.

The first test at Murrayfield against Scotland will go down as one of Carter’s greatest performances as he guided the All Blacks to a 51-22 win.

Carter started confidently with a couple of touches in the first minute before slotting his first three points of the day with a 40-metre penalty after a Scottish ruck infringement.

However it quickly turned south as Carter tried to look inside and play outside while flirting with the Scottish line. Inside centre Matt Scott intercepted Carter and quickly found the pace of Tim Visser who raced away to score next to the post to give Scotland the lead 7-3.

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Carter’s confidence was not dented by the turnover and unfortunately for Scotland he would turn on some of his finest form to dismantle the bullish Scots.

From a midfield line out, a damaging left-foot step by Carter left three Scottish defenders in his wake as he broke away upfield. After being tackled inside the 22, he quickly found possession again and this time dummied his way through the line a second time.

He swerved past Greig Laidlaw and dished a one-hand pass to Israel Dagg for the All Blacks first try in a sublime showing of skill.

Carter had a hand in the lead-up to more All Black tries as they built a 34-17 lead at halftime. When Visser scored his second try ten minutes into the second half, Scotland looked a chance at 34-22.

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A penalty goal by Carter extended the lead to 37-22 before he would come up with a defining play, landing a kick-pass to Julian Savea from a scrum just inside the All Blacks half which the left wing took 45-metres to the try line.

Carter would add one more try assist as an exclamation mark on the performance, ghosting through the Scotland line once again before feeding Ben Smith for their sixth try of the game.

His last conversion of the day brought up 50 points for the All Blacks as Carter hauled in 21 points and three try assists.

Former Scotland scrumhalf Andy Nicol for BBC Sport praised Carter’s influence saying ‘he has not got any weakness’ in his game.

“Dan Carter was imperious. The top players in any sport look they have time to spare. Scotland fell off a few tackles but his awareness and execution were outstanding.

“It was a pleasure to watch. He has not got a weakness in his game, and there are not many players you can say that about in international rugby. He influences a game more than any other player.”

Watch Dan Carter’s 2012 performance against Scotland

 

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