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Dan Carter on the unexpected advantage the All Blacks have over South Africa

By Josh Raisey
Ardie Savea of the All Blacks talks with former All Black players Dan Carter and Victor Vito during a New Zealand All Blacks training session at LOU rugby club on September 27, 2023 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Heading into the World Cup final, everyone is searching for areas where the All Blacks might have an advantage over South Africa and vice versa.


With just days to go until the two sides compete for the Webb Ellis Cup, former All Black and World Cup winner Dan Carter has highlighted one area where his compatriots might benefit, although it is not immediately obvious.

The fact that the All Blacks have an extra day’s rest seems like one of the biggest advantages, not to mention they are coming away from an untroubling 44-6 win over Argentina compared to South Africa’s slugfest against England. While it seems ostensibly obvious that Ian Foster’s side will profit by having an extra day to physically get in the right condition, Carter said on the Official Rugby World Cup 2023 podcast this week that the extra day is more beneficial mentally.

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As a player who benefitted from an extra day’s rest between the semi-finals and the final when the All Blacks won the World Cup in 2015, Carter clearly has experience of the positive effects of an eight-day turnaroud instead of seven (or seven-day turnaroud instead of six in his case). That is because players are effectively given a day to switch off from the pressure and the hype of the week leading up to the final.

“I think the extra day will help in terms of getting away from the game,” the latest inductee into the World Rugby Hall of Fame said.

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“When you’ve been together for over two months, the pressures of World Cup play-off games, the world looking at you. They need to really switch off so the extra day will help them to spend time with their families before they push the reset button.”

Instead of discussing the physical benefits the All Blacks might have over the Springboks (or England at the time of speaking), Foster shared the same view as Carter when looking ahead to the final following the victory over the Pumas. He said: “We are focused on ourselves and the extra day gives us chance to have a break mentally.”




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finn 4 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

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Simon 6 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

There are a few issues with the article. Despite somehow getting to a RWC semi final, England are nowhere near Probable status and should be swapped with Scotland on current form. France’s failure at RWC 23 has massively hit their mindset. Psychologically, they need a reset of gigantic proportions otherwise they will revert to, Top 14 first, international rugby an afterthought again. Ireland are allowed to play the way they are by less than acceptable officiating. Make no bones about it, with Easterby coaching, Ireland cheat, they break the rules at almost every facet of the game and generally referees, influenced by the media that Ireland are somehow playing the best rugby in the world, allow them. Scrums - Porter never pushes straight and immediately turns in. The flankers lose their binds and almost latch on to the opposition props. Rucks - they always and I mean always clear out from the side and take players out beyond the ball, effectively taking them out of being ready for the next phase. Not once do green shirts enter rucks from the rear foot. Referees should be made to look at the video of the game against Wales and see that Irish backs and forwards happily enter rucks from the side to effect a clearout, thus giving them the sub 3 second ruck speed everybody dreams about. They also stand in offside positions at rucks to ‘block’ opposing players from making clear tackles allowing the ball carrier to break the gainline almost every time. They then turn and are always ahead of play and therefore enter subsequent rucks illegally. Mauls - there is always a blocker between the ball catcher and the opposition. It is subtle but it is there. Gatland still needs to break the shackles and allow his team a bit more freedom to play rugby. He no longer has a team of 16 stone plus players who batter the gainline. He has to adapt and be more thoughtful in attack. Scotland are playing well but they have the creaky defence that leaks tries.

23 Go to comments
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