Tuesday 23 January 2018

Carter blows last-gasp shot at glory


Dan Carter missed a drop-goal attempt with the last kick of the game in Brisbane as the All Blacks' winning streak was brought to an end at 16 matches.

The world champions, chasing a record-equalling 17th victory in a row, had a chance to steal the spoils in an extraordinary end to the Bledisloe Cup contest but Carter, who kicked six penalties, steered the ball wide right of the posts.

Australia, whose points came from five Mike Harris penalties and a long-range effort from Kurtley Beale, also had a chance to win the match after the 80 minutes were up.

The Wallabies were camped on the All Blacks' 22-metre line for 25 phases and it seemed certain that either fly-half Beale or full-back Mike Harris would step up to kick a drop-goal from 30 metres.

Instead, the Wallabies forwards continued to bash with one-out pick-and-drives and eventually conceded a penalty.

"Looking back we should have taken the shot -- either me or Mikey," Beale said. "It's a difficult one to look back on. I had a lot of trust there in the forwards. I thought they were setting up for it. Maybe they went one too far. Maybe they were going for a penalty and settling for the three points.

"We were on the scramble. We didn't want to die wondering, we wanted to attack and get the win."

The All Blacks could have surrendered to a draw, but instead took a tap kick and drove play up the field for eight phases before Carter launched a drop-goal attempt that shaved the outside of the right upright to ensure the game ended all square.

The main controversy emanating out of the game was Scott Higginbotham's headbutt on Richie McCaw, for which he has now been cited.

Irish Independent

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