All Blacks: Proud Carter breaks point scoring record

By Gregor Paul of the Herald on Sunday

There was a typically understated Daniel Carter approach to his achievement of becoming the highest point scorer in New Zealand history.

He's not one to jump and flap is Carter, which is why he just smiled and tried to deflect the questions about how it felt to be the most prolific All Black in history.

"It's a great feeling and I'm very proud," he said, "but it's something I will probably look back on more at the end of my career."

It was his penalty in the first quarter of the first half that saw him surpass Andrew Mehrtens' 967 points. When he landed three more penalties and a conversion he moved on to 980 and now has the 1000 barrier in his sights.

It wasn't, however, a vintage Carter effort. He missed a couple of easy kicks at goal and boomed a punt for touch into the dead goal area.

His defence, though, was outstanding and he made one superb tackle on the escaping Tom Croft that saved a certain try.

Such a mixed bag left Carter a little unsure about how to rate his own day. But knowing Carter, he'll take it in the chin and bounce back next week.

"I guess you can't have 10 out of 10 every week," said All Black coach Graham Henry of Carter. "But 9...5 out of 10 isn't bad."

And Carter shouldn't be too hard on himself - there was still plenty of good about his and the team's performance. The All Blacks began to play more effectively when they drove the ball around the fringes of the ruck and committed the English defence.

That was when the space opened up and with a bit more composure and accuracy, they could have cut loose.

That was captain Richie McCaw's feeling after the game. "I thought we were close to opening the game up, he said.

Maybe that will come this weekend in Marseilles.

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