Ireland 18-38 New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, November 20
Carter happy to wait for record
ESPNscrum Staff
November 21, 2010
Eoin Reddan attempts to charge down Dan Carter's kick, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, November 20, 2010
Dan Carter was denied a record by Richie McCaw's decision-making © PA Photos

Dan Carter was happy to let record-breakers Richie McCaw and Mils Muliaina take the spotlight as his mission to overtake Jonny Wilkinson's all-time test points tally fell agonisingly short against Ireland on Saturday.

Carter's 18-point haul matched the entire Ireland team as the All Blacks zeroed in on their Grand Slam goal with a 38-18 victory at Dublin, but had his attempted conversion of Kieran Read's last-minute try not faded to the right of the posts, Carter would have joined Wilkinson on 1178 points.

It was the only kick Carter missed in a man-of-the-match performance, but he could easily have breached the record had captain McCaw opted for a shot at goal instead of a series of reset scrums as Ireland were penalised near their own line late on.

Carter said his requests for a kick were declined by McCaw, who didn't realise the greater implications of the decision, but Carter said he was happy to wait a week to set his own record if it meant more focus fell on McCaw and Muliaina, who moved clear as the All Blacks most-capped players.

"I just told him to take the three points of course, but with a bit of hindsight it was probably a good thing we didn't - it might have taken the spotlight off him and Mils so it all worked out pretty well," Carter said.

"To be honest I didn't even know how many points I was on, or that kick had any relevance or anything. It was not until someone after the game said how many points I had scored maybe next week (against Wales in Cardiff)."

McCAw said: "He said to me afterwards 'Gee if you'd given me that I would have got it'. I went, 'oh well, next week'. Being up by 15 or 18 points didn't change a lot so thought it was better to put the pressure on. I now understand why he was asking to take a shot."

McCaw and Mils Muliaina equalled Sean Fitzpatrick's 92-cap record against Scotland last weekend and Carter was happy not to upstage their big moment - and Graham Henry's 100th test win as an international coach.

"They're a couple of fantastic All Blacks, it's awesome what they've achieved."

Muliaina might also have been a contender for the man of the match honours after one of the best tests of a career that started with a loss to England in Wellington.

"He's a class player, I thought he a fantastic," said Carter of his fullback.

"I've been lucky enough to play alongside him throughout my career. Every time he puts on that black jersey he does it justice, he's really added to the legacy."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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