Carter eyes a shot at his­tory

Nelson Mail - - SPORT - RUGBY

Dan Carter is in­spired by an­other late shot at his­tory as he lines up for French club Rac­ing 92 in this week­end’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup semi­fi­nals.

The glam­our Paris club take on Ir­ish heavy­weights Mun­ster in Bordeaux on Sun­day (Mon­day NZT).

Rac­ing have never won the ma­jor Euro­pean ti­tle. Nei­ther has Carter and he knows this is his last chance as he pre­pares to head to the Ja­panese scene at the end of the sea­son to fin­ish his il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer.

‘‘It’s huge – not only for me, but for the team,’’ Carter, 36, said of the semi­fi­nal.

‘‘I love hav­ing his­tory and do­ing things that no teams have done be­fore. If you look back at Rac­ing 92’s his­tory and how rare it is to make a fi­nal in Eu­rope, we were lucky enough to do it a cou­ple of years ago, so we’d love to go one step fur­ther.

‘‘[But] we re­alise that we can’t look too far ahead. We’ve got qual­ity op­po­si­tion in front of us, so we’ll en­joy this mo­ment and make sure that we con­tinue to work hard to give our­selves the best chance to make the fi­nal.’’

Carter, still test rugby’s top scorer, who won ev­ery­thing with the All Blacks and achieved plenty with Can­ter­bury and the Cru­saders, has won a French ti­tle with Rac­ing but was part of their team that lost the 2015-16 Euro­pean fi­nal to Sara­cens in his first sea­son with the club.

Carter has made 16 ap­pear­ances in the Euro­pean Cup and scored 104 points. All have been for Rac­ing, apart from the one game he played for Per­pig­nan dur­ing an All Blacks sab­bat­i­cal sea­son in 2008, when he kicked 16 points against Le­ices­ter Tigers.

Rac­ing and Mun­ster have played each other twice this sea­son, shar­ing the pool matches one each.

Carter is joined by fel­low Ki­wis Casey Laulala, Ben Tamei­funa, An­thony Tuitavake, Joe Roko­coko and So’otala Fa’aso’o in the Rac­ing squad.

Mun­ster have former Chiefs hooker Rhys Mar­shall and former Cru­sader first-five Tyler Blayen­daal in their squad.

Ir­ish out­fit Le­in­ster and Scar­lets, the Welsh club coached by Kiwi Wayne Pi­vac, clash in the other semi­fi­nal, played on Sun­day (NZT).

Le­in­ster have former Chiefs wing James Lowe on their books, along with ev­er­green Kiwi Isa Nacewa, while former Cru­saders wing Johnny McNi­choll is with the Scar­lets.

GETTY IM­AGES

Dan Carter is ea­ger to bow out of France on the high­est note pos­si­ble as his Rac­ing 92 club eyes the busi­ness end of the Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup.

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