The Sun (Malaysia)

Clash of the No. 10s

> Carter the master conductor hopes to leave Iceman Foley cold


DEZZY against the Iceman. Dan Carter v Bernard Foley. Two playmaking No.10s at the opposite spectrum of their careers hoping to orchestrat­e a World Cup triumph for New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham tomorroe.

Considered to the best flyhalf in the world and a superstar of the game over the last decade, Carter has long been the All Blacks’ conductor and master puppeteer.

Able to change and control a game with his ability to feel and see space, Carter in his pomp could punch holes in any defence with his running game – just ask the 2005 British and Irish Lions who he tore to shreds.

Now rapidly approachin­g the end of a glittering All Blacks career that began in 2003, the 33year-old will make his 112th and last test appearance in the fabled black shirt tomorrow having missed out for years ago when injury ended his tournament in the pool stage.

After a patchy season following a sabbatical he took to be mentally and physically in top shape for one final World Cup hurrah, Carter has shown only glimpses of his former self.

“I don’t know if he’s in the best form of his life, but he’s in the form we need him to be in right now,” New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster said after the game.

“For someone who has gone through what he has the last two or three years, and to climb back in and control the team the way he has, is outstandin­g.”

To win a first World Cup since 1999, Australia will need another big game from Foley, who entered the tournament vying with Quade Cooper for the No. 10 jersey but who has made it his own with a succession of stellar performanc­es.

The Wallabies have long been searching for a standoff to rival the calibre of a Michael Lynagh or Stephen Larkham and may have found it in Foley, a former Sevens player who compared to Carter is an internatio­nal novice having made his internatio­nal debut in 2013.

Foley’s cool and poise were evident when, hindered by a far from easy angle, he slotted a lastgasp penalty to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat in an epic quarterfin­al against Scotland.

Foley has outscored Carter 75 points to 63 at this tournament though should it come down to one late kick at goal to decide the destiny of the Webb Ellis Cup, each of them would back themselves to nail it. – Reuters

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