Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Order of the Carter Puts Daniel on Top

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Order of the Carter Puts Daniel on Top

Article excerpt

Byline: By Duncan Madsen

Daniel carter the perfect 10? Well on last Saturday's showing for the All Blacks against the Lions, he is as near to it as is possible to get.

But where does Carter now stand in the pantheon of all-time great fly halves? At only 23 he still has, fitness permitting, the best of his career ahead of him but his 33-point, two-try display against the best that Great Britain and Ireland had to offer was so immense I believe it is now possible to make a stab at placing him among the pantheon of the No 10s who have graced rugby union over the years.

And while the likes of Ireland's Jack Kyle and that great Welsh wizard Cliff Morgan were before my time, I have had the pleasure of watching, and in some cases playing with and/or against, every top fly half since Barry John graced the scene in the late 1960s and, especially, the early 1970s.

Ironically, it was `King' John who masterminded the Lions' only success in New Zealand back in 1971 when they won the Test series 2-1 with the fourth and final game being drawn.

The sight of the maestro gliding through the New Zealand defence, or tormenting first Fergie McCormick and then Laurie Mains at full back with his tantalising kicks still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

In attack John set the yardstick even if defence was something he was prepared to leave to lesser mortals.

Then came the likes of Phil Bennett, Jonathan Davies, Michael Lynagh, Rob Andrew, Grant Fox, Stephen Larkham and Andrew Mehrtens to name but a few before our own Jonny Wilkinson assumed the mantle as being the world's best No 10.

Wilkinson is as diametrically opposite to John as it is possible to get, but while lacking the Welshman's intuitive poise, vision, balance and general footballing skills, he has more than made up for it with his intensity, defence, team-work and, of course, his phenomenal goal-kicking. …

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