New Zealand plan to bring their A game to a bruising confrontation with Georgia in their third Rugby World Cup pool match in Cardiff on Saturday.
The 33-year-old, who sat out New Zealand’s routine win against Namibia last week after scoring 16 points in a hard-fought victory over Argentina in their Pool C opener, suffered a 2007 quarter-final against France in Cardiff but has racked up a total of 106 points at the city’s atmospheric Millennium Stadium.
“Obviously you’re never wanting to watch from the sidelines but with the strength of the squad we’ve got, it’s going to happen to a lot of the guys throughout the tournament”, Carter said.
Wales also have to contend with Fiji on Thursday, and although the Pacific islanders have lost their first two games to England and Australia, they have proved a formidable opposition.
“We’ve got through those games with wins, but it’s time we stepped up now”. “Georgia will be our third game this tournament and it is time we improved as a team, myself included”.
“But he is an awesome player and being able to see what he’s been capable of in the first couple of games he’s a real weapon in their side”.
“Thanks for the reminder”, he said after it was pointed out to him. A repeat of the fixture will occur if New Zealand top their pool and France finish second in theirs.
Robshaw’s decision to go for touch rather than for posts when his side were awarded a penalty late on backfired when England were unable to convert from the resulting line-out, but Carter steered away from criticising the England skipper’s decision.
“It was a great game of rugby that could have gone either way”, he said.
“You could really hear the supporters out there enjoying the night, it was awesome… and the boys enjoyed seeing how supportive Wales are of their home team”, he said. “The momentum shifted throughout the match. And I know they love driving off the lineouts, I think that’s where a few of his tries have come from”. We arrived in Cardiff that day and the place went pretty mad afterwards.
But it does not compare to the crowd, the roof, and overall atmosphere at the 74,000 capacity Millennium Stadium for Carter who has played there seven times. It is a tough one to comment on. You just have to trust the captain’s calls on things like that.