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Carter Eyes Mehrtens' Mark After Scoring Blitz

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Fuseworks Media
Carter Eyes Mehrtens' Mark After Scoring Blitz

By Mark Geenty of NZPA

Tokyo, Nov 1 NZPA - Another goalkicking masterclass under his belt, Daniel Carter is confident he can overcome a calf muscle injury as he eyeballs Andrew Mehrtens' All Blacks test rugby pointscoring record in Cardiff next weekend.

The All Blacks' first five-eighth kicked eight from eight against the Wallabies at Tokyo's National Stadium last night for a 22-point haul to guide his team to a 32-19 win and a 4-0 Bledisloe Cup sweep.

He passed Mehrtens' New Zealand pointscoring record against Australia of 202 in the process, and now sits just 15 points short of Mehrtens' career tally of 967 as Wales loom in Cardiff.

The only potential hiccup is a painful haematoma on a calf muscle which Carter suffered from a stray knee early in the second half last night, and limped his way through the test.

He was limping noticeably as the team departed for Narita Airport this morning for the flight to London, but had faith in his healing powers.

"I'm confident I will be okay. We've got the travel which is never good with injuries but as long as I look after it... we'll reassess it when I arrive," he said.

Carter admitted he wasn't a stats man, but took an interest in knowing he was so close to Mehrtens' tally which was accrued over a 70-test career. Last night was Carter's 63rd test.

"I've never really been into records but if I do achieve the odd milestone it is quite a cool feeling. I'm sure this will be something after my career that I'll look back on and appreciate a lot more," Carter told NZPA.

"He (Mehrtens) was a huge influence when I was a teenager, I looked up to him and watched him play for the Crusaders then had a chance to play alongside him and follow him around and watch the way he plays.

"I picked up a few tips from him. He was a key person helping me when I first started."

Carter's tally has been boosted by 25 tries to Mehrtens' seven, and he admitted the running part of his game last night was the most satisfying.

He took the ball to the line strongly and said it was his intent to give more defences headaches during the five-match tour of Europe.

"It's a real emphasis. I play my best when I'm attacking the line and being a threat, it'll open up space out wide and get us on the go-forward.

"It's something I'm trying to do but you need that good quality ball and we got it (last night)."

Carter labelled the victory a good start to the tour, with the whole team contributing to a spirited defensive effort and a strong second half.

But he felt there were even bigger tests to come.

"It will get tougher. We know what to expect from the Wallabies because we play them so often. Coming up against these other sides in Europe will be a different challenge.

"As long as we focus on ourselves and keep improving and progressing then we'll be happy."

 

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