Carter overtakes Mehrtens as NZ’s topscorer

New Zealand coach Graham Henry paid tribute to Dan Carter after the fly-half became the All Blacks’ leading international points scorer during the 19-6 win over England at Twickenham here on Saturday.

It was not a vintage display by the 27-year-old Canterbury playmaker, who misssed two of his six goalkicks.

But having started the day needing just two points to overhaul former fly-half Andrew Mehrtens’s mark of 967, Carter kicked a conversion and four penalties for a total return of 14 points.

Carter’s total tally of 980 points has been achieved in 65 Tests, five fewer than Mehrtens played in his career, and saw him move up into fourth place in the all-time list of leading points scorers.

“I guess we are used to perfection, aren’t we?,” Henry told reporters.

“When he misses a couple of kicks, it’s not perfection,” the former Wales coach added. “I’d say he’d be disappointed in that.

“You don’t expect to have 10 out of 10 every time but 9.5 is not bad.”


Carter, returning from a one-week ban which saw him miss last weekend’s win over Italy, chose, typically, to comment on the team’s display and not his own.

“It was tough but we are happy to get a win at Twickenham,” the stand-off told Sky Sports.

“It is never easy and there are certainly parts of our game we need to improve on.

“Defensively we were very sound. We pride ourselves defensively – that’s where the attitude of the team comes from. But in terms of our attacking ability we have got to hold onto the ball more and build the phases.”


All the players above Carter – whose 25 tries are more than double the amount scored by rugby’s other leading points scorers – have had the advantage of playing for two international teams.

The third-placed Diego Dominguez (1,010 points from 76 Tests) represented Argentina and Italy and fellow retired points machine Neil Jenkins (1,090 from 91 Tests) played for Wales and the British and Irish Lions.

Standings leader Jonny Wilkinson, Carter’s opposing fly-half at Twickenham, extended his world record to 1,125 points from 79 matches after kicking all of England’s six points here Saturday.

Even without a Lions return of 67 from six Tests, Wilkinson has still scored 1,052 points in 72 England appearances.

All-time leading international rugby union points scorers after Dan Carter became New Zealand’s top scorer on Saturday (player, team (s), career span, matches, total points, tries, conversions, penalties, drop goals):

Jonny Wilkinson (ENG/Lions) 1998- 79 1,125 07 152 231 31
Neil Jenkins (WAL/Lions) 1991-2002 91 1,090 11 131 248 10
Diego Dominguez (ARG/ITA) 1989-2003 76 1,010 09 133 213 20
Dan Carter (NZL) 2003- 65 980 25 165 173 02
Andrew Mehrtens (NZL) 1995-2004 70 967 07 169 188 10

Note: Wilkinson and Carter both played on Saturday












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