All Blacks legend Dan Carter is expecting a top clash between England and New Zealand at Twickenham this weekend.
Carter believes his compatriots will be fuelled by their painful 19-7 loss to England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup semi-final – the last time these two teams met.
There are several survivors from that game, including Aaron Smith, skipper Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick, who will become the All Blacks’ latest Test centurion on Saturday.
All set to be a blockbuster Test
Carter admits the length of time since the semi-final clash adds to this weekend’s match, and he feels the All Blacks will have “an extra edge” for the Test.
“It’s been too long between games and that’s why I think this game is going to be an absolute cracker. That scarcity brings extra excitement,” Carter told the PA news agency.
“There’s also the extra excitement after what happened in 2019 when England completely outplayed the All Blacks. That hurt and will have hurt a lot of the players who are involved that day.
“When you have a defeat like that, the one thing you want to do is play against that opposition again, but we haven’t been able to do that for so long.
“Knowing some of the players who were involved in that game, there will be some some personal motivation going on there.
“There are players who have been a part of successful World Cups for New Zealand in 2011 and 2015, so being part of a losing World Cup team really does hurt. They will have have an extra edge for this game.”
Eyeing a strong finish
Despite a poor start to the 2022 Test season that included a series loss to Ireland before a comprehensive beating by the Springboks, the All Blacks have shown tremendous resilience and find themselves on a six-game win streak.
Carter admits a victory against England at Twickenham will be the ideal way for New Zealand to finish off their season.
“New Zealand are building. It’s obvious that they’re not happy with their performances throughout the year, but they’ve had some fantastic games and shown what they’re capable of,” Carter said.
“But every time you put on that All Black jersey the expectation is that you win every single game and more often than not, they do.
“So for them to have the win rate that they have this year is disappointing and they will be more disappointed than anyone.
“For them to to beat England at Twickenham in their last Test match of the year… it’s a huge game for them.
“After this they will have a couple of months off so they need to win because there’s nothing worse than having a few rocks underneath your beach towel throughout the summer, especially leading into World Cup year.
“They will have targeted England in this autumn series and they will have been building towards it as if it were a World Cup final.”
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