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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

1598 by Dan Carter

By any measure of any sport, the leading points scorer in any field is a feat worth celebrating. Dan Carter is a name that was, with his captain Ritchie McCaw, synonymous with the All Blacks for the 112 tests that he served our country so well on the rugby field. Carter achieved a truly remarkable 14.27 points per game played and became the hero and icon of some of New Zealand’s finest sporting moments in recent history.

This book celebrates the world record career of Carter wearing the black jersey test by test. It is dominated by fine photography and includes short blurbs from Carter as to specifics of each test and insights into the mind of an athletic genius. Above all, it celebrates the humility of the first five as a person as an almost complete contrast to his on field persona.

The book is beautifully bound and printed with very high quality images making it a really valued addition for any rugby lover. The starkness of the cover in full black with the name and the number being the only features really focuses on the man and his remarkable feats as an All Black.

Carter started his All Black career in 2003 wearing the number 26 and celebrating with a 55-3 win over Wales with the goal kicker’s contribution of 6 conversions and 1 penalty try. Like the rest of the 111 tests, each includes the specifics of opposition, location, points scored by Carter, and that short blurb reflecting the emotions and response he had to the occasion.

Heartbreaks such as the 2007 RWC final are discussed, but not extensively. This is more a snippet rather than an exploration - which Carter’s previous book offered. But similarly the emphatic wins are celebrated in a short and sweet summation.

The longest entry from Carter is, fittingly, from the RWC final of 2015. The remarkable win over Australia to seal the ownership of the cup with New Zealand for two consecutive cup cycles. The quote from this entry is a classic:

“As I took that final conversion, my thoughts shifted to all those hours as a kid with Dad in our backyard…. I lined it up and kicked it with my wrong foot. It was a tribute to Dad who made me practise with both feet.”

The book is a stunning addition to any collection, lover of rugby or just of magnificent sporting photography. As a celebration of Carter’s unbelievable tenure in the Black Jersey, or even of that period in All Black history, there is nothing more visually appealing. A highly recommended read and keepsake!

Reviewer: Chris Reed

Upstart Press

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