Carter’s the talk in every town

Agustin Pichot rates his teammate Felipe Contepomi a greater player than Dan Carter, but Ireland’s Ronan O’Gara does not agree.

Pichot, ahead of the Pumas match against England at Twickenham, heaped praise on Contepomi, who has been the standout player for Leinster in the European Cup and Celtic League.

“I rate Felipe as the greatest fly-half in world rugby,” said Pichot. “I rate him higher than Dan Carter, who is an incredibly gifted player, but I still think Felipe is better.”

O’Gara, when speaking to the media, said that comparing Carter with any other flyhalf was like comparing Tiger Woods with any other golfer. It just wasn’t possible.

O’Gara, Ireland’s best No 10 and one of Europe’s best, said Carter was the not only the best flyhalf in the world, but the best rugby player in the world.

Western Province Director of Rugby and former Bok coach Nick Mallett told Keo.co.za that Carter was the best flyhalf he had ever seen – and that Carter’s performances at home and away from home defined just how good he is.

Carter’s only off day in 32 tests was in Cape Town against the Boks in 2005, when he struggled in all aspects of his game. But his successes outnumber this lone failure. He is a player who has played everywhere and been convincing.

He’s won the man of the match award in Pretoria when the All Blacks hammered the Boks 45-26, he was the man of the match in Paris when the All Blacks slaughtered the French 45-6 and he was the man of the match at Twickenham when the All Blacks scored a record-breaking 41-20 win against England. He was also influential in the All Blacks being the first team to beat the Wallabies in Brisbane in a decade, while his home form has been without comparison.

Carter, the 2005 Player of the Year, has been nominated for the 2006 award and is favoured to win it.