Carter promises thriller


LONDON, March 23 – New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter has vowed to give northern hemisphere fans a taste of what is to come in this year's Rugby World Cup when he turns out at Twickenham on Sunday.

Carter’s Super 15 franchise, the Crusaders, will play South Africa’s Sharks in London as their home ground was damaged by the Christchurch earthquake a month ago.

Around 55,000 fans are expected to turn up at England’s headquarters with a portion of the ticket price being donated to relief fund.

And Carter, who had a short spell in Europe with Perpignan in 2008, is expecting supporters north of the equator to enjoy the running rugby on show.

"Its slightly different," he said.

"We really pride ourselves on playing a fast, open style of play and scoring plenty of tries.

"From my experience it can be a bit different to the really tough, physical, gruelling competition that I experienced in France.

"I only played five games but I really got the pace of the rugby over here. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to see the style of play I like and hopefully we can rack up a few tries.

"As kids in New Zealand especially, we grow up throwing the ball around and wanting to score tries. It starts at such a young age there.

"We are very free-flowing, and it’s a style of play we like to play with the All Blacks.

"It can be a bit risky at times but we like to use the ball. With the new law interpretations it gives you the confidence to do that.

"If you have the ball as an attacking team you have more right and confidence to have an attacking style of play."

The last three World Cups have been dominated by defences but under the new law interpretations Carter senses it will be a different ball game when the 2011 version kicks off in New Zealand in September.

"That’s what we’re hoping," Carter told reporters after landing in London on Tuesday. "I think with the new law interpretations it really does give you the confidence to go into the World Cup.

"The World Cups haven’t been won by the most attacking sides, and often defences have really prevailed in world cup time. Defences are still a part of our play, it is the backbone. But with the new law interpretations it does give you the encouragement to use the ball."

Crusaders’ captain Kieran Read added: "We hope to play our style which is with the ball and that is not going to change come Sunday. We are hoping to play an expansive game which suits us perfectly."