New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter is expecting a “ferocious” response from Ireland on Saturday after the tourists were comprehensively beaten in the first Test in Auckland.
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Carter was in majestic form in the 42 – 10 win last weekend and slotted seven from eight kicks, including two successful efforts from the halfway line.
Carter admits it will be “an emotional experience” playing a Test match in Christchurch for the first time since devastating earthquakes hit the region in early 2011 but knows Ireland will be eager to spoil the All Blacks’ return.
“Every time you come up against the Irish you never take them as an easy opponent,” he said. “They are always extremely ferocious, they get stuck in and are a dangerous side to play.
“This season has put Irish rugby in really good stead with a couple of Irish teams (Leinster and Ulster) stepping out at the Heineken Cup final. Irish rugby is on a high at the moment and deservedly so. I’m sure it will be a huge battle.”
Carter saw his World Cup dream cut short by a groin injury last year and subsequently spent five months away from the game as he recovered, while his team-mates lifted the trophy on home soil but he’s just glad to wearing the number 10 jersey again.
“Playing in the number 10 jersey and kicking goals. I’ve been pain free for the past few games. It is a big part of my game so it is great to have that ability back, said the 30 year old.
“It is what I do and love.”