Dan Carter is one of the finest fly halves ever to play rugby, but he was brought down to earth with an almighty thud by a massive hit from Bismarck Du Plessis in New Zealand’s Rugby Championship clash with South Africa on Saturday.
Carter, who plays his club rugby for Christchurch, is the highest points scorer in Test rugby and is famed for his reading of the game.
Working behind the All Blacks pack, Carter often dictates play—but he would have needed eyes in the back of his head to avoid Du Plessis:
Carter was fed the ball by scrum half Aaron Smith, but Du Plessis had read the play superbly and thundered into the tackle.
The tackle led to a wrestling match between the players, but it simply looked a brilliant, hard tackle.
Referee Romain Poite saw the hit differently and elected to brandish a yellow card to Du Plessis, which saw him sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.
It did look a fair tackle, as Twitter user Dean Kietzmann felt:
You can tackle anyone but you can't tackle Dan Carter apparently— Dean Kietzmann (@DeanKietzmann) September 14, 2013
While Du Plessis returned to the action later in the first half, Carter did not. After receiving treatment on the pitch, he was taken to the bench and a sling was put on the 31-year-old’s shoulder.