Dan Carter vs. Matt Giteau: Could King Carter Lose His Throne?

Simon LongdenCorrespondent IAugust 2, 2008

My most popular article, by quite a margin, was my piece on Dan Carter. It's great that I created debate on the subject and loved reading the comments posted about what I said in the article.

One constant, in term's of fly-half's specifically, is that there have been several people comparing Matt Giteau, the golden boy of Australian rugby, with Dan Carter. This is a comparison worth looking into, and without beating around the bush, I personally find Giteau to be overrated.

This, I realise, is a big statement, and I'm not saying it because I'm English and therefore, in rugby terms, I should be hung just for mentioning a Wallaby, Giteau, along with Lote Tuqiri, and at least up until recent form has changed my mind, Stirling Mortlock.

I will, however, be concentrating on Giteau in this article. The comparison is admirable and worth looking into, but I look at Giteau play, and his versatility has almost become a weakness. He plays with the mindset that he can stand at 9, 10, 12 or 13, all at the same time.

The All-Blacks put him under some immense pressure today, and he found it very hard to handle. He also has a habit that all centres and wings despise in a fly-half, and that running sideways and cutting off their line.

His tactical decisions limited, and he gets away with a lot of things he shouldn't, like when he scored against Chabal in the first test against France. Any player even half-a-step faster than Chabal could have cut his run off before it even got started, but because he got away with it, he was the golden boy.

I would never say he is a bad player, I just think that he is overrated as the total package, especially when compared to Carter. Dan Carter times his run's better, runs straighter, fixes more defenders, kicks better, passes better, and I honestly can't think of anything Giteau does that would damage Carter in any way.

His kicking is developing; unfortunately he still throws wayward cross-kicks out at the wrong time. The Australian backline looks more dangerous when Barnes has the ball at 12. Giteau never seems totally at ease with the ball, as he tries to do everything himself, or from his pass so, backline moves are often limited to short switches or sending it back into the forwards.

I know full well I will now get lots of angry comments telling me how good Giteau is, and by the 2011 World Cup, he might be a great player, but as of the present time, he just isn't all he is cracked up to be.