15 years on from Dan Carter's masterclass against the British and Irish Lions

15 years on from Dan Carter's masterclass against the British and Irish Lions

On 2 July 2005, the rugby world watched in awe as a 23-year-old flyhalf by the name of Daniel Carter almost single-handedly tore the British and Irish Lions apart.

The Lions headed into the game looking to level the series after falling to a defeat in the first test and losing captain Brian O'Driscoll to injury but the young All Black pivot had other ideas as he guided his side to a 48-18 victory.

Carter racked up 33 points for the hosts including two tries, a total exceeded in tests for the All Blacks only by Simon Culhane (45) and Tony Brown (36), neither against opponents of this stature.

The performance has since been hailed as one of, if not, the most complete individual performance of all time - and rightly so.

His 33 points barely did his performance justice - highlighting his brilliance in the clash - with Carter excelling in every single facet of the game. He distributed cooly, kicked from hand and the tee brilliantly and defended outstandingly. 

The Lions were given a perfect start to the game thanks to a try inside 95 seconds by Gareth Thomas and they competed throughout but were ultimately overwhelmed by the masterclass from Carter and co.

The flyhalf converting two penalties before sparking the All Blacks' first try of the game. A scintillating 60m dash into a gap from Carter after fending off Gavin Henson and stepping inside Shane Williams came after Tana Umaga and Aaron Mauger stripped the Lions of the ball. Carter made the break into the Lions half after running the loop around Tana Umaga with his the latter getting it back from the Carter in the Lions 22 and scoring to put the All Blacks ahead with Carter adding the extras.

Jonny Wilkinson closed the gap with a penalty but Carter cancelled it out moments later after the All Blacks regained possession from the resulting kick off and the Lions conceding a penalty. The Lions got another penalty which was slotted from range before Carter set up another try from a scrum inside the Lions 22.

Carter looped round Tana Umaga and fed Aaron Mauger from the first phase before Rico Gear put Sitiveni Sivivatu into the corner. With Carter showing that he is, in fact, human by missing the conversion and the All Blacks led 21-13 at the break.

After landing a penalty within two minutes of the second half, Carter scored a try of individual brilliance, chipping past the covering Lewsey to beat Jonny Wilkinson to the touchdown while managing just to stay in play.

After scoring, Carter made a nice break from a clearance from the Lions, chipped upfield to Ryan Jones with the Lions conceding a penalty at the breakdown which was converted once again.

The Lions hit back with the All Blacks leading 13-34 as Dwayne Peel worked the blind side following a maul to put fellow-Scarlets man Simon Easterby over in the corner.


The All Blacks fought back through their 23-year-old pivot as he took a pass and stepped off his left beating Lewsey and racing in for his second try, adding the extras once again.


The hosts would score one final try through Richie McCaw after Carter popped a penalty into the corner. The pack mauled forward before McCaw burrowed over from close range to put the game beyond doubt with Carter slotting the conversion.


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