Dan Carter Tribute: King of the Flyhalves!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Daniel (Dan, or DC as he’s called by his teammates) Carter in my mind remains to be the undisputed King of the Flyhalves! 

People often say it is easier to give credit to modern-era rugby players as you remember their performances more vividly, but in Daniel Carter’s case, his outstanding player stats don’t lie. He has simply been outstanding and spectacular to watch throughout his career in numerous aspects of the game.

His career highlights are the equivalent of a human highlight reel, to say the least.

Let’s review some of the achievements that stand out right away:

  • He remains to be the highest point scorer in test rugby. Considering the sheer number of talented players, this achievement alone deserves all our praise.
  • He received the IRB Player of the Year Award no less than three times; in 2005, 2012, and 2015. Equaling one other All-Black player, namely the talented Richy McCaw.
  • He shared 3 Super Rugby titles with The Crusaders.
  • He played in 9 (yes you read that correctly) Tri-Nations Rugby Championships, which for most players already constituted a successful rugby career.
  • Dan also had the privilege of playing in two Rugby World Cup tournaments, namely 2011 and 2015.
  • In the 2011 RWC tournament, Dan suffered an unfortunate groin injury during the Pool Stages, effectively taking him out of the tournament.
  • In the 2015 RWC, the ALl-Black made it to the final and Dan received the Man of the Match award raking in points for his team with 4 penalties, 2 conversions, and a drop-goal.

Dan started playing rugby at the age of 5 and later went on to play for Southbridge Rugby Club, as a scrumhalf. He later played in the representative teams for Ellesmere College in Canterbury County. In his final year, he transferred to Christchurch Boys’ High.

In his professional career, Dan had no equals when it came to point scoring and he racked up some of the most impressive rugby performances in a range of different categories:

  • Most test conversions (293)
  • Most penalties (281)
  • Most points vs England (178)
  • Most points vs France (163)
  • Most points vs Springboks (255)
  • Only player over 1500 test points 
  • Most conversions in RWC matches (58)

There is simply no arguing that Dan Carter was the most prolific points scorer and he remains comfortably seated at 352 points ahead of the second-placed point scorer. It will take an exceptional player to beat Carter’s current record.

Dan ended his rugby career with 1598 test match points from 112 tests (29 tries, 293 conversions, 281 penalties, and 8 drop goals) at an average of 14.27 points per game, the highest average of all players who ever scored more than 500 test points.

Here is an overarching year-by-year breakdown of Dan’s rugby career:

  • 2002 – Canterbury debut.
  • 2003 – signed by Crusaders, Super 12 Final, played mostly as the inside center, made All-Black’s debut at age 21, scoring 20 points vs Wales, included in the RWC 2003 squad.
  • 2004 – played mostly as the inside center, Super 12 final, secured his permanent position during the 2004 UK-France tour, displacing Carlos Spencer.
  • 2005 – moved to flyhalf, won first Super 12 final, starred in the 48-18 All Blacks win vs the Lions, he scored two tries, five penalties, and 4 conversions, ended the match with 33 points, breaking the previous All Black record of 18 points vs the Lions in a match, Carted was named 2005 IRB played of the year, first New Zealander to win the award.
  • 2006 – won Super 12 final, scored most individual points for a player in a season (221 points), most points in Super 12 history.
  • 2008 – Won Super Rugby title, signed a six-month contract with Perpignan.
  • 2009 – January he ruptured his Achilles tendon, Perpignan still won Pro 14, recovered in time to play for his Provincial Canterbury team, and got selected for the All Blacks team in August, after just a few months of recovery.
  • 2010 – after scoring a halfway penalty vs Wales, Carter became the highest-point scorer of all time
  • 2011 – reclaimed top points scorer, got injured during a training session early on in the RWC
  • 2012 – top scorer in Super Rugby history 1301 points, IRB Player of the Year.
  • 2013 – fifth All-Black to play 100 caps.
  • 2015 – joined Racing Metro after RWC, for 1,500,000 euros per year, making him the highest-paid rugby player, played his final game in the Bledisloe Cup final decider, played his final All Blacks game in the Bledisloe Cup final (lost the trophy for the first time), RWC 2015 final he scored 4 penalties, two conversions (one with each foot), and a drop goal, Man of the Match, and IRB Player of the year, final test kick was with ‘weak’ foot
  • 2016 – won top 14 (score 19-21), Dan Carter scored 5 penalties (15 Points), despite being 1 man down 18 minutes into the game (red card).
  • 2018 – Joined Kobelco Steelers in Japan’s top League.
  • 2019 – Returned to Racing Metro in February, after Patrick Lambie was forced to retire due to injury.
  • 2020 – Dan Carter made the switch to The Blues, but never made an appearance.

In 2021 Daniel Carter announced his retirement from professional rugby on Instagram but remains active in the sport in various public relational and public speaking roles.

Dan will forever be remembered for his tenacity, flair, and consistency, effectively earning him the title of King of the Flyhalves!

Brian O’Driscoll Tribute: Centre, Leader, Legend

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Brian O’Driscoll’s rugby CV is as exciting as reading a Tom Clancy novel! His career seems almost unreal. He was almost single-handedly responsible for changing the course of Irish rugby. 

If one considers his list of accomplishments and stats, it quickly becomes apparent why he is considered by many as one of, if not the most, impressive player in Irish and World Rugby history.

He was born in Dublin on 21 January 1979 and his career includes the following impressive achievements:

– He was the 4th most capped player in Union with 141 tests; 133 for Ireland (83 as captain) and 8 for the Lions. 46 tries for Ireland and 1 for The Lions made him the highest Irish try scorer.

– He was the 8th-highest overall try-scorer and the highest-scoring center of all time (yes, read that again!). He also scored the most Six Nations tries (26) and to add to his long list of accolades, he also holds the record for the most Heineken Cup tries scored by an Irish player (30).

– He was awarded the Six Nations Player of the Tournament in 2006, 2007, and 2009.

– During his High School days at Blackrock College, he was capped three times for the Ireland Schools tournament. In 1998 O’Driscoll was selected for the U19 Ireland team which won the U19 Rugby World Championship. In 1999 he made his U21 Ireland Debut.


Brian’s club career spanned an impressive 15 years, from 1999 until 2014, a tall order for a professional rugby player. Some of the key moments, achievements, and top performances include:

– A debut match for Leinster in 1999, followed by an impressive win in the Celtic League two years later in 2001.

– O’Driscoll captained the Leinster from 2005 until 2008. In 2008 Leinster won the Magners League (now URC).

– In 2009 O’Driscoll scored an intercept try and was awarded Man of the Match in the semi-final of the Heineken Cup. In the final, they won 19-16, with O’Driscoll scoring a drop goal in that game while playing with a shoulder injury.

– In 2011 O’Driscoll won his 2nd Heineken Cup, after suffering a knee injury the week prior, he helped his team come back from behind to win against Northampton with a final score of 33-22.

– In 2012, now a regular player in the Heineken Cup, he collected the Cup for a 3rd time.

– O’Driscoll played his final game for Leinster on 31 May 2014, in the 2014 Pro12 Grand Final at Leinster’s home ground. Unfortunately, O’Driscoll was injured and substituted early in the first half, however, Leinster won the game 34-12 and Brian’s final heroic act was helping the club captain lift one last trophy in front of his home crowd!

– O’Driscoll ended his club career for Leinster and amassed an insane 186 caps, scoring 311 points.


O’Driscoll’s late start in rugby didn’t keep him from stepping into the test arena and professional rugby at an early age. It wasn’t long before he habitually started stacking the stats in the typical O’Driscoll style we had all come to know and appreciate!

His continued greatness has been captured in the following summary of his rugby stats:

– He played his test debut at age 20, on 12 June 1999, against Australia. Interestingly Brian played for Ireland before he played for the senior Leinster team.

– In 2000 an O’Driscoll hat trick gave Ireland their first win in Paris since 1972. Fans soon started wearing started wearing “In BOD we Trust” t-shirts.

– In 2002 O’Driscoll was handed the captaincy of Ireland for the first time, against Australia, and they won 18-9. this was the first Irish victory against them since 1979, ironically the same year O’Driscoll was born. At age 24, O’Driscoll was handed permanent captaincy in 2003.

– Under O’Driscoll’s captaincy Ireland won the Triple Crowns in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, the first time since 1985. In 2004 he led Ireland to a 17-12 victory over South Africa, again an impressive “first”, this time since 1965.

– In 2009 Ireland won the Triple Crown and the Six Nations. The Six Nations’ victory was a Grand Slam (one team beating all the other teams), 61 years in the wait. O’Driscoll scored a try in every match except one and won the last game 17-15, where O’Driscoll also scored.

– On 15 November 2009, O’Driscoll scored a last-minute try against Australia, the match ended in a 20-20 draw.

– In 2009, he was runner-up, IRB Player of the Year after losing against Richie McCaw by one point, an award O’Driscoll won in 2001.

– On 8 March 2014 in this last international test on home ground, he contributed to 3 tries to secure an Irish victory over Italy. When he retired he was the most capped international player (141 caps).

-Brian O’Driscoll played his last international match against France, in Paris, for the 2014 Six Nations Championship, beating France in Paris for only the second time in 42 years. In an emotional post-match speech, O’Driscoll said that he could not have wished for a better ending.


One cannot give an honest review of O’Driscoll’s career without also touching on his outstanding achievements for the British and Irish Lions teams. Here, again, Brian silenced any critiques, if there ever were any, with a plethora of achievements:

– He played in all 3 games in the 2001 Australian tour, scoring an outstanding individual try in the Lions’s first victory.

– He was named captain in the 2005 tour of New Zealand but unfortunately got injured in the opening minutes of the first test. He remained on as a non-playing captain, and only received surgery after returning to Ireland.

– In 2009 he captained the Lions against the Golden Lions.

– He assisted 2 tries against the first test against South Africa but had to withdraw early due to a concussion suffered in the second test.

– In 2013 O’Driscoll was called up for his fourth British and Irish Lions tour, the third player to achieve this in 125 years!

– O’Driscoll was also selected to play for The Barbarians 3 times while scoring once.

Brian O’Driscoll’s list of rugby achievements is too many to mention in one blog post. The above list is a list that emphasizes some of his career highlights. He remains to be one of the most prestigious and decorated rugby players of all time and single-handedly placed Ireland on the world rugby map forever.

Brian O’Driscoll has been involved in various activities after his retirement from professional rugby. He has worked as a rugby pundit, providing analysis and commentary for television broadcasts. O’Driscoll has also been involved in business ventures, including ambassadorial roles and endorsements for various brands. To this day he remains to be an Irish legend and loved by many, including his opponents of yester years!

Bryan Habana Tribute: Tries, Highlights, and Running Against a Cheetah!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Bryan Habana was one of the most explosive try-scoring machines to have ever played this game. His ability to accelerate away from the opposition and score game-winning tries was a hallmark of his highlight-filled career starting in the early 2000s and ending at Toulon in 2018. 

The young Bryan Habana was a talented rugby player. Born in Johannesburg, in 1983, he went on to finish his schooling at King Edward VII, popularly referred to as KES, which is one of the top sports schools in South Africa. 

After finishing his schooling, he went on to the University of Johannesburg. Playing in the Varsity Cup is often a logical next step for rugby players in South Africa with big aspirations, but things would change quickly as his rugby abilities pulled him into the sport full-time.

Bryan Habana’s club rugby career

His career started a little more quietly at the Lions, where he played from 2002-2004 when he also became a Junior Springbok. 

He then moved on to the neighbouring Blue Bulls where he played from 2005-2009. He went on to win two Super Rugby titles in 2007 and 2009 respectively and this was partly due to his brilliance!

The game-winning try in 2007 was a piece of individual brilliance that left the whole Sharks team flatfooted and gave the Pretoria-based franchise their first Super Rugby title. 

2007 was a particularly amazing year for Bryan Habana as he also helped the Springboks win their second World Cup ever. In that World Cup, he became the first player to equal the great Jonah Lomu’s 1995 record of scoring 8 tries in one World Cup tournament. 

Those tries were some of the most spectacular tries of his career! Two years later, in 2009, he also played his part in securing a series win against the British and Irish Lions. 

In that same year, he also won another Super Rugby title with the Bulls, etching his name into the history books for the Blue Bulls. This was followed by a move to their rivals, the Stormers where he played from 2010 to 2013 and featured in a losing final against the Bulls in 2010. 

Two of the things that made Bryan an exceptional player were his tremendous speed and his ability to sniff out a try. 

His amazing speed was on display when he raced a cheetah over 100m and he had a 100m time of 10.4s to his name! 

Some of his most spectacular tries however came from absolutely nowhere. He would create something from nothing with very little space to work with, would intercept and score with regularity and displayed exceptional skills with chip kicks he would run down to score spectacularly. 

Habana went on to play from 2013 to 2018 for French side Toulon where he continued his try-scoring and amassed numerous records. During his time at Toulon, he secured a Heineken Cup and Top 14 title in the 2014 tournament and another Heineken Cup in 2015.

Playing for these respective club teams he racked up 535 points from 107 tries! The blueprint for many of these was simple: get the ball in his hands and he will do the rest. 

This would always lead to another try…and another…and another…and another…

Bryan Habana’s Springbok career

He was also no slouch for the Springbok team and became their all-time record try scorer with 67 tries, totalling 335 points. 

He played for the Springboks from 2004 to 2016 and picked up a World Cup winner’s medal in 2007 equaling the try-scoring record of 8 tries in a single tournament. 

His test career started on the end-of-year tour in November 2004. He made his debut as a 21-year-old who came off the bench in a 32-16 losing effort by the Springboks. 

He managed to score a try the first time he touched the ball against the 2003 Rugby World Cup holders. This was definitely a sign of more things to come as he started piling on the tournament wins, records and awards. 

There was the World Cup win in 2007, where he scored 8 tries. In 2009 he was part of the Tri-Nations and Lions series winning teams, to go with his Super Rugby title at the Bulls.

Individual achievements being awarded World Rugby Player of the Year in 2007. In 2005, 2007 and 2012, he was also crowned SA Player of the Year. 

All of this is on his way to becoming South Africa’s all-time leading try scorer and the player who scored the 2nd most international tries ever. 

The Bryan Habana Springbok tries

Bryan Habana was able to score at will at just about any of the opposition teams he played against. The countries that he scored against fewer times were often only because he didn’t play against them a great deal. 

His favourite opponents to score against were clearly the bigger rugby nations and this is a rough breakdown of the tries he scored as a Springbok. 

He scored 6 tries against old foe England. He scored 4 tries against Scotland, France and Wales respectively. Against the big teams, he showed his class and really turned it on. He scored his most international tries against Australia with 9 in total.

Against Argentina, he scored 8 and was also able to stack up 8 tries against arch-enemy New Zealand! 

Against the smaller teams, he still managed to achieve quite a few tries. He scored one for the Springbox XV in 2014, ran in 2 against Uruguay, and 1 against Namibia.

He got a massive return of 8 tries against Samoa, 6 against Italy and 5 against the USA. He scored another 2 against Ireland and 1 against the British and Irish Lions.

In Conclusion

Bryan Habana had a spectacular rugby career and showed pure class wherever he played. He would outrun, outwit, intercept, chip, chase, and, inevitably, score.

By pure talent and focus, he became one of the deadliest try scorers to ever play the game!