In all the excitement of Pretty Boy Carter’s Heineken Cup debut this one almost slipped under the radar. Nick Evans often feels like Carter’s inverse. His face is battered and drawn where Carter’s cherubic angles gleam, and as a player he is given less to visible heroism than a frightening reliability. Carter might have off days, but looks supremely calm in any situation, while Evans seems distracted yet rarely ever makes anything resembling an error.
That he now plies his trade for Harlequins in London rather than Dunedin or his hometown of Auckland is saddening, but more a reflection of his own ambitions and the realities of the global rugby market than anything else. He’s reportedly earning close to $1m for this season, and this weekend he did his best to repay it.
I was alerted to this game via Graham Jenkins’ breathless, but entirely appropriate coverage at scrum.com. He was in raptures over the match, calling it “one of the most dramatic conclusions to a game ever”, and after viewing footage of the final minutes I can’t disagree with him. Occasionally sport does that, a regular season game of no real consequence lights up and provides something remarkable. Just watch it: