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Dublin: 2 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019

Dan Carter makes comeback in All Blacks rout of US

The out-half made his long-awaited return as New Zealand put United States to the sword

 Dan Carter made his return this evening following a long-term injury.
Dan Carter made his return this evening following a long-term injury.

DAN CARTER MADE his long-awaited return as New Zealand put United States to the sword, winning 74-6 in Chicago on Saturday.

Carter had not appeared for the All Blacks since November last year after taking a sabbatical and suffering a broken right fibula in the Crusaders’ 2014 Super Rugby final loss to the New South Wales Waratahs in August.

But the 32-year-old made a successful return, playing the final 30 minutes of Saturday’s Test at Soldier Field and notching three conversions against the rugby union minnows.

It was also a big occasion for Sonny Bill Williams, who scored two of New Zealand’s seven first-half tries in his first game for the world champions since 2012 after spending the past two seasons playing Rugby League for NRL side the Sydney Roosters.

New Zealand took only three minutes to move ahead, a penalty just outside the five-yard line was worked left and Nathan Harris touched down in the corner for his first Test try, with the TMO giving the go-ahead to award the score.

USA were rewarded for a spell of pressure with three points from the boot of Adam Siddall, before Harris was replaced by Keven Mealamu due to an ankle injury.

A spurt of three tries in six minutes put the visitors in control, Cory Jane starting the blitz in the 15th minute scoring in the right corner after a clever dummy.

Patrick Tuipulotu then got in on the act scoring under the posts after several missed USA tackles, before Williams burst free to score his first New Zealand try since returning to the code.

The rout continued when Charles Piutau surged through a narrow channel on the right to score and Williams had his second try shortly after waltzing through USA’s defence.

New Zealand then won a scrum against the head allowing Julian Savea to round off the first-half scoring after collecting Kieran Read’s offload for a 43-6 lead at the break.

After Williams was denied a hat-trick to start the second half, Joe Moody caught USA’s defence napping five minutes in. Within three minutes the lead was out to 53-6 as Aaron Cruden benefited from some nice play between Charlie Faumuina, Piatua and Mealamu.

Carter made an instant impact for the visitors after coming off the bench in the 50th minute, setting up Israel Dagg with a nice offload before adding the extras.

Sam Cane got in on the action with 16 minutes remaining after a solid scrum as Carter made the conversion for a 67-6 lead.

And Carter completed the scoring in the final minute after Savea crossed over for a double.

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