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Billy on the box: There's only two Dan Carters...

By Billy Weir

Published 19/05/2016

Dan Carter
Dan Carter

If you had asked me on Saturday why Dan Carter would be celebrating wildly at tea-time, my answer probably wouldn't have been because she had just scored the winner in the FA Cup Final.

But sport is a funny old game, especially when the cry of 'there's only one Dan Carter' is patently proven to be balderdash, albeit the pair having differently-shaped balls.

The Dan Carter we all expected to hog the headlines was the one with the odd-shaped one; the New Zealand rugby star the main man who BT Sport were hanging all their hopes on to make the Champions' Cup Final a classic in the glorious Spring sunshine in France.

It didn't quite work out that way. It was bucketing out of the heavens in Lyon and Saracens were in no mood to let Carter get a kick, never mind steal the show, but this didn't stop BT from giving him the mother of all build-ups.

Sarra Elgan was despatched to meet up with the All Black legend and discovered that he's no good at football, he doesn't like the cold and his nickname is 'Le Coiffeur', or hairdresser to those of you not blessed with knowledge of Gallic tongue. That's language by the way, not a type of charcuterie.

BT don't travel light on these occasions. As well as Elgan squelching across the pitch to annoy players, back on the sidelines presenter Craig Doyle was joined by Bryan Habana, Brian O'Driscoll and Laurence Dallaglio, with Martin Bayfield prowling about behind the scenes and Ben Kay and Austin Healey doing daft demonstrations at the side of the pitch.

Doyle confidently predicted that 'Dan Carter is made for days like this' only for Le Coiffeur to be cut down in his prime once the action got underway, given a short slap in the back and sides by Brad Barritt and left wandering around Lyon like a canard dans tonnerre.

"He's a warrior, he'll stay on," vowed Kay, while Healey wondered 'how difficult is it to bring Dan Carter off in a game like this, almost impossible, he has to walk off himself.' Indeed, one minute and 41 seconds later he was taken off and with that the title was bound for north London.

Speaking of which (seamless link), over at Wembley, Arsenal were preparing to take on Chelsea in the Women's FA Cup Final, where presenter Jacqui Oakley had taken a leaf out of Doyle's book but rather than two Brians, she had two Rachels, with Brown-Finnis and Yankey joining her. They have 12 FA Cup winners' medals between them, Yankey with 11, leaving Oakley astounded.

"11 FA Cup winner's medals is completely ridiculous, do you have them dangled around the house in different bedrooms and bathrooms?" she quizzed.

"No, I've got them in a cabinet," came the response from the most bemused Yankey since American voters discovered just who their next President will be.

"I really hope now that you've got a security guard on that cabinet, I'll feel a bit guilty if not," replied Oakley while, somewhere in north London, a burglar stopped searching bedrooms and bathrooms and made a beeline for a cabinet.

But then came the heroine of the day, Arsenal forward Danielle Carter, with the other Rachel declaring that 'she wants to go out here today and show who is Dan Carter.'

In the commentary box Jonathan Pearce was basking in the spring sunshine 'in front of what could be a record crowd for the first all-women's final since 2007' which surely throws up more serious questions than who is Dan Carter?

He was joined by a girl named Sue, or maybe a boy if Pearce's accusations are upheld (and with players called Alex, Joe and Drew maybe he had a point), but Dan was to be the woman of the day.

She scored the only goal of a game that wasn't very good, thus affording Pearce a lot of time to talk. Earlier we had been told that Fran Kirby was known as the 'mini-Messi' while Pearce revealed that Ji So-Yun was known as the 'Korean Messi' and wondered had Sue, who is about three foot tall, had 'ever been known as the Scouse Messi or just a bit of a mess?'

However her attention was taken by a robust challenge by a Chelsea substitute which she excused as 'when you come on you're just over-aroused.' Nice to see Joanna Terry getting a game though.

But then it was all over, Dan Carter the heroine on the big day while some Kiwi bloke who's rubbish at footy was left to look at the medals hanging in his dunny wondering where it all gone wrong.

As Finnis-Brown said, 'bend it like Beckham, curl it like Carter.' That's the sports star, not the hairdresser.

Belfast Telegraph

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