Dan Carter appreciates the symmetry of becoming Test rugby's highest scorer against Wales - the team he faced on his international debut seven years ago
Carter kicked 18 points to help secure a 38-18 victory over Ireland at Aviva Stadium on Sunday to move just three points short of eclipsing Jonny Wilkinson's world record mark of 1178. However, a series of four penalties in the second half offered him the chance to overhaul Wilkinson only for captain Richie McCaw to opt for the scrum each time.
"I didn't know how many points I needed, I just wanted to take the kick. When I found out afterwards I gave Richie some stick about it!" said Carter.
It was a decision that later earnt McCaw a mild reprimand from Carter, who must now wait until next Saturday's clash with Wales in Cardiff to reach the target.
"I hadn't thought about doing it in Wales but it would be pretty cool to achieve hit against the side where it all started.
"But the team comes first. Personal milestones are nice and it's good to be proud of them, but that's not what drives me. If I get a couple of goals next week that would be good."
McCaw hinted that Carter was more aware of the record than he let on with the duo having a conversation before the series of penalty scrums began.
"Dan obviously knew how many points he was on because I had no idea, I wasn't thinking like that," said McCaw.
"He said to me afterwards, 'Jeez, if you'd given me that I would have got the record'. I thought, 'Oh well, next week!'. Had I known I don't know if I'd done it any differently.
"The difference between a 15 and 18-point lead isn't much, so I thought we'd put the pressure on. But now I understand why he was asking for the shot at goal!"