Rugby Union 4 years ago

Is Barrett really up to it?

  • Is Barrett really up to it?

I'm not sure whether this is going to impress some of the Hurricanes faithful but on the back of his performance last night, I'm going to ask some hard questions.

From that All Blacks performance last night, is Beauden Barrett really the number one first five-eighth in the country at the moment as Steve Hansen has stated?

Personally, I don't think so.

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Now don't get me wrong, I love Barrett's game and he certainly didn't play badly last night but for the majority of the game the All Blacks lacked direction and this is where Barrett needed to step up.

He has all the skills to make an excellent All Blacks pivot. He runs well, has a great punt, an excellent pass but, as we saw on occasions last night, his defence was weak, his goal kicking suspect (at a crucial moment after Dane Coles scored) and, as I said above, he couldn't control the tempo of the game or give his side the direction it needed.

Would Aaron Cruden have been better, I think so. That was especially evident when Colin Slade entered the game. His cool head made a big difference and I'm not just talking about his game winning conversion.

There were other issues with the All Blacks game too including not being able to commit enough players at ruck time to hold onto possession, weak or missed first-up tackles and ball control.

Look, we all love Barrett but one thing needs to be made clear, at this point, he is not the All Blacks best option at first five-eighth. 

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