After the All Blacks suffered a comprehensive loss at the hands of the Wallabies last weekend, fans’ patience is wearing thin with Richie Mo’unga at fly-half and Beauden Barrett at full-back. 


The combination had been called for all Super Rugby season, and while Steve Hansen has experimented with it over the past two Test games, the All Blacks are yet to come away with a win. 

The decision has not proved to be a complete disaster, and the All Blacks are typically slow starters in their first test matches of the year. But the Crusaders 10 has perhaps failed to get the backline firing on all cylinders. Furthermore, fans feel that Barrett needs to get his hands on the ball more. 

But this is not simply about Barrett and Mo’unga, as it also affects Ben Smith. The veteran All Black is arguably the best full-back in the world. He is safe as houses in the 15 shirt and poses a threat from the backfield. However, he is nowhere near as dangerous on the wing and his lack of pace is exposed. 

Fans are also starting to question whether having Mo’unga and Barrett on the field is worth sacrificing Smith as well. If Hansen is to persist with it, Smith may find himself on the bench with a more natural winger like Sevu Reece coming in. 

However, some fans still want to see the 25-year-old Mo’unga given one more chance at 10 this weekend against the Wallabies at Eden Park. This will surely be his – and Barrett’s – last chance to impress at 10 and 15, as this is their penultimate match before their opening pool stage match against the Springboks at the World Cup. 


Hansen has a tough decision on his hands, as he will surely want to build a bit of momentum as the All Blacks seek to win a third consecutive World Cup, but this is also the opportunity to try out any new combinations before the competition starts next month in Japan. This is what had been said: 


The red card for Scott Barrett was certainly a mitigating factor as to why the All Blacks were not at their best against the Wallabies, who equally pulled off a sublime performance. 

Although it would usually be unfair to write off this new experiment by Hansen so soon, he doesn’t have much time on his hands and the World Cup is getting ever closer. 

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