‘He’s a grub bro’: All Blacks star on why Scott Barrett shushed Nic White
But Mo’unga was only joking, of course. It’s just the nature of the rivalry between New Zealand and Australia – it can make “you do some funny things.”
With more than 83,000 fans at the world-famous venue on Saturday evening, the All Blacks took a hard-fought lead into the break after withstanding the Wallabies’ attacking pressure.
While the All Blacks may have been in control on the scoreboard by the end of the half, the Wallabies looked like the better team during the majority of the first term.
But Australia appeared to be somewhat lost for answers.
The Wallabies dominated possession during the opening 18 minutes of the second 40, but again, they couldn’t convert their opportunities into points.
Against a team like the All Blacks, that was always going to be a costly mistake.
Prop Taniela Tupou was yellow carded, and also left the field with an injury, which gave the All Blacks an opportunity to kick for the sideline – and they made the most of it.
Replacement Caleb Clarke ended up scoring the first points of the half in the 59th minute, which saw the All Blacks extend their lead to a seemingly unassailable margin.
Not long after the All Blacks burst into a momentary celebration following the score, a replay on the big screen showed lock Scott Barrett shushing a Wallaby rival.
Practically everyone in attendance burst out into laughter – except for Wallaby Nic White who was on the receiving end of the gesture, and hooker Jordan Uelese who was standing nearby.
“In the heat of the battle, there’s probably a few words (to the ref) of holding him at the breakdown,” Barrett told reporters after the 38-7 win.
“Probably cleaned him out a couple of times earlier too so it wasn’t the first time I heard him complain to the referee.
“Not usually like me, I usually get back to halfway and worry about the kick-off.
“It’s probably the heat of the battle I guess,” he added. “A few words of advice to the ref so I was quietly trying to say something there I think.”
Eye-eyed fans have since spotted a second instance of Barrett attempting to shush Nic White – except this time, it was far more literal.
As the replays on Stan Sport show, Barrett cleaned White out of a breakdown before pressing his finger against the halfback’s lips.
Richie Mo’unga, who won seven Super Rugby titles in as many years with Barrett at the Crusaders, has explained why “Scooter” told the Wallaby to be quiet.
“That’s the one thing people don’t know about Sooter, he’s a grub,” Mo’unga joked on SENZ. “He’s a grub bro.
“He’s actually not bro. I kind of cringed when I saw that, it’s just not him.
“As you know (Israel) Daggy, the Bledisloe makes you do some funny things.”
The All Blacks take on the Wallabies at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the second of two Bledisloe Cup clashes this year. For some All Blacks, it’ll be their final Test on New Zealand soil.