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‘He’s a grub bro’: All Blacks star on why Scott Barrett shushed Nic White

By Finn Morton
Caleb Clarke of the All Blacks celebrates a try with Richie Mo’unga as Scott Barrett shushes Nic White during The Rugby Championship & Bledisloe Cup match between the Australia Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 29, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

All Blacks playmaker Richie Mo’unga has playfully labelled teammate Scott Barrett a “grub” after the lock shushed Wallaby Nic White during last weekend’s Bledisloe Cup clash at the MCG.


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.

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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.


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finn 5 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

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