'I didn't train that well this week': Beauden Barrett's admission after emotional 100th test
Beauden Barrett didn’t take long to make a mark in his 100th test for the All Blacks, grabbing the first try of the match after intercepting Gareth Anscombe from a set-piece launch just five minutes into the first half.
The 30-year-old ramped up his involvements late in the game from fullback and grabbed another intercept near fulltime, this time from a second Kiwi ex-pat in Johnny McNicholl, racing away down the touchline to score the All Blacks last try in the corner.
Reflecting on the 54-16 win, Barrett said he was ‘super proud’ to put in such a performance for the occasion after what had been an emotional two weeks after losing a close family member.
“It means many things. When I reminisced throughout the week, I thought of all the people who have supported me throughout my journey,” Barrett said.
“From when it started at Coastal Rugby Club right through to this moment, those in Taranaki, my family, to this day where Hannah is at home with little Billy and allow me to do what I am doing.
“It was a very emotional week, and it has been a very emotional two weeks. I guess because of the amount of support and love that’s flooded in to my inbox this week. Blokes that have been there since day one, and I’ve reminisced a fair bit this week and it brings back some great memories.
“It was hard, I didn’t train that well this week, there was a lot on my mind. I just wanted to go out there and enjoy it and play well tonight, enjoy the moment because it was such a cool place to play my 100th.”
Although his preparation wasn’t ideal, Barrett said there were moments in the game that he was able to enjoy and savour the moment while out on the pitch.
“Yea I did,” he said when asked if he savoured the match while on the pitch,” he said.
“Moments, when Jordie was taking a conversion we just had a reset huddle and it was TJ or Brad at the time, basically the guys around me just acknowledging the significance of the moment, to really enjoy what we were doing.
“It is such a great place to play rugby here in Cardiff, and with a performance like that I was super proud.”
He does feel that he is a very different player from when he first made the All Blacks in 2012 as a 21-year-old who had to spend most of his time making an impact from the bench.
“It’s a lot different from when I first started out, I was a very raw young boy from Taranaki who was all-out attack and had little opportunities, a few cameos here and there,” he said.
“But now being a more senior player in the team and having a lot more responsibility in my life, I see the game a little bit differently. There is a bigger picture in life, I think I’m more conscious of that, and I do things for different reasons now.
Having bagged his 38th and 39th test tries against Wales, Barrett warned that he has ‘plenty left in the tank’ which could see the playmaker continue to rise up the All Blacks try-scoring ranks after becoming the 11th All Black to reach 100 tests.
“It’s all part of growing up I think. But I’m still very driven and determined, I’ve got plenty left in the tank.”
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