Ian Foster dismisses concerns over Beauden Barrett's goal-kicking
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster isn’t concerned about Beauden Barrett’s goal-kicking form after he missed three of his six shots at goal in Sunday’s 38-21 win over the Wallabies in Perth.
The 30-year-old impressed with ball in hand as he played a key role in younger brother Jordie’s opening try and kept the Wallabies on their toes defensively to help the All Blacks stroll to a Bledisloe Cup clean sweep and move to the top of the Rugby Championship table.
Barrett was also entrusted as the team’s goal-kicker, and began his duties in that role with aplomb as he successfully nailed his first three shots inside the opening 20 minutes.
However, things began to unravel off the kicking tee for the two-time World Rugby Player of the Year, who failed to land his following three attempts.
While a success rate of 50 percent isn’t great for test match goal-kickers, it isn’t entirely uncommon either, but what raised eyebrows about Barrett’s kicking display was how he missed his last two kicks from such close range.
After missing the conversion for David Havili’s first try two minutes into injury time in the first half, Barrett failed to convert Will Jordan’s 55th minute try from a slight right-hand angle.
That was followed by an inexplicable missed conversion attempt from a slight left-hand angle in the 62nd minute after Havili scored his 80-metre intercept try.
Barrett wasn’t alone in his goal-kicking struggles, as Damian McKenzie, who took over New Zealand’s goal-kicking duties late in the second half, missed both his conversion attempts, albeit from tricky sideline angles.
Wallabies No 10 Noah Lolesio also endured a rough day off the boot, kicking one from two, with his missed penalty in the 28th minute coming from right out in front of the posts.
Speaking to media after the match, Foster suggested the afternoon sun in Western Australia may have played a part in the misfortune the Kiwi and Australian goal-kickers experienced, not that it worried him too much, though.
“There was very little breeze, but there was a bright thing in the sky that might have got in the eyes of the goal-kickers of both teams,” Foster said when asked about Barrett’s goal-kicking performance.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster says Jordie Barrett’s controversial send-off against the Wallabies on Sunday was proof that the 20-minute red card law should be implemented globally. #AllBlacks #Wallabies #BledisloeCup #RugbyChampionship #AUSvNZL https://t.co/HIeXOqFEfK
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 5, 2021
“Clearly it wasn’t the night for either kickers, but, particularly in Beaudy’s case, if he had to get one of the two things right of goal-kicking or playing really well, I’m really pleased he got the right one right.
“I thought he handled the game really, really well. Great decision-making, particularly early, and really calm when we were under a bit of pressure with the [red] card [against Jordie Barrett].
“I think he showed his class. The goal-kicking will come right.”
With Mo’unga set to remain in New Zealand as he awaits the birth of his second child before then undergoing a two-week quarantine upon his imminent arrival in Queensland, Barrett is set for a prolonged period in the All Blacks No 10 jersey.
As such, Barrett will likely have the chance to amend his goal-kicking woes as early as next week when the All Blacks take on Los Pumas at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.
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