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Scott Barrett was told 'stop picking on halfbacks' after Nic White incident

By Ned Lester
(Source/Stan Sport)

The viral images of Scott Barrett shushing Wallabies halfback Nic White resurfaced when the lock was named All Blacks captain by Scott Robertson, a moment Barrett has reflected on with a grin.

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White, a well-renowned antagonist on the rugby pitch, was subject to two famous bits of gamesmanship from the usually understated Barrett during last year’s Bledisloe Cup clash.

The first image to emerge was Barrett shushing the halfback after an All Blacks try, delaying his return to halfway for the kickoff to make the gesture. After that, footage emerged of Barrett telling White to quiet down while pinning him at the back of a ruck.

“Yeah, I got a little bit excited in that game, and post that I actually got told to stop picking on halfbacks,” Barrett laughingly recalled on the Aotearoa Rugby Pod.

Barrett’s bone-crunching hit on Wallaby halfback Tate McDermott last year suggests the big lock may have some sort of vendetta out for nines, but his comms with his own game drivers is something former Crusaders coach and new All Blacks defence guru Scott Hansen commended Barrett for.

Former Crusaders halfback Bryn Hall echoed that sentiment and had to laugh when the topic was broached during the interview.

“Hall’s probably laughing because I’ve told him to kick the ball out on a couple of occasions. Just kick it into the stands,” the pair laughed.

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“I think that relationship, the spine, is pretty critical to any team. Being aligned with your attack coach with how you want to start a game, and any potential adaptions you might go to within a game if it’s not going well. Then if something happens, you’re on the same page and it’s almost automatic with what they’re thinking is what you’re thinking as well.”

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That spine has a heavy Barrett flavour to it in 2024, with brothers Jordie and Beauden heavy favourites to suit up in the starting backline once more.

Scott says he won’t be giving his brothers too much stick about getting the captaincy gig ahead of them, and was excited to have Jordie alongside him as a vice-captain in the team.

“You trust guys in their own domain. If he (Jordie) is seeing space out wide that we need to get to, or if the kick space is on, then yep, we’ll trust that or vice versa; if we can engage a team through a maul or a scrum or by keeping the ball tight, then you’ve got to be able to back each other’s decision making around that and that comes with the trust and having guys own it out there.”

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Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
3
Draws
1
Wins
1
Average Points scored
18
18
First try wins
40%
Home team wins
60%

An English challenge awaits under the roof in Dunedin, and the first Test of this new era is sure to answer some questions over the future of the black jersey.

Barrett, a frequent audience member of Gallagher Premiership fixtures, was clear on what he was expecting from Steve Borthwick’s outfit.

“We want to start really well and they’re a team that prides themselves on defence and a pressure game that will try squeeze you to make mistakes. I’m super excited to play England.

“They’ve got some skilled guys. Typically they might pick a slightly heavier pack but I think they’ve got some athletes within their group but still have that style of pressure rugby to strangle you.

“The likes of Ben Earl, guys who are pretty dynamic and still have that physical edge to them.”

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Comments

1 Comment
T
Toaster 10 days ago

Let’s hope Scott and all the ABs team can avoid cards this weekend

As to Nic White he knows he will get a lot of stick
This is the guy who did an amazing Hollywood after Fafs little slap

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Tom 24 minutes ago
All Blacks snatch another tight victory from England at Eden Park

First up to any of the ABs fans who accused us of “bluster” pre-series for saying it would be a competitive - I'm glad it turned out to be an excellent series to which the ABs were deserving winners and I hope next time a side tours you'll be a little more humble. I loved the heart shown by the English boys and how they managed to contain the AB attack for large parts of the series. Was very disappointed by the lack of cohesion and ambition ball in hand, we looked after the ball poorly and hardly went 2 phases without kicking it away. We're not giving ourselves enough opportunity to put phases together and build pressure. The ambition shown in the 6N against Ireland and France seems to have gone and our players look very hesitant with ball in hand, we look much better when Marcus is taking the ball flat and boys are running hard at the line. So frustrating when we're starting to build pressure in the 22 we go back to the grubber kick then find ourselves back on the half way line 10 seconds later. We've shown great success with our box kicking game but we need to leave the flipping grubber kick in the locker room. Like the Marcus Smith hail Mary miss pass that went straight to Mark Telea, we seem to have no patience. Sometimes we just need to recycle the ball and go again. Loving seeing Maro back to his best and Fin Baxter really impressed, Alex Mitchell looks to be one of the most complete 9s in world rugby, great around the base and impeccable kicking. Congrats to the ABs, far more dangerous and skillful than England. We contained you for large swathes but to shut down that amount of pace and skill for 80 mins is nigh on impossible. Managed to find a way to win and instinctively grabbed the rare opportunities which came your way. Finding ways to win in two tight test matches will I'm sure be a great experience for your younger players. Beauden needs to be in the starting 15, what a worldie.

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