Two-test Springboks utility back Curwin Bosch has supported Beauden Barrett on social media in the wake of a whirlwind of criticism surrounding the two-time World Player of the Year after he was spotted moving the ball forward from a penalty mark while lining up a shot at goal during the All Blacks‘ 16-all draw with South Africa in Wellington last week.
A video of Barrett lining up the shot a few metres ahead of where the mark was made by referee Nic Berry was posted online by a Springboks supporter, and has since circulated online with questions being raised about the morality of Barrett’s actions.
— F_ck.WALTER (@coenjnr) July 29, 2019
Some believe that the 28-year-old was wrong to have advanced the ball slightly up the field and should have taken the kick at goal from where the penalty was given.
Others, such as All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen, have dismissed the incident, saying it’s something commonly seen from kickers worldwide.
It’s a sentiment that Bosch appears to agree with, with the 22-year-old goal kicker speaking out in defence of Barrett on Twitter.
“We all do this. Look at penalties kicked to touch and tell me if you find someone who kicks it on the mark,” the Sharks youngster, who last played internationally against Wales in Washington DC just over a year ago, said.
His comments echo those made by Hansen earlier this week.
“Look, you guys [media] have watched a lot of footy from club level right to the very highest level; I would say most goal kickers have done that at some point in their time,” he told media during the All Blacks’ Bledisloe Cup squad announcement on Wednesday.
“Is it right? Probably not, but they all do it. Is it any different than when you get a penalty and kick for touch and end up taking two strides past the mark to kick it out? It’s just what happens in footy.”
Barrett landed the penalty from an easy angle to give the All Blacks a 10-6 lead early in the second half, but missed a further two attempts at goal throughout the match.
Richie Mo’unga overtook the goal kicking duties late in the second half after Barrett succumbed to a cramp in his calf, landing both of his penalty attempts.
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