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'Very disrespectful': Beauden Barrett's frustrations after facing off with former side

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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While Beauden Barrett’s former Hurricanes cohort understood his decision to sign with the Blues ahead of the 2020 season, they weren’t going to let him off scot-free when they eventually went into battle as rivals instead of teammates.

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In fact, it was in Barrett’s first match wearing Blues colours that he immediately had to go head-to-head with the likes of TJ Perenara, Ngani Laumape and Dane Coles, with the Hurricanes travelling up to Eden Park for last year’s opening weekend of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

The Blues eventually overcame the visitors, finishing up 30-20 winners on a sunny afternoon in Auckland, but it Coles who was able to get the first laugh of his former teammate, scoring an excellently taken try in the corner as he shrugged off a covering tackle from Barrett.

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Coles quickly ran to Barrett and was joined by his fellow Hurricanes in celebrating the score – with the Blues first five surrounded on all sides as his former team mates jumped in glee.

Speaking on the James Marshall’s What a Lad podcast, Barrett reminisced about the match and the key moments in the game.

 

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“[Coles] scampered. I forgot how quick he was – and heavy,” Barrett said. “That [celebration] was such a cool moment. Yes, I wish I’d tackled him in the corner but it wasn’t meant to be. He scored a try on me and that celebration was pretty funny.

“I was a little bit rattled … Especially because the main man touching my head was [Scott] Scrafton, who was a Blue the previous year so quite ironic.”

With the game all but decided late in the piece, the back-and-forth between Coles and Barrett continued, with Sky Sports’ player cam catching a key moment between the pair.

With the Blues hot on attack, Coles put in a cheeky late shot on Barrett – and the first five chased the hooker down and gave him a friendly shove in the back, all the time sporting a huge grin on his face.

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“It was funny. I love the banter with Colesy,” said Barrett.

“Honestly, he just wanted to really put a shot on me. When I say shot, a good old punch to the ribs or whatever. But he didn’t really get the opportunity to so this was his moment, I think it was in the 70th minute, it was quite late.

“I wanted to tackle him but I would have got penalised for it. There was never even nasty words, it was more just the anger was in his eyes – that point he gives you when he grits his teeth.”

While Barrett expected a little bit of fire from his teammates, he admitted he was taken aback at the reaction of some of the Hurricanes fans when in the return fixture down in Wellington later in the 2020 season.

Barrett was booed whenever he touched the ball while his wife was verbally abused in the stands.

“At the time, I was gutted,” Barrett said of the match. “Like I never [thought] it would be easy to come back and play the Canes, play my teammates. But to hear it from fans, it was disappointing. I don’t like booing full stop. I appreciate when we play overseas and it’s quiet when kickers are kicking, they respect the kicker and so on. So yeah it was so disappointing to hear that.

“I understand they were gutted and, to be fair, they probably don’t know how to support someone or show dislike for someone in any other way other than booing so I took it for what it was afterwards, when I look back on it. But yeah it was disappointing when after the game, Han was quite upset. People were throwing stuff at her. That’s what really annoyed me. Very disrespectful.

“It wasn’t the homecoming I was hoping for but I understand that fans are passionate. They’re obviously gutted that I was wearing a blue jersey and to be fair, they were probably just booing the fact that I was in a blue jersey.”

After announcing his move to the Blues, Barrett revealed that his family was the main reason behind his shift north but speaking on the What a Lad podcast, Barrett explained the decision was down to a number of factors.

With the newly revealed rationale, perhaps Hurricanes fans will be more accommodating when Barrett next plays in Wellington.

Barrett has sat out this year’s Super Rugby Aotearoa and Trans-Tasman competitions, instead spending the season in Japan representing the Suntory Sungoliath.

Next year, he’ll again link up with the Blues – but he’s eligible to play for the All Blacks in the upcoming test matches and could feature in New Zealand’s capital in the third Bledisloe Cup fixture of the year, scheduled for August 28.

That game would mark Barrett’s first appearance for the All Blacks in Wellington since his move to the Blues after being a late scratching from last year’s opening clash of the season with Australia.

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'Very disrespectful': Beauden Barrett's frustrations after facing off with former side

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