Watch: Former Wallaby rival Foley carded for flattening Beauden Barrett but the All Black has last laugh
Former Wallabies flyhalf Bernard Foley has squared off against Beauden Barrett many times at international level, with the first choice flyhalf under Michael Cheika coming off second best on many occasions.
Foley never tasted Bledisloe Cup success, with the All Blacks keeping the trophy in New Zealand during his entire career. There were some ugly results, particularly from 2016 when Beauden Barrett became New Zealand’s 10 as the Wallabies were succumbed to heavy defeats regularly.
With both players in the Top League, Foley came up against Barrett once again as the Kubota Spears tried to take down the undefeated Suntory Sungoliath.
It didn’t take long for the pair to become reacquainted, as Foley was yellow-carded for a hit that flattened the All Black star and left watchers concerned for his safety.
Trying to spark something on counter attack, Barrett rounded the corner and decided to put a left-foot chip kick in over the top. Foley, defending at fullback, decided to jump in an effort to charge down Barrett’s kick.
The aerial Foley awkwardly collided with Barrett at full-steam, where the horrific clap of the collision was audible through the broadcast. Play was stopped immediately as the stinging shot left the Suntory star clutching his ribs on the ground.
Commentator Ken Laban said Foley ‘was in trouble here’ after suggesting ‘there was some malice in that cheap shot’. Laban further retracted his statement once he saw a replay, downgrading his assessment to ‘unfortunate contact’.
Barrett was able to return to play after an assessment by the match doctor, and went about delivering payback to Foley and his Kubota side.
He went on to score 19 points, including the match-winning try with scores tied 26-all with just two minutes remaining.
Running a line reminiscent of his 2016 form, Barrett exploded onto a short ball on Kubota’s edge, bursting through the gap before outgunning the cover defence to score the defining play.
The match-winning try came just one week after Barrett’s 40-metre penalty goal on the last play of the game sunk Toyota Verblitz. This week’s play handed Kubota their first defeat, and crucially keeps them at bay in the same conference.
Suntory’s major recruit is proving to be worth every penny as they look to secure a Top League crown, with Barrett’s starring role the last two weeks keeping the side undefeated and knocking off their two main conference rivals.
The Sungoliath are now six wins from six matches and one of three remaining undefeated teams, along with Kobe Steelers and the Panasonic Wild Knights.
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