He’s made headlines for scoring four tries for New Zealand against Australia – and here’s analysis of Beauden Barrett’s skill-set from Stuart Barnes
All Blacks fly-half Beauden Barrett analysed
Beauden Barrett was crowned World Rugby Player of the Year in both 2016 and 2017, and could well make it a hat-trick given the form he has shown at the start of the Rugby Championship.
The New Zealand fly-half made history when scoring four tries – and 30 points in all – against Australia at Eden Park. That haul takes his tally to 30 tries in international rugby – an impressive figure for a No 10.
So what makes Barrett who has a 92% win rate in Tests, such a magical player? We asked former England and Lions fly-half Stuart Barnes to analyse the All Black’s skill-set from head to toe…
Wayne Smith once said to me I shouldn’t use ‘rugby intellect’ in my reports. He said it was about intelligence, which comes from doing the basics time and again. That becomes instinct. Beauden Barrett, if nothing else, is a fly-half of the purest instinct.
The difference between Barrett and any other fly-half on the planet is that while other fly-halves always look for space, he will see it. There’s a massive difference between scanning around and spotting space immediately. It’s the difference between being good and great.
He has a softness to his handling, which enables him to wait until the very last second before deciding whether to slip a pop pass or spin out a 30-metre ball to one of the wide men.
Barrett is quite simply the most devastating runner in world rugby. We’re not talking just fly-halves. He has the speed of an international winger, but it is his change of pace that makes even the most organised defence look like some sort of scrambled kaleidoscope. The slightest defensive lapse and he is through.
He is not the world’s greatest kicker – his inconsistent goalkicking is his big flaw – but his strength is the kick-pass to which he has no rival in rugby. The flat kick is accurate and played at the last second, which takes us back to his ability to see space so quickly.
This article originally appeared in the June 2018 edition of Rugby World.
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