Face of the Day


Just exactly how good is this guy?

The way Beauden Barrett is playing calls for a paranormal investigation.

Exhibit One for the Ghostbusters would be the try he scored against the Pumas late in the first half last night in Hamilton.

The bounce of a rugby ball, as the great basketball coach Steve McKean used to joke, was always a mystery because it was “shaped like a damned peanut.”

But when Ben Smith clipped a little kick inside the Argentina 22 for Barrett to chase last night, you somehow knew it would skip away from desperate fullback Joaquin Tuculet, and sit up at chest height for the flying Barrett to scoot in for a try under the bar.

And not once, but twice, in the passage of play before his brilliant feed to Ryan Crotty for a try in the second half, Barrett would mesmerise Puma defenders so thoroughly he was stepping past them as if they were tailors’ dummies.We’ve seen some great players in the 10 jersey in the All Blacks. The greatest, Dan Carter, has just left.

But Barrett brings something entirely his own to the position. It’s sometimes hard not to laugh out loud at the weirdly sensational way the game itself seems to accommodate his every daring, exciting move.

Once he starts kicking penalties and conversions as well, we’d have nothing left to criticise…


– Phil Gifford, Stuff

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