Patrick McKendry is a rugby and boxing writer for the Herald.

All Blacks: Barrett determined to make a positive impact

Saturday can't come quickly enough for Beauden Barrett. Photo / Getty Images
Saturday can't come quickly enough for Beauden Barrett. Photo / Getty Images

Beauden Barrett was forced to watch from the sinbin as the Bledisloe Cup test slipped away from the All Blacks, a position he is determined not to put himself or his team in again.

He was on the ANZ Stadium pitch for only a short time after replacing Aaron Cruden at first-five after 63 minutes when he kicked a ball, which had spilled from a tackle, back to the All Blacks' side as the Wallabies looked to attack, an act ruled as cynical by referee Jaco Peyper.

Known as an impact expert - he has been a substitute in 18 of his 20 tests - this time he made an impact for the wrong reasons. It was also his first experience of a test which hasn't resulted in an All Black victory.

Asked what he would take from the experience, he said: "Not to get yellow-carded, not to put myself in that situation. It was quite hard to watch from the sideline. It's hard to make a positive impact when you're on the sideline so I guess when we're on defence not doing anything silly to try to get the ball back."

Barrett, 23, said discipline was discussed every week by the All Blacks. A lopsided penalty count of 14-9 against his side, with two yellow cards, has brought the focus back on why the team are struggling to stay in a referee's good books.

Barrett said: "You can't get on the wrong side of the ref. You have to take an extra step at ruck time, you've got to do as much as you can to keep the penalty count low."

He added: "It's how we bounce back. Obviously I'm pretty hungry to put it right this week. Saturday night can't come quick enough.

"Not very nice," was his response to the result. "I could use worse words but it was a pretty gutting feeling in the changing room afterwards. It was a big opportunity we let slip.

"We had an honest review this morning. We've got to work hard on our skill sets. We think the clarity is right, it's just about doing it ... rather than talking about it."


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