Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue: Beauden Barrett shines brighter than rest

We are deep in the glow of another golden era for All Black rugby and one man is shining brighter than the rest.

The All Blacks' latest victory over Argentina can be summed up in a lot of words, but the two that spring most easily to mind are Beauden and Barrett. The bloke is a fair dinkum, off the planet, staggering genius and I can't wait to turn the TV on to watch him charging around.

Australia in particular must look at the All Blacks with envy, that's when they are not blaming ridiculous things for the growing gap between the 2015 World Cup finalists.

New Zealand has about six first five-eighths far better than anything they've got.

Unless the rest of the rugby world finds a way to deal with Barrett, the hidings will go on and on and on because no matter what the circumstances, he has four or five match winning moments in his pocket every game.

I don't know if he's the best rugby player on the planet, but if there is a better one he must be damned good. Barrett is certainly the best to watch. He even seems to know which way the rugby ball will always bounce.

The All Black coaches and selectors are in hot form, but Barrett proves that they don't always get it bang on. Aaron Cruden was earmarked as Dan Carter's heir, but he's been swept aside by Barrett's flying feet and staggering ability to spot and make gaps, and deliver great passes.

At one point against Argentina, as the All Black resurgence gathered pace, he sent about five Puma defenders spinning the wrong way galloping like a crazed giraffe though, in and around them. It's hard to recall a player like Barrett. Ever.

We all knew he was good, very good. But not that he would be this good at this level. And let's face it, the All Black selectors didn't know either, otherwise they wouldn't have sat him on the bench as a super sub for so long. He also defended very strongly in the early stages of the Hamilton game, when the Pumas gave the All Blacks a shellacking.

On the down side, Barrett is a horrible goalkicker but never mind. He's so good, otherwise you hardly notice and nor does the scoreboard eventually. One of his attempts last night gave the hot dog stand a shake. And if New Zealand does lose a test match on his goalkicking one day, it's a price worth paying for the joy and victories he will bring along the way.

There's a lot more to the All Blacks than one man. Absolutely. But that one man is making an extraordinary difference. You could argue that Barrett is making hay while the sun shines, because the standard of world rugby is not all that good. But Argentina were very good. They pounded the All Blacks, changed the angles of their running, and found a lot of holes through the middle early on. They are very strong men, which helps.

It looked like they could win, and got smashed instead. The Pumas joined a growing list of teams who couldn't handle Beauden Barrett.

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