Beauden Barrett missed four conversions. Photo / Getty
Beauden Barrett missed four conversions. Photo / Getty

Beauden Barrett has experienced once again the cruelty that test rugby can provide. In his last test he scored four tries in a remarkable performance against Australia, but here against the Springboks he missed four conversion attempts.

In the end those eight missed points were crucial, but he was defended stoutly by his coaches Steve Hansen and Ian Foster afterwards.

Jordie Barrett, his younger brother, is an accomplished goalkicker, and so is Damian McKenzie who was on the field for the fourth quarter, but Beauden kept the tee despite missing three relatively easy ones.

"Yes – it's one of those things we left to them on the field," said Foster when asked whether there was a discussion about changing the goalkicker after the 36-34 defeat.


"We talked about the possibility of changing. Beaudy I think kicked two of the first four. I admire him for stepping up and he hit the post with his last two, so that shows you the margins. I know that they would have discussed it… but Beaudy obviously thought he was kicking pretty well."

"I'd add to that too," Hansen said. "Goalkicking is a really difficult job… Tiger Woods hits a good golf ball but now and then hits a bad one. It's part of our sport. You only have to be that much out and you don't get the results. We could sit here and say, 'yeah, kick a couple of goals and we win the game', but that's not why we lost the game."

While the coaches and skipper Kieran Read were gracious afterwards, there will be disappointment that referee Nigel Owens missed the call from his assistant in the final seconds which stated Boks halfback Faf de Klerk and No8 Warren Whiteley were offside.

Hansen, however, refused to blame Owens' miss – which would have handed Barrett a kick straight in front to win it – or his No10's wayward radar.

"That's why I said… about that call that Nigel missed; that's not why we lost the game," Hansen said. "We lost the game because we allowed South Africa to score 36 points.

"That's something that we can control as a team. It's a team game and in this case I know Beauden is feeling it. He'll be disappointed but he'll come out next week and maybe kick 100 per cent. That's the way goalkicking is. You can't carry that bag of coal on your back all the time because it will kill you."

"It just didn't happen and as Fozzie said, he hit the post twice and you can't get much closer than that."

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus was on the side of the pitch when the final whistle blew. This is his seventh international as Boks coach and it comes after losses to Australia and Argentina. It is easily the most significant success of his young coaching career.


"We know we could have lost that game in the last seconds so we were a bit lucky," he said.

"No one beats New Zealand here so we feel very privileged to be one of those teams."

Asked whether he was surprised Beauden Barrett didn't set up for an attempted dropped goal attempt in the final moments, he said: "That's New Zealand – they would win it with a try. That's the way they do things.

"Anything we say here must not be taken as boasting because that's the respect we have for New Zealand."