All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has defended Beauden Barrett after the fullback came under fire from fans for seemingly moving the ball closer to the posts during Saturday's 16-16 draw with the Springboks.

Some South African fans weren't happy when footage was posted on Twitter of Barrett rolling the ball a couple of metres forward towards the goal posts before successfully kicking a penalty for the All Blacks.

Referee Nic Berry appeared to make a mark and point at the posts a metre inside the South African 22m line – but as he turns his back to talk to All Blacks skipper Kieran Read, Barrett toes the ball a metre further ahead. It's unclear whether it was intentional or not.

But he eventually tees the ball up closer than the initial penalty. It could be argued on the angle, a closer kick would have made the attempt more difficult and that the difference between a 20 metre or a 21 metre attempt should be negligible to a test kicker.

Advertisement

Regardless, it didn't stop fans from firing up at the 28-year-old goal kicker, with some even going as far as calling it 'cheating'.

"Hey @WorldRugby does sportsmanship come into the equation when you're assembling the shortlist for World Rugby Player of the year? Because if it does then @beaudenbarrett should be omitted from any future award nominations with blatant unnecessary cheating like this. #BanBarrett," said one fan on Twitter.

Hansen was quick to rebuff such claims, saying Barrett had just done what has been done in the game for years.

Steve Hansen and Beauden Barrett. Photo / Getty
Steve Hansen and Beauden Barrett. Photo / Getty

"Look, you guys (media) have watched a lot of footy from club level right to the very highest level; I would say most goal kickers have done that at some point in their time," Hansen said.

"Is it right? Probably not, but they all do it.

"Is it any different than when you get a penalty and kick for touch and end up taking two strides past the mark to kick it out? It's just what happens in footy."

Hansen added that there a bigger things to worry about in rugby.

"Well, there are four referees. So they are the judges aren't they? There are more things happening on the rugby field that are more concerning than that."

Advertisement