By Patrick McKendry in Tokyo
Jordie Barrett says he's never giving his All Black World Cup No 10 jersey away following what coach Steve Hansen described as an outstanding performance in an unfamiliar position against Namibia.
Barrett moved from the right wing four days earlier in the big win over Canada in Oita to navigating the All Black ship during the 71-9 victory over the Namibians at Tokyo Stadium.
It wasn't without its challenges, including a good early defensive effort from the opposition and two yellow cards for Nepo Laulala and Ofa Tuungafasi. The 22-year-old Barrett admitted it wasn't easy swapping such different positions, but he scored 21 points and led with confidence and certainly looked the part, especially in the second half.
His running game in particular went to another level. Barrett has never been one to shirk the physical side of the game and that aspect of his performance had the game Namibians struggling after the break.
"We were up against it in the first half and had all things coming our way with our ill-discipline and errors but once we stripped it all back and kept it simple we were good," Barrett said.
"It doesn't matter who we play at this World Cup, other teams are going to have their moments. It's never going to be what we want for 80 minutes. Namibia had 20 their way and it was just about trying to limit it. A lot of it was avoidable stuff.
"I loved every minute, even in that first 30 when we were up against it. It was a good challenge for me mentally to stay focused. It felt like I grew into the game as it went on.
"It was quite a big challenge mentally going from wing to first-five. I'm not sure I'll do that again. It's going to grow my game and understanding and I'm sure it's going to help."
Jordie had big brother Beauden, a man very familiar with the black No 10 jersey, handing him the tee during the match and after missing his first two conversion attempts it was good to see a familiar face. He missed only one of the next nine attempts.
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"It's nice to have someone like him on the tee," Jordie said. "A lot of [what Beauden said] was completely un-game related. I was up against it mentally when I missed the first two kicks and I've never been charged down before but once I got over that hurdle, he told me to keep it positive and I got on a bit of a run there.
"Oh, I remember he said a few things," Jordie said when asked about the topics of conversation. "I probably shouldn't say them on air."
Asked whether he would give away his jersey, Jordie, an outside back or midfielder who was starting at No 10 in the absence of Beauden and Richie Mo'unga, said: "No, I'm keeping that one."
Centre Jack Goodhue, who put in a solid 61 minutes as he continues his comeback from a hamstring strain, reckons Jordie is a keeper too. "He was very good - right from the start when he sent that kick to Sevu [Reece] for the first try. His positioning was good - he has great skills, a passing game and a great kick. It's somewhere we could see him more often in the future. He's certainly up for it.
"I remember when I was with him at Lincoln University he was playing midfield and fullback; I'm pretty sure he's played it all. He could move to lock when he's a bit older and loses his speed."