Jordie Barrett: It is the All Blacks’ turn to ‘respond’ in the series decider

Dylan Coetzee

Jordie Barrett at the end of the 2021 Rugby Autumn Nations Series match between Italy and All Blacks/New Zealand at the Olimpic Stadium (Stadio Olimpico) in Rome, Italy, on November 6, 2021. (Photo by Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto)

All Blacks full-back Jordie Barrett is embracing the need for his side to respond in the series decider against Ireland in Wellington.

Ireland created history last weekend with their 23-12 win over the All Blacks their first on New Zealand soil, which ultimately levelled up the series.

Improvement required

The All Blacks were poor in Dunedin, and they will need to perform better on Saturday to have any chance against a spirited Irish side. However, Barrett believes his team is itching to respond and right the ship.

“It is our turn to respond now. We feel a lot of it is in our control, and we can influence this match. But that’s not everything we’ve got to put the performance on the park and get the job done because it’s not going to be easy,” he said.

“There’s no hiding. There was a lot of disappointment on Saturday night-Sunday morning, even leaking into Monday but it’s a fresh week, an exciting opportunity, a series decider against a quality side, so there’s some positive faces and positive moods in camp at the moment so we’re rearing to go.”

The versatile star said personal accountability had been a focus this week, and there is only one more chance.

“We don’t have a second chance this week so that’s what the boys have gone and done this week. They’ve had a good look in the mirror and gone away and worked on skills that we need to unfold and put on Ireland this weekend,” he said.

Havili’s influence

Centre David Havili has recovered from Covid-19 and will start on Saturday as he looks to impact the series through his kicking game.

“I think it’s about starting well, making sure that we execute our skill sets when we need to. There was a fair bit of ball on the ground last week so we’ve worked hard at executing that stuff and going out there and expressing ourselves,” Havili said.

“If I can add my kicking game into the mix of that then it is going to help us.

“Hopefully, I can take some of the experience from Super finals and other games in the All Blacks jersey that I can add into this weekend.”

The centre spoke about what code-hopping Roger Tuivasa-Sheck can offer as the former league star was named on the bench for the All Blacks this weekend.

“He’s going to bring a lot of energy and x-factor when he gets the opportunity to take the field and speaking to him over the last couple of days he’s super-excited,” he said.

“He’s brought a different skill set to the midfield and it’s been cool to understand how he sees our game. He’s fitted in perfectly and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

READ MORE: New Zealand v Ireland preview: All Blacks to triumph in Wellington classic and win the series


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New Zealand v Ireland preview

Planet Rugby previews the series deciding third Test between the All Blacks and Ireland in Wellington.