Steve Hansen defends Beauden Barrett after goalkicking gaffes

Date published: September 15 2018

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has defended fly-half Beauden Barrett after his poor kicking display in their 36-34 Rugby Championship defeat to the Springboks on Saturday.

Barrett’s four missed conversions ultimately proved the difference as the All Blacks succumbed to their first loss of the championship, but Hansen stuck by the back-to-back World Rugby player of the year in the post-match press conference.

Meanwhile, assistant coach Ian Foster admitted the coaching staff had considered the possibility of changing the goal-kicker, but left it to the leadership group on the field to decide.

“We talked about the possibility of changing,” Foster told the New Zealand Herald.

“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.”