Menu allblacks.com

News

Captain Read an inspiration for side - Barrett

Getty Images

Lynn McConnell     26 Jun 2017     Getty Images

"I don't know how he did it," Barrett said, "How his match fitness was up to it, all his skills required to compete at that level, it was inspirational. Particularly that pick-up from the scrum that was world-class which led to a try. That's all we ask from a leader and it's hard not to follow that."
QUICK TAP: ALL BLACKS SEEK MORE IMPROVEMENTS
Barrett featured in a piece of class himself when running back in defence to field a Lions kick ahead. Not dropping his speed at all he bent down and scooped up the ball in one action.

He said he surprised himself in doing that because it wasn't something he had done before and said he generally wasn't the most flexible of players.

Barrett had only about 25 minutes at first five-eighths in the game after having to move back to fullback when Ben Smith left for a concussion test which he ultimately failed.

Barrett said the change involved a slightly different view of the game when moving back to fullback from first five-eighths. But once phase play was involved there was not a lot different.

"It's a lot easier starting at 10 [first five-eighths] and moving back [to fullback] than it would be starting at 15 and going in," he said.

Different players had different strengths at first five-eighths but they all revolved around the team's game plan.

He said the side had made a good start in winning the Test but it was only a start.

Adapting on the run during the series would be important for the All Blacks because they assumed the Lions would look to make changes.

Barrett, who enjoyed six successful goal kicks from six attempts, said in the face of comment from northern hemisphere media that his goal-kicking could be an All Blacks weakness, said he had been working on his kicking.

"There are other areas as well but it is just one of those things that if you put a little time into, and keep building on it, it's nice to see the rewards. It's nice but it's only a start," he said.

During the week before the Test he had kicked well but that didn't mean as much as kicking well on the night and the more relaxed the better it was for the head space, he said.

Substitute halfback TJ Perenara said the players on the bench did look at what they could see happening in the game and what they needed to contribute when getting onto the field whether it was physicality, energy or accuracy and on Saturday night they agreed it was energy that was needed given the workload of those who started.

He said while everyone in the squad wanted to start the main thing for him was to win and if that involved his contribution whether from starting, coming off the bench or holding back he was happy.

Earlier in his career he didn't deal with that very well but now he felt winning was more important than any personal success.