Perenara reflects on rugby journey with Beauden Barrett

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The Hurricanes stalwart was given the honour of presenting his former Hurricanes sidekick Beauden Barrett with the silver cap marking his 100th Test match and said he appreciated being given that duty because of their long association.

 

"The first time I met Baz [Barrett] was when I was at a Hurricanes' schools' camp. I remember him kicking the ball off both feet flawlessly and I thought, 'Man, this kid can play'.

 

"From there he went back to the 'naki to represent New Zealand in Sevens. He came to the Hurricanes as well at the point I was at the Hurricanes and we were both very fortunate that we were given the reins at a young age to grow together, and our relationship, both on and off the field, has grown through our experience with rugby," he said.

 

Perenara said he was proud most of all of the man Barrett was off the field, the husband, the father.

 

Of the All Blacks' performance, in which Barrett scored two tries, Perenara said they had expected Wales to start the way they did. They were a team that liked to hold the ball and build phases and put other people under pressure, something they did for a good part of the game.

 

 

"Towards the end we scored a few pretty cool tries when we capitalised on some opportunities which is pleasing, but, for a good part of that game, they made us work a lot defensively, and I'm proud of our efforts and how we combated that.

 

"There're still parts of our game that we need to improve and parts of our game we need to get better in but for a good part of it I was happy," he said.

 

Perenara talked about wing Will Jordan's emergence.

 

"He's got all the skills in the world, he's fast. He's bigger than I thought he was as well, he's running around at anywhere between 98-100kgs so he's strong. But he's got silky skills and he showed with that try today, the chip-and-chase, that's at high speed and to chip like that and get there and score is not easy to do.

 

"The sky's the limit for a player like that with all the attributes," he said.

 

All players needed to work and sharpen their craft throughout their careers, to add strings to their bow and sharpen the sword every day and Jordan would no doubt look to do that, he said.

 

Perenara added that playing in a packed Principality Stadium had been enjoyable after appearing in so many venues with reduced capacities during the year.

 

"We were very grateful to be able to do that when at this point in the world a lot of people can't travel, can't experience other parts of the world so for us, through rugby, being able to be here and being able to be in front of between 60-70,000 people was a special moment," he said.

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