New Zealand 29-15 South Africa, Rugby Championship
Beauden 'like he's been there all his life'
September 15, 2013
Sam Cane, Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick reflect on the tough win © Getty Images
New Zealand defeated South Africa in a tough contest (video available only in Australia)%]
Barrett entered the fray in just the 16th minute of New Zealand's bruising 29-15 victory over the Springboks after Dan Carter suffered a shoulder injury. He missed touch early from a penalty but thereafter made the big break that led to Brodie Retallick's try and converted the score as he went on to complete a composed performance.
Barrett, 22, made his Test debut only in 2012, since when he has won 11 caps - 10 as a substitute - but All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said after the Springboks match that he looked "like he's been there all his life".
"Time in the driver's seat - the more you get the more confident you get," Barrett said of his performance. "It was pretty exciting, but I've got a lot to work on so I'm just pretty happy with the win right now."
Barrett said his first encounter with South Africa had been the most physical game of rugby he had played. "It's always great to have a win against a big side like the Springboks," he said. "I just felt the boys were outstanding. We had to step up and our defence was what won us the game."
He described the match as the strangest he had played, with four yellow cards issued. Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis got his second yellow early in the second half to be sent off, while the All Blacks finished the match with 13 men on the field after skipper Kieran Read and second five-eighth Ma'a Nonu were sin-binned in the final eight minutes.
"That was bizarre, but I suppose it was the intensity of the game," Barrett said. "Everyone was putting everything into it."