Brian O'Driscoll defends Beauden Barrett's abject kicking performance 11 months ago

Brian O'Driscoll defends Beauden Barrett's abject kicking performance

Former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll has defended New Zealand fly-half Beauden Barrett following the All Blacks 36-34 loss to South Africa on Saturday.

New Zealand fell short following a tryline stand from the Springboks but Barrett left points on the board as he converted just two of his six shots at goal. The hurricanes fly-half leads the Rugby Championship in points (43) and tries scored (5) but had an off night with the kicking tee as he converted just 33% of his attempts.

It was suggested that utility back Damian McKenzie should assume the All Blacks kicking duties but O'Driscoll was quick to highlight Barrett's four try haul against Australia last month as reason to excuse the fly-half's abject performance with the boot.

Despite claiming back-to-back World Player of the Year awards, Barrett's kicking woes have plagued him throughout his career with the Hurricanes pivot a 72% career kicker for his club.

His try scoring prowess, playmaking ability and the All Blacks ruthlessness in attack often negates his deficiencies from the tee but not all share O'Driscoll's optimism, including former Wexford footballer Matty Forde.