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.
Barrett scored FOUR (4) tries in the last game. They rarely need their conversions. I’m sure they can forgive him a poor night off the kicking tee. https://t.co/1JZuDSgfXU
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) September 15, 2018
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.
You cannot ignore Beauden Barrett's poor goalkicking either, though many will. 2 from 6. Could cost you a World Cup. #NZLvRSA
— Paul Cully (@paulcullystuff) September 15, 2018
Beauden Barrett is the best fly-half in the world.
This doesn’t change if someone else kicks at goal.
Surely Damian McKenzie would be the better option when he comes on. #NZLVRSA
— Paul Eddison (@pauleddison) September 15, 2018
Beauden Barrett is an unbelievable player but a shocking goal kicker #RSAvNZL
— Matty Forde (@MattyForde15) September 15, 2018