Sunday 17 December 2017

'I'm not worried about his goal-kicking at all' - Steve Hansen unfazed by Beauden Barrett's inconsistency

Beauden Barrett of the All Blacks leaves the pitch looking dejected following defeat in the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions at Westpac Stadium on July 1, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Beauden Barrett of the All Blacks leaves the pitch looking dejected following defeat in the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions at Westpac Stadium on July 1, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Nick Purewal

Steve Hansen insists he has no concerns over Beauden Barrett's goal-kicking despite the fly-half missing three penalties in New Zealand's 24-21 defeat to the British and Irish Lions.

Sonny Bill Williams' red card for a head-high shoulder charge on Anthony Watson stunned the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday, with the Lions edging home to level the series at one win apiece.

New Zealand will be back at their Eden Park stronghold in Auckland for next weekend's pivotal third Test, with head coach Hansen remaining unfazed by Barrett's wayward goal-kicking in Wellington.

"I'm not worried about his goal-kicking at all," said Hansen of Barrett, who spurned nine points with the boot.

"Games are won and lost with goal-kicking - but they are also won by players doing a job from one to 23.

"And tonight the Lions did their job better than we did.

"He kicked 100 per cent last time out (in New Zealand's 30-15 first Test win), so no, I'm not concerned."

The All Blacks surrendered their 46-match winning streak on home soil in a turbulent Westpac Stadium Test match that spun entirely on centre Williams' red card.

The Blues star became just the third All Black to be dismissed in Test action, and the first since Colin Meads against Scotland in 1967.

All Blacks boss Hansen refused to let Williams' red card account for his side's defeat however, demanding that New Zealand hit back with redoubled fury for next weekend's Eden Park decider.

"It doesn't make it any easier to swallow," said Hansen, when asked if Williams' red card could account for the defeat.

"Losing sucks, and that's whether you've got 15, 25 or two players. It sucks.

"It was our turn to take it on the chin.

"It's all very well being good and gracious winners; we've got to do the same when we're beaten.

"So we've got to prepare better, work harder and come out to try to win the series next week."

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