The All Blacks were typically ruthless en route a 39-0 hammering of Argentina on Sunday, extending their lead at the top of the Rugby Championship with a one-sided win.
Despite what the scoreline might suggest, the Pumas did a good job of constricting the Kiwis for large passages and prevented New Zealand’s major threats from finding open space until later on.
One of those talents who wasn’t able to exercise his usual creative influence was Beauden Barrett, though the two-time World Rugby Player of the Year was still key to the win.
One moment of magic came early in the second half when the All Blacks playmaker stormed the Pumas 22’, beating several defenders to put his team within sight of the try line.
Unable to score himself and under huge pressure, the Blues star had only a fleeting look to see what support was on hand before floating a spectacular offload for Luke Jacobson to score:
It would prove to be the first of two tries for Jacobson on the night as he improved his record to three scores in only two starts for his country.
But his first of the evening was all about the assist as far as supporters were concerned, with many paying tribute to the architect following his contribution.
Barrett, 30, was also crucial for the All Blacks when they beat Australia 38-21 in Perth last weekend, and one Twitter user wrote: “Outstanding, love watching him play!”
Others were overawed at the show of skill, as another fan responded: “Wow, lost for words.”
It proved to be one of Barrett’s final acts as he was replaced by Chiefs talisman Damian McKenzie after 50 minutes, with Argentina undoubtedly glad to have seen him leave the field of play.
The Pumas will have to do it all again next Saturday when they face New Zealand once more at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, still hoping to claim their first points of the Rugby Championship.
Barrett will be in the frame to start once again at fly-half considering Richie Mo’unga is only slated to return in time for the All Blacks’ last game of the tournament against South Africa.
Crusaders star Mo’unga was one of three All Blacks who recently remained in New Zealand to be with their partners for the births of their children, and he’ll have to quarantine before he can feature in Australia.
Barrett will be hoping for a little more success with the boot after he was again slightly wayward off the tee on Sunday, though New Zealand can have few complaints with his display overall.
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