Barrett says 'plenty more left in the tank' after 100th cap
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Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) – New Zealand star Beauden Barrett said he had "plenty more left in the tank" after marking his 100th Test with two intercept tries in a 54-16 win over Wales.
The fly-half struck at both ends of Saturday's match, bookending a commanding display where the All Blacks ran in seven tries in all during what was their highest points total against Wales in Cardiff.
A two-time world player of the year, Barrett has seen his place at No 10 come under threat from Richie Mo'Unga in recent times.
But the 30-year-old showed he had lost none of his anticipation or speed at the Principality Stadium.
He picked off a fourth-minute pass from Wales' New Zealand-born fly-half Gareth Anscombe and then, with what was the last play of the game, grabbed a Johnny McNicholl pass intended for Josh Adams.
"Being a senior player in the team and having a lot more responsibility, I view the game differently," said Barrett. "I've got plenty left in the tank."
"It was very emotional week, been a very emotional two weeks," explained Barrett, whose wife's grandfather Bob Graham, a well-known Auckland rugby figure, died earlier this month.
However, he added: "I guess the amount of love and support that's flowed into my inbox this week, most of them have been there since day one -- it brings back some great memories.
"It was hard, I didn't train that well this week, there was a lot on my mind. I just wanted to go out there and enjoy it, enjoy he moment because this is such a cool place to win your 100th cap."
Barrett had his brother Jordie out on the field with him on Saturday as the full-back kicked 19 points.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster said Barrett had marked his 100th Test in superb style.
"His 100th game, you couldn't probably want to script it better...I couldn't be more proud of his game."
As for the two intercept tries, Foster added "It's not a fluke because he does it regularly.
"Beaudie's got that freakish ability to sort of defend two spaces because he knows he's got the speed to make up for it."
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones went off injured just 19 minutes into the match, damaging the same shoulder that threatened his British and Irish Lions tour before he led the combined side in South Africa this year.
But Wales coach Wayne Pivac delivered an upbeat assessment ahead of his side's remaining Autumn Nations matches against South Africa, Fiji and Australia.
"Al, talking to him in the changing room, feels pretty good...Obviously at the time, he couldn't play on, but he is feeling a lot better, so that's a plus."
But the New Zealander was more pessimistic about flanker Ross Moriarty, who suffered a shoulder injury just before half-time.
"Ross' is an AC (anterior-cruciate) joint," Pivac said. "He was in quite a bit of pain, so that doesn't look too good."
A Wales side missing several senior players due to injury, illness and the fact this match was taking place outside the Test window, cut New Zealand's lead to just 12 points heading into the final quarter thanks to Johnny Williams' try.
But the All Blacks pulled away with four tries in the last 10 minutes to make sure of a 32nd successive win over Wales since their last defeat in the fixture 68 years ago.
"Clearly, the last 20 minutes showed a difference in fitness levels," said Pivac.
"You are talking about a side that has been playing international rugby on the road for a couple of months."
© 2021 AFP