Cape Town – All Blacks pivot Beauden Barrett admitted to drawing inspiration from the performance of his captain, Kieran Read, during Saturday’s win over the British and Irish Lions in Auckland.
Read was in fine form in his side’s 30-15 triumph as he returned to action after a two-month lay-off after recovering from a broken thumb.
“I don’t know how he did it,” said Barrett.
“How his match fitness was up to it, all his skills required to compete at that level, it was inspirational. Particularly that pick-up from the scrum that was world-class which led to a try. That’s all we ask from a leader and it’s hard not to follow that.”
Barrett featured in a piece of class himself when running back in defence to field a Lions kick ahead. Not dropping his speed at all he bent down and scooped up the ball in one action.
He said he surprised himself in doing that because it wasn’t something he had done before and said he generally wasn’t the most flexible of players.
Barrett had only about 25 minutes at flyhalf in the game after having to move back to fullback when Ben Smith left for a concussion test which he ultimately failed.
Barrett said the change involved a slightly different view of the game when moving back to full-back. But once phase play was involved there was not a lot different.
“It’s a lot easier starting at 10 and moving back (to fullback) than it would be starting at 15 and going in,” he added.