Beauden Barrett The year I finally realised the arrogance of New Zealand rugby

Beauden Barrett These extensions are beautiful.

Beauden Barrett


“England beat the All Blacks due to their rush-defence, a tactic completely mitigated by South Africa’s kicking game: a willingness to play the game in England’s territory.”

OPINION:As an avid New Zealand rugby fan, I’ve always been one to praise Beauden Barrett’s brilliance, Richie Mo’unga’s vision, and Kieran Read’s captaincy, but this World Cup taught me otherwise.

In 2011, it felt like New Zealand had earned a win, in 2015 it felt like we deserved one, but in 2019, I finally realised the arrogance of New Zealand rugby.

South Africa were the deserving champions of the World Cup, ousting an England team that looked little short of unstoppable the week before. Perhaps England’s killer mentality from the week before had subsided, but this hardly seems likely does it, especially for a World Cup final.

Beauden Barrett

Aaron Favila

“For all of Steve Hansen’s plaudits, his insistence on dual-playmaking and a highly dynamic backline may be the bad aftertaste of an incredible career.”

Instead, it seems that a South African team outclassed and outlasted an English side full of names and numbers, much like they dismissed both the fierce Wales challenge and the hype of a Japanese side just weeks beforehand. So, did England drop below the level that us, a biased spectator expected of them, or did South Africa win through game management and tactics?

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