Wales coach Wayne Pivac thought Beauden Barrett could have been given a yellow card for a deliberate knock on – but the All Blacks’ star with 100 compatriots did not agree.
Barrett was punished but not sinned in the first half of the All Blacks’ 54-16 victory in Cardiff on Sunday (NZ time), to the obvious displeasure of the crowd at Principality Stadium.
Wales had a potential overlap when Barrett knocked on an inside pass from Owen Lane.
At the post-match press conference, Pivac expressed surprise at the decision.
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Asked if any of the referee calls for Wales had been “different calls for other teams”, Pivac said: “I do not know if you can say that, but certainly the Barrett competition to stop the overlap, we would expect a penalty kick and yellow card if it was one of our players.
“The referees of the match do what they have to do based on what they have at the time. That is the decision they made.”
Barrett – who scored two intercept attempts and received the award as the man of the match – felt that referee Mathieu Raynal and his support team made the right decision.
“I thought if I accelerated and backed it up a little earlier, I probably could have gotten it, but I left it a little late,” Barrett said in Daily Telegraph.
“We’ve seen them go both ways in terms of the card or not, but I think the right call was made. It was a bet I made.”
Daily Telegraph, but felt that All Black was lucky not to be sent to the cooler for 10 minutes. Author Ben Coles cited Barrett’s penalty kick as one of “the three major decisions that added to Wales’ problems”. He wrote: “The fact that he did not receive a yellow card is strange when one compares his interception attempts with the abundance of similar incidents we see on a weekly basis.”
Coles, however, praised Barrett, saying his “small moments of sublime skill can be taken for granted”, citing his “shoveling to create the overlap of Anton Lienert-Brown’s late attempts” and an “absurdly smooth” crossfield kick to Rieko Ioane.
“Maybe it’s going to be the successor to an all-around great Dan Carter in the All Blacks’ 10 jersey, or having faced elite competition over the last few years for his place from Richie Mo’unga, but there is an argument that Barrett does not get enough credit for his work, even with two World Rugby Player of the Year awards already on his mantelpiece at home, ” Coles wrote.
Writes further Wales online, said Mark Orders “some disagreement as to whether or not [Barrett] is All Black’s best fly half. It is unlikely that Wales will argue too much. The 30-year-old has electric pace, anticipation and drove his back line on Saturday with cool authority. He also has a sense of opportunity, which made him mark his 100th test with two attempts. Those present at Principality Stadium should consider themselves lucky to have witnessed such a royal player in action. “
The Guardian claimed Barrett’s “speed of thought encapsulates the brilliance of the All Blacks.” Robert Kitson wrote that “the other ominous words after the match mumbled by the excellent Barrett – ‘I have plenty left in mind’ – should also be noticed by all All Blacks opponents between now and the 2023 Rugby World Cup.”