Otago Daily Times

Re­jigged back­line shows more po­tency

- Sports · Rugby · Wellington, New Zealand · Australia · Beauden Barrett · Jordie Barrett · Jonah Lomu

WELLINGTON: All Black coach Ian Foster's de­ci­sion to re­jig his back­line for the sec­ond Bledis­loe Cup clash against Aus­tralia paid div­i­dends yes­ter­day as the team pro­duced a 27­7 vic­tory at Eden Park to snatch the ad­van­tage in the four­match se­ries.

Foster brought Caleb Clarke in for his first start on the left wing, was able to se­lect a fit again Beau­den Bar­rett at full­back and re­stored a more bal­anced and ex­pe­ri­enced mid­field pair­ing in Jack Good­hue and An­ton Lienert­Brown.

The re­sult was far more at­tack­ing dis­play from the side that drew 16­16 in the first game in Wellington, Clarke's per­for­mance, in par­tic­u­lar, a high­light.

Wear­ing the No 11 jer­sey that was im­mor­talised by Jonah Lomu in the 1990s, Clarke's pow­er­ful run­ning elec­tri­fied the 46,049­strong crowd as he set up tries to Jordie Bar­rett and Ardie Savea within the space of three sec­ond­half min­utes.

``He is an un­com­pli­cated in­di­vid­ual,'' Foster said of the 21­year­old. ``He has great self­aware­ness of who he is. He knows what he's good at on the rugby park and he just be­lieves in it.

``He just wants the ball and to run hard. It's quite a good thing for us to give him the ball and let him run hard.''

Foster added that Beau­den Bar­rett had ``showed his class’’ in his de­ci­sion mak­ing af­ter miss­ing last week's game with an Achilles in­jury and the 29­year­old was al­most as dev­as­tat­ing as Clarke with the ball in hand.

A clev­erly weighted kick by Bar­rett also set up the at­tack­ing scrum from which Aaron Smith scored his first half try.

``He brought a lot of con­fi­dence to the play­ers and I think there is more to come from him,'' Foster added of the twotime world player of the year.

``He's a great in­flu­ence on this team.'' — Reuters

 ??  ?? Ian Foster
Ian Foster

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