Beauden Barrett has opened up on the Achilles injury that he has had to manage while admitting the All Blacks have a mindset of going for the try over the dropped goal after passing up the chance at a drop kick in last weekend’s Bledisloe Cup draw.
The Achilles injury flared up last week, ruling Barrett out of the drawn Bledisloe Cup opener in Wellington.
The game was drawn after the All Blacks went and failed to score a try instead of trying a dropped goal despite having a number of phases on the Wallabies' line during period in the nine minutes of injury time.
Barrett, who ran the water last week, backed the actions of his teammates and particularly five-five Richie Mo’unga.
“I was liking what we were doing. It’s an easy fix to just slip back there and do it and Richie was thinking of doing that so, at the end of the day, we’ve got to pull the trigger and I don’t blame anyone for what we did. It’s just the execution.
“I guess it is a mindset thing [to not go for drop kicks]. We’re always looking for the five-pointer over the dropped goal, I guess.
“But as a game awareness thing, we have to be aware of that. I guess, naturally you’d wait for that [referee] arm to go out and roll the dice with either an offensive play or a drop kick with a penalty advantage.”
Barrett clarified comments from assistant coach John Plumtree that his Achilles needed an extended break, instead saying it was an injury that needed to be managed.
“It needs to be managed, so it needs time on feet. A break won’t actually heal it so it’s about managing my load in a training week so that there’s no spikes. It’s feeling really good and we’ve done that well this week.
“I had it at the start of the World Cup and by the end of the World Cup it felt great so it’s about having a consistent plan under one medical team and trusting that plan.
“I’m fully confident that they’re going to get me where I need to be in a number of weeks.
“At the moment it’s feeling good so can’t wait.”
His training had been adjusted as a result of the Achilles injury.
“It’s been a while since I’ve done a speed session as such.”
The focus this weekend at Eden Park would be to treasure the ball after being starved of possession in Wellington last weekend, Barrett said.
“We can’t survive off 40 per cent possession and look to dominate a game and an opposition.
It’s been a big focus of ours, looking after that ball. I think as a back unit we all have to be responsible for that.”