Barrett to tone down kicking practice ahead of final

Hurricanes No.10 Beauden Barrett has revealed that he will ease off on his kicking practice ahead of the Super Rugby final against the Highlanders in Wellington.

Barrett says that he did so much kicking ahead of the Semi-final that he became too sore to take the kicks at goal which is why James Marshall took over the kicking duties.

“I really wanted to kick this week and I did plenty of repetition. I wanted to do the prep and I definitely over-kicked this week, which was why I was tight out there,” Barrett told the Dominion Post.

“It’s another learning. I was too eager because I wanted to be good tonight, so I will definitely pull it back for next week.”

Barrett controlled the Hurricanes backline superbly in the sem-final but gave the kicking duties to Marshall after half time and he went on to kick three of four shots at goal.

In comparison Barrett missed two out of his three attempts but said that his problem was not related to the injury that kept him out of Super Rugby for a month. Instead he says that problem was due to a restrictive pain in his hips that’s troubled him for years.

“The knee was fine, it was more around my hips and once they go it’s very sore and restricting. It’s something I’ve been battling my whole career, but I’m not making any excuses and Jimmy is more than capable.

“My legs are wrecked, but I’ll take a lot from it, I got rid of a bit of rust out there. I’m just glad to be back in the driver’s seat.”

“I was more than happy for him to take over. I was struggling just to kick for touch. I kicked a bit too much this week and I tightened up, so I’ve got to really be careful not to over work during the week. “

“I need to trust my technique and my routine that I can deliver on the day.”

Barrett said that aside from his sore hips he was pleased with his own form and that of the Hurricanes ahead of the final against the Highlanders.

“We started the game we wanted to and that was a high tempo game trying to get the ball to the edges and run them around a bit and it worked. We did bomb a few tries, but at least we are creating those opportunities.”

The Hurricanes’ success was largely due to doing the simple things well, he said.

“It’s a pretty simple structure we do play. A lot of the time it’s catch and pass. At this stage of the season we don’t have to change too much.”

“We’ve done the hard work and done the basics well and if we can create one on ones, that’s what this team needs. With the fire power we have in the team, that’s all we need.”

The Semi-final was an exhibition of the Hurricanes skill level and both of their first half tries – to wing Julian Savea and halfback TJ Perenara – came as a result of quick hands under pressure.

Barrett said that they had identified Jesse Mogg as a dangerman with his kicking boot so they kept the ball in hand more.

“It felt like they were in our face a lot of the time, but we didn’t want to kick it too much with (Jesse) Mogg at the back with his big left boot,” Barrett said.

“There were times when we probably should have kicked, but we’ll learn from that. It’s a risk and reward scenario situation and we’ll learn from it.”

Barrett also praised the crowd at the Westpac Stadium credit and said that their support helped them bring out their best and that there is already a buzz in the Canes camp about playing in front of another sell out for the final.

“It was amazing. The first 20 minutes when we were controlling play we had a few opportunities, the crowd was just erupting. You can notice the difference when it’s full compared to a regular game. It will gbe sell out next week and we’re pumped about it.

“We’re so excited. I’m personally looking forward to resting up a couple of days to make sure I’m fresh for next Saturday. “

“It’s going to be a huge occasion, it’s something we’ve aimed for right from the start of our season at our camp in Gisborne. All the boys will turn up to work next week with smiles on our faces, just like we have all season.”

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