Hometown hero Beauden Barrett brought some much needed joy to a tough night at Yarrow Stadium.
While France brought plenty to the match and put the All Blacks off their game, many were left feeling a bit flat until Barrett came off the bench with three minutes to go, latched on to a nice Ben Smith kick and scored with three seconds left on the Yarrow Stadium clock.
Despite getting only a collective 14 minutes over three tests, the 22-year-old has scored two tries and closed out a match with maturity.
Without doubt, he is the "golden one" around these parts, although he was calling himself just plain old "tin arse" after the 24-9 win on Saturday night.
"It was just awesome to get the three minutes I got," he said.
"It was a blur, things went pretty quickly but it was nice to finish the job.
"It wasn't an easy game, the French were firing and we made a few errors and the game could have gone either way I thought."
Although All Blacks coach Steve Hansen felt satisfied he had given all three first five-eighths a run in the series, Barrett never got enough time to be really influential.
Still, he appears happy with the scraps he has been given. For now at least.
Carter's 95th test was not his best but not his worst.
An early charged down kick didn't rattle him but most at the ground would have wanted Barrett to have at least 20 minutes.
Barrett felt more nervous than frustrated sitting on the sidelines.
"It was probably the most nervous I've been at a game. Whenever it's tight I get a bit nervous and playing at home, as well, there was more expectation. I was just happy with the time I got."
Even though he got less time than most in the squad, Barrett believed he had contributed a fair bit off the field and at training.
His interpretation of the new game plan meant the first five-eighth had to drive the team with quick decision making and playing what they saw in front of them.
"There is quite a bit of emphasis on the 10s and it helped having DC [Dan Carter] on when I went on. It's about finding the space, whether that's with a kick or running it."
He thought France had defended well, which had made things difficult for the All Blacks.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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