Barrett brother's sibling rivalry is on hold

GLENN MCLEAN
Last updated 05:00 22/02/2013

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Kane Barrett
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WAITING GAME: Kane Barrett has been left out of the Blues squad for the opening game against the Hurricanes.

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The battle of the brothers Barrett will have to wait for another day after Kane was left out of the Blues squad for tomorrow night's Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes in Wellington.

While younger brother Beauden was always certain to start for the Hurricanes, Kane was in a race with Steven Luatua to grab the Blues' No 6 jersey. His ability to cover lock could have seen him grab a place on the bench but coach John Kirwan has opted for specialist Liaki Moli.

There are also no places in the Blues' 22-man squad for Taranaki wing Waisake Naholo, despite some blistering preseason form, or exciting halfback Jamison Gibson-Park.

"I'm really disappointed not to be there, I was really looking forward to playing the Hurricanes," Barrett said yesterday.

"I had a meeting with J K [Kirwan] and he said it was down to me or Luatua, and they took him.

"He's told me to just hang in there and my time will come.

"I've just got to keep working.

"It's a pity because I was looking forward to running at Beauden instead of off him."

Nevertheless, he had enjoyed the Blues' preseason.

It had been all about getting back to basics, said the rookie, with a tremendous amount of work on tackle technique and defensive patterns.

"Looking back over the ITM [Cup] footage, I was doing a lot of passive tackling, so I've been told a big man like me should be making more dominant tackles," Barrett said.

"The determination is there, it's just about using the right technique," he said.

Barrett, 22, received 40 minutes in each of the Blues' preseason games - a 35-41 loss to the Reds, a 40-36 win over the Waratahs and a 31-29 win over the Highlanders - and found the hit-outs beneficial to his understanding of the game at a higher level.

After "blowing out the cobwebs" in Brisbane, Barrett found the pace of the contests challenging but not daunting.

He continues to receive encouragement to improve his lineout work, with Blues forwards coach Mick Byrne believing he can be more aggressive in his attempts to dominate.

While somewhat downcast at missing out on selection for tomorrow night's game, Barrett was reminding himself it was a long season and the attrition rate would always be high.

As for the result in Wellington tomorrow night, Barrett thought the side making the least mistakes would win.

"It's the first game and either side won't lack for motivation, so whoever can control things when they're flying into it 100 miles an hour and be more accurate, they might win," Barrett said.

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However, he will not be in Wellington to witness the clash.

Instead, Barrett will be busy lining up against the Blues' development squad in an internal trial game.

Blues: Charles Piutau, Frank Halai, Rene Ranger, Francis Saili, George Moala, Chris Noakes, Piri Weepu, Peter Saili, Luke Braid, Steven Luatua, Ali Williams (captain), Culum Retallick, Charlie Faumuina, James Parsons, Tom McCartney. Reserves, Jackson Willison, Baden Kerr, Bryn Hall, Brendon O'Connor, Liaki Moli, Angus Ta'avao, Quentin MacDonald.

Hurricanes: Andre Taylor, Alapati Leiua, Conrad Smith (captain), Tim Bateman, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, T J Perenara, Brad Shields, Karl Lowe, Victor Vito, Jason Eaton, Jeremy Thrush, Ben May, Dane Coles, Ben Franks. Reserves, Ash Dixon, Reggie Goodes, Mark Reddish, Faifili Levave, Chris Smylie, James Marshall, Reynold Lee-Lo.

- Taranaki Daily News

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