Can Beauden Barrett eclipse Dan Carter’s perfect game?

Beauden Barrett; the Perfect Game. Beauden Barrett tearing away from the Aussies enroute to his famous try in the RWC final. Copyright Photo: Libby Law / www.Photosport.nz
Beauden Barrett tearing away from the Aussies enroute to his famous try in the RWC final.
Copyright Photo: Libby Law / www.Photosport.nz

Beauden Barrett is arguably the best thing to happen to All Blacks rugby in recent years. Not only does he read the game better than most, he is potentially the most exciting, most unpredictable first five the game has ever seen. You just don’t know what he is going to do, in a good way.

Whether he hits the line flat and at the pace of a three-quarter or frees up someone outside with aplomb, you just don’t know. He often makes it look all so easy.

His accolades, rightfully so, continue to come but there is one thing he hasn’t reached, and that is the “perfect game“.

Carter’s Perfect Game

Let’s have a think back. The year is 2005 and the Lions have come to town. The first test goes the way of the All Blacks in chilly conditions 21-3. The All Blacks had been looking for a permanent replacement for Andrew Mehrtens. Coach Graham Henry uses Carlos Spencer, Mehrtens, and a youthful Dan Carter throughout 2004, finally settling on Carter for the end of year tour. He starts with Carter against the Fijians at the beginning of 2005 and then again in the first test against the Lions. But it is in his sixth start at first five, and the second test of the 2005 Lions series that he shows the world what they have been waiting for.

The performance has gone down in rugby folklore. Carter scores a scarcely believable 33 points in the All Blacks 48-18 victory. Apart from missing a sideline conversion, no one can touch him. He makes all the right decisions at all the right times. His passing is fast and accurate, his kicking both in play and from the tee, pinpoint. No one can stop him.

His genius showed up the then incomparable Jonny Wilkinson and began his reign as the world’s greatest first five.

Dan Carter making a break in the match that defined him and set the benchmark for every other performance by a 10 forever. The second test against the Lions in 2005. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/PHOTOSPORT
Dan Carter making a break in the match that defined him and set the benchmark for every other performance by a 10 forever. The second test against the Lions in 2005. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/PHOTOSPORT

This begs the question, can Beauden Barrett emulate the feat?

Once the super sub, Beauden Barrett now holds the All Blacks first five torch.

Beauden Barrett; the Perfect Game. Dan Carter and Beauden Barrett celebrate Barrett's try. Rugby World Cup Semi Final, South Africa v New Zealand All Blacks, Twickenham Stadium, London, England. Saturday 24 October 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
Dan Carter and Beauden Barrett celebrate Barrett’s try. Rugby World Cup Semi Final, South Africa v New Zealand All Blacks, Twickenham Stadium, London, England. Saturday 24 October 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz

Barrett’s Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

With the Lions tour just around the corner, he has been given the perfect platform from which to do it from. We’ve seen what he is capable of in the instances, here-and-there, but it remains to be seen whether he can string together a perfect game in the same manner as Carter did. Is it possible to do such a thing? Surely not twice in our lifetimes? But it is Beauden Barrett we are talking about.

To whet the appetite it is worth watching some of his latest highlights, to get you just a little excited about what could happen in June.

The stage has been set, the opposition is en-route, and the hordes of fantastic supporters can’t wait to be heard. So the question remains, can Beauden Barrett silence the crowd with a “perfect game” for the ages?

You can follow all your necessary Lions content here at The 1014 and look forward, with us, to see what Beauden Barrett and the All Blacks can do. This year’s Lions will be more formidable and have more bite than their predecessors, can Barrett tame them?

Photos: www.photosport.nz

Dave Ogden

Author: Dave Ogden

Dave had always lived and breathed sports; however, in recent time has become fascinated with the world of eSports and in particular, the world of Dota 2. His love of the game flows through into convincing his wife to watch with him. When he’s not playing or watching Dota he thrives on playing all sorts of video games and becoming a champion among friends in tabletop gaming too.

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