Beauden Barrett: New Zealand coach Steve Hansen tough to replace

All Blacks player Beauden Barrett has praised outgoing Steve Hansen, as his team prepares for last season with him as head coach. Hansen will step down as New Zealand coach after Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. Beauden stated this during an interview with Stuff.co.nz on January 7, 2019.

Beauden Barrett says New Zealand coach Steve Hansen will be tough to replace
Beauden Barrett says New Zealand coach Steve Hansen will be tough to replace

Beauden Barrett said: “He’ll be a huge loss – but it leaves an opportunity for someone else to step up. He’s done a lot for me and my game and I have to thank him for that. I could only wish him the best. He’s had a fantastic career and obviously the job’s not done yet – We all want to win the World Cup, retain the Bledisloe [Cup] and all the rest of it.”

All Blacks first-five Beauden Barrett has reckoned that it will be difficult to best Steve Hansen, as he has set top standards. In his opinion future coaches will have to carry on the legacy. It will definitely be hard for them to fill his shoes.

Beauden Barrett described: “His ability to understand the player and get the best out of the player [is vital]. He knows how every individual in the team ticks, he treats everyone as an individual and I think the way he’s developed that, from when I first made the team to now – it’s obviously been a work-on and that’s why he’s the best coach in my opinion.”

Beauden Barrett who is now 27 years of age, had started his New Zealand career under Steve Hansen in 2012. He went on to become important All Blacks team member under guidance of Hansen. He credited his coach for helping in establishing a prime Rugby Union career for him.

Beauden Barrett continued: “It’s reassuring to know that your head coach goes out to bat for you when perhaps things haven’t gone our way – he has our best interests at heart and he backs us 100 percent.”

Beauden Barrett is on extended break to get more rest like other main All Blacks players, to be ready for 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan. He disclosed that it is the first time he has trained this much in any off season. Beauden has remained active after New Zealand finished northern hemisphere tour with Autumn Internationals 2018 tournament in November. Beauden Barrett has set his eyes on Rugby World Cup as his focus is on enabling All Blacks in their title defense.

Beauden Barrett echoed: “This is probably the most I’ve ever trained over an off-season, because I’ve got an extended break. I’m trying to keep my fitness up and that way you enjoy the break too. You do the work in the morning and then you can have the rest of the day off and really enjoy it.”

All Black Beauden Barrett thinking about Rugby World Cup 2019 every time

New Zealand player Beauden Barrett has set his focus on the ultimate goal in the off-season, as Rugby World Cup comes close. All Blacks first-five revealed that he thinks about the tournament every day. He told that this is the most he has ever trained in the off-season. He revealed all this in an interview with Stuff.co.nz on 7th January 2019.

New Zealand player Beauden Barrett thinking about Rugby World Cup 2019 every day
New Zealand player Beauden Barrett thinking about Rugby World Cup 2019 every day

Beauden Barrett said: “Every time you train, you train for a reason, for a purpose and ultimately that’s a big goal of mine at the end of the season. It’s something that we’re all working towards, so I think about it every day. It’s usually around the training time, which is done in the morning, then I relax for the rest of the day and switch off completely, usually on a golf course.

New Zealand were given a reality check during Autumn Internationals 2018. Ireland defeated them 16-9 in Dublin to highlight that Northern Hemisphere teams are closer to All Blacks. It also started debate in sports circles that Rugby World Cup 2019 will be open for all Rugby Union teams. Apart from Irish team, England and South Africa have also given tough time to New Zealand in recent times.

Beauden Barrett stated: “Obviously there were a couple of results we weren’t too pleased about, but at least it gave us a good idea of where we need to be, come World Cup time.”

Beauden Barrett who started All Blacks career in 2012, is now 27-year old. Beauden is on extended break to give more rest to top New Zealand players to make them ready for Webb Ellis Cup campaign. But this has not restrained him from training in the off-time. He claimed that he has trained more than any off-season this time around. He mentioned that he has kept himself active after the All Blacks finished their northern hemisphere tour in November 2018.

Beauden Barrett echoed: “This is probably the most I’ve ever trained over an off-season, because I’ve got an extended break. I’m trying to keep my fitness up and that way you enjoy the break too. You do the work in the morning and then you can have the rest of the day off and really enjoy it.”

New Zealand favourite for Rugby World Cup with Ireland following

Three times world champions New Zealand are favorites for 2019 Rugby World Cup. But they will have to keep close eye on Ireland. World number one ranked All Blacks had a seesaw year in 2018 with highs and lows. World No. ranked Irish side had defeated New Zealand 16-9 in Autumn Internationals 2018 at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Steve Hansen’s All Blacks have now lost two out of three last games played against Joe Schmidt’s Irish team. Johnny Sexton, Ireland vice-captain played important role in the wins. Ireland have revealed that there are some weakness in New Zealand’s arsenal in a long while. This opens up the stacks for the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

New Zealand are Favourite for Rugby World Cup with Ireland following
New Zealand are Favourite for Rugby World Cup with Ireland following

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said: “As of now they are the number-one team in the world. So if you want to make them World Cup favourites, go ahead. I guess they are favourites.”

New Zealand top the World Rugby Rankings, closely followed by Ireland. While other top Rugby Union teams like Wales, England, South Africa, Australia and Scotland are trailing closely behind. It is hard to think of a World Cup like the 2015 edition, when all four semi-finalists came from the southern hemisphere.

This comes after All Blacks lost 34-36 against South Africa in September 2018 at Wellington, thus ending 15-match winning streak by New Zealand. It was first loss at home by All Blacks versus an international Rugby Union side since 2009, apart from defeat against British and Irish Lions in 2017. New Zealand are ruling the World Rugby scene since their third Rugby World Cup title win in 2015. All Blacks are double defending champions as they had won RWC edition at their home turf in 2011. New Zealand were also world champions of the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987.

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus said: “We’ve shown on the day when everything’s aligned and the guys are all in the same frame of mind, we can beat the All Blacks away and win a series against England”.

“It’s wide open,” he said of the World Cup. “I’ve been involved in World Cups since 1995, but really this one I couldn’t put money on who’s going to be in the semi-finals.”

Sonny Bill Williams Clues to Continue All Blacks Career Beyond Rugby World Cup

All Black Sonny Bill Williams has proposed that he may continue playing after next year’s Rugby World Cup. It was thought that Williams would probably draw the curtain on his stellar rugby profession in Japan, with other promises such as family and study now taking up more of his time. But the 51-test veteran told the Sydney Morning Herald that he still energy to play test rugby and would even reflect looking into rugby league proposals.

“I’ve enjoyed the process so far,” he said. “And I have to think about what I will do in the future. I am positioning myself in case that becomes an option. I am enjoying doing a bit of studying and keeping my brain going in a different way.

“The last couple of years have been tough with injury, but I still have the fire inside me. I still feel fresh.

“I’m not sure if league is in my future at 33 [but] if there are offers, I will examine it with my family and go from there.”

The 33-year-old code hopping superstar tackled off against Australian Bachelorette winner Stu Laundy in a four, two-minute round charity boxing bout on Saturday night, in an event called ‘The Banger Under the Hanger’.
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Canada qualify for Rugby World Cup winning Repechage tournament

Canada have booked place in the Rugby World Cup 2019 after winning the qualification Repechage tournament at Pierre-Delort Stadium, Marseille, France. Canada won all three matches played against Kenya, Germany and Hong Kong. Canada eliminated Hong Kong on 23rd November 2018 to advance to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Canada representing Americas topped the competition table with three wins from three matches. Germany of Europe came second with two victories from three games. Tournament top seeded Hong Kong of Asia finished third with one win from three fixtures. Kenya of Africa rounded the tournament table without a win from three match-ups.

Canada wins Repechage - Qualifies for Rugby World Cup 2019
Canada wins Repechage – Qualifies for Rugby World Cup 2019

Canada had missed on direct qualification for Rugby World Cup after finishing fourth in the Americas qualification process. Argentina had automatically qualified for RWC 2019 after finishing as semi finalist of the RWC 2015. United States and Uruguay had qualified as Americas 1 and Americas 2 in the Americas qualification of 2019 Rugby World Cup. Canada ended fourth in the Americas qualification process and moved to the 2019 RWC Qualification Repechage tournament. Canada have qualified for the 9th edition of RWC by triumphing in Repechage competition. Canada have nevertheless participated in every Rugby World Cup edition since inaugural tournament in 1987. This is an incredible achievement for a tier 2 rugby union team.

2019 Rugby World Cup Qualification Repechage was held from 11th November to 23rd November 2018 at the Pierre-Delort Stadium in Marseille, France. Canada defeated Kenya 65-19 in opening match on 11th November 2018. Top seeded Hong Kong were stunned 9-26 by Germany in other fixture of the Round 1. Hong Kong bounced back with a bonus point win over Kenya 42-17 on 17th November 2018 in Round 2. Canada beaten Germany 29-10 in second match-up of the day. Kenya were outclassed by Germany 6-43 on 23rd November 2018 in Round 3. Second match of the day and last fixture of the competition served as the tournament finale’. Rugby World Cup berth was on the line in Hong Kong vs Canada matchup. Hong Kong were eliminated by Canada 10-27 on 23rd November 2018. Canada national Rugby team qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Canucks are hopeful of channeling Repechage tournament success for Canadian preparation of RWC 2019 in Japan.

Wales thrash Tonga in Autumn Internationals 2018

Wales convincingly defeated Tonga 74-24 in the 2018 Autumn Internationals match at Millennium Stadium (Principality Stadium) in Dublin. The competition between Welsh team and Tongans resulted in record win for home side. Wales beaten Ikali Tahi earning their biggest victory in terms of points difference since Namibia match in RWC 2015. Welsh side has now all three matches of the End Of Year Rugby Union Tests played so far. A win against South Africa in next round will result in clean sweep for Wales. Dan Biggar was main contributor for Welsh team and earned man of the match award for his performance. Wales have won their last eight matches. Tonga have lost in all nine matches played against Welsh team to date. This game offered preparations of Rugby World Cup 2019 for national rugby union teams of both Wales and Tonga.

Wales Vs Tonga Rugby - Autumn Internationals 2018
Wales Vs Tonga – Rugby Union – Autumn Internationals 2018

Wales attacked right from the match start with a 2′ penalty try. Dan Biggar hit a 5′ try, that he converted himself on 6′. Sonatane Takulua of Tonga opened account of his team with a 8′ penalty. Liam Williams smashed a 10′ try for Welsh team that Biggar converted on 11′. Dan Biggar upped the ante for Wales with 21′ penalty. Tongan player Leva Fifita responded with a penalty on 31′, that Takulua converted on 32′. Steve Mafi hit a 38′ penalty that Takulua converted on 39’. Wales were in front with 24-17 on half time and had controlled the first half in terms of possession and territory. Tonga had reduced the Welsh lead despite committing several errors and being one player short due to sin bin.

Tonga erased the Welsh lead quickly in the second half by a Sione Vailanu try on 42′, that Sonatane Takulua converted on 43′. Scorecard read 24-24 and Tonga hoped for maiden win over Wales for a brief time. But then Welsh side went on a rampage scoring 50 points in the second half. Steffan Evans kicked a 45′ penalty that Biggar converted on 46′. Dan Biggar hit a penalty on 55′. Tomos Williams smashed a try on 57′ that Biggar converted on 59′. Tyler Morgan joined the party with a 62′ try. Cory Hill and Aled Davies hit tries on 64′ and 69’; which Rhys Patchell successfully converted. Patchell kicked own try on 71′ that he also converted. Liam Williams hit his second and overall tenth try of Welsh side on 77′ with Patchell converting. Wales finished match with 74-24 score against Tonga, thus winning handsomely by 50 points. This victory boosted their confidence as Wales get plentiful preparation for RWC 2019 in Japan. World Rugby tier 2 team Tonga will have to improve the Tongan preparations for RWC 2019 by tweaking strategy and establishing team combinations.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: “We started off exceptionally well and then we had 20 minutes where we put ourselves in a bit of a hole. We dug ourselves out of it in the second half with some outstanding rugby. That group of players would have learned a lot from that experience. There were a couple of things we needed to tidy up at half time and we did that. We spoke at half-time that in previous games in the autumn we’ve started well against teams and allowed them to score points. That group of players did a fantastic job. We knew in Test match rugby sometimes it just does not happen. It can take 50 or 60 minutes to wear a side down and we were able to capitalise on that.”

Tonga head coach Toutai Kefu is confident that Tongan preparations for RWC 2019 are going in right direction. He said: “We’ve got potentially 16 to 18 people missing out of this group of 30. Out of this group of 30 I could see only five or 10 people going to the World Cup. We get our talent back and sufficient time to prepare, and those two things would hugely increase our chances at the World Cup.”

Wales Vs Tonga 74-24
17 November 2018 – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Wales: 74
Try: Penalty try (2′), Biggar (5′), L. Williams (10′, 77′), S. Evans (45′), T. Williams (57′), Morgan (62′), Hill (64′), A. Davies (69′), Patchell (71′)
Con: Biggar (6′, 11′, 46′, 59′), Patchell (65′, 70′, 72′, 78′)
Pen: Biggar (21′, 55′)
Tonga: 24
Try: Fifita (31′), Mafi (38′), Vailanu (42′)
Con: Takulua (32′, 39′, 43′)
Pen: Takulua (8′)

Ireland stun New Zealand in Autumn Internationals 2018

Ireland have beaten New Zealand 16-9 in the 2018 Autumn Internationals match at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The contest between World champions and The Rugby Championship winner All Blacks and Irish team was closely fought. Number 2 ranked side Ireland won against World number 1 team New Zealand, earning first ever home victory in 113 years. Previous 16 home games in Dublin had resulted in All Blacks wins and a single draw. Jonathan Sexton was main contributor for Ireland with Jacob Stockdale also hitting a try. Beauden Barrett tried his best to revive All Blacks but he was the lone fighter. This game also served as preparation of Rugby World Cup 2019 for national rugby union teams of both Ireland and New Zealand.

Ireland Vs New Zealand Rugby - Autumn Internationals 2018
Ireland Vs New Zealand – Rugby Union – Autumn Internationals 2018

Jonathan Sexton of Ireland made first scoring of the match with a 11′ penalty. Beauden Barrett of New Zealand equalized the score with a 17′ penalty of his own. Jonathan Sexton put Irish side in front with 27′ penalty. Jonathan Sexton responded with a drop goal on 29′. Jonathan Sexton completed hat-trick of penalties on 39′. Ireland were leading with 9-6 on half time and also battered All Blacks in terms of possession and territory.

Ireland tightened screws in the second half on New Zealand. Jacob Stockdale hit a try on 48′ and Jonathan Sexton converted it on 50′. Irish side were way ahead of All Blacks with 16 points. Beauden Barrett smashed his second penalty on 69’ to take his team’s tally to 9 points. New Zealand could not score any more in last 10 minutes. Ireland finished as winners with 16-9 against the world champions All Blacks. This win will boost their confidence as Ireland get perfect preparation for RWC 2019 by beating last two times world champions New Zealand. Steve Hansen, the All Blacks coach will have to boost New Zealand preparations for RWC 2019 in Japan by tweaking strategy, controlling indiscipline and trying new team combinations.

Ireland captain Rory Best said: “To stop New Zealand scoring a try shows what a fantastic effort it was. The boys are very tired in there but it’s amazing what a win like that can do to give you a little bit more energy. It’s a big result for us no matter what the context is. Yet again, we’ve raised the standard of what we expect. The problem is Joe and the team and going to expect that and more [from now on].”

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said: “I am so proud. I thought it was a fantastic Test. It was billed as 1 v 2 and was definitely a heavyweight contest. Andy Farrell is delighted because it’s so seldom the All Blacks don’t score a try. We were at home, and they were on a back of a long series of games around the world. The crowd were phenomenal tonight. There were a lot of things that went in our favour. It was an incredibly collective and hard-earned win and I’m really proud of it.”

Ireland Vs New Zealand 16-9
17 November 2018 – Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Ireland: 16
Try: Jacob Stockdale (48′)
Con: Jonathan Sexton (50′)
Pen: Jonathan Sexton (11′, 27′, 39′)
New Zealand: 9
Pen: Beauden Barrett (17′, 69′)
Drop: Beauden Barrett (29′)

England beat spirited Japan in Autumn Internationals 2018

England defeated Japan 35-15 in the 2018 Autumn Internationals match at Twickenham Stadium in London. Danny Care, George Ford, Elliot Daly, Mark Wilson, Joe Cokanasiga and Dylan Hartley scored for English side. Japanese team scored with Ryoto Nakamura, Michael Leitch and Yu Tamura. This game was part of preparations of Rugby World Cup 2019 for national rugby union teams of both England and Japan.

England Vs Japan Rugby - Autumn Internationals 2018
England Vs Japan – Rugby Union – Autumn Internationals 2018

England scored first in the match with Danny Care smashing a try in 4’ that Red Roses captain George Ford converted in 5’. Japan answered with Yu Tamura kicking a penalty in 17’. Ryoto Nakamura hit a try on 22′ that Tamura converted. Elliot Daly of Red Roses responded with a 28’ penalty. Brave Blossom’s skipper Michael Leitch kicked a try in 31’. Scoreline on break time was 15-10 with Japan leading. It was a remarkable performance by Brave Blossoms, and hinted they may be on mission of another giant slaying.

England had to field co-captain Owen Farrell in the second half to take back the control. George Ford started English attack after break with 56’ penalty. Mark Wilson upped the ante with 59’ try that George Ford converted in 60’. George Ford scored second penalty of his own in 65’. Joe Cokanasiga hit a 71′ penalty that George Ford converted in 72’. England regular captain Dylan Hartley scored a try in 76’ to make team total 35. Japan could not score in the second half unfortunately. England have won two matches in Autumn Internationals 2018 so far. This match served well in English preparation for RWC 2019. Japan will pride in taking Red Roses to the limit in first half. Being the host of 2019 Webb Ellis Cup means that Japanese preparation for RWC 2019 should also be on song.

England head coach Eddie Jones said: “We wanted Japan to be at their best so we’re so pleased with that game; it’s the sort of game we needed. They had a few things go their way and got back into the game and it became an arm wrestle for a while. We had a team with 11 changes and there wasn’t a lot of cohesion, but Owen Farrell made a difference for our team because he’s an influential player.”

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph said: “We gave sloppy penalties away and allowed England back in which was a little bit disappointing, but I’m proud of the players all the same. Comments in the media helped our motivation. Eddie Jones’ comments fired me up a bit but at the end of the day we still prepare how we prepare. Our mentality is slowly changing, we’re starting to believe that we can take these bigger teams on and that’s going to help us next year.”

England Vs Japan 35-15
17 November 2018 – Twickenham Stadium, London
England: 35
Try: Care (4), Wilson (59), Cokanasiga (71), Hartley (76)
Con: Ford (5,60,72)
Pen: Daly (28), Ford (56,65)
Japan: 15
Try: Nakamura (22), Leitch (31)
Con: Tamura (23)
Pen: Tamura (17)

Wales defeat Australia 9-6 in Autumn Internationals 2018

Wales beat Australia 9-6 in the 2018 Autumn Internationals match at Millennium Stadium (Principality Stadium) in Cardiff. Welsh team finally ended 13 match losing streak against Wallabies. It is first win for Wales in a decade versus Australia. Stephen Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Biggar scored for Welsh side. Australian team scored with Bernard Foley and Matthew Toomua. This game was important for national rugby teams of both Wales and Australia in their preparations of Rugby World Cup 2019.

Wales Vs Australia Rugby - Autumn Internationals 2018
Wales Vs Australia Rugby – Autumn Internationals 2018

Wales scored first in the match with Leigh Halfpenny hitting a penalty in 21’. Australia responded with Bernard Foley smashing a penalty on 33′. Halfpenny missed two penalties in the first half. Scoreline on break time was 3-3 with honours equal. Halfpenny put Wales in front with 67’ penalty in second round. But then Halfpenny had to leave pitch following a high tackle by Samu Kerevi which hit his head. Wallabies player Matthew Toomua equalized the score with 74′ penalty. Dan Biggar sealed the game for Welsh team with 76′ penalty. Wales have been victorious in two matches played in Autumn Internationals 2018 so far. This will serve good in Welsh preparation for RWC 2019. Both teams are scheduled to play in Japan 2019. Australia have lost eight matches of the last ten played recently. Wallabies coach and team will have to bring their End of Year Rugby Union Tests 2018 campaign on track. Australian preparation for RWC 2019 in Japan also needs a fresh start.

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones said: “It has been a long time coming. Someone reminded me I was the sole survivor from the win in 2008 and that shows how old I am. This is sweeter. Dan is a competitive animal and he probably wouldn’t have wanted it any other way that for it to come down to the wire and then come on and do his job.”

Australia captain Michael Hooper said: “It has been a long-time jinx playing us and you could see how happy they were to get on top. It was a real grudge match. Congratulations to Wales, but it really hurts. We will re-group. We have got two more games to play on this trip and a hell of a lot to play for each week.”

Wales Vs Australia 9-6
10 November 2018 – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Wales: 9
Pen: Halfpenny (21′, 67’), Biggar (76′)
Australia: 6
Pen: Foley (33′), Toomua (74′)

New Zealand win against England in Autumn Internationals 2018

England came close to toppling New Zealand in 2018 Autumn Internationals match at London’s Twickenham Stadium. Red Roses ended agonizingly one point short at 15-16 as World champions All Blacks won the game. England attacked from the start and had 15-0 lead early in the match. Chris Ashton, captain Dylan Hartley and co-captain Owen Farrell scored for English side. New Zealand staged a counter-attack with Damian McKenzie and Beauden Barrett. Scoreline on break time was 15-10 with Red Roses in front. All Blacks have won two matches in Autumn Internationals 2018 so far. This win is a boost for New Zealand national rugby team in their preparations of Rugby World Cup 2019.

England Vs New Zealand - Autumn Internationals 2018
England Vs New Zealand Rugby – Autumn Internationals 2018

England were outstanding early on in the game. They regularly attacked the New Zealand side with opponents offering little challenge. Try by returning Chris Ashton in 2’ signaled that Eddie Jones’ side is up for a battle with All Blacks. Co-captain Owen Farrell hit a drop-goal on 10’ to carry on the good form against Springboks. Red Roses skipper Dylan Hartley kicked a try in 24′ which Owen Farrell successfully converted. New Zealand started attacking England line after going in deficit of 15 points. Damian McKenzie opened scoring for All Blacks with a try in 39’ which Beauden Barrett converted. Barrett shooted a penalty in 40’ to make scoreboard read 15-10 thus reducing English lead to just 5 points. This performance showcased that England preparation of RWC 2019 is on the right track.

Second half saw New Zealand dominate in attack and equally solid defense. Beauden Barrett scored a drop-goal in 46’ to narrow the gap further. Barrett smashed a penalty in 60’ to make All Blacks score 16, hence taking one point lead. English flanker Sam Underhill attempted a try in closing minutes, but match referee Dan Jones (Wales) asked television match official Marius Jonker (South Africa) to have a look. Try was ruled out as Courtney Lawes was judged offside. Farrell made last attempt before close, but it failed. All Blacks won by a point, but England also gave a super performance. This game is good for the New Zealand preparations for RWC 2019. English team with coach Eddie Jones and co-captain Owen Farrell were happy on Red Roses’ fight against world champions All Blacks.

England Vs New Zealand 15-16
10 November 2018 – Twickenham Stadium, London
England: 15
Try: Ashton (2′), Hartley (24′)
Con: Farrell (25′)
Drop: Farrell (10’)
New Zealand: 16
Try: McKenzie (39′)
Con: B Barrett (39′)
Penalty: B Barrett (40′, 60′)
Drop: B Barrett (46′)