New Zealand Herald rugby writer Chris Rattue says no one will be able to stop the All Blacks from winning a third consecutive World Cup.
The All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup and put one hand on the Rugby Championship when they beat the Wallabies 40-12 in Brisbane.
‘It’s time to jump the gun,’ Rattue wrote on Monday. ‘They might as well hand over the Webb Ellis Cup now, with the All Blacks looking this good.
‘If this All Blacks team holds together – and that’s no gimme considering some of the players’ ages and injury histories – they will be unbeatable at the World Cup in Japan next year.
‘They’ve got so many strings to their bow, the most important being an ability to up the ante when under pressure. They’ve also got Beauden Barrett, who ripped the Wallabies apart at Eden Park on Saturday night.’
Rattue said Barrett is the best flyhalf he has ever seen.
‘It’s a subjective business of course, and there will be fans of Dan Carter, Stephen Larkham, Mark Ella etc who will disagree. Each to their own, and each player had their special strengths.
‘Larkham, for instance, was a ball-in-hand wizard who couldn’t or wouldn’t kick. Barrett will never match Carter’s goal-kicking or re-starts, and Dan the Man had a very special knack in tight spaces.
‘But the flying Barrett’s all-action game is something to behold and trumps the lot, a cornerstone in a new era where even the game’s leading quarterback is happy to go hunting as a wide receiver.’
Photo: Peter Meecham/EPA