There are plenty who understandably feel that Richie Mo’unga is the best No. 10 in the world right now.
At the start of the summer, Australia coach Dave Rennie said as much about the brilliant All Black.
But don’t forget Beauden Barrett.
With Mo’unga sidelined by quarantine issues for the Rugby Championship Test with Argentina at the Cbus Super Stadium in Queensland on Sunday, Barrett featured at fly-half for New Zealand and reminded the world of his sublime quality with an outrageous piece of skill to set up a try for Luke Jacobson.
Receiving the ball some 40 metres out, the Blues player motored between two defenders, evading the attentions of two more would-be tacklers as he drifted across field, before unleashing an eye-popping back-of-the-hand spiral pass that allowed Jacobson to finish.
How good was the assist?
Put it this way: art connoisseurs would doubtless want the moment framed and exhibited, possibly in the Louvre.
On a sporting weekend when Cristiano Ronaldo and Emma Raducanu offered up story lines to remember, Barrett’s piece of skill fitted nicely into the collection.
It helped hoist the All Blacks into a 29-0 lead after 48 minutes.
Of course, Mo’unga himself has performed magical deeds on a rugby pitch often enough in recent seasons.
But in case anyone needed reminding, the All Blacks have more than one fly-half wizard in their set-up.
Social media lit up in appreciation of this latest demonstration of the 94-cap star’s ethereal effort, with one user saying: “Beauden Barrett, you are a different species!”
Another said: “Beauden Barrett what a freak. Amazing.”
A third said simply: “That’s it. I’m leaving my wife for that Beauden Barrett pass.”
Vintage stuff, indeed.
New Zealand went on to post a 39-0 win over the Pumas.
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