Barrett Brothers had a Terrific 2017

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 16: (L-R) Barrett brothers Jordie Barrett, Beauden Barrett and Scott Barrett during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Samoa at Eden Park on June 16, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images).

It might be stating the obvious, but one ‘rugby family’ will have plenty to celebrate at the end of year festivities. Scott Barrett held aloft the Super Rugby title. Beauden Barrett was voted the number one player by World Rugby (for the second year running). And Jordie Barrett had breakout season, before all three Barrett brothers appeared in an All Blacks test match; breaking new ground.

It was a triumph–each were brilliant, and they all contributed to their teams’ collective successes. In fact the moment when the above image was taken, says it all. Boys who all played for the Coastal rugby club, who all went through school age grade footy before representing their region, and now all three have played for their country.

Terrific for each one, terrific for them all as a family group.

For the Barrett brothers, the only thing that might have put ‘the cherry on top’ was if Jordie had fulfilled an entire season with the All Blacks [halted by injury]. But it is not only ‘what if’ that fans will be asking but more so, “WOW all three of them are equally amazing!”

Barrett Brothers had a Terrific 2017

At the time, many thought it was an amazing coincidence. All three making history; the first trio of brothers to play in the same test for the All Blacks.

Selected for the Samoa Pasifika Challenge test, the Barrett brothers seemed to epitomize the Kiwi spirit; from a small town, stepping their way through the stages of rugby in New Zealand and all growing up idolizing their father Kevin ‘Smiley’ Barrett.

Kevin was a solid player for Taranaki and for the Hurricanes. Smiley and his wife Robyn instilled core values in each of their children [five boys and three girls] that are seem in all three boys. The family enjoyed a rural upbringing in New Plymouth that has kept them both humble, but also ambitious to succeed in life and sport.

That ambition had first driven eldest brother Kane, and then Beauden to reach Super Rugby heights like their father did. Then Scott enjoyed a positive debut for the Crusaders in 2014 (against England) before Jordie erupted onto the scene, after starring for the New Zealand U20 team; as did all his brothers.

‘It is in their genes’ many say, and yes there are many similar sporting families who have risen to heights in New Zealand Rugby. How the Barrett brothers have all had such a terrific 2017 together, is entirely what boys (and their parents) dream of.

Enjoy, as Last Word on Rugby reflect on the three brothers wonderful 12 months.

Jordie Barrett All Black Debut after Breakout Year

First up, the youngest of the Barrett brothers [so far] had a breakout year. After being the All Blacks apprentice on the 2016 end of year tour, he was signed to the Hurricanes and lit-up the Southern hemisphere skies.

In fact, Jordie was a targeted player. He might have been snapped up by any one of the five Super Rugby franchises, such is the potential of the 6 foot 4 inch outside back. From his 2016 form, many selected him as a bona fide star in the making.

As soon as the Hurricanes kicked off their 2017 season, he was an instant sensation. As if Jordie had been a professional rugby player for years. Scoring and assisting tries, demonstrating a defensive mind that more senior players were maybe envious of.

Highlights aside, it was evidence that reinforced the view that All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen had of him. Chosen to debut against Samoa, the fullback was comfortable in his first outing. Possibly, better than anyone could imagine, he transitioned to International rugby (by all comparisons) more easily than Beauden had.

A part of the biggest internal tour for the last 12 years, the British and Irish Lions series try he scored will be a highlight of Jordie’s debut season as an All Black – aside from the drawn result on paper.

Barrett brothers
Jordie Barrett of the All Blacks scores his sides second try during the third Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park on July 8, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Injury Delayed Start to a Long All Blacks Career

Looking to be ‘at home’ in the All Blacks environment, Jordie was almost due to assume a challenging role to Ben Smith or Damian McKenzie. He matches them for qualities, and more test matches would have only developed that; before an unfortunate injury halted his progress.

The Hurricanes had reached the semifinals, and during their match in Johannesburg, Barrett sustained an injury. Even scoring a try, the outcome and surgery/rehabilitation required would derail his rookie year as an All Black.

Sad yes, but it can hardly define the outstanding 18 months that Jordie had been through….and his [still] bright future.

Scott Barrett Captures a Super Rugby Title

Like his older brother Beauden, the ‘middle brother’ Scott had cemented his Crusaders Super Rugby place by the start of the year. As well as gaining more All Blacks (AB) caps in 2016, Scott was ready to climb the mountain. He was seen as a fresh option for his franchise, and challenged to offer the team as much as his team mates, Sam Whitelock and Luke Romano. Scott answered that challenge.

His work during the regular Super Rugby season was first-class. At times a first-pick lock, his did the tight-quarters duty, and showed those Barrett brothers micro-skills. And that form secured him selection as an option for All Blacks squad against the British and Irish Lions.

Like his brothers did, Scott enjoyed match time during the once in a 12 year-lifetime memory which will stay with all of the brothers.

Crusaders Claim Eighth Super Rugby Crown

As proud of his place with the Crusaders, as he is with his Canterbury Provincial rugby choice, Scott had chosen a different journey than his brothers. Red and Black – not Amber and Black – but he has added to those team he plays for, and that is a quality fans and coaches appreciate.

Super Rugby Final - Lions v Crusaders
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – AUGUST 05: Crusaders are crowned the 2017 Super Rugby champions during the Super Rugby Final match between Emirates Lions and Crusaders at Emirates Airline Park on August 05, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

His Super Rugby side went through the regular season with only a single loss, they would reach the knockout stages with less chance of hosting the final – unless his brothers team the Hurricanes could knockout the Lions. That they could not, made the Crusaders job more difficult.

That they did it, and that Scott played a full role for the Crusaders. That accomplishment makes it a terrific year for all of the Barrett brothers. His success, was supported and celebrated by his brothers. They are happiest, when another family member tastes a championship (not selfish or jealous). And Scott was recognized with continued involvement in The Rugby Championship.

The above video focused on two out of three brothers, but admirers know that the sentiments and attitudes that Beauden and Scott demonstrate, is the same that Jordie holds. Work ethic, attention to the basics and then the ability to ‘make something out of nothing’. Playing together in Taranaki was yet another terrific point in a great year.

Scott would go on to make the end of year tour, playing in several more tests and showing his ability to grown in the role. 2018 will be another year for him to solidify his own place.

Beauden Barrett does, what Beauden Barrett can only do

If the accolades fall on one man, than more recently it has been Beauden that the light shines upon brightest. And fairly too, because his emergence has been terrific. Growing more as a leader and as a contributor with every team he’s played for, that at times he can still ‘turn a game’. And like a quarterback–the honours usually gravitate to the first five.

Not reaching the Super Rugby grand final, both Beauden and Jordie can be proud of their efforts. Beauden ran 110 meters in the semifinal, and did his very best. And he was still the measure for NZ rugby.

Rewarded with a continuity of selection, he would play in 13 test matches. His statistics were impressive: 170 points; made up of six tries, 46 conversions and 16 penalty goals.

Passing 50 tests played, it would show his growth in the jersey, but also in his own skin. Not ‘an impact player’ he is now the 80 minute man. And he executed many facets of the game to perfection – especially the ‘cross field kick-pass’.

Beauden Barrett of New Zealand goes over to score his side’s second try during the International Test match at Eden Park. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Add in his brothers, and that once unique factor Beauden held, identified how the Barrett brothers as a family, could show that it was a constant in those family genes.

Barretts Boot Runs Hot and Cold (Mostly Hot)

Focused on closely in 2017, the smallest errors are magnified for great players. And his ability from the kicking tee has been questioned. Not all warranted as he answered his critics, with a high percentage over the whole season.

In fact, as the All Blacks score more tries than any other International side, naturally the place kicker takes more attempts at goal. Examine his haul of 21 points in the second Test against the Lions in Wellington.

Overall, the success rate of the side was mirrored in the performance of Beauden. On-point in Albany, when the team won 57-0 against South Africa. Not as such in the third test of the Lions series–but if over 13 tests, he cannot perform at 100%, then it only proves he is human.

But as judged at the end of the season by World Rugby, his overall performance means his place as the number one player is unbroken. And if he does on occasion miss a conversion, then fans and commentators can be assured he will likely then make 10 in a row.

Class is permanent. The player who ran in ‘that try’ in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final, is one of three brothers. And his talent is an example of some that all three Barrett brothers hold.

Barrett Brothers Popular, as well as Very Talented

Superstars, quite possibly. Scott has men like Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick in his pathway to being a starting lock. Yet he has the all round ability to push his way through.

Jordie too, has Ben Smith and Damian McKenzie to battle against. But his potential is obviously there. His adaptability may see him go from fullback, to center, and also go from strength to strength.

Add in the quality that Beauden conveys on the park–it is no wonder they are the next generations idols [see above].

2018 could be even better for all of them. They can play in more test matches together. They can write more history, and give fans more years like they each did, in 2017.

 

“Main photo credit”
Embed from Getty Images

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