Mo'unga: Fans' favourite to don All Blacks No.10
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: One of the most interesting subplots to this Super Rugby season has been the form of prospective flyhalf challengers for the All Blacks this year.
Beauden Barrett versus Richie Mo’unga.
The incumbent 10 for Steve Hansen’s side is Barrett, but the Hurricane’s form has been patchy all season. At times he looks like the flyhalf that won back-to-back World Player of the Year awards, but he has equally looked sloppy on occasions and made some costly, and uncharacteristic, mistakes.
While Mo’unga has not been flawless this season, particularly his usually pinpoint goalkicking, he has been the driving force of a Crusaders team that have been by far and away the best team in the competition.
However, Mo’unga put on a clinic in his side’s 38-14 quarter-final win over the Highlanders on Friday, which has evoked quite a reaction on social media.
The fly-half scored two tries and levelled Dan Carter’s record for most points in a Super Rugby finals match. The timing and accuracy for David Havili’s try was exquisite, as this was arguably his best performance all season. As a result many fans are calling for him to start at 10 for the All Blacks.
Hansen’s team have the Rugby Championship starting in July, before they aim to defend the World Cup in September. Between now and then, both Barrett and Mo’unga will surely be given a start in the 10 shirt, but at this moment in time, these fans think that the Crusader is leading the race:
The All Blacks have to find a way to fit both Richie Mo’unga and Beauden Barrett in the starting 15 #CRUvHIG
— Andrew Johnsen (@ajwriteswords) June 21, 2019
— El Jefe (@GoddyJatelo) June 21, 2019
— Sam (@samkelly99) June 21, 2019
Richie Mounga is beyond world class. He needs to be the 10 for All blacks.
— Real G’s Move In Silence Like Giannnis (@RealRobGitari) June 21, 2019
give mounga the ab’s 10 jersey👍🏻
— TK (@SekiTonyy) June 21, 2019
Mo’Unga deserves to start ahead of Barret for the All Blacks.
— Athi (@aahhtee) June 21, 2019
This does not mean that Barrett should drop to the bench, as the 73-cap star could move to fullback, which is being suggested by some. However, with Ben Smith in the squad as well, it is a tough job choosing the right man for the job and shoehorning the overload of class into one starting XV.
Barrett has been Hansen’s first choice ever since Carter retired, but all Mo’unga can do is keep performing as he has done and he may be able to convince him. He has already convinced these fans.
By Josh Raisey, Rugbypass