ZB

All Black goes to psychologists to overcome red card issue

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 19 May 2022, 9:40am
(Photo / Photosport)
(Photo / Photosport)

All Black goes to psychologists to overcome red card issue

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 19 May 2022, 9:40am

A couple of famous sports psychologists have come to Scott Barrett's aid as he fights his way back from a lengthy suspension.

The All Black forward and Crusaders captain returns against the Fijian Drua on Friday night, after a four-week standdown for a dangerous hit on Blues prop Alex Hodgman.

Barrett - who was sent off as the Blues broke their long drought in Christchurch - has been shifted from lock to flanker by coach Scott Robertson and will be dealing with other adjustments as well.

Renowned All Blacks mental skills coaches Gilbert Enoka and Ceri Evans have helped Barrett rebuild, while he has done some special work with Crusaders assistant coach Tamati Ellison.

"I love touring, it was tough watching from afar, especially losing against the Tahs," Barrett said.

"I've sorted a few of my own things out, with tackle technique, building confidence back up…with something like that you can internalise it, over-analyse things, which I naturally can do.

"Gilbert Enoka and Ceri Evans reached out and I leant on them naturally. They broke down the issue itself, helped step out any processes, so I don't fall into the foul play trap in future.

"There was a lot of technical as well, dong some coaching stuff with Tamati. Those things have helped build my confidence back up.

"I'm two metres tall, so lowering my body height…the ball carriers are adjusting late so I need to pick up on those cues as a tackler, having the arms ready, little habits at training like having my hands up all the time."

The Crusaders will be expected to score a big victory on home soil against the battling Fijian side.

Barrett said the Drua had shown promise though, almost beating the Highlanders and pushing other good teams for an hour or so.

The Crusaders were trying to ignore the bonus point factor as they seek home advantage in the top eight finals.

"Since having the crowds back you have the energy of home support and that will make all the difference come finals," he said.

"First and foremost we've got to focus on the win."