Beauden Barrett of the Hurricanes Photo: Marty Melville/www.Photosport.nz

After two results that they’d rather forget, the Stormers have one last chance to salvage some pride when they take on the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday (9.35am kickoff).

But it won’t be easy, and the main man who will be orchestrating their attack is of course magical flyhalf Beauden Barrett.

Whether you’re a die-hard Stormers supporter or a Kiwi lover, you can’t argue the attacking brilliance of the man. Let’s have a look at what makes him so dangerous.

1 That pace

I once read that according to the man himself, he never used to be this quick, and that he credits that electrifying pace that humiliates so many defences to a lot of gym work and plyometric training. Now I don’t know how true that is, but one thing that I do know is that he often uses that speed, whether innate or acquired, to thrill – be it in the form of jinxing runs to the try line, terrific line breaks or weaving past defenders on the counter attack and outsprinting wings. The man has mean pace, and he sure knows just how to use it. So I really hope the Stormers did their defensive homework.

2 Flair – noun

1. a special or instinctive aptitude or ability for doing something well

2. stylishness and originality

3. Beauden Barrett.

Just in case you aren’t well acquainted with the word, I was nice enough to copy and paste the definition for you. Well, the last one isn’t an official one, but in the rugby world, it should be. Everything about Barrett screams flair – his passing, his tactical kicking, his decision making. I mean, Barrett’s flair is off the scale, and we see that every time he scores or creates tries that are impossible to believe.

3 Decision-making

When last did you see Barrett kick or pass when the better option would have been to run, or run when the better option would have been to kick or pass? Yeah, I bet not recently, if ever. He has this almost supernatural ability that seemingly equips him to know and analyse a situation before it happens, and he has a lethal combination of attacking and decision-making mastery to make full use of it.

4 That boot

Jislaaik, this guy can kick. The Hurricanes don’t know how blessed they are to have someone with the goal-kicking prowess of Barrett. Okay, if you’ve seen one of Barrett’s games, you’d know the extent of nonsense I’m talking, because his relationship with the tee and the posts is more rocky than the Stormers’ one with one-on-one tackles. But his attacking kicks... those are on another level. His insanely accurate cross kicks seem to have become part of the Hurricanes’ game plan, and just like those diagonal pushes-off-the-boot, his grubbers have also resulted in impressive visits to the opposition’s in-goal area.

5 Those hands

Barrett’s variety and accuracy when it comes to his passing game is just one of the splendid treats he offers rugby fans. From outrageous offloads to his quick pops and long, flat passes, he mixes it up to superb effect to send his mates to the try line.

@WynonaLouw

Cape Argus

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