"The short week suits us" - Beauden Barrett

On March 7th, two days before the League One round 9 match against Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay, starting hooker Yoshikatsu Hikosaka and fly-half Beauden Barrett attended the press conference. Despite suffering a heavy defeat of 22-57 against Kobe Steelers in the 8th round, the two veterans emphasized the importance of switching focus.

Even with a short five-day turnaround from the previous match, Barrett mentioned, "The short week suits us. It's because we don't have too much time to do a lot of things. Because it’s a simpler week, we were able to focus on our strengths and raise our confidence levels."

The only disappointment expressed was the absence of his close friend, the All Black hooker Dane Coles, from the match-day squad. Coles, whom he had expressed a desire to face in interviews before his arrival in Japan, will miss the occasion. "I was looking forward to chasing him down (laughs). I hope he can at least come along to the game so we can meet," Barrett added.

Preparations for the next match had already begun after the Kobe Steelers game. Hikosaka, who has started in every game so far, is not only a crucial member on the field but also plays an important role in getting the team together on and off the pitch.

"I focus on what I can do. Set pieces are crucial for hookers. Last week, we struggled in the first two or three scrums as we took the opposition's hit. Next time, if we can approach it with the 'take mindset' that Himeno (Captain) talks about, we can have a good scrum from the first one.”

The team aims to fully switch their mindset to take on the next challenge against the reigning League One champions from last season.




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