Barritt insists All Blacks can be beaten
LONDON (AFP) –
England centre Brad Barritt insisted his side can do what no side has done in more than a year and defeat New Zealand when they meet the world champions at Twickenham on Saturday.
The All Blacks, who have not lost a European autumn series international in a decade, arrive at ‘headquarters’ on a 20-match unbeaten run dating back to August 2011.
England, who last defeated New Zealand in 2003, shortly before winning the World Cup, by contrast have lost their two most recent matches, going down 16-15 to South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday following a 20-14 loss to Australia earlier this month.
There is no beating about the bush, they are the best team in the world – but no team is invincible,” Saracens centre Barritt said of the All Blacks.
“We don’t put any player on a pedestal. We won’t go in there thinking they are Gods on a rugby field,” the 26-year-old, South Africa-born, back added.
“There’s a huge amount of belief in our team. There is something special about each person.
“In order to be here you’re a natural born winner and you’ll do anything to get to that position to win.”
Barritt, capped 10 times by his adopted country, added: “We’re against an opponent that’s been unbeaten over the past two years but this is a huge opportunity for us.
“At the end of the day they’re just humans with two legs and two arms, albeit performing to the optimum level.
“We need to raise our game and really impose what we can on them and not give them any status that’s going to help them,” insisted Barritt, who will be looking to prove he and Manu Tuilagi can be an effective attacking midfield pairing, with the duo criticised for a lack of creative flair in recent Tests.
The All Blacks have swept all before them while in Europe this tour, defeating Scotland (51-22), Italy (42-10) and Wales (33-10).
“They’re undoubtedly the best attacking team at the moment,” said Barritt, England’s defence captain.
“We take huge pride in what we do on defence. I think Scotland and Wales hung off them and allow them their moves.
“We have a different philosophy — getting off the line and putting pressure on teams.
“You have to do everything as clinically as you can, all the time. There’s no reason why we can’t pull off an upset.”