Cape Town - A top British rugby writer was not impressed by the All Blacks’ performance against the Barbarians at Twickenham over the weekend.
The Kiwis overturned a 17-10 half-time deficit to win 31-22 against an opposing team laden with their countrymen, as well as several South Africans.
Stephen Jones, who writes for the Sunday Times, was also not impressed by flyhalf Beauden Barrett, who captained the All Blacks for the first time.
"New Zealand - and it was their second string, in effect up against their third string - were no great shakes on the day," Jones wrote.
"Beauden Barrett was almost as anonymous as he had been against the Lions," Jones continued with a not-so-subtle dig at World Rugby's 2016 Player of the Year.
Jones did offer some respite on his southern guests: "Let us be fair. Many international teams, should they be asked to field a third string, would be down to choosing the groundsmen.
"… And so New Zealand's tour is launched. It immediately becomes fierce as their first team play France on Saturday, and then Scotland and Wales”.