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Mixed emotions for Barrett after debut

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/11/2016 Angelo Risso

Scott Barrett of New Zealand hands off CJ Stander of Ireland during the international match between Ireland and New Zealand at Soldier Field on November 5, 2016 in Chicago, United States.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images) © Phil Walter/Getty Images) Scott Barrett of New Zealand hands off CJ Stander of Ireland during the international match between Ireland and New Zealand at Soldier Field on November 5, 2016 in Chicago, United States. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images) An All Blacks debut is always a special occasion but lock Scott Barrett admits his overwhelming feeling after Saturday's loss to Ireland is melancholy.

The Crusaders second-rower, 22, came on in the 44th minute of the 40-29 loss in Chicago, nabbing a try 18 minutes later as his side looked to stage a miraculous comeback.

But a late Robbie Henshaw effort, as well as several wasted chances from the Kiwis, gave Ireland a well-deserved maiden win over New Zealand.

Barrett said he was gratified to earn his first cap at the iconic Soldier Field but upset to usher in his Test career with a rare All Blacks defeat.

"It's a bit mixed, firstly disappointed with the result and gutted but at the same time, proud to make my debut for the All Blacks and it's a decent moment for myself and my family," Barrett said.

The All Blacks' second row struggled to contain their Irish counterparts for much of the Test, with Joe Schmidt's side putting on a lineout masterclass to secure victory.

But Barrett said the absence of incumbent locks Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock couldn't be used as an excuse, with plenty of depth available.

Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu was replaced by flanker Ardie Savea in the 58th minute as the All Blacks shuffled their decks, while the makeshift Jerome Kaino was subbed out for Barrett.

"The guys out there, they're good players and I think it was a combined effort, you can't isolate two players," Barrett said.

"But those senior guys, they're a big part of the tight forwards and we were a little too slow to start."

The side will now head to Rome for next week's clash with the Italians, with Barrett expected to again take part.

Head coach Steve Hansen couldn't speak highly enough of his new lock's display off the bench, despite the loss.

"He's only been with us for four, five, six days and probably had one of the best debuts for a young man," Hansen said.

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