Sat 16 Jul 2022 | 09:11

Under pressure Foster sidesteps talk of his future

Under pressure Foster sidesteps talk of his future
Sat 16 Jul 2022 | 09:11
Under pressure Foster sidesteps talk of his future
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REACTION: New Zealand’s first home series defeat for 28 years puts pressure on All Black coach Ian Foster, as his side was again outplayed by Ireland in Saturday’s third Test.

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Despite a three-try fightback by the All Blacks in the second half, a hard-fought 32-22 victory for the Irish in Wellington gave the visitors a 2-1 series win after bouncing back from a comprehensive first Test defeat in Auckland with a maiden victory on New Zealand soil 23-12 in Dunedin a week ago.

It means the All Blacks have lost a home Test series for the first time since being beaten twice by France in 1994.

Less than 14 months from the start of the Rugby World Cup in France, this was Foster’s seventh defeat in 24 internationals since taking charge in 2020.

The All Blacks have won just one of their last five Tests after defeats to Ireland and France on their European tour last November.

It leaves pundits in New Zealand questioning whether Foster can hang on to his job ahead of next month’s two matches in South Africa at the start of the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship.

Furthermore, the defeat has also put a spotlight on All Blacks’ leadership.

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Foster and captain Sam Cane both lamented the fact that despite spending much of the week focussing on their poor start in last Saturday’s Test, they couldn’t right their wrongs in the rematch.

Foster did not wantto speak about his future, twice telling the media he only wants to talk about the m,atch.

“We tried hard, we wanted to start well,” Foster said.

“Again we made a couple of defensive errors early that put us under a lot of pressure.

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“We came back really strong [after half-time] but they wrestled a little bit of momentum at key points in that second half that really stopped us really having a good crack at it.

“That’s a mark of a confident team that knows their game at the moment and clearly we’ve got a little bit of work to do.”

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All Blacks captain Sam Cane was an absent figure for the majority of the test match and was replaced in the 64th minute.

Speaking after the match Cane said he was “gutted” with the outcome.

“We’re extremely disappointed, gutted in fact. We didn’t put on the performance that we so desperately wanted to,” he said.

“But we can’t take anything away from Ireland, they’ve been outstanding this last couple of weeks. They were too good for us and we’ve got some work to do.

“We’re bloody sorry that we couldn’t put the performances out there that you [the fans] deserve.”

“We didn’t get off to the best of starts,” reiterated Cane.

“They’re a hard team to get some consistent momentum against. We experienced it a little bit in the first test but we managed to get things going.

Started off this second half fairly well but as Fozzie alluded to, they managed to wrestle it back. It’s hard to get the game flowing.

Sources: @rugby365com, RugbyPass & AFP 

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