Sat 29 Oct 2022 | 01:14

Foster on Japan scare: 'We got put under a lot of pressure'

Foster on Japan scare: 'We got put under a lot of pressure'
Sat 29 Oct 2022 | 01:14
Foster on Japan scare: 'We got put under a lot of pressure'
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REACTION: All Blacks head coach Ian Foster believes that rustiness played a big part in their unconvincing Northern Hemisphere tour opener against Japan in Tokyo on Saturday.

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The makeshift All Blacks side were given a mighty scare on their way to a 38-31 victory in front of a crowd of more than 60 000 at Tokyo’s National Stadium.

The visitors played the last 14 minutes a man down after lock Brodie Retallick was sent off for a dangerous cleanout and they just held on for victory despite a late try from outstanding Brave Blossoms flank Kazuki Himeno.

“It’s our first game after a bit of a break and we were a bit rusty, but they played really well and it turned into a really tight game,” said Foster.

“We got put under a lot of pressure but I really liked the way we played.

“Japan came back very well before half-time and really turned the game into a tight contest.

“We did some fancy stuff nice but we’ve probably got to do some basic stuff well.”

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Retallick, Braydon Ennor, Sevu Reece, Caleb Clarke and Hoskins Sotutu all scored tries for New Zealand, who will now head to Europe to take on Wales, Scotland and England.

“It was a very tough match today, we got what we expected, we knew the Japanese are a very tough, skilful side, and they put us under a lot of pressure,” said All Blacks captain Sam Cane.

“I think our composure kept us in the fight, and we’ve got guys who can score tries quickly.”

Meanwhile, Japan will head to Europe with a lot of confidence after their performance.

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“I’m very proud of our players,” said Japan’s New Zealand-born head coach Jamie Joseph, whose team will now play England and France.

“They showed the right intent, right from the start until the end. It was exactly what we’re trying to build as a rugby team.

“The key for us is to go to England and try and replicate that performance against a better team.”

Sources: AFP & AAP

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