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Foster: 'Kwagga clearly had hands on the ground'

SPOTLIGHT: It has been nearly a month since the World Cup Final in Paris and it seems the All Blacks are still picking up the pieces after their 11-12 defeat to the Springboks.

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In his latest interview, outgoing All Black head coach Ian Foster believes his team should have been awarded a late penalty, which would have given his team a chance to win the game.

Foster admitted that he wakes up at night thinking about how his team could have gotten a few more points and he pointed to a late play in the match involving Kwagga Smith.

“You can look at some of the controllables and you think there is a great Jordie Barrett chip in the first half and Ardie [Savea] ran onto it and the ball didn’t bounce his way,”  Foster told the Platform Podcast.

“There were a couple of goal-kicks in that last 20 [minutes] that didn’t go over.

“I think the World Cup should have finished with a penalty to us near where Jordie [Barrett] missed his first kick.

“Kwagga Smith clearly had hands on the ground when he won a ball at the breakdown and we didn’t get a penalty for it.”

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The story continues below…

Foster knows how small the margins can be in Finals.

“There is a whole lot of what ifs, but we have always said World Cups are unique,” he added.

“You look back at 2011 for example where we won a really tight game against France.

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“People forget how tight that game was. They just remember the victory and I think there were cries for penalties from the French.

“Am I philosophical? I guess I am,  but what I’ve learnt is I’ll never get over it I don’t think, but there is no point in us carrying around a lot of anger about it either because it doesn’t change.

“We’ve just got to acknowledge that’s what finals are about, there is a bit of drama on all counts.”

When asked if he has any regrets, Foster said: “I regret we didn’t get two more points and I wake up occasionally during the night and keep thinking how we could have done that.

“When you come out on the wrong side of a tight game and a bit of an arm-wrestle you always try to figure things out. But overall, there are no regrets.

“It was always going to be a tough task on a big stage when you are playing South Africa and we had a red card for our skipper [Sam Cane].

“It just made things harder.

“I was immensely proud with how guys hung in there and it gave us a really good opportunity and we could have easily won it at the end.”

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