All Blacks boss Ian Foster makes bizarre Ireland vs Springboks comments
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New Zealand reminded everyone what they’re capable of last night with a thumping 96-17 win over Italy in the Rugby World Cup.
Ian Foster’s side ran in 14 tries as they absolutely dismantled the Azzuri to move them up to second in Pool A, just behind hosts France who defeated them in their opening game.
The All Blacks have gone under the radar to a certain extent following that opening-round defeat, with France, Ireland, and South Africa being touted as the three clear frontrunners to go all the way, but last night’s emphatic victory has put New Zealand back in the conversation to a certain extent.
The three-time world champions were back to their very best, running in some excellent tries, but at the same time – Italy’s performance on the night was as bad as it gets.
But Foster says the All Blacks got the performance they wanted and needed.
“It was a performance we wanted this week,” Foster told media following the match.
“People create a lot of panic about your chances and all that sort of stuff, particularly after we lost the first one.
“The critical game for us in this pool was always going to be Italy. There was enough evidence to show that if we didn’t perform well and they played as well as they have been performing this year, it was going to be a heck of a tough game. We were good enough to take that away from them.”
He did make some bizarre comments about Ireland vs South Africa though, comparing their Test match last weekend to the win over Italy.
“In rugby, you have to deal with the challenges that you’ve got,” Foster said.
“The trouble is if you win with a big scoreline people believe there is no value in it. The value has been massive for us as we put ourselves under pressure the last 10 days for that performance.
“We knew we had to and we didn’t want to give Italy a chance. We respect them enough that we had to be in the house. What we’ve learned is that if we are really focused on preparation and we get it right and we figure out the challenge in front of us, then we can play good rugby.
“If you look at the South Africa-Ireland game, it was a different game of rugby. The ball was in play for 27 minutes throughout the whole game. It was a very stop-start game, very physical, very combative.
“You saw a different spectacle tonight and at some point the world has got to decide which game it would rather watch.”
While it’s fair to say the All Blacks played some fantastic rugby and put up a big score last night, and Ireland vs South Africa was a low-scoring 13-8 affair with each side only scoring a try each – I know which game I’d prefer to watch.
Personally, thought Springboks vs. Ireland was a remarkable spectacle.
Not all linebreaks and offloads but rugby is about way, way more than that. The physicality, set-piece, defence, kicking, and mental battle are all brilliant parts of rugby that make it compelling.
— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) September 30, 2023
As Murray Kinsella has pointed out, the New Zealand game had just two minutes extra ball-in-play time to the Boks vs Ireland game.
Anyone who watched South Africa vs Ireland would have seen a Test match of the highest calibre that had pretty much everything. Running in nearly a century of points does not automatically equate to a better spectacle.
While Ireland are enjoying a down week, the Boks are back in action this weekend against Tonga and we’re gonna be in Marseille at the Stade Velodrome, for what we hope is gonna be an excellent ‘spectacle’ of rugby.
We’ll be on the ground in Marseille for the next few days taking in the wonderful sights the city has to offer, including a tour to see the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica, the highest point in the city.
If you’re planning a trip, or in town for the rugby over the next few days, you can also check out the Cosquer Cave or the Calanques National Park, among other things.
Be sure to follow the accounts below and visit marseille-tourisme.com for more information on Marseille.