- Publish Date
- Sunday, 14 August 2022, 12:36PM
All Blacks coach Ian Foster isn't sure on his immediate future in the job following his side's superb victory over the Springboks at Ellis Park this morning.
The All Blacks ended a run of three straight defeats in fine fashion with a hard-fought 35-23 win at one of the toughest grounds to play test rugby.
Asked after the match by Sky TV's Jeff Wilson whether he will still be coach of the side for their next match against Argentina in a fortnight, Foster couldn't deliver a confident answer.
"I've got no idea. I'm just going to enjoy tonight," he replied.
Foster has been under fire following the side's 2-1 series defeat to Ireland and their performance in the opening defeat to South Africa last week.
But the All Blacks looked a different side today, back to their best.
"There's no doubt it's been a pretty stressful time. We've been trying to find our feet as a team. The stress has been good for me, I think I lost 1 kg over the last week so a couple more weeks I'll be in good shape," Foster quipped.
"We worked hard. It's never easy when you're coming off a couple of losses but so proud. Just so proud of the effort. It swings in roundabouts but we hung in and finished strong.
"I know I got mocked for saying it last week after a loss but we made a big shift through our forward pack last week. The work Jason Ryan's done there was strong and I felt we were creating a few opportunities and we wanted it so much we were rushing things, while today we were just more patient. When you start believing in yourself you get a bit more patient and then you just execute and that's what it looked like tonight."
Foster praised the newcomers who came into the side and made the most of their chances while playing in front of a white hot atmosphere.
"The likes of Ethan de Groot and Tyrel Lomax I thought they scrummed really strong, Soni keeps growing as a player and how good was Fletcher Newell off the bench? Great for his debut. I thought Richie really played well and he brought a lot of belief. A lot of positives things…more to come," he said.
All Blacks second-five David Havili told Sky that the side love playing for Foster.
"It's a credit to Foz, he's been copping it in the media… we've got his back very strongly. He's a smart coach and we love playing for him and that performance showed tonight."
All Blacks skipper Sam Cane, who scored the first of his side's four tries, said he was 'massively stoked' with the result.
"Proud is an understatement. Through adversity really challenges your character and this group's got plenty of character. It's never been a question of how much we care or how much we want it but we needed to get a few parts of our game right. A massive challenge coming here. One of the toughest places in the world to come and play, the group stepped up massively. Hugely proud. I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been supporting us, particularly through the last month which has been pretty challenging. We feel all that support and geez it means a lot," Cane said.
"We were a lot better at the breakdown tonight and contested the box kicks a lot better. Set piece was good, we defended the maul really well. So lots of little parts of our game which is what test footy is about, getting little parts of your game right time and time again so you can build some pressure. Massively stoked."
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission
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