ABs must improve discipline – Foster

Date published: July 21 2015

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster believes his team's discipline must improve when they face the Springboks in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Foster said discipline will be more important this weekend because the Test will be played at altitude where the thin air allows goalkickers to boot the ball further.

Although New Zealand secured a 39-18 win over Argentina in Christchurch last weekend, they conceded 11 penalties in that clash.

The world champions were cruising to victory in their Rugby Championship opener but poor discipline in the second half allowed los Pumas skipper Agustin Creevy to score two tries from lineout drives close to their tryline.

"We know when we look at our discipline last week against Argentina, for that middle part of the second half, we gave them soft penalties," said Foster.

"We got a bit frustrated, we allowed them to get field territory and they got two tries. So we experienced ourselves what poor discipline does.

"Poor discipline is not just about acting in a foul sort of way, it is about not nailing your role in every particular minute and we paid the price last week for that."

The All Blacks' lack of discipline cost them dearly in the corresponding fixture in Johannesburg last year. The Boks secured a 27-25 victory in the game's dying moments thanks to a 55 metre penalty from Pat Lambie after referee Wayne Barnes penalised Liam Messam for a high tackle on Schalk Burger.

Foster believes that incident reiterated how important it is to make the correct decisions under pressure.

"Discipline is important through every game of test match rugby," he added. 

"You talk about Wayne Barnes last year, but time has proven he made the right call. So what we learn about that is more about not putting ourselves in a position where we are vulnerable to a last-minute refereeing decision.

"Ultimately we would want to take control of the performance ourselves."