Ian Foster: All Blacks lacked on attack and failed to adapt during the second Test

Dylan Coetzee

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster believes his side was not “three-dimensional” enough on attack and lacked the territory to make possession count.

Ireland claimed an impressive 23-12 win over New Zealand under the roof in Dunedin on Saturday to level the series going into the final Test.

It was a masterful performance from the Irish, who managed the game beautifully, not allowing the All Blacks to play their game. Foster wanted more from his attack, but that is always difficult to find when playing with a man down.

Playing in the wrong areas

“I thought we struggled to get the real territory that we needed and probably played too much rugby in our own half,” Foster said.

“They flattered up their D-line and we perhaps needed to be more three-dimensional with our attack, I think, and turn them around a little bit.

“But that’s what happens when you drop down a man and you’re trying to force the game.

“We got some good reward when we did get good field position but we probably just needed a bit more.”

Foster praised the Irish defence for how well they held the All Blacks and wanted his side to adapt more calmly than they did.

“Certainly, it’s easier to defend when you’ve got 15 versus 14 and they did that really well and they pressured our skillset,” he said.

“That’s what test matches are about. We were a bit off in terms of dealing with that.

“I think it’ll be a bit of a eye-opener, particularly for a few newer players to feel that sort of tension and pressure, and trying to force things when we were one man down ain’t easy against a quality team.”

Credit to Ireland

Foster was impressed with how Ireland managed the second half and increased their lead to 15 points, making it difficult to catch up. However, the 57-year-old feels that his side did not get the luck of the bounce on the day but failed to mitigate the situation.

“Hats off to Ireland, they scored that early try in that second half and that just made a gap and all of a sudden it’s 15 and it’s hard to catch up,” he added.

“We’ve just to got to be better than that. You get test matches where things happen, you don’t get the rub of the green.

“First lineout, the TMO was telling the ref that Ireland should have been penalised; he didn’t hear them and they went down to score down the other end. You get the rub of the green with things like that but we were our own worst enemy in that second half.”

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