After the heavy defeat of New Zealand in front of France 15th (40-25) on Saturday evening at the Stade de France, the New Zealand press was not kind to its players as well as to coach Ian Foster.
The All Blacks will have to do their own research after being overwhelmed by France on Saturday, a defeat that would end their worst year since 2009 and add to the pressure on their coach Ian Foster, the New Zealand press estimated on Sunday. After losing 40-25 to the Blues, the New Zealanders finished 2021 with 12 wins and three losses, their worst record in 12 years (14-4), when the Ferns played under Graham Henry’s orders. “There will be a lot of questions to ask,” Jimmy Wall said on Radio New Zealand after the battered team’s defeat last Saturday in Ireland (29-20).
Covid-related health restrictions have forced Ian Foster’s team to run their last nine tests in 12 weeks away from home, but New Zealand media say the problems go beyond fatigue from long flights. “Rugby is in a new world order and right now the All Blacks can’t do it,” Mark Hinton wrote on the Stuff news site, and deemed the team “officially in free fall” unless there are two years of the 2023 World Cup in France. .
“The problem with the All Blacks is that the rest of the world no longer fears them.”
Gregor Poole, a rugby columnist for the New Zealand Herald, believes that “all blacks have a number of undeniable problems, many of which go too deep to be attributed to exhaustion at the end of a difficult year”. “The problem with the All Blacks is that the rest of the world no longer fears them, because there is no reason to be afraid,” he added, criticizing the “confused” game plan. “The vulnerabilities exposed by France have been exploited a lot this season, which leaves huge concerns about the All Blacks’ ability to solve problems from week to week,” said Liam Napier of the New Zealand Herald.
This is the Blacks’ fifth defeat in 21 games since Foster took over from Steve Hansen after the 2019 World Cup. Originally set for two years, it was extended in 2020 until the 2023 World Cup in France – a decision “a bit premature” for Mark Hinton.
Chris Rato, of the New Zealand Herald, adds that the federation “should have waited until the end of the Tour in the North to give the best possible assessment of the advisability of extending his contract”. “There are some major fault lines in this team, cracks that have widened due to poor coaching decisions,” columnist Mark Reason concludes in Stuff.
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