All Blacks coach Ian Foster must have hated Fiji’s 17-12 win against Georgia and absolutely loved Scotland’s B team winning 84-0 against Romania. Cringe is the only way to describe the coach of the greatest team to play the game, writes Mark Keohane.
Foster’s All Blacks, bludgeoned 27-13 by hosts France in the opening game of the World Cup, slaughtered Italy 96-17.
A week earlier Ireland, the world’s No 1 team, beat the tournament’s defending champions South Africa 13-8 in a game the global rugby community described as one worthy of a World Cup final.
But Foster’s plea to World Rugby was that the fans would rather watch his team beat Italy 96-17 than watch the heavyweight contest of South Africa versus Ireland.
Record television viewing numbers and a sold out Stade de France for Ireland versus South Africa, one versus two in the world, tells a different story.
Foster described his team’s performance as a spectacle, but decried the Ireland versus Springboks game. It was the same guy who fell asleep watching the Boks v British & Irish Lions series, but was very much awake when his team took a beating against Argentina for the first time in history.
It could explain why Foster has been a disaster as the All Blacks coach. His many firsts include defeats at home to Ireland, on successive weeks, defeats to Argentina, in Australia and in New Zealand, record defeats to South Africa, in Nelspruit and at Twickenham. Two successive defeats to Ireland. Hell, this bloke even managed to lose to Australia.
Kudos to South Africa’s Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus for politely putting Foster in his place in highlighting the obvious in how the game is played.
Foster has been an embarrassment as the All Blacks coach, and when he found his voice this weekend it was even more embarrassing than the results in his tenure.
To even compare his team’s performance against Italy to the Ireland v South Africa game were the words of a nutter.
Scott Robertson’s tenure can’t come soon enough; just to restore integrity to the coach of the world’s greatest team.
Foster is a joke.
His comments, post the Italy win, will be his legacy, alongside his every first All Blacks defeat against certain opposition.
Foster’s crazy has been in sync with a World Cup that has produced a handful of quality games, but nothing else. There is absolutely no World Cup vibe from Monday to Friday. There has been no ‘in the week’ gees. It has been a month that has highlighted the boring more than the brilliant.
This weekend’s top billing was 96-17 for the All Black and 84-0 for Scotland.
World Rugby’s leaders are deluded when they think Romania losing 83-8 to Ireland, 76-0 to South Africa and 84-0 to Scotland grows the game. They are equally not at the races when they think the All Blacks beating Italy 96-17 speaks to a global game.
What a farce when four in the world does that to 11, but what a farce when touting the game as global when you analyze who is ranked five to 10.
World Rugby has four teams realistically who can win the World Cup, but the game is sold as one about 24 teams.
What a joke.
This weekend again proved the robbery that is the Rugby World Cup, to paying spectators, the broadcasters and the occasional observer.