Beleaguered All Blacks manager Ian Foster has admitted time is running out for his side to start winning regularly after the New Zealanders suffered a first-ever home defeat to Argentina on Saturday to continue their dismal form. The loss in Christchurch was the sixth in eight games for the three-time world champions and rekindled scrutiny of Foster after a brief reprieve following their victory over South Africa in Johannesburg two weeks ago.
“When you try to build something a little different, it takes time and it’s quite frustrating, isn’t it?” Foster told reporters on Sunday. “It’s frustrating, I’m sure, for viewers and fans and it’s frustrating for us.
“But we believe that some of the things we build pay dividends. But it has to happen quickly and we know that.” The teams will face off again in Hamilton on Saturday, with New Zealand set to suffer an unprecedented second successive home defeat following their 2-1 loss to Ireland earlier in the year.
The All Blacks lost their last two games of 2021 against Ireland and France before suffering those two defeats against the Irish in New Zealand. They then lost to South Africa in their Rugby League opener earlier this month before beating the Springboks at Ellis Park a week later.
“We’re all hurting too, none of us like losing,” Foster said. “I guess the other side of the coin is that everyone is aware that we are putting new players in certain areas, we are trying to develop parts of our game that we think we have struggled with.
“We were rightly criticized last year for being beaten into the lead in some games and we’ve made some big changes in that area. But we have to put all those learnings into one game and we’ve shown we can do it in South Africa and we have to do it again in Hamilton.”
Foster also offered his support to All Blacks captain Sam Cane. “Obviously he’s in the spotlight, we’re all in the spotlight when things aren’t going well. But behind the scenes he’s strong,” he said.
“I thought a lot of his tackling and work around the breakdown was a big change from the last two games and we’re happy with that.”
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