• Enough Is Enough

    Enough is enough! Ian Foster must go – and if he doesn’t do so of his own accord (as he should do), he must be pushed.

    That became apparent in the first minute of the match, when it became clear that neither the coach nor the team had learned any of the lessons from last week’s debacle. In the first two tests against Ireland, the Irish had blasted out of the starting blocks and scored the opening try.

    Yesterday, the early possession came the All Blacks’ way. Aaron Smith, once regarded as the best halfback in the world, seemed curious as to whether the Irish could repeat the trick, so he lofted the ball back to them. They duly obliged, ran the ball back at speed and scored the first try.

    From that point on, there was a succession of handling errors and poorly directed kicks, all of which invited further Irish incursions and scoring opportunities. The kicking was not accidental but clearly part of the game plan. The mindset can be seen from the fact that David Havili’s selection was explained on the basis that “he offers a further kicking option” to help support Beauden Barrett.

    We can only assume that the constant kicking was seen as an effective response to the rush defence employed by the Irish (and virtually every other international team). But the kicking we used was not so much a tactical response as a capitulation.

    It was only in the second half that Will Jordan demonstrated that running with the ball in hand could produce a score. Sadly, the current All Blacks do not seem to recognise that holding the ball is the prerequisite to winning matches – and their coach appears to have reinforced that failing.

    The All Blacks are approaching the point when they will be obliged to abandon the haka which, with nothing to support it, will be ridiculed as pure posturing. And the World Cup? Don’t even bother. Without basic change at the top, we won’t even get out of our group.

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