The All Blacks are asking World Rugby to provide an explanation for a number of contentious calls made by the referees during their devastating Rugby World Cup final loss to the Springboks.
Departing coach Ian Foster revealed that one of his last acts as team manager was to send a letter to the governing body outlining several perceived injustices in the team’s 12-11 (NZ time) loss to Paris last Sunday. Foster arrived at Auckland Airport on Wednesday afternoon to a raucous welcome from supporters.
The referees were the talk of the town after the exciting contest at the Stade de France, as both Englishmen Wayne Barnes and Tom Foley in the TMO box faced heavy criticism for their handling of the play.
When asked if the team had or would bother to review the game given that there was no next week and that several players and the majority of the coaching staff wouldn’t be playing for the national team the following year, Foster replied, “It probably won’t be officially, it certainly will be by me and our coaching group.” Foster went on to say that they had let their annoyances out on the influential people in the game.
He said, “We’ve already sent a file to World Rugby for them to provide some feedback on.” “Perhaps they do,”
When asked about the specific areas he was referring to, Foster said, “Oh, I think you can guess,” so it’s unlikely that the red card given to All Blacks captain Sam Cane and the yellow card given to Springboks captain Siya Kolisi for their respective high tackles were the main source of Foster’s annoyance. However, it’s more likely that the disallowed try for Aaron Smith, the apology from Barnes to Ardie Savea for an incorrect ruck penalty that still allowed Handre Pollard to kick a penalty goal, and Faf de Klerk’s failure to feed a late scrum that the All Blacks appeared to dominate also went unpunished, were the main culprits. Foley may also have played a role in this.It’s ironic that All Blacks assistant coach Joe Schmidt served on World Rugby’s high performance rugby committee and laws review group prior to joining the team last year.
Following Eddie Jones’ resignation in the wake of his disastrous World Cup campaign, Foster was keeping quiet about any considerations for the vacant Wallabies position.
Rugby Australia CEO Phil Waugh told the media on Tuesday that “everyone’s a candidate” as the organization looks for the best coach for their struggling national team. Foster clarified that he hasn’t already received inquiries from across the pond.
He declared, “I’ve been on a plane for 24 hours,” adding that he couldn’t even be reached via the onboard wifi.
He joked, “Look, I’m old-school; I don’t know how to use that.” “To be honest, turning off the phone was a nice relief. I actually like switching off.”
Would he consider it, though, and potentially follow in the footsteps of fellow New Zealanders Robbie Deans (2008-2013) and Dave Rennie (2020-2023)?
“Look, I’ve just got home,” Foster said. “I’ve literally got through there, I haven’t slept much for a day, and I’m looking forward to going home and then just re-evaluating.”