'We'll give ourselves an uppercut': ABs coach Ian Foster

By Kelvin McDonald
Source / YouTube

The All Blacks threw away a 19-point lead in the final 10 minutes of their test against England to end their erratic season with a 25-all draw in London today.

ABs coach Ian Foster said the team deserved an "uppercut" for their failure to close out the game but there were nonetheless several positives to take away from the game. 

"I think you saw a very strong scrum tonight. You saw a line out maul that was strong, a kicking game and a carry game that had a bit of adventure to it, and we didn't get dominated on the gain line. 

"What we did learn though is that we've got a little bit to learn about the last 10 minutes and closing out a big test like that," Foster said.

"There's two or three really good lessons and probably one that we'll give ourselves an uppercut for."

The ABs raced out to a 14-0 lead inside the opening 10 minutes through a Dalton Papali’i intercept and a Codie Taylor try from a lineout maul to end the half comfortably ahead, 17-3. 

When Rieko Ioane ran the length of the field from a Beauden Barrett cross-field kick early in the second half and Barrett added a drop kick a few minutes later, the ABs looked all but out of sight of England 25-6 in front.

But as the ABs have shown this season, they retain an innate ability to shoot themselves in the foot - and they did just that. 

Foster is optimistic though.

"We've climbed through a bit of adversity this group. We started the rugby championship slow but we climbed really well through the later part of that tournament. 

"We came here with a real desire to play Wales, Scotland, England, three different types of teams. We probably haven't had a clean sweep up here a lot in the last 7 or 8 years. 

"We wanted to make sure we tried our solutions for some of the defensive systems up here.

Overall, we're really pleased with a lot of the gains." 

All Blacks 25 (Dalton Papali’i, Codie Taylor, Rieko Ioane tries, Jordie Barrett 2 cons, pen, Beauden Barrett drop goal)

England 25 (Will Stuart 2, Freddie Steward tries, Owen Farrell pen, Marcus Smith 2 cons, pen)

HT: 17-3

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