All Blacks: Ian Foster looks to ‘rebuild from zero’ for Scotland Test

All Blacks coach Ian Foster holds the ball during a warm-up for a Test against Wales. Credit: Alamy
All Blacks coach Ian Foster holds the ball during a warm-up for a Test against Wales. Credit: Alamy

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster is conscious that his side cannot “copy and paste” their approach from their successful win against Wales for the upcoming clash against Scotland.

Foster’s men put on a show in Cardiff to beat Wales 55-23 last weekend as the All Blacks showed hints of the team they once were.

There were excellent performances across the park for the New Zealanders, with the most capped back, Aaron Smith, rolling back the years in a vintage performance.

Fresh week, fresh approach

However, Foster knows each game requires a different approach and mindset in preparation as the All Blacks gear up for a Test at Murrayfield.

“I think it’s about not trying to copy and paste anything. It’s about [understanding] the buildup for each Test is different – different conditions, different opposition and different pressure points,” Foster said.

“The danger is when you try and copy and paste a formula. We can’t use [last] week’s formula for [this] week. We’ve got to rebuild from zero on Tuesday, then hoe into it and find a real meaning in the preparation.

“That’s our goal. Sometimes we judge great performances by scorelines, but also great performances can come just by solving problems on the park and that’s what I think we’re getting a little bit better at.”

Foster was delighted by the patience of his side, and he believes the only reason the outside backs did not get as much ball was down to the slippery conditions.

“It was the nature of the conditions,” he noted. “It was very slippery … I quite like that stat in that sort of game because sometimes we overplay in those conditions because we just want to play. I kind of like the patience.”

Depth at 12

Jordie Barrett put in another solid performance at inside centre, a position that briefly seemed a concern for the All Blacks. Foster admits it is difficult to find a selection balance between building depth and fielding the best option.

“It’s a juggling act,” Foster claimed. “At what stage do you put all your eggs in one basket and at what stage do you build depth? I guess that’s the art of selection. Frankly, be it Jordie, or be it Davey [Havili] or be it maybe even an ALB at 12, they’re quality players and we expect them to do a job.

“Whilst it’s not about chopping and changing all the time, it is about building. We’ve done a lot of work on combinations this year and a few other options up our sleeve is going to be good for us.”

The All Blacks will look for another win to continue building momentum towards next year’s World Cup, and Scotland will be a tricky fixture at Murrayfield. Following the Test this weekend, the All Blacks will play England in their final match of the Autumn Nations Series.

READ MORE: Autumn Nations Series Team of the Week: France lead the way, with All Blacks, Ireland and Argentina also rewarded for their victories

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