Ian Foster: All Blacks coach delighted with the character shown by his side

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster is delighted to have pushed through an “onslaught” by claiming a 35-23 win over the Springboks at Ellis Park.

Foster and his men have been under tremendous pressure after a poor season thus far that includes three losses in a row, but have now broken their slump.

Targeted

The 57-year-old has felt targeted by New Zealand media and defended his selections by calling out their critics. Nevertheless, Foster is happy that his team showed character and claimed an important win.

“It [stress] comes with the job. It has been pretty vicious,” Foster said.

“There has been a lot of onslaught, particularly from our New Zealand media. They’ve got high expectations of us and they’ve made that loud and clear. They’ve clearly come very, very strong at me as a person.

“Some of them have even called our selections popgun, which I found quite insulting for players that give everything to play for their nation.

“That pressure has been strong but it doesn’t change the fact that through adversity that’s the best teacher for character and we’ve stayed tight.”

Always had the components

The All Blacks believed that they had had the components to find their form, and Foster saw a notable improvement in various areas of the game from his team.

“It’s hard to win all the time and if everyone knew the formula of how to do that we’d all be doing it all the time,” said Foster.

“And when you look at long-term success it often starts with a bit of adversity, it starts at a low point.

“We’ve lost three in a row this year and it hurt but I felt last week was our best performance of the year.

“We saw signs of our combativeness – we missed a beat at the breakdown but we’ve grown through that. We’re breeding a few young boys and a few new combinations and that takes time.

“Some people don’t have patience and I understand that; I get the frustrations, but inside the camp that doesn’t mean a lot to us.

“What’s important is how we pull together and work hard, and keep growing.”

READ MORE: All Blacks: Ian Foster has ‘no idea’ if he will remain as head coach

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