SYDNEY (Reuters) - New Zealand coach Ian Foster admitted he would need to sit down and have a proper think about it, but he did recognise that his side’s performance in their 43-5 demolition of Australia ranked up there as one of his coaching highlights.
The All Blacks not only opened their Tri-Nations with a bonus-point victory but also ensured the Bledisloe Cup would remain in Wellington for an 18th successive year.
“I have been involved in the All Blacks for a long time and you get a lot of highlights, a whole lot of special games,” Foster, who was Steve Hansen’s assistant for eight seasons and helped them to the 2015 Rugby World Cup tile, said on Sunday.
“This one certainly ranks up there.”
Foster succeeded Hansen after last year’s World Cup in Japan and was not a popular choice in rugby-mad New Zealand, with pressure building on the 55-year-old after a 16-16 draw against the Wallabies in his first game in charge last month.
While they produced a 27-7 win the following week in Auckland, the clinical dismantling of the Wallabies in wet conditions at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium has drawn widespread praise.
Foster himself said he was especially pleased with the way the team adapted to the conditions and played a more conservative style, concentrating on tactical kicking, the set-piece and keeping it tight to hold the ball and build pressure.
Having secured the Bledisloe Cup, the focus was now solely on the Tri-Nations, with the team meeting the Wallabies again next Saturday in Brisbane before they face Argentina in two matches, and looking ahead to 2021, he said.
“We really don’t want to waste a day and muck around,” Foster said.
“It’s not only about this year, it’s about setting some really strong blocks for the coming season.”
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Sam Holmes
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