South Africa
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WATCH: All Blacks boss slams Springboks and Ireland’s style of play

Ranked as the No 1 and No 2 Test teams in the world, Ireland and South Africa produced what was arguably the best match  at the 2023 Rugby World Cup to date. Little to nothing separated the sides in terms of on-field quality, with Ireland coming away with a narrow five-point victory on the day.

By contrast, the All Blacks played second fiddle in their hyped-up battle against France, with the hosts comfortably dispatching New Zealand 27-13 in Paris.

ALSO READ: It’s win or bust for Springboks


Since then, the All Blacks have whacked minnows Namibia 71-3 and Italy 96-17, and it is in the wake of the latter result that Foster took a rather unprovoked cheap shot at the quality of play on display in the match between Ireland and the Springboks.

There were only two tries in the entire Springboks-Ireland showdown and the ball was in play for 27 minutes; meanwhile the All Blacks scored a whopping 14 tries against the embattled Italians, but yet the ball was in play for 29 minutes, just two more than the Ireland-Springboks encounter.

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Yet, Foster felt the need to criticise the ball-in-play time in the Springbok versus Ireland Test, labelling the match ‘a very stop-start game’.

“If you look at the South Africa-Ireland game, it was a different game of rugby,” the All Blacks boss said.

“The ball was in play for 27 minutes throughout the whole game. It was a very stop-start game, very physical, very combative,” Foster said in defence of his initial statement.

“You saw a different spectacle tonight and at some point the world has got to decide which game it would rather watch.”


Haka All Blacks Rugby World Cup
The All Blacks conduct the haka. Photo: AFP