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Ian Foster laments Kwagga Smith's crucial World Cup final breakdown

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Thursday Nov 23, 2023

A month after the intense World Cup Final in Paris, where the All Blacks experienced a heartbreaking 11-12 loss to the Springboks, outgoing head coach Ian Foster reflects on the pivotal moments and the philosophical acceptance that follows such high-stakes matches.

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One crucial moment that Foster highlighted in his analysis involved Kwagga Smith, where a potentially game-changing penalty was not awarded to the All Blacks. Foster pointed out,

“Kwagga Smith clearly had hands on the ground when he won a ball at the breakdown,” underscoring the fine margins that can define the outcome of a match of such magnitude.

Foster, no stranger to the unpredictable nature of World Cup finals, acknowledged the lasting impact of closely fought contests.

He drew parallels to the All Blacks’ narrow victory over France in 2011, emphasising how these matches leave indelible impressions and spark debates among fans and experts alike.

Despite occasional sleepless nights pondering the “what ifs” of the final, Foster maintains a philosophical perspective.

“I’ll never get over it, I don’t think, but there is no point in us carrying around a lot of anger,” he remarked, recognising the inherent drama and tension that come with finals.” Foster said.

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Foster takes pride in his team’s resilience, especially in the face of challenges such as the red card for captain Sam Cane.

His admiration for the players’ grit in adverse circumstances underscores his leadership style and unwavering belief in the All Blacks’ spirit.

As Ian Foster’s tenure with the All Blacks concludes, incidents like this underpin just how tight the World Cup knockouts were.

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