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Will Jordan's 'clumsy' contest the final nail in coffin for All Blacks

By Ned Lester
Will Jordan of the All Blacks and Thomas Ramos of France contest for the high kick. Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images

A shaky kicking game from the All Blacks did not bear the fruit head coach Ian Foster was hoping for in his side’s Rugby World Cup loss to France in Paris.

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A variety of kicking options were deployed but unless it was winger Mark Telea on the receiving end, there was little reward for the surrendering of possession.

It was Telea who drew first blood in the World Cup opener thanks to a cross-field dime from the boot of Beauden Barrett. But, unfortunately for the All Blacks, fellow winger and try-scoring phenom Will Jordan couldn’t find synergy with his kickers to the same avail.

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Jordan chased plenty of bombs from his fullback but found the referee’s whistle more than the ball in his aerial challenges.

The winger’s resulting yellow card confounded the discipline issues for New Zealand. Foster put his side’s high penalty count down to one major factor:

“Pressure,” he told reporters in Paris. “You have to give France some credit for that.

“Will [Jordan] was a bit clumsy with a couple of aerial things and the second one didn’t help us. The yellow card came at a bad time against a team who like to exploit the back-field.

“France were good enough to take advantage of that but our discipline was pretty good in the first half.  When we had ball, we played with a lot of ambition, there was a lot of good stuff. It was just frustrating we couldn’t really strike in that second half.”

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It was one-way traffic on the scoreboard after Telea struck again to start the second half. France ran home with an 18-0 run in the final 38 minutes.

That wasn’t necessarily a fair reflection of the competitive nature of the match in the eyes of Foster, who thought his team deserved a tighter scoreline.

“It certainly felt like that but it is what it is. They were good enough at the end and got the bounce of the ball at the end which inflated the score a bit but it was a pretty tough game for both sides.

“I thought they were out on their feet in the last 10 minutes before half-time and we should have been a bit more efficient. We missed it in the corner with a loose pass, we weren’t quite good enough.”

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Much like the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the two teams have the potential to face each other again in the final.

And just like the 2011 final, Foster says he has every bit of faith in his team going all the way to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

“I do but we have to shift a couple of areas to be more efficient in the air. We were not good at chasing our own kicks today, that’s obvious. We scrummed well for spells in that game but the pictures we painted allowed them to exploit us so we will have to chase that up with the officials.

“Most of the penalties were about them getting on the ball really quickly and us not being able to move them. That’s something we can control and take a lot of pride in. But they have set a pretty high bar for us, so we have been given that message.”

 

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Comments

14 Comments
R
Ruby 310 days ago

The kicking from Beauden was mostly good, the lack of competent chasers killed their chances, those kicks opened the defence up enough for the ABs to dominate in running metres,it just wasn't enough. They'll be giving Clarke and Will Jordan a run next week, Telea has locked in a spot, it just comes down to which winger's spot he's taking.

B
Ben Smith is a Dick 311 days ago

"Chase that up with the officials" you lost the game, no chase needed! Learn and move on

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Nickers 2 hours ago
'One of the poorest All Blacks performances I've seen in a long time'

Extreme hyperbole from Biggar. NZ have played far, far worse than that. The 20/21 team was by far the worst of the professional era. Losses to Argentina, shambolic game against Japan and hapless NH tour of 2021. But even that dreadful team were able to put 50 points on Wales and beat them by 38. Much easier to “tear them to pieces” from the commentary box apparently. Ignored by virtually everyone is how good the ABs defence was. That is why England didn’t win, they simply could not score enough points against that defence. The ABs attack was very average, but their defence was world class and that’s what won them the game. Any Wales team that Biggar has ever played for would have found themselves in the same situation and would definitely not have scored tries from those cross kicks. That ABs team beats Biggar’s best Wales team 31 - 13. England’s attack was as good as it was allowed to be by a superior defence. Hats off to Hansen, he has picked up where MacLeod finally got the ABs to last year and not missed a step. England’s attack will be a big worry for Borthwick. They have not established a reliable, repeatable way to break teams down and score points. They were held to some very low scores by average teams in the 6N, and again here didn’t cross 20 points on either occasion. If I was an England fan I would be crying out for a new attack coach. Borthwick would do well to cast his net now, a poor home winter with a faltering attack will start the calls for his job.

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T
Thomas 2 hours ago
'Champions get up when they can't': Matt Williams weighs in on Ireland's win over Boks

While both teams have their particular positives, I think neither team should rest on their laurels. South Africa managed to tie a series against an uncomfortable opponent, that has had their numbers for a couple of years, while trial-running a completely new attack system, that still doesn’t work properly. But one aspect of “it doesn’t work yet” is a transition from attack to defense in broken play, as the Boks leaked three tries in two matches this way, and lost the second match as a result. Ireland avoided a series loss in a hostile environment, and in spite of many key player injuries, while managing to significantly improve and tighten their defense in game 2 (which demonstrates the breadth of their squad as well as their ability to adjust and recalibrate). At the same time, their own attack hadn’t amounted to much, either (save from exploiting the gaps in the Boks’ new system, gaps that won’t be there anymore in a few months’ time), and they haven’t found an answer to the Boks scrum, which almost costed them the 2nd match, if it hadn’t been for pretty much unrepeatable Frawley heroics. In the end, there isn’t much that separates those two sides … which is exactly what we knew before the series already. Back to the drawing board for both teams, the work only just begins for two teams with the highest ambition. Start of a cycle alright.

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