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Ian Foster doubles down on backing controversial Raynal call

By AAP
(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Ian Foster says New Zealand have been driving a speed-up-the-game message all year and has doubled down on his endorsement of the controversial Bledisloe Cup time-wasting penalty.

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All Blacks coach Foster on Saturday stood by his post-match opinion that the final-minute free kick awarded against Wallabies five-eighth Bernard Foley in Melbourne on Thursday was correct and fair.

The under-pressure coach said Foley had given French referee Mathieu Raynal no choice but to blow the whistle for the free kick that allowed the All Blacks to score after the siren for a dramatic victory which ensured they retain the Cup.

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He said Foley was simply guilty of poor game management by not listening to the referee and said the wider issue of time-wasting in modern rugby was a separate point.

“We’ve been trying to drive that message all year, to be fair, with how teams slow things down,” Foster told NZ’s Newstalk ZB.

“When it comes back to how can you speed the game up, we’re certainly in on that debate.

“With the (potential introduction of a time limit on) scrum resets, they are making moves to do that.

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“There’s clearly delays in teams going to lineouts and maybe that’s another area where we could improve as a game.

“Overall I think there’s a whole lot of little areas where things can change, but I just don’t really believe that the last decision is tied to that debate.”

He said he didn’t understand the angst over the Foley call.

“Should you actually listen to a referee on the field when he’s asking you to do something?,” the coach said.

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“The ref was very clear with his instructions, and the game has to give authority to the referee.

“If he’s asking players to do something to speed things up, it’s our job to respond to it.

“The game is run by the referee. He said time off, he warned them, he said time on and then he asked them twice to play it. So I don’t actually really see the issue with it.”

Foster isn’t confident that incident will spark a movement among referees to clamp down on time-wasting tactics.

The All Blacks will host Australia at a sold-out Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.

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