All Blacks fans have reacted to comments from captain Sam Cane that those outside rugby ‘don’t know a lot about the game’.
Following the All Blacks’ historic loss to Argentina, Cane was quick to defend his team and head coach Ian Foster, and described the brutal nature of some of the All Blacks’ passionate supporters.
“You’ve just got to remind yourself hey, they may like to think they know a lot about the game of rugby, in reality they don’t really,” Cane said on Sky Sport‘s The Breakdown.
The comments led to boundless backlash on social media from fans who indeed, do not believe they’re not well-versed in the 15-man code.
One said on Twitter it’s “not a very wise thing to say coming from the captain. Most AB supporters know he ain’t captain material anyway”.
“A very arrogant view. I’ve barely missed an All Blacks test on TV since 1987 and attend probably 10 live games a year. Kiwis know rugby,” another added.
A third said “I agree, not a wise comment as we the fans do understand rugby and so many of the fans actually play rugby too”.
The public expressed their concerns about the team on the Herald as well.
Commenting on a story where Cane went on the defensive, one reader exclaimed “we can read body language though, and the majority of players are telling me both Cane and Foster hold little respect. When they both have to talk each other up we know there’s something not right in camp”.
“Cane rhymes with Taine [Randall]… and he lost 5 in a row…” another wrote.
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One took aim at the team as a whole, saying “strategy issues identified by Cane (going wider), but selection is an issue too..1st 5 at fullback, fullback on wing, wing at centre, 6/7 at 8. Coach has to take responsibility for team selection”.
There were also those in Cane’s corner willingly caressing his shoulders. “Sam Cane is mostly right here. Many fans are just keyboard warriors with no professional experience in rugby or intimate knowledge of rugby rules. Elite players like Sam Cane don’t need the fans, fans need the elite players though,” one Twitter user said.
Saturday’s defeat in Western Sydney was riddled with unwanted feats being achieved. It was the first loss in 30 matches to the Pumas, the result handed the All Blacks their first back-to back defeats since 2011 (those two nine years ago were in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup), and gave Foster the worst winning rate of 40 per cent for a head coach through his first five games.
More importantly, it occurred two weeks after an historic 38-point victory over the Wallabies that locked away the Bledisloe Cup, and injected momentous positivity in the early work from Foster and those around him.
The All Blacks’ fourth and final game of the Tri Nations comes on November 28 against Argentina in Newcastle. If results go their way they can still claim the silverware, but it is likely the team will be more focused on a reactionary performance radiating with pride.
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