'Truly exposed': France put All Blacks' deficiencies in clear view
The 40-25 loss to France completed back-to-back defeats for the All Blacks under Ian Foster for the second time, after losing to the Pumas and Wallabies in consecutive matches in 2020.
France raced out to a 24-6 lead in the first half in a dominant opening stanza, but the All Blacks were able to fight back through tries to Jordie Barrett and Rieko Ioane.
The game was in the balance as France held a two-point lead at 27-25 with roughly twenty minutes left before an outstanding piece of counter-attack swung the match in France’s favour.
Running out of his own in-goal, Romain Ntamack sparked a long break that ended with a yellow card to Ardie Savea and three points to France after what could have been a five metre scrum to the All Blacks had they pinned the flyhalf down.
Damian Penaud came up with the play that put France two scores ahead when he picked off a rushed pass from David Havili to score under the posts and put the home side up 37-25.
The loss in Paris was also the first time the All Blacks have conceded three test defeats in a season since 2009, with South Africa, Ireland and France earning wins over Foster’s side.
Questions that have lingered since last year’s season have resurfaced, with Kiwi fans now very aware of the state of New Zealand’s top side. Fans claimed that they had been ‘truly exposed’ over the last two weeks with ‘no plan but to kick the ball and hope’.
Others believed the forward pack had been ‘destroyed’ by both the French and Irish packs, with Northern Hemisphere tight fives ‘far superior’.
The last two weeks have truly exposed the @AllBlacks deficiencies. We appear to have no plan but to kick the ball and hope for some broken field turn over magic. Cannot recall one try this year scored off an intentional team movement #FRAvNZL
— Rogan (@rmtempler) November 20, 2021
— Mike Little ? ? (@morecoffeemike) November 20, 2021
The #AllBlacks forwards have been destroyed two weeks in a row. Northern hemisphere tight fives are far superior to ours. Havili is not an international quality midfielder. Foster has absolutely no game plan or clue & surely has to go so Razor can get us right for RWC. #FRAvNZL
— Jimmy Shaw (@SAFCKiwi) November 20, 2021
— Melissa Rose (@mellyhugs) November 20, 2021
At the end of the day we all knew Fosters CV as head coach so it is not really surprising that this is where we find ourselves to be honest. I get people can grow and things but usually the best pointer to future outcomes is prior results #FRAvNZL
— Rogan (@rmtempler) November 20, 2021
The All Blacks were supposed to win 2019 World Cup, Steve Hansen would leave on a high and Ian Foster would carry on the great work.
They didn’t win, but hired Foster anyway.
They look like a team crying out for a new start and ideas.
Scott Robertson is that man. #FRAvNZL
— JHC (@JHC17626935) November 20, 2021
It clear that Foster and his team are not adding to the identity of this side. This side has lacked in a lot of areas for some time #FRAvNZL
— Nathan (@nathanswarts) November 20, 2021
— Ronald (@KingRonaldIV) November 20, 2021
— RHABULA ?? (@SportsInterval) November 20, 2021
What’s happening is, because we’ve retained Foster as coach, he’s essentially coaching the same system Hansen implemented. When u use the same system/structure since 2012, u become predictable #FRAvNZL
— ??Laker Heel? (@mexxdidit) November 20, 2021
Shambles. That’s what Foster has created in our attack. If NZRU aren’t making desperate calls to lawyers to figure out how to get Foster out of his contract, Id be concerned. It starts at the top and we need a huge reshuffle of tang coaching staff. #FRAvNZL
— Scott (@misjifNZ) November 20, 2021
In his post-match interview on the Amazon Prime broadcast, head coach Ian Foster said that the environment was ‘amazing’ but the All Blacks gave France a ‘dream start’.
Foster said he was ‘immensely proud’ of his side for fighting back in the game but that a key period of play cost his side.
“It was an amazing environment, wasn’t it? I don’t think I’ve experienced anything like it,” Foster told the pitch side reporter.
“We gave them the start they dreamed of, really, and we found it hard to crawl it back.
“Immensely proud, we came back at 27-25 and a yellow card and an intercept killed us at the wrong time. But it was a great occasion.”
On the All Blacks-France game being an advert for World Rugby, Foster said he couldn’t complain and pointed to the game as a reason why test rugby is healthy as it is.
“It’s hard to complain, isn’t it? I still smile when you say you need a competition for test matches to be relevant, well just look at this you know?
“The passion of the French and the supporters was immense tonight. Like I said, it was awesome to be a part of it and proud of our guys for coming back but just ran out of a bit of energy at the end.”
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