‘Something’s wrong’ with ABs, says Shelford after Irish series loss
The All Blacks don’t ‘gel so well’ under coach Ian Foster – according to Sir Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford – with Foster under intense pressure after New Zealand’s historic Test series loss to Ireland .
The All Blacks great spoke to Breakfast on Monday, after Ireland’s 32-22 run secured the third Test victory in Wellington on Saturday.
It was the first time since 1998 that the All Blacks had lost two home Tests in a row.
“You can see there’s something wrong with the team, it’s not gelling so well.” said Shelford.
“Under pressure, this is a team that doesn’t always crack but ends up making a lot more mistakes than they normally would.”
Shelford says it’s important the coaching staff is scrutinized, especially head coach Ian Foster.
“Whether it’s about dropping Ian Foster or possibly withdrawing, the decision has to come from the NZRU (New Zealand Rugby Union).
“As a country, all we want is for our All Blacks team to keep winning,” he said.
Shelford also said a lot of players have changed over the past decade, but the All Blacks’ way of playing has not changed.
Former Blues player and Fijian international Isa Nacewa appeared on Breakfast alongside Shelford. He said the NZRU had to decide whether Foster kept his job or not.
“They have to make a decision as soon as possible, the players have to react, no matter what they do, they will buy, you will never doubt the effort the players have put in, that is indisputable.
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“Do they have the right support, do they have the right coaches, that will be the difference in the deciding factor, but whatever the decision, it just has to be clear. For everyone to hear, for that no one gets thrown under the bus,” he said.
On Sunday, New Zealand rugby boss Mark Robinson described the All Blacks’ performance in losing their three-Test series to Ireland as “unacceptable”.
In a forceful statement sent to the media a day after Ireland’s victory, general manager Robinson made clear his displeasure with the recent performances of Ian Foster’s men, who have lost four of their last five Tests.
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“Congratulations to the Irish team on their well deserved victory last night but it is clear that the performance of the All Blacks throughout the series was not acceptable as we know they reflected,” said said Robinson.
“We all know there is a lot of work to be done. Our focus now is to work with Ian and his team to fully understand ahead of the Rugby Championship what is needed to improve performance and where to go from here. We will begin this work immediately.