Will Foster be shown the door if the All Blacks lose to the Pumas again?

Is it really possible that New Zealand Rugby will give Ian Foster his marching orders in the event that the All Blacks lose to Argentina on Saturday in the penultimate game of the Tri Nations competition? Exactly how seriously the folk in the shaky isles take their rugby can be gauged from the fact that […]

Will Foster be shown the door if the All Blacks lose to the Pumas again?

Is it really possible that New Zealand Rugby will give Ian Foster his marching orders in the event that the All Blacks lose to Argentina on Saturday in the penultimate game of the Tri Nations competition?

Exactly how seriously the folk in the shaky isles take their rugby can be gauged from the fact that this option has been canvassed by a number of rugby writers after the disaster of the 25-15 loss to Argentina a fortnight ago.

Foster has had a disastrous start to his term as coach, with two defeats in his first five games in charge. Had these defeats been at the hands of teams like England or South Africa, it is doubtful that people would have reacted as they have.

But losing to Argentina is an entirely different story, especially given that the All Blacks have never lost to the Pumas until this year. The closest the South Americans had come to victory was a draw back in 1985.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Such has been the criticism from the public that it has riled New Zealand captain Sam Cane to the point where he made an unseemly comment, the likes of which have never come from any skipper that I can recall.

Cane came in for severe criticism after he said some fans were “brutal” and “might like to think they know a lot about the game of rugby, but really they don’t” during an interview with Sky Sports’ The Breakdown.

The All Blacks captain, the third most important man in the country after the prime minister and the All Blacks coach, has not expressed any remorse over his churlish statement.

He told the New Zealand Herald on Friday: “I’ve always spoken my mind and been reasonably honest, I hope most people will appreciate that.

“It’d be nice to just always do these interviews and play a pretty straight bat, you know, generic answers, but I suppose every now and then being honest may create some headlines.

“I was pretty happy with the whole interview as itself. If the whole interview is viewed it probably puts it into context.”

The New Zealand public is very possessive about their rugby team and it is probably a good thing that Saturday’s game is being played in Australia, else Cane may well have faced a public display of anger.

That said, it is not the public who decides on who will be coach. But if Foster were to lose a third game, questions would be raised about how he got the job ahead of Scott Robertson.

He has not been particularly successful in any role, and his only qualification was that he filled in as Steve Hansen’s deputy for many years.

Hansen went 35 games before his charges suffered two losses. Overall, the burly Hansen presided over 108 games and lost only ten.

Given that, Foster has very big shoes to fill and to say he would be nervous in the run-up to Saturday’s game is probably the understatement of the decade.

Even though the players tried to take the blame for the terrible showing against the Pumas last time, everyone knows that the coach will have to wear any blame.

Source : The Roar More   

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Guido Petti is a serious threat

Guido Petti Pagadizábal is the shortest starting lock in a top-ten Test team, yet he flies the highest. The best Super Rugby lineout thief over the last three seasons and usually atop lineout stats with Eben Etzebeth in the Rugby Championship, Petti is a hooker’s best friend (if a Puma/Jaguar) or nightmare (because he is […]

Guido Petti is a serious threat

Guido Petti Pagadizábal is the shortest starting lock in a top-ten Test team, yet he flies the highest.

The best Super Rugby lineout thief over the last three seasons and usually atop lineout stats with Eben Etzebeth in the Rugby Championship, Petti is a hooker’s best friend (if a Puma/Jaguar) or nightmare (because he is catlike).

He jumps quickly, is easy to lift and has hang time even if he jumps without a lift at the back of the lineout. A lot of Basques have excelled in French rugby, and it seems from his apellido materno that Petti’s mum is from Basque heritage. A tough tribe.

After looking at tighthead lock Patrick Tuipulotu’s sub-standard outing (0.61 involvements per minute, with far too many negatives) in the loss to Petti’s Pumas, and comparing that display to Rob Simmons’ commanding game in the 15-15 draw (0.75 involvements per minute, and not one negative), I decided to complete the Tri-Nations look by running the ruler over a Petti test.

Petti played the whole match in the historic win over the All Blacks. His rate of involvement (discrete actions outside the scrum) was between the sluggish rate of Paddy and Rob’s surprisingly busy tempo: 0.66 per minute. However, his actions were almost as impeccable as Rob’s (only one negative event), did not taper in the second half and were more positive in ratio than the other two 4-locks.

He was the primary big carrier (14 runs) and made 11 tackles.

First chukka (seven involvements)
Positive: a strong carry which led to a good drop goal attempt for Nico Sánchez (missed), a dominant tackle, a restart catch looking into the sun in heavy traffic and a good lineout contest causing a Sam Whitelock bobble.

Neutral: he attended a ruck, won an easy lineout and helped stop a maul drive.

Second chukka (ten involvements)
Positive: Petti caused another lineout fumble, carried hard (leading to a Sánchez penalty), won the quickest lineout of the match and busted a Whitelock tackle leading up to the Sánchez try.

Neutral: he made three carries in 32 seconds, a tackle, guided a maul, completed a clean and attended a ruck.

Third chukka (seven involvements)
Positive: Petti was first to a loose ball after a Tuipulotu fumble.

Neutral: he attended four rucks, made a settling carry and tackled Jack Goodhue (which seemed to take a toll on Petti).

Fourth chukka (one involvement)
Negative: a lost ball at a lineout.

For the half, Petti had 25 total involvements (nine positive, 15 neutral, one negative). The tackle at 26:42 bothered him. He needed oranges.

Fifth chukka (eight involvements)
Petti came back strong.

Positive: Petti ripped the ball from Petti one minute into the second half, won a tough take in a lineout, led a huge maul, stole a lineout to stop an All Black attack and made a big five metre carry through two tacklers at a critical point.

Neutral: he attended a ruck, made a tackle and a decent carry.

Sixth chukka (six involvements)
Positive: Petti took two tough lineouts (one without a lifter, at 56:05) and a restart in traffic.

(Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images)

Neutral: he tackled BBBBB and got stuck in on two maul defences.

Seventh chukka (six involvements)
He wasn’t slowing down.

Positive: another lineout steal and two dominant tackles.

Neutral: he carried to settle Tomas Cubelli and attended a couple of rucks.

Eighth chukka (nine involvements)
Positive: Petti tackled Ardie Savea first time dominated Codie Taylor in a tackle and made a hard cleanout at 79:16.

Neutral: he defended a maul, led a maul, made a team tackle, a normal tackle and carried twice.

At the end, Petti was still working and raised his arms in joy.

He had 54 discrete involvements, 23 of them positive. Phenomenal.

Whilst he was not as busy as Simmons, he was a bit more influential at the lineout and in the carry.

Petti isn’t tall enough to be a Test lock, and yet he absolutely is big enough: in heart, work rate and intelligence.

Basque in the applause, Guido Petti.

Source : The Roar More   

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