• Cane hits back at ‘brutal’ critics

    All Blacks captain Sam Cane has accused those questioning his leadership in the wake of the shock loss to Argentina of being ignorant about rugby.

    Cane, as well as coach Ian Foster, have come in for criticism following the All Blacks’ stunning 25-15 defeat by Argentina in Sydney this past Saturday, which followed the previous weekend’s loss to Australia.

    It was the first time that the All Blacks had lost to Argentina in 30 Test matches and condemned Foster’s team to back-to-back defeats for the first time since 2011.

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    Speaking during an interview with New Zealand’s Sky Sports, Cane said that the All Blacks players share their fans’ frustrations, but added that some of the ‘brutal’ comments posted online were unhelpful.

    ‘We’ve got amazing fans but we’ve also got some pretty brutal ones,’ Cane explained. ‘You’ve just got to remind yourself that they may like to think they know a lot about the game of rugby but in reality they don’t.

    ‘If I’m having my leadership questioned in public, the opinions that really matter to me are my teammates and the coaches I work with every single day. I’ve got a lot of confidence from them that we’re on the right track.’

    Cane also defended Foster following calls for him to be replaced by Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson, who was one of the applicants to succeed Steve Hansen.

    ‘He’s given us really clear focuses on where we need to get better, so it’s not like we’re bogged down and don’t have the answers,’ Cane said. ‘Foz is only human.’

    The All Blacks’ final Tri-Nations fixture is against Argentina in Newcastle on 28 November.

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    Photo: Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images