All Blacks boss Ian Foster has given his take on the highly criticised second Test between the Springboks and British & Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium this past Saturday.
Much has been said and many column inches dedicated to address the manner in which the all-important second Test between South Africa and the Lions was played. In fact, the Springboks have been the more heavily criticised side for what many perceive as a ‘boring’ brand of rugby, despite the Lions actually employing quite similar (kicking) tactics as their hosts.
Addressing the media ahead of the this week’s first Bledisloe Cup Test against the Wallabies, Foster said he had watched the second Test of the Lions tour and it put him to sleep.
“I watched it between 10pm [New Zealand time] and 1am, it put me to sleep,” Foster said.
“The Lions series, the one we had here, the one over there, it’s become very tight, almost risk-free type of series, aren’t they? Teams are almost afraid to play, they are just relying on a low-risk strategy,” he said.
“So, we are seeing two teams who desperately want to win a big series playing low-risk, highly effective rugby.
“Both of them are good at the close-contact stuff, the close-quarter fighting, the kick and chase, and the pressure game. Two teams playing a similar style, it’s a bit of a slugfest.
“That’s Test-match rugby where stakes are high, it’s the whole risk versus reward, isn’t it?” he added.
“You’ve got two teams over there, who want to get up, their linespeed is really strong. It’s all about stopping.
“We’ve been criticised in the past for not being able to play around and through linespeed, but what you are seeing is two teams that don’t like playing against linespeed, either.
“So what do they do? They kick. That’s the answer if you are not willing to play a slightly more risky game. Everyone will choose a different way.”
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