Former New Zealand head coach Ian Foster. Photo: AFP

Foster calls out Kwagga Smith’s move in World Cup Final drama

Ian Foster reflects on the World Cup Final, discussing key moments and his team’s resilience under challenging circumstances.


Former New Zealand head coach Ian Foster. Photo: AFP

Nearly a month has elapsed since the dramatic World Cup Final in Paris, where the All Blacks, under the guidance of Ian Foster, faced a heart-wrenching 11-12 defeat to the Springboks. As the outgoing head coach, Foster’s analysis of the game reveals a mix of philosophical acceptance and lingering what-ifs.

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Foster’s Perspective on the Pivotal Moment

Foster pointed to a crucial moment involving Kwagga Smith, where a penalty was not awarded to the All Blacks. “Kwagga Smith clearly had hands on the ground when he won a ball at the breakdown,” Foster noted, highlighting this as a potential turning point in the match​​.

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Foster and the Nature of Finals

Reflecting on the nature of World Cup finals, Foster acknowledged the fine margins that define such high stakes matches. He reminisced about the All Blacks’ tight victory over France in 2011, noting how closely fought contests often leave lasting impressions and stir debates​​​​.

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Philosophical Stance and Regrets

Despite Foster’s ruminations and occasional sleepless nights pondering “what if,” he adopts a philosophical stance. “I’ll never get over it I don’t think, but there is no point in us carrying around a lot of anger,” Foster said, accepting the unpredictable nature of finals with their inherent drama and tension​​.

Pride in Team Resilience

Foster expressed pride in his team’s resilience, facing challenges such as the red card for captain Sam Cane. His admiration for the team’s grit in tough circumstances underscores his leadership and belief in the All Blacks’ spirit​​.

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Legacy and Reflection

As Ian Foster’s stint with the All Blacks comes to a close, his reflections on the World Cup Final encapsulate the highs and lows of rugby at its peak. His insights offer a window into the mindset of a coach grappling with the narrowest of defeats on rugby’s biggest stage.