All Blacks have a ‘chance’ to win the Championship

Foster said he was delighted with the win that lifted them to the lead in the Championship after Australia lost to South Africa.


It was a week in which the All Blacks had to respond to their first Test loss to Argentina. There had been comment about putting the same starting XV out for the second Test. but it reflected his belief in where the team was going, and he was pleased with the response.


It was an effort that kept the All Blacks in the Championship hunt, and with a bonus point and a wide points differential, that was a double reward.


"But we've got two to go and we're going to have to have two good performances to have a chance at this Championship."


The tactical response was seen across the 80 minutes where it had tapered off in the final quarter in the first Test in Christchurch.


"We got reward for a lot of our ball carries and some of the runs that we were making. The interpretation of the breakdown was very different from last week and that gave us a lot of confidence to play a little bit more and hence we saw the spectacle we saw."


The ambition was important and didn't blind the All Blacks to taking space when it was on.


"There were a few things that weren't perfect but I love that mindset when this team plays like that."


Foster said all they had done was give themselves a chance in the Championship, but the win was reward for the work they had done, and while they had not advanced the game they wanted to play as fast as they would like, there were signs of that in Saturday's game.


He was proud of captain Sam Cane's performance captain during the week because he had been under the pump. But he had answered his critics.


Foster felt centre Reiko Ioane's performance was one of his best Tests at centre, and it was down to time in the role.


"We've been putting a similar combination out for a reason. We're pretty determined to grow some athletes that we've got a bit of faith in. There's been a little bit of pain in that.


"What we've got out of that is he's confident, he's feeling secure in this environment and I think he's rolling his sleeves up in more of the darker arts of the breakdown and the ball carry."


Cane said the defence was good, and there were not penalty advantages to go back with.


"So when we turned the ball over we had opportunities to use it and build pressure that way."


Not having played as well as they wanted in New Zealand this year, they were determined to put a good performance on for their fans.


He felt the difference in interpretation of the breakdown, despite the conditions.


It had contributed to the spectacle, and it felt like the ball was in play much longer.


"Last week there wasn't too many periods of play where we were actually sucking in air. Teams were working harder out there tonight because it was a little more free-flowing because the ball was able to be recycled a bit quicker," he said.


Cane said he enjoyed working with No8 Ardie Savea, who was taking more of a leadership role.


"There's players you love going out there to battle with and you know they'll front up when you need them. He's certainly one of those. He's a beast."


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