‘All on the line at Ellis Park’ - Foster

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Coach Ian Foster said following Saturday's 10-26 loss, "We always knew coming over here two Tests was going to be massive.


"It would have been nice to win the first one, but we're going to Ellis Park and all on the line.


"We've got to have a deep breath. We know there's a lot of pressure on. And we're feeling that. But we've also got our own pressure on ourselves.


"Our job right now is to look at our performance and how we can grow it. I understand the frustration. I get that. It doesn't change what we have to do here and now.


"I still think there is something special brewing, but we've got to keep showing that," he said.


Foster said scans revealed no damage to Beauden Barrett's neck, although he was still sore after a mid-air clash that resulted in Springbok wing Kurt-Lee Arendse being sent off. A decision on his availability will be made for Ellis Park later in the week.


Fullback Jordie Barrett had a bad ankle that he said was not too bad.

Foster said he had 'massive concerns' about the challenge in the air that led to Beauden Barrett's injury. The clash with Arendse was the worst Foster had seen.


"It's pretty disappointing because it happened in the 10th minute as well, and they deemed that was fair, and that's part of the problem in the game.


"In a lineout, if you throw a jumper over their lineout with an arm up, it's considered obstruction, whereas it's becoming a bit of a free-for-all for jumpers just to be able to jump and stick a hand out and say they're competing, so it needs to be addressed," he said.


"We've got to make sure that we're protecting guys in the air and, to be fair, if you're going to compete you should at least show a couple of hands up."


Foster reiterated his post-game comment about the improved element of the All Blacks' play.


"I thought our defence and our…I thought we were sturdier in that space and did well in the outside channels after negating their big carriers' close-in. So I was pleased with that, whereas against Ireland, we conceded a couple in that area.


"I thought our lineout work, we pressured theirs but also our lineout maul defence which was a big work-on for us, and I thought there was a big shift in that space, and also in our movements off the ball. I think we had a lot more certainty about what we were doing."


They were areas the All Blacks targeted and they got movement in them.

"It wasn't good enough, and I think I made the point that for all that good stuff the team is still trying to find its feet. We're trying to get out of these three defeats, and we're trying a little bit too hard and the errors are in big moments, so that's a part we've got to sort out very quickly."


The effort was going in from a team that still had a lot of belief, and while they felt they were taking steps, they had to prove that.


"I did think we proved that in some areas and they were areas that had been our Achilles heel before, so it was pleasing to do that, but we're going to have to do it again on Saturday."


Foster said from a high-performance perspective, he would like contact more often with South African sides because they had benefited in the past from playing against their Super Rugby teams. It was sad that it was unlikely to happen.


Foster was delighted with hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho's performance, while the front row's effort in the second half had been pleasing given the way South Africa went to their scrum in the second half of big games.


"I thought our scrum grew stronger as the game went on which, again, is another pleasing thing," he said.


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