21 Nov 2018

All Blacks frustrated by tweaks to their game

7:56 am on 21 November 2018

The All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster admits to some frustrations with the tweaks they've made to their game plan this year.

Nepo Laulala.


The All Blacks lacked accuracy, especially on attack, in their loss to Ireland at the weekend and have scored just one try in their last two Tests in the northern hemisphere.

Speaking in Rome ahead of this weekend's game against Italy, Foster says coaches are always a bit impatient when trying to implement change.

"We've been round long enough to know that some of the things you've just got to keep chipping away at and overall when you look through the flow of the year, we've actually been pretty happy with where we've got to."

"Clearly we're disappointed with our last performance, but that doesn't change the fact that there are parts of our game that are going really really well and there are some that we obviously didn't nail."

Foster says generally they're happy with the tweaks they've been making.

"So what we're doing is looking at different options against different types of defence and different teams and this is the beauty of now we're playing real Test matches where if we don't get them right we get hurt, so we get tested under a lot of pressure and we'll be able to see where we're at."

"You're always trying to add little pieces to what you're doing and the key is to get the key components of it really clear."

All Blacks after loss to Ireland 2018.

All Blacks after loss to Ireland 2018. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Foster says he's not expecting too much physically from his players at training this week.

"At this stage of the year, going into the last week of the year, we're not trying to go a hundred miles an hour, we're really trying to make sure we've just got real clarity on nailing a few little parts that we want to keep growing so that's the main focus."

The All Blacks have a smaller squad in Rome this week after a number of players, including Sam Whitelock and the injured trio of Joe Moody, Sonny Bill Williams and Liam Squire all returned home.