Rugby

All Blacks coach Ian Foster says Lions Tour ‘put me to sleep’ and brands second Test a ‘slugfest’

All Blacks coach Ian Foster scathingly criticises the Lions series in South Africa for being too cautious, saying the clashes ‘put me to sleep’ and branding the two-hour second Test in Cape Town as a ‘slugfest’

  • All Blacks coach Ian Foster has claimed that the Lions series put him to sleep 
  • Foster was especially critical of the second Test as he branded it a ‘slugfest’ 
  • South Africa forwards coach Deon Davids defended conservative style of play 

The Lions series in South Africa has been ridiculed by All Blacks coach Ian Foster for being so boring it is sending him to sleep.

Foster took aim at Saturday’s second Test, which he branded a two-hour ‘slugfest’ dominated by kicking contests.

He was assistant coach to Steve Hansen during the 2017 Lions tour of New Zealand and believes the series is too cautious now.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster claimed that the Lions series in South Africa sent him to sleep

All Blacks coach Ian Foster claimed that the Lions series in South Africa sent him to sleep

‘I watched it between 10pm and 1am. It put me to sleep,’ said Foster.

‘The Lions series, the one we had here, the one over there… they’re a very tight, almost risk-free type of series. Teams are almost afraid to play and are relying on a low-risk strategy.

‘We are seeing two teams who desperately want to win a big series playing low-risk, highly effective rugby. Two teams playing a similar style… it’s a bit of a slugfest.

Foster had been especially critical of the second Test, stating that the contest was a 'slugfest'

Foster had been especially critical of the second Test, stating that the contest was a ‘slugfest’

‘That’s Test match rugby where stakes are high. It’s the whole risk versus reward, isn’t it? You’ve got two teams over there, who want to get up, their line speed is really strong and it’s all about stopping.

‘We’ve been criticised in the past for not being able to play around and through line speed, but what you are seeing is two teams that don’t like playing against line speed either. So they kick. That’s the answer if you are not willing to play a slightly more risky game.’

Foster has joined a chorus of dissenting voices, including ex-Springboks coach Peter de Villiers and former Wales star Jonathan Davies.

However, South Africa forwards coach Deon Davids has defended the conservative style of play on display in Cape Town.

South Africa forward coach Deon Davids defended the conservative style of play on show

South Africa forward coach Deon Davids defended the conservative style of play on show

‘It’s a spectacle,’ said Davids. ‘I think it’s fantastic. Rugby has always been about a physical battle on-field, but also a battle where opponents try to outsmart each other.

‘The same narrative was there when the Boks won the 2019 Championship and when they won the World Cup.

‘When we execute stuff, it’s not about being boring, it’s about understanding what we want to achieve.

‘I believe in our approach and what it leads us to.’


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