By Clement Mazella
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This Sunday, July 10, the New Zealanders wake up with quite a hangover. By scrutinizing the future World Rugby ranking, which will be effective this Monday, they now see the All Blacks at the 4e square. Never had the men in black been so low. The consequences of a historic defeat in Dunedin against Ireland, which had never won on New Zealand soil, but also of a very dull period for the triple world champions (1987, 2011 and 2015).
“The damning proof of the sad decline of the All Blacks”
In a country where rugby is king, the press does not beat around the bush and fires red balls at this team whose game has been falling apart for a while now. And who above all is now showing enormous indiscipline. Against the XV of Clover, she received two yellow cards in the first act, but also a red for the pillar Angus Ta’avao, forcing the All Blacks to play for 50 minutes in numerical inferiority.
Writing in the New Zealand Herald, journalist Gregor Paul called the loss to Ireland “damning proof of the sad decline of the All Blacks”. For him, this team was “tasteless” and avoided “a humiliation due to a miraculous defense”. On the website Stuff.co, this team is compared to “a tattered crowd rather than an elite unit proudly defending a record on its national soil”. Fans, on Twitter, used qualifiers “horrible”, “tragic”, “farce”, the copy returned by the All Blacks.
Ian Foster under fire from critics
Already singled out for months, the coach Ian Foster is increasingly under fire from critics. On social networks, many New Zealand supporters have asked for “his resignation” (“Get out”), to replace him with the coach of the Crusaders, Scott Robertson. This one, author of breathtaking results with his province, has always had the favor of public opinion, and Foster has constantly had the threat Robertson above his head.
To make matters worse, Foster’s results have been in freefall since late August 2021 and his contract extension until the 2023 World Cup, with some pushing for his exit then. Since this signing, the New Zealanders have played 8 games, for a record of 4 wins and 4 losses. For the All Blacks, it’s inconceivable!
The explanations for this fall
The captain Sam Canenot so irreproachable as that on the ground, does not escape the storm, and several voices also rise for the stripes to be withdrawn from him. He, and Foster, play very big in the 3e and last test this Saturday in Wellington. A new defeat would represent an industrial disaster, and could have serious consequences. “Something has to change”, proclaims Stuff.co.
In addition to the criticisms, legitimate, the local press targets the reasons for this fall of the All Blacks. indisciplinesure. It would be due to a certain leniency of the New Zealand referees in Super Rugbya competition whose level is considered to be down after the departure of the South African teams. And in 2024, Australians will do the same. The Federation is also in the sights, more concerned about financial futurethan the level of the youth teams, which are less dominant than before. In short, just over a year from the 2023 World Cup, there is the start of a big fire in the house of the All Blacks.
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