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29th Oct 2023

“We got the same behaviour from that TMO as we got in the Irish series last year” – Foster on World Cup final TMO

Niall McIntyre

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster felt slightly aggrieved about some of the officiating during his country’s 12-11 Rugby World Cup final loss to South Africa.

Having lost flanker Shannon Frizell early on to a sin bin, followed closely by a red card for their captain Sam Cane, the All Blacks played most of the game with fourteen men.

A Beauden Barrett try dragged them back into it but, for a finish, 12 points from the boot of Handre Pollard were enough to shade the final for the Springboks.

With South Africa captain Siya Kolisi having also spent time in the bin, for his high challenge on Ardie Savea, much of this final was dominated by refereeing decisions and TMO calls.

When asked if the TMO was too prominent in the game, New Zealand coach Ian Foster declined to provide an opinion one way or another, but he did none-the-less feel that some of the big calls went against his side.

“It is what it is,” said Foster.

Siya Kolisi

“There will be plenty of time to analyse. There was an attempt to wrap [by Sam Cane], and there didn’t seem to be a lot of force in the contact,” he said regarding his captain’s red card.

“But the (Kolisi’s) hit on Ardie had a lot of force going into the contact and had a direct contact on the head, so the game has a got few issues it has to sort out and that is not sour grapes.

“It is that you have got two different situations with different variables and one is a red card and one is a yellow card. And that is the game,” he said.

“It’s probably for the game to decide at some point. It’s not tonight.”

English TMO Tom Foley was Wayne Barnes’ right-hand-man on the night and speaking in his post-match press conference, the New Zealand coach Foster said that ‘we expected what we got.’

Foster referenced last summer’s series with Ireland, where he felt the ‘same behaviour’ was evident. As a back-story, Foley was the TMO of the final test of that summer series, where the All Blacks felt Andrew Porter should have been sent off for his hit on Brodie Retallick.

“We got the same behaviour from that TMO as we got in the Irish series last year, same TMO, so we expected what we got,” said Foster here.


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