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Opinion

Did the All Blacks make the wrong coaching call?

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Roar Guru
6 days ago
16

When you think of the All Blacks of recent times, you think of how dominant they have been.

They may not be the reigning world champions, but their form since 2011 has been almost unstoppable. With a winning percentage of over 80 per cent in that time frame, they have been one of the most successful sides in all of sport.

Rarely do they ever get things wrong – but for some reason, this may have occurred right underneath the nose of all All Blacks fans.

When legendary coach Steven Hansen gave up his post after the 2019 World Cup, there were candidates aplenty lining up to take the top gong. But Hansen openly earmarked the man who served as his assistant during his tenure – Ian Foster – as his successor and New Zealand Rugby duly appointed Foster as the new All Blacks head coach.

Now, it has only been one game, I know. But I, along with probably the rest of New Zealand, am questioning why Scott Robertson didn’t get the post.

Let’s turn the focus to ‘Razor’. What has he achieved to qualify himself for the biggest heading coaching job in the code?

  • In 2013, he was appointed head coach of Canterbury in the ITM Cup and won two titles in the time he was there.
  • In 2014, he was appointed the Under 20s head coach, leading them to a World Cup victory in 2015.
  • In 2017, he was appointed head coach of the Canterbury Crusaders, a post he still holds today. He has managed four consecutive titles.

The common denominator is that he just wins. He knows how to manage strong rosters and he clearly knows how to succeed.

For those about to comment about the strength of the Crusaders roster, Todd Blackadder had a better roster with prime Dan Carter and Richie McCaw, and yet never won a title. He lost grand finals in 2011 and 2014.

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Robertson should have been appointed the New Zealand head coach. He is a certified winner, and Foster, with respect, is just a certified assistant coach.

Working under possibly the greatest All Blacks head coach of all time has its perks. If you’re loyal, as Foster was, it benefits you when the head coaching spot becomes vacant. Foster hasn’t proven much as a head coach, and to give him the biggest job of all was a major risk.

I hope and pray Robertson isn’t lost to another country, because he would definitely become the one who got away.

It’s not often the class organisation that is the All Blacks make the wrong call, but in this case, they have.