New Zealand head coach Ian Foster hailed a ‘special day’ as the All Blacks set up a World Cup semi-final against Argentina by beating Ireland in an astonishing match in Paris.
The southern hemisphere giants scored tries through Leicester Fainga’anuku, Ardie Savea and Will Jordan to emerge as winners 28-24, despite losing Aaron Smith and Codie Taylor to yellow cards.
‘This was a special day for us. I lost my voice. I think the world has been talking about these two quarter-finals for two years,” Foster said.
‘Sometimes the best victories are when your opponent tests you to the limit. We didn’t want to play Ireland with two yellow cards. We played a large part of the match with 14 men.
‘I couldn’t be more proud of the players. It feels good.’
Delighted New Zealand head coach Ian Foster hugs his players after their win over Ireland
The win keeps the All Blacks on course for World Cup glory and Foster hailed a ‘special day’
Foster will step down from his role and be replaced by Scott Robertson at the end of this World Cup.
But he could still leave as world champion. New Zealand is favorite against Argentina on Friday.
The All Blacks held out for a whopping 37 defensive phases in a thrilling finale to their victory in Ireland.
‘What an incredible end to a Test match. It is quite clear that the defense won us the Test match, said New Zealand captain Sam Cane.
‘That must be our benchmark for the future. I don’t think we were fooled.’
As world No. 1 and Six Nations grand slam champions, Ireland were favorites to win in Paris last night (SUN) but they were left without an excellent New Zealand performance.
Foster said it was among the best of his tenure.
“You (journalists) keep reminding me that South Africa was quite important last year,” he said, referring to the win over the Springboks that saved him from plunder.
Leicester Fainga’anuku (centre) scored New Zealand’s first try of the evening against Ireland
Ardie Savea stayed wide to string together another try for the All Blacks as Ireland struggled
Will Jordan (left) scored a crucial try for New Zealand against the style of play in the second half
‘I still had the feeling that we were in control to a large extent. I actually felt quite calm. We have not lost our patience.
“I’m not sure how far under the radar we were. Next week we won’t be under the radar.
‘All the talk was about Ireland, but it’s not the place we want to be. We know Argentina well. They’re tough.’