All Blacks boss Ian Foster. Photosport/Aaron Gillions/INPHO

'If Scotland win two games then Ireland can miss out' - All Blacks boss Foster

The Kiwi boss suggested last night’s win over Italy was a better spectacle than Ireland’s clash with the Springboks.

ALL BLACKS BOSS Ian Foster has underlined that Ireland have still yet to qualify for the World Cup quarter-finals amid lots of discussion about a possible clash between the sides in the first knock-out round.

The Kiwis have one foot in the quarter-finals after last night’s 96-17 obliteration of Italy, with a game against minnows Uruguay to come next week.

As Foster praised his side’s performance, he pointed out that Gregor Townsend’s Scotland could still pip Ireland to a place in the knock-outs. Ireland meet Scotland next week in their final Pool B game, with the Scots taking on Romania this evening.

“It was a performance we wanted this week,” said Foster last night.

“People create a lot of panic about your chances and all that sort of stuff, particularly after we lost the first one [against France].

“The critical game for us in this pool was always going to be Italy. There was enough evidence to show that if we didn’t perform well and they played as well as they have been performing this year, it was going to be a heck of a tough game. We were good enough to take that away from them.

“We have to do the same next week as the same applies. Do the maths and next week’s also equally important. We put ourselves in control of our own destiny and that’s where we want to be and put some pressure on some other teams who have still got some tough games coming up.

“Look at Ireland. If Scotland win two games then Ireland can miss out. It’s a tough World Cup.”

Foster said he’s not spending too much time worrying about who the All Blacks could face in the quarter-finals. It’s still possible for them to meet Ireland, South Africa, or Scotland.

aaron-smith-celebrates-scoring-a-try-with-teammates The All Blacks shredded Italy. Photosport / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO Photosport / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

“Not at all,” he said. “I have got no preference about who we play. Those questions early in the pool don’t mean a lot as there are a lot of things that can still happen. We don’t spend any time thinking about what might happen.

“I know that’s a boring answer but that’s the truth. What happens if Scotland go and play two great games and either Ireland or South Africa, are not there?

“We’ll do our job, take it one week at a time and find out who it is. You just have to look at the draw to know that the quarter-finals are going to be huge. We just want to get there. Then we’ll worry about who is there.”

As he underlined how happy he was with his side’s 14-try win over the Italians, Foster also compared New Zealand’s facile game to Ireland’s win over the Springboks last weekend.

Though the latter game was lauded as a brilliant, brutal contest, Foster suggested that his side’s win over Italy was a better spectacle.

“If you look at the South Africa-Ireland game, it was a different game of rugby,” said Foster.

“The ball was in play for 27 minutes throughout the whole game. It was a very stop-start game, very physical, very combative. You saw a different spectacle tonight and at some point the world has got to decide which game it would rather watch.”

The ball-in-play time last night as New Zealand ran in try after try was just two minutes higher than during Ireland’s win over South Africa.

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