The Government today congratulated the All Blacks team on their effort in finishing runners up in the Men’s Rugby World Cup in Paris.
“On behalf of New Zealand, I’d like to congratulate coach Ian Foster, captain Sam Cane and the rest of the team for their achievements. It’s been an incredible seven weeks of rugby and the team has done New Zealand proud,” said Sports Minister, Grant Robertson, who attended the match.
The final saw the All Blacks play South Africa in a rematch of the 1995 Rugby World Cup final, with the All Blacks falling agonisingly short by just one point. An outstanding and courageous performance by the team despite playing with 14 men for almost the entire game, said Mr Robertson.
“The All Blacks ethos is all about the team and this was truly a full-team effort throughout the tournament with tries scored by 21 different players across the seven games,” he said.
“Special mention has to go to Sam Whitelock who became the most capped All Black against Italy and, fittingly, came up with the crucial turnover during the tense final moments of the quarterfinal win over Ireland.
“I would also like to thank head coach Ian Foster as he steps down from his role. He has had a challenging time as head coach, but he has come through with a significant achievement at this World Cup. Ian has had a long career with the All Blacks – twelve years – winning a World Cup as an Assistant Coach in 2015 and his significant contribution has to be acknowledged.”
Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, paid tribute to all the fans cheering the team on.
“Whether New Zealanders have shown their support in France or from back home, I know it has given the All Blacks the extra advantage that helped them come this far,” Mr Hipkins said.
“Well done again to all those who made these efforts possible, from the players and coaching staff to their friends and whānau who have supported them all the way. It’s been incredible to see the team bounce back from that tough opening game against France and set the tournament alight.
“New Zealand looks forward to welcoming the team home and celebrating their achievements,” he said.