Rugby: What the stats say about Ian Foster’s All Blacks tenure


All Blacks coach Ian Foster. Photo / Photosport

During his 18 tests in charge, Ian Foster has accumulated a long list of firsts as All Blacks head coach – but not the good kind.

The All Blacks’ historic series defeat to Ireland followed by third straight loss against South Africa was the latest unwanted record during Foster’s tenure.

The 26-10 loss in Mbombela was the All Blacks’ eighth defeat under Foster, meaning the under-four coach reached the landmark significantly quicker than previous coaches.

Steve Hansen didn’t lose his eighth test until his 95th match in charge, while Graham Henry took 54 tests before the team had eight losses.

Another unwanted record was made during the third test against Ireland, when the All Blacks headed to halftime with a 22-3 deficit. The 19-point halftime gap was the largest the All Blacks have ever trailed after the first 40 minutes in the team’s history.

Foster’s All Blacks held the previous record from last year’s test in November against France, where they trailed by 18 at halftime. They would go on to lose that test 40-25.

Foster has also racked up a number of firsts during his time at the helm:

– First coach to lose a home series since 1994
– First coach to lose back-to-back tests in his first three years in charge
– First coach to lose to Argentina
– First coach to lose to Ireland at home
– First coach to lose a series to Ireland
– First coach to lose to five different nations (Australia, Argentina, South Africa, Ireland and France). Laurie Mains suffered defeats to six sides – The World XV, Australia, the Lions, England, France and South Africa. Hansen lost to five sides – Australia, South Africa, Ireland, England and the British and Irish Lions.
– Under Foster, Ireland, France, South Africa and Argentina have all beaten the All Blacks by 10 points or more.

It hasn’t been all bad, however, with the All Blacks claiming two records against the Wallabies under Foster’s watch:

– Most points scored against the Wallabies in the All Blacks’ 57-22 victory at Eden Park last year to secure the Bledisloe Cup
– Biggest ever win margin over the Wallabies (38 points) in the All Blacks’ 43-5 thrashing in Sydney in 2020, also to secure the Bledisloe Cup

Meanwhile, Foster has overseen 17 All Blacks wins so far. Of his 17 wins, eight of those were against sides ranked outside of the top eight in the world (Tonga, Fiji, Argentina, Italy and USA).

But perhaps the most worrying stat for Foster is his win percentage of 65 per cent, which is the worst by an All Blacks coach in the professional era.

List of defeats by margin

South Africa 26 All Blacks 10
France 40 All Blacks 25
Ireland 23 All Blacks 12
Ireland 32 All Blacks 22
Argentina 25 All Blacks 15
Ireland 29 All Blacks 20
South Africa 31 All Blacks 29
Australia 24 All Blacks 22

List of victories by margin

All Blacks 101 Tonga 0
All Blacks 104 USA 14
All Blacks 60 Fiji 13
All Blacks 39 Argentina 0
All Blacks 47 Italy 9
All Blacks 54 Wales 16
All Blacks 38 Argentina 0
All Blacks 43 Australia 5
All Blacks 57 Australia 22
All Blacks 57 Fiji 23
All Blacks 36 Argentina 13
All Blacks 42 Ireland 19
All Blacks 27 Australia 7
All Blacks 38 Australia 21
All Blacks 35 South Africa 23
All Blacks 33 Australia 25
All Blacks 19 South Africa 17

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