Foster being coy on new ‘rushing defence’ for Super 14




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Chiefs coach Ian Foster won’t comment on the defensive strategy Warren Gatland and assistant Tony Hanks brought from England to the Waikato NPC team this season.

Waikato reportedly missed 20 tackles in their 40-21 loss to North Harbour on Sunday. The defeat has put them out of the running for the NPC semifinals for the first time in four years.

“I’d prefer not to comment on tactics or how people are playing at the moment,” Foster said when asked what he thought of the rushing defence and whether he would use it. (in the Super 14)

But he said he had discussed at length the Waikato and Bay of Plenty seasons with head coaches, Gatland and Vern Cotter respectively. “Both teams missing out on the semifinals is not ideal but we’ve got to make sure we understand the reasons why.”

Foster said he was happy with where his Chiefs team got to by the end of the last Super 12 and had to take that into account in looking ahead to next year’s Super 14 with confidence.

“But in saying that, the players left at the end of last season with messages that they had to keep growing in certain areas and we have to decide whether they have made the improvements we wanted.

“It’s up to the players to show they are up to standard and there are two games left in the NPC to do that.”

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