All Blacks coach: Read incident not cynical

Ian Foster (Getty Images)
Ian Foster (Getty Images)

Cape Town - New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster does not agree with the notion that skipper Kieran Read acted cynically in their 22-17 win over Scotland in Edinburgh this past weekend.

The All Blacks skipper escaped punishment after slapping the ball out of Scottish lock Jonny Gray’s hands late in the contest.

The Kiwis were already down a man in the 72nd minute, and with Scotland camped on their tryline, video replays showed Read clearly slapping the ball out of the hands of Gray while on the ground.

English referee Matthew Carley somehow missed the incident, despite it taking place directly in front of him.

Scotland assistant coach Dan McFarland said it was "cynical" play.

"It should have been a yellow card, quite possibly a try, and quite possibly a penalty try. I can see that (all those options) would be something for discussion, but that's not up for discussion now is it?” McFarland was quoted as saying on the website.

"New Zealand are an extremely competitive side and everybody in world rugby knows that when you get the ball into their 22, the very last thing they want to do is concede a try. That's how they play. They're very streetwise, they're very clever."

However, Foster did not agree with the notion that Read trod a fine line between fair and foul: "His record tells you that he doesn't, if the comment is about highlighting a spell where we got put under a lot of pressure and got penalised a lot, then we've got to learn from that. But extrapolate that few minutes out to say it's cynical, I wouldn't agree with that."

Meanwhile, Read did not take part in All Blacks training in Cardiff on Tuesday but will be given time to recover ahead of Saturday’s Test against Wales.

The All Blacks have, for the second week in a row, delayed the naming of their team until after their Thursday afternoon training session.

A spokesperson indicated this was to assess selections, as well as Read's status as he continues to struggle with wear and tear, and especially a hip flexor issue.

Note: The incident in question takes place around the one minute mark in the video clip below.

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