Sam Cane has apologised to the All Blacks’ supporters after they suffered a first ever test series loss to Ireland.
New Zealand looked back to their best in the first test at Eden Park as they ran in six tries to win by 23 points, but consecutive losses to Ireland in Dunedin and Wellington has seen them lose their first home test series since 1994.
The All Blacks fought back admirably in the second half after trailing by 19 points at the break, but it wasn’t enough in the end as Ireland resisted the onslaught and held on to win 32-22.
All Blacks captain Sam Cane was speaking on Sky Sport NZ after the game and apologised to his side’s supporters while acknowledging Ireland’s excellent performances in the second and third tests.
Sam Cane on New Zealand’s test series loss to Ireland.
“We’re extremely disappointed. Gutted in fact. We didn’t pull out the performance we so desperately wanted to in front of some pretty awesome fans,” Cane started.
“But we can’t take anything away from Ireland, they’ve been outstanding these last couple of weeks. It hurts to say but they were too good for us tonight. We’ve got some work to do.
“We certainly felt the support. It’s been incredible to play at home after the last couple of years. We felt the support, but I tell you what, we’re bloody sorry we couldn’t put the performances out there that you guys deserve.
“Massive respect to Ireland. They’ve come out here with a massive tour taking on obviously our three tests plus the Māori. They’ve been class and they deserve their win tonight.”
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) July 16, 2022
Questions will be asked of the All Blacks.
It isn’t often that the All Blacks find themselves under pressure from their own supporters, although there will now be calls for change in the national team’s set-up after four losses in five matches.
Things won’t be getting much easier for the All Blacks either, as they prepare to travel to South Africa to play the Springboks away from home twice in the opening rounds of the Rugby Championship.
Head coach Ian Foster was already under pressure before the test series began, as the All Blacks lost to Ireland and France in November, but the heat has been turned up considerably after a famous win for the Irish.