Ian Foster has "no idea" if New Zealand's 35-23 Rugby Championship win over South Africa on Saturday will be enough to save his job.

Foster has faced huge pressure as head coach of the All Blacks after a dismal run of five defeats in six Tests, but his team put in an impressive performance in Johannesburg.

Tries from captain Sam Cane and Samisoni Taukei'aho gave them a strong start, only for the world champions to fight back and take the lead with 12 minutes to go courtesy of scores from Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi, as well as 15 points from the boot of Handre Pollard.

Beauden Barrett had been sent to the sin bin for New Zealand, but late tries from David Havili and Scott Barrett turned things around for the All Blacks and secured a defiant win.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Foster was asked if he thought the victory might allow him a stay of execution, to which he said: "I have no idea, I am just going to enjoy tonight.

"It's never easy when you are coming off a couple of losses, but [I am] so proud. Just so proud of the effort... they hung in and finished strong."

Three consecutive defeats saw New Zealand plummet to fifth in the world rankings after losing their Rugby Championship opener last weekend, their lowest point in history.

Foster said after that defeat in Mbombela that it had been his team's best performance of the year, despite being beaten by South Africa.

"I know I got a little bit mocked for saying that last week, after the loss, but we made a big shift last week through our forward pack," he added.

"The work [forwards coach] Jason Ryan has done out there was strong, and I really felt we were creating a few opportunities. We wanted it so much we were rushing things. Whereas today [Saturday], we were just more patient."

The All Blacks' next game is against Argentina in Christchurch, and it remains to be seen if Foster will still be at the helm when that takes place on August 27.

Ian Foster may have been given a lifeline at Ellis Park as New Zealand stopped the rot with a thrilling 35-23 Rugby Championship win over South Africa.

All Blacks head coach Foster has faced huge pressure after a dismal run of five defeats in six Tests, but his side appear to be behind him on the evidence of their impressive performance in Johannesburg on Saturday.

They opened up a 15-point lead following tries from captain Sam Cane and Samisoni Taukei'aho, but the world champions fought back to take the lead with 12 minutes to go courtesy of scores from Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi, as well as 15 points from the trusty boot of Handre Pollard.

New Zealand were also a man down with Beauden Barrett in the sin bin, but late tries from David Havili and Scott Barrett stunned the Springboks to deliver a vital victory.

Richie Mo'unga scored 15 points from the tee as the holders secured a battling victory for the under-fire Foster.

South Africa lost Damian Willemse to the sin bin for a ruck infringement early on and Jesse Kriel was unable to return after a head injury assessment, but they prevented New Zealand from scoring when they were a man down.

A scrappy Test burst into life after Mo'unga's 25th-minute penalty, as Cane finished in the corner following an incisive break from Caleb Clarke and Taukei'aho crashed over for a try that Mo'unga converted brilliantly.

The Springboks quickly reduced the arrears when Am showed power and pace to round off a slick move on the right wing and Pollard cut the gap to five points with a mammoth penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Mo'unga was on target again after Pollard's second successful penalty early in the second half and the All Blacks fly-half put his side eight points up when he sent another kick between the posts after Mapimpi had a try disallowed for obstruction.

Mapimpi was not to be denied moments later, though, taking a brilliant pass from Willemse and touching down for a score that Pollard expertly converted from the left touchline.

Pollard booted the Springboks into the lead for the first time with 12 minutes to go after replacement Beauden Barrett was yellow-carded for obstructing Jaden Hendrikse.

New Zealand dug deep to win it despite being a man down. with Havili going over in the corner following a brilliant break started by Rieko Ioane and Scott Barrett putting the icing on the cake from close range - with Mo'unga adding the extras for both scores.

New Zealand batsman Glenn Phillips struck a magnificent half century to underpin a record 215 and series win against the West Indies at Sabina Park, in Jamaica, on Friday.

Phillips, who played several years for the country’s Jamaica Tallawahs franchise in the CPL, looked right at home as he blasted 76 from 31 deliveries.  The batsman was aided in the carnage by Daryl Mitchell who made 48 from 20 as the pair put on 83 for the fourth wicket.

No Windies bowler, in particular, did well against the onslaught with Obed McKoy claiming the best bowling figures with 3 for 40. 

In reply, the West Indies never looked like making a game of the run chase.  They managed just 125 for 9 in reply, lacking the partnerships that underpinned New Zealand's record innings, which was the most by a visiting team in the Caribbean.

With the top order vanishing in dizzying fashion, the Windies did not get a decent partnership until lower down the innings.  The best two were 35 for the seventh wicket between Romario Shepherd and Rovman Powell, but that came when the Windies were 40 for 6 and well out of the game. Hayden Walsh and Obed McCoy put on 38 in an unbroken stand for the last wicket.

Mitchell Santner and Michael Bracewell did the damage for New Zealand with the ball, both finishing with 3 for 15.

Even a victory may not be enough for Ian Foster to keep his job when New Zealand lock horns with South Africa once again at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Foster was under massive pressure before the Rugby Championship started and a 26-10 defeat at the hands of the Springboks last weekend ensured the writing would appear to be on the wall for the All Blacks head coach.

That loss in Mbombela pushed New Zealand down to their worst ever world ranking of fifth, and they face another almighty battle against the world champions in Johannesburg.

Australia fought back to start the tournament with a 41-26 victory over Argentina, so the Pumas will be hungry for revenge at Estadio Bicentenario in round two.

Stats Perform preview the matches using Opta data.

 

SOUTH AFRICA V NEW ZEALAND

FORM

It is now five losses in six Tests for the wounded All Blacks and three defeats in a row. Only once in the past 70 years have they lost more than three games in a row - suffering five consecutive defeats from July to August in 1998.

South Africa have won six of their past seven home games in the Rugby Championship, including four on the bounce. It is the third time they have won four on the spin at home in the competition and they have never managed five straight wins in such fixtures.

The Springboks have won their past two meetings with New Zealand. The last time they won more in succession against the All Blacks was a three-game streak from July to September in 2009.

ONES TO WATCH

The vastly experienced Duane Vermeulen returns at number eight for South Africa after recovering from a knee injury. He replaces Jasper Wiese and will need to hit the ground running.

A standout selection for New Zealand was the inclusion of Richie Mo'unga at fly-half, with Beauden Barrett dropping to the bench a week after he was involved in a nasty collision with Kurt-Lee Arendse. Foster will look to Mo'unga to provide control and set the tempo, provided he gets the ball to enable him to pull the strings.

ARGENTINA V AUSTRALIA

FORM

Australia have lost only one of their past 14 Tests against Argentina, winning 11 and drawing two. The Wallabies have won their last three versus the Pumas; 10 of the wins being decided by margins of at least 10 points.

Argentina are winless in 10 Rugby Championship/Tri Nations game, losing eight and drawing two. They have lost their last seven in the competition and squandered a 19-10 half-time lead last weekend.

It is now five Rugby Championship/Tri Nations victories in a row for Dave Rennie's Australia side, their longest winning run in the competition.

ONES TO WATCH

Former Australia head coach Michael Cheika has turned to Gonzalo Bertranou to start at scrum-half. The pivot must get Argentina ticking and put the Wallabies on the back foot.

Another cruel injury blow for Quade Cooper has opened the door for James O'Connor to start at fly-half for Australia. The number 10 will know he has a great opportunity to put on a show just over a year before the World Cup starts.

The Cricket West Indies Senior Men’s Selection Panel on Thursday announced the squad for the CG United One-Day International Series against New Zealand. All three matches will be day/night matches played under floodlights at Kensington Oval in Barbados on August 17, 19 and 21.

The three matches are West Indies’ last remaining three fixtures in the ICC ODI Super League as West Indies aim to automatically qualify for the 2023 ICC World Cup in India. West Indies will be seeking to win the CG United ODI Series to secure one of the automatic qualification places reserved for the top 7 teams in the ODI Super League table, excluding hosts India.

CWI’s Selection Panel named one newcomer to the squad in off-spinner Kevin Sinclair. He made his international debut in T20I cricket last year against Sri Lanka and has so far played six T20Is. Left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie has been named in the 14-member squad and will have to undergo a fitness assessment on the finger injury sustained against India in the CG United ODI Series in Trinidad last month.

Allrounder Roston Chase is unavailable for selection due to injury while fellow allrounder Fabien Allen is also unavailable for personal reasons.

Lead Selector, The Most Hon Dr Desmond Haynes said: “As we stated before, we are looking to broaden the pool of players and we have decided to give Sinclair an opportunity in the CG United ODI Series against New Zealand. He has been in the system for a while and was also in the ‘A Team’ to play against Bangladesh ‘A’ in the upcoming series. We believe with his calm approach and skills he will do well in the matches against New Zealand.”

“New Zealand is a very good cricketing nation, and this will be a very competitive series. We have the confidence in the players selected that they will do very well. This is the last series of the international season at home, and it would be good to end with some solid performances as we continue to build towards the ICC World Cup in India next year,” he added.

FULL SQUAD

Nicholas Pooran (Captain)

Shai Hope (Vice Captain)

Shamarh Brooks

Keacy Carty

Shimron Hetmyer

Jason Holder

Akeal Hosein

Alzarri Joseph

Brandon King

Kyle Mayers

Gudakesh Motie (subject to fitness)

Keemo Paul

Jayden Seales

Kevin Sinclair

Beauden Barrett will drop to the bench for New Zealand's tussle with South Africa on Saturday, with Richie Mo'unga brought in at fly-half as one of four changes made by under-pressure All Blacks head coach Ian Foster.

New Zealand fell to a 26-10 defeat to the Springboks in their opening match of the Rugby Championship last weekend, recording three consecutive Test defeats for the first time since a run of five without victory in 1998.

Having also overseen a first home series defeat to Ireland, Foster has come under increasing scrutiny after the All Blacks slumped to an all-time low of fifth in the world rankings.

New Zealand have suffered five defeats in their past six Tests, but Foster vowed to fight on after the defeat to South Africa, and will rely on Mo'unga to provide creativity in Johannesburg.

Barrett was passed fit to play despite being involved in a heavy collision with Kurt-Lee Arendese in the Rugby Championship opener, but Foster has handed Mo'unga his first start of the year at number 10.

New Zealand's other changes come in the forward line, with Props Ethan de Groot and Tyrel Lomax, as well as flanker Shannon Frizell, all introduced.

There has been speculation that a defeat at Ellis Park would end Foster's thee-year tenure, but he remains upbeat.

"Belief and confidence remain high in our group, which is working incredibly hard this week," Foster said. 

"Playing at Ellis Park is always a special occasion for any All Black team, and this weekend will be no different. Adding to that, the Freedom Cup is on the line, which makes this a challenge that everyone is looking forward to."

Mo'unga insists New Zealand are shutting out criticism of their performances.

He said: "They [the supporters] care about our team and care about our results, but it's also fair of us to not care about what they think because we have a role to do, a role to play, and hearing that isn't going to help us at this moment.

"I'm at a stage now if you're not in our squad, I don't really care what you think, with all respect. We're trying our best, and we know it's not good enough for All Blacks standards."

New Zealand team: Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Ethan de Groot, Samisoni Taukei'aho, Tyrel Lomax, Samuel Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Shanon Frizell, Sam Cane (captain), Ardie Savea.

Replacements: Codie Taylor, George Bower, Fletcher Newell, Tupoi Vaa'I, Akira Ioane, Finlay Christie, Beuden Barrett, Quinn Tupaea.

Former New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has revealed he experienced racism during his career in his home country, from both team-mates and officials.

The middle-order right-hander, who hung up his gloves at the start of this year, is the all-time record run scorer in Test and ODI cricket for New Zealand and also the nation's most-capped player across all formats with 450 appearances to his name.

But now Taylor, who is of Samoan heritage, has spoken out on his experiences with racist "banter" in the locker room and casual racism from some Black Caps officials.

"Cricket in New Zealand is a pretty white sport," the 38-year-old has written in his autobiography, Black & White. "For much of my career I've been an anomaly, a brown face in a vanilla line-up.

"That has its challenges, many of which aren't readily apparent to your team-mates or the cricketing public. In many ways dressing-room banter is the barometer.

"A teammate used to tell me, 'You're half a good guy, Ross, but which half is good? You don't know what I'm referring to.' I was pretty sure I did.

"In all probability a [white New Zealander] listening to those sorts of comments would think, 'Oh, that's OK, it's just a bit of banter'.

"But he's hearing it as white person and it's not directed at people like him. So there's no pushback; no one corrects them – then the onus falls on the targets.

"You wonder if you should pull them up but worry that you'll create a bigger problem or be accused of playing the race card by inflating harmless banter into racism. It's easier to develop a thick skin and let it slide."

A spokesperson for New Zealand cricket said the organisation "deplores racism" in a statement to the New Zealand Herald, adding: "We'll definitely reach out to Ross to discuss the matter."

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran believes the team is improving despite a fourth straight T20 international loss to open the series against New Zealand.

Following a difficult 4-1 series loss to top team India, the team narrowly lost its opening match against the Kiwis by 13 runs, thanks in large part to the late-innings heroics of Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith.

Chasing a decent total of 185, the West Indies lost wickets in clusters in the middle overs but Shepherd and Smith added 58 for the seventh wicket.  Having cracked a score of 150 just once in the previous series, Pooran found some encouragement in the team’s opener, despite the result.

“I’m happy we are starting to find our template.  We know scores above 175, 180 can be tricky for us but we can see that we are actually starting to bat deep,” Pooran said, following the match.

“Guys are actually starting to play the situation a bit smarter.  Today Jason was in that position with Shamarh Brooks.  I thought both of them batted really well, they just never got that big over that was required, having said that, I think the template is coming nicely,” he added.

The West Indies and New Zealand will play the second match of the series on Friday.

 

West Indies coach Phil Simmons insists the team will have to make do with the players that are available as the unit continues to suffer the absence of a few high-profile players.

Chief among that group is Sunil Narine, who was once ranked as the world’s number one spinner and a regular feature in T20 leagues around the world.  Narine has not appeared in a match for the team since 2019.  Also missing are the likes of big-hitter Andre Russell and Evin Lewis who have not featured for the team since last year’s T20 World Cup.  Russell has been unavailable while Lewis has not taken the required fitness tests to be included in the team selections.

All three players have, however, continued to take part in the lucrative T20 leagues around the world, despite not playing for the regional team since last year's World cup debacle.  Simmons admits that not having all the players the team would love to have available is not the ideal scenario but expects the cricketers to be motivated to play for the West Indies.

“I’ve made it a point of duty, anywhere that I’ve gone, I don’t think you should be begging people to play for their country,” Simmons told members of the media on Tuesday.

“I think if you want to represent the West Indies, you make yourself available for West Indies cricket,” he added.

“Life has changed in that people have the opportunity to go to different places, if they pick that over the West Indies then that’s how it is, but it doesn’t make sense me going out there and begging you to play for the West Indies because I don’t know if you will come with as strong a heart as I want you to have.”

The West Indies are currently trailing New Zealand 1-0 in the ongoing T20 series.

 

Despite an entertaining 58-run partnership from 26 balls between Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith, New Zealand took a 1-0 lead in their three-match T20 series on Wednesday after defeating the West Indies by 13 runs at Sabina Park in Kingston.

Chasing 186 for victory, West Indies slumped to yet another seemingly inevitable defeat characterized by poor shot-making and reckless play.

The West Indies slumped to 49-4 in the seventh over with Kyle Mayers (1), Nicholas Pooran (15), Devon Thomas (1) and Shimron Hetmyer (2) all back in the hutch.

Jason Holder and Rovman Powell tried to accelerate but were out for 25 and 18, respectively as the West Indies slumped to 114-7, needing 72 from the final 32 balls.

Holder’s dismissal brought together Shepherd and Smith whose partnership brought the West Indies within 13 runs of an unlikely victory.

Shepherd hit three sixes and a four in his 16-ball 31 while Smith made 27 from just 14 balls with four fours and a six, but the task proved too great as the West Indies innings closed at 172-7.

Mitchell Santer was the best of the New Zealand bowlers with 3-19 from his four overs.

After the visitors were invited to take the first strike, Martin Guptill and Devon Conway shared in an opening stand of 62 at almost eight runs an over.

It took a spectacular piece of fielding from Shimron Hetmyer to break the partnership in the eighth over when Guptill cut Odean Smith up and over deep point only to see the Guyanese snatch the ball out of the air just as it was about to clear the boundary.

Smith removed Conway next ball caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Devon Thomas for a 29-ball 43 that included four fours and two sixes.

Glen Phillips went for 17 caught at short fine leg off Holder and Daryl Mitchell was dismissed by Obed McCoy as the West Indies tried to fight back having New Zealand at 144-4 in the 17th over.

At the other end, Kane Williamson bludgeoned the bowling making 47 from just 33 balls before he became Smith’s third victim with New Zealand 149-5 in the 18th. The next 15 balls would prove costly, especially the last six bowled by Jason Holder, who was plundered for 23 runs that pushed New Zealand to 185-5. James Neesham's 33 from 15 balls with three fours and two sixes at the death, was instrumental in getting New Zealand to their winning total.

Smith ended with 3-32.

 

West Indies T20 opening batsman Brandon King is confident ahead of the team’s upcoming series against New Zealand and ready to draw on his previous experiences against the team.

The Windies will be eager to bounce back from a difficult loss in the previous series against India, but could also find the going tough against a full-strength New Zealand, the world’s 5th ranked team.

New Zealand has won the last two series against the West Indies both taking place in New Zealand.  King took part in the last series but scored just 24 runs in the three matches.  Against India, however, the player tallied a decent 101 runs in three matches.

“They’re a world-renowned team, their bowling attack is very good, but I have played them before so I have that experience to draw on,” King told members of the press on Tuesday.

“I think my game has also improved.  I’m in a better place to face the challenges, so I back myself.”

 

New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have mutually agreed to terminate his NZC contract to give the 33-year-old more time with his family and a less rigorous travel schedule.

Boult, who made his Test debut against Australia in 2011, will go down as one of New Zealand's greatest ever bowlers, with his 317 Test wickets placing him fourth in his country's all-time standings, more than 70 wickets ahead of Neil Wagner in fifth. He trails only Richard Hadlee (431 wickets), Daniel Vettori (361) and Tim Southee (347).

Boult also comes in at seventh in New Zealand's all-time ODI wickets (169 from 93 innings) and fourth in T20Is (62 from 44 innings).

NZC chief executive David White said he understands the left-arm bowler's decision.

"We respect Trent's position," he said. "Trent's made a massive contribution to the Black Caps since his Test debut in late 2011 and is now considered one of the best multi-format cricketers in the world. 

"We're very proud of what he's achieved."

While this does not mean Boult has completely withdrawn from international play, White admits selectors will prioritise players on central or domestic contracts.

"We've had several conversations, and I know Trent understands that, in terms of selection, NZC will continue to make a priority of those players with either central or domestic contracts," he said.

Boult admitted it was a tough decision, but that his priorities have changed as he has grown older.

"Playing cricket for my country was a childhood dream, and I'm so proud of everything I've been able to achieve with the Black Caps over the past 12 years," he said.

"Ultimately this decision is about my wife Gert and our three young boys. Family has always been the biggest motivator for me and I feel comfortable with putting it first and preparing ourselves for life after cricket.

"I still have a big desire to represent my country and feel I have the skills to deliver at the international level. However, I respect the fact that not having a national contract will affect my chances of selection.

"Having said that, as a fast bowler I know I have a limited career span, and I feel the time is right to move into this next phase."

Boult will continue to play domestic cricket, and will likely put his hand up for any international fixtures contested in New Zealand.

New Zealand have dropped to an all-time low of fifth in the world rankings after losing to South Africa in their Rugby Championship opener on Saturday.

The All Blacks started the defence of their title with a 26-10 defeat at the hands of the world champions at Mbombela Stadium.

It was a third consecutive loss for New Zealand, representing their worst run since they were beaten five times in a row back in 1998.

The Springboks piled more pressure on under-fire All Blacks head coach Steve Foster, who vowed to fight on after a first ever home series loss to Ireland.

Another setback in Nelspruit has dropped New Zealand below England just over a year before the Rugby World Cup starts in France.

It is now five defeats in six Tests for the All Blacks, who face South Africa once again at Ellis Park this weekend with Foster's job seemingly on the line.

Ireland are top of the rankings ahead of France, with the Springboks third.

New Zealand coach Ian Foster says there is no point in his side "sulking" over their defeat to South Africa, as the All Blacks coach faces increased calls to stand down.

The tourists slipped to an opening defeat into the Rugby Championship against the Springboks on Saturday, with the world champions claiming at 26-10 win in Mbombela.

It means New Zealand have now gone three games without victory, following consecutive losses to Ireland on home turf, producing their longest barren streak since 1998.

With five losses in their last six Tests now, expectations are that Foster's position may become untenable with another loss in Johannesburg this weekend, with the New Zealand Herald calling for him to go in a front page editorial on Monday.

But for now, the coach say his team must focus on the next step rather than their mistakes.

Foster said: "We know there’s a lot of pressure on, and we’re feeling that. But our job is to look at our performance and how we can grow it.

"I understand the frustration, but that doesn’t change what we have to do here.

"There’s no point sulking about it for too long. We’ve just got to get into Ellis Park and keep growing our game and still believe."

Foster also stated his intent to address South Africa's mid-air challenges following a scrappy first encounter, with Beauden and Jordie Barrett both injury doubts following tackles by Kurt-Lee Arendse.

"It*s becoming a free-for-all for jumpers just to be able to jump and stick a hand out and say they’re competing. It needs to be addressed," he said.

Handre Pollard stepped up to the plate in the absence of Faf de Klerk to kick South Africa to an opening 26-10 win over New Zealand in the 2022 Rugby Championship.

The Springboks saw their scrum-half taken off on a stretcher inside two minutes at Mbombela Stadium after a head knock to leave them light of one of their key creative forces.

But fly-half partner Pollard unfurled a judiciously managed game plan amid a raggedly entertaining encounter that saw the world champions get their campaign off to a victorious start.

Jacques Nienaber was left to sweat on what could have been a tough evening when De Klerk was forced from the field after he collided with the knee of winger Caleb Clarke.

Despite the loss of their influential half-back, an energised Springboks side still struck first, with Kurt-Lee Arendse and Lukhanyo Am's one-two combination off a box kick earning a breakaway try for the former.

A penalty against the All Blacks for coming off their feet allowed Pollard to add three more from the tee at the quarter-game mark, before Beauden Barrett responded with a kick in kind five minutes before the break.

The need to establish some equilibrium pressed at New Zealand after the interval, but they were unable to snatch at the chances afforded them by an open encounter, and Pollard was on hand to convert another penalty less than a quarter-hour into the second half.

Seven minutes later, the fly-half slotted a field goal in the pocket to stretch the hosts' lead well into double digits, and another from the tee with eight minutes left seemingly wrapped things up for the Springboks.

There was to be an unfortunate late incident to mar matters, as Arendse was shown a red card for taking Barrett out in the air, with the former carried off after the collision and the latter managing to leave on his own two feet.

The man advantage allowed a late breakaway try for Shannon Frizell to cut the deficit to single digits, but it was ultimately too little too late for the All Blacks as Willie Le Roux nabbed a response following a loss of possession inside their own 22-area at the final hooter.

 

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