The All Blacks head coach hasn’t lost any confidence despite a ‘rusty’ performance and the lopsided final scoreline, with the ‘perfect storm’ conspiring to turn the side’s fortunes around.
The game was used as a platform to give a number of key players minutes after sitting out since the Test against the Wallabies in Melbourne.
“In many ways it was a perfect storm,” Foster said of the loss.
“We had seven players who hadn’t had a game of rugby in four weeks and they needed this game.
“Our mindset was to go in really hard at it. I thought we looked rusty.
“I thought South Africa were outstanding in terms of how they pressured us in the areas they wanted to pressure us.
“That coincided with a red card and there goes the game.”
“It was still a game we needed and we will use that very well in a fortnight’s time.”
The red card to Scott Barrett, after his second yellow of the evening, proved to be a pivotal moment which put a young All Blacks pack into the firing line.
Down to 14-men the Springboks set-piece gained ascendency and milked the momentum off the scrum and maul to dominate proceedings.
“I think we are confident and I know it didn’t look like that,” Foster said.
“I know we got a good spanking, and I’m not hiding from that fact but if you go through Tyrel, Ethan, Scott Barrett, the likes of Jordie, Rieko, Beaudy, they hadn’t played since the MCG.
“There is not much we can do about that because that’s the scheduling.
“We had to make a decision on do we play them right through to Dunedin into that Test and maybe give them this one off, or have a whole group of our team not battle-hardened that hasn’t played.
“You make those decisions and we live or die by them, but we’re not panicking after that result last night.
“We knew we were going to get challenged, it’s not the result we wanted butI still believe in the plan.
“The group that needed to play, played. ”