Happy Thursday Comrades. We are in that wonderful place in the RWC cycle before a ball is kicked where hope and expectation are about to meet reality. Todays article was suggested by the Mayoress and while they do not necessarily represent her views she provided the inspiration. I thought this was going to be a slow news day and then many thngs happened all at once. Lets hook in to it.
As always this is a fan run site and any contribution is always welcome feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org be it with an article an idea or an opinion piece. Always remember this is a broad church so feel free to express your opinion as long as you are not some sweaty cellar-based troll your opinion and diversity is welcome.
Eddie Jones Is the Answer for Australian Rugby
Much has been written about Eddie Jones much of it positive and much more negative. I am going to take the positive view of the argument today. There are plenty of people out there who if they saw Eddie walking on water over Sydney harbour would accuse him of only doing it to avoid the tolls. There is no doubt Eddie is a divisive figure but I for one love the I will not go quietly into the night view he takes. For mine there is no doubt he loves Rugby he was coaching juniors in a pre-arranged engagement in the days after his England sacking. Not the event but a cool link.
Eddie lives rent free in the heads of Rugby Lite as they are terrified that he will awaken the beast.
🔙"These clubs are the absolute foundation of rugby. Every kid starts at this level, every coach starts at this level.” For #ThrowbackThursday we've gone back to @WimbledonRFC's #PitchUpForRugby event where we talked community rugby with @EnglandRugby 🏉 Head Coach Eddie Jones. pic.twitter.com/sgNNITygsY— Rugby Football Union (@RFU) January 20, 2022
Let’s look at the numbers.
|Australia First Stint||59||33||25||1||56|
|Australia 2nd Stint||4||0||0||0||0|
|1996||Japan Assistant||Asian Rugby Championship||Winner|
|2000||Brumbies||Super 12||Runner Up|
|2007||South Africa Assitant||RWC||Winner|
|2009||Suntory Sungoliath||Top League||Runner Up|
|2011||Suntory Sungoliath||Top League||Winner|
|2012||Suntory Sungoliath||Top League||Winner|
|Cook Cup||2004||Winner twice|
|Trophee des Bicentenaires||2004||Winner Twice|
|Hopetown Cup||2004||Winner Twice|
|Asian Five Nations||2012,2013,2014,2015||Winner|
|Pacific Nations Cup||2014||Winner|
|Autumn Nations Cup||2020||Winner|
So lets be objective that CV show a huge amount of winning. By my count of his 189-test matches he has won 124 at 65.5%.
The only comparable coaching success within Rugby over a long period of time is Steve Hansen who ran at 75% after a terrible time at Wales, Bill Belichick who is widely considered to be the greatest NFL coach of all time has a success rate at 70%. Mike Tomlin who is the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ has not had a losing record in 16 Seasons winning percentage is 63%. All three of these coaches are considered to be all time greats. So, by any reasonable measure where the result is binary either win or lose Eddie is a winner and his legacy will be that of a great coach.
Part of the narrative is that Eddie runs through assistants at a rate of knots. This is probably fair however most that I have heard speak have not had bad things to say about him. Almost to a man they say they are better coaches for the experience and if you look at many, they have gone on to successful head coaching roles, so what you have is a man who recruits high performing people who use the experience to move onto other opportunities. In the words of Richard Branson “The only thing worse than training people who leave is not training them and they stay.”
Let’s look at the media conference held just before the Australians got on the plane for Europe. Many said that Eddie was combative and was argumentative towards the journalists. I look at this from two points of view Eddie has picked an inexperienced team and the best way for them to not feel the pressure is to divert it to himself. The Wallabies have not won as yet this season so what better way to control the narrative than to create a story about himself. He also had an attack coach leave and no one asked him about that so he won the presser. It is a classic management technique take responsibility for the losses and divert credit for the wins to the team.
Eddie has shown the ability to play with nuance dependant on the cattle he has available watch Japan 2015. He played power at England as that is the countries strength.
In conclusion I would point out that of the three comparable coaches I have used I don’t know anyone who would accuse any of them as being warm and fuzzy individuals. Steve Hansen is certainly a win at all costs type of character who was quick to throw hand grenades at the NZ state media. Simultaneously running the narrative that better people make better All Blacks while selecting players with court history. Bill Belachick and Mike Tomlin are no angels either.
So for mine I don’t want a nice guy as my coach I want someone who is prepared to have a clear vision and enact that. Eddie seems to have dropped Quade and Michael Hooper and while both were great players in their day, they did not win enough so it is best to move forward with a fresh group. Eddie has picked Will Skelton as captain and let me ask you what has he done? Answer won everywhere he has gone. One Super Rugby Title, Two English Premierships, Four European Championships (2 Saracens, 2 La Rochelle) So he has picked a winner which our team desperately needs.
In Eddie we trust not just for this RWC but for the next also. Convince me otherwise.
Brisbane Club Rugby – The Big Dance
Thanks to QRU Facebook team
Its the Big Dance at the revamped Ballymore and for those old people like me it will be good to get out and see what they have done with the old girl. It still holds my favourite memories of watching rugby and I yearn for those days when I was younger and watching the game was a more organic experience.
9 Grand Finals will be held over two days with 5 grades of Brisbane Men’s, 1 Women’s, and Three Colts. For each grade this is the RWC final so go well everyone and enjoy your Mad Mondays.
The main game will feature the Wests Bulldogs (Rebels) v Brothers (Filth) both are very well run clubs with large numbers of Super players who play club for them. Brothers experience overcame the minor premiers in Bond last week to make the final and while they have had a great run since getting their returning Super players, I think that will finish against Wests who I believe will go back to back this weekend. Both teams have lost players to Australia A but I think Wests will have the continuity and depth to overcome the losses.
Wests by 10 to go back to back on the back of a dominant forward pack.
Rhian Stowers and Ano Afule win the Alec Evens Medal and the Selena Worsley medal for best and fairest Link Here.
Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola Get Bans
Owen Farrell will miss England’s first two World Cup matches after the decision to rescind his red card was overturned on Tuesday night, dealing a hammer blow to his side’s faltering campaign.
The England captain has been banned for four matches, meaning he will sit out the key fixtures against Argentina and Japan – as well as Saturday’s warm-up match against Fiji. Crucially, the panel determined the suspension should be backdated to include last week’s defeat by Ireland, even though Farrell could have appeared in Dublin.
Personally I think they got to the correct result and given his record it could have been an extra week. I am not on board with the trolls who think a public execution was in order.
Billy Vuniploa Gets Two
England’s Rugby World Cup campaign descended further into crisis on Wednesday after it was announced that Billy Vunipola, the only specialist No 8 in Steve Borthwick’s squad, will be banned for the opening pool match against Argentina.
Vunipola was sent off in the warm-up defeat by Ireland in Dublin last Saturday for a high tackle on the prop Andrew Porter, with his initial yellow card upgraded to red by the bunker review system. A disciplinary hearing on Tuesday determined that the Saracens backrow must serve a three-match suspension, meaning he will also miss England’s final warm-up match against Fiji on Saturday.
I understand this is his first red card in a long and distinguished career so as a number eight it is really just the cost of doing business.
Waugh out to fix ‘disconnect’ in Australian Rugby as they eye off Director of Rugby
Just quietly this is the biggest news of the day and while we can all flagellate them as to what they have done wrong in the past this is a huge step in the right direction If they get this right we are on course for a new dawn of the great game so as long as it looks at a national framework I am on board.
RA announced the structural change on Wednesday morning, designed to align the Super Rugby clubs, Member Unions and the national programs.
It follows a similar system to Ireland, which has powered them to number one in the world, although Waugh concedes there will be differing levels of integration club-by-club when it comes into effect from 2025.
“I think that we look at how we’ve been performing across the Australian system through the men and the women and I think that there’s enormous benefit we can get if we look to work closer together across our provincial clubs for the benefit of the Wallaroos and Wallabies,” Waugh told reporters
“We’ve been working really closely with the Super Rugby clubs Chairs and CEOs and they are very supportive of the concept….We need to build a lot of trust with our Super Rugby clubs so it’ll be a collaborative approach to land the right structure to get the best performance on and off the field.
“There’s a large amount of agreement and work down in the top tier players, developing players and high performance. Right now, you’ll have players contracted for six months with the member unions and six months with RA so there’s clearly a disconnect in terms of that continuity within that construct.
“It won’t be all players but depending on how things evolve on the contracting system, it may evolve in some clubs to be all players and other clubs not.”
The only part of the statement’s that I hate are calling the Super Teams clubs they are not clubs they are states or territories. Clubs are the next level down.
Link From Pravda Here