Happy Thursday everyone. Well, it’s been the usual week for an Australian rugby fan, joy and heartbreak in equal measure. That try from the end of the world is why I love the beauty of the game.
Player Win Matches Coaches Lose Matches – Opinion
Here we are after a great week of internationals and what have we learnt? Apparently Eddie Jones and Wayne Pivac are bums based on their teams’ performances on the weekend. This led me to surmise that a coach’s reputation is based on his team’s results, not necessarily on what he was able to do with the cattle at his disposal or the situation he was put in.
To my way of thinking there are two types of coaches: the change managers or the continuity coaches. Each type may be a good to great coach but not necessarily the best type of coach for the situation they find themselves in.
A change manager coach is not necessarily a long-term solution; indeed he should only be engaged for the short term to make the tough decisions and then move on. The involvement of a change manager for a longer term may actually be to the detriment to the organisation. Michael Cheika, I’d argue, is an excellent change manager, look at his coaching resume. Link Here What it shows is that he went to Leinster before they were good, then to Stade Francais, New South Wales and Australia. At each stop he’s taken a team in crisis to the top. He’s obviously a coach who’s prepared to have the hard conversations but, to my view his fault is being too loyal to certain performers he had a relationship with.
Brad Thorn may find this issue with the Reds this year, has he taken them as far as he can or can he make the difficult transition to those who can take the program forward?
The other type of coach is the continuity manager. Think Robbie Deans, he took over the already well performing Crusaders outfit before moving to Australia. Robbie had difficulty with Australia before moving to the already well performing Panasonic Wild Nights and great success.
Which brings me to Scott Robertson, currently everyone’s favourite best coach in the world. How would he go in a setup with systemic issues?
Italy This game will be no snack
The Australians take on Italy this weekend and it’ll be no snack. The Italians are improving and having recently beaten Wales and a good Samoan team this could be a real banana skin game for the men in Orange.
Happyman’s team for this weekend
1 James Slipper – the Ironman and captain
2 Dave Porecki – solid if unspectacular
3 Taniela Topou – coming back into form
4 Nick Frost – he could be world class in 12 months
5 Will Skelton – he was actually a point of difference last week and does make other teams do different things to cope with him.
6 Jed Holloway – has impressed with his rugby smarts since his debut
7 Michael Hooper – just coming back into the team
8 Bobby Valetini – has done everything asked of him
9 Jake Gordon – to be given the opportunity
10 Noah Lolesio – I’m just sick of Spanners. Perhaps a new moniker is the shoveller as that what he does to his teammates
11 Tom Wright – showed some real class
12 Hunter Paisami – the Stephen Bradbury of Australian rugby
13 Len Ikitau – just nail him down
14 Andrew Kellaway
15 Jock to the manor born Campbell – sorry Tom Banks enjoy Japan
This won’t be the team but I wish it were, the opportunity to give the dirt trackers a run is Wales when it’s the last game of the year. Besides, based on last week the Italians are a more difficult proposition than the Welsh.
Good Link Here
Rugbynomics – UK Edition
All of us, including myself, are happy to throw RA under the bus for players going overseas for more money or for lack of investment in grassroots rugby and the women’s game. For many years RA has lived within its means which has meant tough decisions have been made. The current state of the English game should give many pause as to where we actually sit economically and what we do with the money we do have.
Exeter are the latest club to have difficulties. From Rugbypass. Director of Rugby Rob Baxter has explained the reason why the Chiefs felt compelled to issue a statement that its members will be asked later this month to vote on the proposed sale of an unspecified asset to pay off debts accumulated during the pandemic.
It was on 4 November when the Gallagher Premiership club issued a 130-word statement revealing that an EGM will be held on 30 November in order to secure permission for an asset sale to repay the borrowing of “substantial government-backed loans to pay our players and staff” that took place when rugby restarted behind closed doors. “The funding from the government was not in the form of grants, but loans which carry interest,” read the statement. “These are due to be repaid and the income from our normal trading is not sufficient to pay them and all other expenses.
Exceter are one of the best run clubs in the world and have been prudent in all aspects of their growth so it does show where Covid had put us all.
A Look to the Future Under 16 and 19s
Western Australia, Victoria and the ACT are doing great things in the development space, but the facts are it’s still Queensland and New South Wales who bring most players through in the juniors.
The NSW Waratahs confirmed a home final with their victories over the Western Force, solidifying top spot on both ladders.
They will play the Queensland Reds after they were too strong for the Melbourne Rebels, producing two dominant displays.