Welcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things
There has been plenty said and
written in regard to the Wallabies ignominious departure from the World Cup. I
won’t be adding anymore as regular readers of this column have heard it all
before. The Wallaby loss to England was a perfect example of just how far we
have slipped. It was a team of Professional Englishmen up against what looked
like a group of poorly educated and unskilled amateurs. It’s good to now hear
plenty of people making the right sought of noises as to why Aussie Rugby is in
the doldrums. Former Wallaby Phil Kearns summed it up beautifully on Fox Sports
straight after the Poms bundled a hapless Wallaby side out of the cup. As
Kearns said it’s not just Michael Chieka’s fault that the Wallabies are struggling
to compete at the top level these days. Kearns commented “Our coaching for the
last 15 to 20 years has been terrible, not just at Wallaby level; I’m talking
about juniors and the skills that we teach them, the way we ask them to play
the game. We teach this shape and pattern and structure and process which is
all rubbish, because if you can’t catch and pass and kick and tackle you can’t
play the game.” I couldn’t agree more as you have all heard before. The
coaching and development systems in Australian Rugby are just not getting the
job done and haven’t done for a long time.
What a great performance from the
Springboks in the World Cup final. They never let England into the game with a
brilliant defensive effort blotting the Poms out, in what was to a man a near
perfect tackling effort right across the field. Good luck to them they
thoroughly deserved the win.
One of the jokes of the World Cup
was the fine England copped for daring to defy the All Blacks during the Haka.
I think the Haka is one of the true treasures of world sport and I would never
want to see an end put to it, but I’ve always thought opponents should show a
bit more opposition to the challenge as the Poms did. Good on them!
So Rugby Australia has made the
announcement that we were all expecting with the appointment of Dave Rennie as
Wallaby Coach. I think this could well be the best decision the current Board
has made. Rennie is very well respected by all who have had anything to do with
him over the years. He has two Super Rugby Titles with the Waikato Chiefs and a
big chance he’ll finish his time at Glasgow Warriors with the main silverware
for the year. He has also worked alongside Scott Johnson before In Scotland and
will form a very formidable duo with Johnson when he joins the Wallaby camp in June.
Welcome aboard Mr. Rennie.
Speaking of Coaches, I can
confirm that dual IDRU Premiership winning coach Phil Green is returning to Vikings
as Head Coach in 2020. Green guided the Blueys to back to back titles in
2010/2011 before taking on several representative coaching roles and recently being
part of the Sydney Rugby scene with Randwick and Southern Districts. There is no
more a “True Bluey” than Phil Green and he can expect plenty of support when he
turns up at training in the new-year.
What a disappointing finish to
the NRC for the Country Eagles. After being among the competition leaders for
the most of the season the Eagles missed out on a place in the semi-finals. After
inflicting the only loss of the year on eventual champions the Western Force in
Round 5, the Eagles lost their last two matches against Qld Country and the Canberra
Vikings to finish one point out of the top four, and missed the play offs
altogether. The Force went on to register a resounding 41 – 3 victory over the Vikings in the final to take their first NRC title. Things seem to be heading very much in the right
direction out west.
All opinions offered in
this column are the opinion of the author. They should not be considered to
represent the views of the IDRU.