The Rogues Rant #228

Welcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby

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.