Will the Waratahs Fan Forum deliver another roasting?

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The Waratahs have to be applauded for sticking with their fan forums, the next of which is to be held on the evening of 24 November 2011.

The ‘Tahs, by all accounts, copped an absolute roasting at their first forum, including from a former (but apparently unrecognised) Wallaby in the form of Terry Curley.

I expect I won’t be able to get there, again, but I find that the fire in my belly that I had earlier in the year has abated.

I am willing to see how the new coach Michael Foley, and especially backs coach Alan Gaffney (given the complaints about the backs play), will go before firing up the torch and pulling out the pitchfork again. Having said that, they are just resting – ready to go again if required.

Some suggested questions that spring to mind include:

- Why do we have to rely on importing a half back from South Africa? With no disprespect to Sarel Pretorius, where was our plan to groom a replacement for Luke Burgess if and when he went.

If Brendan McKibbin was good enough to suddenly drop into the semi, what’s wrong with him? What went wrong with the previous plan? Is there a plan to use having Pretorius to groom some talent, so we aren’t in the position of (for the first in a long time I can remember) we don’t have a NSW half back that isn’t in the running for the Wallabies?

- What happened with Ben Mowen? Why and how did we let go of this (apparent) talent? Are we missing something? Noting that Foley was part of the coaching team at the time, how was a major recruiting decision like letting him go made when the new coach hadn’t been decided?

- Who’s captain for next year? With no disrespect to Dean Mumm, he seems a No 6, not a lock. Kane Douglas is 202cm and 122kg, Sitaleki Timani 203cm and 120kg, Dan Vickerman 203cm and 120kg. Dean is 198cm and 113kg.

With Rocky Elsom the Wallabies No 6 (last time I checked), if Dean is captain as seems to be the suggestion, where’s he playing?

- How does the team plan on playing a more running game, or to the extent they play a kicking game (noting the Reds did it when needed and were still “exciting”) play a more skilled and smarter one than last year? What were the problems identified in this regard from 2011, and what is being done to fix them?

- The team seemed to lack some structure in the try scoring department last season, with a reliance more on flair and opportunism than building tries. Does Alan have a play book the boys are working on in secret to bamboozle the opposition?

- While noting our forwards are one of our strengths, are the forwards going to do more running onto the balls the halfback pops from the ruck, rather than standing there so many times with a startled look on their face and then getting monstered behind the gain line?

I’m interested to see what fellow Roarers think about other questions that might be put.

For more details on the Fan Forum – see here.

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