Why all the love for Ricky Stuart?
If I read another Ricky Stuart ‘love story’ I will vomit! I asked a journalist at Fairfax who I respect why we only ever read ‘suck up’ stories about Ricky?
He told me that he thinks he is over-rated but gave me no answers regarding the amazingly unbalanced journalism in the NSW media.
As a consumer, I am happy to read all the positive things about Ricky but at the end of the day the judge pays out on the number in the frame, and all we request is some balanced reporting.
The cold hard facts that the mainstream media are adverse to publish are stark and real.
Ricky Stuart has been sacked from his previous three coaching jobs and left his last two clubs, the Roosters and the Sharks in tatters.
Ricky Stuart Origin coaching record (* with Andrew Johns at halfback):
2005 – Game 1: Loss, Game 2: Win*, Game 3: Win*
2011 – Game 1: Loss, Game 2: Win, Game 3: Loss
2012 – Game 1: Loss, Game 2: Win, Game 3: Loss
Total: Games nine, wins four, losses five.
He has now won only two games from the last six (33%), the same record that Graham Murray had (2006-2007) before he was sacked. Craig Bellamy (2008-2010) is regarded as a far superior coach to Stuart and he was sacked after only two wins from nine games.
Who cares if the players love their coach? They loved Bellamy also and you would never find a more passionate coach. Who cares if he has promoted the game well? If he is so good at developing a product then put him in marketing, but a coach should be rated on his winning record.
The Roosters and the Sharks only won 25% of their games in their last two years under Ricky so why are the media trying to get him a job with an NRL club by saying he is hot property?
There is no room for bias or passion when rating a rugby league game, player or coach. We deal in raw facts and they are very clear in the Stuart file.
Flash, a respected rugby league risk analyst who is in charge millions of dollars in wagers for a leading online bookie told me this week that when he is rating a team that is coached by Ricky Stuart it is a minus: “I would not want to be on a reserve grade kindergarten team that he (Stuart) coached”, Flash said from his trading floor.
The player selection and the tactics employed by NSW over the last two years have been shocking. The Blues would have won game one last year and the series had Stuart not got so many key selections horribly wrong.
This year looked to be no different but with the injury to Danny Buderus, NSW finally got the best qualified hooker in Robbie Farah and somebody must have nudged Ricky to put Brett Stewart in for Anthony Minichiello who was embarrassing last year.
Anybody that is a student of the game and studies the analytics would know that Farah and Kiwi Isaac Luke are clearly the next best hookers behind Cam Smith, but somehow the NSW coach preferred Dean Young, Michael Ennis and Danny Buderus at age 34.
What about last Wednesday night’s big deciding game?
This was a game that history tells you a team has to score, or be equipped to score, more than 22 points if you hope to win. Luke Lewis is one of the world’s best forwards who plays for 80 minutes and is a nightmare for any defence, but Stuart waited 46 minutes before he brought him on to replace the defensive Beau Scott, who did nothing in attack but managed to miss three tackles, one which led to a Maroon try.
You can see in the link to my story above that I requested Brett Morris should come on to the left wing and Hayne to switch to the right wing after game one. Stuart waited until game three to make that obvious move and we saw how good Brett was. He has been the best left wing in the world now for several years despite the fact that he plays fullback for his club.
Probably the most important and disappointing aspect of the Blues preparation was the lack of improvement in the six and seven. Todd Carney made only one run for a gain of seven metres and Mitch Pearce made three runs for 22 metres. Both halves missed eight tackles each.
Todd Carney told the cameras how much he loved being coached by Ricky Stuart, but the fact is he went backwards and will be very lucky to claim another Blue jersey again.
Given that the Blues have found a genuine leader and skilled organiser in Robbie Farah, even if by default, they can probably get away with not having your typical number seven who would normally run the team.
There is now a very good argument for 2013 that the Newcastle Knights pairing of Kurt Gidley and Jarrod Mullen could work very well with Farah and cause the Maroons some real problems.
Then again, if Ricky is still there, he may want to have all the Knights and include Danny Buderus at 35.