McKenzie lauds rugby coaching rival White
Australia’s Super Rugby coach of the year Ewen McKenzie has lauded Brumbies counterpart Jake White, with both men predicting the Crusaders as the team to beat for the title.
McKenzie won the award for a record fifth time, thrice with NSW and with the Reds for the past two years.
The award is automatically given to the coach of the highest placed Australian franchise but McKenzie was quick to acknowledge South African White’s job in lifting the Brumbies to the verge of the playoffs.
“This award is a first past the post award and I do want to make mention of Jake, I do think he’s done an outstanding job down there (in Canberra),” McKenzie said.
“From a coaching point of view, when you can take a group of people and effect change and get them to achieve, I think that’s where the satisfaction comes from.
“Jake’s year reminds me of our year in 2010, sometimes it’s not reflected in awards.”
McKenzie predicted the Crusaders would defeat the Chiefs and the Stormers would trump the Sharks in this weekend’s semi-finals.
“I see the Crusaders in Cape Town probably winning it (the final), mainly because they’ve been there and done that before and they are the one team in the competition that’s been able to travel and win in finals footy, so they know how to do that,” McKenzie said.
White said everyone expected the Crusaders to be there or thereabouts given their record of seven titles.
“I think what’s going to happen is that there is no doubt whoever wins this competition is going to have to beat the Crusaders and whoever is good enough to beat the Crusaders deserves to win this comp,” White said.
McKenzie said Richard Graham would start as Queensland head coach in either late September or early October.
“He’ll be focusing more on the football program, I’ll be focusing on the contracting side of it, the team dynamics, the culture,” McKenzie said.© AAP 2013
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