The Deans dilemma and Cooper conundrum

Argyle Roar Guru

By Argyle, Argyle is a Roar Guru

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    Quade Cooper has made himself available for the Australian Sevens side. (AFP PHOTO / Michael Bradley)

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    During the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand Robbie Deans and Quade Cooper found themselves sitting at the window of a coffee shop across from their hotel in Wellington having a ‘chat’.

    While not privy to that conversation I would suggest it would have been about rugby, tactics and perhaps growing up in New Zealand.

    Nearly fifteen months since those flat whites it would be hard to picture two such polarising figures in Australian rugby catching up for a brew any time soon.

    Yet each might actually be the key to the other’s locks in 2013 which is looming to be a definitive year for Australian rugby.

    Both Deans and Cooper have ardent supporters and detractors in the Australian rugby community. Despite his recent signing with the ARU, to many Quade Cooper is still a problem that seems too difficult to solve.

    To his supporters it is only a matter of time before Cooper replicates his Super Rugby form in the international game. Many suggest the dull conservative Deans game plan is not congruent with the natural talent of the Queensland pivot.

    To his detractors Cooper is nothing short of an overrated brat that does not deserve to wear the famous ‘yellow’ jersey.

    One thing’s for sure: Cooper loves to play for Ewen McKenzie and the Queensland Reds and this could be a problem for the future of Robbie Deans.

    There is little doubt Robbie Deans wants to take the Wallabies to the Rugby World Cup in 2015, yet to ensure his passport is stamped in the ‘Old Dart’ Deans first must convince the ARU he can actually bring back ‘Bill.’

    Deans, like a second term government, is starting to get stale with some pundits. They have already begun bickering over his successor.

    There is work to be done for the much maligned Cantabrian if he is to be successful in being re-appointed Wallaby coach, with the first step being a series victory over the British and Irish Lions.

    Ewen McKenzie certainly would be one of those considered to replace Deans if the position became vacant.

    The advantage McKenzie has is that he can extract the best from Quade Cooper. Queensland is a powerhouse in Australian rugby and that mantle has much to do with both McKenzie’s and Cooper’s ability to work together.

    Conversely Robbie Deans has never been able to extract the best from Quade Cooper yet, and at some stage he is going to need to embrace Cooper back into the Wallaby fold as he is now an ARU contracted player.

    The dilemma for Deans is that he will need to beat the Lions for his coaching career with the Wallabies to progress. Presently it appears Deans does not have the game plan nor the playmaker to achieve that goal.

    The brand of rugby the Wallabies played in 2012 was at best willing, at worst woeful; hardly the type of rugby that will defeat the Lions who will bring a power and pace game.

    To achieve victory, Deans will need a game breaker in the number 10 jumper which he currently does not have.

    Neither Barnes nor Beale have cemented their claim. Each has shortcomings with their kicking games and run too laterally when setting up a back line. Furthermore Barnes has trouble finishing a game and Beale is far from solid in defence.

    The potential answer is James O’Connor or an untested Christian Lealiifano, yet while fit there will always be the Quade Cooper option.

    The Cooper option is the dilemma. Given the Deans-Cooper relationship it would be difficult to suggest Cooper will be Deans’ first choice, yet as pig-headed as Deans can be, he is no fool.

    Deans must recognise that the Beale and Barnes show at fly half and full back is not potent enough. The unsatisfactory choice for Deans might be to actually select Cooper and work with Cooper on developing a game plan to defeat the Lions.

    This in itself would be a significant shift in the Deans culture.

    If Deans fails and never selects Cooper, the Reds fare well in Super rugby and the Wallabies fail against the Lions Deans can kiss his World Cup dreams goodbye. Olive branch anyone?

    The fact is Australian Rugby does have a history of coaches and play makers not seeing eye-to-eye but still getting the job done.

    Think of the Alan Jones and Mark Ella relationship. Ella – Australia’s premier fly half retired at the age of 25 citing Jones as one of the reasons. Ella has never been condemned for this, nor has Jones, as each had achieved some wonderful success together.

    Deans and Cooper don’t have the Jones/Ella equity with the Wallaby supporters as they have failed to bring sustained success. Cooper and Deans are not in the same class as Ella and Jones as players or as coaches yet each could learn from that history and work together for mutual benefit.

    If Deans and Cooper could actually learn to collaborate with each other they might actually achieve their goals and the success Australian rugby starves for. Yet Cooper will have to check his ego and Deans his pig-headedness. Anyone know a good coffee shop?

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    The Crowd Says (190)

    • Roar Guru

      December 11th 2012 @ 4:16am
      biltongbek said | December 11th 2012 @ 4:16am | ! Report

      Well I think the first requirement here is that Cooper perform for the Reds, if he doesn’t, well then most of the expectation will be blunted immediately.

      The fact is both individuals will be closely scrutinised for different reasons, Quade because most want him to succeed, Deans, necause most seem to want him to fail.

      I think it is going to be difficult to be an Australian supporter next year, the Lions are coming and many supporters will be in two minds, they would want to win against the British and Irish Lions, but that would mean Deans would go into the Rugby Championship as the coach.

      I personally think Denas will see out his contract until the end of next year, as far as the relationship between the two of them, and how they will manage to agree on a gameplan is anyone’s guess.

      Certain,y Cooper will have to show the Australian rugby public he is worth that 800 000 Australian Dollars.

      • December 11th 2012 @ 7:12am
        Allanthus said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:12am | ! Report

        Thanks Uncle, reasoned and thought provoking as always.

        Biltongbek, I think you have it right, this is all about how Cooper performs in Super Rugby. Deans isn’t stupid, he might not like or respect QC but if he performs on the park for the Reds then he will pick himself for the Lions series and Deans will work with that.

        Part of Deans’ problem is that they are all such different types of players (QC, Beale, Barnes) so he isn’t able to stamp a style or a game plan first, rather he is at the whim of whichever of them he plays, and the style (such as it is) is determined from there. Which seems all back to front to me.

        Contrast with NZ, if Carter doesn’t play their game plan or style doesn’t alter at all because Cruden is such a similar player, and now Barret is being groomed in the same manner. It’s much easier for a coach if players fit the system and the culture rather than individually determine it – which invariably leads to pulling in different directions.

        • December 11th 2012 @ 7:46am
          Red Kev said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:46am | ! Report

          RE biltongbek
          (a) You don’t know that $800,000 is the figure.
          (b) Only $400,000 of that would be from the ARU.
          (c) Deans has yet to show he is worth his $1M salary so I don’t see why Cooper has to prove it first.

          RE Allanthus
          Cruden is not similar to Carter at all, if anything Cruden plays more similarly to Cooper than Carter. Furthermore the assertion that Deans has been unable to “stamp a style” on the Wallabies because he is “at the whim” of who he selects at pivot is entirely fallacious.
          1 – Deans picks the team so he has the choice.
          2 – Deans has had 5 years and still hasn’t developed any style. And so many people are keen to point out Deans first selected Cooper (and Beale and JOC) for the Wallabies so all their international exposure has been in the systems and practices that Deans has in place. There is no coherent style because Deans doesn’t have one.

          • Roar Guru

            December 11th 2012 @ 7:52am
            biltongbek said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:52am | ! Report

            “Cooper was given every thing he wanted, including a boxing match in early February, and about $800,000 from the ARU and Reds.”

            …………………

            Extracted from Spiro’s article “quuuuuuaaaaaaddddeeee’s back.

            Dean’s “performances” has been well criticised. In this case Cooper’s performance in the Super XV next year is vital to show his worth at international level.

            • December 11th 2012 @ 7:57am
              Red Kev said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:57am | ! Report

              Yet Deans is still there.
              There is also the media release from the ARU stating emphatically that they do not release or discuss the amount of top-ups. So we don’t know. People just assume because it suits them too. Like the fabrication over the $1 more than Matt Giteau (also straight out of Spiro’s “article” – and yes those quotation marks are intended to convery sarcasm and contempt).

              • Roar Guru

                December 11th 2012 @ 8:01am
                biltongbek said | December 11th 2012 @ 8:01am | ! Report

                Well whatever the amount, the point I made remains.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 9:07am
                Red Kev said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:07am | ! Report

                That Cooper has to perform at Super Rugby level? That should be true of every single player that is selected for the Wallaby squad against the Lions. If Beale or McCabe or Dennis or Mitchell or Horne or Robinson is having a crap season I’d prefer they not get picked at all … good luck convincing Deans of that.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 9:11am
                mark said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:11am | ! Report

                RK thats the thing. take Horne. he had a horrible start to the season last year. but in the games leading up to the first test match he was playing some outstanding rugby.

                too many who had not watched these games had already written him off. form can dip but it can also come back.

                you pick your best balanced side and that includes good players that might play for a bad performing side but again it might mean cutting a player loose; think giteau or mortlock.

                it is not simple it is complicated. Your simplicity is your weakness as a blogger.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 10:22am
                Red Kev said | December 11th 2012 @ 10:22am | ! Report

                I have never ever ever seen Horne play anything that could be called outstanding rugby. And yes, I watched every Waratah match that wasn’t in SA last year, and ever Wallaby test.

              • Roar Guru

                December 11th 2012 @ 6:03pm
                Mantis said | December 11th 2012 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

                I have to agree with Red Kev here, I think Horne is overrated. McCabe SHOULD be our best option at outside center, i don’t know why he hasn’t been given a good crack there yet.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 8:25pm
                Rob from Brumby Country said | December 11th 2012 @ 8:25pm | ! Report

                Careful, Mantis. Saying anything positive about McCabe around Red Kev is just asking for trouble.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 9:06pm
                Red Kev said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:06pm | ! Report

                I guess you missed my “the Wallabies don’t have the depth myth” article for the backs where I state that McCabe has a genuine chance to be our answer to Conrad Smith (a poor man’s version but better than nothing). Others posted in response that he’d be better on the wing. He’s utterly useless at 12 though.

            • December 14th 2012 @ 10:57pm
              Nowared said | December 14th 2012 @ 10:57pm | ! Report

              you can extract what you like from Spiro – he is one of the most negative journos in sport – I am sure he makes it up as he goes

          • December 11th 2012 @ 9:09am
            linz22 said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:09am | ! Report

            I cant believe Deans is even being mentioned these days in the same sentence as the 2015 WC. How poorly do the wallabies have to play before he gets the boot? why aren’t more people angry that it now appears he is going to get a go at the lions? what has he done to deserve that chance? the wallabies keep escaping from games by the skin of their teeth after having played terrible rugby, and yet the ARU persist with Robbie. i am honestly starting to wonder if people watch the games or just look at the results.
            How many times do i have to hear Robbie say “the boys will learn from this”, how much longer do we have to accept 2nd or 3rd as acceptable?
            And please don’t start telling me about grass roots being the issue or the injury crisis, every team has injuries and other coaches in aus are getting a lot more out of the same cattle.

            • December 11th 2012 @ 9:37am
              kos1nsk1 said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:37am | ! Report

              Couldn’t have said it better. The mere suggestion Deans could be Wallabies coach beyond 2013 has me hoping the world ends later this month.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 11:37am
                Go_the_Wannabe's said | December 11th 2012 @ 11:37am | ! Report

                You would think that this groundswell of opinion would eventually tip Deans out……but can the ARU afford to pay Deans out and hire a new coach? I doubt it with the money spent of Cooper and Folau.

                Looks like we’re stuck with Deans until his contract runs out.

              • Roar Guru

                December 11th 2012 @ 12:09pm
                PeterK said | December 11th 2012 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

                Agree. The ARU was foolish to resign Deans for 2 years BEFORE the RWC and NOT have exit clauses on meeting KPI’s.

                They cannot afford to pay him out IMO.

                That would be independent of players salaries. Players salaries are a fixed percentage of revenue I believe so any top up they pay for next year is already budgeted.

            • December 11th 2012 @ 12:10pm
              kos1nsk1 said | December 11th 2012 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

              The ARU will lose a lot more by not paying him out in lost supporters and revenue.
              The alternative is supporters setting up a “See Ya Later Robbie and Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out” fund and doing it ourselves. Could cost a bit – the guy sticks like baby poo.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 10:18pm
                Chivas said | December 11th 2012 @ 10:18pm | ! Report

                You might know your baby pooh but do you know all the decisions behind everything else or are you surmising like the original post.

            • December 11th 2012 @ 9:25pm
              Malo said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:25pm | ! Report

              2nd or 3rd is not that bad if it was good rugby we were watching. We dont have to be No1 to enjoy supporting the wallabies, its the style and character that fans want.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 11:09pm
                GWS said | December 11th 2012 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

                Exactly. I don’t care if we’re tenth. As long as we’re fearless

        • Roar Guru

          December 11th 2012 @ 9:16am
          Argyle said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:16am | ! Report

          Good morning mate,

          Always interested in your thoughts however I will have to disagree on a point you raise. If Cooper is selected by Deans, Deans will work with that. In the past it appears when Deans has selected Cooper, Cooper has had to play the Deans style as all the 10’s have had to. I would like to see Robbie look for alternative attack points apart from the 10 alone. We have a good 8 in Cliff Palu and do not work the short side off first phase enough, mainly the scrum. With the Wallaby 6 ball a lottery it is a touch limited. Phipps has little to no running game either. I think we have been far too simplistic and predictable in our attack. I would suggest Deans land his players look to collaborate and take ownership of a game plan as opposed to being chess pieces at Deans command.

          • December 11th 2012 @ 10:09am
            Chivas said | December 11th 2012 @ 10:09am | ! Report

            I agree, but you need a reliable and controlled platform. I thought at times the forwards created that not consistently but occasionally, but they couldn’t capitalise.

            That is one problem, confidence between the forwards and backs. The other is passing, Phipps is a solid player, but is severely cutting down the space and time for those outside him.

            He has some good aspects and a few things to work on, but Genia hopefully will provide a little bit more so that the Wallabies can get their flow on.

            • Roar Guru

              December 11th 2012 @ 10:25am
              Argyle said | December 11th 2012 @ 10:25am | ! Report

              Mate I didn’t know you were a Auckland Marist boy….my deepest sympathies 🙂

              Seriously – I think we have been too easy to read in attack and I am 100% with you and the role of the half back. To paraphrase John Hipwell – the half back is the linchpin and it just does not work unless the half back does his job well.

              I would think some basic back row moves we not be out of place – Do you recall Israel Dagg’s try against Australia when he looped Smith and Gear. Wonderful 1st phase attacking rugby – we were beaten by deception not power. Also the Wallaby line-out struggles with its 6 ball at times which makes our lineout in attack a little lame. The All Blacks have used that 6 ball well – Tony Woodcock through the middle chaps off a 6 ball. Basic but it works more often than not.

              The secret to beating any 10 is limiting his space. The All Blacks have mastered the art. Dan Carter did not look so crash hot against the Pom’s when he was rushed either. I suggest out 10 problems need to be addressed also in the 1-8 area. We simply need to protect our ground better along with our 9 and 10.

              Quade is not a 10 who wants the ball in hands all the time. I think the Deans attack has been too 10 focussed and we need to get the opposition in two minds.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 11:48am
                Chivas said | December 11th 2012 @ 11:48am | ! Report

                Yes for a stint… People have no idea the nasty stuff that used to go on. I mean I hated how they stopped rucking. But there are some nasty stomps, full force, to the head… The niggle and the punches… Well that’s life. My mate walks into the showers and he has two rows of rake marks down his back… His response… You know what these are…. Badges of honour 🙂 good days.

                I agree about different points of attack. I would like to see some more creativity too. But take the Beale double around… I think it’s a nice move, but last time I saw him do it he ran his bum off and when he had drawn the defence there was no-one running at the hole… They were standing around watching… I’m sure RK would say it’s Robbie Dean’s fault :-).. But I also think JOC added a bit more intelligence to the backline.

                So trusting you are getting phase ball and always taking a chance, calling a move and executing it accurately is always important. I just wonder if they are down in confidence, for a variety of factors, team disruptions on and off the field. I think they are tight but just not a tight knit unit. People complain about Robbie having his favourites. He’s actually trying to build a backline that is tight knit… from there the magic can happen, players can interchange and create confusion for opposition defences… Whatever, but players need to know the person inside them and outside them well and it takes more than a couple of games.

                I think having JOC and Genia back will make a difference, not just because if their individual skills, but they fit into the make-up.

                As for McCabe I’m not sure,,, he looked promising, like he could be an Aaron Major, but once he has his body through he is not getting the ball away well enough, but that said he still adds a defensiveness I like and he runs hard straight lines which someone needs to if you are going to have hares like JOC and Beale. So I really think if the Wallabies remain injury free we will see a much better product.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 11:56am
                Red Kev said | December 11th 2012 @ 11:56am | ! Report

                QUOTE:
                I agree about different points of attack. I would like to see some more creativity too. But take the Beale double around… I think it’s a nice move, but last time I saw him do it he ran his bum off and when he had drawn the defence there was no-one running at the hole… They were standing around watching… I’m sure RK would say it’s Robbie Dean’s fault .. But I also think JOC added a bit more intelligence to the backline.

                Deans is the attack coach of the Wallabies.
                It is also worth noting that Cooper got castigated (and according to the press by the coaches in the dressing room) for attempting to put the backline into holes, and throwing the ball to gaps where players should have been but weren’t.

              • Roar Guru

                December 11th 2012 @ 12:16pm
                Argyle said | December 11th 2012 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                Chivas – good post – and good response Red Kev.

                Chivas – Yes I too enjoyed dispensing the combine harvester approach to those that saw fit to lay on ‘my’ ball. I too enjoyed the return of serve. That was rugby.

                So how are Marist fairing these days?

              • December 11th 2012 @ 4:07pm
                Chivas said | December 11th 2012 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

                Not sure how they doing, haven’t been home for 10 years and the only people I have met here are Ponies players. I’m assuming they both remain strong as they have good feeder schools. Funny thing is Pakuranga (pack of wkers) to some have the largest feeder system and they float between first and second division I remember when Fitzy got his ear bitten in SA and there was no hue and cry about it because we all thought he had probably deserved it.

                I remember when he was playing for Unit he had a habit of swinging a fist into the opposites face just before packing down. A great player, excellent captain but a dirty player.. but never heard anyone comment on it.

                And poor old Richie gets what for… I’m sure Richie could care less, but it’s funny how the game has changed. I remember when Carozza got his nose busted after scoring I thought good job… teach him for scoring… I think that is politically incorrect :-).

                Sliding to a different point, when Beale started playing I was always worried about him and JOC. Fortunately they haven’t played so much together, but they have the potential to be a dangerous combination. Add Cooper into the mix it could be something special. Others like Ioane, Taps, AAC, Mitchell, McCabe are good hard straight runners and solid defenders.

                Also having JOC and Beale at the Rebels will benefit when it comes to the Lions. I don’t mind lateral movement or double arounds but it depends how flat you are playing. The AB’s have moved to a flat backline, which the Wallabies used to kill us with.

                And RK I’m not sure who has heavily criticised Coopers passing. That is a facet of his game I don’t have an issue with. His kicking could be a little more consistent and he needs to improve his defence a bit.

                He should also be covered by the loosies and I think there is still an issue at 6. There seems to be no stiffness to the blindside. I actually think Higgers goes ok some days. His headbutt wasn’t the smartest move and he deserved the smack, but he’s normally pretty good, at least good enough not to get caught.

            • Roar Guru

              December 11th 2012 @ 6:05pm
              Mantis said | December 11th 2012 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

              Phipps won’t be playing too much for the Wallabies anymore, Nic White is easily our second best scrumhalf

      • December 11th 2012 @ 7:24am
        El Gamba said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:24am | ! Report

        Good morning Biltong, in regards the worth of Quade, I’d suggest he has already delivered value for money to the ARU. There has not been as much interest in rugby in a long time.

        Everyone has an opinion on Quade.

        • December 11th 2012 @ 7:31am
          mark said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:31am | ! Report

          oh cmon he has done very little and i know this wallaby fan and anyone i know has not watched the game because of cooper. We are watching despite cooper! he is neither the calibre of player nor the calibre of person that should be wearing the wallaby no 10.

          If he can have a personality transplant i’d like to see him play 15 not 10 for the Wallabies, if he must play.

          • December 11th 2012 @ 7:39am
            El Gamba said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:39am | ! Report

            Love him or hate him, and I’m guessing you’re a hater Mark, he has the rugby community daring to hope. Well some of the rugby community!

            • December 11th 2012 @ 7:45am
              mark said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:45am | ! Report

              he’s not the messiah he is a very naughty boy!

          • Roar Guru

            December 11th 2012 @ 12:12pm
            Argyle said | December 11th 2012 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

            Markey Mark,

            I enjoy your posts generally but I think you off course on a few comments you have exposed us to today.

            RK thats the thing. take Horne. he had a horrible start to the season last year. but in the games leading up to the first test match he was playing some outstanding rugby.
            I would agree that Horne played some OK rugby for NSW this year. When he did play against Wales in Sydney he nearly dropped the ball over the line. Furthermore a reserve grade centre could have scored that try – it was set up by those inside him. Your quick to cut down Quade Cooper as a test player – but Rob Horne has never really cut the mustard either.
            oh cmon he has done very little and i know this wallaby fan and anyone i know has not watched the game because of cooper. We are watching despite cooper! he is neither the calibre of player nor the calibre of person that should be wearing the wallaby no 10.If he can have a personality transplant i’d like to see him play 15 not 10 for the Wallabies, if he must play.
            Mate come to Brisbane – there are 32,000 who have paid membership to watch the Red’s play – do you think we would have those numbers if Dallan Murphy was our 10?
            If Cooper can come good at test level than great. It just isn’t going to happen though. Barnes who is the inferior player at super xv level is the superior no 10 at test level.
            Quade Cooper has nearly a 70% test match winning record. Berrick Barnes has a 68% test match winning record. Cooper has scored 6 international tries against Italy, England, New Zealand, Fiji and Ireland. Barnes has scored 8 international tries against Ireland, Wales, New Zealand, Japan and Russia. In Bledisloe Cups Cooper has a 40% winning record, Barnes 18% – In RWC Cooper has a 71.42% winning record Barnes 72%.

            2012
            Aust v Arg Cooper made 5 tackles and missed 1 Barnes 2 missed 0.
            Aust v SA Cooper made 3 tackles and missed 0 Barnes made 9 and missed 0
            Aust v NZ Cooper made 10 tackles and missed 0 Barnes made 6 and missed 3

            I think you should cut Quade some slack mate. He has said and done some really stupid stuff but you assertion that Quade is not as good as Berrick at test level doesn’t really stack with me.

            • December 11th 2012 @ 12:44pm
              rl said | December 11th 2012 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

              Oi, go easy on Dallan UA, he;s a good kid and might get there one day!!!

              • Roar Guru

                December 11th 2012 @ 12:49pm
                Argyle said | December 11th 2012 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

                I agree – Dallan Murphy plays a good game for Brothers and did his best for Qld – my point was with respect to the Nudgee Old Boy – he can’t pack Suncorp like Quade can.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 1:41pm
                rl said | December 11th 2012 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

                I was only being cheeky UA, I agree with you. Plus Dallan’s a ranga, so he’s right up against it!!

            • December 11th 2012 @ 4:40pm
              stillmatic1 said | December 11th 2012 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

              a decent amount of those 32000 memberships are not for actual games, uncle. forever red memberships are a big driver of the reds membership base.

              further to this, if everyone (or most) reds fans go to the games because of quade, why were these memberships counted as something worthwhile before he had even resigned for next season?

              • Roar Guru

                December 11th 2012 @ 4:52pm
                Argyle said | December 11th 2012 @ 4:52pm | ! Report

                Can you quantify ‘decent’?

                This is an excert form an article in the Courier Mail September 2013 – Ttitled Queensland Reds eclipse Brisbane Broncos as Queensland’s No.1 crowd pullers for first time – In a measure of just how high the Reds have soared since they limped along unloved in 2009, the state’s surging Super Rugby team has won the code battle on the crowd front by finishing 2012 averaging 34,217 fans per game at Suncorp Stadium. So all those people are walk ups? Do you go to the Red’s? I do and can say most matches are filled with the reserve member seats.

                Quade signed for Qld much earlier in the year. The stats indicate Qld win 50% of the time when Quade does not play an 87% of the time he does. Whilst its the team we support – why was Quade the face of the 2012 membership ticket? Perhaps because the fans like to see his face or becuase they like to see Qld win which Quade often is a major contributor to.

              • December 13th 2012 @ 2:47am
                stillmatic1 said | December 13th 2012 @ 2:47am | ! Report

                without looking at the books, i couldnt give an exact amount. but when their 2012 membership numbers were 30000, but average crowds were only 34000, something is out of whack. a fair indication of seated members would be something like 22000-26000 and even then i would be sceptical.

                so if we are to believe that there were only 4000 walk ups per match last year (which is not many at all), i think my point remains. unlce, you do know how many kiwis are here dont you?

                i have been to about 13 games over the last 3 years at suncorp and dont know how you can guess who are sitting in reserve seats and who are not. i am a forever red member also, as i like the freedom aswell as priority tickets to the test matches.

                re: quade, in september of this year (well after quade had signed with the reds), the reds had just under 7000 members on the books. now have 32000. which of these figures are attributable to quade, or news of quade’s return? would his carryings on somehow have been beneficial over the next 3 months (sept-nov)? he still hadnt signed with the ARU, so for all intents and purposes wasnt going to play in 2013. so on what basis were people joining the reds (since it is clear that it wasnt solely for quade)?

                as you say, people join, for the team, a team that plays well, gives its all, has a bit of gumption and wins. please dont discount this because of one man, nor ascribe undue credit either.
                will not disagree that he does further enhance the gameplan that the team tries to play with.

        • Roar Guru

          December 11th 2012 @ 7:36am
          biltongbek said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:36am | ! Report

          Morning El Gamba, the only thing he has generated thus far is controversy, the performance part will be the delivery.

          • December 11th 2012 @ 7:40am
            El Gamba said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:40am | ! Report

            Very true. ROI comes in many ways (just ask GWS about Folau) and I hope he delivers through performance.

          • December 11th 2012 @ 9:20am
            Jutsie said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:20am | ! Report

            they any publicity is good publicity. But this point is debatable. How long is the effect of negative publicity? does it ruin the reputation of the concerned parties in the long run too?
            We saw with the rebels that cipriani’s behaviour resulted in the rebels getting lots of coverage in the herald sun and age, something they would not have dreamed of in the normal course of business. But since the cipriani conterversy died out the coverage has reverted back to normal.

            • December 11th 2012 @ 4:39pm
              AndyS said | December 11th 2012 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

              I suppose the question then being whether that publicity translates into bums on seats and sales of merchandise…

              • Roar Guru

                December 11th 2012 @ 7:51pm
                biltongbek said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:51pm | ! Report

                Not convinced it has. From what I have read over the past few months from the Aussie supporters are that they want to see entertaining rugby, so it will have to be entertaining stuff that draws more bums on seats.

                I don’t think Quade Cooper has won fans over with this debacle, I would dare to suggest he has got some convincing to do over the next season.

    • December 11th 2012 @ 4:23am
      ANON69 said | December 11th 2012 @ 4:23am | ! Report

      “Presently it appears Deans does not have the game plan nor the playmaker to achieve that goal.” , He never had a game plan for foru years.

    • December 11th 2012 @ 5:12am
      Billy Bob said | December 11th 2012 @ 5:12am | ! Report

      Uncle, good question that you pose.
      But the reference to Ella and Jones is arguably a very loose analogy.
      There is a difference between a coach that is ‘stubborn’ and one that is an tyrant.
      But your point about Deans is valid. Can he change as well as Cooper?

      • December 11th 2012 @ 5:21am
        Johnno said | December 11th 2012 @ 5:21am | ! Report

        Was Jones like a Tyrant, or stubborn. It’s funny Alan Jones got on well with Micheal Lynagh, who he described as beautiful boy he said that when interviewing him this year on his radio show i listened to the interview. But there was always talk of a rift between Nick Farr-Jones and Alan Jones. Farr Jones legend has it would do the team talk ,convincing jones a captain needs to 2minutes to talk to his team, alone. If true very funny. But apparently it was done so the players could chuck Alan Jones game plan out the window and follow there own. But Alan Jones is admired in rugby circles , all the fans on internet forums or many say he is good, and many still say he should of got picked ahead of Deans, in 2007. And some are still saying he should comeback and coach the wallabies vs the Lions or to the next world cup, amazing I know but still. One has to remember Alan Jones came very close in 2007 to getting the job back, he was 2nd after Deans you know.

        • Roar Guru

          December 11th 2012 @ 7:14am
          B-Rock said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:14am | ! Report

          Jones was never seriously considered to return, reminds me of Warnie at the moment – both were more of an ego boost for a yesterdays hero than a serious retun

          • December 11th 2012 @ 7:26am
            El Gamba said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:26am | ! Report

            Warne coaching the wallabies. Now there’s an idea!

      • December 11th 2012 @ 8:35am
        rl said | December 11th 2012 @ 8:35am | ! Report

        BB – which one stubborn and which one the tyrant? (I’d suggest Jones was equal parts both by the end)

      • December 11th 2012 @ 10:52am
        Mango Jack said | December 11th 2012 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        There is just no way Jones would cut it as an international coach nowadays. He had prime cattle, including arguably our finest No 10 ever. He brought discipline, and in the amateur era, that was enough. Every international coach today would be streets ahead of him tactically, and his petulant, bullying tactics would be disastrous.

    • December 11th 2012 @ 5:49am
      mania said | December 11th 2012 @ 5:49am | ! Report

      doesnt matter what deans does, qc is making the wb’s. cooper has gotten what he wanted. a guaranteed wb’s spot regardless of whether he’s in form or not. with all the money cooper is being paid the ARU will give orders to deans that qc has to play to justify his contract.

      • December 11th 2012 @ 7:48am
        Red Kev said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:48am | ! Report

        Simply not true. The coach is the selector. Now if you had said Deans doesn’t have the guts to not select Cooper you’d be right.

        • December 11th 2012 @ 9:23am
          Jutsie said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:23am | ! Report

          why do u get so defensive when people make assumptions about QC’s personality/attitude but have no issue doing the same to deans? how do you know whether or not there is pressure from above (ie nucifora) to select certain players with big ARU top-ups?

          • December 11th 2012 @ 9:33am
            Red Kev said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:33am | ! Report

            I don’t know that there isn’t pressure, what I DO KNOW is that if Deans is the pillar of integrity and virtue that everyone keeps lauding him as he would ignore the pressure and do what he wants (which 100% objectively speaking from analysing the Wallabies’ direction under Deans is not wide expansive attacking running rugby) or quit.
            He is still there and he was still selecting Cooper despite wanting to play defensively … draw your own conclusion, I have drawn mine.

            • December 11th 2012 @ 9:38am
              Jutsie said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:38am | ! Report

              would you quit a highly lucrative job because upper management was a bit of a joke?

              • December 11th 2012 @ 9:40am
                Red Kev said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:40am | ! Report

                Which makes Deans more mercenary than Cooper and SBW.

                However let’s be clear – we’re not talking about upper management being a bit poor – we’re talking about your superiors forcing you to perform your job in a way that you feel is not in the best interests of the team you work with day in and day out.
                My response would depend on how strongly I felt about what they were telling me I had to do.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 9:46am
                mark said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:46am | ! Report

                so now Deans is more mercenary then Cooper or SBW.

                mate next thing you’ll say is Deans was the second gunman on the grassy knoll.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 9:49am
                Jutsie said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:49am | ! Report

                cant blame a bloke for looking after his financial well-being (that goes for all three).

                I guess you’d have to weigh up how much your getting paid and the length of the contract vs the cost to your reputation. Without knowing how much deans gets or what the backroom dealings are Im not prepared to make judgement on his “guts” or “integrity”.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 10:19am
                nickoldschool said | December 11th 2012 @ 10:19am | ! Report

                Jutsie, I think many of us face this kind of dilemma at some stage in our life. Would answer yes to your question by a bit of a joke you mean someone I do not respect or is asking me to do things I don’t believe are right.

                Tbh, I think it’s one of the main question a human being has to ask himself during his life, I.e always be able to look at yourself in the mirror everyday, talk to your kids, wife, gf, mates etc. and just be able to be yourself. Would choose that over money any day (well have chosen that). But I guess what the difference between the lucrative pay and the other one is. In the cae of professional
                Coaches, players etc, they have different options and their consciousness should guide their decisions rather than the dollar aspect only. I want to believe that sbw, QC and a few others actually enjoy their life and choices to way they are running it and it’s not only money that dictate their choices or who they work with.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 10:21am
                Red Kev said | December 11th 2012 @ 10:21am | ! Report

                You’re the one who brought up back room dealings and pressure from above not me.
                If Deans wants to pick Cooper and play defensive rugby without letting QC have input into the structure and stifling his attack with McCabe – that is terrible coaching.
                If Deans wants Cooper and wants to play attacking rugby then picks McCabe – that’s terrible selecting.
                If Deans doesn’t want Cooper but still picks him because of ARU factors – that’s gutless.

                @mark – yes mercenary – doing it for the money. You think a former All Black is coaching out of love of the Wallabies?

              • December 11th 2012 @ 10:53am
                Jutsie said | December 11th 2012 @ 10:53am | ! Report

                RK i bought up the backroom dealings to suggest you shouldn’t make such harsh judgements without knowing the whole picture. I dont have an issue with you questioning his selections or his coaching ability but its a bit harsh to call him gutless when we dont know the whole picture.

                NOS thats a solid answer, personally i would turn down a lucrative position if i was being forced to do something unethical or against my moral values but if it were just some nit-picky differences or clash of egos i’d put my pride to the side and collect the fat pay check, its a means to an end after all 🙂

                But i dont see many hypothetical situations in rugby where you would be faced with a huge ethical or moral dilemma, large enough to outweigh the money your being paid……actually i can think of one, being forced to play injured/concussed players. But that seems to be acceptable in most sports which is something i have a big problem with.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 11:29am
                nickoldschool said | December 11th 2012 @ 11:29am | ! Report

                Fair call Jutsie. I guess cheating,, doping or playing dirty are still polluting some sports and some players consciously accept that, lance Armstrong being one who comes to mind. In rugby, I think the days where coaches asked players to brawl at the first scrum or target/injure players are over, at least in professional rugby.

                To go back to QC and Deans, I do understand QC frustration IF deans was actually asking him/them to play negative rugby etc. I still don’t think he expressed it the right way, I.e on tv etc. but I do think it’s very commendable to speak up when you disagree instead of take the pay check and laugh at the coach behind his back or bag him. Again, that’s IF Deans really asked them to play the way QC said. plus that’s something that should have been discussed among players and coaching staff.

              • December 11th 2012 @ 4:47pm
                AndyS said | December 11th 2012 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

                Quit – of course not. Come his next contract, I’d imagine what he’ll do is tweet all and sundry that he has had enough of the toxic work environment, can’t stand being dictated to by idiots above while being responsible for other idiots below, and won’t coach a team wearing yellow jerseys ever again. Then after a couple of days he’ll give some half arsed apology, threaten to go off and coach Georgia and wait for the ARU to back a dumptruck full of cash up to his front yard.. 😉

          • December 11th 2012 @ 9:40pm
            Malo said | December 11th 2012 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

            It is the QLD state bias siege mentality syndrome. NSW can criticise their own but Qlder cant are loyal to the end and bring in all sorts of statistics to defend the undeniable. QC has played crap since Qld took the SR title. Lets blame Deans for everything garbage.

    • December 11th 2012 @ 5:58am
      Billy Bob said | December 11th 2012 @ 5:58am | ! Report

      Johnno, Jone said Lynagh was a’ ‘beautiful boy’?
      And that is proof that he had superlative coaching skills?
      No doubt he was a fine motivator. But divisive as well. And Australia’s greatest 10 (arguably) was lost to the game.

      • December 11th 2012 @ 6:58am
        Allanthus said | December 11th 2012 @ 6:58am | ! Report

        Agreed Billy Bob.
        Think Robbie Deans is divisive? We ain’t seen nothing if Alan Jones was to replace him….

    • Roar Guru

      December 11th 2012 @ 6:56am
      Who Needs Melon said | December 11th 2012 @ 6:56am | ! Report

      Great article Uncle. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, we have a scorpion and frog scenario playing out here.

      I think the new ARU head is going to have a big influence on Deans tenure as well. If he can be rehired despite having not yet reached the major hurdle (last World Cup) then he could presumably be dismissed regardless of the upcoming one. Who’d be a coach eh?

      • Roar Guru

        December 11th 2012 @ 7:18am
        biltongbek said | December 11th 2012 @ 7:18am | ! Report

        🙂 scorpion and frog scenario – very apt.

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