Jake White wants gold

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    Jake White. Source: Alan Porritt / AAP

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    Brumbies coach Jake White set the cat among the pigeons yesterday when he said he had “unfinished international business”, and wanted to coach the Wallabies.

    Robbie Deans’ contract as incumbent Wallaby coach runs out at the end of the year.

    Current Reds coach Ewen McKenzie is favoured as Deans’ replacement if the Kiwi’s contract isn’t renewed by the ARU, or he wants to return to Christchurch.

    So a lot will depend on how the men-in-gold shape up against the Lions.

    But with White effectively throwing his hat into the ring, it’s an entirely different ball game.

    “Let’s make one thing quite clear. My first priority is to the Brumbies for this season and the next two.

    “What happens after that, who knows?”

    It would be fair to say that McKenzie and White would be the only realistic candidates if Deans goes for whatever reason.

    Which makes the performances of the Reds and Brumbies in the Super Rugby tournament this season the key.

    As it sits, the Brumbies are riding high unbeaten by playing entertaining and very controlled rugby, proved last night with their no mean feat 29-10 demolition of the Sharks in Durban.

    While the Reds have been winning ugly until last night, when they were out-gunned by the lowly Force 19-12 for the biggest shock result this season.

    It was the Force’s first success at Suncorp in six attempts, their first win this season, and coach Michael Foley’s first win after 11 straight losses dating back to his last season’s horror stretch with the Waratahs.

    White is up and running, McKenzie is treading water.

    To be fair, White has a full roster of fit players playing superb rugby.

    McKenzie still has skipper-lock James Horwill out of action, and he’s been joined by centre Anthony Fainga’a and winger Dom Shipperley, three important cogs in the McKenzie machinery.

    And last night crack winger Digby Ioane was missing on suspension.

    But Will Genia is back after six months on the sidelines with a knee reconstruction, As a safety measure he only played the first 40, He was a bit rusty, but he’s still a class act even below par.

    While White has all his big guns firing, Quade Cooper is not firing for McKenzie, not by a long shot.

    His passing is third rate, his timing is off, so too his confidence.

    On the other side of the coin, tireless flanker Liam Gill is going gangbusters and last night he kept the Reds in with a sniff, however small.

    But the Reds won’t look like the real Reds until the main attractions are all back, and the renowned Genia-Cooper combination starts setting the back line alight.

    One thing McKenzie has to do is make sure Ben Tapuai has more time and space in the midfield to strut his talented stuff.

    Tapuai is both quick and strong and can be electric given the chance. Genia and Cooper must give him that chance.

    Next up the Reds take on the always challenging Bulls at Suncorp. With a bit of luck Horwill will be back, but will obviously be well short of match fitness.

    But right now, it’s all about the Brumbies, the only unbeaten side in the tournament, and deservedly so.

    And about Jake White’s future.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn’t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world’s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (76)

    • March 17th 2013 @ 12:45pm
      Johnno said | March 17th 2013 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

      I think I would give Jake White the job. Why?

      -World Cup winning coach in 2007 with South Africa (He did have an awsomely talented side in 2007, with most of the players at the peak of there powers, and some talented young rookies eg Frans Steyn, but he won and that’s what counts).
      Had a good assistant in Eddie Jones Ex wallaby head coach

      -Proven he can build teams. 2011 Brumbies were at a mess. 2012 he re-built them and narrowly missed out on play-offs.
      (Had a very capable assistant in ex-Brumbies head coach Laurie Fisher, and now in 2012 ex NRL head coach Brian Smith,
      But Grahame Henry, also has had good assistants to over the years Wayne Smith, Steve Hansen.

      -2014-15. Is the 2nd half of this 4 year cycle.

      Do we stick with Deans, to carry them home to 2015, he’s been there since 2008, or start fresh with Jake White.

      Really it comes down to who is the best man for the job. Deans is not as bad as what makes out, the problems at the ARU, and the injury toll were not his fault. But the injury toll was exaggerated. NZ and South Africa had injury issues last year and did rotate.
      Maybe the current crop of wallabies are less talented.

      -Deans beat England in England yes a weakened england but beat them. Beat Argentina in Argentina, beat south africa in Australia, sneaked past wales in wales.

      Maybe after this year, Deans can’t advance this squad anymore and is stale. Time will tell.

      But I’d go for Jake White over Deans, and Link. He has really turned around the Brumbies, and one of White’s strengths is “getting the best out of his assistants” something Graham Henry did very well. I don’t think Deans has shown that knack at least in his time at the Wallabies , at least from the outside looking in.

      All of Jake’s White’s assistants, talk highly of Jake white and seem to really gel, so he can get the best out of his assistants, and his wider squad, which is a strength he has. Deans did get good performances from his young players last year too.

      But overall Jake White is the top goat, and is our best head coach option 2014-15 to round out the current 4-year cycle to RWC 2015.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 8:16pm
        Simon_Sez said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:16pm | ! Report

        Johnno, sorry mate, but I don’t think you get it by talking about changing Robbie Deans. You seemed to have been sucked in by the not so smart rugby journalists who write to sell newspapers. Why don’t you spend your thought processes on how many more coaches Australia needs to bring all of the 4 other Australian conference teams up to the same standard as the Jake White coached Brumbies. When this situation has been achieved and there is a surplus of master coaches and the Australian conference is the strongest, then that is the time to look at who is better than Robbie Deans. It is the excellent performances and the competition for Wallaby positions from the players within the 5 Australian S15 teams, as well as the inclusion of veteran Wallabies playing overseas, like George Smith (110 tests) , that determines the strength and quality of the Wallabies.

        • March 17th 2013 @ 9:10pm
          Johnno said | March 17th 2013 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

          Simon_Sez, I’m focusing on the wallaby coach job mate. Yes Dean’s doesn’t do alot of the initial development, a valid point, but my points about who is the better coach.

          And some coaches at 1 team can get the better out of some players.

          Look at the Hurricanes of 2011. They were a mess, and out of form most of there AB’S.

          Ma Nonu, Corey Jane, Cruden, Andrew Hore, Piri Weepu,Victor Vito.

          But under Henry a different story in the AB set up in 2011, totally different.

          Henry got them reaching there potential, and got the best out of them.

          My point is Jake White there are valid reasons to suggest he can get the best out of the current crop of wallaby talent, and potential wallabies over the next 2 years in this current world cup cycle ending in 2015.

    • March 17th 2013 @ 12:45pm
      jutsie said | March 17th 2013 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

      Reds supporters didn’t accept injuries as an excuse for the wallabies winning (and losing) ugly so the same criteria should be applied to the reds.
      It appears like opposition teams (and refs) have figured out the reds rely heavily On quick ball from the Ruck but the reds have not yet figured out an effective plan b.

      • March 18th 2013 @ 10:17am
        rl said | March 18th 2013 @ 10:17am | ! Report

        Don’t tar us all with that brush – I’m a Reds supporter and totally accept your point.

    • Roar Guru

      March 17th 2013 @ 12:45pm
      Rob na Champassak said | March 17th 2013 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

      Anyone who didn’t already know that Jake wants to coach the Wallabies has had their head in the sand. I hope he gets the nod, but maybe later rather than sooner 😉

      • March 17th 2013 @ 8:18pm
        Simon_Sez said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:18pm | ! Report

        Rob, see my comments to Johnno.

    • March 17th 2013 @ 12:55pm
      richard said | March 17th 2013 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

      Deans has to beat the Lions,if he is to last beyond this year.My guess is, if Deans goes, McKenzie will get the top job,with JW to come in after 2015.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 8:19pm
        Simon_Sez said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:19pm | ! Report

        Richard, see my comments to Johnno above.

        • March 17th 2013 @ 8:51pm
          richard said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

          I agree with your sentiments.I am talking purely from how I think the ARU view the situation.

          • March 17th 2013 @ 10:42pm
            Hightackle said | March 17th 2013 @ 10:42pm | ! Report

            I think you will find Richard that Deans “had” to win the Bledisloe, that Deans “had” to win 4 from 4 on the NH tour etc etc. The thing is that people who do the hiring and firing know the obvious truth that the Wallabies success is dependent on at least 40 people, not 1.
            Could one of these magical coaches that everyone thinks exist please coach Namibia to a WC victory.
            Players matter.

    • March 17th 2013 @ 12:55pm
      kingplaymaker said | March 17th 2013 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

      Don’t get too obsessive over White. He is not yet that adaptable and limited in attack. He is a very good coach, but still needs to improve. He gas to become bolder and more attack oriented to scale the heights.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 1:00pm
        Johnno said | March 17th 2013 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

        KPM Cheika is playing the 1980’s Randwick running rugby style, and it’s too loose for 2013. They are all over the place. I think the Tah’s are playing 7even’s rugby at the moment, they are lost out there. Jake White is like Henry, he gets the set-pieces and fitness, down pat.
        And last night the Brumbies played high octane rugby, ran the Sharks of the park in the 1st half.. The sharks are a better team than what last night showed, but he can play some running rugby. But you gotta get your set-pieces, kicking, and fittness, set up first before you play the razzle-dazzle.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 1:01pm
        jutsie said | March 17th 2013 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

        Did u watch yesterday’s game kpm? Their attack looked pretty damn good and willing to take risks, offload in contact, counter, spin it wide. Not sure if its because of larkham or white but as head coach white has given them license to take the 50/50 chances.

        • March 17th 2013 @ 1:31pm
          kingplaymaker said | March 17th 2013 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

          Johnno good points but remember White has had a whole year with his team. Time will tell 🙂

          Jutsie Jake White had lots of cattle but couldn’t take the Springboks to number 1 in the world regularly. So enthusiasm should be tempered.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 1:15pm
        Bakkies said | March 17th 2013 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

        ”He gas to become bolder and more attack oriented to scale the heights.”

        Why? His team are already getting 4 try bonus points 3 of them in 4 matches. As last season proved it’s about winning Rugby matches. Brumbies scored way more points then the Reds but missed out on the finals as they had one less win.

        • March 17th 2013 @ 1:33pm
          kingplaymaker said | March 17th 2013 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

          Bakkies I’m talking about international rugby. And while the Brumbies look good now, they limped out last year so wait and see.

          • March 17th 2013 @ 7:59pm
            Bakkies said | March 17th 2013 @ 7:59pm | ! Report

            That was the Brumbies last year and they have improved even more this year. The current Wallabies side can’t play attacking Rugby. They are better off going back to the basics like the Brumbies did to start again. The attack alignment and skills are appalling.

          • March 18th 2013 @ 9:22am
            TembaVJ said | March 18th 2013 @ 9:22am | ! Report

            KPM we keep discussing White and seem to always come back to the same things. If not White, for the criteria you mention, then who?

            No one could have done with the Brumbies what White has. Yes its all of the team and assistants but they could not function until white came along and enabled them.

            All rugby does not only consist of chucking the ball round scoring 40-50 points a game. Its a pipe dream one that is not realistic with the modern game.

            List you criteria for not selecting white and then show me someone who does apply to your needs.

      • Roar Guru

        March 18th 2013 @ 12:09pm
        Mantis said | March 18th 2013 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

        How is he limited in attack?

    • March 17th 2013 @ 1:08pm
      mace 22 said | March 17th 2013 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

      Firstly I read on one of earlier posts, that a roarer picked a brumby, chiefs final which had me chuckling. But after the few games played so far I wouldn’t be at all suprised if this comes to fruition. Secondly what’s happened to mckenzie being the wallabies saviour. He has fallen from grace in a span of two years, but at least he’s won a super title. Thirdly how bad are australian coaches if Mckenzie is the only one who comes close to being coach of the wallabies.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 1:29pm
        richard said | March 17th 2013 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

        mace 22 – that was me that made that prediction.I’m not so sure the Chiefs will make it now,but I am confident the Brumbies will be there.

        On Jake White,as an AB fan,the thought of him coaching the WB’s scares the bejeezus out of me

        • March 17th 2013 @ 6:37pm
          Stin said | March 17th 2013 @ 6:37pm | ! Report

          I think people should use ”bejeezus” more on this website! And in life, generally.

          • March 17th 2013 @ 10:52pm
            Hightackle said | March 17th 2013 @ 10:52pm | ! Report

            Agreed.
            Also the terms, shenanigans, willy nilly and higglety pigglety.
            Example: You just can go around scaring the bejeezus out of people willy nilly, otherwise people will be running higglety pigglety everywhere. Theres a time and place for those kind of shenanigans.

            • March 17th 2013 @ 11:56pm
              GWS said | March 17th 2013 @ 11:56pm | ! Report

              Best post from u ever ht
              🙂

            • March 18th 2013 @ 10:16am
              Claypole said | March 18th 2013 @ 10:16am | ! Report

              Enough of this malarkey!

              • Roar Guru

                March 18th 2013 @ 12:10pm
                Mantis said | March 18th 2013 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

                Well played.

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