Appreciate the thoughts and effort Mike.
In my feeble defence can I say I did probably err in the use of brevity.
I enjoyed your constant invocation of the 'Ella' example because what that era demonstrated is that when you get a group who are inspired by the 'art' of the game and seek the necessary supporting technical mastery of the 'basics' then finding ways to unravel, to delight and awe, to entertain, just come naturally. Foley and Phipps would have been welcomed by those players, (though as a Rebel member, in Phipps case, I am still working through the stages to acceptance).
Most commentators..? Well there always has to be the malcontent, the square peg who keeps insisting that if hasn't been working then it has to be asked; what is it that is wrong? how do we fix it? what have we forgotten? etc.
What I hope every Australian coach, club official and a majority of players (those with any ambition anyway) will have learned is that Rugby is played better, more effectively, more successfully and more entertainingly with the ball in hand. Kicking it away only to avert a very clear danger or to a planned quick regather.
The possession game works - so all the ancillary stuff like running in close support, establishing legal techniques for quick ruck ball recycling, etc. is what builds upon that possession, creating pressure. The vice versificationalisms also apply when denying the opposition fast recycling, legally of course, anticipating what their close support need...
Rugby is a game created to develop fast accurate aggressive thinking where the team that does the best at that should give themselves a shot. Given the quality of youngsters we produce if they are also exposed to these lessons and are encouraged to practice them in the heat of the contest we should never be fearful of another WRC, TRC or Bledisloe again.
Time for our coaches at all levels to step up
Thoroughly deserved Matt, congratulations.
I suspect that without Matt this team would not have shown the steel they did.
Players like him make any coach look competent, so, developing his partners-in-crime (most pilfers etc.) should be the off-season's no. 1 task.