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It’s time for Rocky Elsom to step aside

Uncle Argyle Roar Rookie

By Uncle Argyle, Uncle Argyle is a Roar Rookie

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    In the aftermath of the All Blacks’ trouncing of the mentally absent Wallabies, all rugby-loving Australians forensically examine the carcass of defeat.

    But for this budding rugby pathologist, I would be happy determine that the cause of death was manifold:

    1. A complete lack of mental application to the task at hand. It was clear the Wallabies were not switched on at the start of the game which cost them points.

    2. No plan B. The Wallabies were wayward; they kept moving from side to side without getting the All Blacks on the back foot first. No wonder we got picked off in defence, the All Blacks were rarely in two minds as to what they needed to do.

    3. Lack of tactical nous. Australia had the possession and field position to really apply pressure on the All Blacks, however it appeared as if Genia and Cooper were playing a Super 15 game in a Wallaby jumper.

    As Dan Carter showed again, there is no shame in slotting the odd field goal to get a return on your real estate. No pressure like scoreboard pressure.

    4. No leadership. I can’t recall the last winger to captain Australia, perhaps Rocky Elsom might be the first?

    The amount of time he spent as a seagull was not what was required, especially when poor old David Pocock was left alone at the breakdown to fight for the ball. Rocky simply was not in the game when it counted.

    5. The breakdown; as stated, Elsom was absent, McCalman is a solid worker but is not working in combination with Pocock.

    There was little to no counter ruck and we were dominated in this facet of play. Can’t expect to win a Test when you don’t engage the enemy in battle.

    6. Pat McCabe is a winger. I love his direct play but he is not yet a 12.

    Anthony Faainga is and has the proven combination at Super 15 level with Cooper. Give him a shot. I don’t recall any pundits praising the Brumby backline this year?

    The remedy; Robbie Deans must really start living up to the old ‘reward for effort’ motto he espouses and play the guys who put in the effort.

    Drop Elsom back to club rugby, reward Higgenbotham and Samo with a Test start. Swap Faainga and McCabe.

    As for the game itself; be more urgent, more direct. Respect the opposition and earn the right to play with width.

    Bring on Brisbane.

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    The Crowd Says (36)

    • August 9th 2011 @ 12:58am
      Jimbojones said | August 9th 2011 @ 12:58am | ! Report

      Agree agree agree! I think I could do a better job with this team than Deans has done while still holding down my full time job. Obvious selection choices are overlooked in favour of seasoned non performers and their is no strategy, no communication and no killer instinct. I think the reds could have put on a more cohesive performance than the current wallabies. They certainly demonstrated more will to win and never stope trying utility the end.

      Why is Ben McCalman in the 22. Trying hard at test level does not warrant continued selection. Samo and Higginbotthom would have more impact. Simmons needs to get some killer instinct, passion and psycho in him and Elsom needs to be told it’s now or never.

      Why not get the likes of Lynagh, Farr Jones, Poidevan, Horan and Eales in the locker room to mentor these guys into understanding what it means to where the wallaby jersey like the QLD origin team has successfully done.

    • August 9th 2011 @ 1:37am
      Mark said | August 9th 2011 @ 1:37am | ! Report

      Need this article say more. Well said!!

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download The Roar’s iPhone App in the App Store here.

    • August 9th 2011 @ 2:08am
      Damo said | August 9th 2011 @ 2:08am | ! Report

      I wonder what the succession plan is anyway? If Rocky is injured in a match who is to be captain? Who is the Lynagh to Farr-Jones.
      I have been a big fan of Rocky’s since he came on the scene but he has not grown with either role since he became captain.
      We need an on field tactician who is in the thick of it. It is a very difficult job. Even harder than being a world class 6. At present Rocky is expected to be both.
      Time for the Wallabies to consider ruthlessly what went wrong tactically last Saturday and then deal with it.
      If the team were unable to activate plan B or C due to a leadership problem then there is an obvious way forward.

      • August 10th 2011 @ 3:00pm
        DD said | August 10th 2011 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

        ROCKY SHOULD NOT BE CAPTAIN! Here’s Why:

        He fails to do what every RWC winning Captain has done (naturally). Rocky does NOT:

        1. Lead / manage / engage with the Referee to put a case forward, introduce doubt or to craft the Referee interpretations. The ABs were offside heaps, knocked-on, played the ball on the ground, held players back, etc. Rocky was silent.

        2. When things are going badly – Rocky is silent. He doesn’t fire up his team. Worse, he doesn’t initiate a change to the tactics. He just lets things bumble along when they are obviously not working. He does not have a good tactical brain, or at the very least, doesn’t have the skills to communicate these or the leadership to implement change.

        3. He doesn’t have the command / leadership qualities needed to get that extra 15% out of his men when they are already at 100%.

        We will NOT win the RWC if Rocky remains Captain.

        Hey Rocky: Self select mate, resign as captain, focus on your game and return to being the mongrel No. 6 you can be.

    • Roar Guru

      August 9th 2011 @ 2:38am
      Poth Ale said | August 9th 2011 @ 2:38am | ! Report

      Elsom should never have been made captain – it has reduced him.

      Were Genia or someone else to take on the role, he would be a better player. Maybe not the world-class hoped for, but still a lot better.

    • August 9th 2011 @ 7:02am
      warrenexpatinnz said | August 9th 2011 @ 7:02am | ! Report

      Elsom with Samo,Pocock or Higginbotham and with the locks as Horwill/Sharpe Samo/Sharpe-Vickerman-Horwill makes a very good solid and physical wall.

    • August 9th 2011 @ 7:35am
      johnny-boy said | August 9th 2011 @ 7:35am | ! Report

      As that is very unlikely Unc given Elsom appears so self centred, the only chance we have is if the other players (and most likely lead by the Reds players) revolt and demand his and Deans resignation. Without that we are going down the tube. If kiwis are so great at rugby (as they churlishly love to remind us ad infinitum – fearful we might get it together)
      how come one of their supposedly top coaches, an ex All Black who has won multiple super titles, is so bloody hopeless. We dont need some incredible amazing kiwi (not!) to make us worse than we really are, hell we had Eddie Jones for that.

      • August 9th 2011 @ 8:35am
        Big Steve said | August 9th 2011 @ 8:35am | ! Report

        cause the player revolt at the brumbies had a great outcome this year. If it was the reds players that would create a massive split in the team.

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