I was expecting great things from the Reds last season and they didn’t disappoint. They were like an elastic band that has been pulled back and let go.
I said to my partner at the end of it all, “I hope they keep attacking like that next season.” Well, we all know that answer, don’t we?
Last night I found myself shouting at the TV.
“Keep the bloody ball in hand!”
“Get it out to the backs.”
“Why take the soft option?”
“Where are the forwards at the breakdown.”
“‘They’re going to lose it on the Stormers tryline.””
Then all of a sudden the light bulb burst into life. This was the Waratahs from McKenzie’s days all over again. Play the ball up their end of the field, don’t take chances until they are sure.
Looking at the game, the kickoffs were disgustingly bad, the speed of play pedestrian, there natural skill set not on show, and the tactics consisted of kick, kick and kick again, mostly aimlessly.
The other thing that the Reds have fallen into this year is another Waratah classic, with five of the players are trying to carry the other 10. Next week it will be a different five, and the week after that different again.
The Reds have to speed their game up, as totally controlled rugby is killing them. Robbie Deans has to let Genia know that if he keeps on playing this slow-it-down Gregan, football, he’s not going to be in the Wallabies this year.
I have to agree with Campo. In Australia we have some good backs, but our forwards are hit and mostly miss. Any strategy around constant forward play is doomed to failure.
The forwards are called forwards because they are supposed to go forward in a group. Ours prefer one-off runs, with the rest applauding and backside-slapping after it is over, assuming we didn’t lose the ball to a turnover.
Regarding Richard Graham, if the Reds wanted an assistant coach there is really only one option, and that is Phil Mooney as the backs coach. You can see his influence disappearing with the passage of time and the Waratahs dressed in Red appearing.
The bottom line that I came to is Ewan McKenzie is a top bloke and a good coach, but his file must be marked “Never to coach the Wallabies.” He’s just too conservative.