Raiders members must replace the board Roar Guru

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    Blake Ferguson was allowed to abandon the Raiders and yet seems destined to end up with a contract at the Roosters. (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Renee McKay)

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    So it’s done. The Canberra Raiders have admitted that they have made a mistake, and instead of righting a wrong, they look set to make the same mistake again.

    Word has come down that the new coach “must be experienced” with a first grade NRL rap sheet.


    The three best young coaches in the NRL are Geoff Toovey and Michael McGuire, both rookies last year, and Trent Robinson, who is likely to be named coach of the year in his debut as a head NRL coach.

    The Raiders Board have a long history of getting it wrong with coaches and members should consider voting in a new board that is not aligned with a “jobs for the boys” faction, or be influenced by the media.

    The Raiders could have had the games two best modern day coaches in Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy, but they did not want them.

    Bennett shared the coaching duties with Don Furner in 1987, but allowed him to go to Brisbane the next year and signed Tim Sheens, who went on to win three Premierships. Bennett went on to win seven Premierships, but it is hard to knock the Sheens appointment even if Bennett is considered a superior coach.

    Since Sheens left Canberra in 1996, the coaches have been Mal Meninga, Matt Elliot, Neil Henry and Dave Furner – all unsuccessful; actually that is too kind, try abysmal.

    Very rarely do you get the opportunity to buy the best at a bargain basement price.

    The Raiders can be forgiven for letting John Ribot gazump them by snatching Wayne Bennett for the Broncos, but when Bennett’s assistant, Craig Bellamy applied for the vacant head coaching job in 2002 he was over looked for Matt Elliot and Ribot said thank you again and grabbed him for the Storm and is now rated the game’s best coach.

    If we look at history, other clubs should look closely at the coaches that the Raiders don’t want and it appears they are not prepared to back their judgement on a rookie.

    By saying that they need an experienced coach automatically opens the door for more “jobs for the boys”, as opposed to hiring the best coach to take the Raiders forward.

    The Board, who already have a long history of poor decisions, have delegated a subcommittee to select a new head coach.

    The subcommittee is made up of Raiders CEO Don Furner, who hired his brother David in 2009 and after the Raiders finished 13th, seventh and 15th he actually extended his contract.

    Don Furner was also the club’s inaugural coach and the best he did in five seasons was sixth.

    Living legend Mal Meninga is also been flown in for his two Bob’s worth and like Don, was also a failed Raiders coach but he is very much part of the inner sanctum and two of the names on the Board’s short list are close mates of Mal’s, Ricky Stuart and Neil Henry.

    Henry is also a previously failed Raiders coach (14th and sixth) before going to the Cowboys where he has recently been sacked for a justified poor performance with a star studded list.

    Ricky Stuart is a magician the way he keeps getting highly paid jobs after leaving his clubs in ruin. Since taking Cronulla to the finals in 2008, Stuart has won only 15 of 64 matches in almost three full seasons of NRL coaching for a 23 percent success rate.

    Seriously guys, this is the Raiders subcommittee short list.

    The other members of the Raiders’ subcommittee are business owner, David Thom and Dr. Allan Hawke AC, Chancellor of the Australian National University.

    If the media reports are correct and the Raiders Board are serious about hiring a well-documented previously failed coach yet again, then the members should replace the Board immediately.

    You have to feel for young coaches like Andrew Duneman, Andrew McFadden, Justin Morgan and Brett Kimmorley who may well be the next Craig Bellamy,

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

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    The Crowd Says (33)

    • September 5th 2013 @ 7:25am
      oikee said | September 5th 2013 @ 7:25am | ! Report

      They will let Andrew Duneman go, and i think if he could run this club for two years they would be a force. But they will get rid of him, trust me.
      All boards make mistakes, look at Ben Ikin at the cows letting Sereago go to the Panthers.
      I think Duneman might end up at the Cowboys. They could do worse.
      The OParramatta board is a complete shambles, you cant get rid of these muppets, they are like a sticky black paste, tar that you cant wash off your car. Nobody can get rid of the faceless men. hehe

      • Roar Guru

        September 5th 2013 @ 6:06pm
        Mantis said | September 5th 2013 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

        Kevin Walters is favourite for the cows and I think he’ll end up coaching there. Also Rick Stone, who coached Newcastle for a bit and is assistant to Bennett now is also in with a shot. He comes with a big recommendation from Bennett too.

    • Roar Guru

      September 5th 2013 @ 7:36am said | September 5th 2013 @ 7:36am | ! Report

      Nothing wrong about making a mistake, but when it is clear you have made a big mistake, and you don’t learn from it and make it again then you should be accountable.
      My tip for the Cows is Rick Stone, with Wayne Bennett to follow in 2 years.

      • September 5th 2013 @ 7:42am
        oikee said | September 5th 2013 @ 7:42am | ! Report

        Rick Stone would be good, yes i never gave him a thought until now.

        • Roar Guru

          September 5th 2013 @ 7:46am
 said | September 5th 2013 @ 7:46am | ! Report

          He may just be warming the seat for Benny and then move back to his old job. Dont forget who his son in law is.

          • September 5th 2013 @ 9:47am
            oikee said | September 5th 2013 @ 9:47am | ! Report

            You seem to connect the dots nicely Scott, well picked up, i am impressed.

    • September 5th 2013 @ 7:59am
      The eye said | September 5th 2013 @ 7:59am | ! Report

      If I were Newcastle I’d be letting Benny go and put Stone back in charge..he’s got the same result as Stoney in the 2 years he’s been here with a better roster..heard nothing of recruitment for next year so can’t expect the improvement supporters hoped for but didnt get this season..
      As for the Raiders,beyond would be a master stroke by Steve Sharp if he can get it done,but sympathy stops for their lost stars if the Raiders fall for it.

    • Roar Guru

      September 5th 2013 @ 8:20am said | September 5th 2013 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      Seriously it is like something out of a fantasy movie. Every professional I know in the industry who makes a living from knowing what they are doing all to a man rate Ricky at the bottom of the ladder as a coach. I dont understand how so many clubs can get it so wrong and get sucked it by what journos like Paul Kent write and say. PK called Ricky a “great coach” last week but only a “good coach” last night. Try inept.

    • September 5th 2013 @ 8:50am
      AGO74 said | September 5th 2013 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Three points Scott.

      1. Don Furner CEO is not 1980’s coach Don Furner. They are two different people. Father and son.

      2. Wayne Bennett left Canberra to become Broncos inaugural coach. It was not a case of Raiders ketting him go.

      3. Your argument is that Raiders should go for someone new rather than experienced. Well the last 4 Canberra coaches were all rookie NRL coaches. That hasn’t seemed to work out well if you measure this against premierships or grand final appearances. For what its worth I agree that Stuart is not the answer.completely overrated. Instead they should go for Neil Henry in making finals with a below par roster. He had success there, know the club and only reason he left was because he was poached following said success. Brett Kimmorley has potential to be a very good coach but has only had 1 year as assistant. Too soon for him.

      • Columnist

        September 5th 2013 @ 9:46am
        Kris Swales said | September 5th 2013 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        And further to 1., he got them to a grand final! Albeit with Bennett taking turns holding the clipboard.

        I’d like to see Stone, Henry or maybe Kevvie Walters get the gig, but it sounds like Ricky’s as good as there.

        Either way, I guess we’ll know if it was a good decision by this time in 2015.

        • Roar Guru

          September 5th 2013 @ 11:06am
 said | September 5th 2013 @ 11:06am | ! Report

          Unlike some players, I have found over the years that coaches do not change much. You can generally assess them accurately from season 1, regardless of the results. Most coaches have a pattern. eg. Brian Smith is outstanding in his first couple of years at a new club. Most coaches can be judged on their defence strategy and the ones that get it wrong early rarely improve.
          I can tell you know that if the new Raiders coach is a tried and tested coach with who has been sacked at his last gig like Henry, Stuart and Sheens etc the Raiders will not do much better than they have in recent years. People get sacked for a very good reason and it is generally justified. In Ricky’s case he has been sacked at his last 2 clubs plus the national job after losing the unlosable World Cup. Give him long enough and he will also be sacked at the Eels, I know the supporters have already sacked him and they are the best judges.
          As for Kevy…you should ask yourself why did Bennett sack him at the broncos.

    • Roar Guru

      September 5th 2013 @ 9:17am said | September 5th 2013 @ 9:17am | ! Report

      I have no problem grabbing an experienced coach if he is a good coach and let me tell you there are not many.
      It is funny that John Ribot rang me last night and we talked about this subject and he said that he would not even look at any coach who was under a 50% win record.
      So you are a Neil Henry fan?
      He coached the Raiders in 2007 for 14th and then 6th the next year. All up 49 games for 22 wins at 45%. Then he went to Nth Qland and had arguably the best roster in the NRL which includes the worlds best player in Thurston, the 2 National props, Bowen Tate etc.. His effort at the Cowboys has been a disgrace with only a 48% win record from 107 games. Everyone expected them to be a top 4 team this year yet they lose on the weekend they will not even play in the finals.
      Ago, it is not so much his poor record, but if you study his structures they are all over the place. I wont even discuss some of his players like losing Segeayo and having inelpt back up in such a key position. Playing 3 halfbacks in front of Lui when anyone who knew anything about the game knew Lui was easiy first choice. Oh , did I mention who he has buthered the career of James Taumalolo. Why did he play Dallas Johns for 2 years in every games for 80 mins when he was clearly past his best? etc etc

      • Roar Guru

        September 5th 2013 @ 6:13pm
        Mantis said | September 5th 2013 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

        Im a cows fan, and Henry seems like a good guy, but he has done badly with the Cowboys. With the team they have on paper, they should be contesting for the premiership. Its our basic errors and fundamentals that have cost us this year, which might seem like a player problem, but they are professionals footballers with all the skill in the world. It has to be a coaching issue.

        This years Cowboys team is similar to the Raiders side Henry had when they finished 6th. They ended up getting on a roll and won all (or nearly all, correct me if im wrong) of their last 6 or 7 games to make the finals. This isnt the sign of a good team or coach, this is a team with potential getting on a roll on the back of momentum. If he were a good coach, he would have them playing consistently throughout the year.

        All the best to Neil Henry in the future, but I look forward to the Cows with a new coach in 2014.

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