Precision. Leadership. Advice. How can we improve the Wallabies?

athlone Roar Rookie

By athlone, athlone is a Roar Rookie New author!

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    Another rugby union Test over and get another round of commentary. Lots of talk of the Wallabies ‘building’ – they seem to be forever building – and plenty of advice for the coach.

    Michael Cheika may well think of Oscar Wilde who wrote: “I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.” So with Wilde ringing in my ears, I enter the fray!

    Leadership seems to be missing in action, and it has been missing for quite a while on the field, off the field and in the boardroom. I suspect the best on and off the field leader may be David Pocock but his integrity is sometimes frightening to others.

    Selections have been, and continue to be, confusing.

    There is a parochialism in Australian rugby that is unhealthy. It flows through to the media and its coverage, when it tends to cloud people’s good judgement.

    We have been talking about fixing the scrums for many a year. I am reminded of a cheerful entry on a Welsh rugby calendar: “Great joy today: we took a tighthead off the scrum machine in injury time!”

    Years ago we were saying that the Australian team has been let down by the scrum. We are still saying it.

    All this talk about passion and aggression confuses the real issue. Playing for your country should mean that there is always passion and controlled aggression, but we need, as John Eales sometimes reminds us in his on-air contributions, precision.

    We need to do the basics very well – scrums, lineouts starts, rucks, passing etc. This is where any sporting team needs to start – with the basics.

    Rugby after all is an intellectual game. Played well is as beautiful as ballet. That must be our focus.

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • September 12th 2017 @ 11:17am
      krasnoff of noosa said | September 12th 2017 @ 11:17am | ! Report

      So let’s see. The Wallabies under Cheika appear to lack ‘mongrel’, a game plan, basic skills, and mental strength to perform for the full 80 minutes. The coach puts this down to a lack of maturity. But wait a minute, he selects the side, prepares and fields them! Does that mean our very best players, available for selection, are immature and lack basic skills? Or is it that the selection basis is Sydney-centric ‘old school’ biased and not truly representative of what is available. Last Saturday I watched a riveting match at Dolphin Stadium in Noosa between Queensland Country and Brisbane City as part of the National Rugby Championship. Two-code legend Brad Thorn successfully tackled the biggest coaching job of his blossoming off-field career with Queensland Country. Surely here’s the man to take up the cudgel and lead the Wallabies into the future.

      • Roar Guru

        September 12th 2017 @ 1:57pm
        Wal said | September 12th 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

        Fitness and conditioning coach Brad Thorn has a nice ring to it. Who’s going to take short cuts with him checking your GPS stats!!

      • September 12th 2017 @ 7:38pm
        PiratesRugby said | September 12th 2017 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

        Cheika has had this team for two full years now. He’s also the selector. No more excuses – he’s a failure. He must go.

    • Roar Rookie

      September 12th 2017 @ 6:49pm
      piru said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

      Strong leadership would solve or alleviate many of the Wallabies current problems.
      A coach who rants and raves in the box, a captain who prefers sarcastic remarks and smartar#ery over talking to refs.

      Name me one truly successful coach who acts the way Cheika does, like a gorilla told he can’t have any more Cheezels- waving his arms about, swearing, throwing things.

      There hasn’t been a really good Aussie captain since Eales.
      Gregan did ok, but was too mouthy to ever be great. Mortlock did an ok job, but he was lucky to have a very good and experienced team for the most part.

      For mine, Nathan Sharpe should have been captain as soon as Mortlock retired and carried it through to his own retirement. Instead we got a revolving door of players not all that interested in it.

      Leadership is a skill and it’s learnt like any other – the biggest issue I think for the current guys is they’ve never played for a top level captain before and therefore don’t know what one looks like.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 7:26pm
      Tooly said | September 12th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

      Pocock is a leader in every sense of the word.

    • September 13th 2017 @ 6:02am
      republican said | September 13th 2017 @ 6:02am | ! Report

      ……by not obsessively focusing on improving them.
      This has long been a national affliction of excruciating proportion, for the quirky enclave who support Union in the country, while the majority of us are simply focused on the AFL and NRL finals………

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