Mark Ella to take over as Wallabies coach?

Scott Allen Columnist

By Scott Allen, Scott Allen is a Roar Expert

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    Mark Ella is a legend of Australian Rugby and when I picked my best Wallabies team for The Roar in 2014, I chose Ella at flyhalf, despite the fact that he only played 25 Tests before retiring at just 25 years of age.

    In his regular newspaper article last Saturday, Ella made some comments about the skill level of the Wallabies that got my attention.

    Ella bemoaned the lack of skills in the current squad, writing, “It is very frustrating for ex-Wallabies, who in the amateur era had only three days to prepare for Test matches, to watch this current group of highly paid professionals continually make the same basic mistakes, which surely must frustrate and at times infuriate the current coaching staff.”

    Last week, I showed examples of some of the poor urgency that is seen far too often from the current Wallabies.

    In reply to some of the comments, I touched on the poor skill level of most of the players and what Mick Byrne is trying to do to lift those skill levels with the full support of Michael Cheika.

    I also mentioned that I heard it took Byrne seven years working with the All Blacks before he considered their skills were at the level they should be. A number of readers made the point that they didn’t believe it should take that long to rectify skill issues. From the comments in his article on the weekend, Ella agrees with those of you that feel that way.

    Ella said, “I reckon if I or a dozen other former Wallabies had a half decent team for a month we all could get them to execute under pressure more capably than what we are seeing now. So why, according to Byrne and Cheika, must we be patient and wait years to see the change when it should occur in a month?”

    If Ella and his fellow former players really can do that, the existing Wallaby coaches should resign immediately upon their return from Argentina and let Ella take over.

    With less than two weeks before the third Bledisloe Test in Brisbane, Ella wouldn’t have enough time to get the skill level of the players up to where it needs to be for that match, but then the Wallabies depart for their Northern Hemisphere tour not long after, so there’s no time to waste.

    Is there any chance that Cheika and his assistants will fall on their sword and let Ella in? Not likely and if asked, I’m sure Cheika would be pretty dismissive of the claim Ella makes that it would only take him a month to fix the issues.

    I wonder what Ella thinks he would do so differently from the current coaches to make such a dramatic difference in such a short period of time?

    We didn’t get any detail from Ella in his article, so let’s see what we can come up with. What would you do with just one month of training to make a massive difference to basic skills?

    Let’s assume there were no matches in a four-week period, so you didn’t have to do any match training, just skill work. Let’s also assume the fitness side of things were taken care of in separate sessions so you could just focus on the skills.

    Specialist work (set piece and kicking) which definitely needs work would have to be done at the next camp because this particular camp would just be about fixing the basic team skills that apply to every player on the field.

    To make sure we don’t cook the players, we’d better allow some down time, so let’s allow two days on and one day off as the maximum training time.

    Let’s work on two sessions a day of 90 minutes each, once players are warmed up. You may argue there should be more time allowed but remember that the players will be doing fitness work on top of that.

    If you accept those parameters, you’d have 19 days of training in the month, which would give you 57 hours of training.

    I should say before I go on, I don’t think players could train that much over four weeks and maintain intensity. Quantity is not always the most important factor, particularly if it causes the quality of the session to suffer. But let’s run with that time allowance for these purposes.

    Before I tell you what I’d do, why don’t you stop reading the article now and jot down your plan and then share it with all of us in the comments section later.

    Have you got yours written down? Okay, then I’ll tell you what I’d do.

    It sounds like I’ve given you a lot of time to work with, but it won’t surprise any of you that in training nothing ever goes quite to plan, no matter how well you prepare, so we’d all be surprised and how quickly we run out of time.

    In his 2008 book Outliers: The story of success, Malcolm Gladwell proposed a theory that practice makes all the difference in learning a new skill. He reported on a study that showed it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in any given field. The type of practice Gladwell referred to is intense, focused, and tough, which is designed to attack your weaknesses.

    Since then, people have attempted to prove or disprove this theory and, in particular, the number of hours Gladwell proposed. In 2014, researchers at Princeton University published a study that suggested practice is not as important as proposed by Gladwell, finding that practice only accounted for 26 per cent of improvements in performance in a sporting context.

    I still haven’t seen any alternative studies that have challenged the number of hours Gladwell proposed to become an expert and remember we want our players to be experts, not just pretty good.

    Whether the 10,000-hour mark is correct or not, and Mark Ella clearly must believe it’s not, with only around 57 hours of practice available for our program, we may have a problem in teaching the Wallabies to be experts at any skill, let alone a large number of them.

    Of course, the players already have a certain level of skills, which should help, but at the same time a lot of them appear to have some bad habits.

    You also have to consider that people learn differently and at different speeds. What works for one player may not work for another, so you may have to explain or demonstrate things differently for particular groups of players, all of which takes time.

    Therefore, to ensure maximum impact from my program, I’d focus on just three areas where a big difference could be made, rather than trying to fix all the issues:

    • Catch-pass: 50 per cent
    • Tackle technique: 30 per cent
    • Offloading: 20 per cent

    The most important thing about passing is that the ball is in front of the receiving player, to generate momentum. The ball has to be passed to where the player is going to be, not where they are, which forces them to run onto the ball.

    This applies to all players, but starts with the scrumhalf, who makes the most passes. That first pass sets the tone for the rest of the phase.

    For example, if it’s a pass from the base of the ruck to a forward runner, any hesitation from that forward if they have to wait for the pass to get to them, will make it that much harder to hit the defensive line with maximum momentum and that can mean the difference between getting over the gain line or not.

    If it’s a wide pass, hopefully the playmaker has identified some space and if they have to check their run waiting for the pass to arrive, that may give the opposition just enough time to get reorganised, as every player outside will also have to check their run to compensate.

    Let me show you some examples.

    I’ve noticed real improvement from Will Genia in this area this year but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. In this first example, Genia gets the ball out in front of Kurtley Beale who, as a result, is in motion and therefore more of a threat.

    Beale then gets his pass out in front of Bernard Foley. It’s not a perfect pass but by throwing the pass along the red line, as opposed to along the white line, he allows Foley to keep moving toward the defensive line.

    Even though the pass is a little high, the fact Foley can maintain momentum allows him to get outside his defender.

    Israel Folau does a poor job in support here. He needed to hold his depth and narrow up, so Foley could make a short pass. If he had held his depth, there was plenty of room to come off the touch line and accelerate onto the ball and into space.

    Here’s an example where the pass isn’t in front of the player. Genia needed to put this ball out in front of Adam Coleman by passing along the red line, not the white line.

    By passing along the white line and therefore at Coleman rather than in front of him, Coleman has to check his run to wait for the ball to arrive and that takes valuable momentum away.

    Yes, a pass out in front of Coleman would have challenged him to catch the ball close to the defensive line so he could have helped by starting a little deeper, but catching the ball under pressure is another skill the Wallabies need to work on.

    Here’s an example from the match against the Pumas a couple of weeks ago, where Beale correctly identifies the space out wide and makes a pass to Tevita Kuridrani (who isn’t in shot yet),

    The pass is along the white line (the ball is circled in red) so it is out in front of Kuridrani (who is just in shot now) but given the length of the pass it needed to be along the red line so Kuridrani could really steam onto the ball.

    When the pass does get to Kuridrani it’s at him and high, so he has to check his run, which takes away momentum.

    Compare that to this example, with Genia getting the ball out in front of Folau who could therefore maintain full momentum towards the tryline.

    To make that pass, Genia had to have confidence that Folau would run onto the ball and could make the catch.

    It was a brilliantly executed pass that got Folau outside his defender and created a try.

    The most important thing about catching a pass is being in motion when you catch the ball to generate momentum. Given that with improved passing skills, all the passes are going to be in front of you, you need to catch the ball in front of your body, not on your body. There are still plenty of Wallabies who still make the mistake of catching the ball on their body.

    Combine the two skills of passing in front of the player and catching the ball out in front of you and you can play some really attacking rugby. Despite the improvements from the Wallabies, there is still plenty of improvement left in this area.

    Tackle technique
    There are three elements involved in defending. The first is defensive structure, where the positioning of players relative to each other and their roles within that structure are critical to make sure players are in position to tackle opposition ball carriers.

    The second is line speed and maintaining the line as you go forward, which relies on working correctly in the structure.

    The third is the tackle itself, which is predominantly an individual skill. The best defensive structure in the world and really good line speed counts for nothing if an individual has poor tackle technique.

    This is an area where the Wallabies continue to struggle. There are lots of technical points with tackle technique but I’d focus on getting the lead foot in close to the ball carrier before the player attempts to make the tackle. This is the only way you can get your shoulder into good contact with the ball carrier.

    If your lead foot is too far away when you try to make a tackle, your head typically goes down, you end up tackling with your arms rather than your shoulder, and quite often you get beaten by a ball carrier who uses a little footwork.

    The other key focus would be on getting shoulder contact below the ball. I know some coaches focus on the first player making a low tackle around the legs with a second player going higher to wrap the ball up, but I’d rather see a focus on the first player in making an effective tackle and not relying on a second player. As long as that first player gets their shoulder into contact below the height of the ball, they should make the effective tackle required – if the second player is there to help out, it’s a bonus.

    Here’s an example of a tackle from Foley against the Pumas a couple of weeks ago. It shows the issues when you don’t get that lead foot in close enough.

    As Foley approaches the tackle area, his eyes are looking at the grass so his head is down, his arms are wide apart and his lead foot is nowhere near the ball carrier.

    If he’d kept his eyes up and taken one more step toward the defender he’d have been in a much better position to attempt the tackle.

    But because he dipped down when still so far away from the ball carrier he was always going to end up diving at the ball carrier rather than driving through him.

    Because his eyes were down, his head was down and his body was always going to follow on an angle downwards.

    No surprise then that he ended up sprawled on the ground, forcing Genia to make a try-saving tackle in cover.

    The issues with the height of attempted tackles is evident in the following example from Beale against the Springboks.

    Well before the ball carrier gets to him, Beale has planted his feet and is waiting for the ball carrier to run at him.

    This was very poor technique, especially against a big man.

    It was no surprise to see Beale shrugged off easily, and the Springboks scored a long-range try after the cover couldn’t shut down the line break.

    Tackle technique is an area that I’ve seen little improvement from the Wallabies this year.

    Watch the All Blacks or any of the top teams in sevens and you’ll see how hard it is to defend against a team that offloads well.

    Of course, offloading is about more than just the technique of making the offload. The best ‘Sonny Bill’ out the back of the hand pass is wasted unless there is a supporter there ready to take the pass.

    The Wallabies have also made improvements in this area this year. Think back to their first try against the Pumas a couple of weeks ago and you’ll see how having supporters in position and the ability to make an offload make a huge difference.

    Genia passes from the base of the ruck to Coleman.

    Coleman tries an offload to his outside support but doesn’t execute well and the ball hits the deck, so there needs to be improvement there.

    Foley cleans up and passes to Beale running straight and putting defenders under pressure.

    Beale get away a good offload in the tackle to Sean McMahon, who ran a narrow support line so that Beale didn’t have to make an impossible wide offload.

    Foley stayed alive and got a second touch when he got an offload from McMahon.

    Then he stayed composed to pass to Folau who scored out wide.

    That’s really good rugby and I look forward to seeing more of it as the Wallabies improve their skills.

    There you have it – that’s what I’d use my 57 hours to focus on.

    Are the Wallabies working on these skills? Yes, they are – I know they are because I’ve seen them working on them and more.

    Does ruck technique need work? Yes it does but if you can offload well you’ll move the ball away from rucks before they happen. If you can retain momentum through good catch-pass you’ll get over the gain line more often and with the defence going backwards they’ll find it much harder to attack your rucks.

    Have I shown you anything different to what club coaches or school coaches are already doing with their teams? Probably not, because the reality is there are no magic bullets. If a coach can get their team to become excellent in the three areas I’ve outlined, they’d have a very good rugby team.

    I look forward to seeing the alternative plans you all come up with.

    Would my plan, or yours, make as big a difference as Mark Ella claims his would? I have my doubts that any of us, Ella included, could make the difference he claims in just one month.

    It will take longer to fix the skills deficiency in Australian rugby and it needs to be worked on at all levels of the game, not just at Wallaby level.

    Scott Allen
    Scott Allen

    Scott has been a rugby contributor with The Roar since 2013. After taking some time out to pursue other roles in the game, including coaching Premier Grade with University of Queensland and the Wallaroos at the recent World Cup, he's returned to give us his insights. You can follow him on Twitter @ScottA_ to hear more from him.

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    The Crowd Says (259)

    • October 4th 2017 @ 4:43am
      aussikiwi said | October 4th 2017 @ 4:43am | ! Report

      I think Mark Ella has become an armchair critic who fails to acknowledge the massive increase in speed and intensity since his amateur days. The skills are no less, probably superior, but the pressure is much greater.

      Having said that, it would be interesting to put him in charge of a team of talented players for a month to see if he could live up to his own hype. Perhaps not the WBs quite yet though…..

      • October 4th 2017 @ 6:13am
        Taylorman said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:13am | ! Report

        Yes very suspicious about anyone who says they can clean the ozzie skilset in ‘a month’ with a few mates, especially when hes not coached anything like this level before, let alone ‘turned a test team around in a month’.

        I think what theyre more likely to find is a few players that dont actually have the Skills to execute the required level theyre asking for under pressure at the highest level, and that what we are seeing now is the best these players are going to get, particularly the longer term players.

        Even the newer players are measured against the current standard, which doesnt reflect well on them either if theyre struggling in the first few tests, as many, like Kerevi, Hanigan, Mcmahon etc have.

        Havent read the rest of the article yet but in terms of Mark Ellas comments…I say put your money where your mouth is. If something sounds too good to be true…it usually is.

        • October 4th 2017 @ 10:33am
          puff said | October 4th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

          It would be unsympathetic to belittle Mark Ella’s comments as arm chair criticism. But great players are not necessary great coaches and yesterdays heroes are exactly that. Then professional game is a very different beast to amateur sport, apart from fitness levels and the increased skill set requirements. It is also the amount of training, travel, dedication and the expectations of supporter and paymasters that need to be appeased. There are sponsors, contracts, managers and special interest groups that require commitment. Players today are bigger, heaver, faster and have their diet regulated. It takes a considerable period for any coach to be considered for higher office and very few have those special qualities. Mark has left his run far too late and would be more valuable investing his time with juniors.

          • October 4th 2017 @ 12:54pm
            marto said | October 4th 2017 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

            Cheika was not a great player nor is he a great coach..He is in a category of his own…

            • October 4th 2017 @ 1:07pm
              Cynical Play said | October 4th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

              He’s nothing compared to you in that regard. How easily you lower the bar.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 1:21pm
                marto said | October 4th 2017 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

                Cheika has no bar ,he is so low he can play handball in the gutter..

              • October 4th 2017 @ 4:56pm
                PiratesRugby said | October 4th 2017 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

                The point about Cheika is that he’s had this team as head coach sole selector for nearly 3 years now. If you accept what Ella says about basic skill deficits in the Wallabies (ie blind Freddy can see) then you’ve got to acknowledge that Cheika owns those deficits. Same goes for the string of humiliating defeats. Skills have deteriorated under Cheika and we now seem to have a mortgage on fifth spot in the world rankings. We’ve still got Argentina, NZ, Japan, Wales, England and Scotland to play this year. At least two of those teams will beat us. All of them could beat us. None of them will fear Australia like they used to. Cheika is the problem, not the solution.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 5:21pm
                Jay-c said | October 4th 2017 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

                Heiniken cup title, super rugby title, rugby championship, World Cup finalist and former world coach of the year… pretty good cv by anyone’s measure . The fact that year on year the players and team get better the longer they are away from their super coaches and with him would suggest he IS a great coach.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 8:50pm
                Cynical Play said | October 4th 2017 @ 8:50pm | ! Report

                Marto and labotomy – word association

              • October 4th 2017 @ 6:05pm
                Charlie Turner said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

                Jay-c, all that proves is Cheika, like a lot of good provincial players, is incapable of transitioning to the next level. Cheika was the beneficiary of Links development in 2015 and since then has stamped the Wallabies with his own brand of mediocre.

              • October 5th 2017 @ 8:38am
                PiratesRugby said | October 5th 2017 @ 8:38am | ! Report

                0-3 to England at home should have sealed the clown’s fate.

              • October 6th 2017 @ 11:30pm
                ScottD said | October 6th 2017 @ 11:30pm | ! Report

                A bit harsh given the quality of England

              • October 5th 2017 @ 11:14am
                marto said | October 5th 2017 @ 11:14am | ! Report

                Cynical Play is intelligent = Oxymoron

            • October 4th 2017 @ 6:00pm
              ScrumJunkie said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

              Ahhh, Cheika was a great player… not an all time great of McCaw proportions, but dominated his opposition at a reasonably high level.

              As for what some of the wallabies should do, sleep with the rugby ball, take the ball with you to dinner. Have breakfast with the ball in your hands… that ball is never not with you until it feels like another appendage. It works.

      • October 4th 2017 @ 6:51am
        Daniel said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:51am | ! Report

        Yes indeed he has. Easier to comment than coach as most roarer’s know ;-)!

        Good to have you back Scotty. Your analysis is as insightful as it always has been.

        Ella…. Have Xxxx and lie down mate.

      • October 4th 2017 @ 1:28pm
        Bakkies said | October 4th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

        Has Mark Ella coached at any level? His brother Gary had a disastrous stint at Leinster and I don’t think he has had a role since then.

        • October 5th 2017 @ 7:17am
          Milan said | October 5th 2017 @ 7:17am | ! Report

          What the hell has his brother got to do with this Bakkies? Completely irrelevant point.

          Stick to the subject for goodness sake man

          • October 5th 2017 @ 4:40pm
            Bakkies said | October 5th 2017 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

            Go play amongst the traffic.

        • October 6th 2017 @ 11:31pm
          ScottD said | October 6th 2017 @ 11:31pm | ! Report

          And his other brother Glen is assistant with England isn’t he.?

    • October 4th 2017 @ 5:04am
      Darwin Stubbie said | October 4th 2017 @ 5:04am | ! Report

      I’ve said it before … one of the main issues with the wallabies is the guarantee of selection – the risk of non selection isn’t that great once they’ve cracked it … I could compile an extensive list of players that have gained selection with flaws, compiled a mountain of international caps and departed with the same flaws evident in their game … their are players that cruise through SR because they know they’ll still make wallaby squads – that’s a big issue – the competition to improve needs to be there as much as the desire

      • October 4th 2017 @ 9:11am
        jameswm said | October 4th 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

        I’m partly with you there – the issue in Australia is not rewarding performance. This applies to players as well as coaches. There’s too much of who you know.

        • October 4th 2017 @ 4:09pm
          Crash Ball2 said | October 4th 2017 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

          Agreed. Not rewarding performance. But also, not penalising non/under-performance (as Darwin alludes to).

      • Roar Guru

        October 4th 2017 @ 11:06am
        Hoy said | October 4th 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report

        Agree completely… Disagree all you want, but look at AAC… this bloke played 100 games for Australia with a really limited passing game. Beale and Cooper are up in the what? 60s? And Beale puts in a tackling effort like last week?
        Foley is given a free pass to do whatever he wants, because there isn’t even a spare 10 in the squad…

        • October 4th 2017 @ 1:04pm
          marto said | October 4th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

          There isn’t a spare 10 in the squad because Michael Cheika does not want any challengers for Foley to deal with..It`s clear that NARD can do whatever he likes and never be dropped..Same goes for Hooper and Folau..You can also add Beale to the list now..

          5th ranked Australia have 3 wins from 8 matches this year..They have beaten teams 9th 10th and 14th and lost to Scotland on home soil who are ranked 6th ( Below us ) and two draws against a pretty average SA team.. 2017 is looking worse than 2016..Time for Cheika to fall on his sword when he comes back from Argentina.

    • October 4th 2017 @ 5:07am
      Galatzo said | October 4th 2017 @ 5:07am | ! Report

      From your pages to Cheika’s eyes, Scott. You chose what I think many of us will choose – getting the basics right. It’s amazing because all the WBs would have learned those basics when they were playing high school rugby. And it’s hard to excuse their loss of these fundamentals as they’re all pros. The question is, do they know they’re not getting it right? If Ella or your goodself had the squad for a while, and pointed out what you’ve outlined here, I have a feeling most of the offenders would say, “I know how to do it but it’s hard because test rugby is so fast.” It’s fast for the ABs, too, but they get it right. As did the Wallabies of yesteryear. As you say, there’s no time to correct. I believe they’ll continue their errant ways and lose to Wales and Scotland in the EOTY tour and be well and truly toweled up by England.

    • October 4th 2017 @ 6:06am
      mzilikazi said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:06am | ! Report

      Great article Scott. A coaching manual really. And very comprehensive.

      Your point on passing out front is critical. Would add that ideally the pass is at waist height…but the receiver must be prepared to take any pass he can touch basically….won’t always be a perfect pass. Also the type of pass is critical…hard and flat and long, short and firm, popped “soft”pass etc.

      The Foley to Folau pass for the try v Boks last weekend is a classic case. Many called that a forward pass, but I’m not so sure….most missed the fact that Folau reached back to take the pass. And this brings out your point…”Israel Folau does a poor job in support here. He needed to hold his depth “. I’m using your comment out of context for this case, but feel it illustrates a really vital coaching point. The receiving player so often times the run/burst badly, and is too flat to be given a perfect pass.

      Many readers won’t agree, but I feel that the passing in rugby league is superior to our game at this moment in time in Australia. One could use Jonathan Thurston as a model to study on how and when to pass…and there are many others like him in League.

      • October 4th 2017 @ 6:29am
        Fionn said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:29am | ! Report

        QC has the best pass in Australia, and it’s usually out in front. Maybe Quade forces his way back into the Wallaby squad… As a coach 😛

        • Roar Guru

          October 4th 2017 @ 6:35am
          taylorman said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:35am | ! Report

          The pass to Korobeite on the left was as good as any Cooper has ever thrown and that was in a test this week. Not two years ago.

          • October 4th 2017 @ 6:36am
            Fionn said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:36am | ! Report

            Pretty sure you said it was forward the other day, mate.

            Regardless, one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

            • Roar Guru

              October 4th 2017 @ 7:37am
              taylorman said | October 4th 2017 @ 7:37am | ! Report

              There were two, the left one was nowhere near forward, mainly because of its speed and Korobeites position.
              The right one went forward but out of the hand backwards.
              Keep up with the play please.?

            • October 4th 2017 @ 9:13am
              jameswm said | October 4th 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

              I also remember someone saying anyone could have scored those tries. On the first Koroibete had to use his speed to outrun the winger. On the 2nd his strength to bump off contact and score. It’s a good combo, speed and power. He is a likely customer.

              • October 5th 2017 @ 10:41am
                taylorman said | October 5th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

                yes he still had a ton of work for that second try, hes a good find. He and Foley worked both sides of the field well, …huge find.

          • Roar Rookie

            October 4th 2017 @ 11:08am
            Sage said | October 4th 2017 @ 11:08am | ! Report

            It was a good pass for sure I agree but to claim it was as good as any pass Cooper has ever thrown is incorrect in my opinion. It also seems unnecessarily antagonistic in the circumstance

        • October 4th 2017 @ 7:05am
          Highlander said | October 4th 2017 @ 7:05am | ! Report

          Sadly many highly skilled players in multiple codes make poor coaches, they are blessed with a skill set but have no idea how to pass it on. Ella seems to be one, Maradonna was another, Glenn Turner in NZ cricket, its a long list.

          • October 4th 2017 @ 7:26am
            Fionn said | October 4th 2017 @ 7:26am | ! Report

            Highlander, I know, I was being tongue in cheek.

            Tennis is a really, really bad sport for it, in fact. A lot of ex professionals might make fine coaches to elite level players, but really struggle to ‘dumb themselves down’ and explain things in a clear way to new players and juniors. The issue is that a lot of things came naturally to them and not to the people they are coaching.

            I still feel that Larkham will not fall into this camp, however, and he will prove himself a good coach. I just think it is taking him a few years to find his feet.

            • October 4th 2017 @ 7:30am
              Highlander said | October 4th 2017 @ 7:30am | ! Report

              yeah , got the tongue in cheek bit

            • October 4th 2017 @ 3:45pm
              Rugnut said | October 4th 2017 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

              Wally Lewis League; Frank Burke AFL; Laurie Daley League.

              99% of the articles written by Ella for the Aust’n is full of criticism and comparisons with he and his brothers.

              McLean and Gould were better as 10 & 15 than the Ella boys. The former could tackle for a start.

              • October 5th 2017 @ 9:56am
                KBG said | October 5th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

                you can toss in michael lynagh as well.
                there was a quote from a few years back by andrew slack (another top player whose skills did not translate well to coaching – i have no idea if ella would be a success though i’m sure he would have no doubt he’d be great), a bloke who played with and against them both – “anyone who thinks that mark ella was a better fly half than paul mclean either never saw mclean play or doesn’t understand rugby”.

          • Roar Guru

            October 4th 2017 @ 9:03am
            sheek said | October 4th 2017 @ 9:03am | ! Report


            I disagree that Mark Ella wouldn’t make a great coach. But it’s probably academic anyway. Ella is 58 & there is such a thing as a generation gap. Would the players listen?

            Ella makes a lot of sense, always has, & can deliver in an easy to understand way. Shane Warne has the same gift, irrespective of what you think of his personal lifestyle.

            When Warne was at the peak of his playing powers almost every second kid wanted to be a leg spinner. Warne conducted coaching clinics in which thousands of kids turned up. They wanted to know how to bowl the perfect leg break, perfect top spinner, perfect wrong ‘un.

            Warne showed them all his tricks, & how to do it. But 99% of those kids finally gave it away because leg spin bowling is one of the toughest crafts to master in cricket.

            Same with Ella & those advocates of ‘flatline attack’. Everyone loves to see it work in action, but it’s a difficult art to master because it requires more hard work than other disciplines.

            I think Australian rugby has missed its opportunity to use the gifts of the greats of the 1980s & pretty soon it will miss the opportunity to use the gifts of the greats of the 1990s.

            Finally, a great coach still requires great talent to succeed. The legendary rugby league coach Jack Gibson is regarded as the greatest coach in his game, winning premierships with Easts & Parramatta.

            But his stints with Souths & Cronulla ended in negative win balances. So even legends still need talent.

            Michael Cheika may be a very good coach, but he has an ordinary talent pool, irrespective of what other Roarers think. The best he can hope for is what he did at the 2015 RWC, & have the sum of the whole playing above the individual values.

            Good basic skills, good fitness levels & good team cultures go a long way to hiding flaws in raw talent.

            • October 4th 2017 @ 10:24am
              ScottD said | October 4th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

              I think that Ella would have no problem getting the attention of the players and they would take him seriously. I doubt there would be a generation gap issue.
              Agree with rest of your post

              • Roar Guru

                October 4th 2017 @ 11:44am
                sheek said | October 4th 2017 @ 11:44am | ! Report


                Well, I would like to think that would be the case.

              • Roar Guru

                October 4th 2017 @ 1:18pm
                Mango Jack said | October 4th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

                Agree. Age gap would not be an issue for ex-players of that status. I’m sure if Dennis Lillee turned up at the Aus team training the players would listen.

            • October 4th 2017 @ 8:00pm
              Crash Ball2 said | October 4th 2017 @ 8:00pm | ! Report

              Good post Sheek.

              But equally, Cheika has also been the architect of his own limited talent pool. He has aggressively insulated individuals (disregarding poor form and/or function) and given token opportunity to other – patently more viable – players; often ostracising them (and seeing some lost to Australian rugby altogether). This Wallabies team is not representative of the best players available within Australia now or – more importantly – those that would likely have been available to Michael Cheika three years into his myopic regime had he pursued a meritorious, rather than doggedly parochial, selection approach.

              “There’s no one else.”

              “He hasn’t got enough Test experience.”

              “He’s been tried and failed.”

              “Yes we’re losing, but these are the best players we have so we have to stick with it and them.”

              The arguments to retain consistently underachieving or unskilled talent are hollow.

              In concert with this, Cheika’s game day strategies are all his own. There is a clear inflexibility to his approach, an inability to take accountability, a penchant for shifting blame (and particularly scapegoat players outside of his “inner sanctum”) and limited appetite to implement logical, positive change.

              I’d disagree with anyone that says a good coach cannot affect fundamental and tangible positive (or negative) changes with largely the same player group. Eddie Jones is a walking posterchild.

              Michael Cheika deserves all the scrutiny he is getting currently over selections, strategy and leadership. He’s the boss, and ultimately he can run his ship his way. But then he must own the results (or lack thereof).

        • October 4th 2017 @ 1:08pm
          Cynical Play said | October 4th 2017 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

          Evidence? I’ll show you plenty of bad ones

          • October 4th 2017 @ 1:36pm
            Fionn said | October 4th 2017 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

            Well that was meaningless

            • October 4th 2017 @ 8:52pm
              Cynical Play said | October 4th 2017 @ 8:52pm | ! Report

              Where’s your evidence for your “best in the game” announcement. Seems like s simple question.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 8:57pm
                Fionn said | October 4th 2017 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

                Cynical, have you ever watched Cooper?

                Even his critics admit he has one of the best passes in the world.

                He passes extremely quickly and extremely accurately whether it is left to right, right to left, long, short, from a standing start or on the run.

                Even you don’t want to admit that then you’re guilty of the bias that you so commonly accuse others of suffering from.

              • October 5th 2017 @ 4:36pm
                Cynical Play said | October 5th 2017 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

                Hey Fionn, my point that is he throws as many bad passes as any other 10. You think Foley’s passes aren’t great? Check the stats. They get more tries than Coopers.

                I dare you to watch this Cooper blooper show-real the whole way through. I think you’ve forgotten how unreliable he is, why he’s called the 50:50 man, and just how many tries he gives away form poor passing.

                Get back to me when you’ve seen it.There’s plenty more.

          • October 5th 2017 @ 11:19am
            marto said | October 5th 2017 @ 11:19am | ! Report

            Cynical Play,

            Is that you Mrs Cheika ??

            • October 5th 2017 @ 4:30pm
              Cynical Play said | October 5th 2017 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

              get your money back on the lobotomy marto

        • October 4th 2017 @ 4:25pm
          Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | October 4th 2017 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

          Gold , Fionn! Quade to replace Larkham or Cheika?
          Or Grey?

          • October 4th 2017 @ 6:29pm
            Fionn said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

            Could he do a worse job than Grey in defence? 😉

      • Columnist

        October 4th 2017 @ 11:40am
        Scott Allen said | October 4th 2017 @ 11:40am | ! Report


        Foley to Folau was definitely forward but there’s always plenty that gets missed in a game. I was surprised the ref didn’t ask the TMO to look at the pass.

        • October 4th 2017 @ 12:43pm
          connor33 said | October 4th 2017 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

          If it was so forward, why on earth didn’t the South African commentators say as much?

          Joel Stransky–for crying out loud–was lauding the AU play, as were other SA commentators. The try was brilliant. The pass was flat–passed back, out of the hand. Foley was hammered backward, making the ball look as if it was passed forward. But if you can tell me that you were on the sideline — next to the linesman — right in line with the ball seeing it forward out of the hand, then I stand mistaken. But even if it went back (or forward) Folau would have gone through untouched. Heck, TK would have gone through on the unders line (he was untouched) — a line, it seems that, 75% of Roarer’s don’t always appreciate, nor do authors on this site. Tragedy, really.

          Ironically, it is this very set-piece try that Ella constructed multiple time during the 80s. And yes, I did appreciate his set-piece plays as a 6-7 year-old. Now, the players must execute in much quicker conditions (with far bigger players)–something you or Ella don’t seem to appreciate. Sadly, in reality, the try has not received the praise that it should have. No other team in international rugby could pull it off–or have decided that set plays are too risky (or complicated) to run with now a modified game of league being proffered by the best in the world, which is probably something you favor given your article last week on the Cowboys.

          Seriously, though, Scott, within 2 weeks of getting back on the Roar, you’re back to the negative ways — Spiro was spitting out click bait earlier in the week, but your articles are different. Could you provide us with an article on why and what agenda or chip on your shoulder you a pushing, deflecting or reconstructing?

          • Columnist

            October 4th 2017 @ 1:07pm
            Geoff Parkes said | October 4th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

            connor, others will correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that the reason Scott stopped writing for the Roar was because of too many posters preferring not to engage respectfully in discussing the subject matter, and instead being disrespectful and abusive.

            Here we are just a couple of articles back in and you’re demanding that Scott explain a supposed agenda or chip on his shoulder.

            Mate, it’s pretty simple – if you don’t like it, don’t read it.
            But please don’t ruin it for everyone else who simply want to read about, learn or discuss rugby without the attitude.

            • Roar Guru

              October 4th 2017 @ 1:23pm
              Mango Jack said | October 4th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

              Agree. Connor there is nothing negative about this article at all. We are fortunate to have someone of Scott’s calibre providing this level of analysis.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 2:26pm
                connor33 said | October 4th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

                It’s not about the article, not really. My core point was Scott’s flippant comment: “Foley to Folau was definitely forward.”

                Just a silly comment worthy of debate. And backed with SA evidence evidence, rather than armchair critics like us.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 3:14pm
                Charlie Turner said | October 4th 2017 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

                Conner that was not a flippant comment but a statement of fact from a man who knows his rugby. Watch the replay on YouTube and slow it down using the speed function. It was a pass no more than 2 meters in length but more than 1 metre forward out of hand. Maintaining the pass was flat after watching repeated replays would be similar to the porcine headed Cheika denying Folau did not pull that fellas hair.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 3:22pm
                connor33 said | October 4th 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

                I watched. Joel Stranksy watched it, as did his other SA colleagues. None said it was forward. They applauded it.

                The crowd seemed to be in awe of the try, too. Not one boo. Not one cry of a forward pass. And you’re telling me the pass was forward when Foley was knocked 2 metres back and the camera angles were filled with parallax error. But you were right next to the lineman at the game, right (with you’re super slow replay)?

              • October 4th 2017 @ 3:49pm
                Charlie Turner said | October 4th 2017 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

                Connor the slow motion function is a feature of YouTube and has nothing to do with me. I’m a proud Luddite and my son showed me the function to view the subject pass. For what it’s worth I thought the pass was marginally flat in real time and can see how the normally circumspect and respectful Stransky would also. I did not review it until I read the comments in the wash up, from Tman I think and am now if the opinion it was definitely forward.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 3:51pm
                Bakkies said | October 4th 2017 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

                ‘“Foley to Folau was definitely forward.”’

                Yes it was definitely forward.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 4:36pm
                timber said | October 4th 2017 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

                How is the opinion of SA commentators evidence?
                Watch the pass on replay and assess it for yourself, deference to authority isn’t a valid analysis in itself.
                Watching the game in real time I didn’t pick up on the forward pass either (it was fast and short), but replays from different camera angles clearly show it was forward.

              • October 7th 2017 @ 12:16am
                ScottD said | October 7th 2017 @ 12:16am | ! Report


              • October 4th 2017 @ 5:03pm
                Fionn said | October 4th 2017 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

                Yeah, I wanted to believe that it was backwards too, but it was pretty definitely forward upon rewatching a couple of times.

                But it is what it is, history will record a try.

                It was a sick backline move too.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 6:06pm
                rebel said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

                Agree it was forward but it is one of those calls you can live with in Rugby.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 6:16pm
                timber said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

                Agreed, passes like that are often let go, nothing controversial.

              • October 5th 2017 @ 10:44am
                taylorman said | October 5th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

                Yep, definitely forward, thought so at the time, watched the replays closely and was convinced even more.

                Forward. It happens.

            • Roar Guru

              October 4th 2017 @ 1:24pm
              Ralph said | October 4th 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report


            • October 4th 2017 @ 2:24pm
              connor33 said | October 4th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

              Geoff – I know exactly what you’re talking about. And I sat on the sidelines on that very specific issue. I am a Brumbies fan, not a Waratah fan.

              Here, however, I am not challenging the article per se, I am challenging a flippant comment comment made by Scott that “Foley to Folau was definitely forward”–and the tragedy of Scott not being able to see the quality in what AU did (and have been doing these past few years, where no other team is even trying). Ella was the master of set piece play, which I note in my post. Ella sources an Ella article. Yet Scott flips off the set play as forward. That’s a ‘rugby’ issue worth addressing, no?

              Moreover, I challenge the flippant comment with evidence to support my opinion–and with biased SA commentators no less, who, on this occasion, lauded AU’s play. But Scott didn’t. I called it out. I expect no less when I post. Spiro copped a lot more than what I am asserting here.

              But, really, Geoff, instead of using pictures (which are useful) — why aren’t video clips used in this article — for example: if one looks a little closer at Beale’s soft effort, one will see that Kolisi was, actually, being lined up by Hodge. And yes, I am a Hodge fan. But Kolisi’s pace got the better of him — leaving Beale in no man’s land, having to sprint up, off balanced, before Kolisi was at full pace. Watch it again. Hodge was, in part, at blame for the misread. This is the type of nuanced context I expect on the Roar. It was lacking here.

              Finally, why isn’t there a picture of Beale picking up Sonny Bill and sending him 2 yards back in the Dunedin? Again, context that is lacking — yet we hear clowns on this site continually say that Beale has learnt nothing defensively from his UK experience.

              • Roar Guru

                October 4th 2017 @ 2:39pm
                Ralph said | October 4th 2017 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

                Then stick to the issues and drop the character attacks.

                To be clear, these sorts of comments are not on topic and nothing to do with whether any pass was forward or not. They do not represent supporting evidence of anything. They are not a ‘call-out’. Calling something flippant is just another character accusation.

                “.. back to negative ways ..”
                “.. what agenda or chip on your shoulder ..”
                “.. a flippant comment ..”

                Scott is allowed his opinion and it can be different to yours. That doesn’t make it negative or any agenda or flippant. It just means he thought the pass was forward.

              • Columnist

                October 4th 2017 @ 2:45pm
                Geoff Parkes said | October 4th 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

                Fair enough connor, you’re genuine enough to argue your case, so fair play for that.

                But really the final pgh in your original post comes across as way too aggressive and confrontational.

                Writers choose the topic(s) they want to cover for good reason. In most cases not because they are carrying a chip or have an agenda. Discourse between writer and reader is always better when it is confined to the content raised, taken at face value, with some good natured humour and mutual respect.

                Not when it strays into shouting at something which isn’t there.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 2:54pm
                connor33 said | October 4th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

                Seriously, Ralph, how can anyone call the pass “definitely forward” when Stransky did not even raise an eyebrow.

                Perhaps if the comment was “slightly forward” or it “erred on the side of being forward”, the comment would have garnered a little more respect. But to say it was definitely forward was a flippant — something that I just could not take seriously. I then back my view with evidence. If there was disrespect, I would have simply said flippant. Full stop.

                Words mean things whether it be “flippant” or “definitely” — both take a point to the extreme — apologies if the former took you to it. The site is an opinion site, right?

              • Roar Guru

                October 4th 2017 @ 3:03pm
                Ralph said | October 4th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

                This has nothing to do with the pass Connor.

                But using words like flippant, negative or ‘chip’ are not about rugby.

                I make this suggestion. If the word is primarily used in a sentence where the subject is the poster then try rewording. Examples;

                YOU are negative.
                YOU have a chip on YOUR shoulder.
                YOU are being flippant.

                But I am pretty sure you get it. There are a lot of posters who really value the contribution Scott makes and because of past history we are asking you to be a bit more careful.

                Because we don’t want to lose him. Selfish of us I know.

                Vive la difference!

              • October 4th 2017 @ 3:13pm
                connor33 said | October 4th 2017 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

                Geoff – if an apology is needed, then I am quite happy to provide one. And the last paragraph of my original post was probably uncalled for — and I can appreciate how it could bleed into other issues, which were certainly not intended as I do note: I stayed on the sidelines during the whole saga.

                What I think irked me was the conclusive nature of Scott’s comment: “definitely forward” and the whole lack of evidence supporting the opinion.

                It was seriously one of the best tries of the season — and at a time when Australia needs every ounce of positivity given the year we have had, the try was dismissed so nonchalantly–with no evidence.

                All that said, I am happy to smoke the peace pipe with Scott — or do you have a olive branch, handy 😉 Perhaps a beer will do…

              • Roar Guru

                October 4th 2017 @ 3:26pm
                Hoy said | October 4th 2017 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

                Commentators from South Africa or not, not blowing up about a pass is not evidence that it was not forward… does that make sense?

              • October 4th 2017 @ 6:34pm
                Adsa said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

                I thought it was forward Connor, and was as happy as a pig in muck when it was awarded.

            • Columnist

              October 4th 2017 @ 4:00pm
              Scott Allen said | October 4th 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

              Thanks for the comments Gents.

              If you’ve read any of my stuff in the past you’ll know I don’t make flippant comments – maybe alternative to others at times but never flippant!

              Having viewed the video evidence very carefully yesterday so that I could comment if asked about it, I concluded the pass was definitely forward 🙂

              • October 5th 2017 @ 10:01am
                KBG said | October 5th 2017 @ 10:01am | ! Report

                completely agree. i nearly choked on my beer when it happened. way way forward. but they had forward passes go unchecked as well. swings and roundabouts. unless we bring in video refs for every pass, it is going to happen. you just hope it does not end up deciding a game.

            • October 4th 2017 @ 8:56pm
              mzilikazi said | October 4th 2017 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

              Well said, Geoff. Please take these comments on board, connor33.

          • October 4th 2017 @ 2:51pm
            Akari said | October 4th 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

            • October 4th 2017 @ 2:55pm
              connor33 said | October 4th 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

              Gee – and haven’t I copped it today. Akari’s now kicking in — Mr. Positivity himself.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 3:10pm
                Akari said | October 4th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

                What’s the problem connor33? and thanks as I am a positive person … 99.99% of the time.

                BTW, my comment was posted in error as it was redundant by the time I returned to it.

              • October 4th 2017 @ 8:10pm
                Campbell Watts said | October 4th 2017 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

                Step down off the soap box connor and BREATH…..

                You are making a mountain out of a molehill!! You just come across as way too aggressive and in-your-face. Relax – everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even if it doesn’t agree with your buddy – no need to go into attack mode!


              • October 5th 2017 @ 11:37am
                marto said | October 5th 2017 @ 11:37am | ! Report


                Bravo, i salute you boy, i’m glad to see a young man admit his shortcomings i do hope you have learnt your lesson in humility and what flippant actually means… I look forward to your many meaningful comments and less nasty ones in future..Again Bravo

                P.S Can you please pass on this valuable life lesson you have taken with both hands from well respected fellow ROARERS and pass it on to your pal Cynical play for us will ya ..

                Ta mate.

            • October 5th 2017 @ 2:42pm
              connor33 said | October 5th 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

              I think I saw the redundant comment, but can now see after your edit that it was retracted. More than enough for me – so apologies at my end, but I received two messages…

              • October 6th 2017 @ 12:30pm
                Akari said | October 6th 2017 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

                All good, connor33. I posted before reloading the page and was trying to undo/delete and retracting was the only way out of it.

          • October 6th 2017 @ 12:43am
            In brief said | October 6th 2017 @ 12:43am | ! Report

            you make a very strong point. The wallabies are in fact playing attractive, skillful rugby and yet the petty negativity continues unabated. I am totally bemused. Where is the praise for that magnificent try? Strange days..

      • October 4th 2017 @ 1:37pm
        Ben said | October 4th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

        “Would add that ideally the pass is at waist height…”
        Different coaching school then that i went to.
        We coached all our boys and remember being coached that the ideal pass is right in front of your eyes at face level so your head is up and your perephial vision is in use with your fingers up.
        The only pass at waist level should be on defence to your punter clearing for touch and on the same side as his kicking foot.

        • Roar Guru

          October 4th 2017 @ 1:44pm
          PeterK said | October 4th 2017 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

          agree, if you want the pass in front and them running onto it then you do not want the ball at waist height since it means bending down and bring the ball in rather than fast hands in front for the next pass.

          I wouldn’t say in front of the eyes though at face level but chest level , the natural height whilst running with hands in front to catch the ball, at face level the hands are reaching up

          • Columnist

            October 4th 2017 @ 2:03pm
            Scott Allen said | October 4th 2017 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

            Ben and Peter – I’d prefer the pass at chest level too so you can make an immediate pass if required.

            If the pass arrives at face level, it takes a split second to bring it back down to make a pass and in pressure situations split seconds count.

            • October 4th 2017 @ 3:28pm
              Ben said | October 4th 2017 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

              Well i attended an IRANZ seesion, Murry Mexteds academy, and the drill was ball at eye level. You dont have to bring the ball down at all to pass it just flows on from that level.

              • Roar Guru

                October 4th 2017 @ 4:56pm
                Mango Jack said | October 4th 2017 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

                And the other part to that is that catchers should have their hands open and pointing upwards, ready to catch the pass. We were always taught to make a “W”.

    • Roar Guru

      October 4th 2017 @ 6:22am
      Oliver Matthews said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:22am | ! Report

      There’s an interesting theory that was used by the British Cycling team to great success that focuses on the power of marginal improvements. The focus is not on trying to achieve perfection but instead on trying to achieve continual and ongoing progression. The guy behind it for BC was Sir Dave Brailsford and his belief was that if the team identified everything they could think of that goes into competing on a bike and then improved each of them by just 1%, then overall they would see a significant improvement in performance and results.

      In 2002 the BC team had won 1 gold in 76 years. By the end of the London Games in 2012 they had won 14 more (out of a total of 20 available).

      Woodward always focused on the idea of being able to get his England team to be able to execute well while under fatigue believing that the ability to make good decisions quickly in the latter parts of a match would be critical to repetitive success.

      It strikes me that the Wallabies could learn something from both of these approaches. In both the recent games against the Boks and the second match against the ABs it has come down to the final few minutes where the game is on the line and the Wallabies have won 0 from 3. It’s not enough to get themselves into a winning position – they have to learn how to close out games through reducing mistakes and capitalising on opportunities.

      Right now they don’t seem to be able to do that at the top level of the game and the results are backing that up.

      • Roar Guru

        October 4th 2017 @ 7:19am
        Carlos the Argie said | October 4th 2017 @ 7:19am | ! Report

        Brailsford is under intense suspicion of doping now. Even Parliament has focused on him. The marginal improvement “cliche” is under a little cloud.

        I do not deny that Sky has had incredible success, but not everything is so rosy. The British women cycling team would care to object to you too.

      • Roar Guru

        October 4th 2017 @ 11:10am
        Hoy said | October 4th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        Didn’t the British track team employ Australians to coach them, and the coaches then ended up usurping our own cycling team, which was traditionally pretty strong?

        • October 4th 2017 @ 3:57pm
          Bakkies said | October 4th 2017 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

          Don’t know about cycling but they definitely had Australian coaches for their swim team which improved out of sight.

      • October 4th 2017 @ 4:03pm
        Jake said | October 4th 2017 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

        lol. British cycling. The only thing they could offer is a better doping program than US Postal.

      • October 4th 2017 @ 4:22pm
        Kiwikrs said | October 4th 2017 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

        That theory is called Kaizen and was most famously used by Toyota. The British Cycling team have obviously adopted it from Toyota

    • October 4th 2017 @ 6:46am
      Lostintokyo said | October 4th 2017 @ 6:46am | ! Report

      Welcome back Scott! Good points raised.
      Mark, Glen and Campo have been overlooked for so long now they must feel like the ‘Three Sisters’ instead of Australia’s greatest attacking Wallabies.

      As for the basic skills you talk of, the players should already possess them and I suspect to a degree they do. What they don’t possess as yet is the confidence which allows them to execute consistently.

      Also there are players with skill and players with super skill. As much as it pains me to say it, I don’t think there are currently any Wallabies to match skills with Ben Smith, Damien McKenzie or B Barrett. And if the 10,000 hour theory is correct, they won’t get these skills unless they go back to schoolboy footie.

      The problem is the boiz from across the ditch are reaping the rewards of the NZ national rugby structure where coaches focus on skills from an early age. It is now a production line. The Aussie production line is in semi-diss repair.

      What we need is a few kids who do practice the skills at an early age like Mark, Glen and Gary did for 10,000 hours on the streets of La Parouse. It has been a long time between drinks for Aussie fans. There may be some saviours out there? If they don’t play league, AFL or soccer before the ARU spot them.

    , ,