Boyd Cordner and Michael Hooper have lost the right to captain

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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113 Have your say

    NSW Origin captain Boyd Cordner and his Wallaby counterpart Michael Hooper have both passed their used by date.

    If Cordner was an inspirational leader Laurie Daley would still be the NSW coach, and the Blues the proud holders of the Origin trophy.

    Cordner kicked off his NSW captaincy career with a mighty impressive 28-4 victory at the Maroons’ fortress at Suncorp.

    It doesn’t get any better than that.

    And the green lights were glowing when NSW led 16-6 at half-time in Origin 2 at home in the comfort of ANZ Stadium and in total control – just 40 minutes away from a series success.

    What happened in the next 40 defied description.

    Queensland skipper Cameron Smith comprehensively outplayed and out-thought Cordner to pile on 12 unanswered points to win 18-16, and return to Suncorp for the decider with a thumping 22-6 series victory.

    Boyd Cordner State of Origin NSW Blues NRL Rugby League 2017

    Boyd Cordner of the NSW Blues. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    The stark difference between the two captains was clearly shown in two 120-minute grabs.

    In the first 120 minutes, NSW won handsomely 44-10, but when push turned to shove and the title was on the line, Queensland won the last 120 minutes 34-6.

    Daley got the sack and Cordner must follow suit.

    With Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston, and Cooper Cronk all retired from Origin, now is the time for NSW to strike back.

    Cordner had his golden opportunity and blew it, it’s James Maloney’s turn.

    He’s the NSW playmaker, and the captaincy would sit well with him.

    And the same applies to the Wallabies. Will Genia must be captain.

    When he speaks, everyone listens – and reacts.

    Michael Hooper rarely speaks, and when he does, not many are listening.

    He had the perfect chance last Saturday in Christchurch when referee Ben O’Keeffe was chewing up the Waratahs and spitting out the pieces.

    Where was Hooper?

    He was as quiet as a church mouse as the Waratahs turned a 29-0 lead into a 29-31 defeat.

    Michael Hooper Australia Rugby Union Wallabies 2017

    The Wallabies are in desperate need of a leader. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

    But it’s not only Hooper’s lack of leadership skills, it’s his track record.

    Great Wallaby captains establish great track records.

    Rugby World Cup winner John Eales led the Wallabies to 55 wins from 74 caps, with a win ratio of 74.55 per cent.

    The Wallabies only Grand Slam skipper Andy Slack won 14 of 19, for 73.68 per cent.

    The only other Wallaby World Cup winner Nick Farr-Jones won 23 of 36 for 63.89, Stirling Mortlock 18 of 29 for 62.07, Stephen Moore 15 of 26 for 57.69, and Rocky Elsom 13 of 24 for 56.25.

    And where is Michael Hooper in the pecking order?

    He’s way down the list with 11 wins from 26, for a lowly 42.31 per cent.

    So when the Wallabies run out to meet Ireland next month, Genia must be at the front.

    If he’s still injured, behemoth lock Adam Coleman will do the job and he certainly won’t be swanning among the backs.

    Cordner and Hooper will both regret not making the most of their gift-wrapped opportunities in the top job.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn't get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world's great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (113)

    • May 17th 2018 @ 5:44am
      Val said | May 17th 2018 @ 5:44am | ! Report

      What a ridiculous reason for suggesting Hooper should not be captain – his winning % against other captains like John Eales. If Hooper was captaining a side with Horan, Gregan, Roff etc his winning % would be much higher.

      His captaincy should be judged on how well he leads sides ( when things are not going well), can he inspire a lift in performance, does he make the correct on field decisions and can he develop a good working relationship with the referee (Moore who has a better win % towards the end was terrible in this regard).

      Lets judge him on his merits and against those of the other candidates before making the decision!!

      • May 17th 2018 @ 7:42am
        Crash Ball2 said | May 17th 2018 @ 7:42am | ! Report

        Captaining a side with Horan, Gregan, Roff? Hooper wouldn’t even be on the pitch. Eales’ win percentage was also augmented by some bloke named George.

      • May 17th 2018 @ 7:57am
        Bakkies said | May 17th 2018 @ 7:57am | ! Report

        Well David has a point Hooper is not a captain’s bootlace.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 17th 2018 @ 9:13am
          Don said | May 17th 2018 @ 9:13am | ! Report

          No one is saying he’s not a good player here.
          Whilst I’m a fan of a Liam Gill type number 7 I can easily accept Hooper being selected to start at 7 (as long as Pocock isn’t also in the first 15).

          But he just doesn’t seem to be a good captain nor on field leader. His management of refs is awful.
          I commented a few days ago about Hooper high fiving his troops after their scrum was walloped and they gave away a penalty try on Saturday. It was just wrong given the timing and how momentum had shifted.

          And that’s no slight on him as a player, some players just aren’t captains in the same way plenty of players can’t coach.

          • May 17th 2018 @ 10:18am
            Wally said | May 17th 2018 @ 10:18am | ! Report

            Totally agree Don. He is one of our finest players, not a traditional 7 but then again the role of 7 has moved on. Very difficult to leave out of any team. That said he is just not a natural leader in every sense require. True leaders need big picture and adaptation skills amongst many other skills. Michael, for all of his fitness and work ethic qualities, lacks big picture. His judgement has been tested and there is a lot to be said when you cannot finish off a winning margin.

            But Cheika will choose him as captain and they will both have to show the public what is different this year. I dont agree with Coleman as captain, again a great forward but not the calmness required. Pocock has it in spades.

            • Roar Rookie

              May 17th 2018 @ 10:53am
              Don said | May 17th 2018 @ 10:53am | ! Report

              Genia if fit is the natural captain and I don’t think Coleman should be either.

              The role of captain in test rugby is so critical, in particular in a side where selections are unsettled like the current Wallabies, if Genia isn’t available I’d really be going for Pocock as a mandatory starter at 7.

              Need a guy who has the respect of refs and can call out opposition infringements without antagonising officials. And someone who can control game tempo.

              But we know that won’t happen…

    • Columnist

      May 17th 2018 @ 6:25am
      David Lord said | May 17th 2018 @ 6:25am | ! Report

      Val, you’ve answered your own question that Michael Hooper should be judged on the way he leads the side when it’s not going well.

      He’s very used to the not going well results as captain of both the Wallabies, and the Waratahs.

      Just a 42.31 per cent success rate with the Wallabies, and 42.50 with the Waratahs – both are very much in the dismissal range.

      • May 17th 2018 @ 9:06pm
        scubasteve said | May 17th 2018 @ 9:06pm | ! Report

        I am a hooper fan. Wallabies and Tahs supporter. Do I think he should be captain? Of the Tahs yes. Of the Wallabies I think Genia.

        But then if Genia is captain does the responsibility reduce his game effectiveness like Coleman at Rebels?

        David do you really believe what you write or are you just being inflammatory. The later I can easily understand as it makes for discussion but If the former I have to think you really don’t know what your talking about.

    • May 17th 2018 @ 7:01am
      Ed said | May 17th 2018 @ 7:01am | ! Report


      What was John Eales success rate after his first two years as captain? Around 61 percent. Yes it is better than Hooper’s. Hooper has one thing from his first full season as captain that Eales had to wait until his third year as skipper, a win against the All Blacks.

      I am no apologist for Hooper, particularly his captaincy, but Eales also had a superior team. How many of the current Wallabies would make a world XV compared to whom Nobody had in his side?

    • May 17th 2018 @ 7:12am
      George said | May 17th 2018 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      Your hatred of Hooper is now just ridiculous and you are a joke

      • May 17th 2018 @ 9:23am
        TC said | May 17th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        Probably, but he is a bench player. He’d be superb in the last 30 minutes of a game, when people are getting tired, but doesn’t dictate at all from the outset.

        • May 17th 2018 @ 9:09pm
          scubasteve said | May 17th 2018 @ 9:09pm | ! Report

          He scores more often then not. He defends more then most. Don’t forget that impact is felt off the ball as much as on the ball. Him hovering at 12.5 in attack forces space inside and also space outside. Not discussing captaincy here just your point on bench spot.

    • May 17th 2018 @ 7:13am
      Cynical Play said | May 17th 2018 @ 7:13am | ! Report

      Lord anti-Hooper article number 10? Is it? And right on time. Monthly anti- Hooper tweets from the wee hours of David’s bunker room have been the norm. Hooper is to blame for the whole state of Oz rugby. Hooper must rake the whole responsibility for any result. Hooper is the reason Joni Lance’s pants won’t stay up Hooper gives Foley the dudd kicking tee. Hooper uses his supernatural powers to force O’Keefe to look away at crucial moments when reffing NZ games. Thanks Lordy for the insight.

      • May 17th 2018 @ 7:32am
        Mapu said | May 17th 2018 @ 7:32am | ! Report

        Still thinking that the ref was to blame for the waratahs choking hard.How deluded can you be.

        • May 17th 2018 @ 8:37am
          Cynical Play said | May 17th 2018 @ 8:37am | ! Report


      • May 17th 2018 @ 2:39pm
        adam smith said | May 17th 2018 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

        Agreed. I think David Lord should lose the right to pen articles & have them published. Most of David’s articles are nothing more then click bait, designed purely for “hits” & comments, & lack coherent thought or any useful insight. David calls for people to be sacked or dropped for poor performance, ie: Michael Hooper & Ben O’Keefe, and yet pens poor articles, which I equate to poor performance. I think David Lord should be dropped or sacked, for his poor articles.

      • May 17th 2018 @ 8:46pm
        Faith said | May 17th 2018 @ 8:46pm | ! Report

        I thought Moody was to blame for all things Oz rugby …

    • May 17th 2018 @ 7:13am
      Rugby Tragic Too said | May 17th 2018 @ 7:13am | ! Report

      David what are you doing?

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