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Chivas

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Only the one…

The time for positive affirmations is over for the Reds

Yeah you say that Fionn, but there is always a certain amount of throwing the baby out with the bath water, as you want to toss the coach out and his approach and bring a completely person with their own ideas and approach.
As for how long do you carry a coach for, that depends on the state of the team. In industry, there are many senior managers given a lot longer than 3 years to produce results when they are turning a company around and they are not continuously hounded by a rabid media or shareholders (fans) intent on death-riding individuals.
On rugby, when SR started the Chiefs couldn’t get off the second bottom rung and the Bulls couldn’t get off the bottom one. It wasn’t the coach, we just didn’t have the players compared to other sides and that is not to say we had poor players. We had players like Royce Willis, Aaron Hoppa, Frank Bunce, Walter Little, but most fans knew the lay of the land. The expectations of many fans on here is that there players are all world beaters.
Look at how Quade is compared to Carlos, yet in truth he hasn’t half the talent, leadership skills or nous of Carlos, but I have heard comments here about how Quade is equivalent to the best in the world. Yes Quade is a better flyhalf than Hamish Stewart, but I wouldn’t say he is a better fit than JOC.
At some point the Reds need to establish who they are who, they want to be and build towards that. Sometimes to take a complete basket case like the Reds were and turn it around takes a bit of time.
I don’t have answers Fionn, or even solutions. But there is some low hanging fruit where the players can do something to address their shortcomings that would have an immediate impact. Turning over the ball by not protecting it, giving up at the 70 minute mark, Tupou being selfish rather than being patient and playing the percentages wold have all helped.

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

Sorry Soapit, I totally agree and think that was a miss on my part and unfair as Thorn has been in and around QLD for a couple of seasons now.

Sometimes however it just seems as soon as a new coach gets put in for a basket case team if they haven’t sorted it by end of season the knives start to come out. Reading and following the commentary here, the knives didn’t just come out this year or last, they have just been sharpened regularly over this time.

Are fans really happy just to see the holes plugged without actually resolving any of the underlying issues. My feeling is the Reds were a proud stoic club with strong values and ethics. That crown had slipped well before Thorn turned up. I liked and respected the traditional values the Reds seemed to uphold. How they get back to that surely requires change… or maybe it is all just about winning in the material world.

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

Fionn, just take my comments as my opinion. If you think it is petty that’s ok. Not a debate I wish to pursue. My main point was where the players are letting themselves down. I personally am not invested in QLD rugby, but as long as they keep changing coaches, it seems they will continue to fail, but that too is only my opinion.
I think if you change your coach and can’t maintain any continuity it will mean a few more years in the wilderness. Who would you like to coach QLD who would accept the role and has the skills you think are needed?
I think Mafi, Liam Wright, Harry Wilson, Rodda, Tupou are among the top ecehelon of Australian forwards and Jordan Petaia, JOC and Speight likewise for the backs.
Yeah sure Slipper and Hunt would be nice, but what is the point of setting values and rules if then nobody abides by them and there are a continuous exceptions made.
As for Quade, while I get that he is much loved in QLD, I just don’t think he is the future of the reds. Nothing against him personally, but I think the reds need to build their own legacy. Whether or not they will is another matter or whether the future is instead a continually revolving coaching door, fans bemoaning the past and players taking no personal responsibility for developing a complete set of skills and the smarts for their position.
The good thing is that the Rebels are as much of a basket case and the Warratahs are worse, meaning that the Reds shouldn’t leak players to other teams.
Anyway, that is just my two cents. I see some good things when watching the Reds even if they aren’t winning their games. Feel completely free to dismiss it.

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

One swallow doesn’t a summer make. All I hope for is bit of consistency and making the top eight. A top four place would be a strong result for the season, but I wouldn’t have my hopes set on that… I just enjoy watching some good play from the. and continue building. They have always been an entertaining side which is why I have always watched them over the decades. Not sure how RT, Tman and other Blues supporters feel who are closer to it all.

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

Good wrap RT. You mirrored my thoughts too on each of the games. I really like JOC’s temperament. I think his leadership is invaluable and he has such a massive o field impact in much the same vein as Ben Smith had for Otago or Beauden for Hurricanes.
Also on the Blues love the way big Patrick is playing and keeps turning up these days. been waiting for this from him for so long. When we got splattered by the Irish, he wore a fair bit of that and rightly so. I was so disappointed and last season he started putting in the sort of back to back games that were a benchmark of Retallick, so good to see he is keeping it up. For a big lump of a lad. Hope some of it can rub off on Akita who also seems to be taking forever to find his groove.

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

Thanks RT. I will start to watch him then. Sometimes watching players grow and come on is as exciting as watching your team winning I find, especially when they aren’t. After years of being there through Waikato’s changing fortunes, often that is all you have as winning is completely random 😊
I know things haven’t turned the corner yet at the Blues, but it’s been such a long time between drinks, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Blues roll the the Stormers. Sure the Stormers were half asleep and gave a scare with two unanswered tries, but that try on the bell of half time… yeah baby! That was the price of admission right there.
And considering the Blues early dominance in SR and the side of the eighties through to the turn of the century. (even though they’ were taking players from all round the country, level Waikato’s best and brightest like Innes and Goldsmith).. this dry spell has run plenty long enough.
The only joy I had pre SR when Waikato was losing was at least Auckland were still beating the one eyed mob. I’d really like to see them stuffing Canterbury again. Would feel like some balance is being restored and as I will probably move back to Auckland at some point, would be nice if the team was once again at the top even if currently the coach is a Cantabrian. 😊

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

Thanks Rebel, you are right… those changing traditions 😊 But it’s a bit of a shambles now with the Barrett’s spread to all corners. But it’s Really about the nursery rather than established players who move to entirely new teams and franchises.

With players returning to their roots more these day, after the amateur shamozzle where players migrated to the large NPC sides effectively screwing such unions as Hawke’s Bay has meant that the catchments could be revised in a more natural way.

Another thing that has surprised me is how quickly the NPC sides have come back to better reflect the real traditional strengths of teams rather than the unfair bloated top NPC sides immediately pre- SR

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

So Wellington and don’t acknowledge Taranaki is a good idea? Ignore contribution from teams like Southland, Northland, Counties, King Country and North Harbour while we are at it? In days past these teams were recognised and many others besides, all highly regarded and respected first divisions sides, so not sure what tradition you are talking.

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

Or maybe they are developing him aka DC, by throwing him out a spot to further develop his running and defensive skills, especially since these days the link between 1st five and second is a crucial one.

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

RT, I noted your comment when online the other night when you expressed disappointment when he was replaced. Watching on my Ipad meant that I wasn’t really focusing on many individual games although Otere, Sotutu, Tuiplotu and the fullback were strong and Reiko, the wingers and the tight five played a big part in the win.

Is Nock in your view a better player than Ruru or just having a better game on the day? Will Akira come back mad and hungry (I hope so), or will he just shrug his big shoulders?

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

Not taking away from your point about consistency, but the fact that you can get away with it in other areas of the field but not under the micro-scope at the tryline doesn’t make it any less the responsibility of the player.

Simple rules like that are so easy to learn they are taught to you when you are five. I get that players don’t always get it right with offsides as it is hard to work out where you are and where everyone else is and did you start from an offside position etc. but this sort of basic thing no way.

Tupou knew what he was doing and knew it was illegal when he did it. What he hoped the ref would let him get away with it because they aren’t consistent in other areas of the park at picking it up? I’m sorry you know when you are near the tryline and going for it that you need to be whiter than white.

Its not the fault of referees lacking consistency, its the fault of the player.

I personally hope and have confidence that Tupou will have given himself an uppercut for the schoolboy error and we won’t see a repeat of it.

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

That was my take too Drew.

The thing that disappoints when watching reds is poor skills and which can be practiced and low percentage plays. It is so unnecessary.

Also, much of the skill stuff improved simply by basic one on one stuff with a mate. I mean its not like these players don’t have access to skills coaches. They actually have access to the best skills coaches the state can offer. Ffs, there are even you tube skills training vids that can be accessed and used when running about and having fun with your mates and a rubgy ball, but it feels like players cant take responsibility for developing all the skills necessary for their position. Example Pass, contest for high ball, defend, run – that’s the minimum for a winger, nice if they can put up a midfield bomb (not anything flash, just tobe contestable by those running down the centre of the park), a grubber to get past opposition and chase onto (along with the skills to regather) and a kick for touch that doesn’t slide off the side of the boot or lower leg and leave you wondering if your younger sister could have done better.

And people bemoan the HC? Plenty of great coaches have failed because of the skills and thinking of the players.

Now granted Thorn may have been a bit too green to take over the reins at the Reds and the rabid nature of fans that means that anything short of instant success will mean he is replaced, especially when you take into account his kiwi origins. I just wonder who is going to replace him who can continue to develop the team and take it forward. I think the reds are still a couple of seasons off being able to contest for top honour’s and that is if they can not lose any players.

The young group they have at the moment I think makes the reds compelling viewing just to see players like Wilson and co. evolve and if Tupou can get rid of the muddled thinking that saw him crawl over the line… there is some interest. If the forwards can fight hard for one another and show respect for their team mates, by putting it all out their and working hard on their game… I will keep watching regardless of what the final result on the scoreboard is. But if they just throw their hands up and give up like they did around the 70 minute mark… then I have no interest in wasting time watching.

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

Interesting read on Reds.
While Speight had some good runs and was up to it defensively, how come at this stage of his career he still cant’t compete for the high ball? Isn’t that a player responsibility especially a winger and especially when he has been playing SR for some years now. Lucky not to get pinged for interfering with a player in the air as he was never intending to catch it.
Then you take Thor’s effort to get over the line in half a dozen movements. That might work at club level, but with cameras on all the time. I saw Kitshoff in the same situation against Blues, Sees he is going to be just short of line, makes late decision and turns body and ball back for team to recycle. Dumb play Thor as much as fans may cry about the fact it could have been given or he was unlucky, it was a low percentage play.
Then there is Mafi who earned a penalty when he got up and chased the Sharks prop for a relatively innocuous arm on his face. That could easily have gone the other way. Rush of blood to the head as he chases a player around the field to start a scuffle.
Three of the better players, playing like wkers.
Then you have the new centre held up for the barest of moment in midfield and has the ball taken off him like taking candy from a baby. Absolutely no protection or respect for the ball. Hopefully because he is young he learnt something from that, but it was embarrassing.
On the up side I thought Wilson and O’Connor added something. I thought general decision making with respect when to go for posts and when to keep it in hand was solid as was the half backs cheeky quick tap and dart back past at least three players.
But the goal kicking is beyond woeful. Have seen toe hackers in social games kick better.
My question is when does developing the basic skills and nous to play the game sit with the player and when is it the coaches responsibility? People talk of culture and bringing the team together etc. That is worth nix if your players turn up half dressed. Some of these guys look like they still need help with that and that is even after playing multiple seasons.

The Wrap: Super Rugby teams struggle at home. Why is it so?

It may be an OCD thing, I don’t like dots which don’t join up. I will find the links and add them.

But I also think I have pieced it together. In 2005 he was considered by Smith and Henry as a like for like replacement with Umaga. By 2007 they had Conrad Smith (the future), Aaron Mauger (on his way out), McAllister (inconsistent) and Nonu (not yet an established squad member), but established playing inside Smith, as the Canes preferred Smith over Nonu, but Nonu was developing as a quality inside centre.

At that point the three wise men would have likely revised their original position and thought instead to develop him more broadly into a second five who could kick, which also fits in with what you know and were told in 2007.

Sorry for the runabout.

Can Noah Lolesio be Australia’s triple threat at No.10?

You assume an awful lot and attribute a lot of nonsense that has nothing to do with any facts to me Nic. That is your business. If you think your comments don’t make much difference, that I am just some sarcastic miserable person, denigrating you and your knowledge so be it. Fact is I have responded, which I would think might clue you in to the fact I am interested and endeavouring to find where the missing thread is, not just pushing a perspective. Maybe you are too close and feel the need to defend any perceived sleight against whomsoever you think I am sleighting. I get that and as I have commented throughout I am not trying to do that, but that has been completely missed. Anyway, be that as it may.
It’s not an extrapolation. It is the facts that have been stated and recorded at the time. The fact is that both Henry and Smith had earmarked Nonu for centre.
I asked you to explain exactly what it is that Henry said, but you have systematically avoided doing that. Now you throw more personal nonsense at me saying I wouldn’t care… yeah actually I do. In the same way I provide details to explain where I am coming from… you counter it with no details just you know better. When you have challenged what I have said I calmed back with events as I understand them
It seems to me that you don’t expect to have to explain anything.. Don’t, you are right this has gone on for long enough and I no longer care.
One thing about your book, it is enjoyable and gives details… something that has been sadly lacking in this discourse. I will probably buy this book in hard copy for my dad and the library as it is an excellent read.
Hopefully if our paths cross again it is not with the personal snide comments you seem to want to direct towards me and can rather focus on providing supporting details, not just simply you know better because you worked closely with Henry therefore anything you say needs to be taken as gospel, even where it doesn’t seem to stack up with events as they played out in public including public commentary and interviews at the time.
Maybe my tone or the way I raised the points could be better. I really do try my best not to trade in personal comments and keep the discourse to the topic at hand. Clearly I am not always successful.
So once again sorry you feel the way you do about me challenging your opening paragraphs. Thanks for your views, thanks for the book, thanks for the insights and work you do here. I will continue reading., just won’t both commenting. Have a good weekend. Ciao.

Can Noah Lolesio be Australia’s triple threat at No.10?

Just in addition on a bit of digging more in an effort to vconfirm my own thoughts on the matter, both Henry and Smith confirmed in an interview they were grooming Nonu to replace Umaga in 2005 and he didn’t feature in 2007 RWC with the selectors preferring Mauger, Smith and McAlister, meaning the thought of him being a triple threat not in anyone’s mind.

And as suspected he hadn’t developed a kicking game prior to Hansen caching the side, certainly not during Henry’s stint. So yeah I may have made a mountain out of a mole hill as they were just opening paragraphs to draw the reader in… but they are misleading and don’t match up to the actual facts And events around these two players is all I was commenting on.

Sorry for questioning such a relatively small part of the article as you point out. It just jumped out at me as not lining up with actual events.

Can Noah Lolesio be Australia’s triple threat at No.10?

Yes I agree with that. I ended up in a debate after posting my opinion… and then having to attempt to explain it. I never set out looking for a debate, just pointing out that I felt you had shown some poetic licence with your opening paragraphs. Not a massive deal and certainly not worth the words attributed to it, but out of courtesy I thought I should at least be clear explain my point which meant the discussion dragged out further than I had planned.
Also as stated in multiple posts, it didn’t weaken or detract from the main thrust of your article, so maybe I shouldn’t have commented at all or at least not responded to any reply. Just seems to spiralled. Anyway it is what it is.
More importantly, thank you so much for not only pulling this book together but pointing it out to me. This is exactly what I had been looking for.
I now have something far more interesting than continuing this dead-end debate, discussion 😊 .

Can Noah Lolesio be Australia’s triple threat at No.10?

Thanks so much Nic. If you have any other books or stuff around this sort of thing, please let me know, because I am so ignorant of it all and as I say Wales has always held a special place in rugby folklore and not just for the
awesome singing of their fans.

Can Noah Lolesio be Australia’s triple threat at No.10?

Nonu became a power inside centre with exceptional skills while he was an All Black under the auspices of Henry and Smith. You seem to think otherwise, but have not provided any evidence to support the theory.
Didn’t say he didn’t develop into a an exceptional player under Henry and Smith.
Did say that I don’t believe either foresaw what he would develop into when they selected him.
Did say there have been plenty of players whose like we have not seen before or since under a multitude of coaches. Kirwan being picked out of third grade club rugby probably being the most notable.
“Wayne Smith and Sir Graham Henry had the right idea after all. The greatest rugby teacher of the last 50 years and quite possibly the greatest head coach of all time both knew the value of the ‘triple threat’ player in key positions.” Seems to imply that this was something amazing and new.
“In the decision-making positions at numbers 9, 10, 12 and 15, they always looked for players who were equally accomplished with the boot, on the run and with the hands.”
As has just about every single All Black coach in New Zealand for as far back as I can remember. In fact Mitchell and Deans during their tenure took it to an extreme which is why Cullen got dropped for McDonald.
On occasion, they would lift the cloth and look under the table for guys who had the potential to become all of these things at the highest level but were playing a different position.
They shifted Dan Carter from inside centre to flyhalf “ actually this was done by Deans “and Ma’a Nonu from outside centre” actually from wing, but irrelevant “to second five-eighth, asking both to learn and refine their kicking and passing game.”
As mentioned I doubt that this was their first thought when they selected Nonu at second five considering his passing and defence were average and his kicking non existent.
But none of that takes away from having multi-skilled players and developing those skills in the positions mentioned is important. With regard to putting Nonu there, pretty sure they were looking at his game breaking ability when they selected him there, not thinking he would develop a kicking game. The conditions when he was moved into inside centre simply don’t support it and tbh he only added that string to his bow quite some time after he was established in the position for quite a few seasons.
In fact I didn’t even think he was kicking in Henry’s final season, however happy to be corrected on that.

Can Noah Lolesio be Australia’s triple threat at No.10?

Thanks Nic. Have downloaded it to kindle now. Thanks.

Can Noah Lolesio be Australia’s triple threat at No.10?

I don’t have a bee in my bonnet, maybe I do 😊 . It might be that he is a a great example of the worst of Auckland Grammar, which tends to epitomise what many of the rest of the country don’t like about Aucklanders. Might be a thing or it may be just some bs stereotype. Not something I honestly give a lot of thought to 😊
Sarcasm? Is it sarcasm to question when someone is given credit and recognised for things which don’t line up with what actually took place.
I am not bad mouthing Henry. I am simply saying he is not the messiah which you start out this article with and how he has revolutionised rugby as if rugby was only a thing since 2003. For me that is laying it on a bit thick.
I have provided examples of what other coaches have managed to achieve which are at least equal to what Graeme Henry did, to demonstrate that he was human and not this once in a lifetime phenomenon you are making him out to be.
Henry was a great coach, who stepped up when NZ rugby needed it and led and developed a great team around him and selected some great players.
How is that sarcasm? You seem to think I say one thing but mean something else. I don’t. I have enough trouble being understood without trying to be clever or narky 😢

Can Noah Lolesio be Australia’s triple threat at No.10?

Yes it was a short period when the team was at sixes and sevens. A sloppy transition through Mitchell/Deans. As stated we had a far worse mess inmho when Laurie had to pick up the pieces after the Wylie then Hart mess. And Laurie should have taken the RWC in SA at his first crack at it, had it not been for half the team going down with the flu, which is something Henry failed to do.

“I’m quite happy to agree that the DC shift to 10 prob occurred through the Wayne Smith connection with Deans at Canterbury – so what?” So it seems that the importance of these players in these decisions might be being over-egged a bit, since neither Smith nor Henry were even in the country when Carter was selected for Canterbury and as mentioned I very much question Henry’s involvement in it and even question the level of influence that Smith had in the matter. The fact that you pay zero credit to the head coach who selected and developed him, when you lead in with how his selection at second five was so fundamental. It was Deans on TV saying he wasn’t prepared to move Carter in for another season and that was before Smith or Henry.

As far as Nonu up-skilling himself, is that different to Umaga not being able to catch a cold when he was playing Fullback for Wellington and developed the surest pair of hands in the business? Developing player skills is not a new phenomenon and having coaches that develop playing skills is not a new either.

My point with Nonu, is yes he developed these skills, but i am hugely skeptical that he was selected in that position with the view in mind he would become a triple threat. Considering his short-comings and some of the doubts which lingered around him when he was first selected, that seems to be revisionist. As far as him developing those skills later, with the input of skills coach, using your line, so what? That was not a new phenomena.

Consequently as I started with, this does not take away from the main thrust of the article that developing skills adds more threats across the park and it is always interesting seeing players come on and develop more skills as they grow into a position, but this idea that Henry and Smith were some kind of revolutionary men in this regard simply doesn’t make sense based on what I have watched and seen over the past decades.

I am totally impressed with how Smith developed his game, having struggled to make the Waikato squad, he went to Canterbury and turned his fortunes around, then later on in life he turned Canterbury around and pursued and developed the attacking approach the ABs employ and which has been the hallmark of the past decade, than his development of individual players. He is of interest having grown up in the same small town as myself except he was some years ahead of me.

I likewise recognise Henry’s achievements but don’t hold him in the same awe as you imply he deserves to be held. I feel that your suggestion that he revolutionised rugby in NZ couldn’t go by unchallenged. He certainly contributed to the next successful phase of AB rugby and I concur that for that he should be respected. And as I commented wrt Wales, he has overseen both highs and lows and in my view is really no more important than many other coaches I have mentioned…. he is just more recent.

Anyway I too have spent sufficient time on this too, so happy to call it quits. And seriously thank you for your time and involvement too.

Can Noah Lolesio be Australia’s triple threat at No.10?

Sorry Nicholas I wasn’t taking it anywhere… I dont have some alternate agenda. The Welsh comment was a total self interested aside. As mention I have heard of the great players and know they have had some great sides. I grew up on stories from my Dad. It is why when I was 5 or 6 he was getting me up to watch Lions games, which had players like Barry Johns, but I was too young to understand or appreciate.

The Welsh are one of the few sides I genuinely wished I knew more about. Every player who goes there, professional and amateur comments on how great it is to play and watch rugby in Wales. For a national team and a place who genuinely has developed some of the great rugby players of all time… even now the side has genuinely great players who I love watching and can seriously change a game on their own like Jonathon Davies, Leigh Halfpenny or dominate and lead like Alun Wyn Jones a giant of a forward. So not really going anywhere about from wanting to know more. Even if you could point me to books or any videos which you recommend would be totally appreciated.

Is it just the shear number of people playing rugby and the size of the country… looking at registered players Wales has 50,000 compared to NZ’s 150,000.

So Nic, definitely no insult intended at all, just a genuine question.

And my question regarding Henry was simply for such a masterful coach didn’t he leave Wales or was it just circumstance in terms of the quality of players available and other environmental factors. Did he suddenly become a master coach when he coached the ABs… that was all I was leading to.

So if I have caused offence, be assured none was meant.

Can Noah Lolesio be Australia’s triple threat at No.10?

Nic on a more interesting question, why has Welsh rugby fallen so low when it is a national sport. I remember my Dad talking in awe of Welsh players like Barry Johns, Gareth Edwards etc. just a bit before my time, but even in my time they have had numerous world class players of freakish skills.. like arguably the best in the world in their positions, yet they never seem to come up to the mark.
Is it just a matter of time? Shouldn’t they be a side which is consistently among the top two in regards 6N. I have never understood why they aren’t higher placed and nobody I asks explains it? Even with super. coach Henry, at the helm they managed to set a record for number of consecutive games lost didn’t they and lost every match in the 6ns. Garland has possibly been the most successful Welsh coach in recent times hasn’t he and he is much maligned for playing conservative rugby. And that is not. And that is not a crack at Ted. One of the things he is widely and rightly highly respected for is his inclusiveness whether it be in building the team or running a team of high performance individuals like Hansen, Smith similar to Lochore before him which is why I raised his name in earlier posts.

Can Noah Lolesio be Australia’s triple threat at No.10?

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