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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:30 pm 
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I wrote some words on Sunday night. Surprisingly, I wasn't drunk.

http://www.theroar.com.au/2017/06/20/low-can-wallabies-go/

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Like many other Wallabies supporters, I did a fair bit of swearing at the television on Saturday afternoon.

This isn’t an uncommon occurrence when I watch the men in gold play. In fact, you can probably say that after the last couple of years my swearing has developed into a finely crafted prose.

My inventive yammerings aside, I was banished to the room with the spare TV on Saturday afternoon so I could swear and have my aneurysm in peace. That way my kids didn’t have to hear me yowl in protest at yet another poorly executed Will Genia kick.

The Wallabies performance against Scotland on the weekend has resulted in a fair bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth on social media. For once, I didn’t join in. I wouldn’t say I was distraught. I certainly wasn’t angry. I was just disappointed. But in a way, I also knew this was going to happen.

Watching the Wallabies play a great game occurs so rarely these days but I start each game with stirring optimism and a heart full of hope. More often than not, I’m surly and, probably, drunk by the end.

What has become apparent is how the Wallabies, and Australian Super Rugby teams, fall apart throughout a game. As a Queensland Reds supporter, this feeling of morbid acceptance is my default setting but I’m not used to seeing my national team play like a bunch of blokes who just met in the changing room.

“G’day mate. Welcome to the team. This is Bernard. He passes the ball. Sometimes he’ll pass it to where you’re running. Do you know how to do a chip kick?”

I’ve noticed a distinct gulf in the skills department in both Australian Super Rugby teams and our national team. It’s a complete lack of the basics. Prove me wrong. Watch a replay from the weekend or from a Super Rugby game a few weeks ago.

I’m not talking about a lack of insane offloading skills or fancy footwork, I’m talking about the ability to catch and pass to a man running at pace. As in a ball being passed from one player to the next that doesn’t result in the receiving player catching it behind him or slowing down to take it or dropping the ball stone cold.

Now I’m hesitant to mention the All Blacks here because I do know there are a legion of All Black fans who, if given the chance, would delight in reminding you about the difference in the skill set between players from the two countries. But I watched the All Blacks play Samoa on Saturday night and, although the game was essentially a training run against a bunch of blue tackle bags, the skills of the players from one through to 23 are sublime.

And these skills were also on display in the U20s final where the Kiwi team eviscerated the English. I saw the same basic skills. Nothing fancy. Just passing from man to man, running at pace. Why are Australian teams so bad at this lately?

The Wallabies started to lift late in the game on Saturday afternoon. When Tevita Kurindrani attempted to pass the ball to Reece Hodge running at full speed with a gap looming on the wing, I had a glimmer of hope he’d put Hodgey through that hole.

Nope.

The ball went forward and rolled across the sidelines. Hodge did attempt to dive for the ball but only succeeded in driving his face into the dirt as the Scottish fans hooted in delight. I held onto my scream but I felt something pop deep inside my noggin. This wasn’t the only time something farcical happened during that game.

Twice the ball came down from a lineout and, instead of neatly plopping into the waiting hands of Genia, the ball doinged off the head of a forward and bounced towards the Scots. Then we had that intercept try and a charge down of a Will Genia kick (cue internal scream) which also resulted in a try to the Scots.


Don’t get me started on our reliance on a small kick behind the line as our go-to attacking option. In the first half we were hot on attack about ten metres out and all Dane Haylett-Petty had to do was pass the ball through the hands and we would have scored a try or gone close.

Did he do this? No. He grubbered a kick in and we all watched the ball roll dead. Why did Dane do this? Was he so unsure of his teammate’s ability to catch a ball and, heaven forbid, draw a man and pass the ball that he decided the only way forward was to go for the high-risk option. That’s what it felt like to me.

With 20 minutes to go, I was resigned to the fact that we were going to lose the match. Australian teams have not only lost the ability to win a game at the death, they’ve lost the ability to even stay in the contest.

Do I have an answer for this? In short, no. I’m involved in junior rugby (screaming from the sidelines is involvement, don’t judge me) and I see kids practicing passing and catching all night long at training. Do professional players stop doing the basics once they make a Super Rugby squad? Is this a coaching issue?

It seems the Reds, Waratahs and Brumbies all seemed to have developed this malaise. The Reds are coached by a man whose only coaching skill seems to be “giving the boys a bloody good revving up in the sheds at half time” and the Brumbies are coached by possibly Australia’s most exciting player in the last 25 years who seems to have forgotten how to play the game.

A Kiwi bloke coaches the Waratahs but it’s apparent he’s had that knowledge of rugby basics drilled out of him during his time at the club. Going on his lack of emotion as the Waratahs let yet another opposition player waltz through to score, possibly by some sort of electro-therapy that has numbed his facial muscles.


Michael Cheika is the coach of the Wallabies but I’m starting to think he’s more of a motivator than an actual coach. If I took a deep drink of my beer every time the camera pans to the coaches box and shows Cheika mouthing obscenities during a game, I’d be onto my third liver by this stage. We’re not privy to the instructions a coach gives his players but I sure as hell hope it isn’t “I want to see a silly kick for every third pass.” I’d like to give him more credit than that.

This weekend, the Wallabies are playing Italy in Brisbane. Anything less than an absolute clinical drubbing will be a failure in my books. I don’t want a gritty, hard fought win. That will only paper over the cracks and give us all a false sense of security. I want to see my team play well by doing the basics. I also want the backs to be fitted with shock collars that zap them every time they even contemplate a stupid kick. Is that too much to ask?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:52 pm 
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You're a jurno - Chek hates jurno's. Especially ones that challenge him.

'Loyalty is a huge element of rugby my friend'...

http://www.theroar.com.au/2017/06/19/watch-wallabies-coach-michael-cheika-fires-back-journalist/

KG


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:54 pm 
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Writin skilz.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:57 pm 
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Unfortunately that isn't an inarticulate, self-indulgent dribble of rageshite. You don't even seem that entitled or thick.

You can safely keep your phone on silent m8.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:58 pm 
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:thumbup:
Image Image


Last edited by kiap on Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:03 am 
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happyhooker wrote:
Writin skilz.

m8 there's no w in ritin' ya flamin'galah.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:04 am 
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kiap wrote:
:thumbup:
Image Image

:lol: :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:05 am 
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blackblackblack wrote:
happyhooker wrote:
Writin skilz.

m8 there's no w in ritin' ya flamin'galah.

Fukin fone


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:05 am 
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M8, you let me down.

Knowing you and your preferred style, I expected some sort of literary recreation of David Wenham's courtroom scene from Gettin' Square.

Instead, you've articulated a nailing there boy. A damn fine nailing it is, too.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:14 am 
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guy smiley wrote:
M8, you let me down.

Knowing you and your preferred style, I expected some sort of literary recreation of David Wenham's courtroom scene from Gettin' Square.

Instead, you've articulated a nailing there boy. A damn fine nailing it is, too.



"Mistah Chekka? 'scuse me Mr Chekka? Who's gonna pay for me bus fare to Suncorp Stadium?"


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:18 am 
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Thomas wrote:
guy smiley wrote:
M8, you let me down.

Knowing you and your preferred style, I expected some sort of literary recreation of David Wenham's courtroom scene from Gettin' Square.

Instead, you've articulated a nailing there boy. A damn fine nailing it is, too.



"Mistah Chekka? 'scuse me Mr Chekka? Who's gonna pay for me bus fare to Suncorp Stadium?"


:lol: :lol:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_u5ihEx70A


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:22 am 
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My youngest kid used to do swimming lessons and he'd walk around the house in speedos, a hoodie and thongs beforehand.

We used to call him Johnny Spiteri.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:28 am 
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Thomas wrote:
My youngest kid used to do swimming lessons and he'd walk around the house in speedos, a hoodie and thongs beforehand.

We used to call him Johnny Spiteri.


I shouldn't derail your thread mate, but that movie broke me for days. Also... bad Dad. :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:31 am 
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I don't even rant at the tele any more. Just go 'fuck it' and cook dinner, clean up after the kids or whatever else I have to do. I can handle it if one of the Reds or Wallabies are inept, but now both are (and will be for the foreseeable future), the whole thing's losing its luster.

Good on you for still having the anger, Thomas.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:37 am 
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Bindi wrote:
I don't even rant at the tele any more. Just go 'fuck it' and cook dinner, clean up after the kids or whatever else I have to do. I can handle it if one of the Reds or Wallabies are inept, but now both are (and will be for the foreseeable future), the whole thing's losing its luster.

Good on you for still having the anger, Thomas.


I'm seething, mate. Seething.

I was going to go to the game on the weekend. Might just record it instead. I don't want to be "that bloke" who is restrained by security in front of his kids.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:42 am 
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Dear Mr cheika,

Just want to say as an England fan keep up the good work. You're passionate and hate losing and it's great to see. You beat us in the World Cup when we were crap and now you're doing it tough when you're crap. It's all good.
You hang in there and don't let any disloyal fair weather types get you down. These things just go up and down, it's all just tides, so don't worry about your coaching. I'm sure it's not a problem.

By the way if you ever smash up a changing room again could you tape it? I bet it's a hell of a funny thing to see.

Yours
Croft.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:25 am 
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Croft wrote:
Dear Mr cheika,

Just want to say as an England fan keep up the good work. You're passionate and hate losing and it's great to see. You beat us in the World Cup when we were crap and now you're doing it tough when you're crap. It's all good.
You hang in there and don't let any disloyal fair weather types get you down. These things just go up and down, it's all just tides, so don't worry about your coaching. I'm sure it's not a problem.

By the way if you ever smash up a changing room again could you tape it? I bet it's a hell of a funny thing to see.

Yours
Croft.


That must have sounded good in your head, right?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:28 am 
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Image


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:43 am 
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kiap wrote:
:thumbup:
Image Image

:lol: :lol:

FUK U MICKY CHECKER


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:46 am 
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Fk me... Ozzie lose a couple of games and every supporter has a hissy fit. Think yourselves lucky you didn't support Ireland in the 90s or Scotland the last twenty years.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:48 am 
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HKCJ wrote:
Fk me... Ozzie lose a couple of games and every supporter has a hissy fit. Think yourselves lucky you didn't support Ireland in the 90s or Scotland the last twenty years.


Yeah, see, we're used to the lofty heights of world rugby. Not the doldrums.

This is what I call a teething process. I'm already in the "acceptance" stage.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:50 am 
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Aussies just don't have the players anymore.

Only so much a coach can do really.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:51 am 
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Croft wrote:
Dear Mr cheika,

Just want to say as an England fan keep up the good work. You're passionate and hate losing and it's great to see. You beat us in the World Cup when we were crap and now you're doing it tough when you're crap. It's all good.
You hang in there and don't let any disloyal fair weather types get you down. These things just go up and down, it's all just tides, so don't worry about your coaching. I'm sure it's not a problem.

By the way if you ever smash up a changing room again could you tape it? I bet it's a hell of a funny thing to see.

Yours
Croft.



Image


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:51 am 
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HKCJ wrote:
Fk me... Ozzie lose a couple of games and every supporter has a hissy fit. Think yourselves lucky you didn't support Ireland in the 90s or Scotland the last twenty years.



this is fkn unchartered waters for us m8 alright


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:56 am 
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guy smiley wrote:
Thomas wrote:
guy smiley wrote:
M8, you let me down.

Knowing you and your preferred style, I expected some sort of literary recreation of David Wenham's courtroom scene from Gettin' Square.

Instead, you've articulated a nailing there boy. A damn fine nailing it is, too.



"Mistah Chekka? 'scuse me Mr Chekka? Who's gonna pay for me bus fare to Suncorp Stadium?"


:lol: :lol:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_u5ihEx70A


:lol: - fudge he played that well.

Great movie. Quality soundtrack too :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:05 am 
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Floppykid wrote:
Aussies just don't have the players anymore.

Only so much a coach can do really.


It is actually the lack of coaching that is the problem. Even more so at the lower levels.

There is more talent in Australia than there is in most countries.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:10 am 
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Denirostaxidriver wrote:
Floppykid wrote:
Aussies just don't have the players anymore.

Only so much a coach can do really.


It is actually the lack of coaching that is the problem. Even more so at the lower levels.

There is more talent in Australia than there is in most countries.


Pretty sure we covered it in here at the time but Mike Cron gave a talk a while back where he discussed the coaching style across Australia (this was in Soup season) as being too structured and focussed on set piece. He said that 40% of scoring is from unstructured play and that teams need to be coached to deal with that. He drew a direct comparison to the Australian teams of the early 2000s as a benchmark for structured play and basically said the game here hadn't moved on from that.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:12 am 
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guy smiley wrote:
Denirostaxidriver wrote:
Floppykid wrote:
Aussies just don't have the players anymore.

Only so much a coach can do really.


It is actually the lack of coaching that is the problem. Even more so at the lower levels.

There is more talent in Australia than there is in most countries.


Pretty sure we covered it in here at the time but Mike Cron gave a talk a while back where he discussed the coaching style across Australia (this was in Soup season) as being too structured and focussed on set piece. He said that 40% of scoring is from unstructured play and that teams need to be coached to deal with that. He drew a direct comparison to the Australian teams of the early 2000s as a benchmark for structured play and basically said the game here hadn't moved on from that.


Never heard that. Interesting to hear.

The one concern I have (and it is with almost ALL countries) is the ability to pass. It slows down so much play and at times makes the sport look amateurish.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:18 am 
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Okay, right. So I'm going to talk about my kid's U10 team. They have lost one game in four years and that was to another team from our club. They have, since day dot, focused on running with the ball and evading defenders. Last year they started looking at rucks and mauls. This year, the focus has moved slightly on rucks and defence but there is still an element of free running about their game.

I can count on one hand how many times they've practiced lineouts and scrums. A mate of mine coaches another club (he also makes my coffee every morning) and he is starting to do the same but their club has issued a directive that all coaches must spend a set about of time on set pieces. Bear in mind that scrums are not competitive and lineouts are a lottery for kids at this level.

There's ample time for kids to learn how to push in scrums and jump in lineouts. I fear we've got a generational issue here. 15 years ago we got hammered at set pieces and the focus has moved to that. The kids know how to run with the ball but the imaginative and off-the-cuff play has gone.

Long gone.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:19 am 
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Thomas wrote:
Okay, right. So I'm going to talk about my kid's U10 team. They have lost one game in four years and that was to another team from our club. They have, since day dot, focused on running with the ball and evading defenders. Last year they started looking at rucks and mauls. This year, the focus has moved slightly on rucks and defence but there is still an element of free running about their game.

I can count on one hand how many times they've practiced lineouts and scrums. A mate of mine coaches another club (he also makes my coffee every morning) and he is starting to do the same but their club has issued a directive that all coaches must spend a set about of time on set pieces. Bear in mind that scrums are not competitive and lineouts are a lottery for kids at this level.

There's ample time for kids to learn how to push in scrums and jump in lineouts. I fear we've got a generational issue here. 15 years ago we got hammered at set pieces and the focus has moved to that. The kids know how to run with the ball but the imaginative and off-the-cuff play has gone.

Long gone.

Aussies pushing towards League shocker.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:22 am 
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Floppykid wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Okay, right. So I'm going to talk about my kid's U10 team. They have lost one game in four years and that was to another team from our club. They have, since day dot, focused on running with the ball and evading defenders. Last year they started looking at rucks and mauls. This year, the focus has moved slightly on rucks and defence but there is still an element of free running about their game.

I can count on one hand how many times they've practiced lineouts and scrums. A mate of mine coaches another club (he also makes my coffee every morning) and he is starting to do the same but their club has issued a directive that all coaches must spend a set about of time on set pieces. Bear in mind that scrums are not competitive and lineouts are a lottery for kids at this level.

There's ample time for kids to learn how to push in scrums and jump in lineouts. I fear we've got a generational issue here. 15 years ago we got hammered at set pieces and the focus has moved to that. The kids know how to run with the ball but the imaginative and off-the-cuff play has gone.

Long gone.

Aussies pushing towards League shocker.


You have completely missed the point.

That is interesting to hear Thomas. You have definitely taken the correct approach and I bet the kids love that a lot more than other skills which are only required later on.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:23 am 
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Floppykid wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Okay, right. So I'm going to talk about my kid's U10 team. They have lost one game in four years and that was to another team from our club. They have, since day dot, focused on running with the ball and evading defenders. Last year they started looking at rucks and mauls. This year, the focus has moved slightly on rucks and defence but there is still an element of free running about their game.

I can count on one hand how many times they've practiced lineouts and scrums. A mate of mine coaches another club (he also makes my coffee every morning) and he is starting to do the same but their club has issued a directive that all coaches must spend a set about of time on set pieces. Bear in mind that scrums are not competitive and lineouts are a lottery for kids at this level.

There's ample time for kids to learn how to push in scrums and jump in lineouts. I fear we've got a generational issue here. 15 years ago we got hammered at set pieces and the focus has moved to that. The kids know how to run with the ball but the imaginative and off-the-cuff play has gone.

Long gone.

Aussies pushing towards League shocker.


There is very little to differentiate between the two games when kids are this young. There are better passers of the ball in schoolboy rugby league than there are in the Wallabies right now though.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:25 am 
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Thomas wrote:
Okay, right. So I'm going to talk about my kid's U10 team. They have lost one game in four years and that was to another team from our club. They have, since day dot, focused on running with the ball and evading defenders. Last year they started looking at rucks and mauls. This year, the focus has moved slightly on rucks and defence but there is still an element of free running about their game.

I can count on one hand how many times they've practiced lineouts and scrums. A mate of mine coaches another club (he also makes my coffee every morning) and he is starting to do the same but their club has issued a directive that all coaches must spend a set about of time on set pieces. Bear in mind that scrums are not competitive and lineouts are a lottery for kids at this level.

There's ample time for kids to learn how to push in scrums and jump in lineouts. I fear we've got a generational issue here. 15 years ago we got hammered at set pieces and the focus has moved to that. The kids know how to run with the ball but the imaginative and off-the-cuff play has gone.

Long gone.


Yeah ... maybe. I dunno. I think there's plenty of players in Australian rugby who have flair but they're being coached not to employ it. That's a crude generalisation I know but let's indulge in some sweeping statements to make easy points. It's a mindset and I think it afflicts the game from the top down here. We've done to death the management issues facing the ARU... is it stretching things too much to say the whole game here has been crippled by a mindset that favours narrow thinking and conservatism?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:26 am 
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Thomas wrote:
Floppykid wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Okay, right. So I'm going to talk about my kid's U10 team. They have lost one game in four years and that was to another team from our club. They have, since day dot, focused on running with the ball and evading defenders. Last year they started looking at rucks and mauls. This year, the focus has moved slightly on rucks and defence but there is still an element of free running about their game.

I can count on one hand how many times they've practiced lineouts and scrums. A mate of mine coaches another club (he also makes my coffee every morning) and he is starting to do the same but their club has issued a directive that all coaches must spend a set about of time on set pieces. Bear in mind that scrums are not competitive and lineouts are a lottery for kids at this level.

There's ample time for kids to learn how to push in scrums and jump in lineouts. I fear we've got a generational issue here. 15 years ago we got hammered at set pieces and the focus has moved to that. The kids know how to run with the ball but the imaginative and off-the-cuff play has gone.

Long gone.

Aussies pushing towards League shocker.


There is very little to differentiate between the two games when kids are this young. There are better passers of the ball in schoolboy rugby league than there are in the Wallabies right now though.


Agreed. They would probably pass better than the majority of international teams. The side to side / stilted movement that you see reflects quite poorly on the players and coaching.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:28 am 
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Thomas wrote:
Okay, right. So I'm going to talk about my kid's U10 team. They have lost one game in four years and that was to another team from our club. They have, since day dot, focused on running with the ball and evading defenders. Last year they started looking at rucks and mauls. This year, the focus has moved slightly on rucks and defence but there is still an element of free running about their game.

I can count on one hand how many times they've practiced lineouts and scrums. A mate of mine coaches another club (he also makes my coffee every morning) and he is starting to do the same but their club has issued a directive that all coaches must spend a set about of time on set pieces. Bear in mind that scrums are not competitive and lineouts are a lottery for kids at this level.

There's ample time for kids to learn how to push in scrums and jump in lineouts. I fear we've got a generational issue here. 15 years ago we got hammered at set pieces and the focus has moved to that. The kids know how to run with the ball but the imaginative and off-the-cuff play has gone.

Long gone.


The world where you can do 'imaginative and off-the-cuff play' has gone. The Kiwis have got the world believing it's still possible, but they play a game as, if not more, structured than anyone else. They are awesome at going wide, fast and early from turnover ball...but if you had a game where the opposition never turned over the ball, you'd likely not see any wonder rugby from them.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:29 am 
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guy smiley wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Okay, right. So I'm going to talk about my kid's U10 team. They have lost one game in four years and that was to another team from our club. They have, since day dot, focused on running with the ball and evading defenders. Last year they started looking at rucks and mauls. This year, the focus has moved slightly on rucks and defence but there is still an element of free running about their game.

I can count on one hand how many times they've practiced lineouts and scrums. A mate of mine coaches another club (he also makes my coffee every morning) and he is starting to do the same but their club has issued a directive that all coaches must spend a set about of time on set pieces. Bear in mind that scrums are not competitive and lineouts are a lottery for kids at this level.

There's ample time for kids to learn how to push in scrums and jump in lineouts. I fear we've got a generational issue here. 15 years ago we got hammered at set pieces and the focus has moved to that. The kids know how to run with the ball but the imaginative and off-the-cuff play has gone.

Long gone.


Yeah ... maybe. I dunno. I think there's plenty of players in Australian rugby who have flair but they're being coached not to employ it. That's a crude generalisation I know but let's indulge in some sweeping statements to make easy points. It's a mindset and I think it afflicts the game from the top down here. We've done to death the management issues facing the ARU... is it stretching things too much to say the whole game here has been crippled by a mindset that favours narrow thinking and conservatism?


When does it happen though? When are they being told to stop being creative and why aren't we taking those coaches out the back and shooting them?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:41 am 
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Jeff the Bear wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Okay, right. So I'm going to talk about my kid's U10 team. They have lost one game in four years and that was to another team from our club. They have, since day dot, focused on running with the ball and evading defenders. Last year they started looking at rucks and mauls. This year, the focus has moved slightly on rucks and defence but there is still an element of free running about their game.

I can count on one hand how many times they've practiced lineouts and scrums. A mate of mine coaches another club (he also makes my coffee every morning) and he is starting to do the same but their club has issued a directive that all coaches must spend a set about of time on set pieces. Bear in mind that scrums are not competitive and lineouts are a lottery for kids at this level.

There's ample time for kids to learn how to push in scrums and jump in lineouts. I fear we've got a generational issue here. 15 years ago we got hammered at set pieces and the focus has moved to that. The kids know how to run with the ball but the imaginative and off-the-cuff play has gone.

Long gone.


The world where you can do 'imaginative and off-the-cuff play' has gone. The Kiwis have got the world believing it's still possible, but they play a game as, if not more, structured than anyone else. They are awesome at going wide, fast and early from turnover ball...but if you had a game where the opposition never turned over the ball, you'd likely not see any wonder rugby from them.


I should caveat that with "The world where you can do 'imaginative and off-the-cuff play' has gone...at the pro level".

I have no doubt that at the lower levels that sort of play is still possible,but at the very top, there's simply not enough space. As such, teaching kids that that sort of game is possible is not, in my opinion, conducive to ending up with a set of players at the pro level who are going to function that well.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:48 am 
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Jeff the Bear wrote:
Jeff the Bear wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Okay, right. So I'm going to talk about my kid's U10 team. They have lost one game in four years and that was to another team from our club. They have, since day dot, focused on running with the ball and evading defenders. Last year they started looking at rucks and mauls. This year, the focus has moved slightly on rucks and defence but there is still an element of free running about their game.

I can count on one hand how many times they've practiced lineouts and scrums. A mate of mine coaches another club (he also makes my coffee every morning) and he is starting to do the same but their club has issued a directive that all coaches must spend a set about of time on set pieces. Bear in mind that scrums are not competitive and lineouts are a lottery for kids at this level.

There's ample time for kids to learn how to push in scrums and jump in lineouts. I fear we've got a generational issue here. 15 years ago we got hammered at set pieces and the focus has moved to that. The kids know how to run with the ball but the imaginative and off-the-cuff play has gone.

Long gone.


The world where you can do 'imaginative and off-the-cuff play' has gone. The Kiwis have got the world believing it's still possible, but they play a game as, if not more, structured than anyone else. They are awesome at going wide, fast and early from turnover ball...but if you had a game where the opposition never turned over the ball, you'd likely not see any wonder rugby from them.


I should caveat that with "The world where you can do 'imaginative and off-the-cuff play' has gone...at the pro level".

I have no doubt that at the lower levels that sort of play is still possible,but at the very top, there's simply not enough space. As such, teaching kids that that sort of game is possible is not, in my opinion, conducive to ending up with a set of players at the pro level who are going to function that well.


Then perhaps we've labouring under a difference of definition here. Rather than flair we should perhaps be talking about instinct and intuitive skills. The ability to react to opportunity and attack the play, whether that means actually in attack or defense... when you talk about the ABs Jeff you are perhaps referring to a style the NZ teams display. Cohesive play regardless of position. I remember years back talking in here about how NZ wingers knew how and when to ruck and countrer ruck, for example. Now we see ball handling skills and pace across the park and an understanding the players seem to share about where to be and when. That's a style of play and a mindset and I think it can and should be coached... and i think Australia has player who can play that way.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:53 am 
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That's exactly it. It's not playing with flair. It's playing with instinct.

I watched the Australia - Scotland U20 game on the weekend and saw it there, plain as anything. Scores were close in the second half and Australia were running into a really strong breeze. They kept nudging the ball back to Scotland who'd hoof it 75m down into the Aussie half. This was repeated the whole half. Why not...you know...try running it out. They had the ascendancy at scrum time and in the ruck...why didn't they go to Plan B when Plan A wasn't working? Because they are told not to?

Late in the game they tried it but they panicked and dropped the ball or passed it into touch.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:59 am 
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Thomas wrote:
That's exactly it. It's not playing with flair. It's playing with instinct.

I watched the Australia - Scotland U20 game on the weekend and saw it there, plain as anything. Scores were close in the second half and Australia were running into a really strong breeze. They kept nudging the ball back to Scotland who'd hoof it 75m down into the Aussie half. This was repeated the whole half. Why not...you know...try running it out. They had the ascendancy at scrum time and in the ruck...why didn't they go to Plan B when Plan A wasn't working? Because they are told not to?

Late in the game they tried it but they panicked and dropped the ball or passed it into touch.


Waratah Fitzimmons has an article up on the SMH site that I had a look at just now. Plenty of hand wringing and the best idea he has is that Aus fans should buckle down for a long period of hardship and the Wallabies should embrace the grass roots.

That's it. That's his best option. Maybe there's an older generation of ex players calling shots with no idea? The influence in the game is based on low creativity. We joke about the stifling influence of the clubs within the ARU.. maybe it really is a thing and not just a sort of joke.

Maybe they really did run out of ideas 10 years ago.


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