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Thread: Official Alan Jones thread

  1. #226
    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    The hungry sheep of Australian rugby are unfed
    ALAN JONES
    RADIO BROADCASTER

    6 MINUTES AGO OCTOBER 5, 2018
    NO COMMENTS
    John Milton was a 17th Century English poet, writing at a time of religious and political upheaval. His poem Lycidas is a lament for a friend drowned in the Irish seas. The narrator in the poem is an unnamed shepherd.

    Milton’s tone grows harsh towards unfit shepherds, who don’t protect Milton’s anti-protestant cause. So Milton protests: “The hungry sheep look up and are not fed.”

    And so it is with Australian rugby. After last Saturday’s defeat by South Africa, there is not one rugby supporter who doesn’t feel, in Milton’s language, “unfed”. And we are all asking, what the hell is going on?

    We are now ranked seventh in the world. That was before our defeat on Saturday. Ahead of us are New Zealand, Ireland, Wales, England, South Africa and Scotland, do you mind. Biting on our heels are France and Argentina. We could finish up ninth.

    But how do you solve a problem if you don’t admit there is one?

    No one should doubt the courage, the capacity or the commitment of the young men chosen to represent Australia. Indeed, their defensive efforts, week after week, are proof of that commitment; proof that they understand the legacy they inherit and their responsibility to the honour that the jersey bestows. But the issue is not one of defence.

    Nor is the answer to throw coach Michael Cheika under the proverbial bus.

    But given the almost siege mentality of the board and the CEO of Rugby Australia, it is clear they will do anything to hang on to their positions and do this by blaming someone else for the mess.

    One very observant senior rugby official wrote to me recently: “I watched some NRC over the weekend and there on the screen at Concord Oval, enjoying corporate hospitality were (Rugby Australian chairman Cameron) Clyne, (RA board member Brett) Robinson and (RA CEO Raelene) Castle entertaining Bill Beaumont (a World Rugby heavyweight).

    “One can only imagine how they may have sold out Australia again. Clyne, Robinson and (Bill) Pulver sold out Australia when they allowed Argentina and Japan into Super Rugby and then were key players in the removal of the Western Force.”

    The public are not stupid.

    But back to the Wallabies. It is the All Blacks who demonstrate that the most powerful defensive tool you have on the paddock is your attack. At the end of the day, it is no use gilding the lily. I have said many times we are playing the wrong kind of football. Our attack is anything but attack.

    If you are uninitiated with the game, but just love it, then grab hold of a video of Saturday’s match, or any recent Wallaby game, and see how many times the ball-carrier runs as far as he can, barges into someone and then hits the deck.

    Commentators will tell you the ball is then “recycled” so that someone else can do the same thing over and over again. On Saturday, we seemed to have another strategy and that was to hoist the ball wide and hope.

    We actually got two tries. But that’s not running rugby. You can’t run when you’re on the ground. And we voluntarily go to the ground. We don’t attempt to stand up.

    We have some of the biggest men in world rugby. Why would we want to go to the ground every time an opposition player breathes on us?

    The best teams make sure there is a support player either side of the ball carrier. And the ball carrier is thinking of options, not just blindly crashing to the ground when he confronts the next defender.

    As you can see from the video, when this happens, opposition forwards just line up across the paddock and there is an impenetrable wall facing our most attacking players.

    The object of the forwards must be to break down that wall. Or, to put it another way, how do you get those forwards out of the backline?

    The answer is simple. You play more of the ball in the air than you do on the ground. That’s called “maul ball”.

    And in this way, your forwards can suck the opposition forwards out of the defensive backline. If the opposition forwards want to stay there, well, your maul will rumble down the paddock. And the crowd will cheer.

    If, on the other hand, you are forced to go to the ground and the ball is “recycled” to another forward running off the ruck, the defence must always know there is a chance of the attack unloading the ball either side of the ball carrier.

    This puts enormous pressure on the defence. It keeps them guessing. It has the enduring capacity of breaking up the defence. That is what is called “running rugby”.

    That interchange within forwards and among our big men has been abandoned so that when we run out of ideas, or territorial advantage, we kick the football.

    In a good team, with many options, the ball carrier may well kick as the best of all considered options. But the kick should never be designed to hand the ball back to the other side. Make no mistake, we have talented players. They are multi-skilled.

    We have an attack coach — and I don’t subscribe to this business of head coach, attack coach, defence coach, kicking coach, skills coach. All of this must surely confuse the players.

    I noted in the program for the Australia v All Blacks game at Eden Park, we had 18 support staff for the Wallabies.

    What the hell. And we are broke. But if we do have an attack coach, someone needs to explain to the supporters what attack we are getting from the Wallabies, because we show a pronounced inability to score. In 2017, we averaged 31 points a game; in 2018 it is 16.

    New Zealand are averaging six tries a game; South Africa 3.1; Argentina 2.4; Australia 2. So what? Replace Cheika with the attack coach. And that’s Stephen Larkham. Is someone kidding? What’s the saying about “out of the frying pan, into the fire?’’

    The use of the football is letting us down badly. And at the end of the day, the players are only playing the way they are told to play.

    But there is a wider problem. In the past week, the news has been dominated by the sacking of the managing director of the ABC Michelle Guthrie and the subsequent resignation of the chairman.

    Basically, at issue was the inability of the administration of the ABC to do what the ABC, under statute, is charged with doing. But Guthrie, in charge of the ABC, wasn’t a journalist and had no journalistic experience.

    There is a person in charge of Australian Rugby who knows nothing about rugby. As with Guthrie, she therefore can’t identify the problems and obviously won’t know how to solve them.

    The ABC has a simple charter, defined by the Act where under 8(1)(c), the ABC has a duty “to ensure that news and information is accurate, impartial and objective”.

    Surely the CEO of Rugby Australia must have an impartial, accurate and objective understanding of the game, of how it’s run and how to evaluate the results. How the hell could she make any intelligent observation about what went on at Port Elizabeth on Saturday? Does she know the difference between a ruck and a maul?

    And if, as at the ABC, the managing director acts in accordance with board directions, what directions is Castle being given by the Rugby Australia board?

    The Rugby Australia board and the board of the ABC have one thing in common. No one on the ABC, with the exception of the staff representative, has any media experience. Not one. None.

    Well, what of the board of Rugby Australia? They have no coaching experience. There are two internationals on the board, along with several women. The internationals must be in blind denial.

    We also have the spectacle of public television commentators being employees of Rugby Australia.

    How does that allow for objectivity, accuracy and impartiality?

    So if the ABC is in crisis, as it most certainly is, and page after page of print media coverage attests to this, then the crisis in rugby is represented differently in the media. You have to go about 15 pages in from the back page before you can even find any rugby coverage.

    How many people got up in excitement to watch the game at 1.10am on Sunday? And if that is the level of public interest, what will the broadcast rights be worth when they come up for negotiation in fewer than two years?

    I said at the outset, the hungry sheep look up and are not fed. The rugby hungry sheep are being ignored. People are calling for the board of the ABC to go.

    Rugby fans, those left, are calling for the board of Rugby Australia to go.

    How much failure is enough before they look in the mirror and say this rugby fish, like all fish, is rotting from the head.

    You can’t solve a problem if you’re not prepared to admit there is one.

    But what is worse, you can’t solve a problem if you don’t know what it is, let alone known what the answers are.

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    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

  2. #227
    Player UAUdiver1959's Avatar
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    Alan is consistent with his message. Doing nothing is not what we want from RA. Castle has zero visibility and is not an impact player. Another poor selection. Maybe Chieka picked her as well?

    Just looked at the team selection. Clearly Chieka is emotionally connected to his under performing selections. A nothing to loose test and he sticks with proven under performing players. Ned Flanders V SA 1 tackle 0 meters gained and he starts again. Best 10/12 we have in Toomua to the bench!
    Almost over this. Looking forward to the AB V SA game. Won’t bother with the non event.

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  3. #228
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    The Bronze Star of Faith
    Alan's biggest problem is his inability to form any word of criticism against the players or the coach, all while ripping the playing style to shreds.

    That doesn't help his credibility. If it isn't the coaching staff or the players what is it? The ball?

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    C'mon the

  4. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    Alan's biggest problem is his inability to form any word of criticism against the players or the coach, all while ripping the playing style to shreds.

    That doesn't help his credibility. If it isn't the coaching staff or the players what is it? The ball?
    Bob Dwyer is the same.

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    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

  5. #230
    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Ironically these guys are only behaving this way because it's an Australian coaching inside the tent. Had it been a kiwi/pom eg. Robbie Dean's, I bet these commentators would be quite happy to put the boot in. These double standards really turn me off the media in Australia.

    In my opinion the only coach I can see dragging us out of this mess would be Ewen McKenzie right now. Unless we went with an international coach like Vern Cotter or Joe Schmidt (but these guys wont be given the same cushy ride as an Aussie coach so why would they bother)

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  6. #231
    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    And even if the Wallabies do win this weekend, the train wreck is still a train wreck. Not many more games left before RWC19.

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    Proudly Western Australian; Proudly supporting Western Australian rugby

  7. #232
    Veteran SNOB's Avatar
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    It’s no longer politically correct to tell the truth! That’s the problem!

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    May the FORCE be with you!

  8. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    Alan's biggest problem is his inability to form any word of criticism against the players or the coach, all while ripping the playing style to shreds.

    That doesn't help his credibility. If it isn't the coaching staff or the players what is it? The ball?
    I think you have it wrong here. Alan is absolutely ripping into the players and coaches by his suggestions on keeping the ball up, contesting kicks and criticising style of play.

    What he's pointing out is that it seems Raelene and the board cannot seem to ask the same questions because few of them know the game!!!

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  9. #234
    Player UAUdiver1959's Avatar
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    Agree. No guarantees that Chieka would listen or take any Board/CEO advice.

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  10. #235
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    I don't understand the RA at all! They are getting attacked from everywhere yet they still say nothing! Surely the PR department can try something new - engage fans/ Defend themselves.. Anything the complete silence just makes everything worse surely the 150 people who work for them can come up with something to try and win a few fans back. After all no fans no job!!

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  11. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hansie View Post
    Alan is absolutely ripping into the players and coaches by his suggestions on keeping the ball up, contesting kicks and criticising style of play.
    I agree - while the committment of both players and coaching may be unquestioned, he is inherently being scathing about the quality and standards of both.

    I follow the link to the board less though. I don't think you need secret knowledge to see when something isn't working. Nor is it their job to micromanage that aspect of the sport. Frankly, if they tried, I would fully expect him to be even more ridiculing and scathing of the effort. There is much they can be criticised for, but that is a real stretch.

    Frankly, if the sport has one problem above all, it is that so many of the people running it have played and coached and cannot look past the petty tribalism it has created. There may be some, but nowhere near enough and the dead weight of old allegiances and little feifdoms is sinking the sport. It is probably the main reason why an issue so apparent to all seems to go forever unaddressed.

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  12. #237
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    Australian club rugby is having a crack
    Australia's Will Genia is being beaten a lot in the sweeping role. Picture: AP

    ALAN JONES
    RADIO BROADCASTER

    1 MINUTE AGO OCTOBER 11, 2018
    NO COMMENTS
    I was reading a piece in this newspaper on Wednesday by the sports editor, Wally Mason.

    He said: “This isn’t a column about Kyrgios.”

    He wrote a column about Matthew Ebden, a magnificent tennis journeyman who is ploughing through people ranked far higher than he is in the world. His efforts at the Shanghai Masters have been extraordinary.

    Only a couple of nights ago, he beat one of the top 10 players in the world, Dominic Thiem.

    Now he plays an unranked German for a spot in the quarterfinals.

    Mason argued that he wasn’t going to write about “this particular clown” with “a towering sense of his own importance who had yet another on-court tantrum”.

    In summing up, Mason wrote: “It’s time for the tennis world to turn their collective backs and ignore him. Instead, let’s hear more about the bloke who has a crack”.

    Well, that’s exactly how I felt about the Wallabies last Saturday against Argentina.

    Down 31-7. Suddenly the much-maligned Wallabies “had a crack”. And what a crack it was and what a splendid victory.

    And a great triumph for *Michael Cheika.

    It wasn’t that he spoke to them at half time and issued some rallying call, though you could see him swinging his arms around.

    But basically the players felt, what is there to lose? And for the first time in months, they played rugby.

    They stood up. They shifted the ball. They supported the football. And they dazzled the *defence.

    It was one of the finest rugby recoveries ever by an Australian side.

    But does it paper over the cracks in Australian rugby? I suspect it does.

    What, increasingly, people are writing to me about is why aren’t the two major rugby bodies in this country, NSW Rugby and Queensland Rugby, doing something about the mess? They have the voting power.

    The Rugby Australia board is obviously out of its depth. Why aren’t these two major entities holding them to account?

    We saw earlier this year Rugby Australia posting an operational deficit of $3.8 million.

    How does this board hang on?

    They still have 150-odd staff at head office. And they’re asking Cheika to please explain.

    Excuse me: Cheika and the Wallabies are the doers of the game, the lifters.

    What are we doing about the leaners?

    Cheika should not have to tap-dance to the tune of the board.

    After what happened at half time and beyond in Argentina last Saturday, Cheika is almost the coach of the year.

    The turnaround was miraculous. The coach should be *applauded, not interrogated.

    What does need investigating is the Wallabies’ defence. We’re leaking tries too easily due to poor tackling and a failing defensive structure.

    Our halfbacks have tackling issues and they need to sort out their technical deficiencies and positional weaknesses so that they’re not exploited.

    In the past, Nathan Grey, the defence coach and a fine young man, has positioned his fly half on the blind side, out of the main defensive action.

    It’s similar to the way the Sydney Roosters protected Cooper Cronk in the NRL grand final.

    Add to that, issues with the cover defence of our scrum half. Will Genia is being beaten a lot in the sweeping role and would be better off defending in the front line, with the fly half.

    Most blitz defence systems have the scrum half in the line.

    We should use Genia to plug holes in the line because he’s ineffective in his sweeping role.

    But it’s too late to be making staff changes without being able to justify the change.

    Cheika, I’m sure, will stand behind his coaches. That’s the kind of bloke he is.

    He should go to the World Cup with the coaches he wants. Teams and winning are about loyalty and trust.

    These are values I doubt the Rugby Australia board know much about.

    It’s time for CEO Raelene Castle, who knows nothing about the game, to take a back seat and let the coach run the team instead of talking in meaningless platitudes.

    Cheika shouldn’t have to placate rugby bureaucrats, most of whom have never been at the front line of battle; all of whom have never coached.

    Meanwhile, the grassroots are mobilising.

    An outfit — of which I am a member — calling itself the Australian Club Rugby Association is mobilising all rugby clubs to have a voice in Australian Rugby.

    Put frankly, they’ve had a gutful.

    The rugby clubs are responding amazingly.

    And if Rugby Australia thinks they can remain immune from this emerging powerful force, they’re as deluded now as they’ve been in the past.

    Which brings me back to the NSW Rugby Union and the Queensland Rugby Union. They are the two organisations which control Rugby Australia.

    Why do we hear nothing from them about all of these issues?

    Where are they?

    Rugby followers are writing to me about this. These are the two organisations with the power and the responsibility to be the *genuine custodians of rugby in Australia.

    The public are asking me where they stand on the issues I raise every week in this column.

    Have they confronted Rugby Australia about the issues and, if not, why not?

    And if they have confronted them, what are the answers? Why aren’t we told the answers?

    The reality is that the two most powerful rugby unions in Australia probably haven’t even asked the questions.

    But asking the questions is their responsibility.

    Their responsibility is to grassroots rugby, to the clubs, to the players, to the supporters.

    And we in the Australian Club Rugby Association are determined that these forgotten people will be given a voice.

    The two powerful unions should call for an extraordinary general meeting of Rugby Australia for these matters to be debated and resolved.

    And a motion should be put at that meeting to get rid of the board of Rugby Australia.

    We can’t go on the way we are. We all hide behind the word “board” but there are people on the board who know nothing about rugby. And I’m not just talking about Castle.

    We’re in trouble. The market is not interested in us. Yet we’re a magnificent game.

    But if we can’t put people in the grandstand and if we can’t sit people in front of the TV and if we can’t get sponsors on board, how the hell do we survive?

    How do we pay the players what they’re seeking?

    Surely the Queensland and NSW rugby unions should be asking these questions.

    The metaphor of the problem again lies with Australian Schoolboys. They have again been well beaten by New Zealand.

    Last weekend the Bob Wallace brigade were in force at Ballymore. Wallace’s brother in arms, Pat Langtry, was managing the team and still running the show from the sidelines.

    His success rate versus New Zealand is about 10 per cent, but he keeps his jersey because he’s on the Australian Schools Rugby Union council.

    The Australian Schoolboys team is full of brilliant young talent. They were poorly coached and had a lineout that malfunctioned and a scrum that was under the pump all afternoon.

    The Kiwis had professional coaches running their team. We had Dad’s Army.

    Why on earth would the Australian Schools Rugby Union not want the experience and expertise of our very best coaches.

    I’ve said a million times and I’ll say it again. It’s time Wallace faded into the shadows and the Rugby Australia high-performance outfit took over the show.

    But when you talk about the Rugby Australia high-performance, what qualifications do they have to secure high performance and how much high performance have they managed to achieve?

    These questions are not asked, apart from in this column, and there is no attempt by anyone in Rugby Australia to answer such questions.

    And that’s why we are seeking to mobilise rugby clubs across Australia. It’s virtually a last throw of the dice. Is someone going to listen to the rugby community?

    Many have been attempting to have the rugby administration listen for more than a decade.

    Everything that’s been said and done has amounted to zero.

    Will the administration of the game listen to 800-odd clubs?

    Constitutionally they can ignore these clubs. They can ignore the grassroots as they’ve been doing for years. But now the rubber has hit the road.

    There has to be change or we’re heading for sporting oblivion.

    I’m asking the NSW Rugby Union and the Queensland Rugby Union to step up to the plate.

    We, as the architects of the Australian Club Rugby Association, are asking the clubs to decide if they want to step up.

    We’ll provide the mechanism.

    I’ve talked about how I believe the game should be played.

    Now let’s talk about how it should be organised, because where we are is not going to help us get to where we want to be.

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    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

  13. #238
    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Jones on Cheika - what a sycophantic pile of crap.

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  14. #239
    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    Agreed the rest of it he is spot on. Good to see there is progress and response back from the clubs. Not sure in regards to what constitution he is referring to as you can't have a state union without clubs and the RA consists of those unions. Clubs have got to start rattling cages in their relevant state unions to push for changes otherwise those in charge there should be out the gap.

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    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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    Staying alive above ground and drawing in defenders while pushing the offside line back is something that should be encouraged in WSR, it will really open up the game and set it apart from the repetitive "unlimited tackle-count rugby league" stuff that the game has degenerated into among the most prominent nations and competitions around the world. Maybe the super-try should be awarded for long-range tries that don't hit the ground in the movement?

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    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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