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Thread: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika blasts Australian rugby for ‘eating itself’

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    Wallabies coach Michael Cheika blasts Australian rugby for ‘eating itself’

    WINNING the Grand Slam for the first time in 32 years will not fix Australian rugby’s problems, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has declared while calling on the game’s warring factions to unite.


    In a revealing interview with the Daily Telegraph on the eve of Australia’s opening spring tour Test against Wales, Cheika believes Australia has “eaten itself” in search of perfection and wants the bitterly divided identities of the code to unite by next year and save rugby from its downward spiral.


    Several well-known rugby officials including Brett Papworth, Nick Farr-Jones and Alan Jones recently banded together to write a letter criticising the ARU’s lack of community support, exposing further rifts between those who administer the game and those who operate on the ground level.


    LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH CHEIKA HERE




    With television ratings and match attendances declining, Australian rugby is at an alarming juncture, and Cheika says not even winning all of their Tests on the tour will solve the underlying problems.


    “It would give us a lot of pride back home, but I would say this; those differences would still be the same, you can’t paper over it with a Grand Slam,” Cheika said.


    “We were in the World Cup final last year, and you have the same issues brewing underneath.


    “Those underlying issues won’t be solved or papered over with wins here and there.”


    This has been a dire year for Australia by any measure, with the ARU facing backlash from some of their most famous former stars, and the Wallabies losing seven of 10 Tests.


    Cheika addressed the off-field and on-field issues here.


    OFF THE FIELD: THE DISCONTENT


    “Australian rugby has eaten itself because a lot of the times we want everything to be perfect,” Cheika said.


    “We want the playing style to be perfect, we want all the results to be perfect, all the off-field to be perfect, and we set it up so it’s got to be like Wonderland, and life’s not like that.


    “No team’s like that. You even can talk about the team that’s best in the world, they’ve even had their own off-field problems.


    “I don’t know why we search for that perfection, we should enjoy the imperfections of the game just as much as the perfections.


    “I see the bigger picture for rugby as not as much the results of the national team, I think it’s the unification of the game, and people to stop having a go at each other between club and state and national.




    “And get all the people who love rugby; the stakeholders, the participants, all those people together. You’ve got a good brand in the game itself.


    “Once all these people join together and really support the game across the board and there’s respect at all levels I think we’ll be powering.


    “We don’t need to be the most popular sport in Australia, we’re never going to be.


    “But we’ve got a great group of traditional participants and supporters and volunteers, and also a lot of people interested around the fringes.


    “If there’s league fans or AFL fans, we can be the second-favourite sport because we play as a national team so many times a year.


    “When the Socceroos are playing I’m supporting them, even the AFL when they went to play the international rules against Ireland, I’ve been there for the game, I’m supporting them.


    “To expect to do that, we need to get all of our people, the great rugby supporters across Australia, participants and players, all believing in the one thing again.


    “It’s definitely possible, it needs a really strong element of compromise and respect and understanding, but if people will really want it to happen, it can happen.

    http://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/wa...1911f223cfe42c

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Sounds easy dunnit?

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    "The main difference between playing League and Union is that now I get my hangovers on Monday instead of Sunday - Tom David

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    Champion Rex Messup's Avatar
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    The sky is always falling.
    The reality is that Australian rugby has never been so strong
    In 2003 when Ben Darwin had his neck injured in the world cup semi final, we had to get a player out of club rugby who had never played a test to play a world cup final. I don't remember but I don't think Al Baxter had played for NSW either?
    We had no depth.
    The game has evolved a lot in this country.
    We now have 5 professional rugby teams.
    Affording to run them has been the issue not a lack of talent.
    Affording them just needs more creative thinking. The problems won't be solved using the same thinking
    Regressing to the good ole days in the dinosaurs Papworth Ella Jones model isnt the way forward.
    The game needs to keep evolving.
    Focussing on winning at the elite level is important. The reason junior rugby is so strong in NZ is because the allblacks win all the time stimulating junior rugby interest. They have no more money to invest in grass roots than we do. It is all done by dedicated mums frying sausages and dads giving up their free time. Thats grass roots. The NZ junior rugby interest is driven by the success of the allblacks. No kid wants to play anything else in NZ.
    Success builds success.
    All the negativity is disappointing.
    The wallabies started the year with a new defensive style and new faces.
    The final game against the allblacks showed some real positive signs.
    The team has more depth than at any time in ARU history
    Dominating Europe in the next month will hopefully stop all the moaning.
    Time to win.

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    Veteran Contributor Exile's Avatar
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    The biggest problem with Rugby Union - everyone has their own agenda and has no interest in anything but that agenda.

    Rugby League do one thing very well, reporters, old players, new players and supporters - all say the same thing "League is the best game in the world" everyone singing from the same hymn sheet. The sad thing is - they really believe it, Even if only 4 countries play the game.

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    Champion Rex Messup's Avatar
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    Yeah, mungoes love calling themselves the "best in the world"
    The reality is their show piece the state of origin has become as exciting to watch as paint drying.
    Grass roots mungoes is mums frying bangers and dads swearing and fighting on the sideline.
    When you beat Scotland mungoes you can slap yourself on the back for being invincible.

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exile View Post

    Rugby League do one thing very well, reporters, old players, new players and supporters - all say the same thing "League is the best game in the world" everyone singing from the same hymn sheet. The sad thing is - they really believe it, Even if only 4 countries play the game.
    It doesn't matter what you or anyone thinks. They DO believe it. So do AFL supporters. That is the elephant in the room for both codes. They are masters at building from the bottom up. What do you see in schools as you move around your area - GWS X? Schools all over the place with 2 tall goalposts plus 2 smaller ones for missing! All paid for. They send development officers with freebies - and more importantly - elite players to those schools all the time.
    The Mungos have taken the grass roots and country footy for granted since the arrival of the NRHell. They are in a real battle to get their house in order too.

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    It can’t be just me thinking that it’s getting real old hearing everyone talk about a national plan for rugby and yet nobody doing anything about it?

    Vested interests are great (we all have them along with subconscious bias) but it's now plain as day they're damaging the game. I can’t comprehend how the ‘old boys’ seem incapable of realising that you have to give a little to get a little. This is where the game is struggling.


    If they could just stop fucking talking about developing this national approach and actually begin doing it & then implementing it we might actually see some great results in the medium term.

    Record numbers of professional players playing the game. & more money than ever before coming into the game and yet we're still under performing.

    It’s blatantly evident that there is a massive problem at an administrative level.

    The basic sum up is that the conventional approach to things has gotten us where we are today. Taking that one step further it would mean that the conventional system we have is only going to further exacerbate the problems. (interestingly enough you could draw the same parallel to federal politics but I’ll leave that for when I’m working for a senate campaign in a couple of years time)

    Time for an actual overhaul of rugby administration for Australia. Not just the lip service everyone seems to enjoy giving. New strategic and ops plans for everyone.

    "ARU national planning conference - leave you state ties at the door"

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jono View Post

    Time for an actual overhaul of rugby administration for Australia. Not just the lip service everyone seems to enjoy giving. New strategic and ops plans for everyone.

    "ARU national planning conference - leave you state ties at the door"
    That has happened. It's one of the reasons the inner Sydney teams are so pissed. They have lost control.
    Take, just their stated main gripe, junior development. All parties wamt better focus. But Papworth & Co want their individual clubs to control things. In other words they want the bucks and they will appoint their own development people and decide how to spend the money. Dead set!

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    Yep. That'll do me.
    Spreading the game beyond Sydney and the obsession with GPS rugby has to be the focus. The Range Rover crowd doesn't really need hand outs from the ARU to buy a ball for their kids to play. Dead set

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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    It doesn't matter what you or anyone thinks. They DO believe it. So do AFL supporters. That is the elephant in the room for both codes. They are masters at building from the bottom up. What do you see in schools as you move around your area - GWS X? Schools all over the place with 2 tall goalposts plus 2 smaller ones for missing! All paid for. They send development officers with freebies - and more importantly - elite players to those schools all the time.
    The Mungos have taken the grass roots and country footy for granted since the arrival of the NRHell. They are in a real battle to get their house in order too.
    I wasnt criticizing Rugby League I admire how they have everyone on board - all on the party line. Everyone, including reporters.

    Can you imagine a reporter that doesnt criticize Rugby Union or the Administration.

    two thirds of this web site is about members hating on RugbyWA.

    Imagine how strong this website and its members would be if we were all on the same page. IF we were one voice. RugbyWA would never ignore us, and ARU would give us the time of day.

    Its nice to dream

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exile View Post
    I wasnt criticizing Rugby League I admire how they have everyone on board - all on the party line. Everyone, including reporters.
    I don't know where you get that from X. The Murdoch press have been merciless since the NRL Commission came to be. Listen to Papworth's Mungo mates and their callers on 2sm - it's 3 hour whine-a-thon every bloody day. Dunno why I listened - passed the hours on the road I suppose. In a past life
    Phil Gould is the biggest mouth in the game - and one of it's biggest whingers. Dead set.

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    Just in case anyone was wondering what the ARUs 5 year plan is its here: https://issuu.com/australianrugbyuni...91087/34818276

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry View Post
    “Those underlying issues won’t be solved or papered over with wins here and there.”
    Sounds like a man on the ropes to me!

    Interesting yesterday from Glen Ella.....

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/i...ng-on-thin-ice

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    Great game, Fucken battled right through to the 80!

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Few old wounds opening up? Sure sounds that way. Coaching is a profession these days and old allegiances don't come into it. But Ella's reaction seemed a little more than just an assistant coach happy to see a job well done. And a little disappointing to me too.

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    Champion Rex Messup's Avatar
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    The Ella's are jealous of being left out of the strategic planning of the wallabies. It will be very satisfying for Cheika to see their long faces at Twickenham in a months time. The Ella's aren't known for intelligent opinions. A flick through the rubbish Mark Ella writes every Saturday in the Australian is testament to that.
    Watching Aussies touch genitals after coaching England to beat Australia was ugly. Cheika doesn't like losing. He's filthy. He's making his team hungry for success. An Ella or two with their head shoved up their arse is always great theatre

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