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Thread: Why Australian rugby is in crisis after not following NZ's lead

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    Why Australian rugby is in crisis after not following NZ's lead

    Dwyer below fully supportive of the Force and considers their axeing a grave mistake.

    Aussie rugby is 6ft below ground, its beyond rock bottom.. Clyne needs to step aside or the rot will just continue...

    Why Australian rugby is in crisis after not following NZ's lead


    Daniel Schofield
    13:00, Nov 23 2018
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    Australia prepare to face England at Twickenham
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    Scenes from Wallabies training and coach Michael Cheika on this weekend's England test.
    OPINION: Australia's trouble with rugby boils down to the three key areas of players, coaches and structure. Here's why each is a problem:

    PLAYER PROBLEMS

    There is usually nothing that Bob Dwyer, coach of the 1991 World Cup-winning Wallabies, enjoys more in the build-up to an England v Australia fixture than lobbing a few grenades in the direction of the mother country.

    This week, however, Dwyer is keeping his powder dry, such is the lack of faith in this current Australia team. "I cannot foresee a way in which Australia will win on Saturday," Dwyer said.

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    "When I analyse what counts in the game - scrum, line-out, ability to take the ball forward, a collective attack that asks questions of defence, a kicking game, goal-kicking, a kick-chase game - I don't see anywhere we have a significant advantage," Dwyer continued.

    "In fact, I can barely see one facet of the game where we have an advantage. The accuracy of some of our play is shake-your-head stuff."

    Since reaching the World Cup final in 2015, Australia have won just 17 of their 41 fixtures. This year, they have lost eight of 12 games.

    The All Blacks' defeat against Ireland was by some media blamed on the weakness of the Wallabies, who have not won the Bledisloe Cup since 2002. That pattern of domination extends to Super Rugby level, where New Zealand franc-hises racked up 40 straight wins over Australian opposition over nearly two years until the Waratahs beat the Highlanders in Sydney.

    Unlike New Zealand, Australia retained the core of their side from the last World Cup, but players such as Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale and particularly Bernard Foley seem to have regressed. Foley's form is a problem with a lack of alternatives at first five-eighth, where Beale and Matt Toomua have been trialled to mixed results.

    Wallabies backrow connection Michael Hooper and David Pocock has been misfiring of-late.
    MICHAEL DODGE/ GETTY IMAGES
    Wallabies backrow connection Michael Hooper and David Pocock has been misfiring of-late.
    Even the much-vaunted "Pooper" back-row axis of Michael Hooper and David Pocock, who did such a number on England three years ago, has now become a weakness, according to another former coach, John Connolly.

    "The back row is completely unbalanced," Connolly said.

    "People forget that in 2015 we had Scott Fardy and that gave us a blindside who worked out, a good line-out forward who carried well. That covered a few things and gave us a really good balance. Now you have two opensides without having that line-out or carrying option. It just has not worked."

    COACHING CREDIBILITY

    During another bout of Australian soul-searching following a 1973 loss to Tonga, a group of businessmen funded a fact-finding mission to Wales.

    The basis of that report set up a national coaching programme with Dick Marks as national coaching director. Australia subsequently established a reputation for being the smartest rugby nation led by the most innovative coaches. That is no longer the case.

    "Australian coaches used to be in high demand the world over," Connolly said.

    "Now I can barely think of anyone who is coaching abroad, which tells you something. When you watch Australia play, they have lost the subtleties to their game, which you see in other countries like Ireland, Wales and New Zealand."

    It hasn't really gone Michael Cheika's way in 2018.
    DAN MULLAN/ GETTY IMAGES
    It hasn't really gone Michael Cheika's way in 2018.
    The comparison with New Zealand, who have scores of national team and club rugby coaches, is particularly painful. Both countries have similar-sized playing bases. The difference is how New Zealand maximise their talent.

    At under-20 level, Australia have not made the semifinals of the Junior World Championships since 2011. New Zealand have won six of the past 11 tournaments.

    That extends to senior level, too, where Michael Cheika's halo has come crashing down since being crowned World Rugby coach of the year in 2015.

    While he remains popular among his players, Cheika's tactics have come under increasing scrutiny. In attack, Australia have appeared rudderless, with the midfield combinations in a constant state of flux, while the line-out is little short of a disaster area.

    Only the lack of a viable alternative candidate and the prospect of a costly pay-off has kept Cheika in the role, but defeat at Twickenham may spell the end of his assistant coaches, including Stephen Larkham, with whom Cheika is understood to have a strained relationship.




    STAGNANT STRUCTURE

    Again, the comparison with New Zealand is pertinent, where everything is structured towards producing the best possible All Blacks team.

    In 2012, then Rugby Australia managing director John O'Neill was close to pushing through a centralised model only for the regional unions to scupper it.

    Australia simply cannot afford to have different factions pulling in opposite directions without the playing or financial resources of a country such as England or France.

    The Rugby Football Union generated about £15 million from the test against New Zealand; without owning its own stadium, the most that Rugby Australia will make from a single game is about £550,000. It lost £4 million last year and its finances look especially precarious as a new broadcast deal is being negotiated.

    In order to cut its cloth, Rugby Australia controversially axed Western Force as its fifth Super Rugby franchise last year. "A gigantic mistake," according to Dwyer.

    Certainly, if the rationale was to improve the other Super Rugby franchises, there has been next to no improvement in results in 2018.

    Filling the void in Western Australia, billionaire Andrew Forrest is launching a new pan-Asian competition, promising to attract the world's best players free from Rugby Australia's control. Forrest described his past dealings with Rugby Australia as like "a refreshing dip into a swimming pool of glue".

    The decision to axe the Force has contributed to a sense of disillusionment within the grassroots, which has led to a collapse in attendances for the Wallabies and Super Rugby fixtures.

    In 2000, the Bledisloe Cup fixture attracted 109,000. This year, only 16,019 attended the Rugby Championship match against Argentina.

    "The people who should be supporting the team are becoming incredibly disillusioned," Dwyer said.

    "There's a huge gulf between the administration of the game in Australia and the game in Australia. In all businesses, if you do not understand your marketplace then you are in trouble. That's what we have.

    "Rugby Australia have no understanding of their client base or what motivates people to play rugby. Before they do anything else, they need to get that connection back. Then we can worry about the other issues."

    The Telegraph, London
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/...owing-nzs-lead

    Originally the Telegraph, London

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    Veteran chibi's Avatar
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    Always wonder why they got rid of Dick Marks's National Coaching Programme?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    Always wonder why they got rid of Dick Marks's National Coaching Programme?
    I did one their level-1 2 day coaching courses in the early 1990s. Rugby was still amateur in those days. Brilliant eye-opening stuff. I can only imagine how good level 2 and 3 must have been.

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    There is a lot of truth in that point that Australia was the world's smartest team back then. I loved watching rugby in the 80s and 90s in Australia, those old NSW and Qld state teams, Randwick, Brisbane Souths and Brothers; and the Wallabies themselves. Made me fall in love with the game, despite being from a WAFL state and being from a non-rugby ethnic group.

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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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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    There is a lot of truth in that point that Australia was the world's smartest team back then. I loved watching rugby in the 80s and 90s in Australia, those old NSW and Qld state teams, Randwick, Brisbane Souths and Brothers; and the Wallabies themselves. Made me fall in love with the game, despite being from a WAFL state and being from a non-rugby ethnic group.
    What was it in 1998? 76-0, and against England. I still remember that game like it was yesterday, I was pretty young back then but I stayed up late that night in absolute awe... fast forward to today and I am better of turning the TV off than putting myself through the agony of watching us punt the ball away for 80mins

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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    Always wonder why they got rid of Dick Marks's National Coaching Programme?
    O’Neill scrapped it and used Nucifora as his hatchet job guy. Centralisation was never going to happen under him. His idea was moving the talent to Sydney and Brisbane after Super Rugby, closed down state based academies which exist in centralised system (the Irish academies funny enough were set up by Aussies), were already funnelling non budgeted money to Melbourne which distorted funding across the sides and the Brumbies haven’t trusted him since day one. The c..t walked away with a 2.7 mill pay out.

    Apart from Campo and Topo calling him out O’Neill still remains Teflon.

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    The Reds put out an up to date manual from the 90s manual Marks and Robilliard put out (that featured underage squad photos boy there were some names there) before it was cut. Fantastic and easy to find on the net. Has dietary and S&C requirements in it. The basic drills remained the same from the program.

    League targeted Rugby players back then the best they could come up with after Michael O’Connor was Darren Junee, Garrick Morgan and Peter Jorgensen. Fine players but they were after Horan, Little and WilleO.

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    Dry July! TWF Contributor! 141 Club Award TWF Competition Winner!
    and yet 4 years later... "The Crusaders beat the Waratahs 96-19."

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    The Bulls 92-3 win over the Reds was more clinical. 60 point lead at half time at altitude the Bulls went soft on them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    The Bulls 92-3 win over the Reds was more clinical. 60 point lead at half time at altitude the Bulls went soft on them.
    That game always felt like it was rigged. The Bulls needed something like a 60 point win to qualify for the finals and instead won by 89!!! Holy fuck that game will always stand out due to what was at stake.

    And yes I do realise that the Waratahs were second on the ladder when they got done 96-19. They were much closer in the final (if not for the last 5min blitz)

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    In the Final? The Brumbies put 52 on them in the semi in Sydney.

    The Bulls match wasn’t rigged the Reds were gassed due to the relentless regime of Eddie Jones and needed fresh talent which a Phil Mooney brought in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    In the Final? The Brumbies put 52 on them in the semi in Sydney.

    The Bulls match wasn’t rigged the Reds were gassed due to the relentless regime of Eddie Jones and needed fresh talent which a Phil Mooney brought in.
    Ahh thats right they got smashed in the semi.. it was ACT in that final

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPaRTAN View Post
    Ahh thats right they got smashed in the semi.. it was ACT in that final
    Those losses and the behaviour after the Tahs v Lions match were the lowest points of Dwyer’s career.

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