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Thread: Rugby boss reads the riot act

  1. #1
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    Rugby boss reads the riot act

    Rugby boss reads the riot act
    4/02/2008 2:50:48 PM
    Adam Lucius

    Demanding Australian Rugby Union boss John O'Neill has put the country's Super 14
    teams on notice, issuing a blunt message that the game can't afford another season of mediocrity.

    A week after admitting rugby had lost its allure and was disenfranchising fans, O'Neill put the blowtorch on the Brumbies, Waratahs, Reds and Force to kick-start the revival under the new attack-friendly experimental law variations (ELV).

    All four Australian sides missed the 2007 semi-finals, with NSW (13th) and Queensland (14th) embarrassingly propping up the table.

    "It's our bread and butter. It's vital to have really competitive Super rugby teams," O'Neill told Sportal at Monday's Australian Super 14 launch in Sydney.

    "They (the Australian teams) know what they've got to do. They're well coached… (they've got) really good captains."

    "They want to win and they want to win well."

    "We've had some disappointing times but that is the past, that period is over."

    "Today is the start of the future. It's about doing better than we have in the past."

    "We like winning rugby - it's a bonus if you can win in style."

    "I think we're at the dawn of a new era."

    NSW Skipper Phil Waugh is under no illusions as to the importance of the coming season.

    "Everyone is looking forward to getting back on the field and undoing all the wrongs of last year," he told Sportal.

    "I was watching a lot of (NSW) Super 14 games last year and I thought it was quite painful."

    "We were disappointed in our skill execution last year and there's been a lot of hard work on that."

    "It's important we turn things around and I'm sure the other Australian sides are thinking the same thing."

    Tahs coach Ewen McKenzie pointed out: "It's a competition where you can be at either end very quickly."

    "We've re-structured the group and got bit better depth and a bit more experience in key positions, so we'll see how it pans out."

    "Hopefully we'll have a bit more luck than we had last year."

    Reds captain John Roe said the disasters of 2007 have not been forgotten as Queensland look to go from wooden spooners to semi-finalists in the space of 12 months.

    "It was a dreadful season - we won't understate it," he said

    "That's been one of the real drivers for our pre-season and preparation for this year."

    Western Force boss John Mitchell said of his outfit: "We, as a group, want to raise expectations. We think we've got enough experience and developed a culture that is fully understood."

    "It's important that we do become a lot more consistent in our performances."

    The Super 14 season kicks off on February 15 with the Brumbies taking on six-time champions the Crusaders in Christchurch.

    Later that evening Queensland host the Highlanders at Suncorp Stadium and the Western Force will be in action against the Sharks in Durban.

    NSW will make its first appearance of the year against the Hurricanes at the SFS on February 16th.

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    So, am I right in thinking O'Neill just called the Australian players a bunch of lazy whoopsies that only lose because they don't want to win?

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  3. #3
    Champion Contributor Seldom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    So, am I right in thinking O'Neill just called the Australian players a bunch of lazy whoopsies that only lose because they don't want to win?

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    No comment from Laurie Fisher to bag, but I thought Mitch was very eloquent in his assessment.

    Link basically said 'last year was bad luck, gee I hope we have better luck this year' - Is'nt this like wishing for the Tooth fairy to come more regularly!

    the Roemeister simply said Last year sucked, and we've used it as motivation......that appears to be about it.

    Mitch says we want to raise expectations (finally someone in Aussie rugby is looking to improve (and this from the SECOND placed Aussie team last year) Surely that's not too much to expect from a professional sporting organisation. I'll bet my boots much of the talk in the Bulls camp this year was about improvement, and they won the bloody thing. I'll guarantee Robbie Deans has made continuing improvement one of his mantras for the last umpteen years. You just need to get over this 'It's as good as we can get it' mentality that seems to be big in Aussie rugby right now. Until it's perfect, we should be looking to improve it!

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    C'mon the

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