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Thread: Alan Jones - New Zealand found the solution to their woes, why canít we?

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    Rookie WF2404's Avatar
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    Alan Jones - New Zealand found the solution to their woes, why canít we?

    The Australian
    12:00AM May 18, 2018

    What Newspolls are to Malcolm Turnbull, so is our record against New Zealand provinces in Super Rugby.

    It is 32 defeats on the trot for Turnbull ó and heíd still have you believe everything is OK.

    It is 39 defeats in a row by Australian Super Rugby franchises against New Zealanders and still not a murmur from anyone at the top of how this is going to change.

    I think the hearts of every rugby follower go out to the NSW Waratahs. How you can lead 29-0 and lose, Iíve got no idea. The Crusaders, down 29 zip, scored five consecutive tries.

    Queensland go down to Japanís Sunwolves 63-28 and Quade Cooper is playing club rugby. And brilliantly, I am told.
    Yet the board of Rugby Australia, who still remain silent, obviously donít understand the gravity of the problem, and even worse, they canít provide a single answer.

    The crowds are so bad these days, theyíre not even published.

    The disappointment had only just subsided from the results at the weekend when I read in the The Courier Mail that Brisbaneís Associated Independent Colleges, which comprise eight private schools ó Iona, St Laurenceís, Villanova, Marist Brothers Ashgrove, Padua, St Edmundís, St Patrickís and St Peterís Lutheran College ó will play rugby league next year.
    Some of the greatest names in Australian rugby have come from places like Marist Brothers Ashgrove. And now, after two decades of offering rugby union and soccer as winter football codes, theyíll be offering rugby league.

    Already, if you go to some of these schools in Brisbane and Sydney, private schools, they are fielding more soccer teams and AFL teams than they are fielding rugby teams. Something has to be done before this becomes the beginning of the end.

    I wrote last week about some simple machinery that could be used to effect immediate and appropriate change. But those in charge of rugby in this country give every impression that self-interest prevails.

    They seem to want to hang on to what theyíve got ó the power, the positions and the privileges. They must be serving themselves, because they sure as hell arenít serving rugby.

    I thought today weíd look over the ditch to the finest team in the world, the All Blacks.

    Letís go back to 2007. They were knocked out of the Rugby World Cup in a quarter-final by France. They had failed, yet again, to win the cup for a second time.

    The All Blacks had won the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 and nothing since in 20 years. Yet they were to host the next World Cup in 2011.

    Their predicament may not have been as grave as ours is today, but in the estimate of those in New Zealand who love their rugby, it was as bad as it could get.

    Unlike us today, the Kiwis faced their demons. Only months after that defeat in the quarter-finals, New Zealand Rugby gathered together everyone who mattered.

    When they gathered, there was only one question that was asked ó what must be the No 1 priority for New Zealand rugby?
    And after many hours of debate and discussion, a simple answer emerged. It was for the All Blacks to be the absolute No 1 team in the world ó not sometimes, but all the time. Once that lofty ambition was agreed upon, the hard part began.
    How do you achieve that objective? The answer, not surprisingly, was relatively simple.

    They agreed to completely reorder and restructure the management and control of New Zealand rugbyís most vital assets ó the players and the coaches and other support personnel.

    Itís called, simply, the balance sheet of rugby.

    What the board of Rugby Australia donít understand is that its real assets are not the 140-odd people who are employed at its head office doing God knows what; itís not the fancy buildings that they build at places like Moore Park; and itís certainly not the blazer brigade, who are presiding over this crisis, even though many of them give the impression that they think they are the game.

    The real assets arenít even dollars and cents. The real assets are the players and the coaches and their support staff.
    And that is where the success or failure of the game rests, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
    Administrators are just bit-players. They look good only if the national team is winning.

    Some of the speakers at this New Zealand rugby summit in 2008 were successful Australian coaches ó and not just rugby coaches.

    Out of this summit emerged a new world order for New Zealand rugby. An order which was to position the national body, the New Zealand Rugby Union, into a pivotal position, which included responsibility for the appointment of not only the coaches of the national team, but also coaches of the Super Rugby teams.

    As a result, each of the five Super Rugby teams in New Zealand has head coaches, assistants, doctors, physiotherapists and fitness trainers all hand-picked by the New Zealand Rugby Union in consultation with the franchise and after consideration of all available expertise.

    When it comes to levels of fitness and skill and the fashioning the rugby intellect Ö all these things are inculcated into every intellectual crevice of rugby. In New Zealand, that means the system is centralised.

    Of course it will fail if itís got the wrong people in charge, which is where Australia is today. In New Zealand, it works.
    Itís an old catchcry in sport, ďLook at the scoreboardĒ. Look at the New Zealand scoreboard since 2008. Before 2008, the Crusaders and the Blues, Canterbury and Auckland, had won Super Rugby titles. Under the new system, the Chiefs, Waikato, found a new coach.

    They won two titles. The Highlanders, Otago, were put under new management. They won. Wellington won. All three underperforming teams came good under New Zealandís restructured system.

    The All Blacks have won back-to-back Rugby World Cup tournaments, 2011 and 2015, and must be hot favourites to win in 2019. As many have said to me, these results are irrefutable evidence that our friends across the ditch have got it right. Or, to use the appropriate jargon, they manage their assets superbly.

    People like Richie McCaw and Dan Carter were both in their mid-30s, but they starred in the All Black victory at the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

    As one observer said to me, they wouldnít have blown out a candle. Why?

    Their workload had been managed by consultation between the coaching staff at the national and provincial level and by the involvement of the medical team. Itís not rocket science. Itís pretty simple stuff.

    Of course, the key is getting the right people in the right positions. It is my understanding that such a proposal was put to the ARU board in mid-2012. There was plenty of debate and the proposal was eventually approved. It was ditched six weeks later. Why? ďPoliticalĒ reasons. By the end of 2012, the very proposal itself was in the bin.

    Do a comparison of the inventory of our coaches at national and Super Rugby level with those in New Zealand. Itís no contest.

    People who are winners in this country are not wanted ó whether they are of now or yesterday. Outstanding former players who know about winning are not wanted.

    Outstanding coaches who know about winning are not considered. They donít fit the ďnetworkĒ.

    We donít have any conspicuous commitment or policy to identify merit, to cultivate merit and to reward merit, be it in playing or coaching. Thereís an ad-*hocery at work and the scoreboard reflects it.

    Iíve mentioned before the Giteau Law. It ought to be repealed immediately. Our players are well paid. We must reinstate the desire to wear green and gold as being the most powerful and dominant force to motivate our players.

    Kerry Packer was a billionaire, but he used to say to me, ďNothing could replace being good enough to be chosen to wear green and gold.Ē And he told me heíd play for nothing. Now, of course, we know that he was speaking metaphorically. Players must be paid.

    But what he was saying was that you canít put a price on wearing green and gold and that should always apply to Australian rugby players.

    Way back in 1996, two pioneers of the modern game, John OíNeill and Dick McGruther, introduced the policy that to be eligible to be selected for the Wallabies, you had to be playing Super Rugby in Australia.

    New Zealand followed Australia on this, as New Zealand followed Australia on many things in the past that led to better coaching and better performance. Now Australia has been left behind.

    And many in New Zealand Rugby feel embarrassed and concerned by where we are. New Zealanders wonít mind me saying it, but they are a tough and arrogant lot. Nothing wrong with that.

    But it means the only way you win their respect is by beating them consistently on the playing field and, better still, on their playing fields. Victory has its own ability of subduing their brashness and cockiness.

    Success on the scoreboard brings with it domination elsewhere. As a result, New Zealand dominate at SANZAAR. They dominate at the tables of the IRB.

    We are left behind. We donít rate. Weíre no longer a major power. Itís time for Australian rugby, for Godís sake, to confront its demons.

    Alan Jones is a former Wallabies coach and is host of the Alan Jones Breakfast Show on 2GB and the Macquarie radio network and is the host of Jones & Co on Sky News at 8pm on Tuesdays.

    Full Article here

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  2. #2
    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    Sep 2017

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    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'

    Link to Senate Report

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    Veteran sittingbison's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    North Freo
    Make that 40 losses in a row...

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    The long sobs of autumn's violins wound my heart with a monotonous languor

  4. #4
    Player UAUdiver1959's Avatar
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    Just read and re read the Castle article. Is she an Australian citizen? She keeps referring to Ďourí country and Ďourí game and our SR teams.

    Just sits better if she is.

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