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Thread: Doing nothing is no longer an option for Rugby Australia

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    Rookie Markos2012's Avatar
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    Doing nothing is no longer an option for Rugby Australia

    Now Georgina is calling for change - makes me wonder if she has been briefed.


    What do you do when a good coach loses their way?

    That's the question facing the Rugby Australia board.

    Michael Cheika lost his way this year and the Wallabies are wandering around in the wilderness as a result - bleary-eyed, browbeaten and a shadow of their former selves.

    The board, which meets on Monday to consider a high-performance review and to hear from Cheika, has enormous power, but limited options.

    They can sack him, but must be convinced that a better alternative is waiting in the wings. Rugby Australia wants to bring back a number of Australians coaching overseas, including Scott Johnson (Scotland), David Nucifora (Ireland), Scott Wisemantel (England) and Eddie Jones (England), but whether there is an appetite among those candidates to return is another matter. Johnson, we know, is ready to come home.

    The board's other option is to retain Cheika based on his record, but demand changes to his assistants and support staff. No other coach has won a European Cup and Super Rugby title, and his transformation of the Test side in 2015 was nothing short of remarkable. Even his critics will admit there are few coaches as good at harnessing a group and hurling them headlong into battle.

    Coaches who have worked with Cheika before will tell you of the extraordinary independence he gives his assistants. This accords with the image of the former Randwick No.8 as a gifted man manager who relies on others to conceive and impart much of the technical and tactical information.

    The Wallabies' performances during the past two years, in particular, suggest that somewhere along the line he has given the wrong people too much rope. What he cannot escape responsibility for is that, upon realising his mistake, he has not been prepared to take decisive action.

    The results are too poor to support a case for no change at all. In fact, at this point, doing nothing would do more harm to the game. Four wins from 13 Tests this year and an overall win rate of 48.3 per cent is worse than any of Cheika's predecessors.

    No coach in Australian rugby history has survived a record as poor as Cheika's. Eddie Jones' Wallabies narrowly lost the 2003 World Cup final, but the coach was sacked in 2005 after eight losses in nine Tests. He left with a win rate of 57 per cent.

    And the facts don't tell the whole story.

    After a strong start against Ireland in June, the Wallabies began a long nosedive. With each Test of the Rugby Championship and spring tour, the players looked more and more muddled, the game plan more and more clouded and the selections more and more panicked. The players' efforts never wavered, but no matter what they did, the wins didn't come. Fans grew more and more frustrated.

    The playing group, which remained united for a remarkable period of time, now appears to be crumbling under the weight of sustained poor performances.

    Adam Ashley-Cooper and Kurtley Beale's trivial transgression attracted headlines, but it was only acted upon because some players were incensed at the prospect they might go unpunished when Sefa Naivalu was sent home after falling foul of team protocols in South Africa. Cheika retains the loyalty of a number of players, including the leadership group, but his methods have worn thin with many others.

    In Argentina, with that famous half-time spray, he proved he could still reach them. Is the Christmas break and a season of Super Rugby enough time for everyone to hit the reset button, Cheika included?

    Of more concern is player feedback that the day-to-day coaching is confused. Identity has traditionally been Cheika's trump card. When teams played Leinster or the Waratahs, opponents and fans knew what they were up against. As a Super Rugby official told the Herald this week, the Waratahs left teams in the "casualty ward" in 2014. This was the work of Cheika, Daryl Gibson and Nathan Grey – now defence coach for the Wallabies – but when was the last time the Wallabies played with anything resembling that clarity of game plan, if not purpose?

    In December 2005, then-Australian Rugby Union boss Gary Flowers said of Jones' sacking: "This is a results-driven professional game. The national team has underperformed over the past five months and the ARU has reached the view that the current situation is unsustainable."

    Are we not there again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markos2012 View Post
    Now Georgina is calling for change - makes me wonder if she has been briefed.
    If she has, it would have been this:

    demand changes to his assistants and support staff.
    It's just another version of doing nothing

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    Yes but it's still all the Assistants' fault according to Ms Robinson! The buck stops with the leader, or in this case, Cheika! If he has given them too much latitude that is HIS fault! If the wrong players are selected that is HIS fault!

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    The 2015 RWC was a distortion. Joubert gifted them the SF win and England were a team in disarray thanks to the decision to add Burgess to the squad

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    Champion valzc's Avatar
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    And Cheika didn’t transform the team-he took over where Link had already built a base of a potential team, I don’t believe how Cheika can be credited with any of the team Cup success. He patched & papered over the cracks with the Giteau Law and no intentions of future growth. The Wabblies have been steadily spiralling down ever since.

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    Veteran sittingbison's Avatar
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    That article is chocker block full of half truths, distortions, misrepresentation and subterfuge. Typical of that shyster Robinson.

    What about coming clean and saying that with two of the worst three years on record, a string of unwanted "records", and a winning percentage in the three years since RWC2015 of only 40% Cheika's position is now untenable and it is behooven of this apparently spineless board to man up and sack him.

    I have no doubt Cheika will survive. They will never sack Larkham, after all he has been annointed by Cheika as his replacement post RWC2019. Grey has been with Cheika since day 1. Raiwalu (sic) the Forwards coach will be the only casualty. Cheika will not accept an "advisor", and I don't think any of the obvious options would play lip service.

    So RA will be seen as acting by ditching the most defenceless target, Cheika gets off scott free and retains total control of selection, and professional rugby in Australia could well implode as a result, shortly followed by club rugby. They are getting the ranch on a single game - beating Fiji - to escape the group. Don't hold your breath.

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    Georgina Robinson has got the timeline wrong..... and the solution too . The time for doing nothing was up a long time ago . The straw that broke the camels back IMO was the axing of the Force . Poor decisions lack of forward planning and egotistical stupidity by RA has led to this situation where talented young players are lost to Australian Rugby and current players are confused about the future ( except for a few....3 ) Raelene Castle had an opportunity but failed to deliver. The change ( sacking/resignations) have to start at the top before any progress is made anywhere else .... This should’ve happened a long time ago .

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    100% agree Boots

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    Veteran sittingbison's Avatar
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    They have now lost Izaia Perese to NRL. Sefa then moving to Reds is seen as "talent retention". You can't make this shot up

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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingbison View Post
    They have now lost Izaia Perese to NRL. Sefa then moving to Reds is seen as "talent retention". You can't make this shot up
    He signed six months ago.

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Sefa moving at Cheika’s request!! Like TG said on FB, Cheika calling the shots about which SR team his pets should play for shows just how ridiculous things have become. There’s the tail wagging the dog and then there is the tail wagging the entire pack of dogs.

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    Didnt Clay Uyen at half Sefas size absolutely OWN him in a NRC match?

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry View Post
    Didnt Clay Uyen at half Sefas size absolutely OWN him in a NRC match?
    I remember him winning what seemed like n-1 out of n encounters with another Wallabies winger who is now overseas...

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    Any word from the Clown College? Meeting started at 9:30 AEST.

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


    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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    Veteran sittingbison's Avatar
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    It was taqele naiyovaro (sic)

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