• All Black Debacle

    Watching the All Black debacle against Ireland yesterday was a painful experience. And Silver Lake must be having second thoughts about their investment.

    The obvious reaction from All Black supporters is that something has to change. How could such good players perform so badly as a team?

    But how do we know that our players are as good as we think they are? What makes us think that our domestic rugby is at such a high standard?

    I have recently been watching some of the French Top14 club rugby on television. My perception is that the standard is markedly higher than anything we see at home. Little wonder that France – now the top-ranked team in the world, must now be reckoned as red hot favourites for the World Cup to be contested in their own backyard in 2023.

    But whatever the individual skills and commitment of the players, this still doesn’t explain why the All Blacks performed so badly as a team. As a team, the effort was there, but the teamwork and tactical appreciation were not. Isn’t this the responsibility of the coaches? Shouldn’t there be some evidence that the team is operating according to a strategy (other than simply try harder)? Shouldn’t that strategy be designed to utilise and maximise the impact of individual skills and to counteract the perceived strengths and exploit the perceived weaknesses of the opposition?

    The record of the current coaching team is now well established and can no longer be gainsaid.
    If the current coaches are going to keep their jobs through to the World Cup, they are in urgent need, at least, of supplementation.

    The most valuable addition to the team would be Wayne Smith, but he is currently otherwise (and helpfully) engaged in raising the standard of the Black Ferns. Failing his co-option, what else is to be done?

    If we are agreed that “something” must be done, we have no alternative but to look at the role of head coach. There may be few coaches with the necessary skills, track record and availability from whom a choice can be made, but there are one or two, and the inquiry must be undertaken. If we want to make a realistic challenge at next year’s World Cup, time is running out.

1 Comment

  1. Ken Rossiter says: July 11, 2022 at 10:42 amReply

    I think we all agree ( or most of us do ) that the NZRU got us into this mess, so let them stew in it.
    They will never admit to it though.
    It is very unlikely that anything will change before the WC any way.
    And all expectations of winning the trophy, or even making the top four can be forgotten.

    It is an embarrassment for all Rugby folk.

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