Friday, 16 November 2007

Who's your All Black coach?

In their decision that Graham Henry and his coaching team need to reapply for their All Black positions, the board of the New Zealand Rugby Union have demonstrated that the rot starts at the top.

Faced with the decision to either hire or fire, to either back them or sack them, they've decided not to decide. They've chosen to fudge. That's becoming the New Zealand way, isn't it. Indecision and marshmallow. No wonder we choked under pressure.

So who's your All Black coach? Graham Henry and the 'Three Wise Men' ? Or Robby Deans?

My own answer's in the comments.


  1. The Three Wise Men prove anything but.

    After four years of planning - four years of rotation, reconditioning and reviews -- four years of focus on winning the World Cup -- and all that saw us play the last twenty minutes without a brain.

    It was a disaster. We choked. We failed -- dismally.

    And then asked if they would do anything different, the Three Wise Men said "No."

    That's not good enough. They haven't learned from the disaster -- there's no indication they even recognise it as a disaster -- indicating they're not up to it.

    They said to judge them on the result at the World Cup. Very well, let's judge them on the result at the World Cup: They're gone.

    Deans deserves his chance. He's been the champion coach at Super 14 level, setting the pace for other coaches to follow. He had to play bridesmaid for many years as All Black fullback; there's no reason he needs to now as All Black coach.

    He deserves his chance. The Wise Men had theirs, and they failed to take it. Their time is done.

  2. Bring back Buck? Sorry couldn't resist!

    Yes, Deans should be given a go. The three wise men didn't come through when it mattered most.

  3. Deans has had a go...resulting in similar results. He was the backs coach when Leon McDonald was promoted from the bench to centre. Nuff said.


  4. Frankly, I wouldn't even have Leon McDonald on the bench, but Deans wasn't head coach, he was assistant coach under John Mitchell.

    He's been bridesmaid as a player, he's been bridesmaid as an All Black coach. But as head coach of a Super 14 team he's the one who set the pace and changed the game.

    Every other coach in recent times has either been selected well past their best, or (in Mitchell's case) far too soon.

    Time, for once, to pick a guy when he's running hot.

  5. PC, perhaps you should have a go. You always seem to know everything.

  6. So who's your All Black coach? Graham Henry and the 'Three Wise Men' ? Or Robby Deans?

    I prefer the Three Wise Men for the reason of continuity. Give them 2 years. Besides, the fuckin' world cup is boring. I would rather have the All Blacks win non-stop between world cups, than being a continual loser during that 4 year period and a cup winner? Just look at England. Who wants to be world champion like that?

  7. Okay Peter, I'll ask a question.

    If we fire Graeme Henry, who don't we fire Daniel Carter and Carl Hayman as well?

    Why are the rules different for coaches and players? Daniel Carter lost the game against France as well, and he was on the bloody field! Why should he have the option of having another go in four years even though he has lost but a coach cannot?

  8. Eric, evey player should essentially be 'fired' after every game, and picked for the next only if they're on form.

    Carter didn't play well, but he didn't make the planning decisions that seemed to shoot the team in the foot.

  9. The bottom line is that you can have any goat as AB coach for all but one game every four years at the World Cup. Neither luck nor competence in coaching has mattered because no coach has had less than a 65% win rate in the last 27 years. That's a rate that exceeds any other team in the world by miles.

    But once every four years, and possibly only for one game, the ABs need a coach who doesn't panic, sticks with his selections and then sends the team out with a flea in it's ear to win the frigging game or DCM.

    I favour sticking with the current coaches and then in WC year, appoint a coach for the job. Part of our problem may be that 4 years is simply too long and the coaches have run out of the zing required for the different demands of a World Cup.


  10. Does it really matter? Forget about this nonsense already.

    Live your own lives and face your own challenges.


  11. Henry coached the team that failed.

    Deans will get the nod, fully deserved.

    Go the Crusaders!

  12. I didn't think you liked Rugby Union PC. It's a dull game. I was pleased at the Cup loss - anything that knocks the game down a peg or two in the national consciousness is a good thing.

    Remove all the haka and hype and the game will be seen for the "Emperor's New Clothes" spectacle that it is.

    And that is my humble opinion.


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