Opinion By Hamish McKay
Some 68 tests played. Thirty-nine won. Good enough if you’re the coach of Scotland or Italy. Poor if you’re the coach of a two time Webb Ellis Cup winning Rugby Nation.
Sadly, Robbie Deans hasn’t worked as Wallaby Coach. Hence, I can’t fathom why Australian and Brumbies great Stirling Mortlock says it’s too late for a coaching change ahead of next year’s Lions tour Down Under.
Any coach worth his salt could surely pick up the reins early next year and by June have a competitive outfit ready to go? I’m picking Ewen McKenzie might be up to that task.
Throw in a Steve Larkham and you’re half way there. By then, David Pocock and Will Genia will be back and the picture could be very different. And on the back of a 33-6 loss to France it needs to change.
Let’s face it, Deans hasn’t helped himself with some of his selections and his dogmatic approach. Matt Giteau is the most obvious example of player-coach conflict undermining a team. And Deans should have been able to sort this. Journeyman Pat McCabe just isn’t up to the task. Sending the dreaded one George Smith packing too soon was another blunder.
It’s just gone from bad to worse.
There is also this niggling feeling that much of Dean’s outstanding Crusaders based coaching resume was thanks to a stroke of the old ‘right place, right time’.
But Deans was never going to be so lucky to have another duo like Richie McCaw and Dan Carter fall into his lap. You don’t win Lotto twice.
And on another note, the BNZ must be seething at the broadcast arrangements for the Maori All Black tour. Spitting tacks even.
As a major sponsor they must have ploughed hundreds of thousands of dollars into this. Loose change no doubt – but I’m picking they wouldn’t have agreed to a deal had they known of the delayed coverage plan.
Punters expect their national game live. Welcome to 2012.
I point the finger at the NZRU on this one. They should have insisted that anything but live coverage was non-negotiable.