Monday, December 17, 2007

Henry, Deans and all that

I have not said much for a while, eating humble pie from my earlier stated position that Graham Henry should resign as All Black coach and then watching his reappointment and Deans appointment as Australian coach. But I must break my silence. I DON'T GET IT!

Surely this was the one time that it was a no-brainer that the AB coach WOULD NOT BE reappointed! Henry took the number one team in the world and through the shrewd strategy of failing to play them so that they did not develop combinations, lacked match play and the nous to win a quarter-final against one of the worst French teams in recent times. They should have slaughtered France, demolished England and won a gruelling final against SA! But they didn't and it comes down to poor preparation and poor selection! Yet he is reappointed.

At the same time Robbie Deans sits waiting, the best coaching record bar none on the planet; he is primed and ready. He is rejected!

Instead he is sent to coach our arch enemy, Australia, without doubt our biggest threat in 2011! After all, according to history, the only team that really can win on NZ soil is Australia, at least with any consistency. So we give them our best coach.

Then, when it seems obvious that it is a conflict of interest for him to coach our leading Super 14 Team leading into the Wallaby role, he is allowed to do so!

Forgive me, but I don't get any of it. Now I do agree that failure at the world cup should not necessarily lead to a coaches sacking, it depends on the circumstances. So for example, to me Laurie Mains and John Mitchell deserved second chances. Mains lost only because of food poisoning in 1995. Mitchell lost to Australia in Australia which history tells us is no surprise no matter how good the AB's. Clearly Hart had to go after 1999 as did Wylie and Hart in 1991, the team was poor and disunified. Similarly with Henry! He should have gone. It will be an amazing story and not a great surprise if a Robbie Deans coached Wallaby side knocks us off in 2011.

Anyway, I suppose we get behind Father Ted and hope he can pull them together and do the business. I think the decision was wrong whatever happens! I will be thrilled to eat my words.

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