Search for an intelligent ex-front rower

For rugby fans who’ve been watching with increasingly frustrated bemusement Ewen McKenzie’s bizarre coaching of the NSW Waratahs to play stereotypical 10 man rugby despite boasting one of the most potent backlines in the Super 14 and despite the fact that the Crusaders and even the Western Force provide clear examples that this just isn’t a sensible strategy under Stellenbosch rules, here’s a question:

Has there been any ex-prop or hooker in the modern era who hasn’t been a complete bonehead as a coach?  I can think of one some years ago in Tony “Slaggy” Miller, but how about since the advent of the World Cup and Super 12/14? 

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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derrida derider
derrida derider
13 years ago

Yeah, its bizarre. You play to your strengths. If you have huge and well drilled forwards, slow but competent halves and a mediocre backline then ten man rugby’s the way to go. But that doesn’t describe the Waratahs – the further towards the fullback you go, the more impressive they look. They should be selecting very mobile forwards whose main job is to get quick ball at the breakdown for the backs.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

I can’t think of any in that era off the top of my head!! What position did Rod Macqueen play (backrow??)?

wilful
wilful
13 years ago

Oh my freaking god, look at his ear. Wish I hadn’t.

But seriously, he’s a front rower, he’s thick. And this is surprising because…?

By the way, this is a fun, entirely free fantasy rugby game. Still in development, very simple.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

Damn you wilful, I hope it’s crap. Otherwise I might not get anything done anymore.

cs
cs
13 years ago

The Buffet-Stalker is not only brain-dead on how to coach a backline, he has no idea how to manage his bench players. Mimicking the madness of Crazy Eddie, the interchanges fly out, no matter who the player, no matter how much playing time left, no matter how close the score. Last week he replaced two of the three players involved in scoring the Tahs only try almost straight away. Who ever heard of such a dumb thing to do in the history of all rugby? Replace the only try-scorers in your team, for god’s sake! If you play for the Tahs, don’t score tries or the coach will hook you!

More, everytime the Stalker replaced one of his players in the second half last week, every damn time, the Crusaders scored almost immediately. Yes, to any normal coach, it would stand to reason. With every replacement, the team is at least momentarily weaker; with every replacement, the Crusaders exploited the moment to the max. Watching the Tahs in second halves now fills the fans with dread, At any moment, by order of the Dreaded Stalker Auto-pilot, Elsom could be pulled, or Waugh, or Cliffy, or Beale, or Turner, no matter how close the score. By contrast, when did Deans pull McCaw? Only after the third try was scored and the win was completely safe, as any sensible coach would do.

It is preposterous to imagine that today’s world class rugby players cannot go the full 80 minutes in top gear and then some, even under the new rules (with perhaps the occasional exception of a near exhausted prop). The so-called “fresh legs” thesis is monstrously over-egged. If the bench was as good as the starting team, it would be part of the starting line-up. Such logic is unassailable to anyone but the Stalker, who specialises in saving up his worst players so that he can use them during the most crucial parts of the match.

Lord have mercy on NSW. Will someone promote this man the comfy chair so he can sleep all the time.