I am not so convinced that Graham Henry will be any better than Mitchell and I think he may even be worse as a coach although more successful as a media handler. IF he wins the world cup I shall have to study at the feet of my accomplished master. But I don’t know if his strategy will be any better than Mitchells.
What really ticks me off is that not one all black coach that I have seen has yet to work out a strategy for dealing with those teams that can score from you all over the park. I.E. France in its good day and Aussie at the world cup semifinal where they kicked our ass. The answer is simple and will give us a better than even chance of dealing to these teams.
1. Don’t give them possession by kicking for touch.
2. Don’t give them possession by kicking down field
3. Don’t give them possession by putting the grubber through
4. DON’T FREAKIN GIVE THEM POSSESSION!!!!!
Hold onto the damn pill and stop trying to convince yourself that the other guys don’t know how to run with it when they obviously do. What do you think they are going to do when they get the ball. Not even England plays like England used to in the 80’s and 90’s. Every team in the Big 5 (NZ, Aus, SA, Eng, Fr) can punish you for giving them the pill. Our guys can maul it with the best of them and certainly can ruck it with the best, and if we choose to keep on going forward where the chance of turnover is least i.e. running/mauling the damn thing, then we can slaughter any team under the sun. It is much more physically demanding but then again that stands for the other side too.
As Australia proved in the World Cup against us…
IF you attempt to play SAFE balanced test rugby against a team that is no longer playing by your rules then you are being tactically outsmarted. You are behaving like the General who attempts to fight the next war the way they did in the last. If this was ‘Nam then our guys probably would have fragged the guy responsible for the battle plan. To put it (the loss) down to a lack of experience and leadership is to avoid the fact that excellent experienced leaders of elite forces can still get their guys killed through training to fight the last war as opposed to the next one or by refusing to learn the tactical lessons from previous battles.
Change, adapt, overcome, prepare, or else join that list of losers like General Mclelland (Union General, Bull Run, US Civil War), Vercingetorix (Gaulish Chieftain, Alesia, Gaul, Ceasars Campaigns), and Field Marshall Alexander Haig (British, Somme, France, WW1). These guys will go down in history as some of the biggest thicko’s to have ever lead men. Not because they didn’t have two brain cells to rub together or that their troops were crap but because they didn’t know when their tactics were innappropriate and they lacked imagination.