The Chewsday Chew – Inexperienced and Gold Rugby

The Chewsday Chew

Hey Cobbers all and welcome to the thirty seventh (and final) Chewsday Chew of 2022.

I recognize that we’re all probably nonetheless on a excessive after our clutch win over the Taffs. However after that fleeting second of goodwill and bonhomie, actuality kicks again in and all I can say is thank Christ on His stick that 12 months is over. Barring any extra harm experiences but to floor (Achilles! Achilles! My Kingdom for an Achilles!), I feel one of the best a part of this 12 months is in saying Sayonara and Adieu to 1 helluva annus horribilis for our beloved Wobblies.

The Outcomes – we are able to’t cover from the plain and should stare it within the face. Sure we acquired the win over the Joneses, however 2022 was not good and reads like this;

So the plain stats are that we performed 14 matches for five wins (35.7%). And we completed it off with a 2 from 5 (40%) northern tour that actually ought to have been 3 from 5 (60%) if our conceitedness hadn’t price us so dearly towards Italy, and will’ve been 5 from 5 with just a bit luck towards the Micks and the Frogs. Clearly the outcomes of 2022 have been simply not ok. Nonetheless, inside which are some attention-grabbing nuggets to contemplate;

  • We’re scoring factors at 23.4pts per recreation on common and that’s towards one of the best sides on the planet.
  • We’re constantly dropping by lower than a strive. Our common factors differential is -4.4. Of the losses, 5 have been by lower than a attempt to if we take out the two blow-outs (losses by greater than 20pts), the factors differential drops to underneath -3.0. So we’re ‘within the video games’ and clearly not out of our class.
  • Our issues lie in tries scored towards us whereas at 14 males and even then typically off the again of ill-timed penalties and in being unable to shut out shut video games. I imagine these are efficiency/psyche/emotional points each on the whole and likewise exacerbate towards sure opponents (extra on that later).
  • However ‘ze numbers are ze numbers.’ And they aren’t acceptable.

And inside that, we additionally should look Dave Rennie’s bigger file on the helm since 2020…

Once more, the outcomes are unacceptable and right here we see the identical core points in that we’re scoring factors and our differentials are lower than a strive. However as that quantity is a detrimental, all too usually we aren’t ‘closing out the sport’. This problem round not ‘closing out’ is so profound that once more, if we are able to take out the blowouts (losses by -20pts or extra) then our factors differential is underneath -4.0 once more. And additional, of the ten opponents confronted, 5 of them have a win/loss factors differential of lower than a strive (plus or minus). So whereas the outcomes aren’t palatable, we’re proper on the cusp of success and so my level is this may be salvaged given the margins are so positive. So think about if we reduce out (say) 2 or 3 dumb penalties per recreation?

What’s of specific word to me is that the present World Champions pose no actual problem to us – we beat the Saffas 75% of the time. And we’ve proven ourselves to have the measure of the Irish and the French. However clearly we’ve points with the English and most manifestly with New Zealand (take a look at the factors differential particularly) to the extent that if NZ are eliminated, Dave goes to to round 50% win ratio and, relying how we deal with attracts, he additionally goes +4 for total factors differential.

So our issues are capable of be crystalised: resilience in play, closing out tight video games and getting our heads proper particularly towards England and New Zealand. Extra on that additional down.

The highs and the lows of 2022 Leaving apart the win on the weekend the high-point for me this 12 months was clearly the 25-17 win over the Saffas at Adelaide adopted by the 30-28 win over the English in Perth. And I’ve to say the 16-15 win over the Scots, who’ve had our measure now for a while, gave me a buoyancy main into the beginning of the northern tour I now realise I didn’t deserve. However that stated, the sheer foolhardy guts of the win by the rag tag military over the Taffs left style within the mouth to take into the summer time layoff.

In comparison with these, the 40-14 shellacking in Auckland was simply mind-numbing whereas the 48-17 loss in San Juan to Cheika’s Massive Cats was simply bewildering. Nonetheless clearly the low level of the 12 months was the 13-10 loss to the gallant Italians in Florence.

In between these, the 39-37 loss to the Darkness in entrance of a promote out Melbourne crowd (even when they have been almost all scaffolders) nonetheless sticks in my thoughts as simply unforgiveable on so many ranges. Whereas comparatively the 1pt loss to the French and 3pt loss to the Irish simply bolstered how our nationwide workforce is commonly seemingly glad to be ‘additionally rans’ reasonably than outright winners.

So the place are we going improper? Let’s method this through a type of means of elimination:

Do we’ve cattle to compete? Regardless of our nationwide obsession with holding this recreation as blue-blood, personal college marginalised as we presumably can, we nonetheless do have the cattle. We used 51 our bodies in Cadbury gold this 12 months (with Sam ‘arse up’ Talakai being quantity 51). Is that essentially good to make use of that many? I’d say no. We shouldn’t even clock up these numbers in Yr 1 or 2 of the Invoice cycle and definitely not in Yr 3. However in comparison with not having gamers of a minimal calibre to area, it’s a greater place to be than the choice.

Do we’ve the sport plan to compete? For me that is the most important speedy drawback. We’re utilizing a recreation plan that I name “Brumby Pace Ball” (as a result of that’s the place it comes from) and, at its most elemental, it’s primarily based on utilizing a mixture of each wider-than-usual pods to ship exceptionally quick ruck ball or to dump-off to the sweeper/distributor to go wider once more. The thought is to pressure a recreation of such lateral pace that the opposition should broaden and contract their defensive position mindblowingly shortly or threat dropping reference to one another. As such, the plan in assault is to make use of such pace and concertinaed stress to fabricate both a spot or a mismatch to use with anthill fashion penetration (the place all of us pour by way of and fan out from that hole to dam off the quilt defence). It sounds nice in precept and is the muse of Brumby success in recent times alongside a rock-solid set piece.

However the problem is that the sheer lateral pace required in its execution means it’s fragile, it’s too delicate and straightforward to disrupt for a effectively disciplined defence. And it additionally means its very pace makes restoration unimaginable if one thing does go improper (illustrated by the quantity of tries towards us on turnover). Plus it requires brutally cell individuals to play (which engineers out the important thing large forwards which we have to compete within the dour channels with the monsters being picked by South Africa, France, England and Eire particularly). And, most significantly at take a look at degree, it requires the opponent to make the types of defensive errors that stated take a look at opponents aren’t going to make simply. So whereas Brumby Pace Ball works fairly effectively with a well-drilled workforce on a quick pitch at Tremendous degree, I doubt it’s match for take a look at footy towards correct take a look at degree opponents particularly on heavier fields (as in a French November).

I urge we slim the pods a bit, drop the within supporter again a step to be a sensible ‘straight on’ 1st cleaner to the first ball provider or as an inside tip-pass choice, and put the pace into punching by way of strains through utilizing footwork to focus on tender shoulders reasonably than in making an attempt to run everybody sideways. This may enable our 10 to return up flatter behind a pack shifting ahead (as a substitute of sideways). And if we take only a fraction of the frenetic pace out of our common assault recreation we’ll then execute higher and have some supporting redundancy in place to regulate when issues go pear formed (as they do towards good opponents). We have now nice athletes and we are able to make this alteration merely sufficient. Or am I improper?

Do we’ve the smarts to compete? No I don’t imagine we’ve the gray matter in the precise type and that is our largest medium time period drawback. Basically, it’s not that our guys are silly however reasonably our guys are so drilled into the intricacies of Brumby Ball, and the advanced components surrounding it, that we’ve skilled ourselves to the purpose of autoresponses and so we’ve skilled out the artwork and the liberty of considering to recognise what an opponent is doing and to shift our recreation plan to counter it. We have now forgotten the way to simply play footy (dare I exploit a blast from the Dingo previous and say ‘Play what’s in entrance of you’?). Our guys know the scripts and pre-game formulation by coronary heart. That is the supply of nauseating ‘they skilled effectively’ feedback. However we’ve no clue of what to do if the opponent doesn’t play to the script we anticipated. Thus we don’t adapt or bounce again. Slightly we simply strive tougher at what we’re already doing and so simply make the scenario worse.

What will we do about it? Firstly, we’ve to recognise it for what it’s: that we lack the notice and the EQ to each adapt to a altering panorama mid-game and to relish the stress that creates. For my part we’ve a really actual emotional intelligence drawback deep throughout the psyche of our nationwide workforce. We don’t lack particular person expertise, measurement, energy, aggression or will. However we clearly lack the noggin to make use of, adapt and make use of these attributes positively on a altering canvas. We lack confidence to adapt to a shift in opposition ways, we lack readability of considering in pressured eventualities and too usually we appear to lack the flexibility to execute underneath stress. And we actually lack the resilience to bounce again after disappointment each within the immediacy of the second and week to week. And we see that almost all once we play our neighbours New Zealand. Beneath Dave Rennie we’ve performed the Darkness 9 occasions for 1 win and a factors differential of -144 (-16pts/match). Some social employee pals of mine inform me you see the most important emotional challenges of individuals writ giant of their relationships with their nearest and dearest and right here we’ve it writ giant proper in entrance of us.

So, alongside the breathtaking discovery final week that the Wobbs don’t have an S&C workforce in the meanwhile (or are we stunned given the quantity of specific accidents?) I say to RA that we want our personal model of Gilbert Enoka much more badly. He was the man who acquired within the heads of the All Blacks within the noughties and constructed tradition, resilience and a deal with the way to win underneath stress. We have to get within the heads of our Wobbly squad and educate them about adaptation underneath stress, thus the way to take pleasure in stress and so the way to ‘step ahead’ into the problem of that stress. This isn’t heat and fuzzy candles and meditation palaver. Nevertheless it’s the type of psychological and emotional preparation you discover not simply with the ABs of their golden interval, however with a few of the greatest particular forces, civil disaster-response groups and enterprise leaders/teams world wide. It’s a really actual set of expertise that may be taught and our nationwide workforce lacks them. So if we’re critical about successful, it must be addressed and develop into a part of our ethos. It’s in all probability already too late for this Invoice, however we’ll want such a platform in place for the Lions tour and our personal 2027 Invoice. To me, that is precedence spend problem.

What do you assume?

Talking of The Invoice, France is looking and so I believed to present my 2cents on what I really feel is our greatest Wobbly XXVIII heading into the 2023 French Invoice 12 months (assuming everyone seems to be match);

  1. Slipper – He’s drained however he leads effectively. The Invoice can be his swansong, however what higher approach to go?
  2. Porecki – I feel he’s higher than what he’s proven this 12 months. Better of a shallow group of 2s.
  3. Ala’alatoa – A lifeless set rock of reliability. I’ve a man-crush.
  4. Philip – To him goes my largest praise: folks don’t miss him till he isn’t there.
  5. Frost – The discover of the northern tour. His athleticism is outstanding.
  6. Holloway – Of all of the Wannabes ran at 6 in current occasions he’s the neatest choose.
  7. Samu – What else the man should do to show he’s the one we would like at No7 is past me.
  8. Valetini – How he wasn’t within the World XV choices this 12 months is likewise past me.
  9. White – Better of our 9s however wants to shut his gob to the ref and put away the shitbaggery.
  10. Cooper – If he can get and keep match we’re good. Or else, simply develop up and put Lolly in.
  11. Koroibete – Units the bar others attempt to obtain.
  12. Kerevi – Clearly one of the best 12 we’ve.
  13. Ikitau – Sticky’s class is de facto beginning to shine by way of.
  14. Nawaqanitawase – The opposite discover of the northern tour.
  15. Kellaway – Is a greater winger than fullback, however in any other case he’s our smartest 15 by a protracted shot.
  16. Lonergan – Will get the gig as we are able to’t have the unreliability and penalties of Fingers Folau or Latu.
  17. Bell – If he’ll lengthen his pre-engage stance and keep match, he could possibly be one thing fairly particular.
  18. Tupou – Everyone knows he he has the potential. However he should ship now.
  19. Skelton – An enormous physique who forces opponents to alter form. Good for 30min of havoc.
  20. Leota – One other large physique who strikes quick and hits arduous. Unleash that beast.
  21. Tate McD – Has clear work-ons, however is one of the best of the opposite 9s.
  22. Perese – I actually wish to see extra of this man on-field. He has that buzz that simply makes stuff occur.
  23. Hodge – He has limitations and haters. However his utility and boot makes him so worthwhile to me.

For mine, Snowy Frost and Marky Mark are actually must-picks alongside a match Cooper, Kerevi, Koroibete, Slipper, Ala’alatoa, Samu and Valetini. That’s the muse of a rattling good facet proper there. And if Cooper isn’t match, then cease friggin’ about and choose Noah and let the child settle in. We have now 6 confirmed and possibly a seventh take a look at earlier than the Massive Present kicks off and Lolly has confirmed many times he has the temperament to win in clutch moments. So let’s cease the humorous buggers video games. The place I’m in all probability courting a public hanging is that I feel Hooper’s day because the beginning No7 is finished and with the trendy video games infatuation with large, smashing, battle-tanks coming off the bench, I wrestle to search out him a spot on the pine. However by the Prophet I settle for that’s quite a lot of expertise to sideline.

All that stated, our largest publicity is at No2 as Porecki hasn’t owned the position as I had hoped and Fingers Folau has confirmed an excessive amount of a penalty magnet and missing in primary ability execution. So Lonergan will get the gig for mine within the absence of anybody else proudly owning it. Additional No9 worries me if White is one of the best we’ve and the veritable nation mile to cross earlier than we get to the choices behind him (of which Tate is one of the best ATM). We have now cattle to cowl the remaining.

What do you assume?

Conclusion: In order that’s about sufficient from me. I’ll take the chance to thank all those that’ve been a part of the location in what has been a difficult 12 months be they fellow contributors, commentators, critics, detractors or readers. Actually, as my dad used to say ‘You study one thing from everybody you meet Boy. Normally it’s what to not do. However you’ll study one thing nonetheless.” and whereas a few of the classes right here have been on the brutal facet of direct I’ve appreciated the expertise.

A reminder right here that we’re all volunteers. Nobody may or would pay us to put in writing this crap. So if you would like a crack, be happy to achieve out and would the actual Slim Shady please rise up (please rise up)?

And a giant ‘Thumbs Up’ to Sully who retains the entire website ticking alongside behind the scenes.

I could drop the occasional random article over the break if one thing tickles my fancy. So be sure you verify in when you’re bored. However in any other case, after what can solely be described as a bloody lengthy, arduous 12 months, no less than we are able to sit up for subsequent 12 months understanding that, if all else fails, we nonetheless have the Wobblies and we’re by no means gonna give them up (cue the final tacky YouTube clip of the 12 months).

Luv youse all. Nutta out.