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Oct 08 2012

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I’m a rugby twit … I mean tweeter

I tweet during the rugby. When I’m not at the game that is.

Yes, I know, I’m a wanker, or a twit. Take your pick.

Doc asks me why I bother watching the game at all when I spend my time looking at the phone rather than the TV screen.

But tweeting during the game can give some of the atmosphere of being there. There’s a lot of camaraderie, even amongst opposing fans. You get conversations happening with people you wouldn’t otherwise meet – luckily in some cases!

The biggest response I get is whenever I mention something about Quade Cooper. I was going to say either positive or negative, but I never say anything positive about him. I’m not his biggest fan! So much so that during the world cup Doc got confused about references to Quade Cooper. He thought his name was Fuken.

That is Cooper got the biggest response until this weekend. I tweeted a link to a story in the SMH Super Rugby expansion has hurt the Wallabies. The response was immediate. Not all agreed, some had their own suggestions (seriously or out of frustration) about what else is wrong with not just the Wallabies, but also with Australian rugby.

So, in the spirit of sharing, here are some of the things that drive rugby fans mad:

  • Lack of basic skills – a seeming inability to catch and hold onto the ball . We’ll forgive some of the errors on Saturday as being the result of a sweaty, slippery ball, but not all, not at this level.
  • Too much kicking away possession – I’m not sure if this is a complaint about the Wallabies or the Waratahs, or just generally – but whatever – YOU CAN’T SCORE IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE BALL. RUN THE F*ING THING!!!
  • Too many penalty kicks for goal – a try is still worth more fellas! I think a metaphoric cheer went up around twitter when the kicks from the half way line missed, even ours. And it would have served us right if Argentina had come back and beaten us after the decision was made to kick for goal from within our own half right at the end of the game!
  • Quade Cooper – even his greatest fans agree that he is inconsistent. The only place he seems to show any consistency is his failure to perform at international level. And his latest tirade seemed designed to ensure the Wallabies failed, maybe to show they can’t do it without him? I don’t know, but it was very bad sportsmanship from somebody who has had as much faith and loyalty given to him by the coach and by the team as he has.  Let him go to league where that behaviour will fit right in.
  • Too many injuries leaving the Wallabies (and the Australian super rugby teams) with not enough depth

Not once did anybody mention Robbie Deans. So can everybody please stop making every single game a test of Deans’ coaching. The reality is that since Robbie Deans came on board he has:

  • Rebuilt the Wallabies to survive the loss of a lot of depth and experience
  • Made the semi-final of the World Cup
  • Won the tri-nations
  • Beat Ireland with a clean sweep in a test series
  • Come second in the four nations – and done it with a lot of complete unknowns filling in to cover for injured players

The only team with a better record than us is New Zealand.

In the interests of not just raising problems, but finding solutions (I’m a management consultant, it’s what I do, I think.  If anybody out there really knows what a consultant does please tell me) here are some suggestions to not only fix the game at elite level, but also to encourage grass roots development:

  • Make drop goals worth one point – they should only ever be used as a tie breaker
  • Drop one Australian super rugby team. I’ll leave it up to others to decide, but the word Melbourne has just sprung into my mind. Must be a poltergeist.
  • Do away with the salary cap – footballers have as much right as anybody else to be paid as much as the market will bear
  • Make every club in Super Rugby have a squad made up of at least half local juniors (did somebody say something about Melbourne before????)

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