The scenario: The All Blacks bombed out of the last World Cup badly, as did the Wallabies. Much of the blame for the All Blacks’ failure was placed on their coach, Graham Henry, due to his controversial rotational selection policies.
Most ABs coaches don’t last long after such an embarrassment, and there was another younger coach who’d been very successful at Super 14 level by the name of Robbie Deans. Many expected Deans to replace Henry.
At this time the Wallabies were also looking for a new coach, and were interested in getting Deans (a kiwi) on board. However his preference was to apply for the ABs job, which he did.
So, the NZRU had the choice of two main contenders: Henry, who’d tried and failed, and Deans, seen externally as the favourite.
We all know what happened: Henry, despite pretty much being seen rightly or wrongly as one of the main causes of the ABs under-performance at the World Cup, was reappointed. Leaving Deans to take up the Wallabies job.
The Wallabies camp thought they’d won lotto, but I think we might’ve been duped.
I mean, last night, an out-of-form All Blacks comfortably beat a supposedly in-form Wallabies after a second half comeback. This is an ABs team that only managed to flog, rather than massacre, a weak Italian team recently (I’m led to believe a comfortable 27-6 victory was disappointing).
And I don’t buy the whole we-haven’t-won-in-Auckland-for-137 years excuse. Australia does not do losing. At least not well. Don’t get me started on the bloody Ashes.
So, until Deans proves otherwise, I think he might be the Terry Wallace of international rugby coaching. For you kiwis, Wallace could probably be best described as all sizzle and no sausage, as the recently departed coach of the Richmond footy club.
Either that or he’s a saboteur, sent by the NZRU to ensure the Wallabies don’t win the next World Cup (because if anything could cause riots in the streets of NZ, the Aussies winning a WC hosted by New Zealand would be just about it. Actually it’d be beautiful to watch – from a distance). If this is the case, then well played NZRU. It’d almost be an Australian-esque venture into questionable ethics in the sporting arena. About time you caught on.
Of course I wouldn’t have the slightest clue if I might be right, seeing as I follow proper football, and really I am completely uninformed and unqualified to be commenting.
But still, there’s a small chance I might be on to something. Let’s wait and see.
In the end, none of this really matters of course, because the Hawks are doing a pretty good impersonation of Lazarus, easily beating the Pies and keeping alive their finals chances (until they play Geelong again). Carn the Hawks!