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You are here > Scrum V message boards > Deleted > SCW's logic was flawless, get off his back!

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SCW's logic was flawless, get off his back!

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Message 1 - posted by MCLAdam (U1678041) , Jul 2, 2005

I am hoping the title will attract some debate ...

I think things have got out of hand. SCW has screwed up - but not for the reasons so often quoted on this board. Look at it rationally and I think some things become apparent.

The structure of the Lions party followed Henry's recommendations following the last tour to the letter. Remember in Australia Henry had only 9 fit players for the 3rd test and whole heap of trouble behind the scenes. So the conclusion was that they had to take a bigger squad; have two couching teams; not overplay the top players and not separate the dirt trackers from the test side. These were not SCW's conclusions but those of the whoel Lions committee!

The issue is the structure of the tour. It has been tried both ways now, and neither works. The midweek games have to go. There has to be a focus on building one side, not two - with players rotated through the side rather than wholesale changes each game. Judging by England's success under SCW, he can do that (even if we would all prefer more attacking flair).

And what about SCW's poor selection choices? I agree that he got it very badly wrong, but I think it is worth considering WHY he made the selections he did. In my view he had already concluded that the ABs were 20% better man for man than anything he had in his squad. He watched the game against France and KNEW they were in trouble. he could not say this of course (imagine the outcry!), so had to keep his mouth shut while he took a HUGE gamble on winning the first test by stifling the ABs in the rain.

He gambled and boy did he lose!

I think he got it wrong, because the downside was so apparent - lose and the tour (and his credibility) falls apart. However I think there was some logic to what he did.

Hindsight pretty much confirms this analysis. No side in the world could have lived with the ABSs over the last two weeks, let alone a team of good (not great) players who do not know each others game well enough. After all, which Lion would even get on to the AB bench? Lewsey? Perhaps.

So, the real disagreement I have with SCW is that I would prefer to lose playing rugby than win by stopping the other side playing. In that sense I am not to upset by the outcome. And I am an England fan!
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Message 2 - posted by steve_nelly (U863914) , Jul 2, 2005

I am hoping the title will attract some debate ...

I think things have got out of hand. SCW has screwed up - but not for the reasons so often quoted on this board. Look at it rationally and I think some things become apparent.

The structure of the Lions party followed Henry's recommendations following the last tour to the letter. Remember in Australia Henry had only 9 fit players for the 3rd test and whole heap of trouble behind the scenes. So the conclusion was that they had to take a bigger squad; have two couching teams; not overplay the top players and not separate the dirt trackers from the test side. These were not SCW's conclusions but those of the whoel Lions committee!

The issue is the structure of the tour. It has been tried both ways now, and neither works. The midweek games have to go. There has to be a focus on building one side, not two - with players rotated through the side rather than wholesale changes each game. Judging by England's success under SCW, he can do that (even if we would all prefer more attacking flair).

And what about SCW's poor selection choices? I agree that he got it very badly wrong, but I think it is worth considering WHY he made the selections he did. In my view he had already concluded that the ABs were 20% better man for man than anything he had in his squad. He watched the game against France and KNEW they were in trouble. he could not say this of course (imagine the outcry!), so had to keep his mouth shut while he took a HUGE gamble on winning the first test by stifling the ABs in the rain.

He gambled and boy did he lose!

I think he got it wrong, because the downside was so apparent - lose and the tour (and his credibility) falls apart. However I think there was some logic to what he did.

Hindsight pretty much confirms this analysis. No side in the world could have lived with the ABSs over the last two weeks, let alone a team of good (not great) players who do not know each others game well enough. After all, which Lion would even get on to the AB bench? Lewsey? Perhaps.

So, the real disagreement I have with SCW is that I would prefer to lose playing rugby than win by stopping the other side playing. In that sense I am not to upset by the outcome. And I am an England fan!

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IT GETS BETTER BY THE MINUTE!!!!

Re-read over you entry, and see how many times you contradicted yourself!!!!!!!

If his choices were flawless how come you openly admit he made mistakes !!!!!

Come on Rodney you Plonka!!!!


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Message 3 - posted by MCLAdam (U1678041) , Jul 2, 2005

I did not say he was flawless, just that his LOGIC was flawless. Flawless logic is often based on poor assumptions and leads to poor decisions.

SCW screwed up. The tour screwed up. Fine. But the reasons behind it are a little more complex than I read elsewhere on the board.

I will simplify it for those who find it hard to read:
1. The tour structure is hopeless;
2. Our players are not good enough; and
3. Therefore SCW gambled and lost big time.

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Message 4 - posted by thisisveryboring (U1678125) , Jul 2, 2005

I agree with the long version and the short version of your posting.

It's a shame, but quite a few posters on this board seem to struggle with both reading and writing.

ABs have makings of a truly great team. Lions do not. Wales are (thank goodness) coming back to become a good team, but all this talk of them being well on the way to being a great team is premature to say the least.

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Message 5 - posted by MCLAdam (U1678041) , Jul 2, 2005

Exactly. All those spitting blood on this board ought to calm down. It's sport!

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Message 6 - posted by radfanrob* (U1679155) , Jul 2, 2005

I agree scw must have gone with neg thoughts.Why take out of form people and people just back from injury viz.Wilkinson,Hill,Robinson,Hayes .Why was Rowntree in his dotage considered before D.Jones,Horan,Yapp.Only one player fron the Grand Slam front five.The AB's believe in the hunger of youth.O'Connor is by no means the finished article yet but a 36yr old up aganst McCaw farcical.This isn't hindsight many experts said this when the tour party was announced (exc.some English reporters who still thought it was 2003 when superior fitness beat an emerging Wales and AB's were put out by Oz and a spate of injuries to key players.Andy Robinson knows the real need for Eng. hence his recruiment from RL again.I hope they don;t manage to shut out Wales in Jan. or British rugby will go back another step

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Message 7 - posted by MCLAdam (U1678041) , Jul 2, 2005

I agree witrh most of this, except that I find the remarks about England baffling.

England finished 4th in the 6N. They were not very good. But they did play running rugby! I believe they scored only one less try than Wales in the 6N (ok - exclude Italy since I cannot remember how many were scored). If anything they lost because the pack was way off the pace and the kicker had a nightmare. In contrast the backs went quite well!

I think the perception that England do not run the ball is 2 years out of date. When England had an awesome pack and an awesome kicker they became very conservative and won everything. Now they don't, they are running the ball like everyone else - and losing! I am not advocating the dull approach, and oddly enough enjoyed the way England played last year more than when SCW was coach. hey scored some cracking tries.

After all, if Henson had not landed a kick from the half way line, then England would have finished 3rd and Wales would only be champions, not GS winners. I am glad Wales did win, because the performances against France and Ireland certainly deserved a GS.

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Message 8 - posted by diamondRobert (U1676586) , Jul 2, 2005

The last tour to Australia was a failure because Henry could not 'coach' a touring side like the Lions. He split the tour into a Test squad and a midweek squad - and never the twain did meet.

Sir Clive took more players than there has been on any other tour, more backroom staff than on any other tour and a spin doctor - yes a spin doctor!!!! This is the first tour that I am aware of that we have attempted to run like a business. This was not a Lions Tour - why the hell did the committee agree to so many personnel and a spin doctor?????

I cannot remember a tour that required so much but produced so little. If you take 47 players on tour surely some players will only get one or two games. Not good for any player on tour or for the morale of any squad. It is not possible to look over every player but it is possible to overlook some players.

It was never going to be an easy tour. British Rugby lost a great deal when Martin Johnstone retired from the game. You may not like his style but he was a real leader and got the best out of the sides that he played with. That was missing this time round.

Henry split the Lions up by creating two teams on tour and keeping them that way. Sir Clive failed to recognise that if you show your hand early and start to form your test team, the rest STILL HAVE the opportunity to play themselves into the team over the series. He may not have won the series with this approach but he would have returned with pride intact and the respect of all the players, which is all a coach can ask for in the end. Unfortunately, he returns with a failed tour and some very confused and unhappy players.

The Lions is something to be proud off. The players give their all, even in bad games they still go out to do their best. However, the management of the tour make it a success or a failure. I think that no matter where you're from - you have to concede that Sir Clive has helped make this tour one to forget.

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Message 9 - posted by diamondRobert (U1676586) , Jul 2, 2005

Oh and just one more point. The All Blacks were vulnerable last week but Sir Clive's selection was badly wrong. However, he never had a settled team because he had far too many players to call on, although unfortunately he was sure of his line up before the tour started.

The best chance of a win in New Zealand is always the first test - so he should have been big enough to pick a team that could do it. I think that a 'logial selection' last week would have beaten that All Black's side.

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Message 10 - posted by ruck13 (U1683271) , Jul 4, 2005

Yes the ABs were very vulnerable last week, hence the reason the Lions ran riot over and under them and scored so many tries! Come on now, let's get real and admit that it doesn't really matter what team Clive would have played that day because it wouldn't have made one bit of a difference to the scoreboard. The ABs would have won again and again every time.

This Lions tour is a failure and it's due mainly to over the top management from a bunch of dreamers with loads of money in their hands! Come home now Clive and stop this madness!
Oh and just one more point. The All Blacks were vulnerable last week but Sir Clive's selection was badly wrong. However, he never had a settled team because he had far too many players to call on, although unfortunately he was sure of his line up before the tour started.

The best chance of a win in New Zealand is always the first test - so he should have been big enough to pick a team that could do it. I think that a 'logial selection' last week would have beaten that All Black's side.

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Message 11 - posted by hubby99 (U1677892) , Jul 4, 2005

While Sir Clive made selection errors he was also let down by the players.They had to step up a gear but failed to do so.

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Message 12 - posted by gallantrugbyballs (U1674821) , Jul 4, 2005


After all, if Henson had not landed a kick from the half way line, then England would have finished 3rd and Wales would only be champions, not GS winners. I am glad Wales did win, because the performances against France and Ireland certainly deserved a GS.

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This myth goes on doesn't it? Surprised you didn't mention Hodgson's missed drop goal too. Trouble is that ignores Stephen Jones's 5 misses at goal during the game. You may choose to believe that one penalty was the only difference but it clearly wasn't. Wales were a very nervous team on that day. If England had met them later in the campaign then I think their defeat would have been overwhelming.

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Message 13 - posted by fivepointer (U1679846) , Jul 4, 2005

Knowing WHY SCW made bad choices is not an excuse for the fact that he made them!
The 1st test selection was a truly horrendous hotch potch. To go in with players out of position, with players clearly out of form and with no game time togther was asking for trouble. You shouldn't need to gamble on selection for a big match - that is a sure sign of poor planning and preparation.
The folly of the 1st test selection rebounded badly in the 2nd test, when an untried combination were thrown together without the level of preparation required. Changes HAD to be made that was plain, but the guys were handicapped just as much as the 1st test expendables.
I happen to think that a large squad (45 was a few too many, perhaps 40 a better number) was an essential requirement, but the Lions should have got their likely test team together earlier and given them time to gel. Another SCW gamble - he though that 10 days prep was btter than some game time together. Well, he got that one wrong I'm afraid.
Even if everything had gone to plan, players were in form (some have badly misfired it has to be said), key players remained injury free and the coaching had been top notch, there was no guarantee the Lions would have won given the inate superiority of the NZ players. The feeling is that they haven't been given the best possible chance to win and for that SCWC must take a slice of the blame.

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Message 14 - posted by Baghdadboyo (U1670279) , Jul 4, 2005


After all, if Henson had not landed a kick from the half way line, then England would have finished 3rd and Wales would only be champions, not GS winners. I am glad Wales did win, because the performances against France and Ireland certainly deserved a GS.



This myth goes on doesn't it? Surprised you didn't mention Hodgson's missed drop goal too. Trouble is that ignores Stephen Jones's 5 misses at goal during the game. You may choose to believe that one penalty was the only difference but it clearly wasn't. Wales were a very nervous team on that day. If England had met them later in the campaign then I think their defeat would have been overwhelming.

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You forgot to add the numerous overlaps we had and because we were nervous about a win we didnt take them and went safety first, still 5 out of 5 aint bad for ruddocks first campaign is it?

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