at the ground

The players, teams , issues involved with the Rugby World Cup 2015

Michael Cheika

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A coach that has coached team/club/franchise to the major club/franchise competitions in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
Michael Cheika in his playing days was a No.8 playing more than 300 games for Randwick and captaining the team from 1997 to 1999. Michael Cheika represented New South Wales and played for teams in France and Italy. He represented Australia at U-21 level.
Michael Cheika coached Padova along with fellow Aussie David Knox through a Heineken Cup season without a win. When his father fell ill he returned to Sydney in 2001, where he began coaching his old club Randwick, winning the Shute Shield in 2004.
Ever since victory seems to have followed Michael Cheika with what seems to me a very focussed no nonsense style of coaching. I remember his attitude and exchange with the official on the touch during the ‘Bloodgate ‘ incident ( › Sport › Rugby Union › Club ) and the comments from the commentators saying something like him being a grumpy Aussie.
Michael Cheika is now the coach of Australia following Ewan Mckenzie’s surprise resignation. Australian rugby seems to have been intent on self destruction ever since Martin Johnson and his cronies snatched the coveted William Webb Ellis trophy right from their own backyard back in 2003.
They explored their ideals of how rugby union should be played. Fast paced without much kicking and an emphasis on ball in hand and avoid set pieces if you can. In other words Rugby League. They also felt that the players should take greater charge of the team and feel free to express themselves on and off the pitch.
Unfortunately both these ideas blew up in their faces. England especially exploited the scrum and thus gained a point of dominance in the game which ultimately gave England a string of successes against the Wallabies. Without having much more than tricky runners , tight defences were seeing off extremely talented Aussie teams.
The other issue was the discipline which I feel stems from giving young men that are not wise enough to much freedom. In any trade even if a young guy shows incredible ability and promise he still needs a more experienced person to Mentor him through all that life throws at you.
Australian rugby is on the up, Ewan Mckenzie’s resignation was a setback. The attitude toward the more traditional aspects in Australian rugby has changed. I feel ever since Jake White had reasonable success at the Brumbies, there has been an acceptance that if you want to play the beautiful rugby you have to do the grunt work first. Jake emphasised 3 aspects Set piece, Defence and Discipline.
I think Mckenzie and Michael Cheika have realised this is a necessity. Michael Cheika in my opinion has always coached a have a go positive way of playing but realises its the complete package that wins you big prizes.
Australia vs Barbarians; Nov 1, 14.30 ,Twickenham stadium


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