Saturday, 18 October 2014

The resignation of Ewen McKenzie at the lowest point of the recent Wallabies' story.

After a tumultuous week culminated in a last minute loss at home against the All Blacks Link has had enough and left. His tenure will not go down in history as legacy a remarkable one: 22 games, 11 wins, the worst loss against New Zealand, the first win of Los Pumas in the Rugby Championship.

It is difficult to single out a cause of Link's personal failure, a mix of errors, misfortune and circumstances has brought him down.

Well before the Beale-Patston affair emerged, McKenzie had his faults in the way he managed the player. After the lows of the Lions' series the player had a resurrection season at the Waratahs playing at 12, but the Wallabies Head Coach saw him as a flyhalf, played him has such and Beale failed. This has triggered the nervousness around the fragile player. Can the despicable circumstances that will most likely put to an end his Australian union's career be seen as the symptoms of a this? It may be a stretch, but it is likely that a more calm and relaxed Beale would have acted differently.

Beale at first receiver was not the only tactical error of McKenzie, but certainly the more evident. His Wallabies have often played out of position in the midfield and a general lack of pecking order has caused several players to doubt about their stand in the starting XV.
Most of all the Wallabies have lost their last three games in the second halves, when the lack of depth of the Australian bench has allowed their opponents to come back and win. A unprecedented series of injuries are the main reason of the lack of front rowers, the self imposed ban on foreign based players has contributed dramatically to the cause.

With the World Cup starting in 11 months where Wallabies have been drafted in the group of death, whoever will succeed him has a tough job in front. Without mentioning the End of Year series in Europe starting with a warm up game against the Barbarians in due term.
The punters have two names for McKenzie's succession, Jack White and Michael Cheika.
The first one will bring tactically the Wallabies back in time at least 10 years, and the players will have limited time to adapt to his way of playing; the second one will require less time to lead a team morphed on his winning 2014 Waratahs, and may save Beale from being sacked.

Regardless of who will be the new coach, ARU has only one way to save the Wallabies from disaster. Allow foreign based players to wear the green and gold.
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