Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
You are here: Home » One Wellington man's views about the woes about the State of the Game in NZ
3 October 2014
Hi Keith, I can't believe how bad Wellington is and Auckland, despite some of their wins are not much better and even Canty has gone into a tail-spin. I believe there is a reason for this which none of the present cheer leading media can deduce.
First of all the Rugby Union puts all its focus on the All Blacks, and plays them at the same time as the ITM Cup. Imagine what Wellington would be like if more regularly it had Jane, Savea, Smith, Nonu, Perenara, Thrush and Coles.
It's also suffered a lot of injuries with players having no time to recover from the S15 because, again the NZRU's fault, they allow that competition to go on too long. So Wellington is without A Savea, Toomaga-Allen and Goodes. Similarly, look at Canterbury, with no first fives because the ABs take fringe players into their squad like Slade and Taylor, who hasn't even stripped for the ABs has he? And of course the constantly injured Carter.
I've liked the rise of Taranaki and Tasman in the ITM Cup, and Manawatu too, but it's partly due to the NZRU having lowered the standard of provincial rugby. It might be a more level playing field but it is also a recipe for mediocrity.
Oh well keep smiling; I'm trying to. (Name withheld by request) (messages sent to firstname.lastname@example.org )
NZ had to go to Brisbane for this Sunday game; the ABs scored 8 tries to 1! Winning the first World Cup was now only a week away!
Llanelli and Wales
2 internationals for Wales 1958
A brilliant rugby man whether as a player, coach, lecturer, broadcaster or writer.
Carwyn James had the misfortune to play in the same era as the great Cliff Morgan, and it was not until 1958 that he played flyhalf for Wales, when it beat Australia by 9–3 at Cardiff. James kicked a dropped goal. Later that season he played centre against France, outside Morgan.
It was as a coach that the quietly-spoken James made his mark on world rugby. Without ever having coached Wales, he was elected to guide the 1971 British Isles team in New Zealand. Under his quiet tutelage the Lions played winning rugby against the All Blacks, and James’s innate tactical judgments and expert reading of opposition strengths shot him into world prominence.
His reputation was enhanced in 1972–73, when he coached Llanelli to its famous win over the All Blacks. He was also the guiding hand behind the Barbarians club’s fortunes against the All Blacks in the final game of that same tour — a game said by many to be the greatest game ever played. James later coached with considerable success in Italy, where his influence on the players at the Rovigo club was said to be enormous.
Personal differences between James and some members of the Welsh Rugby Union meant that he never coached the national team, although at the time he was clearly a very good candidate for the job.
After his spell of coaching he turned to writing and broadcasting, where he proved to be very successful, with a turn of phrase that said much for his intellect and rugby wisdom. He wrote several coaching and historical manuals on the game and was an expert interpreter of rugby on television and radio.
James was an ardent Welsh nationalist who turned down an OBE after the Lions tour of New Zealand. He spoke Welsh fluently and encouraged others to do the same.
Carwyn James collapsed and died in the Netherlands in 1983, and was deeply mourned by his friends and colleagues. Many called him a genius of rugby, though it was also said he was a prophet of the game who was never honoured in his own country. The prominent English writer, John Reason, called Carwyn James ‘the best coach the world has yet seen’.
When did an international rugby team play a full game and then travel to another country to play a second full game on the same day?