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Mitchell is in - man!
Mitchell is in - man!
(John gets the nod)

John Mitchell is definitely a whole lot uglier to look at than Wayne Smith, and maybe that's just what the All Blacks need. Grizz Wylie wasn't all that easy on the eye, and you can bet your last cold beer that he didn't take any shit from anyone, lest of all the guys he was training. Mitchell is probably cut from a similar mold.

He inspires me with confidence, though I'm not exactly sure why... I think it's because he's a bit of a hard man. He reminds me of the days when All Blacks were tough, nasty bastards. He may not have stunning results behind him, but maybe he has that indefinable something that the All Blacks have lacked recently... He snatched this coaching job out of nowhere. Maybe he has the ability to win in the last minute. Good teams win in the last minute. The All Blacks used to.

Judging by the Chief's performance in the Super12 last year, Mitchell has a knack of getting the best out of a team. He appears to focus on good old fashioned basic, intelligent rugby. No fancy stuff... the forwards are forwards and the backs are backs. Sorry Troy Flavell, Ron Cribb, but you're going to have to piss off out of the back line and get your shorts dirty (if you even get selected!) boys!

Mitchell-in Man!

Wayne Smith's downfall was as much as anything, due to being a nice guy. He was open honest, friendly and approachable. All the things the rugby public was asking for, but in the end it was his undoing. He admitted to feeling the pressure and indicated he found the job hard. He then stated he would be totally committed as the All Black coach and wanted the position. A bit less candour and a bit more bravado and he'd probably still have the top job.

Smith's record, when you get down to it, wasn't all that bad. Certainly when you compare his results to John Mitchell's as Waikato and England Forwards coach he has the edge. He didn't lose his job due to crap results. Reverse two last gasp wins to Australia and we wouldn't even be talking about John Mitchell today.

But, that said, I think I speak for most one-eyed Cantabs when I say we respect John Mitchell and back him 100% as All Black coach. He has a big job ahead of him and not a lot of time to prepare. Lets get behind him, and see to it that the All Blacks bring the World Cup home in 2003. If we don't, I'm going to start watching bloody soccer!


Let us know what you think!

Hmmm... If Bull Allen gets to interview John Mitchell, they could easily get confused about who they are and head off to the wrong jobs! Talk about clash of the chrome domes. They must have some mean hairdressers up North!
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