Thatís it I have had enough.
The QRU can take their notion of rugby and coach selection and insert it where the sun doesnít shine. We have quality players who donít get the ball; make it off the reserve bench; or even make it onto the reserve bench.
With QLD rugby sliding and lurching from disastrous game to debacle since the demise of Knuckles I have simply had enough. This season has been an absolute bloody shambles and I have a scary vision of the future that see the bunnies being victorious either this or next year, without fail, and that is just simply too much for this poor illiterate scribe to take. Most of the games have been there for the taking this year and the QLD side keeps reverting to a disorganised attacking unit, with a leaking backline.
QLD under Knuckles during the Super 10 were the dominate force and they took this form into the early part of the Super 12. Although not taking the title, they finished as minor premiers twice and every year were almost guaranteed to make the finals. Since knuckles has left I have had to suffer a sliding decline in coaches and season and now Iím at breaking point.
I felt sorry for Mark McBain who was on hiding to nothing after taking the coaching reigns after knuckles 13 years in control. Despite issues such as ĎFoley gateí, QLD rugby still did do well. In his first year we made the finals. In his second year he improved the win/loss ratio but just failed to make the finals. He was then dumped as coach by the hierarchy and not even invited the annual QRU dinner. Their treatment of McBain was nothing short of criminal and for those that donít know, Jeff Miller was the CEO of QLD rugby.
His replacement was a wonderful choice of Andrew Slack who was not a coach at the time. Slack quit on the team half way through the season when he decided that he didnít really want to be a coach and preferred to be on TV talking about sport. His attitude and commitment to the coaching role helped lay the debacle that is now QLD rugby.
Jeff Miller was then shunted across from the board room straight into the coaching role and no one else was even considered. This is about the same time that Nuciforia was chosen from the QLD coaching ranks to organise the Brumbies.
Jeff Millerís preceding coaching role was for his sonís U12 side, although he had been assistant Wallaby coach, and hasnít it showed. The unofficial word is most of the established players donít like him and the younger players donít want to make a fuss as we all know its very easy to get your career ruined by a vengeful coach. The only thing consistent about Miller is the steady rate of decline. The unofficial story is that Vedelago got dropped from the run on side to the squad is that he and Miller donít get along.
Poor player selection and retention (Hewatt and Fairbanks in particular) at contract time and there are next to no Gold Coast players in the squad and none even making the reserve bench. The Gold Coast has been the most successful team in the Brisbane comp, in the last 3 years, excluding the Canberra Vikings, with 3 consecutive grand final appearances and they finally took out the title last year. This side has a great forward pack that dominates their opposition and then unleashes their backs. Their former coach was Grant Batty and Alec Evans was their coach for their title win last year.
Millerís selection of weekly lineups has me stumped. The continual choice of the Voodoo doll at 5/8 is a continual mystery to me. The kid has played well for QLD when he is at fullback but he is not a 5/8 and he is out of his depth at that position.
While we have Brock James in the side who is a natural 5/8. I saw him play the last couple of minutes against the Stormers in the first half. He touched the ball 3 times and each time he did something different: a clever inside pass, a nice long pass and a grubber behind the first line of defence. It was so refreshing to see someone reading the situation and using the players around him rather than going a little bomb or failed grubber and hoping something will happen.
While the continual choice for young players rather than veterans is annoying. You have got to install confidence in young players by bringing them on slowly or blooding a few at a time, not all at once. Tune at the moment would give the backline the confidence it needs and he canít even make the bench.
Alec Evans made the comment last week that he has advised all his players to head west if they are offered a contract. Evans was assistant coach under Knuckles, McBain and probably Slack as well; and he has been the Aus U21 coach. His words carry a lot of weight with the playing community and will be headed.
Unless Miller is kicked out and soon all the good players in the Reds and the good young prospects in club land are going to be heading west or interstate. If Miller is retained by the QRU for next year, I will not be supporting them.
I have had enough and will probably support the Perth based side as it will be a bit like Canberra's early days in the league, full of QLD players who want to play.
A very disheartened QLD rugby supporter.