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The decisions of a coach!
Pingu the Brave (IP Logged)
20 April, 2017 15:13
Advance apologies for the long post. smiling smiley

I have been reading many of the posts on this board regarding the Lions and England selections with a mixture of interest, amazement and wonder.

I have played and coached at a reasonably high level, not the lofty heights of the higher divisions but at county and and club level.

When playing I was interested in how coaches viewed players in their positions, why they liked and didn't like them, how they selected their starting 15 and then the bench. What they saw in some players that I couldn't see and why they couldn't see what I saw in others. This continued into my coaching career.

Looking at a player and what you consider makes them good, bad or middling stems from a number of different factors.
1 what style of rugby do you want your team to play
2 is the player able to adapt themselves to that style of play
3 what does the coach consider to be the key skills needed in the position, the unit, the team and the squad within which that player will fit
4 will the player execute the game plan as the coaches want it executed
5 is the player adaptable to other positions and also their place within the hierarchy of the squad
6 do you have time to bend a game plan/framework to a player or does that player have to fit immediately into your game plan/framework

All of these and a few more will go through a coaches head when looking at a player. I have had many intense discussions with my assistant coaches over the merits of different players. We all see something different in each and every player. Just because I like one player more than another for what they bring doesn't mean that they are a bad player. It just means that I am after a different tool for the job.

For the Lions the coaches will need to bring the players together into a close knit squad very quickly. They will want certain types of characters and types of leaders and followers in order to get the squad to meld. Perhaps our Wasps players just weren't the types the Lions or England coaches are after.

Don't forget, there have been many times when posters on this board have said that they wouldn't want player X, Y or Z from another team in our squad. Players that are performing week in week out at their own club. What works for Wasps will not work for others and vice versa.

Wasps play a loose, fast and exciting game, one where we rely on scoring more than we concede. Our players are used to that idea and style of play. They are not overly aggressive at the contact point, nor do we indulge in any afters. We are honest, hardworking and skilful rugby players we are not hard nosed and if I was brutally honest we are just not nasty enough. Wasps would benefit from a Lawrence, a Volley, a Lewsey or a Worsley but Wasps have never been a side that boast the more physical aggressive player. Instead we are a little more scalpel then axe but at times you need and axe and more than just one!

I am sure that over the next few weeks we will see more of our beloved Wasps playing in red or white but as long as they wear black and gold that's enough for me.


Re: The decisions of a coach!
Gaz (IP Logged)
20 April, 2017 15:29
Good post PtB.

You are right, a coach selects 'the tools' that he thinks will get the job done. Lions is a unique situation where a basically scratch side has to take on the best side in the world, so rightly focusses on a simple but effective game plan.

I still don't think it explains the bewildering decisions behind the England squad though.

Re: The decisions of a coach!
cb@wasps (IP Logged)
20 April, 2017 15:33
My reply is going to be shorter than your post

thumbs down thumbs down

Re: The decisions of a coach!
StevieWasp (IP Logged)
20 April, 2017 15:41
We also have to realise that these are all excellent rugby players.
It's not as easy as saying "that team did poorly in the 6nations so their players are poor".

England did poorly in the World Cup. Essentially, the same players then won a Grand Slam within a couple of months. It therefore wasn't that the players themselves were poor, they just needed to be in the right environment to realise their potential.

There's a lot of flak over the Welsh players that have been picked. Those players aren't poor just because the team didn't do well in the 6 nations.

There are players that I would have selected that aren't going, but to ridicule the entire selection, and to boycott whole series over a handful of contentious selection decisions is as ridiculous as Joe not got selected in the first place.

Re: The decisions of a coach!
westwaleswasp (IP Logged)
20 April, 2017 16:34
One of the players Wasps fans would say dim diolch to of late is on that very plane in fact......

I actually think there is a lag between success and recognition. Sarries were the best in 2011 and had little recognition, Quins too. You win the title and people notice, unless you name is Goode. If we win a pot we will see more Wasps backs picked.
Odd that our forwards have found it easier to get recognition.

Re: The decisions of a coach!
ricohchezwasp (IP Logged)
20 April, 2017 16:48
if you ever get to see Moneyball with Brad Pitt, it's interesting as they select players based upon statistical analysis rather than perceived ability, they need guys to get to first base, which ultimately in baseball wins matches.....

So they sacrifice certain high profile players for others with less ability that can do a job the coaches need done!!

Not a Doctor and not a troll!!

Re: The decisions of a coach!
coddy (IP Logged)
20 April, 2017 20:14
So are Wasps too soft? the league table suggests not, the main reason I believe we haven't won trophies yet is not because we don't have hard nosed forwards who don't take a backward step (and concede a plethora of penalties) but because we just haven't got the experience of being in contention yet.

Re: The decisions of a coach!
Raggs (IP Logged)
22 April, 2017 08:17
As mentioned elsewhere, I think it's because our defence plays into the hands of the strategy needed to beat us.

To beat Wasps you need to keep the ball away from them, once they get the ball it's often a score within a very low number of phases if playing well. Kick deep to force us to give it back around the halfway line, or even just run it from your own 22, since our defence simply doesn't force turnovers, and concedes ground over time.

Re: The decisions of a coach!
Heathen (IP Logged)
22 April, 2017 08:52
if you ever get to see Moneyball with Brad Pitt, it's interesting as they select players based upon statistical analysis rather than perceived ability, they need guys to get to first base, which ultimately in baseball wins matches.....
So they sacrifice certain high profile players for others with less ability that can do a job the coaches need done!!

Exeter fit that profile. It is the ethos of Rob Baxter.(who IMHO should be the next England coach).

Re: The decisions of a coach!
Raggs (IP Logged)
22 April, 2017 09:01
Rob has done very well with his club, and is clearly a capable coach, but I often think there's a huge difference between a club coach and an international coach. Baxter has done slow and steady work with Exeter over a large number of seasons, working day in, day out, with players. In the international arena, he get's a few weeks of intensive training a season, with a mix of players. I'm not saying he couldn't do it, but rather I'd like to see someone with some (season or two) international experience on their resumes, showing that they can handle the very different environment.

Re: The decisions of a coach!
doog (IP Logged)
22 April, 2017 10:46
The odd thing is, I have seen Wasps, usually deep into a game and under pressure, put in excellent tackle after excellent tackle, and slowly force the opposition back from our 22 and into their half. We can do it, I just don't know why we can't consistently do it, nor why we don't do it more often. If we are to defeat $arries and Ex, we have to pressure them far, far more during their attacking phases than we regularly do. I'm damn sure Dai and the lads know this, so the only reason I can come up with to explain this lack of hard defence, is that it stifles our attack in some way, but that will take a better analyst of the game than me, to confirm.

Re: The decisions of a coach!
StevieWasp (IP Logged)
22 April, 2017 12:24
.... Or that it's a plan to unleash in crucial knock out games, like your see in all the best movies.

Oops, too late for champions cup

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