Monday, October 29, 2007

2007 ARIAS Highlight

Run and won!! Largely by "Silverchair" the ARIAS are over for another year and demonstrate the magnificent creativity within the aussie music industry!!

My personal highlight was "Powderfinger's" rendition of "Lost and Running" with the Sydney Gospel Choir!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Go the Boks!!

What other choice is there... if another country is to have two Webb Ellis successes then is sure as heck can't be England!! Not back to back... from being the best side for 2 years to being perhaps amongst the worst and somehow bobbing up with a gameplan that we helped them have confidence in!!

Habana alone and the mercurial Percy Montgomery [who can forget the immortal commentary of Simon Poidevin in the Tri Nations as Jonah Lomu make him look like a turnstile "He's dogged that Percy Montgomery, he's taken a dive rather than tackle Lomu!!"] both deserve a title win!!

The Boks forwards have been skillfully restrained and could do anything tonight!!

Will Wilkinson play a determining role?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Applying for the Wallaby Coaching Job

OK OK stop texting and phoning me demanding action!!
Let me confirm I have sent my application to the ARU High Performance Unit for the job of Head Coach of the Wallabies!!
Let's see if I get a response this time... Pat Howard now heads up the Unit and I have co-coached with his Uncle Tom at Wanderers so we'll see... I have also sent my media release to Greg Growden at the Sydney Morning Herald as it was he who blew the whistle on the journalist spin that previously 'Knuckles' Conolly was indeed NOT the 'last man standing'!!

Here are some extracts:

I would work to build a set up and a team at its pinnacle that:

Could catch, pass, run and kick when needed
Brought in younger players in a smooth transition
Offered redundancy to half the current squad post Cup
Organised a huge farewell send off for George Gregan
Work at continuing Matt Dunnings transformation including a haircut
Keep Mortlock as captain for 2 years
Shift Camp Wallaby to Newcastle
Work towards a 12 team National Comp for which all Wallabies would be available
Shift the Brumbies to Melbourne
Sign Gordon Bray to the Test Commentary for life
Scrap “Waltzing Matilda” for Midnight Oil’s “Only the Strong”
Have mufti day for training every Friday
Undertake Compulsory touch football drills
Includes Canterbury clothing up to 5XL
Reintroduce the players to Bill in 2011
Includes No Test Rugby in Melbourne or Perth
The Wallabies would play a genuine free spirited style which involved actually running
forwards, passing to beat the man and fines for every dropped ball
Now we’re over the Wendell Sailor experiment I’d ban League converts in future
Fitness would be paramount…
They say you always focus as a coach on the areas you lacked as a player!!
Loose forwards would train to link with backs not just be battering rams
Inside backs would run straight lines and make room for wider athletes
The Sevens would include top flight Wallabies
Players would be encouraged into Baa Baas & World XVs
Wallabies would wear club socks at training and occasionally in games
Mat Giteau would be asked to be more than a ‘potential star’
Old coaches/players banned from commenting on team & coaching performance
except over a schooner at the club after the match
Old fashioned ‘skolls’ would be returned

I am writing to you to apply for the position of ‘WALLABIES HEAD COACH’ which despite not seeing it advertised is clearly ‘up for grabs’ with all the recent media coverage in the wake of exit from the World Cup in France!!

Once again ‘friends’ have been pestering me to throw my hat in the ring following our early exit and reminded me of my efforts last time around when [as Greg Growden noted] John “Knuckles” Conolly was indeed NOT ‘Last Man Standing’. Not so much as a letter from the ARU advising me I was unsuccessful ? AND I had to phone and chase up the result only to be fobbed off!! I look forward to your correspondence on this occasion!!

At a glance reasons for considering my Application:

25 years experience as a Rugby Player under myriad coaching regimes
13 years experience as a Coach [Wanderers Rugby] in the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Unions [A Club I know you’ll be familiar with]
All during the beginnings and development of the professional rugby era
Knowledge of the highs and lows including 12 premierships [6 as a Coach] and the career ending rupture of both kneecap tendons in a tackle in June 2003
Commitment to running rugby
Suffering through TV coverage and live attendance at Wallaby Tests in 2004-7
Excellence as a “man manager” with playing groups of mixed ability and potential
Demonstrated results in dealing with an arch enemy through match plans, tactics and Grand Final Results
The Wallabies skills of catch, pass, run and kick could not be collectively worse
No political baggage cf Muggleton, Nucifora or any overseas candidate

My RESUME will give more detailed background and evidence for your consideration BUT
I urge you to do some ‘outside the frame thinking going forward’. I would welcome the opportunity for an Interview to further push my claims. I look forward to your letter acknowledging receipt of my application and advice as to where I am placed and what are the likely next steps in this exciting process!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

#@$%^ Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson is a tough and capable footballer and clearly Brian Ashton and his team are very good coaches as they lift the cod ordinary England team into the Final of the Rugby World Cup!!

The French appear to have struggled with the England rush defence and they timed their fitness peak beautifully to get the chain passing game and shifting the ball going pretty well BUT clearly a late penailty and drop goal shifted the momentum for a late French charge and snubbed out their enthusiasm to leave England a chance to defend their title after 4 dreadful years!!

Things are so bad I contemplate cheering for the South Africans... I suppose Argentina have a chance and that would be a fun Final... spare a thought for Aussies with tickets!!!!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

There is Hope

So the Aussie Schoolboys beat NZ today at Hunters Hill 23-18!!
I guess we'll see some Academy players coming through in the years ahead BUT seriously I am just back from a few days away and will write about the 'Rugby World Cup' DEBACLE soon!!

Short summary now:
  • Geez poor Steve Larkham with those images after the defeat
  • Can we find a Front Row with skill, bulk and speed... it was supposed to be their time!
  • I feel for Mortlock as he should never had needed that missed goal after playing behind a beaten pack of forewards
  • Great to be watching some 'daytime' footy
  • How dangerous we looked with the ball, how little of it we had
  • Mastering the offload game meant loose forwards were out wide looking to run and hence invisible when beaten at the breakdown
  • Our positional kicking game went off and the wheels fell off
  • Berrick Barnes slight of hand was good but you need multiple phases of play so you fool the opposition ocassionally.... we didn't have enough ball to do that...
  • Eddie Jones is behaving like a 'pork chop' but he is right that if George Gregan is in the side he should have been skipper and only move on after he goes...
  • Vickerman... grow up! They out foxed and niggled you beautifully
  • McMenniman does look good
  • The Lineout pictured above and our defence are about all we did really well!!
Anyhow... more later!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Trouble in Burma

UN Envoy holds Second Meeting with Aung San Sui Kyi
Associated Press October 2, 2007

UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari today held a second meeting with Burma's detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, just hours after his talks with the nation's junta leader, a Burma official said.

The two met at a military guesthouse in Rangoon, the same place where Gambari met with the Nobel Peace Prize winner for more than an hour on Sunday, the official said.

The 15-minute meeting came immediately upon Gambari's return from Burma's remote capital Naypyidaw, where he held talks with junta chief, Than Shwe.

After talking with Aung San Suu Kyi, the envoy headed to the airport in Rangoon, where he was expected to board a flight to Singapore, witnesses said.

Gambari had waited for days to see the reclusive Senior General Than Shwe and express global outrage after security forces put down protests led by Buddhist monks, leaving at least 13 dead and more than 1,000 arrested.

What amazing scenes as the Monks this time led the protest and took to the streets! I began to think we might actually witness another amazing story like the release of Mandela... revolution in our time!!

BUT it looks not to be this time as the Military struck back and the scenes were quite disturbing!! I note a few internet petitions, a bit of froth and bublle from the UN and wonder where to from here.... for Burma, for Aung San, the people AND for those of us who would pary and wish it changed BUT don't really know what else to do?

For worship in groups there are two songs that come to mind though neither is a genuine way to change in the next week... yet both might be about the way this will change in the longer run!!
I'm not for a minute suggesting these songs will change the world... but with images and words they may well inspire prayer and action. There are other tunes that have been similarly inspired.

"If Everyone Cared" Nickelback
"Walk On" U2

"If Everyone Cared" Nickelback
From underneath the trees, we watch the sky
Confusing stars for satellites
I never dreamed that you'd be mine
But here we are, we're here tonight

Singing Amen, I, I'm alive
Singing Amen, I, I'm alive

If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we'd see the day when nobody died

And I'm singing

Amen I, Amen I, I'm alive
Amen I, Amen I, Amen I, I'm alive

And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along

Singing Amen, I, I'm alive
Singing Amen, I, I'm alive
(I'm alive)

[Chorus x2]

And as we lie beneath the stars
We realize how small we are
If they could love like you and me
Imagine what the world could be

If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we'd see the day when nobody died
When nobody died...


We'd see the day, we'd see the day
When nobody died
We'd see the day, we'd see the day
When nobody died
We'd see the day when nobody died

"Walk On" U2
And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage that you can bring
Love is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can't leave behind...

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it's a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

Oh, oh
Walk on, walk on
What you got, they can't steal it
No, they can't even feel it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

You're packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed, to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly, for freedom

Oh, oh
Walk on, walk on
What you got, they can't deny it
Can't sell it, or buy it
Walk on, walk on
You stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
How your heart, it breaks
You can only take so much

Walk on...
Walk on...

Hard to know what it is, if you never had one
I can't say where it is, but I know I'm going
That's where the heart is...

And I know it aches
And your heart, it breaks
And you can only take so much

Walk on...

Leave it behind
You got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you feel

All this you can leave behind

All that you reason, (it's only time)
(And I'll never fill up all I find)
All that you sense
All that you scheme
All you dress-up
All that you've seen
All you create
All that you wreck
All that you hate

News footage from BBC [over 4 mins]