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ARU Junior Gold Cup - National Junior Championships

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Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
It is so typical of selectors to go for the boy who breaks the line and makes a big solo run for 60 - 70 metres, when they were well out of position when they received the ball in the first place. From 20-50 metres away, it is tough to read the numbers of the boys who are dong the right thing in the tackle contests, and in defence.

Despite the rhetoric bandied about that selectors are looking for all round abilities and players who can "read a game", team playing Grafters playing their role in the "game plan" are frequently overlooked for the glitzy selfish seagulls.

The trials tend to result in the selection of the ad-hoc seagulling players, particularly when there is limited time to prepare kids to understand what is the game plan they should be playing to, and then select kids on their ability to execute that game plan. 46 kids to watch in a 2 x 30 minute games with subs on and off the oval at random times is a big ask for any selector, even when the selection panel are assigned functional groups to look for.

Most trialists would only get about two or three chances to impress the selection panel, and it can all be undone by the poor work of others, ie a lineout jumper would not look good if his hooker can not throw straight or accurately, a #10 would look ordinary if his #9 delivered the ball high or behind him, Wingers typically do not see the ball, etc.
 

John Brown

Bob McCowan (2)
Bit of a mess small field and a dust bowl. A lot of forwards rolling around, backs playing for themselves and not much cohesion as you'd expect in trials. Not pretty all round. Good luck sorting out the boys from that. Some of the stand outs were told after the trials that they're in and which teams they will play for, the rest will probably know later this week.

I am of the opinion that all the boys should find out at the same time via email or posted on a website, and that all selectors should follow their process which I assume there was.

The boys were supposedly told not to kick too much and pass the ball using their team. Even yesterday some boys with 4 on 1 play still would not pass the ball because it was all about "look at me look at me".... like watching the U8's again.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
^^ from the ARU (Luke Theisson) via @John Brown

How will I be notified if I am successful or not?
You will be sent an email in the week following the trials letting you know if you were successful or not.

The boys should know either way by this Sunday.

With 10 teams of trialists in U15 for 120 positions (4 centres of 30 kids) and 9 teams in U17 for 100 positions ( 4 centres of 30 kids less the 20 kids who took up the offer of pre-selection from U16 nationals), there is a fair bit of horse trading to be done.

I would think emails would not be coming out until Wednesday at the earliest.
 

The Incredible Plan

Herbert Moran (7)
It is so typical of selectors to go for the boy who breaks the line ......

Most trialists would only get about two or three chances to impress the selection panel, and it can all be undone by the poor work of others, ie a lineout jumper would not look good if his hooker can not throw straight or accurately, a #10 would look ordinary if his #9 delivered the ball high or behind him, Wingers typically do not see the ball, etc.

I do not get why, with today's technology, that the trial games aren't videoed using a couple of cameras (one even?) and why the footage is not used by the selectors that evening or at a subsequent selection meeting during the week to sift through things more scientifically and objectively. (a) it goes someway to addressing HJ's very valid points in the post above; (b) takes a lot of the emotion and snap judgement out of the process; (c) causes the selectors to be accountable (at the very least) to the other selectors; and (d) in theory therefore reduces the potential for criticism. Surely it's not the cost?
 

Top Cat

Sydney Middleton (9)
I do not get why, with today's technology, that the trial games aren't videoed using a couple of cameras (one even?) and why the footage is not used by the selectors that evening or at a subsequent selection meeting during the week to sift through things more scientifically and objectively. (a) it goes someway to addressing HJ's very valid points in the post above; (b) takes a lot of the emotion and snap judgement out of the process; (c) causes the selectors to be accountable (at the very least) to the other selectors; and (d) in theory therefore reduces the potential for criticism. Surely it's not the cost?

Couldn't agree with you more.

I video every game that my boys play in and the more I watch the videos the more I am baffled on how selectors and coaches base their decisions.

A small scaffold to film from, one full HD camera, a 16GB thumb drive for each of the selectors and 10 minutes of time to transfer to each thumb drive. Then they could view at their leisure on most smart TV's or any computer. ;)
 

Top Cat

Sydney Middleton (9)
It is so typical of selectors to go for the boy who breaks the line and makes a big solo run for 60 - 70 metres, when they were well out of position when they received the ball in the first place. From 20-50 metres away, it is tough to read the numbers of the boys who are dong the right thing in the tackle contests, and in defence.

Despite the rhetoric bandied about that selectors are looking for all round abilities and players who can "read a game", team playing Grafters playing their role in the "game plan" are frequently overlooked for the glitzy selfish seagulls.

The trials tend to result in the selection of the ad-hoc seagulling players, particularly when there is limited time to prepare kids to understand what is the game plan they should be playing to, and then select kids on their ability to execute that game plan. 46 kids to watch in a 2 x 30 minute games with subs on and off the oval at random times is a big ask for any selector, even when the selection panel are assigned functional groups to look for.

Most trialists would only get about two or three chances to impress the selection panel, and it can all be undone by the poor work of others, ie a lineout jumper would not look good if his hooker can not throw straight or accurately, a #10 would look ordinary if his #9 delivered the ball high or behind him, Wingers typically do not see the ball, etc.

My thoughts exactly and that is why games and trials should be on video. Selectors and coaches need to start selecting players with all round ability and not the 'one run wonders'.
 

Top Cat

Sydney Middleton (9)
Hunter Gold Squad has been announced.

Two players who are moving to Sydney schools trialled here to get selected so that they get an automatic selection in Sydney. I bet that will upset a few people when they find out :rolleyes:.

I think four of the players selected are U16's.

A few new players whom I'm not familiar with as of yet but will be good to see some new faces if they have improved.

One significant omission is a player who has improved immensely this year even though he missed a good deal of the season for his club. He came back for the final series to be player of the match in the Grand Final, and I fully agree with that decision. He tore apart the opposition backline that consisted of NSW Country players and also tackled hard to stop them in their tracks. He is fast and isn't a hog. In fact he is very generous with the ball and very aware of the players in his vicinity.

I will ask a few questions as to why next week. :confused:

It has been 4 weeks since the trial so ample time to make selections if they had been videoed.
 

Gary Owen III

Syd Malcolm (24)
Hunter Gold Squad has been announced.

Two players who are moving to Sydney schools trialled here to get selected so that they get an automatic selection in Sydney. I bet that will upset a few people when they find out :rolleyes:.

Top Cat - Is that a confirmed "automatic selection" to the Sydney centres?

If so then the ARU would need to select the Metro squads last to wait and see how many country players are moving to the city (the scholarship thread guys are going to love this). Otherwise the 30 per squad number is going to be just a guide.

Either way seems like there is a new loophole in the pathway - the Hunter and Illawarra trials next year might see a heap of "new" trialists turn up (whom are all ironically moving to Sydney next year).
 

Top Cat

Sydney Middleton (9)
Top Cat - Is that a confirmed "automatic selection" to the Sydney centres?

If so then the ARU would need to select the Metro squads last to wait and see how many country players are moving to the city (the scholarship thread guys are going to love this). Otherwise the 30 per squad number is going to be just a guide.

Either way seems like there is a new loophole in the pathway - the Hunter and Illawarra trials next year might see a heap of "new" trialists turn up (whom are all ironically moving to Sydney next year).

Gary, I can't confirm anything and I'm just quoting what one of the players stated to me when I enquired to why he was at the trial. I have no doubt that they would of made their enquiries higher up and based their decisions to trial at the Hunter session on that. Otherwise they would be little fish in a big pond down in Sydney.

If what I have been told is correct then I agree, as it will cause selection issues in the Sydney centres. They may however call it a 'train on squad' like I have noted in the email that we received in which 33 players have been nominated. As two of those are going to Sydney that leaves 31 but in all probability one of my boys may drop out as being a 'grafter' he has had enough of the totally baffling selection decisions that he has been a victim of. Well both of them have been victims actually. Calling it a 'train on squad' for a month or so allows the opportunity for players to be dropped and other players to be brought in if need be.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Presumably the JGC tournament games will be run under "normal" squad size rules where only 23 players are allowed to be nominated on the team sheet for a particular match. On that basis it seems a little moot if there are 30 or 31 kids in the JGC Centre programme. Some kids will not be nominated for all JGC games, whether riding the pine or run on.

There will be most likely be rules stating that kids in the squad must be nominated in the 23 for a minimum number of games, and probably a minimum number of starting places, as well as minimum game time across the tournament. It will be up to the Team Managers and coaches judgement as to when they rest their stars and give the relatively weaker boys a fair go.
 

S'UP

Bill Watson (15)
selectors and coaches let themselves and everyone else down by giving kids the heads up, all it does is taint the process and continues to reinforce the perception that these trials are just a waste of time. As my son said to me "dad it was so hard, nobody wanted to do the hard work they just wanted to get their hands on the ball to look good" as I said to him " thats trials, eventually those kids get caught out, you don't make it in senior rugby with that attitude"
Continue to work hard and see how it goes is the only approach you can take.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Wise words @S'up.

Take a browse through the NSW JRU annual reports that have just been posted on their web site.
http://www.nswjuniors.rugbynet.com.au/default.asp?id=140388

Most years have a photo of the NSW JRU Under 15's and Under 17's. Sometimes the players names are on the photo.

Go back a few years to the 2008 and earlier reports. The Under 17's there are now 22 years old, and U15's are 20. Play a game called "Where are they now?".

Either the Selectors got it seriously wrong, or the lights and signposts on the rugby development pathway were wonky or both.

Players abilities change relative to their peer group as their body shape changes going into adult hood , their motivation and determination to do the hard yards in the Gym and on the field to improve changes, jobs, study, travel, and all sorts of other complicating factors enter the equation.

As many have said across a variety of threads, reputation may open a door for a player in colts and grade, but that door slams shut pretty quickly if it isn't backed up with performance.

I would imagine that Kids who underperform in U15 JGC will be looked at rather critically when they try out for U17 JCG. At the moment is is a bit of a dogs breakfast because this is the first time they are rolling out this particular model, and much of what they are doing is "green fields" stuff. It is a "Work in progress". Perhaps we need to give it some time before we organise the lynching party.

Remember the 1/4 final of the very first RWC was held in Concord Oval. Several iterations later it is a 50000-80000 seat venue.
 

fireball

Allen Oxlade (6)
look it is not a perfect process we all know that. but that is life isn't it? everyone has the same conditions it is up to the boys to grab their chances when they come. trials are survival of the fittest and if boys found it too hard they should heed the lesson and learn how to dominate and impose themselves. in life you if you get a shot you take it don't complain after the event. from what i saw the truly talented boys shone even if it was just a great pass or try saving tackle or nice footwork. those boys will be picked for the others the upside is there is always tomorrow
 

fireball

Allen Oxlade (6)
re hunter my understanding is that is not the case. you will only be considered for the region in which you trialled. in any case my point remains, if kids were culled from the first week they clearly didn't impress. i don't know the circumstances of other boys added in the second week. but again you turn up on the day and stake your claim. there are a few to many excuses creeping in here the message to boys is control what you can and don't worry about other boys and what selectors may or may not do. you turn up you play no excuses and talent will out.
 

Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
I have some suggestions for the ARU and the District Clubs in each of the various capitals and maybe for the country as well. It could even provide an organic precursor to a 3rd tier.
I am going to lay it out based on Sydney.
Each of the District Clubs should be invited by the ARU to become seriously involved in the Gold Cup Development program.
Their Club coaches and colts 1's coaches (at least) should be present at the initial trial. The colts coaches (at least) should be present at the second trial.
The SS clubs should have combine responsibility for their local squad: Easter would Easts, Randwick and Southern, West would be Uni, Wests, Penrith, North could be Norths, Eastwood, Gordon, Beaches Manly and Warringah
The ARU HPU unit would have responsibility for the curriculum and for providing coaching resources to the respective squads and co-ordinating the whole thing - including ensuring as much balance between the squads as possible and liasing to supply players for positions in which any squad was weak or short of numbers.
As it stands the clubs mostly seem to run acadamies but these dont start until very late in the off season so its a bit hard to see their usefulness.
There are numerous advantages to this system:
  • the clubs get contact with U15/16/17 kids and can form a connection with them for when they leave school
  • the coaches get input from HPU (hopefully that's a plus) - helps us identify talented coaches and bring them through the ranks
  • the burden of providing development is split among the SS clubs so that any cost to them is split 3 ways
  • it costs the ARU no more than JGC
  • it provides the appearance of a pathway - hell the SS clubs might even go out and try to find nominees for the squads
  • after a few years it might have enough impetus to support parochial competition on a regular basis between the clubs at various age levels on a sustainable basis
  • which could lead to a little more identification with the clubs and the eventual emergence of a naturally grafted on 3rd tier comprising the clubs who got together to run each of the squads.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
We put a fair bit of pressure and expectations on little kids don't we.

Mind you looking at the size of many of them they are not that little physically. Intellectually they are the same sort of ratbags that we were when we were their age, looking to get into whatever mischief we could.

They need some down time to sit back and watch the clouds, the surf, or to listen to the crickets chirping in the trees. So what if another kid makes it into a rep programme, or if the process to select them was unfair in some way.

There is NO guarantee that JGC selection will improve HSC results, chances of selection into Aust Schoolboys or a professional rugby contract. The reality is that the majority will have a brief flirtation with being at the top of the rugby pyramid and then life will go on as per normal.

The kids know who is good and deserves a spot. They know which kids are on the way out losing form as the late developers finally start to physically catch up with the early physical developers. They generally know which kids are there because of Mum or Dads connections. They are remarkably resilient and can generally handle not making reps even if the process was flawed. There will be a new Xbox game out soon, or new page on facebook that they can fart around on.

Different kettle of fish for many parents. Many of these lack the resilience and ability to put things into perspective that their kids have. Every second of their kids lives must be controlled and quality moments. Any school teachers on this thread will know precisely what I am talking about.

Summer in Australia is a great time to go to the beach and chill out. Twice a week JGC training sessions could be seen as punishment, and restriction of freedom of movement. You know who will be doing all the driving don't you, and then you have to hang around, because by the time you get home it is time to go and pick them up again.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
I have some suggestions for the ARU and the District Clubs in each of the various capitals and maybe for the country as well. It could even provide an organic precursor to a 3rd tier.
<snip>

There is a fair bit of merit in what you propose, and I am on record in several other threads advocating a similar approach to manage the bunfight that is Under 15- Under 18 Juniors/Colts/Schools rugby in Sydney.

Maybe the debrief of this seasons approach and identifications of opportunities for improvement* may result in movements in that direction.
The assumption is that the Clubs are ready, willing and able to run the programme on behalf of the ARU, and that they can see the benefits for them and for rugby in general in getting on board. I'm not entirely convinced that all current Club rugby administrations would necessarily embrace this concept.

Bravo to the cloud gazers at Rugby Central for doing something. I sincerely hope that it is not a flop and that it becomes a foundation to build on and improve for the future.

Oz Rugby can not sustain too many more capitulations like we witnessed last Sunday morning.


*I prefer not to use the term "Lessons Learned" because until there is actual change, the lesson hasn't been learned. All that has been achieved is an identification of an area where improvements could be made.[/quote]
 

Shane Smeltz

Fred Wood (13)
There is a fair bit of merit in what you propose, and I am on record in several other threads advocating a similar approach to manage the bunfight that is Under 15- Under 18 Juniors/Colts/Schools rugby in Sydney.

Maybe the debrief of this seasons approach and identifications of opportunities for improvement* may result in movements in that direction.
The assumption is that the Clubs are ready, willing and able to run the programme on behalf of the ARU, and that they can see the benefits for them and for rugby in general in getting on board. I'm not entirely convinced that all current Club rugby administrations would necessarily embrace this concept.

Bravo to the cloud gazers at Rugby Central for doing something. I sincerely hope that it is not a flop and that it becomes a foundation to build on and improve for the future.

Oz Rugby can not sustain too many more capitulations like we witnessed last Sunday morning.

*I prefer not to use the term "Lessons Learned" because until there is actual change, the lesson hasn't been learned. All that has been achieved is an identification of an area where improvements could be made.
[/quote]

HJ, what do you mean by 'too many capitulations like we witnessed last Sunday morning'?
 
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