I played rugby for fun. Pretty seriously at the same time but was living proof that you need talent to get far. On the other hand I did compete at an elite level in another sport.
Coaching is a high level activity requiring a diverse range of skills and knowledge. Communication and managing player temperament and performance is probably the most important. I really believe the best coaches have 3-5 years at the top with a particular group of players. They simply just get found out after that as players figure out how it is being done. Cynicism can set in.
Jones is an absolutely great example. McQueen did not hang around for longer than 3 years at either the Brumbies or Wallabies. I assume he has the same theory. Gibson switched clubs. Bennett kept rolling his players over. Actually I meant Alan but Eddie is also a good example.
To be fair to Connolly I believe he was always considered an interim option, quite possibly partly because he should have had a much earlier opportunity.
We do need to look at the NZ system. We keep going one out for the next coach who will magically be the solution. Two of our really successful coaches, Alan Jones and Rod McQueen, in fact owe some of their success to their immediate predecessors who had changed the environment and upset the status quo.
The report today that discussions with Cheika have stalled is another case of chasing the last man standing on the basis he will be the Messiah. I said (and wrote here) before the game that the players would take greater control of the game plan, I said and texted during the game that they had. I believe that is the case and would not have had any problem with going to Europe with the squad and coaching support staff as is, minus McKenzie and under the oversight of an unimpeachable manager e.g. Eales, Brett Robinson etc who might act as a facilitator / sounding board / 3rd selector.
They are all grown ups, if they could not get the job done then we are all wasting our time over this shit anyway. Even writing this makes me feel we are all massively exaggerating the role and importance of one man as a coach. That their sheer absence (including driving a team member to the airport one day) must render all impotent.
The ARU could then have conducted its process under less pressure and send the elected coach over at a later date. Right now we have the worst of both worlds. It is a tough situation. Complex. Fluid. There was always a chance the ARU could get it wrong. The sad thing is that the it is just one more poor decision after another. Hope there luck turns soon.