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Physical imposition rugby – the Sydney University system

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Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
Regardless of playing style, not having access to significantly more full-time professional players, who have spent the previous 6 months training and playing at a higher level is an important difference in 2014.

Uni certainly didn't play the same highly structured game in 2014 as they did in the past. This could be because of a change in training methodology, coaching philosophy or just not having the same calibre of players to carry out the structure - or a combination of all 3.

and a changing of the guard, possibly
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
True, but if "the system" is across the club, and driven by long lead time investing in Colts development, then the production line should take more than one season to shut down.
 

Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
True, but if "the system" is across the club, and driven by long lead time investing in Colts development, then the production line should take more than one season to shut down.

Nah.
Its not like getting on a program and playing 3rd grade colts (because the points won't let you play 1s) is going to prepare you for 1s or 2s in grade (or maybe even 3s).
Its not just absolute strength. Its the whole player - including his emotional well being - he's got to learn how to play when everyone around you is pretty much competent: most of them have only been in that situation intermittently until colts, more frequently in colts and then pretty much permanently in grade and above.
This is one of the reasons our development pathways from 18 onwards are not helping our game.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
So are you suggesting that the wheels fell off the Uni "machine" several years back, and that they have been living of the fat of previous player development, and the annual injection of professionals previously developed.
 

Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
So are you suggesting that the wheels fell off the Uni "machine" several years back, and that they have been living of the fat of previous player development, and the annual injection of professionals previously developed.

Not really.
Just saying that its pretty hard to keep something purring along at the highest level in what is still an amateur or largely amateur level of the sport.
With that long at the top there are bound to be holes in the foundations if for no other reason than people want to get a run in 1st grade or a higher grade and so depart. If everyone who had been to Uni and was playing grade played at Uni they'd be unbeatable.
Most things are cyclical.
Besides which once personnel start changing it is inevitable that different strengths and weaknesses will emerge.
 

wamberal

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
Many years ago Dick Marks was appointed to the position of Director of Coaching (not sure about the exact title) by the ARU.


The idea was that he would develop a coaching blueprint that would be followed by all teams, from the national team down to the grassroots.


The idea had merit then, and it still does,
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
^^ I think that The Dingo also had some vague notions of trying to do something similar. To implement that would have required the folk at the High Performance Unit, at that time lead by Nucifora, to front up.

For whatever reason, perhaps related to the internal power politics within ARU at the time, Dingo's vision was never implemented. Pity.

The recent implementation of the Junior Gold Cup involved the HPU" upskilling" of all the Coaches, and S&C Staff involved with JGC. Hopefully some standardisation of the "Rugby Curriculum" as per "The Wallaby Way" has been imparted to those involved, Coaches, S&C staff, and players. (Under 15 and U17 only).

ARU High Performance are also rather heavily involved in the Australian Schoolboys preparation. This step will only address the top 26 players, and not engage with the broader playing pyramid.
 

Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
Scots - arguably the pre-eminent rugby school at this minute in Sydney are not adhering to the oz method, as it seems to me.
My theory is that this this is why they have no one in the oz schools side.
You may recall a lot of complaint about the imposition of their pod system on the GPS 1s.
They also have a thing where the #9 invariably stands at first receiver on phase ball and any old player (they are all essentially back rowers) goes to half.
Its a very interesting system - and it is a system. Works well up to a point and lets Crichton play very effectively at 12.
I think its good, however, to have a lot of different ideas. We can learn from them all at all levels, take the good and discard the indifferent.
It takes time to work out what is good and what is indifferent.
James Stewart may not have entirely embedded in the pod system but he is a very effective footballer - and i hope thats not damning him with faint praise.
I see the pod game as a type of power rugby but adapted too reflect the inevitable turnover in personnel at a school.
 

gupps01

Frank Row (1)
^^ I think that The Dingo also had some vague notions of trying to do something similar. To implement that would have required the folk at the High Performance Unit, at that time lead by Nucifora, to front up.

For whatever reason, perhaps related to the internal power politics within ARU at the time, Dingo's vision was never implemented. Pity.

The recent implementation of the Junior Gold Cup involved "upskilling" of all the Coaches, and S&C Staff involved by the HPU. Hopefully some standardisation of the "Rugby Curriculum" as per "The Wallaby Way" has been imparted to those involved, Coaches, S&C staff, and players. (Under 15 and U17 only).

ARU High Performance are also rather heavily involved in the Australian Schoolboys preparation. This step will only address the top 26 players, and not engage with the broader playing pyramid.


What they told us at the single "upskilling" session I had was a waste of time. It was ~60 minutes of the ARU showing us how to do pushups, squats etc. I used exactly 0% of it and did what I thought was needed by the boys instead.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
That is interesting. The session in Sydney was an all day affair with time in the classroom covering a some theory, and a fairly extensive session on the paddock for both the S&C Staff and the Coaches.

Looks like there was a lack of standardisation in the "upskilling" sessions held across the country.
 

gupps01

Frank Row (1)
That is interesting. The session in Sydney was an all day affair with time in the classroom covering a some theory, and a fairly extensive session on the paddock for both the S&C Staff and the Coaches.

Looks like there was a lack of standardisation in the "upskilling" sessions held across the country.


I was at the Sydney one. Flew in overnight and then out on the same day. Don't get me started on that mess. S&C had roughly 45 min in the classroom, then about an hour out on the field. Skills coaches had alot more time.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
My comments were more about the Skills Coach side of things. The Skills blokes I know seemed pretty happy with their session, although they did comment that there was a lot of them present at the day.
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
^^ I think that The Dingo also had some vague notions of trying to do something similar. To implement that would have required the folk at the High Performance Unit, at that time lead by Nucifora, to front up.

For whatever reason, perhaps related to the internal power politics within ARU at the time, Dingo's vision was never implemented. Pity.

I believe a new "tell all" book by RD will reveal his thoughts on Nuci and others within Australian rugby.;)
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
Scots - arguably the pre-eminent rugby school at this minute in Sydney are not adhering to the oz method, as it seems to me.
My theory is that this this is why they have no one in the oz schools side.
You may recall a lot of complaint about the imposition of their pod system on the GPS 1s.
They also have a thing where the #9 invariably stands at first receiver on phase ball and any old player (they are all essentially back rowers) goes to half.
Its a very interesting system - and it is a system. Works well up to a point and lets Crichton play very effectively at 12.
I think its good, however, to have a lot of different ideas. We can learn from them all at all levels, take the good and discard the indifferent.
It takes time to work out what is good and what is indifferent.
James Stewart may not have entirely embedded in the pod system but he is a very effective footballer - and i hope thats not damning him with faint praise.
I see the pod game as a type of power rugby but adapted too reflect the inevitable turnover in personnel at a school.

The system employed by Scots is a different take on what most rugby people would consider as a pod system. The Scots system you describe is essentially how modern rugby league is played where many of the players possess the same physical attributes and skill set. In league the half is the 1st receiver who mostly off-load to a runner, who tries to get a quick play the ball. In league it can be one off because the tackled player retains possession, Scots use the pod to try to effect the quick recycle in the same way.

The way Scots used it was highly effective, but I suspect that good coaches will be able to organise defensive structures to mitigate it.
 
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