Jason Little (69)
Yeah, every fucken year we hear about how talented the young Reds side is and how the Wallabies are going to be chock full of Reds - and every fucken year they have a win rate of about 20%.We seem to have all fallen into or for some kind of rugby lullaby that says that having a "young and talented team" is intrinsically A Good Thing that will somehow go into a special astrological circuit of the moon and inexorably come out a top pro team...one day, just be patient.
No. Pro Rugby Success and Team Excellence Creation Does Not Work Like That. If there is not an excellent-enough coaching and skills development infrastructure around good young players all that will happen over time is that:
- (a) most 'talented players' skills will stay at the upper amateur level and not fast evolve enough- (b) crucial team capabilities like maul defence, line out, ruck skills (defence and offence), genuine ensemble attack patterns, forwards' pod work, etc will never evolve fast enough to defeat more matured and better coached and whole-team-skilled-up teams- (c) the consequence of the defects and too-slow development in the above areas will magnify into poor composure on the field the moment serious adversity hits and in turn increasing loss-making individual and team error rates 'that can't be easily explained' and- (d) the virtuous inner team circles of self-confidence built through winning and sustained patterns of dominance will never occur and the team will stagnate into one where 'terrific moments' and 'we dominated for 20 minutes' will be the only tainted prizes and will never be enough to propel the team into consistent victory patterns.