Leinster and Harlequins repeating Nucifora's mistakes

No Blues side has possibly ever been stronger than 2008 Blues. To their already fearsome forward pack, the signing of star first five Nick Evans from the Highlanders drew a very pleasant perspective for their 2008 Super 14 campaing. Evans, alongside with Rokocoko, Nacewa, Tuitavake, Toeava and Wulf formed a promising line-up.

The fact that the Blues did not even reach the last 4 despite an outstanding start with 15 points during their first three games suggests a big question mark over the former Blues head coach David Nucifora.

The quality was undoubtedly there. But apparent lack of form of Toeava first and Nick Evans afterwards, injuries to Evans, Rokocoko and Nacewa and strange tactical decissions like those of switching Nacewa and Evans eventually lead to a bitter 6th position for the Blues.

Possibly the strangest decission that Nucifora took was switching Evans to fullback and Nacewa to first five eighths. What was the point of it? Nacewa spent 2007 playing at first five for the Blues while at the same time he said that his favourite position was wing. 2008 saw him trying at fullback while the number 10 was automatically given to Evans.

Why switch them? Is not Nacewa better fullback than Evans? Is not Evans possibly one of the two best first five in the world?

It amazed me last week during Heineken Cup to see again Nick Evans playing at 15 for the 'Quins while Nacewa wore the Leinster 10 jersey.

People taking care for these two sides, don't you have enough money to sign whoever you want? There is no excuse if you lack a better 10 than Nacewa and there is no possible reason that I can envisage for switching Evans to 15.

Well, not entirely true; there's one, but he's playing for Perpignan this season.


miff said...

It is an interesting commentary on form. It is obvious that Nacewa is not in form and Evans has been. But the end result is that their two respective sides have been winning despite and in response to that form. What exactly does a coach do? I think that the coach has a tough time either dropping a player(killing his confidence) or playing him on(perhaps killing the team's confidence).
You are lucky because two of your favourite players are doing so well teamwise. But,heh, the same question could be posed to the coach of Ireland....is O'Driscoll the form centre and should he be the captain.
Coaches are always in a difficult spot because their job depends on results. Nucifora did a poor job in my estimation but even you questioned Dean Richards on his substitution of Malone.
It is impossible to please everybody all the time.
My feeling is: eliminate these big name coaches and reestablish player/coaches. It costs less and perhaps the return will be better.

sesenta y cuatro said...

Yep, but what do we do with the likes of Deans, Meyer and so on? Do we give them a jersey?

miff said...

I hadn't quite thought about it that way. Of course, I would like to see how Umaga turns out. Perhaps Deans and Company can become managers?

sesenta y cuatro said...

What doy you think of Meyer's exit from Leicester? Is he getting close to SA in case de Villiers miserably fails again? Or do you think that there's nothing else than family matters after his decission?

miff said...

I remarked some weeks ago that Leicester really paid off Meyer. This of course beat the Loffreda scandal but they really don't want an Afikaans coach. It's not like Nick Mallett, who is English or Anglo South African and even matriculated at Oxford.
I think the RFU is very quiet about this one. Remember that Martin Johnson is a Leicester man and it would not surprise me one bit if Neal Back got the job or Cockerill stays on.
Meyer has absolutely no shot at the Springboks unless universal bad mouthing simply forces the guy out through sheer embarassment. In that case, the SARFU will be glad to pay him off and, in this economy, I don't see that happening. Meyer wants to return home to the world's best comnpetition and be with , some say, one of the world's best sides.
There is probably some truth to the family problems. The real surprise is Derrick Hougaard. He might very well lead Leicester without his father figure and mentor. That would be a remarkable accomplishment in my book. And it is not an impossible situation.
He looked very comfortable against Ospreys.