Queer coaching decissions

Harlequins have specialized this season at come-back. Against Leicester, Stade de France and many others, their will and their cool heads have taken them to important scores. It must be said that Nick Evans has often been the executing weapon of a Quins side who never give up.

Against Ulster, things looked pretty much the same when, after trailing 12-0 at halftime, the Harlequins recovered to trail only 16-10 with 10 minutes to go and a very kickable penalty for the english side.

"16-13 and 10 minutes to get possession and have another score" I said to myself.

But then the english coach (Dean Richards) decided he had enough of good results and he wanted to risk everything. Malone in for Evans.


I mean, Malone has not played a single minute, Evans is your specialist and you are close to it... What's going so wrong to change everything?

Nevermind, Malone kicks to goal and misses. Five minutes later, a kick of his is intercepted and Ulster Scores. Game over. 21-10.

It will not be published anywhere, as Stade de France has lost today and the Harlequins are already classified, having a 6-point advantage with one game to go.


miff said...

I think you are being harsh on Richards. Have you been reading the press too much?
Although I don't rate Malone, it is obvious that Richards wanted to give him so more match time just in case. It backfired. The way you make it sound is that Richards is a bad coach based on one decision. I think he has been hard done by this rather 'looking for excuses' type of argument about how a team can fail under the most ridiculous of situations.
If anything, this will break or make Chris Malone. Evans has done miracles for Richrads but evenb he can fail as evidenced only a couple of weeks ago. Rugby is a sport,I think anyway, that this substitution theory is not ever brilliant, just an excuse for getting tired players off the pitch. Otherwise, coaches shouldn't replace a single player unless he is 'almost dead'. Rugby isn't a 20 man sport, it's a 15 man sport. Coaches often make these ridiculous sunstitutions so that they can have uncontested scrums. There is something to Olivier" Hollywood " Azam and his histrionics after a head butt. I mean I thought he was going to have to be med evacuated from the pitch.

sesenta y cuatro said...

Hm... Perhaps it is true, I'm being too harsh, but I just could not understand why he took MY HERO off the field when the game was on the decissive minutes.

It is not that I read the press, I don't think this story will ever be published. I did never pay any attention to who the coach of the 'quins might be until yesterday.

But man, even if I am in a mood to forgive Richards, I cannot understand it. I still think it's been a queer coaching decission. A decission I cannot agree with, at least.

MIff said...

That sometimes is the problem with rugby....emotion. Only a couple of years ago, Malone was playing for Leicester, I think, and on the cusp of an international cap. He is a bit like Andy Goode. He looks live on the television far worse than he actually is. But Evans is a very fine player.
Your old favorite player, Nacewa , is playing far worse than Malone is.
I want to tell you he has fallen way down since he played his best in Fiji and NZ.

miff said...

My apologies. Chris Malone is Australian and therefore I totally agree with you. He didn't play for Leicester; it was Bath and Bristol.
Please accept me remorse. I relapsed into Kava earlier this morning.