May I please make a plea to you on behalf and for the sake of the English Rugby League, my concern is of our progress to the final of this fantastic World Cup Tournament which we as the RFL, fans and paying public have the enormous pleasure in hosting.
It is quite evident that at the beginning of the tenure of your placement you sought after creating a “club” situation of the International Team, this would allow you a benefit which no previous manager/coach had ever had or experienced before, enabling you regular get togethers to have team bonding, tactical seminars, game awareness and instil discipline.
I for one was very enlightened when you made the statement that the team was going to be based on form and that would be the main criteria of selection, I was also a little amazed at that time that you also deemed it necessary to nominate a captain, but I could see the value in you requiring a General, an intermediary who would have the ability to get your tactics and strategies over to your players, whether in real game time or as your eyes and ears in other situations.
So 3 years ago you started out on our behalf to prise the ultimate prize, the Rugby League World Cup away from the Antipodeans to our shores. You began with a line of attack that was based around the Half Back combination of 6 and 7 who would deliver your scheme’s and tactics to benefit of all, it was put to the test in the 4 Nations Tournament of 2011 and it transpired that the combination of Messer’s Sinfield and Chase may not be the pairing or individuals that would show the benefit of your game plans, we still have the same incumbents in these positions and the passing of time has not improved matters for you.
Mr. Sinfield has got a little older already being the wrong side of thirty (at the outset) and has got quite noticeably slower, whilst he would probably be the first to admit that his domestic form as not reached the standards of previous campaigns, and dare I say it Not in Form, also Mr. Chase will never be that structured team player you want him to be, his worth is in the unexpected when he himself does not seem to know what he is doing.
We are now part way through the opening group games and it comes as no surprise to any one that the teams with quality 6’s & 7’s are the teams that have had a structure to their play, Australia have even the advantage of Thurston/Cronk or Thurston/Cherry Evans, New Zealand have Foran/Johnson, Scotland have Brough/Wallace, even the USA with Paulo/Preistly and Italy with Falcone/Ghietti are performing better for the benefit of their teams than your half-backs.
I for one am all about sticking to one’s principles, but what sets humans apart from any other animal life form is the ability to reason, reasoning enables us to realise what is not right and having the ability to rectify, so before it’s to late stand back, look strongly at the evidence before you, stop being unyielding, employ the tools at your disposal, and lets win this thing.