Posted by: fiore | March 24, 2009

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

I don’t really have the strenght to talk about the shameful performance the Azzurri displayed last Saturday in the Six Nations final match with France. The logical finale of a depressing Tournament. But something has to be said. From the very beginning of this year tournament it was clear enough, for anyone who is not blind, that there was something deeply wrong with this team. The debut with Mauro Bergamasco at scrum-half was a declaration of intent which stated “our mission is to fail”.

Sergio Parisse scores the only home try for Italy

Sergio Parisse scores the only home try for Italy

So, what’s wrong with this team? What’s wrong with Italy? Why coaches never last? Two years is their expiring date. Is it us who are unable to work as a group?

We have been told that the problem was that our players needed international stages to improve their skills, so now most of the guys play in foreign championships (England and France mainly), and play a very competitive rugby.

But nothing changed. Of course, the only slightly remarkable attacking plays in this tournament were displayed by the combination of three Stade Francais players: Sergio Parisse and the Bergamasco brothers. But that’s not enough to make a team.

Coach Mallett complained about our lack of talents and that we are too small (!!) but in my opinion we have players good enough for the Six Nations. It is how you use them that doesn’t work.

Look at Ireland. After the 2007 World Cup they were a broken team. And look at them now. They are almost the very same players who where knocked out of the RWC and that have been labelled as perpetual runner-ups in the latest 6N tournaments. Then Declan Kidney took the job from Eddie O’Sullivan and changed Ireland into a Grand Slam winning team. What’s his secret? What’s the “Kidney factor”? “He simply has a superb talent for organisation and for getting the best possible results out of large groups of people who have a wide variety of talents”. THAT’S IT. I’m sure it could easily work for us too but...where can we find someone like him?

Times-on-line published an interesting portait of Mr Kidney which could be inspiring for us too. You can read it here.

There’s also another interesting article about one of the greatest Irish rugby players of the recent past, Simon Geoghegan, who – when Ireland was at its lowest point – had been brave enough to stand up and speak his mind…

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