No more excuses - coach better step up

JACOB PAGE
Last updated 05:00 14/12/2013

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OPINION: It seems baffling incumbent Chester Scott kept his job as South Canterbury rugby coach.

Clearly, results mean nothing to the South Canterbury Rugby Union (SCRU) because a Lochore Cup win is still fifth in a 12-team competition.

Scott beat out a Meads Cup-winning coach in Barry Matthews and former All Black Victor Simpson after the trio fronted for interviews. The logical man for the job was Matthews, who won the competition with North Otago in 2010 and made the top four in 2011 and 2012.

The former South Canterbury halfback and former assistant coach of the Highlanders Super Rugby franchise had credentials for the job that could not be argued with, so the question is why did he miss out?

The team has been treading water under Scott, with a sixth, sixth and fifth in the past three seasons. SCRU chairman Brent Isbister has stated a plan for the forthcoming season was considered a crucial element to a successful applicant.

That, too, seems silly; how is a coach meant to have a plan for the season when he doesn't know what the quality of his playing roster will be?

Scott's reappointment should heap plenty of warranted pressure on him and his new assistant to start playing with the big boys in the top-tier Meads Cup immediately.

Another languishing Lochore Cup campaign riddled with off-field excuses should not be tolerated by any South Canterbury rugby supporter.

The SCRU has nailed its colours to the mast and backed Scott. That's fine in theory, but it is results that matter.

Matthews had them and it still was not good enough, so it's time for Scott to implement his plan, the same plan that got him the job.

Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words.

A Meads Cup semifinal would probably be a pass mark in 2014, as long as it leads to a victory the following season.

His first goal must be to find some quality loan players. They are often the difference between a successful or unsuccessful season.

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- The Timaru Herald

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