The Coaching merry go round that has now become synonymous with the Qld Reds has once again reared it’s ugly head with Nick Stiles the latest to fall victim to the position which could be referred to as a ‘poisoned chalice’.
If what former Coach Mark McBain has hinted at recently is true, then player power is still alive and well, in fact, it’s never been better at Ballymore.
With Brad Thorn set to become the 10th Coach in the last 16 Seasons what does that tell you about loyalty and staying strong? Not a whole lot, I would have thought.
Sure, Stile’s record in the 2017 season wasn’t great, in fact, it was the worst of any Qld Reds Coach so far with a 4-11 win/loss record. Also, they finished 14th overall in the Super 18 Competition, but as is the case a lot of the time the Head Coach is made the scapegoat while the players appear to get off Scott free with little or no accountability being taken.
There will be those who are quick to point out that Coaching at the elite level in any sport is results driven and if you don’t perform you’ll fall on your sword and pay the price. Well that’s fine if all of the players buy in to that and give the coach their full and unwavering support. Did that happen at the Qld Reds this Season?
For the Qld Rugby Union (QRU), who are supposedly cash strapped, to continue to sack coaches mid-term time after is beyond belief Now they’ll have to fork out another substantial amount of money with Stiles contracted to the Qld Reds until the end of the 2018 Season, unless they can shuffle him to another position within the QRU.
In 2018, a rookie Head Coach at Super Rugby Level, Brad Thorn will be under the spotlight and he may very well succeed with his tough uncompromising nature and respect that he had as a player sure to rub off on his players in his new role with the Qld Reds.
An outstanding and distinguished career in both Rugby Union and Rugby League, Thorn, achieved major success at the highest level. He enters the coaching fold with impeccable credentials as a player, but that doesn’t guarantee that he will be able to replicate that success as a Coach at the Elite Level.
As well as Qld Country are performing at the moment it’s a quantum leap from coaching in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) to being a coach in the Super Rugby Competition.
You can only imagine the pressure that Thorn will be under next Season, fully aware that if the Qld Reds don’t perform his Career as a coach at the Elite Level may very well be short lived.
I think you will find though, that no matter what. the QRU will persevere with Thorn if what has been reported is true in that the Australian Rugby Union are impressed with Thorn and that his coaching credentials have been rubber stamped. It does seem to have some credence, when you consider how Thorn has been seemingly fast-tracked through the system to become the Head Coach of a Super Rugby Team in a very short time.
It can only be hoped that Thorn’s tenure as Coach of the Qld Reds will be long and successful and act as a pathway to one day possibly becoming the the Wallabies Head Coach. How ironic, if in the future the Wallabies coached by Brad Thorn were to play the All Blacks. Would Thorn be able to sing ‘Advance Australia Fair’ with the same pride and passion that he sung ‘God of Nations at thy feet’ and how would he feel watching the ‘All Blacks’ perform the ‘Haka’ before kick off? When you consider that as a boy Thorn’s dream was to play for the ‘All Blacks’ and to perform the ‘Haka’.