From the Editor's Desk - January 2017

January 25 2017

Tietjens Talks Money and Fitness; Anscombe Rolling Out the Pros Argument and Even Aussies Talking Wolfpack

Jan 25 2017
[ed. comments below]

A few articles worth noting from around the rugby world. Gordon Tietjens is seeing life from the other side now with Samoa, Mark Anscombe is starting to slip down the excuse pit already and Toronto Wolfpack is getting some shout out from the Aussies.

Tietjens from Samoa Observer

Interesting talk from Tietjens, seeing life from a Tier 2 nation these days and how money lures some prospects away to NZ. His focus seems to be fitness though in this article and how this is going to improve the Samoan performance. You get tired and decision making and skill levels go down, a known fact. You have to like his candor, he even talks about specific players, the guy is a straight shooter. They're in a pool with NZ. That will be worth keeping an eye on.

Anscombe from Vancouver Sun

I hate it when these import coaches start down the excuse path. It's almost like they've given up before they start, you didn't hear Francois Ratier going on about this last year when he was in charge of the ARC team. Crowley sang this tune every major tournament, "they're pro so we don't stand a chance", "our amateur rugby is the reason we're not doing well", it might as well have been direct quotes. Yes they seem to even include Samoa, Georgia, Romania, Fiji, Tonga as "professional", all the countries ranked higher than Canada. The article title gives it away, "Canada rugby coach facing challenges against professional opposition", old story, shame Neil Davidson took this angle. A similar USA article interviewed Mitchell moaning about how at least Canada have a centralized program, wished he was so lucky. Hire a Canadian with "can do" attitude next time, no excuses!

Toronto Wolfpack from Sydney Morning Herald

Even the Aussies are noticing Rugby League in Canada and the Toronto Wolfpack, when was the last time anyone in Australia took notice of rugby union in Canada? Sure they're all climbing over one another to get in bed with the yanks, the sleeping giant, and play in sold out stadiums, meet NBA stars, etc. The Irish, Kiwis, no doubt the Aussies but no one mentions the Great White North. So this is refreshing, whether you like league or not, these Wolfpack guys are doing it right.

Pemberton Holmes
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