I think the lack of leaders on the pitch is an issue.WhitecapTiger wrote: ↑Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:26 pmNo Sam, I haven't played at 9 or 10. I was a forward, No8 mainly, but played Lock here and there too, so quite often a ball carrier running off 9s and when things weren't going right I wasn't afraid to say s*d this, try something else. Once more, no-one is asking for a wholesale change of game plan in a 30 second pause, just something different now and then instead of slow ruck recycle, pass and kick then tire yourself out defending the next wave. Some of these 'senior' players who seem to want/have such a voice at times should step up on the pitch - where it really matters, grab the team by the scruff off the neck and direct a change in play, even if only the next play. These are professional players, if they cannot try a different play then we are lost, truly lost.sam16111986 wrote: ↑Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:31 pmHave you played at 9 or 10? Very hard to scrap the game plan and change things completely in play. If you've got half time to go over it then doable but in a 30 second pause in play?
I'm watching the game back. Ben Young's is desperate for forward runners on quick ball but the attacking pattern on every forwards carry is 10m away which sucks all the pace off the ball. Ford's passing is flat and dangerous when there were runners for him, Toomua had his worst game in a Tigers shirt which didn't help.
We had the players to win that game but the coaching set up was so poor the Chiefs just picked us apart. The Chiefs structure was so much simpler than ours and infinitely more effective. I don't know why we don't just run everything off of Ford and then have a runner behind Youngs in case he tries something from the base. Give the decision making back to the players instead of the over elaborate badly scripted mess that we currently have.
If Ben Youngs isn't getting the runners/lines he desires then Ben Youngs, as a senior player and on field commander ( ) should be grabbing the forwards and saying where it's going wrong - under the posts at conversions if needs be, I didn't see any of that. I had plenty of 9s who were vociferous enough to tell me/us that, and it worked - mix it up a bit, become unpredictable. Too many wannabe leaders (voices) amongst themselves and no-one actually leading. Ultimately that point just glaringly highlights the lack of appropriate pre-season work imo, I may even go as far as to say it demonstrates a lack of coaching ability or foresight not to address the issue in pre-season.
The bit I've highlighted in your post actually almost sides with my argument, except that where seasoned professionals can see something isn't working they shouldn't wait to be empowered, they should empower themselves and hang the consequences. In the event that it doesn't work, or any strategy doesn't work, ad-libbed or not, then it's most likely down to their incompetence.
I am well aware, and onside with you, that we had the players to win that game, also aware that the (lack of effective) game plan killed us before we began but, if the players aren't willing to try heads up rugby, or are incapable of working as a team i.e. listening to impassioned pleas on field of "try this instead" then they're simply not good enough for the shirt - imo.
I've just watched Tom Youngs' post match interview, he looked broken, lost for words but had to find some - I get that in the aftermath, it was sort of honest but nowhere near brutal enough in the cold light of day. It was like watching Steve Borthwick (admirably) defending Johnno / England against Italy in Rome in the 6N all those years ago, everybody knew things were poor but the party line was trotted out.
People (supporters) are fed up of hearing "We can change this", "we are going to change this" or "we will change this", there is no evidence to support any of those claims over the last year and a half (and more). The collective desire is seemingly missing, the top two inches seem to be missing and the output from a group of World / International class players is glaringly absent.
Ordinarily I'd shrug off a loss, try to find positives, particularly in the first match of the season - last year's loss to Bath at home was disappointing but there was more grit and effort than today, just a lack of execution - today we didn't get into any meaningful positions to have a chance at screwing up the execution bit - it was abject surrender, and that is what irks me. It wasn't all down to Exeter's superb play either.
I also think that the problems on the pitch were beyond a let's try something different. We played completely differently in the second half compared to the first. That was part of the overall game plan. Kick with the wind in the first and keep the ball and attack in the second against the wind. The overall structures in defence and attack were so badly thought out and so unsuitable to the players we have that the plan in both halves never going to work.