Jake’s a great coach - Eales
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Cape Town – John Eales, Australia’s most successful captain
ever, has joined the praise-singing for the Brumbies’ South Africa coach Jake
Springbok 2007 World Cup-winning mastermind White came
desperately close to securing Super Rugby 2013 glory for the Canberra-based
outfit in Saturday’s final against the Chiefs in Hamilton, although his
travel-weary charges could not quite sustain their intensity for the full 80
minutes in a 27-22 defeat.
Nevertheless, double World Cup winner Eales (player in 1991,
skipper in 1999) on Monday lauded White’s influence – adding that it would have
positive spinoffs for the Wallabies too.
In his column in the Sydney Morning Herald, the lanky former
second-rower also admonished the Bulls for departing from their most effective
formula in their slightly unexpected home semi-final loss to the very Brumbies
a week earlier.
Eales wrote: “Decades from now when buffs trawl through the
annals of the 2013 (Super Rugby) season, the Chiefs’ victory in the grand final
won’t begin to capture the season’s story – numbers, for example, won’t tell us
where the Brumbies and Chiefs come from.
“They won’t tell us that before the start of last season
(when White took the Brumbies’ reins – Sport24) the majority of personnel in
both these squads were largely unknown and certainly unheralded in wider rugby
“This enthralling final pitted a structured and supremely
drilled team in the Brumbies against a flamboyant yet equally well-drilled
outfit in the Chiefs.
“Both teams have hard-wired rugby DNA in their make-up and,
unlike the Bulls who tried to be something they weren’t last week and missed
the final because of it, neither deviated from their true selves.”
Despite ending runners-up, Eales said, the Brumbies should
take a bow.
“Their success over the past two years has been driven
through structure and excellence and much of this must now be transported to
the national team through selection and strategy as new Wallaby coach Ewen
McKenzie picks out the jewels (of the Brumbies side).
“In harnessing such an effective group of players in such a
short time, Jake White has proved what a great coach he is.
“He may not be assuming the Wallabies’ coaching mantle, but
he has helped McKenzie’s cause immensely.”
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