You only needed to look at two things. Firstly, the Cook Islands named their team and key players were not included. Could it be that something within the Cook Islands rugby union is not going so well, and as a result of past experience, the boys don’t want to be ridiculed publicly again?
Secondly, the coach was given less than a month to get the team together. How on earth do you get a bunch of boys at different fitness and rugby experience levels to gel as a national squad? It’s simple; you can’t.
You don’t have to know how to play rugby to recognise the flaws in this type of approach and administration in selecting and supporting a national squad.
I totally disagree with George George’s recent comments about the recent game against Tahiti and the pointing of the finger at those boys who did not put their hands up to play for their country.
The assumption has been made already that the defeat is the fault of these players, when in fact it could be a combination of poor administration, lack of club level support, no clear direction from its governance body and too many burned bridges with past players, managers and coaches. Look at how many coaches the Cook Islands has had. That alone says volumes and should be of concern.
There are reasons why local players don’t put their hands up and it needs to be addressed. Someone like Paul Allsworth should know better that to point the finger publicly. Rather, he should be an example to look up to by providing sound advice and solutions.
Allsworth said he was embarrassed by the result of the game, but I was more embarrassed by his comments as a former captain and coach. You should never bag your code and fellow rugby players publicly.
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