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What is Gatlands rugby legacy ? 
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Post What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
I was listening to a programme on Sky when a top play said that Warren Gatland was undoubtedly one of the best coaches in the world. I know our NZ friends on the forum would disagree and i think i would have to as well, however many people would say that the man has had great success in club rugby with WASPS, been successful at international level with Wales and coached the Lions twice. It must put him right up there. It could certainly be argued that his grand slams kept the punter interested in Welsh rugby and sold out the Millenium Stadium, which was ultimately the cash cow for Welsh rugby in terms of revenue and sponsorship.

But this is not the point of my question, my question is, what is his legacy to rugby, the game itself. Sean Edwards has a legacy in that he brought the blitz defence to rugby union, it changed the game not only in terms of defence but in terms of attack, as sides worked out systems to counter it.

Was it Graham Henry who developed the Pod System :dontknow: Did this, in turn, lead to somebody at the Crusaders coming up off the 2 4 2 system of forwards in attack, while another coach developed the 1 3 3 1 formation. All systems of play that put pressure on forwards to be able to play like backs enabling sides to play a wider game more fluently and with support.

Gatland, however, is credited with Gatland Ball a simplistic approach to the game where you kick long and when you "play" you work from left to right across the field or indeed right to left, smashing up with strong direct runners after one or possibly two passes and then back again, earning the right to eventually go wide, once the opposition were bludgeoned into conceding clear overlaps. In amongst this was the mercurial talents of Shane Williams who provided a distraction and entertainment. It worked it had success (in the NH) and it was pretty much accepted as the only way to play.... you earned the right to wide.

This was adopted in Wales at all levels, i went to see the Ospreys academies play at under 16 and 18, it was their style of play, big players were selected over skilful players, senior players miraculously became bigger and bigger as if weight training and protein had only just been invented. It was simple, it was direct and although it was predictable Gatland said it was still potentially unstoppable! I recently heard Ryan Jones say that after losing the first half in France, Gatland turned to the squad at half time and said we are now going to plan "B", they all looked round bemused as there was no plan "B", WG then said plan B is we are going to do plan A far better in the second half. Its probably an after dinner story but it seems to illustrate the point.

So what is his legacy, will anything he has done survive and evolve, as the game got better due to his coaching influence?

It appears to me that playing "Warren Ball", coaches thought their players only needed to understand the basic fundamentals of the game which was simplistic and basic and needed limited skill or understanding. Why train as a doctor if you only want a job stacking shelves (kind of thing). What we all forgot in Welsh rugby is, a doctor can stack shelves, but a shelf stacker cant be a doctor.

So what will his legacy to rugby be, what has WG done that has moved the game forward, what has he done that as left its mark, in the way Carwyn James and others truly influential coaches are said to have, will people talk about WG as a visionary a pioneer?

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Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:58 pm
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
Blindside wrote:
I was listening to a programme on Sky when a top play said that Warren Gatland was undoubtedly one of the best coaches in the world. I know our NZ friends on the forum would disagree and i think i would have to as well, however many people would say that the man has had great success in club rugby with WASPS, been successful at international level with Wales and coached the Lions twice. It must put him right up there. It could certainly be argued that his grand slams kept the punter interested in Welsh rugby and sold out the Millenium Stadium, which was ultimately the cash cow for Welsh rugby in terms of revenue and sponsorship.

But this is not the point of my question, my question is, what is his legacy to rugby, the game itself. Sean Edwards has a legacy in that he brought the blitz defence to rugby union, it changed the game not only in terms of defence but in terms of attack, as sides worked out systems to counter it.

Was it Graham Henry who developed the Pod System :dontknow: Did this, in turn, lead to somebody at the Crusaders coming up off the 2 4 2 system of forwards in attack, while another coach developed the 1 3 3 1 formation. All systems of play that put pressure on forwards to be able to play like backs enabling sides to play a wider game more fluently and with support.

Gatland, however, is credited with Gatland Ball a simplistic approach to the game where you kick long and when you "play" you work from left to right across the field or indeed right to left, smashing up with strong direct runners after one or possibly two passes and then back again, earning the right to eventually go wide, once the opposition were bludgeoned into conceding clear overlaps. In amongst this was the mercurial talents of Shane Williams who provided a distraction and entertainment. It worked it had success (in the NH) and it was pretty much accepted as the only way to play.... you earned the right to wide.

This was adopted in Wales at all levels, i went to see the Ospreys academies play at under 16 and 18, it was their style of play, big players were selected over skilful players, senior players miraculously became bigger and bigger as if weight training and protein had only just been invented. It was simple, it was direct and although it was predictable Gatland said it was still potentially unstoppable! I recently heard Ryan Jones say that after losing the first half in France, Gatland turned to the squad at half time and said we are now going to plan "B", they all looked round bemused as there was no plan "B", WG then said plan B is we are going to do plan A far better in the second half. Its probably an after dinner story but it seems to illustrate the point.

So what is his legacy, will anything he has done survive and evolve, as the game got better due to his coaching influence?

It appears to me that playing "Warren Ball", coaches thought their players only needed to understand the basic fundamentals of the game which was simplistic and basic and needed limited skill or understanding. Why train as a doctor if you only want a job stacking shelves (kind of thing). What we all forgot in Welsh rugby is, a doctor can stack shelves, but a shelf stacker cant be a doctor.

So what will his legacy to rugby be, what has WG done that has moved the game forward, what has he done that as left its mark, in the way Carwyn James and others truly influential coaches are said to have, will people talk about WG as a visionary a pioneer?


PS He wasn't that good in Ireland?

Good Q, BS ... heard a long time back and often use it .. good coaches aim for best of breed, great coaches innovate.

I think Gatland is one that competes at best of breed and the other adage 'to achieve more than the some of the parts'

Greatr coach doesn't ring a bell with me.

I think the other essence of a great coach is player sensitivity and manipulation of individual, unit and team motivation and ethis.

By reputation Carwyn supposedly excelled at developing players and treating them as reqd and with good psychological technique.

Lesss so maybe these days but best Coaches always seem to have excellent relationships with the Capt.

Good press relations is an asset but of lower priority in my book.

The more that I think about it the less impressed I am with Gatland as up there with the best.


The more I

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Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:42 pm
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
Regarding the pod system, I think that that was a way of introducing Super12 dynamics to a stolid Welsh game. Pods were simple to understand, in theory, but failed because even though they were intended to make understanding easier for the player they failed to harness the basic skills that simply didn't exist.


Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:51 am
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
Blindside wrote:
So what is his legacy, will anything he has done survive and evolve, as the game got better due to his coaching influence?

It appears to me that playing "Warren Ball", coaches thought their players only needed to understand the basic fundamentals of the game which was simplistic and basic and needed limited skill or understanding. Why train as a doctor if you only want a job stacking shelves (kind of thing). What we all forgot in Welsh rugby is, a doctor can stack shelves, but a shelf stacker cant be a doctor.

So what will his legacy to rugby be, what has WG done that has moved the game forward, what has he done that as left its mark, in the way Carwyn James and others truly influential coaches are said to have, will people talk about WG as a visionary a pioneer?



One could see it as another way of getting the best out of the player pool, akin the Henry's Pods ... just a different strategy predicated by a fundemental lack of skill and finesse in the ingredients for the game.

It is indeed sad that it has become a pattern to follow at any level of coaching because it is a pattern formed to overcome lack of development in the first place.

His legacy will be to have held the fort ... it will be a bloody great shame if the reinforcements do not arrive.


Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:04 am
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
Gatland is the most successful Lions Coach that the world of rugby has ever seen.

Winning one series and drawing another is outstanding.

The End.


Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:21 am
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
Bouch wrote:
Gatland is the most successful Lions Coach that the world of rugby has ever seen.

Winning one series and drawing another is outstanding.

The End.



Aye ... so Sam Warburton is the Greatest ever Lions captain and Howley is the greatest ever attack coach then. No debate. :D

With about 40,000 posts you are one of the most prolific posters this forum has ever had, does that make you a great poster and an asset to our dwindling community or one of the reasons the community is dwindling?

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Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:55 am
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
LLanrumneyOik wrote:
Blindside wrote:
So what is his legacy, will anything he has done survive and evolve, as the game got better due to his coaching influence?

It appears to me that playing "Warren Ball", coaches thought their players only needed to understand the basic fundamentals of the game which was simplistic and basic and needed limited skill or understanding. Why train as a doctor if you only want a job stacking shelves (kind of thing). What we all forgot in Welsh rugby is, a doctor can stack shelves, but a shelf stacker cant be a doctor.

So what will his legacy to rugby be, what has WG done that has moved the game forward, what has he done that as left its mark, in the way Carwyn James and others truly influential coaches are said to have, will people talk about WG as a visionary a pioneer?



One could see it as another way of getting the best out of the player pool, akin the Henry's Pods ... just a different strategy predicated by a fundemental lack of skill and finesse in the ingredients for the game.

It is indeed sad that it has become a pattern to follow at any level of coaching because it is a pattern formed to overcome lack of development in the first place.

His legacy will be to have held the fort ... it will be a bloody great shame if the reinforcements do not arrive.



Pretty much agree with that, except that pod system basically still exists and has evolved into a spatial awareness and interaction between backs and forwards that is the epitome of the modern game. Gatland runs a tight ship and creates a focus on the challenge and attempts to resource it. How much actual coaching did he do? I have no idea, is he now primarily a tracksuit coach or a "Clive Woodward" coach. Would anyone describe Clive Woodward as coach in great coach because of his involvement in great achievements?

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"Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
“None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.”
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Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:08 am
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
Blindside wrote:
Pretty much agree with that, except that pod system basically still exists and has evolved into a spatial awareness and interaction between backs and forwards that is the epitome of the modern game.



Which is where Henry was starting from.... we must be at least 10 years late to the party and nothing has changed.

Gatland has kept us afloat but our game is still full of shyte and Hubris.


Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:18 am
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
as a Chinese politician allegedly said..."too early to tell..."

wait till 2019 but what he has ALREADY achieved is of course the Grand Slams and a lot of happiness for Welsh fans!


Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:13 pm
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
Bouch wrote:
Gatland is the most successful Lions Coach that the world of rugby has ever seen.

Winning one series and drawing another is outstanding.

The End.


Rubbish.
Carwyn is.


Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:14 pm
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
SimplyRed wrote:
Bouch wrote:
Gatland is the most successful Lions Coach that the world of rugby has ever seen.

Winning one series and drawing another is outstanding.

The End.


Rubbish.
Carwyn is.

Carwyn is ,as well .

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Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:17 pm
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
Gatlands legacy is , he took an underachieving Welsh team and made them grand slam winners , was he lucky , with the layers that came along or did he develop / discover them is another point.

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Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:21 pm
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
Blindside wrote:
LLanrumneyOik wrote:
Blindside wrote:
So what is his legacy, will anything he has done survive and evolve, as the game got better due to his coaching influence?

It appears to me that playing "Warren Ball", coaches thought their players only needed to understand the basic fundamentals of the game which was simplistic and basic and needed limited skill or understanding. Why train as a doctor if you only want a job stacking shelves (kind of thing). What we all forgot in Welsh rugby is, a doctor can stack shelves, but a shelf stacker cant be a doctor.

So what will his legacy to rugby be, what has WG done that has moved the game forward, what has he done that as left its mark, in the way Carwyn James and others truly influential coaches are said to have, will people talk about WG as a visionary a pioneer?



One could see it as another way of getting the best out of the player pool, akin the Henry's Pods ... just a different strategy predicated by a fundemental lack of skill and finesse in the ingredients for the game.

It is indeed sad that it has become a pattern to follow at any level of coaching because it is a pattern formed to overcome lack of development in the first place.

His legacy will be to have held the fort ... it will be a bloody great shame if the reinforcements do not arrive.



Pretty much agree with that, except that pod system basically still exists and has evolved into a spatial awareness and interaction between backs and forwards that is the epitome of the modern game. Gatland runs a tight ship and creates a focus on the challenge and attempts to resource it. How much actual coaching did he do? I have no idea, is he now primarily a tracksuit coach or a "Clive Woodward" coach. Would anyone describe Clive Woodward as coach in great coach because of his involvement in great achievements?


We have had some excellent players in the last 10 years led by AWJ, Ryan Jones, Gethin and Jamie Roberts. The game, however, has evolved, and we have of late not as a national team. The regions have generally fared worse for a whole host of reasons.

In the modern era, I still think the 2005 Wales team was the best team if not the best individuals, as they played with flair and were not afraid to use their talents. It will be interesting if Gatland follows the example of the Scarlets last year and encourages players to run first before kicking, and play at very high speed and use players' natural footballing abilities.

They won the league by beating Munster by 20+ at home.

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Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:33 pm
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
Finally, Langland Exile says something nice and measured about Welsh rugby. :clap:

However, I disagree that the 2005 team was that wonderful - most of their tries in the Grand Slam campaign were scored against Scotland and Italy, while their other victories were nowhere near as big. They then went on to have a record home defeat to New Zealand, only beat Fiji 11-10, then the following year lost 47-13 to an England team itself in severe decline, only managed to draw with Italy at home... And as for what happened in 2007, the less said about the better.


Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:53 pm
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Post Re: What is Gatlands rugby legacy ?
But I very much agree with your point that there does seem to be a gaping disparity between the relative success of the national team and the lack of it with the regions (though it cannot be emphasised enough that the Ospreys, and more recently the Scarlets, have been partial exceptions to this rule). Put simply, both the WRU and apparently much of the Welsh public seem to believe it is possible to combine a New Zealand-like national team with Italian-like clubs and regions that for too long have been poorly-funded and poorly-coached. (Yes I know I am embellishing when comparing the Welsh national team to New Zealand and the pro/semi-pro Welsh teams to their Italian counterparts, but I think the point stands).


Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:03 am
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