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FROM THE VAULT - Thoughts on the captaincy, February 2005

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Matabele, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +466 / 6
    Haig, as you would have noticed I am championing the cause of Kennedy for captain. This is nothing against Monaghan as he filled the breach admirably last year. However, if you have a silk purse there’s no use putting your money into the sow’s ear, so to speak.

    I support giving the captaincy to Kennedy because I think we need to take a holistic approach to it all. Many of the points you have raised are directly related to on-field matters, namely:

    1. His form improved;
    2. He is vocal on field;
    3. He is a half back and therefore handles the ball often;

    Other have mentioned that he will be on the field more, that he might be less likely to succumb to injury and that he is more polite to referees than Kennedy!

    I think we need to recognise that the captaincy is far more than on on-field role that lasts for a few hours each week. For mine the major role of the captaincy is the off field tasks. The job description of captain includes:

    1. Establishing a winning culture.
    2. Providing inspirational leadership that establishes a high benchmark for all players to follow.
    3. Media duties and representing the club.
    4. Making the big calls on the field.

    Let’s look at these one by one:

    Establishing a winning culture:

    Initially I was unsure of the wisdom of chasing Kennedy, mainly because he does seem to struggle with injury. However, the more I thought about it, it seemed to me as though Kennedy was being signed more for what he would bring to the club in terms of dedication, passion and will to win.

    The club backed this up with their statements about what Kennedy could teach younger forward such as blue arse and Haggis. Giving Kennedy the captaincy will only serve to re-inforce the leadership role that I’m sure the club are looking to him to play in the next two years. Perhaps his real value to us will be OFF the field.

    I also think Monas will benefit from being understudy to Kennedy for the two years in this area. Remember that Toovey came into a winning culture. Monas has never really experienced that in his career so far.

    Providing inspirational leadership:

    This is something we hoped Menzies was capable of, but in the end he might have been too mild mannered to provide. Monas has risen from the rank and file of the players and it might be hard for him to truly separate from being “one of the boys�.

    Kennedy comes to the club with immense experience, masses of respect and runs on the board. He simply will not tolerate idiots like Hopoate becoming a distraction. Equally I don’t think he’ll have many kind words to players showing up hungover to training after a big night out as often happened this year apparently.

    Not being one of the boys will help Kennedy to re-establish the winning attitude and the high level of discipline and diligence that it takes to be successful. This is something the side has not had since Toovey retired.

    Media duties:

    There’s probably not too much between the two on this. Monaghan’s columns and his demeanour at interview is quite reasonable for a league player. Kennedy is also articulate and capable of expressing a strong opinion. I’d have Kennedy slightly ahead at this stage, though there’s no reason to believe that Monaghan isn’t eventually capable of getting to the same standard.

    However, as “the face of the club� Kennedy is known as one of the stand out forwards of the past decade whilst Monaghan is a virtual unknown. He will immediately command more respect from journalists, the general public and opposition coaches and teams.

    This will also have ramifications on the field. Often referees would look at Monaghan with disdain when he questioned a decision and there’s no doubt he was often brushed aside. Whether you like it or not, Kennedy will get away with an awful lot more with the refs, simply because of who he is!

    In other on field matters, let’s not underestimate that Monas will have to form a new partnership with a new five eighth. This will take time and effort. As half back it is appropriate that he steer the side around the field. However, he doesn’t have to be captain to do that.

    Also, it was often our forwards that were lazy in defence last year. Who better than Kennedy to get the fire in the eyes and give the shirkers a spray to get them back in line.

    Finally, if you want the definitive statement on Kennedy’s on-field inspirational abilities, get a tape out of the Broncos vs Knights Game in Newcastle this year. In a must win game Kennedy tackles and ran to a stand still (not to mention off loaded) in an effort to get his team over the line. Countless times you could see the team lift on the back of a Kennedy intervention. Quality stuff and something we must not underestimate if we’re to look at his true worth to the side. For mine it’s a no-brainer – Kennedy brings far too much to the club to have him languishing behind Monas as captain.

    (A final note. It would be worth Kennedy grooming both Monas and Kite for the captaincy role in 2007. Both of them probably have the credentials and it would be worth having the two of them fight it out and also provide insurance should Monas leave the club at the end of his contract).

    Haig, some good thoughts but I’d like to focus on your summary – “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.�

    I think my approach to the matter would be best summarised as “why take a trip to Kakadu in your Ford Laser when you have a Land Cruiser parked in the garage?�

    It’s an important distinction. I notice that you have tried to draw a parallel between the captaincy of Danny Buderus and Monas. I’d contend that you’re drawing an extremely long bow there. The quickest of comparisons between the achievements and careers between Buderus and Monaghan show just how inappropriate a comparison that is. Buderus has played years of rep football, captained his state side and been understudy to Andrew Johns. Monas has barely played 50 games at 1st Grade level.

    Much of your last post seems to be about narrowing the gap between the respective merits of Kennedy and Monas. Whilst there’s obviously not a yawning chasm between their credentials I still maintain that the fact you’re on the defensive about Monas capabilities shows up a recognition that his credentials do lag behind those of Kennedy.

    For mine Kennedy has is a clear leader in terms of experience, representative experience, reputation and respect. That alone should qualify him to take a leading role in the club next year. Monas (and others) will benefit from the experience of being under him and will be better equipped to serve the role in future.

    Also, there seem to be a few that ask why we’d appoint a blow-in from Newcastle to the captaincy. In the words of an esteemed friend of mine – “you’d think Monas was born on Dee Why beach the way these blokes carry on about him�. Let’s retain some perspective and remember that Monas has only been with the club for a year and has come from another club with a dubious record in recent years – Canberra.

    All this brings me back to the summary in my opening statements. Monas can do the job and be adequate, but would you rather take the long trip to Kakadu in the Laser or the Landcruiser?

    Haig, whilst I’m on a roll, here’s a few other points to consider:

    1. Along with Tallis it would be fair to say that Kennedy has been the game’s pre-eminent second rower over the past decade.
    2. He commands enormous respect from opposition, far more than Monas could ever hope for at this stage of his career.
    3. He is an extremely intimidating player, not just through glares and stares, but how hard he plays it on the field.
    4. His potential for injury is irrelevant. If that happens (perish the thought) then Monas can take over on the field and Kennedy will have even more time to exert an influence off the field.
    5. Monaghan is hardly manly through and through. If Kennedy is a ring in he’s really no more so than Monas who has been with us for just one year.
    6. Whilst Monas showed reasonable form at the end of last year, let’s not forget that the majority of fans were calling for his head up to and including Round 8. He’s made good progress but I’m not sure it’s been THAT rapid. He certainly isn’t worthy of comparison with greats like Toovey and current players like Gower, Orford, Johns and even Prince (a point we’ve already discussed).
    7. In the NRL Kennedy is a legend. Monaghan has stuttered to a grand total of 50 1st grade games at age 25.

    Here’s a hypothetical for you to chew on. IMAGINE we have just conceded our second early try in a semi against the dogs. Their defense is brutal and we are in real trouble. If you were watmough, king, kylie, glen stewart, randall etc who would you take more notice of. Would it be fair to say that these blokes have probably grown up with posters of Kennedy on their wall? Don’t forget that a lot of our players have played more first grade than Monaghan.

    Am I missing something?
  2. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +466 / 6
    BTTT - noses must be rubbed into this.
  3. KaZa

    KaZa Well-Known Member

    +228 / 12
    haha Mata you seriously think if BK was captain yesterday wouldnt of happened?

    As far as im concerned he was on the field and let it happen too. He doesnt need an official C next to his name to become a leader.

    He is just as a failure as Monas was yesterday.

    This is just another form of attack on Monas. Suprise suprise. Like a whiny 15 year old girl.
  4. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +212 / 5
    Monas is not a captain. Is that an attack or a clear statement????

    Kennedy as captain might have not made a difference but Monas being on the field made no impact. Even those defending him were calling for his sacking or trading last night!
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    +0 / 0
    I agree that Kennedy should be captain from next week on wards.

    The sight of monaghan stading on the try line not saying a word to the players indicates that either they don't respect him or he doesn't respect them.

    Either way he should have been getting stuck into the players for their perfomances and I am sure Kennedy would have had a lot to say if he was captain.

    He is a born leader who would lead by example. At the moment all Monaghan is doing is leading the others around in evr decreasing circles.

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