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Performance and Results

imthecrow

Academy Player
Joined
Apr 6, 2010
Messages
7
I was a little bemused on Monday morning by Stuart Barnes’ column assessing the weekend’s Six Nations action.

For England, he tows his usual line of performance being more important than result – a theme very pertinent in round three, in which both Scotland and England arguably outplayed their opponents in defeat. Fair enough.

English victories in Edinburgh and Rome, he reminds us, were “deeply unimpressive”, which is why he happily admits that he “berated them, win or not.” For this year’s tournament, his stance was always that he would rather England turned on some style and risked losing games than produced ugly victories with ‘little obvious improvement’. That is his opinion, so still, fair enough.

Later in the same column, though, Barnes writes that for Grand-Slam-chasing Wales, “style matters less than the win”. None of the ‘performance over results’ stuff here, no – the Welsh ability to ‘play sub-standard and win’ is laudable and is evidence of their maturity as a team. Barnes justifies his different stances on England and Wales because Wales are ‘further along the development road than England’. Hmmm… Fair enough?

I fully appreciate that any victory has to be seen in context. Wales have been under the same management for over four years now; their team is settled, they know each other well and, although they are young, they have enough caps in their ranks to be considered internationally ‘experienced’. England is an entirely different beast: only a handful of caps between them, players who in many cases have hardly ever played alongside each other and furthermore under new management. Under the Barnes-ian school of thought these differences give Wales a right to win ugly and England a responsibility to entertain.

I am not sure Barnes’ positions reconcile with each other. If, hypothetically Lancaster’s new England beat New Zealand in Wellington next week with three penalties and a Charlie Hodgson charge-down try would Mr Barnes still ‘berate’ them? If Wales scrape past Italy 6 – 5 does Warren Gatland get one of the pastings that Martin Johnson had to withstand after victories over Italy, Scotland and Argentina? Surely if a good result after a poor performance demonstrates maturity then England came of age within 80 minutes against Scotland three weeks ago. On Barnes’ premise, something just does not quite add up.

From my point of view, ‘ugly’ victories are to be judged not in the context of the ‘development road’, but on the quality of the opposition. I actually agree with Barnes that the first two English victories were dire, that they have more to take from the weekend’s defeat, and that the Welsh victory deserves a pat on the back. Not because Wales have been together for four years (to England’s four weeks) but because England were a good international side playing at home – and in those circumstances, any win will do.

Rugby is a results-driven business within the entertainment industry. The peculiarity of our sport, perhaps more so than in others, is that results and entertainment do not necessarily go hand-in-hand; the balance that should be struck between the two is neither obvious nor objective. For Stuart Barnes, performance is paramount until a team has come of age, when results – according to his column - become the more important. For my part, any result against a team of respectable calibre IS a performance, regardless of the age or experience of the team.

What does everyone think? Performance? Result? Of course sometimes (and in an ideal world) the former leads to the latter, and they clearly are not mutually exclusive, but when is it acceptable to have one without the other?



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Robert Prosser

Academy Player
Joined
Feb 6, 2012
Messages
291
Country Flag

Wales

Club or Nation

Cardiff

Personally the perfrmance has to be there to get the result, on the premise of this I find the example that Wales won ugly in Twickernham a disgraceful comment to the actual game, I dont think Wales won ugly in Twickenham at all, they won a very entertaining game with both teams going at each other hard.

Anyway back on point as I said I think first of all you need to get the perforance of the team as one and then when the team click hopefully the results will start coming together but in some cases no matter how well a team click some teams just are not good enough to beat the opposition.
 

munster4life

Academy Player
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
25
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Ireland

Club or Nation

Munster

Sometimes you can't always win a game by using superb back moves and incredible lineout variation. Sometimes you just have to dig in and grind out a win.
 

Tomsey

Academy Player
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
169
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Australia

Club or Nation

Rebels

From my point of view, ‘ugly’ victories are to be judged not in the context of the ‘development road’, but on the quality of the opposition. I actually agree with Barnes that the first two English victories were dire, that they have more to take from the weekend’s defeat, and that the Welsh victory deserves a pat on the back. Not because Wales have been together for four years (to England’s four weeks) but because England were a good international side playing at home – and in those circumstances, any win will do.

Rugby is a results-driven business within the entertainment industry. The peculiarity of our sport, perhaps more so than in others, is that results and entertainment do not necessarily go hand-in-hand; the balance that should be struck between the two is neither obvious nor objective. For Stuart Barnes, performance is paramount until a team has come of age, when results – according to his column - become the more important. For my part, any result against a team of respectable calibre IS a performance, regardless of the age or experience of the team.

I agree with you that any win should be judged in context of the opposition, among other things. I don't really agree that England are likely to get more out of their recent loss than their previous wins.
To me a team in England's situation should be trying to win at all costs.
I'm pointing out the obvious when i say that they have a lot of current players (and a coach) who have little international experience and a lack of experienced combinations. We have to remember why that is. The new players and the coach and the combinations came about because of an overhaul of the old set up.
Part of the brief was to to establish a new culture with in the team because the old one was deemed to be poisonous and a contributor to England's poor world cup.
When building a new culture, almost from scratch, breeding a winning mentality has to take priority over a philosophy of all out attack and entertainment.
I think Lancaster is on the right track in this regard.
Sure the wins over Italy and Scotland where bleak, but they where wins.
They are 2 out-of 3 since Lancaster took over and have been improving every game. In my opinion that is a pretty good result.
If the coaching staff had decided to play with the flippant attack and flamboyance that Barnes is crying out for there is every chance they would have lost those tight games against the Scots and Azzuri. What would Barnes be saying about them then?
 
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