John Schwalger hails dignity of Mark Hammett
March 11, 2014
The Hurricanes's loss to the Brumbies was their eighth successive Super Rugby defeat (video available only in Australia)
Hurricanes veteran John Schwalger believes Mark Hammett is the right man to coach the Wellington franchise, despite reported rumblings about team morale and the game plan.
Former All Blacks flanker Taine Randell wrote over the weekend that much of the Hurricanes' troubles could be laid at Hammett's feed.
"If you get the coach right, then 90% of your problems disappear," Randell wrote for Fairfax Media on Sunday in the wake of the Hurricanes' disappointing effort in losing to the Brumbies on Friday. "It's easy to point the finger at Hammett but you really need to offer a solution".
"And Tana Umaga appeals as a logical successor. Umaga is revered in Wellington - respect and admiration for Tana run very deep there ... he's probably sitting in the glow of the Ranfurly Shield right now, sipping a Sunday coffee, wondering if bigger things might open up down the line."
But Schwalger is content with Hammett as coach, even through the side for which he has played 78 matches since 2006, and for which he has played in a Super Rugby grand final, is bottom of the log with a 0-3 record and an eight-match losing streak stretching back to the 2013 tournament.
"I don't know why people are blaming the coaches, because they can only do so much," Schwalger told Fairfax Media in New Zealand on Tuesday.
Schwalger paid tribute to Hammett for the coach's dignity, and his respect for the players even though they are making mistakes and under-performing.
"He'll come in with a calm face. That's credit to him. If It was me I'd be swearing hard out or trying to hit somebody ... that's credit to [Hammett] and the man he is ... I have all the faith in him and we just have to do it for him and everyone else."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"I had a couple of injuries before but this was different." Tom Hamilton talks to Scott Williams about the O'Driscoll tackle, Wales and Scarlets
"To be the best it's not about the flash stuff, it's actually about everything done at a very high level." Tom Hamilton on the England squad
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden