As a coach, Darren Coleman got the wooden spoon, as a guy he’s a bloody legend.



In real life you would choose a good guy with no luck over a guy who is always a bastard. But coaching professional sports teams isn’t real life.

Super Rugby lost, at least for now, one of its best players when Darren Coleman retired as wooden spoon coach in another one-point loss to the Queensland Reds on Friday night in Sydney.

It was Coleman’s fourth loss by three points or less this season, and came after new flyhalf Jack Bowen had a chance to win the game but slipped and missed the decisive shot.

The defeat ended a three-year reign at the club and he left without a sense of injustice. As at his amiable, adult press conference 10 days ago, he left Sydney’s football stadium for the last time with good humor and frank self-assessment.

“I feel especially sorry for the fans. They supported us there and have been willing to do so all year. I feel really bad because we couldn’t even meet them in the end,” Coleman said, his first thought, after his players, for the fans.

Coleman was asked by his former player, Michael Hooper, to reflect on the year that had just ended. A difficult question on another night of pain.

Waratahs head coach Darren Coleman interacts with fans after the Super Rugby Pacific Round 15 match between NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds at Allianz Stadium, on May 31, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

“Jesus, that’s a good question, Hoops. A little early,” he said.

But it was a series of games from the third to the sixth round, where the team lost by two to the Highlanders and the Blues and by three in the golden point away to Fiji, and then by six to the Rebels at home, which It shook him and the team.

“I probably didn’t give enough credit to the psychological toll that streak of four straight games from the third to the sixth round took.

“We had four games like that tonight where we just lost and maybe at that point we started losing those first rowers and that was probably a little bit of a turning point.

“What would I change? Ah, there are many things. Probably more around me and my leadership and a couple things I could have done better, but I’m just grateful. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity.

“It has been a dream of mine to coach in Super Rugby and particularly to coach in my home state. I’m going to reflect. “It’s a bitter taste at this time this year, but I don’t want to remember it again.”

Coleman is now looking for a new job. It may be difficult to find a head coaching position at the same level, but that is his comfort zone.

“I know there have been some tough times and some low points. You lose confidence and question things, but I’m lucky,” she said.

“Not many people manage to do what I have to do in the last three years. I’ll go away and work on my game. I thought for a moment, what would I do after this? Do I want to stay in this type of role? It’s all I’ve ever done.

“You just get used to living for it. He’s like a junkie. You have to live for that weekend. I don’t care about the level. “I will continue training because I love it.”

Before heading off into the night and taking a few schooners or, as he suggested, a quiet night in bed, Coleman closed with another excellent moment.

“I really love rugby and the people involved and seeing the kids there tonight.

“The state needs a winning team and I understand why I keep going and I really wish the next person good luck because if we can make this team win, we’ll fill this joint and I’ll be here cheering.”

Some people have all the luck. It’s a shame DC isn’t one of them.

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