Some questions are, on the face of it, relatively easy to answer.
Should I go for a drive with my wife and kids to test my eyesight?
Will drinking bleach cure my coronavirus?
Should I order a third beer at the team hotel?
Actually, ignore that last one as it opens a big can of worms. But you get my
Some questions are more complicated.
The type of question that, when asked, makes you look to the sky, suck the air through your teeth and collapse into a shrug.
If you need to see what I mean, ask a Glasgow Warriors fan what he or she thinks about Dave Rennie’s time at the club.
It’s been announced that the transition from Rennie to new head coach Danny Wilson will be brought forward to the start of June. That means as of next week, there’s a new man in charge, even without all that much to be done.
While there’s been an outpouring of goodwill towards the glut of Glasgow stalwarts who have said farewell in recent weeks (Ruaridh Jackson, Tim Swinson and Rory Hughes to name but a few), it’s harder to detect any real sense of loss about the coach’s departure.
Or any great strength of feeling at all, actually.
That’s not to say Rennie has been an unpopular figure. Far from it.
To use one of his own favourite phrases, he comes across as a “high-quality man”. He’s been accessible to fans, seems to have genuine empathy for his players and has a likeable way of always trying to give honest and thoughtful answers to the media, win, lose or draw.
Everyone wishes him well in Australia, at least until the next time the Wallabies pitch up at Murrayfield.
And Glasgow’s performances on the pitch during his 2.68 seasons in charge have been respectable enough.
Rennie only completed two domestic competitions. In one, he took it to the last day, ending in a narrow defeat to an excellent Leinster side in the PRO14 final. In the other, some blistering early season form secured a home semi-final playoff (no need to mention how that one went).
This campaign was a bit shaky, but the possibility of a third playoff was still live when everything ground to a halt.
Europe hasn’t been so good but, again, there were some memorable moments. Coming back from places like Lyon and La Rochelle with a win is decent and, in 2018/19, Glasgow reached the European Cup quarter-finals for only the second time.
The statistics suggest there’s not much to choose between Rennie and his predecessor Gregor Townsend when it comes to results.
Toonie’s win rate over his last three seasons was 60.1%. Rennie’s is 59.9%.
Rennie’s PRO14 record is better (65% wins versus 62%) but Toonie did better in Europe (52% wins against Dave’s 41%). I’d argue that Townsend had the benefit of a stronger squad but there’s not much in it.
So why this vague sense of disappointment about Rennie’s time at Scotstoun?
It’s just that, well, where was the stardust?
Remember when his appointment was announced? It was exciting, intriguing and pretty bewildering. Dave Rennie was one of the world’s most sought after coaches. A man with a global reputation. Part of the rugby elite (back when elite was cool – Ed.). A genuine contender to become the next All Blacks coach.
It seemed inconceivable that the Scotstoun gig was the most high-profile or lucrative offer to be waved under his nose at that time. Someone, somewhere within Scottish Rugby had played a blinder to get him.
Fast forward to the present day and it’s hard to say if the last three seasons have had any real impact on the reputations of Glasgow Warriors or Dave Rennie.
Eye-catching wins have been matched by painful defeats. That La Rochelle victory I mentioned above? The next week, the Frenchmen brought their seconds to Scotstoun and won. The European quarter-final ended up as a total beasting by Saracens.
Some players have improved notably under Rennie (George Horne, Adam Hastings or Sam Johnson for example), but others have regressed. An alarming number slid off the radar altogether.
Huw Jones went from one of the most exciting prospects in world rugby to Glasgow’s third choice outside centre in the blink of an eye.
The squad comings and goings were difficult to follow at times, with players leaving and turning up at random points in the season often as injury cover rather than part of any grand strategy.
Perhaps the real-life Dave Rennie was never going to match the showroom version Glasgow’s supporters had been viewing from afar.
The level of expectation was probably unrealistic. But the expectation was certainly there; a feeling that one of the world’s best coaches would take Glasgow to the next level by overcoming better-resourced opposition with a sprinkling of All Black magic.
There might be a time, once he’s safely reached the other side of the world and got his feet under the desk at Wallabies HQ, when Dave Rennie will speak about his time at Glasgow. He’s the kind of person who probably could and would give chapter and verse on what went down.
Until then, it’s difficult to know what to make of Dave Rennie’s stint at Scotstoun.
Some questions are not easy to answer.