Saturday, 6 October 2007

A lesson...

Now, I'm sorry for gloating (I'm not really) but let's just take a nice long look at the attached:




















To those of you who don't follow rugby, Australia were huge and overhwhelming favourites, whose media and players had crowed all week about their superiority. How can one explain such a defeat of massive, overwhelming favourites?
Quite simply, psychology. Being the favourites, or being the better side is promising, but it is no more than that: a promise.

What life values is action. You'll see in those stats a stubborn refusal to yield to overwhelming inevitability (by England). Slowly, the thought must have been in Australia's mind: the pressure is actually on us, not them. Australia's media is a double edged sword.

Whenever I play sport I always try and pick out those who are either under pressure or feel pressure and just remind them of that fact, again and again. It's amazing what that can do. But you have to do that - make them think. You don't want them to feel they have nothing to lose. You want them to know they have everything to lose.

Australia play sport too often with a sense of adventure and freedom. Whenever England play them we should seek to turn that spirit into oppressive doubt and apprehension by reminding them of the expectation at home and the cost of failure. And last night, we did.

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