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Success Lessons From The 2007 Rugby Union World Cup Part 6 – Crazy Horse
Rugby, like all sports, can teach anyone how to achieve competitive success and how to achieve it! It can also teach key principles that apply to achieving any type of success.
On Friday Sept 28, 2007, England played Tonga in another pool match.
The people of Tonga have a reputation as the wild people of international rugby but they do not live up to this image of themselves. But they have been booked for more fouls than any other team in the 2007 World Cup.
They believe that rugby is a man-oriented sport and give their punishment to opponents: “You step on soft tissue but you don’t step on heads or jewels.” They believe in less violence!
Belief in God is also very important in the Tongan mind. They pray as a group every night. The preacher of their group tells them: “Our Lord can do anything, especially the impossible.”
The people of Tonga also believe in angels: “All the angels in heaven help us.”
Of course the French crowd was helping them!
Lewis Moody had returned to the English team. It is called ‘Crazy Horse’. Crazy Horse was a Lakota war leader who participated in the Battle of Little Big Horn where Custer was killed. Every successful team needs an inspired warrior to lead them in competition or battle.
Martin Johnson, England’s World Cup-winning captain, was delighted with Moody’s return:
“They’ll bring a lot of energy to this game. We showed against Samoa that we can beat these guys again. Sometime tonight, it’s going to be a head-to-head. That’s enough to win these tournaments. The intensity and intensity of the game. We need to work and beat these guys and they’re going nowhere.”
The people of Tonga did the haka or siva tau and went forward looking at the faces of the England team. The English fans chanted “Swing Low Sweet Chariot!” at the same time it is almost drowning out the words of siva tau.
It was England’s case to win or go out. If they win, they will travel to Marseilles in the quarter-finals to face Australia as an underdog but an underdog that is starting to bite.
Tonga scored a penalty 3-0. Jonny Wilkinson then scored one to keep England 3-3. Tonga then slid down the line on the spot to try. 10-3
England hit back with a stunning try when Wilkinson pushed to Paul Sackey who caught the ball after it hit him in the face. Paul knelt down and brought the ball down before crossing the dead line. 10-8
Barkley missed the throw but Wilkinson didn’t. 10-11 in England. Wilkinson then got another three points with a penalty. 10-14. Things were going well in England. Wilkinson often misses because he kicks
for the last hours. Successful people understand the importance of continuous action.
Sackey, England’s winger, grabbed the ball and ran to check it out. It is safe to say that he was enjoying his world cup. He regained his zip and tried to score.
England led 10-19 at the break but Tonga did not give up. Greenwood was concerned: “We’re calling on Tonga to come back to the game. No wonder Brian Ashton has no hair left.”
Tonga scored a penalty. 13-19 Tonga still believed they could win. They had good reason to believe. They had beaten the USA and Samoa and pushed South Africa all the way.
Mathew Tait tested England which was replaced. 13-26.
Tonga looked tired. Andy Farrell scored another try for England in the semi-finals. It was the first test for a former Rugby league player. Jonny turned it around. 13-33
Then Jonny scored one goal. 13-36. Tonga finished the game with another sliding try which was converted wonderfully. 20-36
Australia will be waiting and licking their lips for a chance to beat England in the quarter finals. They had waited four years to avenge their defeat by England in the finals of the last world cup.
The Tongan players gathered to pray. They can leave this world cup with their heads held high and their reputations on the rise.
Jonny Wilkinson commented on England’s win: “It’s satisfying but we have a long way to go.”
Lewis Moody almost fell over himself a few times chasing the ball and taking brutal tackles. He had fully justified his ‘crazy horse’ nickname and inspired the entire England team and spectators with his courageous example.
England maintained their record of reaching the quarter finals in the world cup and it seems that the team is enjoying the game of rugby again.
When it comes to knocking steps anything is possible.
Wales, however, did not reach the quarter finals. Fiji defeated Wales in one of the most exciting matches of the World Cup. The final score was Wales 34 Fiji 38.
Wales are out of the world cup. Gareth Thomas, the player, felt he had let the country down and the coach, Gareth Jenkins, was sacked the next day.
Scotland got the better of Wales in their next game against Italy. The wise Scotland coach who rested his best players for the All Blacks game said a good start gives you confidence for the rest of the game.
The Scots started with a win and ended with a narrow victory thanks to the relentless kicking of their top scorer, Chris Paterson, who is probably one of the two best rugby players in the world. He kicked six penalties to give Scotland an 18-16 win despite Italy being the only try.
Scotland were now down to the last eight.
France beat Georgia convincingly 64-7 on Sunday 30 September. They had scored nine times. France were now top of Pool D but needed Ireland to beat Argentina if they were to stay there and avoid playing the All Blacks in Cardiff next week in the quarter finals.
Another important game took place that Sunday. Underachieving Ireland faced Argentina. The Irish had the full support of France. Thomas Castaignede was wearing a green hat: “Argentina can send us on the road to hell.”
If Ireland had not beaten Argentina, France would have endured hell playing a fierce and talented All Black team in a foreign country (Wales).
The French banner read: “Allez Les Verts!”
The Irishman said: “We have to play better than we have been and we have to take our chances when they come.”
The Irish captain, O’Driscoll, said: “If we are going to die, we have to die fighting.”
However, Argentina has the best defensive record in the world cup and won the battle of the anthems. They were singing with tears streaming down their faces. Back home, the whole nation was following their progress.
Ireland went ahead in the first seven minutes. Their focus was on scoring the four tries they needed to reach the quarter finals. He camped in Argentina’s half but did not score.
Now Argentina came back and had a good spell. They scored a try that was vital to the heart of Ireland’s ambitions. 5-0 Then Ireland scored a goal 5-3. Argentina fought back with a goal down 8-3
Argentina were starting to look good. Everyone was Irish but the Argentines didn’t care. These were difficult times in Ireland. They had to remain hopeful and hope that things would open up for them later.
The Irish had to subvert the Argentinian beliefs and ignite their own. O’Driscoll did so in his first try for Ireland.
Ireland 10-8 Now there was a different feeling to the game. You can see the Guinness flowing and feel the faith in the Irish camp.
Hernandez, a brilliant Argentinian striker, scored a goal to burst Ireland’s bubble. 10-11 Argentina narrowly won.
Argentina have scored a try. 10-18. Amapuma was smelling the good smell of being in the last eight teams of the world cup. They were halfway to four tries and a bonus point that would put them in any quarter final that Ireland played.
For Ireland, this game is always going to be tough. Their fingertips were scraped off the edge of the rock one by one
After half time, Argentina scored three points 21-10
Then Irish full-back, Jordan Murphy, scored a try. 21-15 Once again, the dream seemed alive for Ireland.
Argentina need to step up and win if they want to go far in the World Cup. They scored through a penalty.
15-24 in Argentina. Another penalty for a great performance 15-27 in Argentina
Hernandez scored from his left foot – a hat trick. 15-30
Argentina can now go back to their hotel believing that anything is possible. This has been a definite success and he laughed before the D word (pool of death).
Ireland had never reached the quarter-finals of a World Cup before. He didn’t even get that far. France now have to play the All Blacks in Wales.
Thomas Castaignede said: “We have done it before, eight years ago. I hope we can do it again. Argentina has sent us on the road to hell. So let’s do it.”
Eddie O’Sullivan, the Irish coach, said: “It’s been a tough World Cup for us. It’s not because we want to try but that’s the way it is.”
Augustin Pichot, the captain of Argentina summed up what he has done: “We just wanted to win four games and we did it.” Successful people make a plan and stick to it. “
Paul Wallace said: “The Irish people can leave with their heads held high.
Seam Fitz Patrick, the former All Black Captain was not so kind: “They have been living on past glory and they didn’t do it outside. They had an opportunity and they lost that opportunity.”
Successful people continue to seek new glory instead of relying on past achievements for their reputation.
Francoise Pienaar, the former South African captain, also bluntly said: “They were not facing the truth and were looking for excuses.
Successful people ignore the possible reasons and focus on success..
A number of successful lessons can be learned from the rugby game described above.
God or Nature can do anything, especially the impossible. With God’s help you can too.
If you believe that God and the angels are on your side, they will be on your side.
Dr. Robert Anthony wrote: “Everything we have experienced has made us believe certain things about ourselves.” Whether these beliefs are true or not is irrelevant because if we accept them as true, then they are true for us.
Every successful team needs an inspired warrior or ‘crazy horse’ to lead them through the races or into battle. If possible, be yourself a ‘crazy horse’ and fight like crazy to achieve your goals and dreams. Others will follow you.
If you are the underdog make sure you are the underdog who bites the most.
Recognize the importance of regular practice. Daily repetition even when it’s hard and boring leads to mastery.
When faced with death and/or disaster you can go to war!
Stay positive in difficult times and hope that things will open up for you later.
Avoid your competitors’ beliefs and develop your own.
Make a plan and stick to it.
Find new glory instead of relying on old glory.
Don’t make excuses for not doing well. Get back on your horse immediately and try again.
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