England vs Scotland Rugby 21st March 2009

Although I am an ardent England rugby union fan, I am not going to gloat about the final score of 26 – 12, as I believe that the match could have gone either way.

When the match started each team was clearly wary of their opposition and made some silly mistakes and one of England’s resulted in the legendary Scottish player Chris Paterson taking a penalty kick. None of the 80,000 + audience, or the players, were in any doubt that Scotland were about to take the lead, such is the skill and reputation of Paterson.

performanceandstrategy-rugby

It made me wonder how many times teams fail to perform to their best when they are not totally confident about their own abilities and are wary of the competition whether in sport or business.

Another thing that became evident was how the changing of a team member impacts on the team’s performance. Although all of these players have trained together (so they are not new members of the team) when substitutions occur it takes certain team members longer than others to settle in.

When any team changes there is normally a drop in performance, whilst the ‘new team’ get used to each other. The quicker that a team reforms the quicker that performance returns. For that reason I was pleased that Ireland won the grand-slam. Their team have been together for some time and certain players like Brian O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara and Peter Stringer have been the mainstay. I’m sure there are going to be some significant changes to their team which means that this may have been the best opportunity these players had to put in their best performance – and they did!

As an end note and returning to Twickenham HRH Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, presented medals to soldiers from 7th Armoured Brigade ‘The Desert Rats’ recognising their recent service in Iraq. These men and women marched around the perimeter of the pitch to the deservedly loud applause of the crowd. No sign of any protest here!

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