England’s historical 3-0 whitewash series win down- under, proves that the great coaches do not buy consolation – Eddie Jones taking his charges to the No.2 world rugby ranking in less than six months at the helm English rugby.
England coming off a long season and long tour could easily have folded and allowed Australia to bounce back in Sydney, after having already wrapped up the historical away series win in Melbourne.
But, a hard lined Eddie Jones was having nothing of that.
That’s because Eddie Jones believes consolation breed weakness.
When you have had a couple of wins , praise can make you weak .If you become weak once , you can become weak twice , and to be a champion team you can’t be like that – Eddie Jones
Jones put the ball right back in the English scrum by saying:
It comes down to mental strength and desire to be part of this England team .If they allow themselves to become weak through praise ,or allow themselves to think what people are saying is true , they won’t be in the team .
Of course, there is also the flip side of consolation, which the great coaches sometimes choose to exploit .
To destroy complacency amongst their own ranks, and to breed false confidence amongst rival teams.
This often becomes more evident in the run up to major tournaments.
All Black’s coach, Steve Hansen certainly did not want to arrive at the RWC 2015, with a record unbeaten run.
He planned it just right.
Great coaches know that no matter how good one’s players are – their job is to guard the egos and fine lines of sport, as one day :
Someone, Some team will have your number.
Consolation and Complacency – two sides to the same coin – which the great coaches play so well.
Although England will not face off against the No.1 side in the world this year, they will come up against the Springboks at Twickenham on November 12 – and it’s the English who have not beaten the Boks in the last ten years.
It’s definitely something Eddie Jones will be ruthlessly targeting after his deserved summer break.
The Boks will need to close all the loop holes which Eddie Jones knows , if they want to keep their impressive record versus England alive .
In between The Rugby Championship awaits.
- Rob’s latest book: The Game Changers: Good to Great to Greater is available FREE to readers as an instant digital download on his site : www.thegameplan.co.za