All Blacks Who Missed Out On World Cup Success Lessons From The 2007 Rugby Union World Cup Part 6 – Crazy Horse

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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 not to achieve it! It can also teach basic principles that apply to achieving success of any type.

On Friday 28 September 2007, England faced Tonga in another must-win pool game.

The Tongans have a reputation as the wild men of world rugby, but they don’t agree with that image of themselves. However, they received more foul cards than any other team at the 2007 World Cup.

They believe rugby is a contact sport for men and offer their own form of punishment to the opposition: “You stomp on the soft tissue, but you don’t stomp on the head or the crown jewels.” They believe in limited violence!

Belief in God also plays a large role in the Tongan psyche. They pray as a team every night. Their team preacher tells them, “Our Lord can do all kinds of things, especially impossible things.”

Tongans also believe in angels: “All the angels in heaven support us.”

The French crowd certainly supported them!

Lewis Moody has returned to the England squad. It’s called ‘Crazy Horse’. Crazy Horse was a Lakota war leader involved in the Battle of the 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 winner, was delighted with Moody’s return:

“He’s going to bring a huge amount of energy to the game. We showed against Samoa that we can hit those guys too. At some point tonight it’s going to be head to head. It’s about winning those collisions. We need to pick up the intensity and pace of this game. We need to work and hit those guys and then they will have nowhere to go.”

The Tongans showed off their haka or siva tau and charged forward with their gaze fixed squarely in the faces of the English team. English fans chanted “Swing Low Sweet Chariot!” at the same time and almost drowned out the sounds of the siva tau.

It was a case of England win or go out. If they won, they would go to Marseille for the quarter-finals, where they would face Australia as an underdog, but an underdog that was starting to bite.

Tonga scored a penalty to make it 3-0. Then Jonny Wilkinson scored one for England 3-3. Another Tonga slid over the line on the greasy surface for a try. 10-3

England came back with a wonderful try as Wilkinson kicked Paul Sackey who caught the ball after it hit him in the face. Paul fell to his knees and received the ball just before it slid over the dead ball line. 10-8

Barkley missed the kick but Wilkinson didn’t. 10-11 to England. Wilkinson then scored another three points from the penalty spot. 10-14. Things developed as England did. Wilkinson rarely misses as he practices kicking

whole hours. Successful people realize the need for constant, regular exercise.

English winger Sackey intercepted the ball and headed for the goal. It’s fair to say he enjoyed his World Cup. He rediscovered his zip and tried to score.

England lead 10-19 at half time but Tonga never give up. Greenwood was concerned: “We’re inviting Tong back into the game. No wonder Brian Ashton doesn’t have any blooming hair.”

Tonga kicked a penalty. 13-19 Tonga still believed they could win. They had good reason to believe. They beat USA and Samoa and pushed all of South Africa.

Mathew Tait scored a try for England which was converted. 13-26.

Tonga looked tired. Andy Farrell scored another try for England between the posts. It was a first for the former rugby league man. Jonny converted it. 13-33

Jonny then scored a goal. 13-36. Tonga ended the match with another sliding try which was brilliantly converted. 20-36

Australia will now wait and lick their vengeful lips for the chance to beat England in the quarter-finals. They waited four years to avenge their defeat by England in the final of the last World Cup.

The Tongan players gathered to pray. They could leave this World Cup with their heads held high and their reputations improved.

Commenting on England’s victory, Jonny Wilkinson said: “It’s satisfying but we have a long way to go.”

Lewis Moody was almost knocked over a few times as he chased the ball and went into a furious tackle. He fully justified his name “crazy horse” and inspired the entire English team and the spectators with his courageous example.

England maintained their record of always reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup and the team looked to be enjoying the game of rugby again.

When you get to the knockout stages, anything is possible.

However, Wales 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. Captain Gareth Thomas felt he had let the nation down and coach Gareth Jenkins was sacked the following day.

Scotland got the better of Wales in their next game against Italy. The wily Scotland coach, who rested his best players against the All Blacks, said a good start gives you the confidence to do well for the rest of the match.

The Scots started with a bang and finished with a narrow victory thanks to the consistent kicking of their main goal, Chris Paterson, who is arguably one of the best two players in world rugby. He kicked six penalties to help Scotland win 18–16, although Italy were the only side to try.

Scotland have now reached the last eight.

France defeated Georgia convincingly 64-7 on Sunday, September 30. They scored nine tries. France were now top of Group 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 key match took place that Sunday. Underperforming Ireland clashed with Argentina. The Irish had the full support of France. Thomas Castaignede wore a green hat: “Argentina can send us on the road to hell.”

If Ireland hadn’t beaten Argentina, France would have ended up playing the hell out of a wild and talented All Black team in a foreign country (Wales).

A French banner read: “Allez Les Verts!”

One Irishman commented: “We have to play a lot better than we have been playing and take our opportunities when they come.”

Irish captain O’Driscoll said, “If we are to die, we must die fighting.”

However, Argentina have the best defensive record in the entire World Cup and won the battle of the anthems. They were singing and tears were streaming down their faces. At home, the whole nation watched their progress.

Ireland went for it in the first seven minutes. Their minds were focused on scoring the four tries they needed to progress to the quarter-finals. They camped in Argentina’s half, but did not score.

Now Argentina are back and had a good spell. They scored a try that was a stake at the heart of Ireland’s ambitions. 5-0 Ireland then scored a penalty goal to make it 5-3. Argentina countered with a goal to make it 8:3

Argentina was starting to look good. Everyone was in favor of Ireland, but the Argentines didn’t care. These were difficult times for Ireland. They had to stay positive and hope that things would open up for them later.

The Irish needed to dent Argentina’s confidence as well as ignite their own. O’Driscoll did just that when he scored Ireland’s first try.

Ireland 10-8 Now the game was completely different. You could almost see the Guinness flowing and feel the faith in the Irish camp.

Hernandez, Argentina’s brilliant kicker, scored a goal to puncture the Irish bubble. 10-11 Argentina won by a narrow margin.

Argentina scored a try. 10-18. The Cougars smelled the sweet scent of being in the last eight teams of the World Cup. They were halfway to four tries and a bonus point that would have put them into the quarter-finals no matter what Ireland did.

For Ireland, this game was always going to be on the rocks. One by one, their fingertips were removed from the edge of the cliff

After halftime, Argentina scored three more points 21:10

Then Irish fullback Jordan Murphy scored. 21-15 For the Irish, the dream lit up again.

Argentina must keep up the momentum and win if they want to go far in the World Cup. They scored from the penalty spot.

15-24 for Argentina. Another high tackle penalty 15-27 for Argentina

Hernandez scored a goal with his left foot – a hat trick. 15-30

Argentina could now return to their hotel with the belief that anything was possible. It was a definitive victory and they laughed at the D word (death pool).

Ireland have never been past the World Cup quarter-finals before. They didn’t even get that far this time. France would now have to play the All Blacks in Wales.

Thomas Castaignede said: “We did it before, eight years ago. I hope we can do it again. Argentina sent us on the road to hell. So let’s do it.”

Eddie O’Sullivan, Ireland’s coach, commented: “It’s been a tough World Cup for us. It’s not for lack of trying, but that’s the way it goes.”

Augustin Pichot, Argentina’s captain summed up their success: “We just wanted to win four games and we managed to do that.” Successful people make a plan and stick to it.”

Paul Wallace commented: “The Irish can walk away with their heads held high. They just need to get back on their horses and then start looking at the next World Cup.”

Seam Fitz Patrick, the former All Black Captain, was not so kind: “They lived off past glory and didn’t do it on the field. They had an opportunity and they lost that opportunity.”

Successful people continue to seek new glory rather than relying on past victories for their reputation.

Francoise Pienaar, the former South African captain, was equally blunt: “They didn’t face the truth and made excuses.”

Successful people ignore possible excuses and focus on winning.

Several successful lessons can be learned from the rugby games described above.

God or the Universe can do anything, especially impossible things. With God’s help, you can do it too.

If you believe that God and the angels are on your side, they will be.

Dr. Robert Anthony wrote, “All of our experiences have led us to believe certain things about ourselves. Whether these beliefs are true or not doesn’t really matter, because if we accept them as true, they are true for us.”

Every successful team needs an inspired warrior or “crazy horse” to lead them in competition or battle. If necessary, become a “crazy horse” yourself and fight like crazy to achieve your goals and dreams. Others will follow you.

If you’re an underdog, make sure you’re an underdog that bites hard.

Recognize the need for constant, regular exercise. Daily repetition, even if it is hard and boring, brings mastery.

If you’re facing death and/or disaster, you might as well go into battle!

Stay positive during hard times and hope that things will open up for you later.

Destroy your competitors’ confidence, but boost your own.

Make a plan and stick to it.

Seek new glory rather than relying on past glory.

Don’t make excuses for your poor performances. Get back on your horse immediately and try again.

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