A blast from the past and how Tigers beat South Africa, in what now seems all too long ago.
By rights, the South African second string team should have beaten the Leicester second string team in November 2009.
We can argue about the exact mix in each side, but neither team was the strongest available. So one might expect the international team to prevail. Yet as any international coach knows, a game where the international team plays a club side is fraught with danger. You are expected to win and anything other than a demolition of the other team is seen as a failure.
On the other hand, you should always be wary of the fickle nature of the game.
Gary Gold, who coached at London Irish in the early 2000s, is a realist. He will have known that the Leicester players will have sniffed an upset. Interestingly the game was won and lost up front, where big hearts can sometimes overcome big muscles.
I suspect that the South African coaching group tried their level best to convince their team that the Tigers would do what tigers do best when their backs are against the wall, come out all tooth and claw. It would have been different on the High Veld, but in front of the home supporters, the Leicester team were too determined.
An upset, yes. A complete surprise, no. Munster also nearly beat the All Blacks, and the Osprey second string beat the Aussies a few years ago too.
What Gary would say is that coaching is as much about man management as it is about coaching the technical aspects of the game.
So you can lose the game because your mindset is not right. And the most frustrating thing is that the players are not always convinced of the magnitude of the task in front of them.
And so do Tigers need to go back to how they got themselves up for this SA game, or is it their mindset now that is not right ?
Thanks Tiggs I wonder if we have lost some of that sheer belligerent refusal to accept defeat. In spite of the increased wringing of hands in the media, I don't see defeat hurting the players as much as it used to. Only my opinion
Agree totally mindset is vital, but if you try hard to get that extra ''up-for-it'' for evey game it negates itself .. that bit extra must be held in reserve for when it is most needed, or they will be cream crackered early doors
Sheer bloody mindedness and dog should be the default attitude for Tigers teams.It has not been for a few years now, they can do it for the odd match but not as a default. That is the vital ingredient that is currently missing.We saw a little more of it last night with the youngsters, which begs the question about a number of the senior players attitudes.Once we get that back as basis of all our players we will begin to dominate games again.
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