One of the Greatest Rugby World Cup Stories Ever Told?
As we now enter the second week of the World Cup, for a country that has no history in Rugby, or won a World Cup game for 24 years, Japan sent shock waves through the World Cup last Saturday by emerging as the unlikely victors in the game against one of the top-tier teams, South Africa. If you were watching, youíll know that their joy at winning was infectious and new fans were gained from those who may not understand the game, but who thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle.
The media had a field day, but I particularly enjoyed reading one interview* with Japanís Rugby Team Head Coach, Eddie Jones, who talked about their strategy not just for that the match, but for the World Cup competition.
He recalled having a conversation with team Captain Michael Leitch over coffee on the day of the match with South Africa, in which he said, "Look, mate, we've got nothing to lose. If you think we should have a go, have a go." And of course he did.
It was an amazing win, but it was only one glorious part in the plan. Eddie went on to say, "We haven't come here just to have one splash in the pond," he said. "When we came here we had two targets - to make the quarters and to be the team of the tournament. And weíve not made a bad start." Although Japan's plans have been dented by the subsequent defeat by Scotland, the victory against South Africa remains as one of the greatest rugby world cup stories ever told.
What do I take from this? That you need to have a long game plan, a goal in sight that you need to commit time and focus to reach; but you also need to be ready for tactical opportunities, the things that sometimes happen "in the moment" that help you reach your goal. A good example of this in my particular industry is when a property becomes available that fits a particular business and that business needs to have a plan in place so it is able to react, make a quick decision and move quickly to secure it.
*The Guardian, Sean Ingle - 21 September