RWC: WoodWard’s 10 Commandments on Winning

Spiro Zavos Columnist

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Clive Woodward - Image by MICK TSIKAS - AAPIMAGE

Clive Woodward is one of only five coaches who worked out how to win the Rugby World Cup.

In ‘The Times’ he has given his 10 Commandments on ‘How To Win The World Cup.’

1. You need the whole game behind you. 2. Try to arrive as favourites. 3. Experience. 4. Playing in your own hemisphere and particularly your own country 5. A settled team. 6. A tried and trusted way of playing. 7. Leadership 8. The need for world class people in support of the players. 9. Deal with the energy sappers and the termites. 10. Totally understand your opposition.

These 10 Commandments are very similar to the 7 Factors that I described in ‘Watching The Rugby World Cup‘: Home ground advantage, Capabilities of the Coach, Chemistry of the side, Quality of the first five-eighth, Leadership qualities of the captain, Kind of game played, Momentum.

Woodward points to the build-up by the All Blacks, 38 wins out of their last 43 tests as being similar to that of England in 2003 with their 35 test wins in their 40 games going into the 2003 RWC, as the factor that makes them favourites to win the Webb Ellis trophy: ‘In most sports, favourites tend to win.’

However, he says that being favourites does put a team under huge pressure: ‘I await with interest to see whether New Zealand can withstand it.’

‘The big danger,’ Woodward suggests, ‘comes from France.’ And also the Wallabies: ‘Australia will not be afraid of New Zealand on neutral ground so an All Black triumph is not a foregone conclusion.’

Spiro Zavos, a founding writer on The Roar, was long time editorial writer on the Sydney Morning Herald, where he started a rugby column that has run for nearly 30 years. Spiro has written 12 books: fiction, biography, politics and histories of Australian, New Zealand, British and South African rugby. He is regarded as one of the foremost writers on rugby throughout the world.

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