Well that was a disappointment to lose the first match of the season, although it was not entirely unexpected.
The week leading up to the match was one of disruption as we had 5 waterpolo players, all of them starting, only join us on Friday. Obviously this had an effect on preparation, but summer sports come first and they had a cup to win. Unfortunately because summer sports ended so late this year I have found almost all the guys to be completely unfocused about the forthcoming rugby season. I’m not sure if last years results are still having an effect on the focus and excitement levels, but one things for sure, there is very little excitement building within the squad.
I find this extremely troubling as it seems quite a few players would rather play in the lower teams or be somewhere else on a Saturday.
There seems to be no competitive spirit in this squad!
I cannot believe so many boys are not gnawing on their finger nails waiting to be released onto the rugby field to try dominate their opposition and try to win the match. Surely this is a fundamental aspect of life to try get ahead of your opposition no matter if they are your friends or not?
This it seems is why this age group did not produce last year, you can find many excuses, but I believe this complete lack of desire to win is the MAIN reason why they are not producing the results they should be.
I have told the group this and I will keep repeating this statement:
“This group is VERY talented, with plenty natural athletes among them and some that will develop into very good rugby players in time.”
I think I’m very privileged to be coaching this group as I believe they can go far and produce a brand of rugby never seen at SACS for a very long time, however us coaches can teach them everything about rugby, with the best structures and moves, but when there is no desire to win and become the best from within each and every player then nothing will work.
We can try to get the guys fired up every Saturday but how will this help when you have guys yearning for Saturday night partying rather than scoring a try and winning the match?
I say all of this because of what I noticed at yesterday’s match against Brackenfell.
The guys rocked up looking like they did not give a flying toss about playing the match, there was no ENERGY, no PASSION, no FIRE, no PRIDE.
It is my belief that playing in an A team at such a prestigious school like SACS, is an absolute HONOUR.
No matter the results, those 15 are believed to be the best in their age group and have been selected to represent the school against some of the premier schools in the country. It is a huge honour to get the opportunity to show off your skills in front of so many spectators and against some of the best rugby schools in the country. Considering SACS has produced the first Springbok ever as well as some big rugby names in the past… we are a rugby school as well.
This is why I struggle to understand the psyche at the moment with the u15s.
They can do very well this year and prove the many doubters wrong, but I have to ask myself, Do they really want to do well?
I’m sure if their expectation is to lose then I guarantee, it will happen.
They could have won the match yesterday, they were head and shoulders above them in the first 15mins, but when you have guys jogging on the field when we are on attack or are under severe pressure I have to ask myself, do they really want to be there and win the match?
A team that has only 2 or 3 stand out performances so early in the season when ALL places are up for grabs, has a problem.
So we have a lot of work to do before we can realistically challenge for better results this year, as coaches we have the responsibility to get them out of this coma and get them fired up for the season ahead.
As for the players I want you guys to really think about what you as an individual want to achieve this year, it starts with 1 player standing up and breaking away from this negative cycle. It can be achieved but it is hard work.
Time to rethink and get this team thinking and behaving as a team.