Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
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Some wisdom here from one of Australia's great mythical 'sporting' characters; 'The truth is deafening, no matter how softly it is spoken.'
'Rugby is a nonsense, but a very serious nonsense.'
His simple philosophy for sporting success; 'Winning Starts on Monday.'
On the eve of Pontypool v New Zealand in 1989, i jotted down the simple philosophy of how Pontypool coach John Perkins wanted his team to mentally approach their big upcoming game; 'Boys, you've to live it, eat it, sleep it and shit it if you want to win!'
"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.' (from the film 'Bull Durham')
'...to win by one is enough.'
'Always avoid prophesying on things beforehand; it's a much better policy to prophesy after the event has taken place.'
'If winning isn't everything why bother to keep the score?'
'As your reputation gets bigger, the gaps and chances to go through them get smaller.'
'A rugby tour is like sex. When its good it's great, and when it's bad - hey! It's still pretty good!'
'I'd rather spend half an hour in the company of a top carpenter, than three hours in the company of an average brain surgeon'
...when thinking about retirement; 'When your eyes go, and your legs go, and your fans go; then it's time for you to go too.'
'Often when a team is at the bottom, there's something wrong at the top.'
'In Ireland the inevitable never happens but the unexpected constantly does.'
Talking about the 1988 World Cup rugby league final on Eden Park in Auckland; 'When the Kiwis ran onto the field we could see the poor bastards were shitting themselves.' Sydney Morning Herald 24 November 1992.
Jack Manchester's All Blacks are beaten 13-0 by England at Twickenham, with the Russian Prince Alexander Obolensky as a winger, dashing in for 2 tries.
On March 27 1871 the first international rugby match between any two countries was played at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh, the home ground of the Edinburgh Academicals Cricket Club. The decision to have a rugby match on the ground was not one that found unanimous favour with club members and approval was given only after a close vote had been taken. The pitch was only 55 yards wide, which apparently suited Scotland which did not like moving the ball anyway! A crowd of 4000 watched as Scotland won by one try and a goal to one try.
The ground hosted internationals up until 1895, and today is the headquarters of the Edinburgh Academicals Club.
In 1987 and 2011 the All Blacks were the first rugby nation to win the World Cup twice; but which country was the first to win the World Cup's THIRD place match twice?