For me, yesterday just couldn’t come quick enough.

The penultimate weekend of the Rugby 6 Nations, and Scotland are still in with a shout of winning the Championship. The only thing stopping them is Grand Slam chasing Ireland, the world’s number one team.

But hey, we’re at home…we should have won in Paris in the last game…but we didn’t.

“We should have won in Paris…but we didn’t.” Just hold onto that thought for a wee minute!

Both teams had their stars playing, both teams had strength in depth…and again, Scotland were playing at home…Fortress Murrayfield.

The game began at lightening speed, and before long it was becoming a war of attrition. By the second half key players going off from both sides. But in reality it was about the positions of those key players, which meant that Ireland were suffering more than Scotland.

As mentioned by the BBC’s Tom English, “Andy Farrell’s team had lost four of his pack to injury by then. They had a 35-year-old prop playing hooker and a world player of the year flanker throwing into the lineout. Ireland’s casualty list was so bad, said Farrell, it was funny. His players were actually laughing in the dressing room at half-time such was the chaos unfolding around them.”

Now here’s the difference, not just between Scotland and Ireland, but between anyone and Ireland.

Ireland for sometime now under their coach Andy Farrell and his staff, have drilled into each other and the players to believe and adapt…believe and adapt at any cost to take charge and therefore go on to win.

It was carnage out there for Ireland, including a serious head injury to one of their players who will not be playing in their last game next weekend…I wish him well for the future and hope that he has a full recovery…thinking of you Gary Ringrose.

It was this carnage to Ireland’s key positions where Scotland needed to step up…but they didn’t. Whether through the half time talk, or through a lack of leadership on the field…or a lack of belief among the players in general…or even a combination of all?

Ireland had no such problem…positive thinking, belief, leadership on and off the field…gave them security through game management.

So…while still holding the thought from the French game…here we are again. Given all that happened to Ireland, Scotland should have won at home in Murrayfield, but we didn’t.

We didn’t because we’re not Ireland. We don’t have the overall management skills that Ireland have. We don’t have the belief that Ireland have. We don’t have the adaptability that Ireland have, and we don’t have the leadership for game management over the 80 key minutes that Ireland have.

If Ireland were a special forces team, they would be successful in every mission. If Ireland were a hospital surgical team, they would lose no patients. If Ireland were Wall St, there would be no crash. If Ireland were a political party, they would be voted in each and every time. If Ireland were my local police force, I’d leave my doors unlocked, and not worry about my child at school.

But Ireland are not any of those things…Ireland are just the number one rugby team in the world.

The point overall here, is that with the right management putting their workers into the right headspace around the right leadership, then anything can be achieved, no matter the immediate upheaval. And the mission can be secured and therefore accomplished.

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit www.bobshepherdauthor.com

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