266. Too Stupid

Sharing Sunday: A post from a few weeks ago but still a good reminder about playing smarts and discipline.

Ned Davy and The Order of The Black Heart

One of the cliches that commentators used to reach for was “the top two inches”. Maybe it doesn’t sound as good in metrics.

The idea is right though, that smarts is what separates the best from the pack of physically-capable players.  The ability to see the situation, analyse the options, and do the right thing, all in a micro-second.

Then there are the players whose personnel files should be stamped “Darwin Contender”. Who, more or less frequently, see the situation, analyse the options, and do exactly the wrong thing. In a hyper-physical sport such as rugby, this especially applies to discipline.

The opportunities for little or big nudges, prods, pops and hits mean the individual has to constantly be thinking about where the line is between competing and penalty. Ma’a Nonu used to be one such player when playing for the Hurricanes. You could count on him to give away…

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