Watching the Rugby World Cup Semi Finals between England and South Africa and I couldn't help but make some mental notes and learn some valuable lessons from what was one of the most inspiring events unfolding before me. If you didn't watch the game, go watch the replay, you will learn so much.
Kudos to England, they had a solid game plan, stuck to their plan and had South Africa on the ropes for 79 minutes. England were the better team full stop.
South Africa, lets just be frank, were an absolute mess and it was awful to watch. But, lets give the coach Kudo's for making those substitutions because it was those players who came off the bench that made the difference and scored the points to put South Africa ahead by one point.
The referee, well, he got some decisions right and he got some wrong but that's the way it goes.
So what are the lessons then.
You can have a game plan but it does not always mean that you will win.
Sticking to your game plan can produce the result you need even when things are not going to plan so trust the process because you might only need 1 minute, or one call or one thing to fall in your favour for your game plan to take shape.
If the plan is not working then don't be afraid to change it. South Africa used all of the substitutions early on to make an impact when things were not working.
There are external factors at play that you cannot control, like the referees decisions. You hold your tongue and you continue to play the game with dignity and discipline.
When it is time to step up to take the lead, do it with confidence and humility. I am referring to Handre Pollard kicking the winning points with only a few minutes to go.
Never give up, never doubt and keep on grinding.
Lastly, be the man/woman to stand up and kick the winning points.