Monday, November 1st, 2010...7:08 am

Rugby Thinking: Deans vs Henry

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The common points….

1) Both know a lot about the game.
2) Both know how to win.
3) Both are great kiwis

But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, 5 minutes togo, and your team is down 4 points and you need a play to seal the win in the RWC final.

It comes down to how intelligent and fit ALL YOUR PLAYERS ARE !

Player fitness is easy, do the work and your done. Having the player smarts is a little more difficult.

The only difference between Henry and Deans that I have seen over the years is that Henry tends to choose brawn over brian’s. Not all the time, but more often than not. Deans tends to way up the players general on and off the field smarts. Hence Deans teams would score higher on high school tests.

As a past employer of young people, hiring people that achieved a creditable level of high school english and maths was a huge advantage over those that did not. Stop here, I am not saying rugby players should sit a maths test, but I would certainly way up their general smarts on and off the field before selecting them for the black jersey.  How a player speaks, converse, written communication, solve problems, other life achievements both physical and mental.

When teams match up in brawn , experience and skill,  having a team with a higher IQ is always better. Great teams (not just winning teams) have always proven to be great thinkers, others mask this buy calling it leadership. In the end it just better smarts. I feel Deans adds more weight to this more so than Henry.

Of course you can have the incredible hulk in the team, who can not add 1 + 1, so long as the other 14 can ! But it is the balance that’s important.

The test match just past ABs(24) vs Aussie(26) was a prime example of ABs back line IQ dropping after the subs game on, where as the Aussie backline IQ proved to be higher and hence made better choices, and stole the game. Henry’s weakness was exposed, or maybe it was Wayne Smith and Henry weakness ! Lets see how they react !

UPDATE: Here you go, this is why smarts are need, very much so !

Source: Information overload hits as Sonny Bill-Williams swots

Sonny-Bill Williams has been staying up late swotting for his All Blacks debut and with the help of unlikely tutor Ma’a Nonu now believes he’s ready to play test rugby.

A relaxed Williams said today he has been on a crash course since joining the squad three weeks ago and was now itching for a chance to legitimise his selection.

“Coming into rugby union there’s been a lot of information to take in so I’ve had to do my home work,” the 25-year-old said in London today. “I wasn’t good at homework at school, but I’ve had to do that and get everything right here.

“Once you get that down pat, the way the boys want to play then I feel you can express yourself more,

“I’ve been sitting in the room at night writing down the plays and I’ve been falling asleep [while I’m writing]. I’m like ‘come on man, stay awake.'”

Williams credited the man who holds his preferred position in the test side for helping him get up to speed with the All Blacks structures.

“Ma’a Nonu has been really good. He’s helped me out. He’s been in the squad for so long he’s really taken me under his wing and I’m thankful for that.”

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