I’m sure you may have seen, heard or read about the controversial tactics employed by Italian coach Conor O’Shea against a bewildered England rugby team yesterday at Twickenham.
He organised his team so they would not contest when the ball was on the ground meaning no rucks were formed meaning there was no offside line.
This allowed his team to wander in front of where the normal offside line would have been (at the back of a ruck) and essentially anywhere on the pitch.
His players often placed themselves in front of the bemused England scrum-half Danny Care and other midfield players causing confusion and mayhem for a half.
I must admit I needed to check the rules (thanks BBC for clarifying) but for me there’s no doubt that this is a “hats off” and not “hang your head in shame” moment.
I am biased as I wanted clients attending the game to enjoy a rampaging England racking up record points however, there is something unique and deeper about what happened yesterday.
You see, Italy are pretty terrible and if it wasn’t for the gladiatorial heroics of Sergio Parisse they would be even worse.
Their club set-up lacks players, fans and results and the argument rages on as to whether a country like Georgia are better equipped to be involved in the Premier rugby competition in the world.
Conor O’Shea is charged with trying to get results and take this team forward, and for me, he’s done just that.
What he did yesterday is several things;
Next time Italy play, the opposition will be on the back foot slightly with regards their tactics which at least gives them a head start.
He baffled the second best team in the world for 40 minutes.
He has got everyone talking about him and his tactics and not how England thrashed a terrible team that shouldn’t be in the competition.
He annoyed Eddie Jones.
PLUS; I am sure most of the Italian team were quietly smurking into their espressos this morning about mucking up England’s plans which has to be good for team moral!
Being different takes bravery, creative thought and commitment.
What could you do differently this week to get people talking and upset the status quo?
England should have reacted and thought quicker so, hats off Conor.