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Fascinating Insight Into Joe Schmidt's Managerial Quirks

Fascinating Insight Into Joe Schmidt's Managerial Quirks
Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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A fantastically revealing post which has been circulated on both Babbling Brook (The Leinster fans forum) and Munsterfans forum highlights some of the quirks of Joe Schmidt's management style. The information comes from a talk Schmidt delivered to a rugby club a while ago.

1.  He runs training matches where players are punished for celebrating tries

The very Roy Keane style rationale for this is that a postman doesn't celebrate when he delivers letters. If a player celebrates he has to perform the age old ritual of running laps (nothing too scientific there)

2. He let Mike Ross off

Mike Ross is the only player ever  "He never even scored a try as a kid, so I was happy to let that one pass"!


3. He usually leaves the team-talks to the players

Not quite Jose Mourihno leaving it all to the masseur. He tends to have all his work done at that point but he may choose to issue a few reminders to players on a individual basis.

4. He gets players to shake hands with each other when they meet each other for the first time that day

A tradition he took with him from Clermont, the Leinster players really took to this idea, particularly Jamie Heaslip

5. He doesn't pay much attention to what George Hook says

He doesn't take much heed of what the media think. He spoke at the dinner about George Hook's comments early in his reign at Leinster, when they had lost three out of his opening four matches. Hook said he had lost the dressing room and should quit now. The following day O'Driscoll and Leo Cullen went into his office and told him to ignore Hook and said they had total belief in what Schimdt was trying to do.

6. They didn't swear at Leinster

Now that he's coaching Munster players he's had to learn some swear words

7. Discipline

When he's reffing a training match, any chat at all to him results in immediate removal from the game.

8. He was told by a referee's assessor that Nigel Owens made a mistake in awarding the final penalty to New Zealand in November.

The referee's assessor was in agreement with him that Owens missed a couple of clear infringements from New Zealand just before Jack McGrath was penalised.

9. He said the difference between the Australia performance and the New Zealand one wasn't as big as many thought

Schmidt said that Ireland actually made less system errors than they did in the All Black game and several of the key performance indicators were better. He said that four incidents that year completely changed the game. Sexton's injury was critical as Ireland were in a strong position and it ruined a great attacking opportunity. He said that any positives were completely ignored by the media, namely Fergus McFadden making five clean line breaks, extremely unusual in international rugby.



10. He does not believe that New Zealanders are mentally tougher than other nations

He said it was rubbish to think that New Zealand were mentally tougher than other nations. England had them beaten but made a horrific mistake at the end to allow the All Blacks in but otherwise they were England had the game won. He said had Owens picked up on any of the clear infringements New Zealand made in the final minute against Ireland, then the game would have been over and no one would be talking about their mental strength.


11. He believes that the All Blacks bottled it in 2011 but not in 2007

Contrary to popular opinion, Schmidt reckons New Zealand bottled it the year they actually won the World Cup and did not choke the year they lost in the quarters to France. On both occasions the referee decided it. He thought Wayne Barnes was dreadful in 2007 and that New Zealand could not buy a penalty against France. In 2011, he says they bottled it in the second half but again the ref (Joubert) decided the game. Schmidt says that New Zealand cheated throughout the second half. He has talked to a number of the players and they couldn't believe the decisions the ref was making.

12. He has no tolerance for players not working as hard as they can

[Babbling Brook]

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