cul­tural revo­lu­tion

SOUTH AFRICA 40-26 NEW ZEALAND AU­GUST 14, 2004 // EL­LIS PARK, JO­HAN­NES­BURG

NZ Rugby World - - Contents -

This turned out to be a crit­i­cal game in New Zealand rugby his­tory. It be­came the cat­a­lyst for huge change within the team and e ec­tively in­flu­enced the next 13 years.

The All Blacks coach­ing panel of the time dis­cov­ered a huge amount about the state of their play­ers this day at El­lis Park.

Af­ter be­ing thumped, the play­ers had a huge ses­sion on the booze, which ended up with some of them be­ing put in the re­cov­ery po­si­tion in the ho­tel grounds. It was a shock­ing night, largely be­cause it il­lus­trated how wed the All Blacks were to ama­teur in­sti­tu­tions such as court ses­sions.

When they got back to New Zealand, the coaches in­tro­duced a new lead­er­ship model – giv­ing huge re­spon­si­bil­ity to the play­ers.

The wanted a col­lab­o­ra­tive lead­er­ship team, not a dic­ta­to­rial regime. They wanted play­ers to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for them­selves and be bet­ter peo­ple.

That has been the driv­ing ethos of the All Blacks ever since. They have em­braced the need for higher per­sonal stan­dards and learned what be­ing pro­fes­sional re­ally means.

This was the game that be­gan the cul­tural revo­lu­tion that has seen the All Blacks lift their win ra­tio to in ex­cess of 85 per cent since 2004.

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