The Power of Negative Thinking

When it comes to winning Rugby matches, if there's a beautiful way to lose or an ugly way to win then the Waratahs will find it. And as a Waratahs supporter, hopes are best left in the dreams Department of your local sporting mindstore where they are bound to be dashed by a two-year old who finds them all shiny and sparkly even though Mum knows they're worthless so the kid may as well play with them till they die.

It's better to look at the negative side of life with the Waratahs. It's easier that way. No expectations to meet, no plans to make, nothing to get excited about for no reason. Certainly the on-field the attitude of the players is negative. Good ball is there to be kicked away. Slick passing movements are as rare as a successful Kurtley Beale kick and regather or a crisp delivery from the scrumbase by Luke Burgess. And when there is a passing movement why go forwards when you can go sideways and why go sideways when you can simply knock-on?

This negative thinking is a powerful force inside Camp Waratah. It ensures that bonus points are as rare as home victories for the Western Force or the Reds winning a game they should win. As fas as deliberate ploys go (and it must be deliberate because you wouldn't play that way accidentally) it's an interesting tactic designed to bewlider oppositions into a true sense of superiority. In the unlikely event that the other team feels that the match is lost the Waratahs drag them to their feet and ensure a tight finish. The Waratah hierarchy may feel that tight matches are good for Rugby, but just once it would be nice to see the Tahs win by 50.

Nonetheless credit where credit's due. This negative thinking concept has a lot to recommend it in daily life outside Rugby too. For example, pin your expectations on your kids to grow up uncoordinated with the personality of cardboard (not the shiny type) and the intelligence of pond scum and when they turn out to be be able to catch (the bus), occasionally initiate a conversation about sport and earn enough marks at school to be an entry level clerk in the Public Service then you will have something to cheer.

Expect your house to leak, your car to break down in traffic and your partner to run off with a member of the same sex and when nothing of interest at all happens you can feel moderately pleased. This is a much better result than hoping for career success, wealth, world peace and the Waratahs winning the Super 14, none of which are likely to ever happen.

So congratulations to the Waratahs for discovering the path to contentment. Happiness lies not in a bowl of cherries but in a kick downfield straight to the fullback or knocking on at a restart.

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