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The Bunch of Softies catch-all thread

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Jun 22, 2016
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The summer of soft continues. I'll define the perception of soft as a lack of killer instinct when dominating and a lack of resilience and leadership when on the back foot.

This summer you had 'soft' Leinster capitulating in the face of adversity. Then 'soft' private school players according to Eddie Jones. Now we've got 'soft' players at all age levels in Scotland, with the suggestion that being micromanaged into robots by coaches and a lack of 'life experience' are factors.

We also historically have suggestion of mentally soft Argentines, soft Aussies (compared to NRL and Aussie rules), soft/inconsistent French and even the ABs going soft and being meekly rolled over in their backyard. We've also learnt that half the soft Italians this millennium were actually soft Argies.

It kind of begs the question, who isn't soft? The Boks and Aussies always struck me as sides able to consistently grind out results whilst looking second best, but I'm talking 10-20 years ago. The most recent example is probably Wales (if they have AWJ) and the bizarre mental strength of Chile if you look at Tier2.

Wales under their last two coaches now have overachieved and won the 6N and achieved excellent one off results too. They compete against sides superior packs in a way no other international side seems to and this is despite prolonged periods of the same players being based at underachieving clubs, or at least clubs very accustomed to losing.

Is softness a real thing? Who isn't soft and why aren't they soft? Can one or two leaders on the field stiffen a soft team? Is it all down coaching? Is it societal? Are Wales different and if so what makes them different? Is current French inconsistency and brilliance fundamentally different to old French inconsistency and softness? Were Laporte and Woodward lucky or were they doing something to stiffen their 'soft' squads? Are Leinster soft but Ireland aren't?

There is a world of softness out there and I'll be damned if I can make sense of it.

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