Ruck Law and the Impact of Disruption

So all of us who follow rugby have learnt something about the “Ruck Law” in the last couple of weeks….

I was just reflecting on some broader learning.

If you’re not a rugby fan, or you missed the game, the context was that an Italian team arrived at Twickenham as 50-1 outsiders with many predicting a record win for England.

And that should have been what happened! All logic dictated it, England are fitter, stronger, more skilled and better drilled. So, what did the Italians do?

They went off script. They found a law and decided to interpret it differently to the norm, and to stretch its interpretation. They aligned with the referee pre-game that their plan was within the laws and what they did completely disrupted their bigger, stronger more capable rivals.

It took England a full 40 minutes to adapt and at half time the Italians were winning.

England went on to win the game but the incident has divided the rugby community.

Parallels can be drawn to those faced by a Global Market leading company who I’m working with. Their size and scale is their biggest asset, they are bigger, faster, stronger and more capable than their competitors.

Competitors who take them on in a “fair fight” tend to lose, however smaller more agile businesses disrupt their patterns and win ground.  The bigger company can end up looking on in disbelief. They often waste time and energy looking internally with confusion as to why things aren’t as they planned and debating how to adjust (rather than adjusting).

It strikes me that a winning team (whether in sport and business) needs to focus on being the biggest, fastest, most capable AND the most agile and adaptable.

Maybe we all need to be David AND Goliath?


Patrick Marr
Owner Director




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Patrick Marr

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