Gatland explained in-depth his recent comments about England having already played their ‘final’ against the All Blacks, drawing on his previous experience where he had seen first hand how powerful an emotionally charged performance can be.
“At the very elite level of sport, it is the emotion that counts. And sometimes when you have a great performance and you are emotionally charged right on the edge, it is difficult to repeat that,” he told Off the Ball.
“When I look back at my time coaching, there are two examples that really strike out for me.
“One was in London coaching Wasps, and we played Leicester in the last round. Martin Johnson’s last game and Neil Back’s last game at Welford Road. I completely underestimated the emotion of that.”
“They beat us 45-24 or something like that. Then in the final, I didn’t think they could bring the same level of emotion so we put 40-points on them in the final.
“It was the same scenario with Australia in the second test in 2013. James Horwill, tears running down his eyes, the effort and energy they put into that, I didn’t think they could bring the same the following week.
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