A coach has to keep his charges focussed and receptive to his ideas particularly when he has been with a club for some time.
Scarborough Rugby Club coach Dave Beck with a background as a senior police officer and hostage negotiator came up with an idea to concentrate the minds of his charges before they took on Yorkshire One basement club Huddersfield YMCA at Silver Royd last Saturday.
Dave invited local man, project manager Chris Gibson and his Indian Eagle owl ‘Ridick’ along to the club and introduced the three-and-a-half year old bird of prey to the players in the home dressing room during his pre-match talk.
The idea was to instil the killer instinct which is natural to the bird and encourage his charges to make short work of the visiting team who had twice conceded over 40 points in recent games.
Ridick is of course a raptor which comes from the Latin word rapere meaning to seize and take by force and Scarborough certainly did that, racing to a 21-8 lead with just over a quarter of an hour of the game gone.
However their ‘prey’ fought back and were winning 34-30 going into injury-time.
But like the focal object of their pre-match briefing Scarborough showed no little stamina hunting down the opposition to go for the kill and seize the game with a last gasp try to win 37-34.
Perhaps their win was inspired by ‘Ridick’.