FOR 12 months Sun Tzu's tome 'Art of War' has been Garry Betts' constant companion.
The Art of War, according to Wikpedia, is a 13 chapter work attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu. Each chapter concerns an aspect of warfare and how it applies to military strategy and tactics.
Betts became a disciple of Sun Tzu following Taree's epic win over Wingham in the annual bowls challenge played by ex-rugby league players last year, when hostilities resumed after a 12 month hiatus. However, that was at Club West and the Taree players face their Everest - the mountain, not the race - tomorrow when they tackle Wingham at Wingham. History records the home side has won on every occasion since the challenge was inaugurated in 2009.
Now Betts, the Taree motivational guru and tactical adviser, is determined to reverse that trend. And he's counting on the Sun Tzu's wisdom to be the cornerstone for the game plan he will devise to secure a famous victory.
"If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can win a hundred battles without jeopardy,'' Betts is known to regularly say, directly quoting Sun Tzu.
And he'll be quoting Sun Tzu incessantly tomorrow as his gives the players their final instructions before they depart the bus to head to the greens. After first meeting their rivals at the bar, of course.
"We will have to know our enemy,'' Betts said.
"And what better way to get to know them then over a few beers. Sun Tzu was a very smart man.''
Betts added that for too long Taree players went into the bowling battle at Wingham with a negative attitude.
"All warfare is based on deception, as Sun Tzy said and that's what Wingham has done, deceived us into thinking they are invincible. That changes from tomorrow,'' Betts decreed.
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However, Wingham bowls operations manager Wayne Goward isn't interested in Sun Tzu, the Art of War or even Latin. His focus is winning back the Bridgey's Sportspower Shield.
There's considerable conjecture in Wingham that some of the ex-footballers in Taree's 2018 team weren't really ex-footballers. So Goward promised Wingham's lineup tomorrow would be exclusively made up of proud Sons of the Upper Manning.
He said the Wingham players won't have to read Art of War or anything else to be motivated, although he suggested more than a few may glance at Best Bets.
"We'll be representing Wingham. At Wingham. Against Taree,'' Goward declared.
"Taree can shove it where the Sun don't shine.''