Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Heineken Horror!

I’ll keep this brief as the idea of reliving Saturday’s Edinburgh v Leinster match is putting me off my lunch!

Glorious day, sun splitting the sky, a good Autumn wind and, with Mrs Al off visiting relatives, a free pass to go and do with the day whatever I desire.  For once Edinburgh are playing at home at a time that actually encourages attendance, not only that but a 1.30pm ko ensured that I was out and in the pub in time for the second half of the Scotland v Norway snorefest.   So off to fortress Murrayfield I went and to be honest the signs were good!  For once the ticket arrangements were well organised with separate booth for those of us paying cash so no wait in a long queue.  Into the stadium in time for a pint from the well manned (it’s true!!) booze cabins and an almost tasty burger from the stall – really, trips to Murrayfield rarely go this well.  It’s a case of sit where you like with the ticket I have and I get a seat right under the media boxes and a cracking view for the game ahead, find myself surrounded by Leinster fans but they are in good form.  For the first 15-20 minutes this general vibe of positivity was sustained by a good start from Edinburgh…

Those first 15 minutes or so saw Edinburgh press Leinster back and put real pressure onto the lineout. The Leinster lineout was an abomination at times, with lineout after lineout being stolen at the rear by Edinburgh.  You just knew that Edinburgh needed to make the most of the pressure, but all they got was 3 points from a Godman kick.  Sure enough, no sooner had Edinburgh scored than the wheels came off the Edinburgh wagon in spectacular fashion…

TACKLE: “Most forms of football have a move known as a tackle. In most cases this move is one that prevents an opposing player from carrying out what they intend.

The word is used in some contact sports to describe the act of physically holding or wrestling a player to the ground. In other sports, it simply describes one or more methods of contesting for possession of the ball.”

If you happen to be a member of the Edinburgh squad please take note of the above definition (thanks Wikipedia).  For about 15 minutes Edinburgh’s defence was pathetic.   A total inability to tackle or even put in something resembling a tackle cost Edinburgh the game.  Coupling this with a very high line and one missed tackle meant that Leinster were able to break free and score from long range run-ins.  Time after time this happened.  Granted, Leinster benefitted from one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen on a rugby pitch – the forward pass so far forward the Leinster player was sprinting to Livingston to actually catch it.  Now, the referee was miles away from play so, possibly, can be forgiven, but his line judge was bang in line with it and how he missed it only he will know!  Two moves later Leinster break again, second try and effectively game over.  Gutting as it may have been Edinburgh had no one to blame but themselves.

The second half at least saw some fight from Edinburgh and I’m pretty sure I even saw them put a tackle in.   A wee bit more cutting edge and Edinburgh might have had a chance of recovering, but like the national side, they just seem to lack ideas in the opposition 22.  Fair play to Leinster, they took their chances well but this was a victory they didn’t have to work for.

A couple of final points.  Firstly a word on the Leinster fans, certainly the ones around me, who were great craic and supported their team well – Edinburgh fans could learn from them (i.e. stop sitting on your hands and bein quiet!).  Secondly, praise must be given to Edinburgh for the buy one adult get 4 kids free offer.  Seemed to me a fair number of kids in attendance and hopefully they’ll want to come back; get them young, get them playing and get them passionate for the game. It’s the only way we, as a nation, will get better at this wonderful sport.

Over and out.  Al.

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5 Responses

  1. Re how the line judge missed the Livingston-bound pass…it’s allegedly not the line judges’ job to look for forward passes. No idea why that is, I mean how often is the ref in a position to see them? And re quiet Edinburgh fans, well, I can’t speak for anyone else but I kept quiet a lot of the time on Saturday because I couldn’t think of anything to shout that I wouldn’t have been sorry for later…! I also happen to think Edinburgh could be doing more in general to get the crowd involved in the game…apart from the Scarlets match, when they got into them right from the off and won a turnover on the very first phase, I’m struggling to remember when I last saw them start as if they meant business. Usually they kick off and it’s about 10 mins (or more on a bad night!) before they get the ball back…!

    Oh well…I’m sure I’ll have got my defiance…er, I mean pride back by the Ospreys game…

  2. Totally agree with your comments about the Edinburgh defence – and more so what you say about getting the kids there with the great offer. A certain well-known ‘fast food’ outlet has known for years that if you market to kids you get them hooked and dependent young… same for everything – the future is the children. I was lucky enough to go to a school where we had to play rugby on the sports field instead of football, but not everyone gets the chance.

  3. Cheers for the comments guys.

    Fair shout on the linesman not being able to call for a forward pass – tend to forget that! Its a silly rule though, as you say the ref can’t be expected to keep in line with the ball at all times. In saying that the forward pass was so far forward you’d think the ref would be able to spot that!

    The annoying thing about Saturday is that Edinburgh actually started pretty well but just had no cutting edge and never actually posed any real threat.

    With regards to the fans, I can totally appreciate that its difficult to get totally behind the side when they don’t provide an awful lot of hope – how season ticket holder keep plugging on amazes me…should be up for some award for suffering in the name of the cause! Of course the issue of quiet fans is as much a Scottish one as an Edinburgh one – been to many games where the atmosphere at Murrayfield is deathly dull and maybe us Scots are not as vocal as some of the other rugby playing nations? Certainly, in St Etienne last year the Italians outsung the Scots for large parts of that match, the folk around us were pretty impressed with how ‘up for it’ they were. There is an argument that the SRU need to spend more time thinking about how best to get an atmosphere going at games – without going all twee (they’ll upset our genteel southern cousins if they do that!).

    Finally, as for getting kids in the door, certainly at club level, more needs to be done. Free tickets for school kids is always a good start. For Edinburgh games why not try and have more available around the stadium to try and attract families – christ even a bouncy castle would entertain the kids whilst the dads are off for a pint of Best and a burger. Just think they need to think outside the box a bit more. Saturday’s 4 kids tickets was a very good start and should be applauded but there is still a lot more that can be done.

  4. Under the ELV on Law 6s the touch-judges become assistant referees and are now able to call forward passes and other indiscretions if the ref wants them to, before they were not allowed to flag them up but usually gave the ref a shout over his mic if there was one so he could whistle it up anyway. So there’s really no excuse for missing that one!

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion