Here’s To You, Scotland

Well well well. Hopefully by now the hungovers have worn off, and the “did that really happen?” feeling has not quite worn off. And so to a little bit of post match analysis.

Scotland’s defence was magnificent – on that we can hopefully all agree. But it could quite easily have been different. Australia have put at least 30 points on us in the last few encounters and if you think of the tries they butchered, the missed kicks – including THAT one – it could quite easily have been business as usual, and I would be sitting here writing about moral victories, plucky defence, courageous losers etc. Scotland had almost no ball, and a lot of what we did get was kicked away or turned over. Ordinarily all these factors would have combined into the usual Autumn loss. So what changed? There are a few things that I noticed from between my fingers as I watched the match:

A full 80 minute performance. Usually a Scottish team hangs in there for 60-odd minutes, then there is one minor lapse in concentration, (quite often somewhere in midfield) a quick turnover and BAM the (insert Tri-Nations team here) have scored a couple of tries and put the game to bed. You almost sensed such a thing happening on Saturday, when the Wallabies kept piling attack after attack on to Scotland in the early second half, hoping that our boys would wilt. Only they didn’t. Right across the 22 man squad they tackled for the full 80 minutes, and it was only in the 81st that the unceasing battering Rocky Elsom’s men had given us finally found a chink in the armour. Immense performances from all the forwards without exception. You suspect if someone had told a lot of these players “this is what it will feel like at the end if you don’t go to sleep in the second half” this could have happened years ago.

A coach unafraid to make a hard call. Morrison had been okay in defence in the first half, but too much of the miniscule amount of ball we had was carried into contact or spilled rather than finding its way out wide, which was frankly unacceptable. At half time Robbo yanked him and stuck De Luca in instead, who repaid him with his best game in a Scotland shirt. The three centre berths for next weekend should be De Luca, Grove and Cairns in whatever order you like. Morrison was given a vote of confidence well ahead of the first team announcement and has not exactly lived up to it. Contrast this with the other guys including Grove who instantly looked at home at this level. Let’s get them going forward next weekend and see what these boys can do with some ball.

Luck. Years and years of stupid calls going against us, balls bouncing in to the arms of opposing players and kicks missing by inches were cashed in at the weekend. Everything we needed to go our way did. Everything we needed to go against Australia, did. They say good teams make their own luck, and I’m sure a lot of the pressure put on the Wallabies with our defence must have rattled them.

So basically what we have all been saying for years – if Scotland stayed focused, ditched the underperformers and got a bit of luck here and there they could compete with the top teams. All we needed was a coach that agreed with us. If Scotland can stay this passionate and intense, use that as a base for performance level and somehow hold on to some ball to play with, then we have the makings of a good – and lucky – team.

Oh and if you fancy a laugh, read this from the Sydney Morning Herald (don’t let your blood boil, it’s not worth it) and if you are interested, here are some highlights of the Scotland A game shot by the folks at Borders Rugby TV.

Tags: , , ,

4 comments on “Here’s To You, Scotland

  1. Alastair Walls on

    Reading the Sydney Morning Heralds comments has just made our historic victory all the sweeter, patronising gits (or is it Giteaus.)

  2. Australian on

    Please ignore the Sydney Morning Herald. Way too many journalists are petty, petulant children, that article was little more than a tantrum. I wonder whether he is really as childish as he seems, or whether he thinks it sells. Either way its pathetic. I’m as disappointed as the next Australian supporter but that’s the way these things go in the real world, not in the fantasy world of a 12 year old boy who never grew up. I think this Australian team has real potential and if there had been a few different refereeing decisions the same journalists would be singing their praises. Anyway, many congratulations to Scotland. Well played and enjoy the moment.

  3. Dave on

    While I am a proud supporter after this weekend, this team cannot sit on their laurels of defeating Australia. They need to carry this momentum into the match Sunday vs. Argentina and then into the Six Nations. That being said, I still have a headache from all the Belhavens I consumed Saturday night in NYC celebrating.

  4. Rory on

    According to my tame statistician Scotland still need to beat the Argies by around 15 points in order to progress up the rankings. I am hopeful this will encourage them to throw it about and start to forge a dynamic attack to go with the defence… thanks for commenting guys!

Comments are closed.