Heartbreak Fridge

Well boys ‘n’ girls wasn’t that a right royal kick to the rugby knackers?

Never have I felt so deflated, upset, despondent yet awfully proud at a game of rugby.  To a man Scotland played out of their socks and in Dan Parks had the outstanding player on the field of play – his performance in defeat is one of the finest in a Scotland shirt in a long time.   I’ve no idea how Robinson will go about lifting the spirits of the team after the crushing blow of Saturday but I hope he reminds the players of the level of performance they turned in and how, in the first half in particular, they played some damn good rugby.  I also hope he shows them the dirge that Italy and England served up – in my opinion Scotland have a damn site more to offer that either of those sides, even with the injured players.

As with everyone else here at the blog I pass my best wishes onto the three injured players.  Thom Evans injury looked horrific and I can only hope he will be able to return to top class rugby in due course.  As for Mossy what a horrible way to end your 100th cap – a night in a Cardiff hospital!

I was lucky enough to watch the game in Berts Bar in Edinburgh (cracking pies Grommit!) so was spared from the one-eyed odious Welsh monster that is Jonathan Davies commentating on a Wales game.  I’m sure as a person he is grand but as a commentator he is painful and if I’d been forced to listen to his nonsense I would have been tempted to launch the telly out the window.

As for Clancy I’d best not comment on his performance in the last quarter of the game.  I just wish that the SRU would openly criticise the performance of officials.  Scotland has no representation at the international level and it is my opinion that we are too often on the wrong side of officious officials!  I can’t quite understand that if Godman was deemed to have tripped Byrne, and was last man, then not only is it a penalty but surely a penalty try as he is last man and stopping a clear try scoring opportunity?  Clancy in my opinion lost control and joins a growing list of substandard referees appointed to Scotland games.   Damn it…he just made me comment….grrrrr! Bitter?  Damn skippy – we were stitched up like a kipper on a Sunday morning in Arbroath.

Despite this we should all be proud of the performance and the players will learn so much from this.  This is a team that is developing and Robinson looks to be making progress in terms of performance and surely results will come.  18 months from now this could be a damn good Scotland side that heads out to the World Cup in New Zealand.

To cap Saturday’s heartbreak I got home after watching the game in desperate need of a cold beer to calm the savage beast only to find the fridge empty…heartbreak fridge indeed.

C’mon Scotland.

Alan Kerr is a long time rugby lover and occasional player for Broughton FP RFC. Site co-founder Al prides himself on offering the "man on the bus" view of Scottish Rugby!

9 comments on “Heartbreak Fridge

  1. Iain on

    I think this goes down as the cruellest defeat I can remember (worse even than the 15-14 defeat to England in 1994) but I every time I look back on the game I feel very positive and excited by the potential shown by the team. They lost in the last ten minutes due to a combination of self-destruction, sub-standard refereeing and awful luck (think Jones’s cross-field kick in the last play which took a gigantic bounce over Sean Lamont’s head and into Halfpenny’s hands!). For the vast majority of the game they were absolutely exceptional and they have to take this performance as a platform from which to really push on. Parks played the best game I have seen him play by a long way and was making Jones look like an amateur. All of our runners looked strong and the forwards, most notably the back row, were fantastic. We can only hope that the players are able to channel the pain felt from this defeat into something pretty terrifying for the Italians to face in a fortnight. It can certainly be the making of them. Each of the next three games is winnable and Scotland has a realistic chance of aiming for 2nd spot in the table by winning each one. This’ll obviously be very tough, but Italy, England and Ireland all have significant weaknesses that this team can exploit, on the evidence of what we saw at Cardiff. The ref was tough on us, constantly penalising Murray at the scrum and then missing Roberts’s forward pass to Byrne before the collision with Godman. Same thing happened against France at the Stade de France last year and I hope that these points are raised privately between the SRU and the IRB. That said, the players and the rest of us need to move on from these perceived injustices. Won’t be like this every time. There was much to be excited about on Saturday, and as far as I’m concerned, the Italy game can’t come soon enough.

  2. Andy on

    Have to comment, see if I can get some of the pain out. Sorry for the long post.
    ————————————————————
    Negatives:

    The injuries to our guys. Dreadful luck. All the best to the 3 of them for a quick and full recovery.

    Refereeing. I know we’re not supposed to gripe about the ref but he was inconsistent, which is what gets me. Either Lamont’s pass to Kelly Brown was forward, and so was Roberts’ to Halfpenny, in the lead-up to the final try, or they were both legal. Not to mention double standards at the breakdown and not a clue about the scrum (I don’t have a clue either, so I’m not a ref.). The Byrne incident: why did we see no repeats? ‘nuff said.

    Losing the plot in the last 7 minutes, need for more composure.

    Positives:

    Parks. Everyone is saying this so I won’t go on. He played a fantastic game. If he can keep the standard up (and maybe improve defence a wee bit) we’re sorted for a 10 for this 6N (would still like to see Jackson in for final 15 minutes… maybe)

    We look like a new team. Surely there is so much good –and still improving- in this team that it makes us practically unrecognizable from this time last year. I disagree with people who say we did not deserve to win because we lost the plot in the last 10 minutes, or had let up a bit before that. I think no team ever plays their full intensity for the full 80 minutes. There are times when teams get on the back foot. Overall Scotland totally deserved the win.

    If the players & coaches keep the spirit going and the good work up Scotland is capable of winning the next three matches.
    ————————————————————

    Saturday I ended up stooshied. Had to be done.

    Spanish commentators are rubbish, but it looks like we’re not missing much (J. Davies)

    Everyone here was sad for Scotland and saying what a match it was. The Irish contingent were gutted for reasons of their own.

    Maybe getting carried away, after only 2 weekends, but does anyone get the feeling that green is the new navy blue? (amount of errors)

    It looks like Ireland’s cycle might have begun to wane, and we might be on the up…

    Here’s hoping.

    Come on Scotland!

  3. Rory on

    I think in terms of cycles Ireland probably peaked last year, Wales a couple of years before that and are currently treading water, and I think we may be slightly ahead of England at the bottom of an upward curve but their cycle is probably quicker due to a massive base of players/talent available. All of the NH teams look a little rudderless though in terms of tactics, as if players are suddenly unsure how to play the game (which was why the Lions was so refreshing) apart from France who have ditched flair and are working on taking teams apart.

  4. Andy on

    Rory,

    That’s what I mean. We know “small” nations (Sco. Ire. Wal) need time, effort and a bit of luck to get a group of 30 players who are at a high level, “gel” together, etc.

    Wales hit their peak some time ago. Ireland were courageous and a bit lucky so that they got a Grand Slam at what might have been the beginning of their cycle’s end.

    Then, England could do pretty much whatever they wanted, if they were not so England-centric. They’ve got the players and the dosh… Let’s hope they keep moaning about their troubles up until the Calcutta Cup (and then a bit longer!)

    France seem to have finally got it together.

    Maybe this is the beginning of a new “Scotland cycle”; in that all things being equal and with a bit of luck (everyone needs it at times) we will be in a position for a decent WC and -dare I say this- winning the 6N in 2011 or 2012?

    Just daydreaming here, but it does go in cycles (when was our last big win, 1999?)

    Whatever.

    Looking forward to the next 3 matches. I think Scotland will give all 3 a good run for their money.

  5. Gregor on

    I thought the scrumming was the worst part, if the scrum is falling apart then how can the referee have any real idea who the offending team is? But he seemed to give it to Wales every time.

    In reply to Andy, I would say we do need to look forward to the world cup, and that would indicate that giving Jackson a run out would help. But I’m firmly of the belief that he should be established as a club starter before he gets even a minute with Scotland. Otherwise it could do more harm than good.

  6. Al on

    Hi guys,

    Glad to see so many folk commenting. Agree with comments above re: the scrum.

    I’ve been of the opinion for a while now we (Scotland) are seen as a soft touch by referees. I don’t expect, nor want, players to give refs a hard time on the pitch but I would like to hear more out of the SRU on the state of refereeing at the top level. Time after time we’ve been on the bum end of poor decisions and surely the SRU should be actively trying to even the balance.

    As far as I’m concerned we should actively embrace the chip on the shoulder and start bumping gums about poor decisions and making official complaints. Sure it’s not exactly in the spirit of the game but if it makes a ref think twice about what way he gives a 50/50 decision then I think it’s worth it. Look at the pressure the southern hemisphere teams put of refs prior to big games…seems to work for them. As long as the SRU stay church mouse quiet after bad decisions then what pressure is their on refs to up their game.

    I’m sure plenty will disagree and argue this is agianst the spirit of the game…if so then let us know!!!

  7. A.D. on

    I for one don’t think the scrum issue is one of expectation from refs, more an issue of education.

    Even in my generation I have seen a marked decline in the quality of scrummage coaching at youth level. People just don’t know how to coach technique to youngsters.

    It is no great mystery why some teams have better scrums than others. Look at Leicester. They are no bigger than any other team in their league, and their individuals are no more distructive; what they do have is team technique. Everyone is scrummaging at the same height, pushing in the same direction, with their head pointed at the same angle.

    If our youngsters are put in positions according to size rather than perspective ability then the scrum becomes more of a lottery for generations. If years of coaches don’t know how it works, years of referee’s aren’t gonna know either!

    I was always told that the highest/most important earners in a pro team were the tighthead props. Now I think the most important guys are the scrummaging coaches. They have such status because of their specialized position…

    Only more universal education will lead to understanding of who is pushing up/down, who’s binding is slipping, who is retreating/encroaching, who is boring etc etc… It’s a minefield, but it can be taught!

    On the subject of lambasting referees, I always liked that we don’t shoot our mouths off at every given opportunity (like the Welsh and French) but citing and review panels have a purpose. Refs can’t see everything. I for one would rather see TJ’s playing a more active role in Intl rugby…but not too much!

    Sorry for the long-winded rant!

  8. Al on

    I don’t condone lambasting referees during the game. I love the fact that in rugby at all level the Ref is still ‘Sir’ even if they are having a howler. However I do think there is a role for the SRU, as the governing organisation, in publicly raising the issue of inconsistency in decision making. Too many time Scotland are on the wrong side of bad calls yet the SRU seem not to comment. They also have a role in trying to improve the standard to refereeing within Scotland to try and ensure that we do have representation at the top level.

    As for TJs I’ve long advocated that they have a key role to play, and in fairness they are getting better in helping the referee’s out. However when TJs can miss blatent (and abhorent) eye gouging a matter of feet away from them and only recommend a yellow card (see the 2nd Lions test) then you know we still have some way to go in improving the quality of decision making by officials.

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