I’m gonna blow my own trumpet…last week, like a new-age Mystic Meg, I predicted Scotland would usurp Ireland and Argentina in the World Rankings. I just had no idea we would do it so soon!
Q: What does it mean to be the 6th best team in the world?
A: Logistically, not a great deal!
Obviously there are the bragging rights. Technically we are the second best team in the British Isles, and the third best team annually competing in the 6N. There are a fair few Irish fans pretty irritated by this, and every fan had a swing in their step on Sunday. Because of this we now have to consolidate our position. Symbolic 6th may be, but in order to continue the good vibrations and our love affair with the gorgeous, talented and powerful Andy Robinson we have to keep hold of it.
This weekend Wales will surely lose to the Indomitable All Blacks (we can call them that, now, if it’s not already copyrighted by Adidas or Powerade). Argentina are away to Ireland; a match the Irish need to win for the good of their sanity. This will surely happen. So it means that if we want to keep our sticky fingers on 6th spot we’d better beat Samoa.
Whilst the rest of Scotland cringes at the mere existence of Gillian McKeith, the rugby fraternity is fairly proud of the boys in blue. We need to build on this pride.
If we do, as we should, beat the unpredictable Samoans then we have to put our tag as 6th best in the world to use. Strengthen our position. During the 6N our odds at home against Ireland and Wales will shorten, but we will still be expected to lose, really. We will also be expected to lose heavily to England and France, away. We will garner no greater respect from the English Dominated BBC, and the irrepressible irritant that is Jonathan “my whinging is so high-pitched only dogs can hear me” Davies will still punt Wales at any given opportunity. Whilst he commentates on Scotland, probably.
This will suit us fine. Still underdogs during a time when we are rated better than Ireland and Wales. Both nations will be perplexed by this, but thankfully for us it is the team that is ranked, not hyped-up individuals. We are also growing as a squad because of our results and camps. Wales seem to hate one another, again, and Ireland are probably too distracted by Countdown and Worther’s Originals.
We have a great chance to build, grow and prepare before the World Cup in NZ, and we must be quietly confident (please let’s not get carried away!) for a pool that has the beatable Argentines and English, as well as the Georgians and either Uruguay or Romania (we will know by Sunday).
First things first, though! We have to beat Samoa. You would bet John Inverdale’s wig on it, wouldn’t you?!
I will analyse the Pacific Islanders on Thursday….