Rory, Al and A.D sat down to discuss the most recent events in the 2011 Six Nations. After some cheap flirting, too much wine and a taxi ride home no-one remembers, the following is what was left on the doorstep some time later.
Hero of the Weekend
A.D: Kelly Brown was the only player for Scotland who really looked like he was creating or destroying anything. I felt sorry for him at times. At the moment he is having to do the work of 2 men, it seems.
Rory: I am not sure what has happened to Barclay. Richie Gray has stolen his “first name on the team sheet” status. Time for Rennie to be given a shot? Look at the way Lamont and now Parks have reacted after being dropped. My hero of the weekend is probably Canale for kick starting that Italy Wales game into life. And earning me some fantasy points in the process. I could probably vote for Scott Lawson too for doing nothing bad when he came on.
A.D: Away from Scotland the only other person that I would like to mention is the referee who pulled back Chris Ashton from his Swan-dive. “No Try. Forward Pass.” Great to hear those words and see England’s darling sent back to his wing.
Rory: Are you telling me we have to salute George Clancy?
Al: Hmmm, I think I’ll pass on saluting Clancy thank you very much! Difficult choice on hero, agree Brown played well and Gray was his usual self. The fans sang Flower of Scotland in time – heroic.
Villain of the Weekend
Al: A certain Mr N. Owens of Wales. A fine first half display overshadowed by his inability to ref the breakdown and scrum. Chunk’s yellow was frankly absurd and how the Irish never got a yellow is a mystery. Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t cause Scotland to lose – we can kill ourselves quite happily – it’s just frustrating to see such inconsistency!
Rory: Ronan O’Gara for playing too well? It’s never us who write players off, but it is always Scotland they make their point against! I was half thinking it could be Ruaridh Jackson for playing too deep and kicking too much – and ineffectually. That said, I still would like to see him get a run in the 10 shirt. I would like to say ref Owens too, but he kept us on the scoreboard too so one can’t be too churlish.
A.D: The Murrayfield try-lines have acted despicably over the last couple of years. Please just let us in! Please! Last time we scored a try at home? 2009 against Italy. Scott Gray scored it. So basically we can’t score at home unless it’s against Italy. Pros and cons there…
Rory: Whatever happened to Scott Gray? Bugger, I’ll have to Google it now.
Moment of the Weekend
Al: Bit of a bland weekend I thought (I did miss the Wales game).
A.D: The ‘Moment of the weekend’ doesn’t have to be a good thing, does it?
Rory: Not if you are talking about Scotland.
A.D: I say this because you can look at Scotland’s yellow card, from a penalty count of 4, compared to Ireland’s no yellow card from a penalty count of 12 and 1 free kick and ask “where’s the justice?!”
Rory: So the moment of the weekend was the appointment of Nigel Owens?
A.D: On the other hand you could say that the moment we knew the game was lost was when O’Gara manhandled Ross Ford and Chris Paterson on his journey to a try under the posts.
Rory: You like bringing that up!
A.D: It is so embarrassing and infuriating that I can’t see past it!
Al: That English victory could turn into the moment of the year.
What We Learned
A.D: I have learned that Ireland have enough quality to replace their old guard. What a player Sean O’Brien is!
Rory: He had a stormer. I think we have learned that the three Bs are a bit out of sorts at the moment. I am sure they are our top test combination in an ideal word, but they are not at the top of their game. Whether they should be given a chance to click against England I am not sure. Ross Rennie might be a bit of an unknown quantity to England if we threw him in.
A.D: From a Scotland perspective I have learned that we have panic and ball presentation-problems when we near oppositions’ try-lines, at least at home.
Al: Scoring tries is what we haven’t learned!
A.D: I have also noticed that the coaches official line of “we must cut out the errors”, when in reality both teams made 11 errors but they still scored 3 times, really means “make your tackles and just be more ruthless when opposition try to kill your ball. Ireland managed to score a try when they had ‘penalty advantage’ for heaven’s sake!”
Rory: We also learned England will be incredibly difficult at home (which we knew), and our boys will have to turn up or they’ll be on the wrong end of an embarrassment.
Al: A draw like last year looks unlikely. Are England peaking in time for another World Cup?
Rory: Italy are building up to hit form just at the wrong time for us too.
A.D: I would also like to take this opportunity to say that D. O’C was indeed outshone in the cheating stakes… by the entire Ireland team!
Rory: I hope your hat was tasty. Scott Gray retired by the way.