Author: Al Kerr

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!

‘Scots Wae Hae’

After much blood, sweat and tears here is the Scotland RWC11 Fanzine – ‘Scots Wae Hae’.  Containing a range of information this fanzine will hopefully provide the travelling Scotland fan with enough information to ensure they know what pubs to drink in, what songs to sing, where to get something to eat and what to do the the following morning when they realise they’ve lost their passport!

This is the baby of the Blog’s favorite ex-pat Colin so a million thanks to him for his considerable hard work.  If you meet Colin in New Zealand be sure to buy him a pint!

Download fanzine here: ‘Scots Wa Hae’

New Facebook page for travelling fans

If your intending to travel out to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup then you need to make sure to regularly visit the new ScotlandRWC2011 Facebook page.  This has just been launched and will provide invaluable information for all Scot’s travelling to the other side of the world.

It has useful information on events, travel etc and will also contain up to date information on the Scottish Embassies which are being established in Invercargill, Wellington and Auckland.  The embassies will provide a safe haven of good beer, good grub and good craic for all Scotland fans.

A million thanks go to Colin in Wellington for this invaluable resource!

Going to NZ for WC’11?

Are you going to New Zealand in the next few weeks for the Rugby World Cup?  No doubt you have your flights booked, the kilt cleaned, match tickets secured somewhere safe and a camper-van booked to take you from Invercargill all the way to Auckland (presuming it doesn’t fall to bit’s en route).

As a travelling foot-soldier of Scottish Rugby you’ll know fine well that just as important as the game is the craic before and after games.  Part of the fun in travelling to any new city is finding new drinking dens where a spot of libation can be found.  Well, the good folks at Lion Nathan have agreed to put on Scottish Embassies in Invercargill, Wellington and Auckland through their Macs and Speights pubs.

More info will appear on the blog but also make sure you go to the facebook page – ScotlandRWC2011 where much more info for Scotland fans can be found.

 Also check out the Speights and Macs websites for specific info on venues:

http://www.macs.co.nz/brewbars/

http://www.speights.co.nz/Home.aspx

No surprises…

The problem with World Cups is that you have to make sacrifices to attend.  A trip to the other side of the world doesn’t come cheap and to fund this you have to give up on the small pleasures, such as warm up games.  However the rugby god’s saw fit to reward my commitment to the cause by dishing up a couple of tickets to Saturday’s game so I could see first hand just what was being prepared for the main course in a few weeks time.

The View from the Armchair

So. 6 Nations times rumbles round again, swept in on the back of gale force winds and predictions of glory (whatever that may actually be) from all 6 corners of the tournament.  For me the tournament will be viewed from the comfort of my sofa and with only the dulcet tones of Brian Moore and Jonathan Davies to raise my blood pressure.  Still, despite being ticket-less for the first time in living memory the excitement still builds as the tournament approaches. 

Progress? The Autumn Internationals Will Reveal All

So, a year from now and it’ll all be over and we will know just how far Scotland has come as a rugby nation.  Scotland have been building towards World Cup 2011 since Andy Robinson came into post and the focus is now very much on next year’s big event.  Progress has been made and  the good folk at Team Scotland would point to good performances, and more importantly results, in the last 3 games – away from home – where they have beaten Ireland and the Argentinians (twice).  A year from now though Scotland will be in the tightest Group at WC2011 with both England and Argentina standing in the way of progress to the knock out stages.  Scotland need to keep on the upward trajectory to keep the momentum building towards WC2011 and the impending Autumn Internationals are now the next key test.

BBC Alba aontaich a nochd Magners Rugby

In English – BBC Alba are to show Edinburgh and Glasgow Magners League games next season.  Granted it’ll be in a language that only 3 men and their sheep understand and every fifth word will be an English word said in a funny way but it is a damn site better than what has gone beforehand!

Congrats to the BBC for doing this – might get some decent numbers tuning in!

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.

Superb Centurion…

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Just wanted to make a quick post to congratulate Chris ‘Mossy’ Paterson on (hopefully!) becoming Scotland’s first Centurion!  As has been mentioned across media reports Mossy has played for Scotland during a era of huge change in the game and it is testament to his ability to adapt that Mossy is still a key part of the Scotland team.  He may not be the biggest or, these days, quickest of players but his adaptability, game awareness and one of the best kicking boots the game has ever seen has ensured that he remains a key player for Scotland.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the man and he was a total gent – considering he was the only sober person in a 500 meter radius it was some achievement.  He happily spent time talking about rugby and even disturbed a grumpy looking French policeman to get a pen to sign a programme for Rory…legend!

So here is a salute to Mossy, may you get many more caps and points – you are a great ambassador for Scottish Rugby and I for one appreciate all your efforts in the navy shirt.

C’mon Scotland….

Ch..ch…ch….CHANGES!

Change, it’s a wonderful concept that has seen men elected to the highest offices and inspired development of technology from the Model T Ford to the Toyota Prius… so not always a positive thing!

For those who watched Scotland play France this past Sunday however there must have been a horrible feeling that some things never change.  Scotland were fairly beaten by a strong looking France side but Scotland had their chances.  Early in the match we failed to capitalise on being metres from the French line and on a number of occasions men would break through the French blitz defence (particularly Beattie and Lamont) only to find themselves isolated and unsupported….a bit like Gordon Brown at a Labour Party Conference.  The French on the other hand destroyed the Scottish scrum and from that they were able to build a super-solid platform from which to attack Scotland.  In Bastareaud the French have themselves a mini Lomu who, once up at full speed, was as difficult to stop as the aforementioned Prius.  In saying that, his second try, was embarrassing for more than one Scotland player as attempts to tackle were either woeful or just plain non existent.  This is a particularly Scottish problem in the 6 Nations, where we seem to specialise in missed tackles at key moments.  All in all Sundays’ game was a game that demonstrated that some things never change; it was a typical Scottish 6 Nations story…a case of what could have been.

So, looking forward Andy Robinson has been swift to embrace the idea of change and has switched the playing staff and, undoubtedly, the way Scotland will play the game this coming Saturday against a Welsh side, who themselves, are a way off top form.  Key to Saturday will be to winning the battle up front and the reintroduction of Euan Murray should provide the Scots with a much more stable platform.  If Scotland have any aspirations of winning this game they should also be looking to target the Welsh lineout which against England was nothing short of a disgrace.  The professional era has brought us many advancements, bigger, faster player, more accurate kicking and slick BBC montages but apparently it has also ushered in an era of hookers whose ability to throw into a lineout is highly questionable.  On Saturday, time after time, the Welsh were turned over in the lineout.  I would imagine this is an area Andy Robinson will be keen to attack particularly with rebirth of Dan Parks in a Scotland jersey.  This indicates (as do comments from Robinson himself) that Scotland will try and play in the Welsh half and if we can get to the Welsh lineout if could be a good source of ball in attacking positions.  The other change, I, like I’m sure all Scotland fans would like to see is Scotland finally finishing off moves.  We are very good at getting close and then blowing it.  This needs to changes and hopefully Saturday will see the Scottish efforts get rewarded.

I want to also take a quick moment to welcome Dan Parks back to the national scene.  Parks is much criticised in the Scottish game, indeed I’ve been known to given him as a hard a time as anyone, however this season he has been largely magnificent for Glasgow in the Magners League and his tactical kicking is some of the best in the world game.  I remember sitting in St Etienne after the Scotland v Italy WC2007 match and praising Parks for being the reason Scotland squeezed out of its Group.  Indeed, Rory and I had a conversation in Paris a week later (the same night this blog was born) discussing whether Parks was a candidate for Scotland captain such was his influence that tournament.  He has his flaws but he’s not half as bad as many people make out – he became the pantomime villain for the frustrated Scotland support.  I hope that he gets the full backing of every Scotland player this Saturday and I hope that Parks put of a performance that shuts up the critics and shows his new employers (Cardiff) just how lucky they will be to have them in their squad.

Good luck Scotland – we are due a result in Cardiff!

  • Head: Scotland lose by less than a score (typical) – +5 Wales
  • Heart: Scotland win by a couple of tries after things start to click – +10 Scotland
  • Arse: Scotland start well but don’t get over the line, Wales get the luck of the bounce and Scotland leave themselves open trying to chase the game – Wales + 15