Alan Dymock, somewhat bizarrely, argues that Scotland will have more than one captain on the pitch come the Calcutta Cup.
You’re at home. You’re packing. You’ve got a big game on Friday. You’re thinking about your team going into the game against Racing, but you’re trying not to think about the game. The TV’s on in the background but you’re not sure what rubbish is on. Did you put in enough socks? You’re always looking for something and forget what it is halfway between rooms. Don’t stuff it all in. The phone’s going.
As Edinburgh and Glasgow go searching for success in the Heineken Cup this weekend it is important to understand that both teams must go to the extremes of their outlay if they are to keep their European fate in their own hands. They have pulled off some fantastic results, but as the old adage goes “one swallow does not make a summer”.
You’ve heard of yin and yang, right? The Taoist notions that polar opposites give rise to one another through their mere existence, in the natural world at least? Well I never thought I’d accuse Andy Robinson of being a Taoist, but in yesterday’s squad announcement he displayed his need for yin and yang; the light and the dark; the positive and the negative; the real and the fictional. In effect he has given with one hand and taken away with the other.
Be careful what you wish for: you might just get it…
The thing rugby fans most often herald as the reason they value rugby over any other team sport is the diversity inherent to the game. It draws on many different types of people to play it, but it also appeals to a wide variety of fans. The game is watched over by different types of official, they are in turn watched over by other officials with varying roles and responsibilities and there is an inherent respect for all involved.
The deciding 1872 Cup game. The atmosphere was charged, even if some heads were sore. It was dark, but the fans expected more fire. Of course those expectations were founded on the belief that Glasgow had named a team as strong as they could whilst Edinburgh, with one eye on future fixtures in the Heineken Cup and the next RaboDirect game against an Ulster team that hammered Munster a few days ago, had set out to play their second string from the start. What happened in this game, though, was something short of incendiary.
Glasgow are trying to cultivate a party atmosphere ahead of the deciding 1872 Cup fixture. On New Year’s Day there will be a George Square party, situated at the Winter Cafe Bar, and good vibes will be pumped out through player appearances (before 4pm), tunes and a wee swally.
You’ll have gotten up today and sat down at your breakfast table, poured some juice, spread over some slightly charred toast and opened your paper. Looked at the sports section. You’ll see that Edinburgh drew with Glasgow at home 23-23. You’ll see that the attendance was 13,240. You’ll smile and, like Scott Johnson, you’ll think, “Wow! Scottish rugby looks like it’s going well.”
On Monday afternoon the peace will be broken and two packs will crumple into each other. At the crush of the scrummage both Edinburgh and Glasgow will be fighting to gain as many inches of ground as possible. One man will be delighted whatever the outcome is. With a burst of glee Scotland’s scrum coach Massimo Cuttita tells me “there will be fireworks alright!”