Big Nathan Hines has announced his retirement from International Rugby, making the game he played against England in the World Cup at Eden Park his last in Scotland colours. A stalwart of Scottish rugby, Nathan combined a vibrant offloading game with a “rugged” streak that often found him in the role of on-field enforcer dishing out a bit of street justice, like someone took Chuck Norris and put him in Willy Wonka’s gum stretching machine.
The scoreline above does not really do justice to what was a vastly improved performance by the Scotland team who could quite possibly (but not easily) have won this game. In the end, England’s wings showed a little more confidence on the ball than the players inside – who handed over a glut of possession to Scotland (some of which was handed straight back) – and finished a couple of simple tries to put the gloss on the score.
There is a fine line between realism and negativity. I know this myself, having been described as a wee bit *just a wee bit* negative.
In Scottish rugby we are often accused of dwelling on the negatives. Results, finances and the press almost ensure this. The outlook is usually grey.
What does a player need to develop?
For some it is competition, for others it is hard work they are not used to. Freedom comes into it but restriction and focus can be the answer for many more. Success is a something attainable but the recipe is different for every individual and establishment. The legendary Pele once said “Everything is practice”. Many people have said that what made the late Seve Ballesteros so great was his flair and tenacity: personal qualities he had freedom to express.
Troubled Wales Number 8 and lover of medieval facial hair Andy Powell was announced as Sale Shark’s new signing, after a raft of players and staff were cut from the club last week. Good move for Sale, assuming Powelly finds somewhere safe in the North to hole up away from football fans and golf courses, and then finds the rampaging form that first brought him to notice.