As I dragged myself out of bed at 6am yesterday to watch the World Cup Quarter finals, splashing warm tea on my face and enjoying a mug of bacon, I was surprised by some of what I saw. Actually, that is technically not true. I was more surprised by something that I heard.
As the first 2 parts have stated, England have a pack with runners, a midfield that can crash and whippets out wide. Scotland have picked a team with a need and runners of their own. They have abrasion and risk in equal measure in their selections.
Scotsmen think they can win this. Englishmen have an expectation to win. Alex Ferguson himself thinks Scotland have a chance. We will all be watching and wondering.
So as it is, frankly, impossible to tell if this game will be close, a rout or an 8 point victory I have come up with how the game would pan out if it was played in my head. Yeah. That dark, scary place…
And so, three teams remain in Pool B. Georgia and Romania have huffed and puffed, and threatened to blow the houses of England and Scotland down, but now both teams are consigned to four years in the wilderness before the bright light shines on them once more.
Welcome to the precipice. In front of you is a sharp drop. A fall from grace. Behind you is a queue of people waiting to push you off. That same queue of people that always said Scottish rugby wasn’t very good. You always ignored them. Hoping that the glory days would return. Now you have to listen to their deafening chant and you can’t fight the urge to look down…
Here at Scottish Rugby Blog HQ we wondered: what would we say if we had the chance to give the Scotland Team a private message before the Argentina game?
Would we give them a Jim Telfer style roasting, or would we caress their egos? Would we go around the room speaking to each individual or roar about the passion of a nation? It is a tough one and in the end we thought we would rather ask other people what they would say…
…and wouldn’t you believe it! Some proud Scots gave us their message and we put it on YouTube. Right here!
Enjoy the clips and if you have a message for the lads either post it here, post it on YouTube under the video or make your own video and post it on twitter with the hashtag #MessageForScotland.
Look out Argentina!
“I’m really looking forward to this game – I think it’s going to be very close and hard to predict. Argentina have played well in both their first two games, and it was very pleasing to show against Romania that there’s more to our game than power and a strong set-piece. We will need to play well in all these areas against Scotland, because they are tough up front and have a number of good strike runners behind the scrum. It should be a very absorbing game.”
Referees are everywhere. They are in the park. They are in your classroom. They inhabit every boozer and drinking hole that has a TV in the corner. Everyone knows the rules better than the man in the middle.
So during this World Cup there have been some public outpourings of vitriol directed at the real match officials. These men can rarely stand up for themselves and they are in the most exposed situation they could ever imagine. This is the most televised rugby event in history and they are right there in the mix, regularly disappointing one large section of the crowd.