Some pundits *cough Stephen Jones *cough* have a history of winding up the Kiwis, insulting everything from hospitality to weather to their general attitude. But so far the welcome here has been amazing, and ne’re a grumpy kiwi in sight. Although a few eccentrics for sure, like the guy who runs up and down Baldwin St (steepest in the world) every day.
They’re harsh on their team here in New Zealand.
After the All Blacks humped a stoic Tongan side by 6 tries to 1 with clinical counter attacking rugby but failed to score quite so much in the second half, pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to reckons they were truly, truly awful, or words to that effect. Usually ones rhyming with “hit” or “height”. Graham “Ted” Henry only gave them 5/10. So how then to view Scotland’s decidedly mixed performance on Saturday against a fired-up Romanian team?
For some it is like Christmas day. You won’t see people running down the street screaming “It’s here! It’s here!” but there could well be more people taking an early breakfast tomorrow than you would normally expect.
The World Cup starts. At 9.30am we will watch the famed New Zealand All Blacks take their bow against Tonga as war dances, hyperbole and a soundtrack of Lawrence Dallaglio, Francois Pienaar and Sean Fitzpatrick are forced on us by the good people of ITV. Rugby is a strange old game, and tomorrow heralds the showcase celebration of our collective weirdness.
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’
3 days to go and the mounting pressure and rise in exposure is inescapable.
RWC 2011 kicks off on Friday with Tonga unleashing the Sipi Tau against the hosts, NZ, and suddenly we are made aware of every movement by every team, every day. It will continue like this throughout the tournament and at a time when every top tier nation is looking for recognition and respect we can only expect more scrutiny than ever before.
Before every major event we get caught up in the madness of predictions. We follow speculation as if it were Gospel. We force ourselves to show blind faith, regardless of what common sense has been telling us for 3 years out of 4.
Suddenly people at the office you rarely speak to are talking to you about sport. That distant mate no one has seen for years is emailing you about fantasy leagues. You’re heading to the bookies when, normally, you’re that person that doesn’t buy a lottery ticket on Rollover day.
Let me set the scene for you: Scotland play 2 EMC Tests with 6 back-three options. They play one game against Ireland with S. Lamont, Paterson and Walker. Then they play against Italy with R. Lamont, Evans and Danielli. Then they take out Walker and send the rest off to New Zealand.
My question for you is: What should Scotland’s back-three be?
Uh-huh. Mmmm. Ok. Right. I see.
Well forget all that, I’m now going to ask a few ex-internationals instead because –no offence!- I’m pretty sure we would all love to hear what Scotland and Lions greats Ken Scotland and Andy Irvine have to say instead!
Am very excited at the news about Richie Vernon giving us an exclusive RWC tour diary, great work to the team holding down the fort while I am away. Apologies for the brief downtime of the site yesterday, traffic must have taken a bump but we should be ok from here on in.
Caught bits of the Aus v NZ and Ire v Eng games at the weekend in various Bangkok bars. Didn’t see all of the games so I thought I’d ask you: Australia looking good – or was it just a flash in the pan? Has Genia picked the perfect time to become the best 9 in the world? England’s defence looked solid (only saw second half), are they timing it right? It looked a bit like Ireland’s second team though, so is there nothing to worry about?
In the mean time check out reader Graham’s Rugby World Cup trailer, Lego style!
So the Scotland team are off Down Under and will be 11 hours ahead. You won’t be able to get your Twitter fix from the players and there won’t be press reports every second day.
Don’t worry! We have a way you can keep up with the Scotland squad and have your player fix…
We are pleased to announce that Richard Vernon, Scotland Rugby World Cup 2011 back rower, has joined Scottish Rugby Blog as a tour diarist.
He will be keeping us abrest of all goings on in the camp as well as letting you know about team preperations and group morale leading up to, and following, all the big RWC matches.
Our first post should be up on Thursday and regularly after that.
Keep following the Blog to see what the Scotland boys are up to!
With rugby, as with all competitive sport, you see players have to deal with setbacks. Sometimes these setbacks can define a player’s career. Sometimes, just sometimes though, a player can define his career by using those setbacks as opportunities.
The key is setting goals and being realistic about what you can, and importantly, need to achieve.