On Monday morning I attended a press launch for the Glengoyne Auld Enemies Dinner.
The Event looks like a good one and the charity involvement is great. For everyone there, though, talk inevitably turned to the Heineken Cup…
Melrose, Currie and Ayr all opened their British & Irish Cup campaign this weekend, taking on professional or semi-professional opposition in Bedford Blues, Leeds Carnegie and Plymouth Albion respectively.
As if the pro-team wins weren’t enough to give us a little fillip here in the world of Scottish rugby, Melrose and Ayr both fought back to secure last-gasp victories as they edged past their respective opponents 19-17 and 18-17.
Ayr were boosted by the addition of Johnnie Beattie and Jon Welsh with the former grabbing a try in the closing minutes after the Scots were down 17-5 at half time, while Melrose were down 17-0 at halftime and fought back for the win at the Greenyards.
It wasn’t all cheery though, as Currie were defeated 16-31 at Headingley. London Scottish were in action too, going down 63-0 to Llanelli who must be building a fair bit of depth, the Scarlets having also been in Heineken Cup action this weekend winning 31-23 (Sean Lamont dotted down for a try).
When the first European weekend comes around it normally serves as the perfect time to kick back and forget it all. Those lovely, fluffy ERC guys even delayed the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup by a few weeks so that World Cup heroes were well rested and ready to reaffirm themselves as fan favourites. We should all be able to throw our cares away, partake in the oncoming feast of Northern Hemisphere rugby and thank our sporting stars for giving us the joys of Union…
Whilst trawling the web last week I found this piece which I thought might be of interest, in which Brian Moore proposes a series of ideas to have scrums refereed properly.
(note: contains much technical scrummaging chat)
It’s well worth a read, and we would of course be interested in what any of you thought about how the scrum could be improved/fixed/left as it is… comments below as usual.
Humility is an attribute that is getting rarer in contemporary professional sport. With football players refusing to play so they can get big money transfers and NFL MVPs obligated to say they are “going to Disneyland!” you are unlikely to see the best of the best refusing to celebrate or a last-gasp loser showing magnanimity.
It’s not the RaboDirect PRO12 on a week where BBC Alba has deserted you, or even the LV Cup (although that is on this weekend). Nope, no matter how hard you look, there is no Scottish involvement in the Rugby World Cup Semi-finals this weekend. Not even a touch judge to root for. So who are you going for? Here’s a little help.
A few months back, before this whole sordid World Cup thing started, I was at the Scotland team hotel to do some interviews alongside the rugby writers corps. After all of the official stuff, I tried to get as much free coffee as I could, being a student who cannot afford a Starbucks or a packet of Custard Creams myself.
McCoy’s are giving you the chance to win a once in a lifetime road trip around New Zealand. Having just been over myself it’s well worth a trip, especially with summer just around the corner…just watch out for the jet lag coming back. Plus there’s an exclusive Scottish Rugby Blog competition with good prizes below, so read on for a great chance to win!
Despite the Scottish cessation of activity at the weekend there was still plenty of rugby being played. We saw Australia show how antiquated South Africa’s rugby may have become in just a few short years. We saw Wales expose England’s lack of skills throughout an entire XV. We saw the French recline and accept gifts from Ireland.
Watching these games will be invaluable to Scotland because they framed some obtrusive issues that many in sport -particularly in England- have danced around. These issues give us cause, not only to look at our future opponents, but to assess ourselves as well.