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…
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.
With the EMC tests looming and the daily press releases telling us how our players are “harder, faster, stronger” than ever before whilst the players assure us the group has never been so tight-knit, I must ask: how will the warm up games pan out?
How would sir like his steak cooked? Restaurateurs of New Zealand take note, mine’s a medium thanks. How about you, the reader? And possibly of slightly more import, how does one like one’s Wallaby or Springbok? (You can’t use a flower in a cooking metaphor, sorry. Or for that matter an All Black)
Like a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding the 6N is sidling into view, all bright lights and funny accents.
As Andy Robinson prepares to kick off our campaign and puts the squad through its paces I will look at the squads that the opposition teams have picked and assess their strengths, weaknesses and how controversial some of their selections have been…
Phil Godman was last seen limping about during Edinburgh’s very impressive victory over the Ospreys on Sunday (anyone spot Clancy whistling up 20 seconds before time?!), but no word on troubles with any other Scotland players. So in the meantime here, lukewarmish off the presses and in the interests of fair reporting, an injury report on players in England’s EPS who may not feature against us next weekend: