FFS. This was the year for Scotland to take that English rugby jersey, rip it off the uncapped 12 year olds England had picked for this test, drag it through the mud of Murrayfield and send it back to Twickenham with the head of an crushed “London2012” stuffed toy. England looked rubbish before the match, heck they even looked rubbish throughout the game. Scotland dominated both territory and possession – but managed to absolutely hose this one anyway in true Scottish style. I suppose that is what happen when Dan Parks is your flyhalf.
Every year I fall for it. There is a rousing rendition of Flower of Scotland. The Scottish rugby jersey is looking particularly sexy. The English are looking weak and vulnerable, and I tell myself… this time, this time will be different. Scotland can’t possibly ham it up again. Surely everything that came before was simply to lull them into a false sense of security waiting for this moment. But I tend to always forgot that special skill Scotland have of pulling defeat out of a certain win. No credit to England (other than limiting the penalty count) this was a game entirely lost through Scotland’s own efforts. You can’t win test matches if you can’t clear the ball from your own tryline (Andre Pretorius anyone?). You can’t win test matches if you don’t find touch with “pressure relieving” penalty touch kicks. You can’t win test matches when you hose a three on one overlap because your big fella is going for glory against the English fullback.
Whenever the tv camera turned towards Andy Robinson I could feel my sympathetic pains rising. Heck, I think I even had some kind of a spasm on his behalf when the tv ref wouldn’t award what probably should have been the decisive Scotland score. But geez, Dan Parks had yet another shocker (missed World Cup drop goal anyone?) and that fella supporting him at number 9 must be the worst player to fill the scrumhalf position since Ollie Le Roux decided to wear Joost’s jersey at his own bachelor party. You can’t win test matches if 9 and 10 are playing a shocker boys. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve psyched the boys up in the changing room before hand with Mel Gibson clips.
It’s going to be another long cold year of Scotland getting savaged and plundered by their less incomprehensible neighbors. Sigh.