Sunday, 13 March 2011

6 nations musings part 4

Could face danger in Scotland
In Shakespeare's Macbeth, Malcolm the son of Duncan, the King whom Macbeth assassinates to seize the crown, flees to England for safe keeping.

So it is with the Calcutta Cup.  Sent to England for safe keeping many years ago.  Scotland knows that a repetition of the celebrated John Jeffrey/Dean Richards kick-about with the famous old trophy in 1988 is a risk too many to take.  And so the Cup will stay in England until the crows leave the Tower of London (or some other made up historical conjecture).

England today made a fair attempt to shun the responsibility of keeping the trophy safe.  Ultimately, they had to rely on yet another arbitrary sin binning by the French referee who put Scottish flanker John Barclay in the bin for an offence that mystified even Brian Moore.  Mind you, Brian's mystification follows most refereeing decisions, particularly those on the scrums.  He is the Fred Trueman de nous jours - 'I simply do not understand what is going on out there' as the late and very great fast bowler turned commentator said after every over. At least in rugby Brian's mystification is shared by the players and the crowd.  Trueman was usually alone.

I do not understand
 what is going on out there
Scotland got pretty near.  Both scrums and line outs were a Caledonian disaster area for the first hour, so it says something about Scotland's defensive organisation that the game was so close.

Fantasy Bob is unconvinced that the pre-planned substitution of both half backs on the hour did the team any good.   Exactly why coaches do this is beyond FB - in fact he is in Trueman territory on that one.  But overall there was a bit going forward although Lamont has still to give a pass.  A pity, for Ansbro outside him looks the part.  And Chris Paterson was exceptional.  FB will not mention that the try scoring pass to Croft was forward.  If Scotland had shown some of today's bite against Wales and Ireland we might not be in the position we are.

 As it is we have the now traditional wooden spoon decider with Italy next week who also put in their best performance of the championship yesterday.  Screw the Grand Slam - surely the Italians cannot deprive us of the trophy that has been sent to Scotland for safe keeping.  Wha's like us?

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