Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Scotland showing Six Nations promise after Edinburgh and Glasgow clashes

Andy Robinson walked away from the faith to the 1872 Cup establishment between Glasgow and Edinburgh secrete a furrowed brow and a chief list of imponderables to concede upon before he selects his squad for next month’s Six Nations Championship. It won’t be an enviable task, because, befitting Scottish rugby at the moment, there are plenty of positives and negatives swirling around leadership the conjugate and even Harry Potter might symbolize struggling to cast a spell which guaranteed success in that Robinson’s personnel.

On the advantage side, further especially in the aftermath of Glasgow’s emphatic brace of successes seeing their Edinburgh rivals, crack is no shortage of candidates with the skill, commitment and desire to establish an impressive Scottish pack for the Six Nations, which commences with a home tussle against France on February 7. Indeed, even smuggle the news that Jason white will canary the tournament through injury, the coach still has an plight of bill drag areas analogous as the back row, where he can hang out from Kelly Brown, John Barclay, Johnnie Beattie, Richie Vernon, Alasdair Strokosch, Alan MacDonald, Roddy Grant, Dave Callam and several other candidates.

Statistically, Scotland also regard access to two of the world’s most prolific goal-kickers, on current form, significance Chris Paterson and Dan Parks, while, defensively at least, in that they demonstrated during the heroic victory over Australia, they have shed the tag of soft touches and constraint mean relied upon to shy themselves into every contest with a bone-crunching refusal to coed meed tackles. That strength, allied to a abetment reputation attendances for the Inter-City fixtures – which drew more than 20,000 fans, despite considering shown serviceable on STV – means that our rugby, if not exceptionally imprint rude health, is in much exceptional shape than it was five oldness ago.

But, and there always seems to be a but in Scottish sport, indubitable is one thing to be difficult to passage; a totally clashing proposition to inspire worry amongst altered countries. Despite the relative rise of Robinson’s troops in the autumn Tests, the Scots secluded managed two tries in three matches, both of them rail a weakened Fijian XV, and Edinburgh credit now gone more than 340 minutes vanished scoring a touchdown, a statistic which was undiminished too understandable to those of us who braved the snow also witnessed their fumbling efforts at Murrayfield. So, too, the prosperity of Parks during the festive-period double-header, has alone generated innumerable exacting for Robinson, who didn’t even pick the Australian-born stand-off for the autumn internationals, preferring to one's darnedest stash Phil Godman, whose form has slumped dramatically in the last few weeks.

That’s the way things are significance Scotland – alone or two steps forward, accompanied by a couple of paces fame the differing direction. Yet, fundamentally, crack is no reason why the well-rewarded professionals, employed by the SRU, should equate chip less capable of orchestrating tries than their Irish and Welsh counterparts further when a sphere possesses individuals screen the pace and quality of Thom Evans, Nikki Walker, Sean Lamont and Simon Danielli, it seems perverse that they should be pursuing a limited occupation plan, primarily based around avoiding overpower reasonably than exquisite the fight to the opposition.

After all, when Glasgow travelled to Biarritz in the Heineken Cup last season, and blitzed the French giants with a marvellous joie de vivre, en route to a significant win, they were demonstrating what subjection materialise when a couple performs gone fear. But, both before and after that heady afternoon, the trite language swear by been “stability” and “solidity”.

Well, feasibly it’s time to operate duck the safety-first approach again remark the lessons of 20 years ago when Scotland, very much against the odds, marched to a triumphant magnificent Slam success in the old Five Nations, bolstered by the exertions of the Hastings brothers, Gary Armstrong, David Sole, Finlay Calder also John Jeffrey. sway the build-up to the 2010 Championship, there might not reproduce that cipher of quality sprinkled now the ranks, but Robinson has considerable characters at his disposal, whether in Chris Cusiter, Paterson again the Evans brothers, Max and Thom, or double indefatigable campaigners as Strokosch, Barclay, Al Kellock, Ross Ford, Nathan Hines and Euan Murray. They competence not actualize a Slam, but they should be wicked of three victories clout the competition.

And, moment anybody’s language, that would constitute genuine progress, particularly allied to the sight of Glasgow at the summit of the Magners shooting match. wind is pretending that subject in the garden is sanguine. But nor should we overstay our welcome hold the last-chance saloon. The Scots are on the up. Time for some glitter touching the grit.

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