Sunday, 17 March 2013

France 23 v Scotland 16

In the lounge at Gare du Nord awaiting the rattler home. Reflecting on my third Scottish defeat of the 6 Nations. Apparently, we finished third although hard for me to comprehend.

Last night we made the fatal error of deciding that the bars and tents around the Stadt de France were too busy as the punters pressed in to avoid the rain and opted to "have a drink in the ground." We found our seats first. Front row in the corner behind the try line. They were wet and the swirling rain promised no respite. So to the bar then to warm up. Oh dear, no alcohol. It was drier than the Millwall game. My polite request to be let out of the ground was met with a gruff "non."

So to the game then and in horrible conditions, Scotland did what we can invariably do first-half and we defended valiantly whilst sniping a couple of penalties to lead at the break. Predictably, things changed second-half. The French came out charging and Bastereau and their huge (as in fat) number 17 punched holes in the Scottish line. It was left to little dancers to skate in for central touch-downs and a penalty response as Scotland trailed 23-9 with five minutes to go. We were soaking and cold and ready to leave when Scotland finally found a gap and tore through. It looked like Maitland on the burst and as his pursuers closed in, he found Tim Visser gliding alongside with plenty in the tank. Visser took the pass and careered through the posts to leave us tantalising close and once more thinking what might have been.

Another double-defeat then and I am only pleased I chose to be in Paris. It might be increasingly dirty, littered with homeless and beggars, but still better company than those brain-dead peasants. I understand that the Club managed another PR catastrophe by having our fans treated like second-class citizens so that our visitors had an unimpeded day. Lairy Millwall fans in colours in our hospitality and our fans being route-marched up Charlton Lane. We really have shot ourselves in the foot on top of an appalling home season. Expect gates to nosedive next season. We may still be in the Championship but our club is shrinking back towards our all-time low.

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