Monday, 10 February 2014

Scotland 0 v England 20

A new low for me watching Scotland play rugby. Plucky defeat is one thing but such a lack of belief (in only your second 6 Nations match) and a complete absence of any scoring threat is very hard to take. Saturday's game was the equivalent of watching a child swing not-so-furiously at an adult who is keeping them at bay with an out-stretched hand on their head. Coach Scott Johnson reacted to the second-half collapse in Dublin by dropping two of the bigger names from the squad but if he intended to get a reaction it failed completely. Not once did I realise that the new faces, Seymour and Fusaro, were playing.

The post-match killer statistic was that Scotland managed just 1% possession in the England 22 during the second-half. That must be a record - less than 48 seconds? I will be in Rome in a fortnight for what looks like a battering with the wooden spoon and I am also committed to a trip to the Millennium Stadium and another mauling against Les Bleus in Edinburgh. 

Desperately searching for positives here and missing a few Charlton matches is one of them. By all accounts we weren't quite as hopeless as Saturday's scoreline would suggest. I expected a double-booing at both whistles and a couple of duff performances from some of the Duchatelet Reserves. Sounds like it was Evina, Jackson and the hopeless Sordell who misfired whilst Thuram-Ulien and Goonchannejhad played well. No doubt we will rally but if it's not soon, we are likely to fall behind and get relegated.

No sporting positives but I was with friends and family for the match and we were joined by a good friend and his wife who called in for the night en route from watching Aberdeen outplay Celtic in knocking them out of the Scottish Cup in Glasgow. It was heart-warming to hear everything going right at a football club who have been suffering for as long as we have. There is always hope.

Yesterday we took a two hour historic walking tour of old Edinburgh. I am pretty good with my Scottish history but it was great to hear and see some of it come to life in a city that I thought I knew pretty well. I had never actually stepped into Greyfriars Churchyard before in the shadow of the castle but that will definitely be worth another visit. Amazing to hear that there are around 300 gravestones but estimated to be 250,000 bodies buried. I have always wondered why graveyards look so small for all of the people who must have died prior to cremation becoming so popular. 

I had never heard of a mort-safe either, where you could have your freshly departed's body safely buried from grave-robbers for five weeks until it lost it's medical student value, before being re-buried in the family plot. 

I knew about the Covenanter's struggle in the 17th century to be free to practice their Presbyterian religion without royal interference but I didn't know about the Covenanter's open-air prison or the extreme suffering they faced at the hands of the English King's men who persecuted them. Quite sad to peer through the gates in one corner of Greyfriars Churchyard and look at the ground on which hundreds were forced to lie face down every night in all Scottish weather under pain of death for moving. Those wearing the blue of Scotland at Murrayfield could do with a sharp history lesson to infuse some passion and fight.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, first off, you missed nothing at The Valley. Yes we had the better of possession, but a combination of poor efforts in the oppo's box and the excellent form of Darren Randolph ensured we didn't look like scoring. Once we went behind i knew it was all over (as usual)
Highlights? Well Astrid ??? let's call him AA. had a cracking game. Reza looked dangerous but had an alarming habit of falling over in the box, for which he was eventually booked. However if we could provide him some service, i reckon he'll do O/K for us.
Thuram in goal had a relatively quiet afternoon, but every time he was called upon, i was quivering with fear. I'm not sure this bloke IS a professional goalie.
Chris Powell as usual left the subs too late and got 'em wrong. Whether you're in the love him or hate him bracket. He looks a dead man walking to me.
After the match i stayed in Charlton with my son and a friend. We watched the rugby in the Rose of Denmark. I thought i might bump into you (forgetting you still punish yourself supporting the Scots) I thoroughly enjoyed a few pints and watching England crush Scotland.
Mind you we found ourselves in drunken (him) conversation with a Jock, who wanted to regale us with his football trivia knowledge, but wouldn't talk about rugby... :)


Dave said...

Daggs - thanks for the update. I am guessing the drunken conversation was with Dundee's own Eddie Nairn! The Rose has long been one of Eddie's frequent haunts and he is the King of football trivia.