Sunday, 11 October 2015

Scotland 36 v Samoa 33

Slumped on the floor of the train heading back to the Smoke after 24 hours on the Toon. I was up to see Scotland finally putting a cohesive performance together and notch a comfortable victory over the misfiring Samoans. Instead it's all been about getting the result and making the last eight of the Rugby World Cup.

True to form, Big Vern's boys had me chewing my knuckles between 2.30 and 4pm yesterday as they played cat and mouse with the Navigators from the middle of the Pacific ocean. Behind for much of the match and conceding tries with alarming ease, it was only naievity and ill-discipline of the barrel-bodied Polynesians that allowed Greg Laidlaid's big toe to keep Scotland in touch and it was the quick thinking and spirited dash of the wee man which saw us finally win the game.

Newcastle made us welcome, as always. We warmed uo with a few pints of Toon Broon and Southwold bitter in the Newcastle Arms in the Gallowgate before kick-off. The ground was full and strains of "Scot-land, Scot-land" could be heard over the city after 3.30 as the ever-hopeful Tartan Army urged their side on. The relief at the whistle was huge and we know we will have to be much better than that just to stay close to the Aussies next Sunday. In fact, having watched the Aussies give no quarter to a vibrant Welsh display, I reckon we well get walloped by the Wallabies.

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