Mar 082008

And just when I thought the afternoon couldn’t get any better, Scotland go and beat England at Murrayfield. What a sublime afternoon of rugby.

Not sublime rugby, you understand. It wasn’t pretty, by any stretch of the imagination. It was neither flowing nor exciting, it wasn’t inspiring or innovative — but the result, and the joy on the faces of the Scots crowd as the final whistle sounded said it all.

There’s something about facing that white jersey, and the pompous self-assured arrogance that it seems to represent that galvanises the opposition, particularly those of a Celtic persuasion, to dig deep and raise their game. That’s certainly what happened this afternoon, and the English simply had no answer for Scottish passion, determination and drive.

No tries — but the Scots controlled the ball at the breakdown, ran through the phases, and when the inevitable penalties came the stalwart Chris Paterson was there to hammer the nails into England’s six nations coffin. It will be small consolation to the English camp that Johnny Wilkinson’s became the highest ever scoring player in Rugby Union history during the course of the match. England didn’t just loose, they were resolutely beaten by a spirited Scottish team that simply hadn’t read the form-sheet.

All that’s left is for Ireland to stuff the English next weekend and we’ll have a Celtic hat-trick against the old enemy. Let’s hope Eddie O’Sullivan can do something right for once. Come on Ireland!

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