Tag Archives: Scotland

Six Nations 2010 – Match 14 – Ireland vs. Scotland

The Centenary Quaich (pronounced Quake) is contested annually between Ireland and Scotland since 1989. To date, Scotland have won the Quaich 11 times to Ireland’s 9, though the sides have met some 121 times with Scotland winning 63 to Ireland’s 54 (5 draws).

In 2009, Ireland held on the the Quaich, having held it since 2002.

In this match, Scotland were playing to avoid the wooden spoon, having lost three and drawn one game. Scotland were 1 point away from fifth place. Should Scotland win, Italy would get the wooden spoon.

Ireland had a mathematical possibility of winning the championship, but they need a good margin and for England to bear France (ideally by a good margin). Assuming England and Ireland win, Ireland need the combined margin of the two teams to be something like 50 points to surpass France – this makes France near to a dead certainty for the championship. Before the match, Coral were offering odds of 16:1 against for Ireland to win overall, and 100:1 on for France to win overall. It looked unlikely.

Kickoff was at 5pm.

Both Scotland and Ireland made early attacks with Kaplan being pinged for not rolling away, Scotland opened the scoring. 0-3.

In the 11th minute, Sexton came past D’Arcy to collect a pass and then passed to O’Driscoll, who duly scored. A lovely piece of work. Sexton converted. 7-3

Almost immediately, Scotland had a reply in the form of a superb sequence of play down the left wing, each player drawing in tacklers before offloading. Beattie had the ball at the crucial point and placed it over the line. Dan Parks failed to convert, so the score was 7-8.

There the score stayed until the 36th minute, Ireland was pinged for not rolling away, and Dan Parks earned three points. 7-11.

In the 40th minute Scottish pressure gave Dan Parks the room for a drop goal, which was duly kicked over. 7-14 at half time.

The second half began with some penalties, Scotland, then Ireland. 10-17.

The first major score came from Bowe in the 65th minute. Sustained Irish pressure drew in Scottish defenders, eventually Tommy Bowe saw enough of a gap and made for the line, stretching as he was tackled to place the ball. The conversion equalised. 17-17.

The game was decided on kicks, first Scotland, then Ireland. 20-20.

In the dying minutes of the game, Scotland won a penalty. Dan Parks kicked the ball, Scottish players chased it, and Rob Carney held onto the ball, conceding a penalty. The Irish crowd at Stoke Park were unsporting at this point, and began booing and whistling, not good. Dan Parks kicked sweetly, and at 79 minutes Scotland were three points up, 20-23. There the score would remain. The restart was made with 50 seconds on the clock. Ireland were not to make a last second score.

This result confirms Italy with the wooden spoon, and means that France has won the tournament, though the Grand Slam is still to play for. Nobody wins the triple crown.

Scotland have won in Ireland for the first time since 1998, and Ireland’s last match at Croke Park ends with a loss.

The match between France and England would be played for bragging rights.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 France 4 4 0 0 123 59 8
2 Ireland 5 3 0 2 106 95 6
3 England 4 2 1 1 78 64 5
4 Wales 5 2 0 3 113 117 4
5 Scotland 5 1 1 3 83 100 3
6 Italy 5 1 0 4 69 137 2
Table Built: Saturday, 20 March 2010 19:33 UK

Six Nations 2010 – Match 11 – Scotland vs. England

The annual Calcutta Cup Match takes place between England and Scotland each year. Its name originates from the end of the 19th century when the Calcutta (Rugby) Football club was forced to close in 1878 due to a lack of new blood, the departure of an English regiment from the area and the rise in popularity of polo (source)

The club withdrew their remaining 270 silver rupee coins from the bank, had them melted down and made a cup, which they donated to the RFU in England for it to be used as the union saw fit for ‘the best means of doing some lasting good for the cause of Rugby Football’.

The RFU were unwilling to promote a club competition for fear of introducing professionalism to the amateur game, and so it became the totem for the match between England and Scotland.

England took the cup from Scotland in 2009. Since 2005 it has changed hands every year, with the home side taking it.

This year, the match was played at Murrayfield, and Scotland opened the scoring, kicking a penalty to lead 3-0.

Wirhin a couple of minutes, Scotland had another penalty but missed touch and Cueto cleared. With ten minutes played, the ball came from the scrum and found Ugo Monye on the far side of the field. The ball came back across, and a poor pass from Johnny Wilkinson to Dylan Hartley went into touch.

At 15 minutes, Johnny Wilkinson kicked a penalty to the sound of some very unsporting boos and whistles. This is not good form, after all, it’s not soccer. I’m not just saying that as England was on the receiving end, I feel the same on those occasions that we hear booing at Twickenham.

Scotland responded with pressure on England, and there was a sustained period of play metres from the English line. England conceded a penalty and Dan Parks kicked it over. 6-3 Scotland.

At the 30th minute England was awarded a penalty, which Wilkinson kicked over. There was a bit of a tiff between Dylan Hartley and a Scottish player (didn’t see who) at this point, just before the penalty kick. The Scot had grabbed Hartley’s head, and Hartley lashed out. This resulted in a talking-to. 6-all.

In the 36th minute, Scotland put together a threatening attacking sequence. This broke down and we had a lengthy scrum with multiple collapses. It took almost three minutes for the ball to come out of the scrum, and even then that scrum collapsed as the ball left.

Just before half time, Dan Parks kicked a drop goal, 9-6.

England did get the restart and rather frustratingly kicked away possession after the clock went red.

In the second half, Scotland began by conceding a penalty, which was duly converted. The scores were level on 9-all.

Wilkinson went in for a tackle, he bounced right off and bashed his head. He spent quite some time on the floor. The tannoy announced that Wilkinson would be subbed and a cheer went up. It sounded to me like a small group relatively near a microphone, but that was not a worthy reaction. In rugby the opposition is shown respect (until they do something to lose it). The reaction of the majority, the appreciative applause was much more in keeping with the spirit of things. Of course, it may have been that the cheer was for the arrival of Flood and not the departure of Wilkinson, but that wasn’t how it seemed to me.

Within a couple of minutes Toby Flood had his first penalty kick, successful. 9-12.

James Haskell conceded a penalty almost immediately, not releasing the tackled player. This time the English spectators were unsporting to the kicker. An annoying trend. 12-all at 52 mins.

Scotland had a good sequence of attack, and metres from the line Brown clashed heads with Ugo Monye. Brown walked off, but Ugo Monye went off on a stretcher wearing a neck brace. He got the customary applause as he went off.

In the 60th minute, England were in posession at the Scottish end, the scrum went down again and again, but after a few attempt Easter got the ball out just before the posts. England gained advantage and passed the ball wide to attempt the try. Losing posession the play was brought back for the penalty. Flood kicked the ball over to a chorus of whistles. 12-15.

England almost immediately conceded a penalty, narrowly escaping a yellow card. Dan Parks’ kick went short, but Scotland chased and threatened a try. This came to nothing, but England conceded another penalty which was kicked over. With a little over ten minutes left it was even-stevens at 15-all.

Scotland seemed to find a new spur at this point, and looked really dangerous. England were on the back foot. England contained the attack with eight minutes to go, but the response was not quick-ball, it seemed rather ponderous in comparison to the previous Scottish play.

With four minutes to go, what was the best couple of minutes for both sides, Scotland conceded a penalty for holding back a player. Toby Flood, kicking to a whistling crowd, just misjudged and the score remained 15-all.

Scotland came back with a dangerous looking run down the wing, fortunately for England he was brought down and he knocked on in the process. England had the scrum, and collapse after collapse saw the clock go red. There were far, far too many collapsed scrums in this game – the referee didn’t do well in this regard.

England drove the ball forward and Toby Flood went for a drop goal. It wasn’t to be. Scotland gained possession and kicked to touch. 15-all. The Calcutta Cup remains with the team who last won it, in this case, England.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 France 3 3 0 0 77 39 6
2 Ireland 4 3 0 1 86 72 6
3 England 4 2 1 1 78 64 5
4 Italy 3 1 0 2 39 58 2
5 Wales 4 1 0 3 80 107 2
6 Scotland 4 0 1 3 60 80 1
Table Built: Saturday, 13 March 2010 19:00 UK

Six Nations 2010 – Match 8 – Italy vs. Scotland

Going in to this match, neither Italy or Scotland had a win in the six nations, both teams were playing to avoid the whitewash (and possibly also the wooden spoon).

The game was slow to start, but in the 7th minute, Italy got the first real advantage from Scotland failing to release after a tackle. A good kick gave them a line-out within the Scottish 22, and this soon became a scrum – which in turn earned Italy a penalty. Bergamasco had a relatively easy kick for the first three points of the game, and he brought the score to 3-0 at ten minutes.

Soon after, Bergamasco made a cheeky little chip to threaten a try – but in the footrace that followed, Scotland’s Southwell was able to put the ball into touch.

Almost immediately after the restart, a marginal case of hands in the ruck gave Bergamasco another easy kick to bring the score to 6-0.

As the 20th minute approached, John Barkley for Scotland broke for the line, and with the advantage, the play broke down for a penalty to Scotland. This was taken from a similar position to Bergamasco’s first three points. Dan Parks had no problems, despite the Italian crowd starting to try and put him off, and the score became 6-3 in the 21st minute.

Another penalty for Scotland equalised the score at 6-6.

Scotland had a good sequence of play with a good overlap. Dan Parks made and early pass, yielding some of the advantage. Metres from the line an Italian player killed the ball, somehow avoiding the yellow card in the process. Dan Parks messed up the subsequent penalty kick, and what should have been seven points for Scotland came to nothing.

At half time it was 6-6.

Early in the second half, Scotland conceded another penalty. Bergamasco had no difficulty in bringing the score to 9-6.

Scotland replied with a bout of sustained pressure, the ball crossed the line in a bundle of bodies and the TMO had a near impossible decision. As the ball was not visible it was a 5 yard scrum to Scotland.

Scotland looked much better at this point, the half term respite being good for them. With the Italian team under pressure the Italian crowd got behind their team with a rousing anthem. Despite the pressure, Italy prevented the try and Dan Parks eventually settled for a drop goal, equalising at 9-9.

In the 55th minute we learned that a Scottish player (Max Evans?) wore floral underwear. I didn’t need to know that, I’m sure you didn’t either.

With 20 minutes to go, Italy threatened to score. Bergamasco ran down the line and gave a little kick. He was not able to chase, though, so Scotland gathered and cleared.

A Scottish attack broke down, but Italy conceded a penalty with their number ten going off his feet. Scotland took the score to 9-12.

Italy had the perfect reply, Canale took a pass from the number ten, and broke away on a run. As he was tackled he managed to offload to Canavosio, who scored between the posts. The score was now 16-12 in favour of Italy.

It looked like Scotland came back with a try, but it went to the TMO and the replay clearly showed that it was both held up and short of the line.

Scotland lost the scrum, Italy showed great composure and ultimately kicked to touch in the Scottish half.

After the lineout,Scotland conceded a penalty just inside their half. Craig Gower tried to take Otaly seven points ahead, but he didn’t have the distance. The score remained 16-12, with minutes to go.

With two minutes on the clock, Italy had phase after phase of attack. they were on their 14th phase with 45 seconds left and 15th with 30 seconds left.

Italy conceded a penalty, with 8.5 seconds left they did not have time for a line out. Scotland kept the ball in hand, but Italy got a turnover only for Scotland to reclaim with another turnover. In the 83rd minute, Italy won a penalty and kicked to touch.

16-12 Italy.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 France 3 3 0 0 77 39 6
2 England 2 2 0 0 47 29 4
3 Ireland 2 1 0 1 39 44 2
4 Wales 3 1 0 2 68 80 2
5 Italy 3 1 0 2 39 58 2
6 Scotland 3 0 0 3 45 65 0
Table Built: Saturday, 27 February 2010 15:21 UK

Six Nations 2010 – Match 4 – Wales vs Scotland

This was everything a Six Nations match should be, well, the last 10-20 minutes were, anyway.

Scotland looked dominant, leading throughout, and Wales were prone to ball handling errors at every turn – but Scotland didn’t hold on to their lead. When Scotland began to pick up yellow cards (plural), Wales took advantage. Alun Wyn Jones (who himself received a card last week) was instrumental in one of the tries. Wales equalised, then went ahead – winning 31-24.

It was an electric atmosphere, especially following such a long spell where Wales looked set to lose.

Wales thus avoid the whitewash, Italy and Scotland are still in contention for that. Only England and Ireland can still win the triple crown.

I’m posting this a little late, so don’t plan to be writing something fuller, it’s already been done elsewhere.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 Ireland 1 1 0 0 29 11 2
2 England 1 1 0 0 30 17 2
3 France 1 1 0 0 18 9 2
4 Wales 2 1 0 1 48 54 2
5 Scotland 2 0 0 2 33 49 0
6 Italy 1 0 0 1 11 29 0
Table Built: Saturday, 13 February 2010 16:06 UK

Six Nations 2010 – Match 3 – Scotland vs France

In the states, this is a superbowl weekend. The Americans are settling in for their contest in a game nobody else in the world seriously plays – in Europe at the moment we have the six nations. Five weekends of an annual rugby union tournament between England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy. The third match of the opening weekend was Scotland vs. France – and as with the other games this weekend, there wasn’t a helmet in sight.

The game started with a silence, and then into the anthems. What anthems.

The Marseillaise especially shows what a feeble tune ‘God Save the Queen’ is (GSTQ shouldn’t be used for England games as it’s an anthem for the UK – Wales and Scotland don’t use it). ‘The Flower of Scotland’ (though a bit bland) was well sung, and there were was something about it today that made me sit up. It was, I think, the crowd continuing long after the piper had finished.

Scotland opened the scoring with a penalty following hands in the ruck.

Nigel Owens made a big call in the 10th minute by denying what looked like a messy French try, on the advice of his touch judge he went to the TMO and was vindicated. Good eyes, referee.

There was sustained pressure on the Scottish try line as a result, with several scrum attempts play eventually resumed (Scotland had to be getting close to a penalty try). The ball inched toward the line, with France seeming to try to push it over, then France suddenly went wide and Matthieu Bastareaud got the ball down.

Scotland had a good run of attack following a successful penalty kick from France’s Parra, but the attack broke down due to a knock-on. Fortunately they had advantage and so returned for a penalty. Chris Paterson kicked for three points, bringing the score to 6-8 in favour of France.

With a good piece of running play, Bastereaud came down the wing, sidestepping and threatening to pass to the outside man, he took the ball over the line. Parra converts to bring the score to 6-15.

Minutes remaining in the half and France put pressure on the French once more. Two metres in front of the posts, the Scots stopped the advance. France got the ball out after an extended ruck and went in again. Quick ball, and the ball went left to the wing, then right back toward the posts – the Scots managed to get the turnover and with 15 seconds remaining on the clock they kicked the ball out. The Scots won the line out, and looked like they’d attack – but after that attack died the ball went straight to touch.

At the end of the first half, the stats showed that France had 73% of territory in the first half. Crikey.

There wasn’t a good restart for Scotland. Within four minutes they’d conceded a penalty for being offise at the ruck. Parra converted to bring the score to 6-18.

Benjamin Fall for France made an impressive run following an interception, getting to the line. Unfortunately for him, Nigel Owens had already blown the whistle for a penalty – Paterson kicked it over to bring the score to 9-18.

The rest of the game had some close moments, but no scores went in. France’s win by 9 points understates just how throughly they beat Scotland today.

France remain in contention for the Grand Slam; Scotland are still in contention for the Wooden Spoon and the Whitewash.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 Ireland 1 1 0 0 29 11 2
2 England 1 1 0 0 30 17 2
3 France 1 1 0 0 18 9 2
4 Scotland 1 0 0 1 9 18 0
5 Wales 1 0 0 1 17 30 0
6 Italy 1 0 0 1 11 29 0
Table Built: Sunday, 7 February 2010 16:56 UK

The six nations resumes next weekend – and for Americans, at least some matches are shown on BBC America.