ESPN SCRUM

/ Scotland

/ News

Paper Round
'Scotland have never been worse'
ESPN Staff
February 10, 2014
Where now for Scotland? © PA Photos
Enlarge

As the dust - or perhaps more accurately the mud - settles on a one-sided Calcutta Cup match, there is an overall sense of gloom in the media about the future for Scottish rugby.

Sir Clive Woodward leads the charge in the Daily Mail. "Saturday was a sad day for Scottish sport and their rugby team have never been worse. That team would fail to beat a single club in the Aviva Premiership and a second-string England side would have won comfortably. All the historic montages of this fixture, all the auld enemy stuff, looks a nonsense now and it will remain embarrassing until Scotland get a competitive team. "

Scotland on the rack

© PA Photos
  • Scotland last won the Five/Six Nations in 1999

    Their last Grand Slam was in 1990

    Since the Six Nations was expanded to include Italy, Scotland have lost 52 of the 72 matches played

    They have won only two of their last 12 fixtures

In the Times Owen Slot adopts a similar tone. "There is a bleaker reading of the evidence [Scotland] left out on the muddy stretches of Murrayfield that questions the sad realities of the professional game in the country and asks: are there really six nations in this tournament? If relegation and promotion were ever to come in to the Six Nations, Scotland, in their present state, would be eternal candidates for the drop. That would clearly accelerate the downward spiral. And yes, this remains a hypothetical debate, but for now the Six Nations Championship remains four plus two and devalued because of it."

Paul Hayward in the Daily Telegraph goes a step further. "Scotland should be told by the Six Nations Championship to start taking it seriously or step aside for another country to have a go. This may seem a melodramatic response to their lamentable 20-0 home defeat to England at the weekend but the Scots are becoming an embarrassment to one of sport's greatest tournaments."

And he concludes with a withering attack on those running the game in Scotland. "The great cauldron of Scottish union is now a heavily corporatised world of synthetic patriotism, firework bangs and pre-match cavorting by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. You have only to leave Murrayfield in the dark to know that something has been lost. Scotland have weakened to the point where the best young players must have no faith in the bureaucrats who set the stage on which they play. Most of all, Scotland's supporters are being cheated by the 'Murrayfield experience' and by the paucity of resources on display.

Andy Bull in the Guardian has Scotland's interim coach Scott Johnson in his sights. "A man can expect to get away with the same old lines only so many times before his audience spot that he sounds like a stuck record. If a bad workman blames his tools, a bad coach carries on much as Johnson did after this match."

Stephen Jones in the Sunday Times agrees. "It would be wonderful to be proved wrong, but there is so little in the previous career of Johnson to suggest he is in any way suited by temperament, skills or knowledge of his adopted nation. Off the field, Johnson can be entertaining. But what Scotland need is to be entertained by wins, not words. One of the best Scottish players of recent times had this reaction to the prospect of Johnson taking complete charge: "Very scary." Quite."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • News
  • Features
  • Mishits

    Noel Gallagher hails 'the Brodge's' powers of recovery

    Former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher marked his return to football punditry by coining a new name for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

  • Rewind to 2003

    Galacticos and Red Devils serve up classic

    We rewind to 2003 when Real Madrid brought a park attitude to their Champions League clash with Manchester United and played out a 4-3 thriller

  • Rewind To 1988

    The real Cool Runnings

    The tale of the Jamaica bobsled team who triumphed against the odds at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics is embedded in pop culture more than 25 years on, writes Nick Atkin

  • UFC

    Top 10 best UFC fighters of all time

    Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner

  • Week in Words

    Giroud gets emotional

    In the latest edition of ESPN's Week in Words, Olivier Giroud gets emotional, Dimitar Berbatov is a bit smug, Arsene Wenger is hurting and Rory McIlroy is "p***** off"

Sponsored Links
Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!