/ Six Nations 2014

/ News

Scotland v England
Fears grow of Murrayfield 'farce'
ESPN Staff
February 5, 2014
The <I>Daily Mail</I> on the Murrayfield pitch, February 4, 2014
The Daily Mail on the attack yesterday © Daily Mail

Former Scotland and British Lions star Peter Wright has told the Daily Mail the Calcutta Cup match could become farcical if the worst predictions about the state of the Murrayfield pitch turn out to be true.

Although the SRU yesterday announced it would be investing in a new hybrid surface over the summer, that will not help the current situation. With rain forecast in Edinburgh this weekend to add to the groundsman's problems, Wright said the easily cut-up surface could become a quagmire.

"I hope I'm wrong but I do have concerns that the state of the pitch will have a big influence over who wins the match," he told the newspaper. "Just say the score is tight with 10 minutes left and the pitch has cut up so badly it's impossible to keep your feet in the scrum.

"Such an important game could then be decided by a player losing his footing at the set-piece and giving away a penalty. That shouldn't be the way a team wins a Six Nations match."

He said the choice of stud would be vital, especially for the forwards. "If they pick a stud that's too small that could lessen their grip; if they chose one that's too big their foot could stick in the dirt and cause injury.

"If a player loses his footing once, he'll be conscious of it happening again and that could lead to a bit of a farce with players not wanting to try anything too fancy.

"My advice to the forwards would be to not to move their foot much in the scrum, make sure the scrum is stable and keep things steady. The backs also have to watch when they side-step and not get their foot stuck in a divot. I'm concerned that a heavy, cut-up pitch will lead to not much decent rugby being played which would be a shame."

Former England lock Ben Kay was of a similar mind. He said England's pack prefer a straight pushing contest "but if you can't get traction because the pitch is cutting up, you have a problem. If you think of England's defeats at Murrayfield they were often on wet, muddy pitches.

"Power runners don't have the contact with the ground to break through and the players with skill don't have the same confidence underfoot. England won't use it as an excuse but they would prefer a fast, firm track."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Australian GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Golf - Joburg Open
    Golf - Honda Classic
    Tennis - Dubai Championships
    Tennis - Mexican Open
  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Rugby

    Lions set for Super sides in 10-game NZ tour

    The British & Irish Lions' tour of 2017 is set to comprise games against New Zealand Super Rugby teams for the first time

  • Rugby

    Larkham and Grey named Wallabies assistants

    Stephen Larkham and Nathan Grey have been appointed Wallabies assistant coaches while continuing their respective roles at a Super Rugby level

  • Rugby

    All Blacks to monitor Samoan mosquito virus

    New Zealand Rugby officials are confident a mosquito-transmitted disease in Samoa and an annoying drain won't threaten the All Blacks' historic Test in Apia

  • Football

    Rodgers: Liverpool missed creative spark

    Brendan Rodgers admitted Liverpool missed their creative spark after leaving several senior players at home as his side lost to Besiktas on penalties on their return to the Ataturk Stadium

  • Golf

    McIlroy recovers from shaky start at PGA National

    Even the best player in the world can apparently have a bad day once in a while, and it was a tough one on Thursday for Rory McIlroy at PGA National

  • News
  • Features
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!