Scottish Rugby: real revival or false dawn?

Andy RobinsonWhisper it quietly, but Scottish rugby is undergoing something of a revival under Andy Robinson. The days of accepting defeat forlornly but bravely, might just be over and there are signs that they’re emerging from the darkness of the past few years.

However it is a fragile recovery, and a poor start to the season from the two club sides could have seriously harmed its momentum. Fortunately, Glasgow and Edinburgh have started to pick up points in recent weeks and confidence should be building ahead of their series of Autumn Internationals fixtures.

Scotland were inconsistent in the 2010 Six Nations, losing to France and Italy but almost beating Wales at the Millenium Stadium, drawing with England, and taking the scalp of Ireland in their last game at Croke Park. These results, despite their inconsistency, should be seen as positive, and it seemed that Andy Robinson was certainly having an effect upon the team. There was a settled and talented back row consisting of Beattie, Barclay and Brown and the backline appeared to have more fizz to it than we have seen for a long time. This upbeat mentality was further built upon when Scotland won two tests in Argentina on their summer tour – arguably a bigger achievement than England’s narrow victory over Australia.

At the start of the season I feared for Edinburgh and Glasgow as there seemed to be an exodus of top quality talent. The loss of Dan Parks and Kelly Brown has indeed hurt Glasgow as have the departures of Jim Hamilton and Ally Hogg for Edinburgh. A number of new players have had to step into their roles and this has taken time and a few defeats, but bringing through new talent is exactly what Scottish rugby needs at the moment. This new blood combined with the experience its top class players will gain elsewhere is certainly promising for Scotland.

So what are their prospects this Autumn? I am willing to stick my neck out and say that Scotland will beat Samoa, be competitive with New Zealand and I sense a potential upset against the Springboks. Andy Robinson has been integral to my assessment – he has given Scotland a belief that has long been missing and they should go toe to toe with the best.

By Alex Harking

3 thoughts on “Scottish Rugby: real revival or false dawn?

  1. Scotland have achieved some good results in Argentina. Talent coming through and the two clubs getting the results. I would say its a steady improvement. Against the top five, there are some chances for success, especially with injuries that they are having. Once again it wets the appetite for the coming 6 nations.

  2. Agreed, they are still building and the Six Nations is where we will really be able to see how far Scotland have come. It seems that the SRU and the Scottish game in general is beginning to get its act together and this is promising for the future.

  3. I’m onboard for the Scottish rugby revolution. Edinburgh have the best offloading game in the Magners at the moment, and if they can transfer that to the Scotland camp, they’re going to be dangerous.

    However, Parks has not had a great start to his career at Cardiff, so he’ll need to find the form of last season if the team are expected to challenge in November. A back 3 of Sean Lamont, Nikki Walker and Chris Paterson has the potential to do some real damage if Parks can bring them in to the game.

    Good luck Scotland!

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