Saturday, February 08, 2020

A Bottle And Friend

Today's Six Nations double header comprises Ireland versus Wales at quarter past two followed by Scotland versus England at quarter to five.

It is a given that Gareth the Rugby Gnome and I will be supporting Wales as unwaveringly as ever, but let's also take time out to remember that today's second game marks thirty years since Scotland’s 13-7 victory over England on March 17, 1990; a game that has gone down as one of the most famous, atmospheric and, frankly, rancorous matches ever. There's even a book about it for goodness sake The Grudge: Two Nations, One Match, No Holds Barred by Tom English.

Two teams each with three victories faced off against each other in the final round of matches, with both capable of completing a Grand Slam with a victory, and the first time that the Triple Crown had also been at stake at the same time.

I can still remember when England ran out of the tunnel first and lined up for the anthems, but, rather than following suit, Scotland - led by captain David Sole - left them to stew before walking slowly onto the field; the tension ratcheting with every moment. We were all watching it in the Admiral Nelson in Whitton with Scottish Harry Smythe. When Scotland won he has as happy a man as I have ever seen. This week last year we all went to his funeral.

If they sell any good scotch in in Standard I will raise a glass of it to H later on this afternoon.
Here's a bottle and an honest friend!
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o' care, man?
Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man:
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes not aye when sought, man.

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