Overheard in a team meeting at Murrayfield, 3rd Feb 2014


Scott Johnson (in mock Scottish accent)

Och Aye cobbers, g’day the noo.  This week’s the week.

Kelly Brown

Boss?

SJ

Aye, it’s 2014.  What does that mean to you all?

Stuart Hogg

One year to the World Cup?

SJ

Aye, but it’s history, boys.  I’ve been reading my Scottish history.  What’s significant about this year?

KB

6 years since we beat England?

SJ

That as well.  But what I’m thinking of is real history…. Bannockburn.  1314.  Seven hundred years since we stuffed the Poms.

Jim Hamilton

And the significance of this is, boss?

Ross Ford

Oh, for fuck’s sake, where the hell did you go to school, big yin?

JH

Coventry

RF

Coventry?  Where’s that?  The borders?

JH

No, it’s in England, near Birmingham.

KB

Ah thought yous didne soond as if ye wez frae Scotland, bu’ ah always assumed yous were frae Australia.

JH

No, but I have played in New Zealand.

RF

So where do you play the noo?

JH

Montpellier

 

Long Silence

JH

None of you know where Montpelier is, do you?

Stuart Hogg (googling)

The state capital of Vermont?

JH

Moron.

SJ

Cobbers, cobbers, let’s leave that for the moment.  It’s Calcutta Cup time.  England.  Seven hundred years ago.  Let me tell you what happened that day.  The Poms swaggered across the border all full of themselves, looking for a Grand Slam, whatever one of those is.  The Scottish team was led by my fellow countryman Mel Gibson.  He was playing openside flanker. Early on in the battle the English lost a skirmish and Mel led a charge into the heart of the English lines backed up by, er (consults notes), David Sole, the White Shark (I guess that was another Aussie Greg Norman - I didn’t realise he played rugby as well), Milne and the rest of the heavy cavalry.  Their leader, William of Carling I think, lost his head and ordered his heavy cavalry to shunt us back over our line, but the boys held out against the poms and basically (puts on Scottish accent) “Sent them hamewards tae think again”.  So boys, that’s what we’re going to do this year.

KB

Soonds goo’, Boss.  What’s the plan?

SJ

Glad you asked, Kelly.  The plan is brilliant.  Duncan here has done some research into the Poms’ performances at Murrayfield, and has discovered a couple of interesting facts which we can use at the weekend.  Hodgy, over to you.

Duncan Hodge

OK boys, let’s look at some history.  Since 2006 England have only scored 1 try at Murrayfield.  One.  That’s it.  Christ, I scored more than that against them.

Stuart Hogg (googling)

Actually, Duncan, you only scored one yersel’

DH

Aye, laddie, but it was a winning one.  2000, if I remember correctly.  A scintillating break from half-way beating Dallaglio, Dawson and half the England backline.  It’ll be on Youtube.  Watch and learn.

SJ

So cobbers, they score an average of 0.25 tries a game up here.  A try every 4 games?  How shit are they?  Are you telling me you can’t beat that lot?  So there it is boys.  Score a try and you’re bound to win; these poms couldn’t find the try-line if it was painted purple with a big flashing neon sign above it offering favours from sheilas.  I won’t bore you with tactics, although the usual stuff should stand us in good stead; garryowens to the fullback, ruck over him, back to the stand-off and it’s hello drop-goal.  Obviously a few slashing line-breaks will rip their defence open, and we’ll be running in the tries as usual.  Hodgy, how many have we scored at Fortress Murrayfield against the poms in the last few years?

 

Uncomfortable silence

SJ

Hodgy?

SH (googling)

Sir, Sir, I know this one; it’s, er  oh.  Apparently since Hodgy’s exploits in 2000 we’ve only scored one.  And that was by a Bath player.  And they scored fou….

SJ (interrupts)

Thank you Stuart.  I thought we’d banned mobiles from the team meeting.  Meeting over.


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