Overheard in a team meeting at Murrayfield, 7th Feb 2014

Scott Johnson

OK Cobbers, I’ve invited a Scottish Legend to address you today.  He needs no introduction; a man from Kelso whose rugby pedigree as a patriotic Scot is second to none.  He played for both Scotland and the Lions in the late 80s and early 90s and was part of the back row which beat the Poms in 1990.  He started his international career (consults notes) playing for er, English Universities against Scottish Universities.  Leaving that aside, here he is, the White Shark himself, Greg – I mean John Jeffrey.


Enthusiastic applause

John Jeffrey (for it is he)

Laddies.  England.  England.  (pauses to let the meaning sink in).  They come up here in their faggotty white shirts and fancy designer tracksuits, all full of how great they are and how they’ve only got to turn up to collect the Calcutta Cup.  That’s wha’ it was like in ’90.  They had this big pack – Christ, they always have a big pack – and were expected to steamroller us back into Corstorphine Road.  But we had other ideas.  Here’s how we beat them that day…….


20 minutes later


….so that’s the story.  Move them around.  Don’t let them settle.  Mobility, always mobility.  Take quick throw-ins; they’ll want to walk from set piece to set piece.  Take it into contact and follow in low, ruck out quick ball and take it on; again, their forwards will all be off-side, panting to get back onside.  Pick out their half-backs.  After a few phases spin it wide.    Then move it to the other side.  Their forwards will be sucking in pigeons by this stage. What they want is a muddy pitch, a series of scrums and lineouts, and a win by 5 penalties to none.  And they call that rugby!  Bastards.  I hate them.  Look them in the eyes and believe (injects even more passion, his face is bright red.  The team is watching transfixed, but believing).  Believe in yourselves.  You are lighter and faster than this lot.  You are quicker in mind.  You are more exciting than this lot; they have come to bore the pants off the crowd.  Win today, boys, and you’ll be legends forever.


The team goes wild and applauds.
  JJ takes his leave.  The team players turn their attention to Johnson.

Kelly Brown, glowing with enthusiasm.

That sounds brilliant, Boss.  And he’s absolutely right; we want to play this game the Scottish way.  Let’s show them some good old rucking.  I can’t wait to feel that  Hartley under my studs.

SJ ((looking shifty)

Well, actually we have a slightly different plan.  Basically we’re shite.  There’s no way we’ll beat the Poms playing any sort of open rugby.  Our only hope is to bring them down to our level.  So the plan is this; Put the sprinklers on the pitch to make it a total mud heap.  Take Colin Deans’ advice and start a fight.  Jim, you’re the main man here. 

Jim Hamilton

Right, boss.


Slow the game down at every stage.  I want scrum reset after scrum reset.  Collapse them when you can get away with it; we’ll get 50% of the penalties.  Walk to the lineouts.  Make them rush; they’ll panic and knock on.  And finally, Kelly, you’re out.  (Mimics Kelly) The “Scottish way“ my arse.  Meeting over.

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