Scots must build on World Cup heroics

Scotland against Australia in the Rugby World Cup.
Scotland against Australia in the Rugby World Cup.

Predictably the last four of the World Rugby Cup is dominated by southern hemisphere teams, writes Jack Nixon.

Less predictable was Scotland’s brave, but ultimately failed attempt to gate crash the party of South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina and, of course, Australia.

Not in the wildest dreams had any of us, bar coach Vern Cotter, imagined Scotland could push one of the top nations all the way to the wire, but push they did, taking the team to the verge of immortality in the game.

But like it or not, Scotland are out of the competition, leaving us to watch from the sidelines. Bleating about referees making wrong decisions cuts no ice.

It was a wonderful occasion, so let’s just accept it for what was a near thing, and more crucially look forward to what’s next for Vern Cotter’s charges.

It is also a golden opportunity to market the game to a generation of youngsters who have had little to inspire them from the national team.

It now remains to be seen if the powers that be in the Scottish game have the wit, application and desire to promote the sport. Scotland is now back on the world stage, but must kick on in the upcoming Six Nations which gets under way in February.

It should not be forgotten in all the euphoria of Sunday that Scotland were wooden spoonists in the 2015 competition.

A repeat this season would negate the near thing of the World Cup and take the game back to square one in the country.

It will not be easy, given that both England and France will come to BT Murrayfield keen to put their own poor performances in the World Cup behind them, as will be the case in Wales, Ireland and even Italy.

Scotland’s achievement of this week will count for nothing should we lose them all which would be unthinkable after the heroics over the last four weeks.