ELLON Rugby Club members who made the trip to Twickenham last weekend will not have picked up any useful tips from the national team to take forward to its Regional Shield game due to be played at the Meadows this Saturday.
“Scotland were never going to win this game once England took the lead. They were outplayed in every phase of play, particularly up front where they usually compete well. It was quite depressing. I just don’t see them getting much better, which means once again avoiding the wooden spoon will be the only target,” said an Ellon team member who will be in action against Strathmore in the semi - final of the Regional Shield on Saturday.
Scotland in the meantime will need to pick themselves up for the second round of matches this weekend when they will face the new look Itlay at Murrayfield at 2.30pm on Saturday.
Ian Rankin the director of rugby for Premiership side Dundee was not overly concerned about the national side’s failure, and said: “The England game was always going to be tough. It’s now a question of how quickly coach Scott Johnson can get the game out of the squad’s system. He has like the rest of us probably targeted the Italy match as a must win one. I believe Scotland will win, but only if the forwards can get on top of a very abrasive Italian pack who will be boosted its success against the French.”
But while Scottish supporters will spend a worrying time during the build up to the Italian job, it will not have escaped the notice of the best informed that Ireland were the only winners on the road.
The Irish could in fact could be the side most likely to burst the bubble of the English whose supporters seem to think they already have one hand on the Six Nations Trophy on Sunday.
Dublin will be the place to be this weekend for what could be the definitive game of the tournament.
But let’s not be churlish about the England who looked every bit the champions, winning ruck ball with alarming ease. A talented back division sits nicely with a mobile set of forwards who could by the end of the competition be the ace in the pack.
Elsewhere France will still be favourites to put the Rome result behind them and get its challenge back on track against a poor Welsh side who could well end up with the wooden spoon.
Ellon’s go into Shield action with no match time to bolster them, having not played a competitive game since December 1 when they played Orkney.
“Not exactly good preparation, made worse by the fact our opponents Strathmore have managed to play twice this year. We will, however, give it our best shot,” said Michael Cox the Ellon interim head coach.