Scotland are undoubtedly a wounded team, but there are reasons to believe that Scotland could have a resurgence.
After conquering Twickenham and making history, it seemed Scotland could only go up. The punters predicted that Wales would be brushed aside in Round Two and all eyes were pointing towards a potential Scottish Grand Slam. Alas, for the Scots it was back to the old days of being absolute masters at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
There’s no doubt that the past few weeks for Scottish rugby have been out of the ordinary. After the euphoric victory against England, Scotland blew the tournament wide open when they narrowly lost to Wales the following weekend. Scotland’s familiar handling errors and ill-discipline was the root cause of their demise, combined with a red card for Zander Fagerson which landed him a four-week ban. If Fagerson was not sent off would that game have gone the other way? Unfortunately we’ll never know, and it was a classic case of Scotland being the brave losers.
Going back to the drawing board, the Scots had a week off to prepare for Round Three in Paris. With the French looking like the favourites to win the tournament, this was going to be a monumental challenge. Yet, there was to be more torment for Scotland.
The coronavirus pandemic made its first strike during the Six Nations when the French coach, Fabien Galthié, tested positive for the virus. Things went from bad to worse when the captain, Charles Ollivon, also tested positive along with 10 other players. It was to be discovered that Galthie left the squad's bubble on the opening weekend to watch his son play rugby, while French players also went out to eat waffles when in Rome to play Italy.
Naturally, many would have expected the Scots to have been handed the bonus-point win and a walkover. The French suggested rescheduling the match for the next weekend, which would have left the Scots short of around 10 English-based players, including captain Stuart Hogg and second-row Jonny Gray. In a cruel twist of fate, Les Bleus were cleared of any wrongdoing.
In the end, the showdown against the French in Paris is set to be rearranged for 26 March - a week after the tournament is due to finish. This has potentially spoiled the end of the Six Nations, commonly known as Super Saturday, where the winning team is crowned the Champions. It is the highlight of the rugby calendar and now it does not look so ‘Super’ anymore.
As of now, Wales and France are both in the race to win the Grand Slam. But, have Scotland lost the Championship? They lost to Wales, but they’re not out yet. With Ireland and Italy still to be played, the Scots have a chance to potentially bring it back. They are undoubtedly a wounded team, but there are reasons to believe that Scotland could have a resurgence.
So, how do Scotland get back to their winning ways? We’ve seen the talent this Scotland side has, they’ve beaten England and lost very marginally to Wales, but there is one overriding problem. Discipline. Cut out the penalties and handling errors, and Scotland will be able to bounce back from this loss.
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