I'm writing this blog without giving it a title just yet.I want to congratulate England on retaining the 6 Nations, I want to commiserate with Scotland, I want to mention Wales great performance, however, it's not the on pitch action that's sparked this blog into life.
It's one tweet. One tweet to the official Scotland account and the main @rugbyunited account. I have the tweet in a screenshot, but I don't want to print the screenshot as I don't want to give the guy who sent the tweet any exposure at all.
It said (complete with grammatical errors) "@scotlandteam @rugbyunited #asone makes sense now women, men and u20's all as embarrassing as each other disgrace to the jersey and the game"
Looking at the profile, I actually am not sure if he's a Scottish or English fan, what I am sure of is that he's pretty clueless.
Scotlands mens team has had it's best 6 Nations performance for a long time, not just in results, but in on pitch product too. The England match was an anomaly, hampered by the quick successive losses of Hogg and Bennett causing a backline reshuffle and leaving a lot of 'What ifs' in the minds of Scottish fans. (Would Joseph's hat trick have been so simple if Hogg had been sweeping from full back?)
The Scottish women have had their first win in 7 years and were blown away by a ruthless fully professional England womens side, they were always on a hiding to nothing in that much, but their never say die attitude and steadfast refusal to give up the fight in that match was evident and steps are being taken in the right direction.
The u20's was a closer affair than the final 33-5 scoreline suggests. It took England 20 minutes to break the deadlock, and the majority of points were scored at the end of either half when Scotlands hard chasing defence was tiring.
To call Scotlands players a disgrace is far from the mark, and yes, I love a bit of banter, youve probably seen the meme's and the posts I've shared, mainly in reponse to some of the posts aimed at England pre-game, but some because they are genuinely amusing.
It irks me as a rugby fan when people, no matter who they support, take to social media to call players a disgrace to the shirt, I'll wager as much as the loss hurts the fans, the players will be hurting far more. It's them who have lost the game, not the fans sitting in their armchair. These people have reached a level of the sport that 99.9% of us will never get to, but most of us would dream of having that chance, just once.
No matter who you support and who your tweets are aimed at, you should keep a level of respect, the guys and girls who pull on the shirts for club and country have earned the right to be respected, they are better players than you, even in your own mind. The coaches know more about rugby than you and even after a bad day at the office, this does not change, and as I say constantly to people slating referee's, if you can do better, go get the qualifications and take the job, or work your way into the playing squad, if not, shut up and respect the people who have the jobs you dream about. I'm hopeful that the person responsible for the tweet is a 5 week a year, six nations only fan, but unfortunately, their timeline suggests otherwise, which is the most disappointing thing!
Congratulations to England on back to back 6 nations titles, the muted celebrations post match show the professionalism Eddie Jones has bought to the table, the focus is already on to Dublin. The grand slam match will be a scorcher, Ireland will have a point to prove, and will not want to get turned over for the third time in the 6 nations. Scotland will play Italy hoping for a 5 point win and a real shot at a second place finish, and Wales and France will be looking for their own second place finishes. The only side with nothing to gain from a win (other than pride) is Italy, who are consigned to yet another wooden spoon finish.
The shine and the predicted Grand slam shootout has been taken from Super Saturday, but there is still plenty to play for.....