Iain Morrison: Surprise triumphs over Auld Enemy show that age-grade national teams have made real progress
IF Andy Robinson thinks he has a problem with the paucity of players to choose from, he should try coaching one of the national age-grade teams who are selected from what is more a puddle than a pool of talent.
It's a little like the old joke, "I went to a fight and a game of ice hockey broke out". The rugby journalists were summoned by Gordon McKie to a press briefing and a mugging took place. For perhaps the first time the SRU chief executive found himself on the ropes after receiving the verbal equivalent of a doorway kicking from the members of the press.
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Stand-off one of few positives in dismal run
Iain Morrison says the collapse of Scotland's defence is undermining the progress made by Andy Robinson's side
• Max Evans may not be the only Scottish player to brush up on his French vocab over the summer because the talk in Dublin is that Nathan Hines is on his travels once more.
Dan Parks' game doesn't fit in with Andy Robinson's style of rugby but can the coach afford change at such a crucial position, asks Iain Morrison
IT'S that time of year when the detox diet is thrown out of the window and fans gorge themselves on a feast of rugby with the Six Nations just five days away. On Friday evening Wales will host England in the Millennium Stadium to kickstart the 2011 tournament.
Scottish Rugby press conferences are usually fairly sedate affairs where a handful of written-word journalists lob a few dollies at Andy Robinson on the other side of the net and he usually pats them back without much to do. Last Wednesday was a little different.
LAST year has barely had time to settle back into its armchair and put its feet up for a well-deserved rest when the shadow of the looming Six Nations Championship falls over Scottish rugby.
I can't remember much about my playing days, the reel seems to be mostly black and white, but I do recall one incident at London Scottish when our fly-half complained that the opposition seven had caught him several times high and late.
The good news is that Glasgow's players and management arrived safe and sound at their city centre hotel in Toulouse around 1am yesterday, albeit a mere nine hours later than scheduled.
Fans of Scotland's two pro teams are beginning to know what Napoleon felt like on the long retreat from Moscow, as yet another European campaign ends in humiliating retreat in a snow-bound landscape before Christmas is properly upon us.
The abiding memory of the recent autumn internationals was not the excellence of the All Blacks or England's inconsistency, the courage of the Scottish forwards in matching the South Africans or the lamentable performance of some referees. The stand-out feature of the recent spate of Tests in Britain and Ireland was in the stands - great swathes of empty seats in every direction.
In one of his more lucid insights into the human condition Homer Simpson once declared: "Beer, the cause of, and the solution to, all of life's problems".
Rugby writer Iain Morrison was online today to discuss Scotland's defeat to the All Blacks and their chances against South Africa in the second Autumn Test.
RUGBY writer Iain Morrison held a webchat to discuss Scotland's chances against the All Blacks in Saturday's opening Autumn Test.
A few weeks ago Andy Robinson suggested that any team that did their due diligence on the All Blacks probably wouldn't bother turning up for the actual game but after watching the video of yesterday's match at Twickenham the Scotland squad will probably be walking a little taller today.
Their natural habitat is always in the limelight but this weekend's action saw fly-halves the world over command centre stage as never before.
Some say that these are the finest All Blacks of all time. They play Scotland next month
Glasgow coach Sean Lineen was understandably a happy man in the wake of his side's gutsy win in the Heineken Cup, but his Scotland counterpart, Andy Robinson, will have been left with decidedly mixed feelings after this match.