{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"sport","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/new-zealand-s-big-boys-rocked-by-our-little-gems-1-4617298","id":"1.4617298","articleHeadline": "New Zealand’s big boys rocked by our little gems","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511044028000 ,"articleLead": "

It lasted half a second, which was probably all the time new All Blacks wing sensation Waisake Naholo needed to tie his boots, the ones with the tiny rocket-boosters on the sides.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617297.1511044024!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": ".Huw Jones of Scotland scores Scotlands second try despite the attentions of TJ Perenara of New Zealand. Picture: Neil Hanna"} ,"articleBody": "

We’re talking about the feeling of pride at New Zealand naming their strongest team for Murrayfield, and how long before it was replaced by apprehension – and how long after that came the sweat-soaked panic.

Of course there was respect from the champs beforehand. The back-to-back global kingpins spoke warmly about the stadium, the people and the “lovely wee gem” of a rugby team that Scotland were becoming. And the most respectful thing coach Steven Hansen did was select Beauden Barrett and Sonny Bill Williams and Kieran Read and the rest of these monsters of the game.

Look, there’s Barrett, a throwback to flair-packed fly-halves of old. Just as well his goalkicking can sometimes be mortal otherwise we’d be saying: “Who was Dan Carter, anyway?”

There’s Williams, the steaming hulk of the midfield, who gave his World Cup medal to a 14-year-old fan for “taking the risk” of running on the park to greet him, but tends to be much less welcoming to opposing centres daring to approach.

And there’s Kieran Read, the captain, who officially became an All Black at this ground, and who, 108 caps later, was surely going to have few problems against a man making his first start, albeit one with a racy name. Cornell Du Preez sounded like he could be a suave and mysterious ladies man from a Barbara Cartland novel or an Emmanuelle film and, tough jobs these may be, they seemed infinitely preferable to what seemed like an impossible task: doing what no other Dark Blue XV had ever done in 112 years and beat the All Blacks. And in only the fourth minute the Preez could have been his. Stuart Hogg made a scorching break and fed the No.8. But in his excitement he fumbled the ball.

There had been a rousing start to proceedings with fireworks, an attempt to unnerve the famous visitors with a cheesy lounge piano backing track for their anthem, lusty cries of “Scotland, Scotland” during the haka – and emotional cheers for Doddie Weir whose battle with motor neurone disease has touched the nation. The Scotland legend delivered the match ball, accompanied by his three strapping sons. He’d recorded a message. “History can be made,” said Doddie. The Scots took the ball and in the opening exchanges used it well, Finn Russell shooting them into the lead with a penalty.

It was an advantage that for all but two minutes of the first half they comfortably held, could have extended, should have done, but the play was bold and urgent, with Hogg irresistible and the crowd roared loudly for Naholo to be sin-binned for blocking the full-back as he flew through the air.

It would be wrong to say big reputations were crumbling but the All Blacks were in a game, all right. The pace demanded by coach Gregor Townsend meant some passes were dropped but the lovely wee gem was definitely twinkling. By New Zealand’s imperious standards, 2017 had produced the occasional moment of looseness. The home captain John Barclay, though, had insisted it was “comical” to suggest they were weaker than in previous seasons of absolute tyranny and two quick tries seemed to prove him right, the first from a hooker acting as a winger and the second from a full-back who looked to have been fast-tracked from the Under-12s.

Scotland weren’t done. Jonny Gray’s try came after the kind of sustained pressure that, after an hour’s hard grind, used to be beyond them – but it was answered by an absolute peach from Barrett. Still, Scotland weren’t done and Huw Jones romped for five more points which, with a nerveless Russell conversion, brought Scotland to the brink of Doddie’s history.

They couldn’t, could they? New Zealand’s defence had been sensational, if occasionally illegal. Rather than flamboyant ball skills it’s sometimes what makes them the best but normally the rock-like rearguard is required in those southern hemisphere slug-fests and hardly ever at a stadium where they like to cruise to victory.

These superstars needed to hear the final whistle. No-one was talking about them “whacking” Scotland by 60 points anymore, as Zinzan Brooke had done beforehand. Scotland were vibrant and brave and endlessly inventive. Just one more converted try would do it. The clock went into overtime and man-of-the-match Hogg, who’d already delivered something approaching a career-best performance, spied a gap which really wasn’t there.

The entire stadium was on its feet, the people trying to roar him home. Barrett was just able to push him into touch and no more. It was every bit as vital as the earlier try with which he had ultimately won the game.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "AIDAN SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617297.1511044024!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617297.1511044024!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": ".Huw Jones of Scotland scores Scotlands second try despite the attentions of TJ Perenara of New Zealand. Picture: Neil Hanna","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": ".Huw Jones of Scotland scores Scotlands second try despite the attentions of TJ Perenara of New Zealand. Picture: Neil Hanna","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617297.1511044024!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/hearts-given-tynecastle-park-go-ahead-to-face-partick-thistle-1-4617283","id":"1.4617283","articleHeadline": "Hearts given Tynecastle Park go-ahead to face Partick Thistle","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511040369000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts will run out at Tynecastle Park in front of the new Main Stand for the first time on Sunday after being given the go-ahead to play Partick Thistle subject to a final 8am safety check.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617281.1511040789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: SNS/Rob Casey"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Partick Thistle ‘deeply frustrated’ with Tynecastle uncertainty

The new stand faced a strenuous inspection on Saturday with permission to proceed only rubber-stamped late on Saturday evening by City of Edinburgh Council safety officers who granted the safety certificate.

The noon inspection flagged up work that was required to be carried out before the go-ahead could be confirmed. That arrived after 9pm.

The club’s statement said: “The club is delighted to announce that we have our temporary occupation certificate for the new stand.

“Subject to a final safety check at 8am, the game will kick off at 3pm tomorrow afternoon.

“We thank you all for your patience.”

Hearts were originally meant to open the Main Stand, built at a cost of around £14 million, in September when they welcomed Aberdeen to the capital. That date was revised to 5 November for the clash with Kilmarnock.

However, both fixtures were moved to BT Murrayfield where Hearts have played four times, winning one, drawing one and losing twice.

• READ MORE: Why Arnaud Djoum’s return should be a huge boost for Hearts

The renovation has been beset with issues, namely the debacle surrounding the ordering of the seats. Yet, the club were desperate to get the game on, with work being carried out frantically around the clock.

Once fully completed the stand will include state-of-the-art dressing rooms, media facilities, hospitality suites, a Skyline restaurant and a piazza area outside. That not due for completion until summer 2018, when it is expected to be fully operational on every level.

• READ MORE: Craig Levein eager to make room for Niall McGinn

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joel Sked"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617281.1511040789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617281.1511040789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Picture: SNS/Rob Casey","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: SNS/Rob Casey","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617281.1511040789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5645993052001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/tennis/delgado-the-man-for-murray-again-1-4617266","id":"1.4617266","articleHeadline": "Delgado the man for Murray again","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511035404000 ,"articleLead": "

That Andy Murray should choose to part company with Ivan Lendl came as no great surprise but that he should choose to announce his decision late on a Friday night when no-one was looking was a cause of consternation even if only for the national media.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617265.1511035399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ivan Lendls response to Andy Murrays back surgery was believed to be less than sympathetic. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Conspiracy theorists may conclude that if Lendl is walking away for the second time in five years, the stone-faced coach does not believe that Murray will be able to compete for the major titles again. Lendl is not one to hang around.

The first time the two worked together, between 2012 and 2014, their relationship was going swimmingly until Murray won his first Wimbledon and then lost his way – suddenly the motivation was not at quite the same level as before. A couple of months later, Murray had surgery to repair a longstanding back problem. That ended his season in early September and he knew that it would take months to get back to full fitness once he came back to the tour.

Those in the know reported that Lendl’s response to this was not a sympathetic offer of help and support but, rather, a request to let Lendl know when Murray would be able to work again. By the following March, Lendl announced that he was leaving and, at the time, Murray was distraught.

Lendl came back to the fold at the start of the grass court season last summer. He oversaw Murray’s second Wimbledon victory and second Olympic gold and was back in parade for Murray’s first ATP World Tour Finals success. That secured the end-of-year No.1 ranking but, having achieved that goal, Murray’s motivation wavered again.

Then came the succession of illnesses and injuries culminating in the hip problem that was aggravated in the semi-finals of the French Open. During that time, Lendl had only worked with his charge in Australia in January and again at the French Open and on to the grass court season. By the end of that, Murray was seriously hobbled.

Rehab and recovery from the hip issue is still work in progress and while Murray is going to Miami for his traditional off-season training block with the intention of playing in Brisbane and then the Australian Open in January, he has made it clear that he will not play until he is fully fit again.

As a result, Lendl’s departure did not register highly on the Richter Scale of breaking news.

But what now for the Scot? He has in place his regular team including Jamie Delgado who, presumably, now steps into Lendl’s shoes as coach-in-chief. It was Delgado who marched every step of the way around the circuit last year as Murray won nine titles and climbed to the top of the rankings and it is to Delgado that Murray turns whenever he needs anything (Delgado lives only a few miles from Murray’s Surrey mansion).

The first goal will be to get Murray fit and back on court again. From there, the team can assess the state of the Scot’s stamina, strength and form and make plans accordingly.

Then, perhaps, will be the time for Murray to find a new coach – or maybe not. Delgado was his support, adviser and help last year and it worked all right. Maybe at the age of 30, Murray will stick with what he knows and see where it takes him.

As the Scot contemplated his next move, David Goffin did the unthinkable and beat Roger Federer 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the ATP World Tour Finals singles final. After six defeats on the bounce to the mighty Swiss, Goffin had hoped that he could do something a little different yesterday. But what exactly did he do to secure that first win?

“He played better,” Federer said, taking his defeat well. “That was a good plan.”

For a set, Goffin was nervous and tentative but then he started to lean into his returns, Federer’s level dipped and the quiet Belgian was on his way to victory. When it was over, he looked gobsmacked while Federer, smiling like a proud big brother (he is fond of Goffin) was just looking forward to some time off at the end of a stellar season.

“It’s kind of disappointing to finish on this note,” Federer said, “but whatever happened today is less important than if I look at the entire season. With that season, I’m extremely happy.

“I’m just looking forward to some time off now, away from the match court, away from the pressure, then hopefully play well in Australia. I had the best time of my life there this year, so can’t wait to go back there.”

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares felt pretty much the same way – yesterday’s result was going to take a while to forget but overall, the season had not been too bad, particularly for Murray who collected two mixed doubles grand slam titles over the summer. As for yesterday, they lost in the semi-final at the O2 to Henri Kontinen and John Peers, the defending champions, 7-6, 6-2.

They stood toe-to-toe with Kontinen and Peers for the best part of a set, digging themselves out of trouble as they faced three set points on Soares’s serve, but they could not hold the champions back in the tiebreak. And once Kontinen and Peers took the lead, they never looked back.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALIX RAMSAY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617265.1511035399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617265.1511035399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ivan Lendls response to Andy Murrays back surgery was believed to be less than sympathetic. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ivan Lendls response to Andy Murrays back surgery was believed to be less than sympathetic. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617265.1511035399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/scotland/scotland-17-22-new-zealand-how-the-scotland-players-rated-1-4617264","id":"1.4617264","articleHeadline": "Scotland 17 - 22 New Zealand: How the Scotland players rated","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511035393000 ,"articleLead": "

How the Scotland players rated out of ten in their valiant defeat to New Zealand.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617263.1511035385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotland's Stuart McInally with the ball during the Autumn International. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Scotland 17 - 22 New Zealand: Scots impress but Kiwi class tells

Stuart Hogg - 9

At the heart of everything Scotland did well and epitomises the current side. Deservedly named man of the match and could have snatched a famous win with a brilliant last-ditch run.

Tommy Seymour - 6

Made a host of handling errors and was penalised more than once at the breakdown. Did not get involved enough in attack but provided one decent break.

Huw Jones - 7

A big knock-on just five metres out with Scotland on top proved a blow in the first half. Missed a couple of tackles but took his try brilliantly to bring Scotland back into the match.

Alex Dunbar - 6

A couple of big carries in the first half before forced off early after the break.

Lee Jones - 6

Lively in attack without really threatening to do anything special.

Finn Russell - 8

Missed several tackles but his kicking and distribution was impressive throughout. A big improvement on last week and proved he can cut it at the very top.

Ali Price - 7

Some clever kicking early on helped set the tempo but was guilty of a big missed tackle in the lead-up to New Zealand’s opening try.

Darryl Marfo - 7

Powerful once more in the loose and had his moments in the scrum. Looks a find at this level.

• READ MORE: Murrayfield hails Doddie Weir ahead of All Blacks Test match

Stuart McInally - 8

Faultless once more at the lineout and carried well. Made more tackles than anyone in blue and even moved into the back row following injury to Luke Hamilton.

Zander Fagerson - 6

Part of a Scottish scrum that had its moments but was on the back foot more often than not until he was forced off the pitch towards the end of the first half through injury.

Ben Toolis - 6

A quiet afternoon and could do with adding a bit more physicality in the loose.

Jonny Gray - 8

A powerful performance from someone who is getting better and better. Made a lot of carries and scored an important try, and was not shy in the tackle count either.

• READ MORE: Interview: Roy Laidlaw on his Scotland career and rugby family

John Barclay - 8

A real captain’s effort. Led from the front and helped disrupt the All Blacks’ attack. Harshly penalised early on but that did not distract from a fine performance.

Hamish Watson - 7

Was strong at the breakdown and all over the park. His departure in the 27th minute with a back injury coincided with the All Blacks coming back into the game.

Cornell du Preez - 6

A fairly quiet afternoon on his first start for Scotland. Knocked on early in the game and there were few notable moments.

Replacements - 7

Impact was restricted by a number of injuries early on. Luke Hamilton’s debut ended in a cruel injury after some encouraging moments, while Pete Horne added good impetus in place of Dunbar.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Angus Wright"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617263.1511035385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617263.1511035385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scotland's Stuart McInally with the ball during the Autumn International. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotland's Stuart McInally with the ball during the Autumn International. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617263.1511035385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/psg-provide-celtic-with-another-warning-1-4617238","id":"1.4617238","articleHeadline": "PSG provide Celtic with another warning","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511033114000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinson Cavani maintained his prolific goalscoring form as Paris Saint-Germain warmed up for the visit of Celtic with an impressive 4-1 home win over Nantes to extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617237.1511033108!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinson Cavani scored twice. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Cavani, pictured, broke the deadlock late in the first half and struck again in the second, either side of efforts from Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore as PSG moved six points clear of closest rivals Monaco.

Prejuce Nakoulma replied for Nantes on the hour mark, but there appears to be no stopping Unai Emery’s side as they stretched their unbeaten league start to 13 matches.

Celtic visit the Parc des Princes on Wednesday on Champions League duty and it is a daunting proposition for Brendan Rodgers’ side who lost 5-0 at home to PSG earlier in the season.

Uruguay international Cavani has scored 19 goals in 16 appearances in all competitions for PSG this season.

He opened the scoring seven minutes before the interval against Nantes, finishing low into the bottom corner from inside the penalty area after being set up by Pastore.

Di Maria netted a brilliant second goal for PSG four minutes later when he struck from an unlikely angle outside the area following a corner.

The Argentinian was denied a second by Ciprian Tatarusanu’s fine save early in the second half before Nakoulma’s close-range finish reduced the deficit for Nantes.

PSG regained their two-goal advantage five minutes later when Pastore rifled a shot into the top corner from the right edge of the area.

Further pressure from the home side was rewarded in the 79th minute when Cavani grabbed his second, applying another emphatic finish from inside the area to wrap up another comfortable win.

Cavani went close to his hat-trick when forcing Tatarusanu into another excellent save three minutes later and Neymar was inches away from adding a fifth goal with an angled shot from the edge of the area.

PSG looked capable of scoring with every attack. Cavani saw another effort well saved by Tatarusanu and substitute Giovani Lo Celso’s shot flew inches wide in the closing stages.

Although a fifth goal eluded them, PSG have scored 17 goals and conceded just one in their last four matches.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JEROME BERTILLON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617237.1511033108!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617237.1511033108!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Edinson Cavani scored twice. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinson Cavani scored twice. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617237.1511033108!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/scottish-cup/scottish-cup-round-up-highland-league-sides-impress-1-4617236","id":"1.4617236","articleHeadline": "Scottish Cup round-up: Highland League sides impress","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511033035000 ,"articleLead": "

Cove Rangers led a Highland League assault on the third round of the Scottish Cup with two goals in the final five minutes to knock Airdrieonians out of the competition in Lanarkshire.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617235.1511033027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie Dishington scores for Spartans in defeat to Fraserburgh. Picture: Alistair Linford"} ,"articleBody": "

Harry Milne scored twice, including a last-minute header, to stun the home fans after they had led through Jordan McGregor and Jake Hastie. Scott Ross equalised before Milne’s winner.

Steven Mackay scored three minutes into injury time to give Brora Rangers a 1-0 win over Stranraer at Stair Park and an early strike by Jonathan Crawford was enough for Formartine to see off Forfar Athletic. A Paul Campbell penalty and Brian Hay’s late clincher sealed Fraserburgh’s 2-1 victory over Spartans who had led through Jamie Dishington.

Dunfermline Athletic came through 4-1 at Queen’s Park. David Galt almost gave the Glasgow side the lead shortly before half-time when his shot clipped the inside of the post with Sean Murdoch scrambling.

Nicky Clark should have put Dunfermline in front when he had a free header just before the break, but he made amends three minutes into the second half when he headed home a Joe Cardle cross and Jason Talbot added the second with a strike from distance.

Queen’s pulled a goal back when Galt scored with the aid of a huge deflection but Andy Ryan and Declan McManus both netted for the Fife side.

Livingston beat Glenafton Athletic 2-0 at Almondvale. Glenafton started strongly but fell behind when they failed to defend a Josh Mullin corner and Dylan Mackin took his chance from close range. Mackin headed a second goal early in the second half.

Montrose held Queen of the South 0-0 and Peterhead stunned Raith Rovers 3-0 with Rory McAllister netting twice in the second half.

Ayr United produced a strong second-half show to see off Banks o’Dee 6-2 with Lawrence Shankland, Declan McDaid and Craig Moore all scoring twice.

Stuart Carswell put Dumbarton through 1-0 against Elgin when his free-kick took a deflection and ended up in the back of the net.

Alloa Athletic came from behind to beat Stenhousemuir 2-1. The home side took a surprise lead when Alloa failed to deal with a cross from Eddie Ferns and Nicky Paterson lashed the ball home.

Craig Malcolm was unfortunate not to equalise moments later when his header came back off the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten but he equalised just after the break and then scored the winner.

Brechin City edged Buckie Thistle 3-2, Isaac Layne scoring twice after John McLeod had given the Highlands side an early lead.

Goals by Kevin Smith and Jonathan Page gave East Fife a 2-0 win at Clyde and Albion Rovers survived a late fightback to beat East Kilbride 4-3. Ross McNeil headed East Kilbride in front after six minutes from Adam Strachan’s cross but Craig Howie put through his own goal to level the tie after 23 minutes. Gary Fisher put Albion in front at the start of the second half and Joao Pereira added the third and Alan Trouten the fourth. Arbroath eased to a 3-0 win over Berwick Rangers.

Cowdenbeath came from behind to draw 1-1 with Annan Athletic at Central Park in the only League Two match played yesterday. Annan dominated the first half but David McGurn made a string of saves to keep them at bay. The goalkeeper made an excellent stop to deny Ryan Sinnamon but he was finally beaten with three minutes of the half remaining when Aidan Smith netted his tenth of the season.

Kyle Miller equalised with a 30-yard strike midway through the second half to give Gary Bollan a point in his first game as manager.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617235.1511033027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617235.1511033027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jamie Dishington scores for Spartans in defeat to Fraserburgh. Picture: Alistair Linford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie Dishington scores for Spartans in defeat to Fraserburgh. Picture: Alistair Linford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617235.1511033027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/scotland/scotland-17-22-new-zealand-scots-impress-but-kiwi-class-tells-1-4617229","id":"1.4617229","articleHeadline": "Scotland 17 - 22 New Zealand: Scots impress but Kiwi class tells","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511032465000 ,"articleLead": "

A moment of New Zealand magic denied Scotland a famous victory in a pulsating contest at BT Murrayfield.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617228.1511033783!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotland's Jonny Gray scores a try. Picture: SNS/SRU Bill Murray"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Murrayfield hails Doddie Weir ahead of All Blacks Test match

With the game firmly in the balance, Sonny Bill Williams broke through the midfield before offloading to Damian McKenzie, who fed Beauden Barret to maintain the All Blacks’ hold over Scotland with a 22-17 win.

Stuart Hogg made a brilliant dart for the line in the dying moments but was tackled metres short to close out a brilliant performance from Gregor Townsend’s side.

New Zealand have never lost to the Dark Blues, and that piece of history looked under threat after Jonny Gray’s try pulled the scores back to 15-10 at one point in the second half, but Barrett’s try put them out of sight despite Huw Jones giving the home crowd fresh hope.

There was a real buzz around the ground prior to kick-off as the teams lined up for their respective anthems, and the atmosphere inspired the hosts to a fine start.

Townsend emphasised the need to play with intent and aggression prior to the match, and his side started on the front foot and did not shy away from throwing the ball about.

Hogg made a couple of early breaks but it was the boot of Finn Russell that put the hosts into an early, and deserved, lead.

However, the All Blacks grew stronger as the half wore on, and went into the break level as John Barclay went in off his feet at the breakdown and gave Barrett the chance to kick a simple three points from the 22 as a hard-fought first half came to a close with the sides level.

For all their hard work in the first 40 minutes, Scotland were dealt a harsh blow at the start of the second half through some slack defence.

Ali Price let Rieko Ioane claim a high ball before a poor tackle allowed Codie Taylor to gallop free down the wing. The ball was recycled and several phases later made its way back out to Taylor, who was free on the wing to touch down.

Scotland were forced into a third substitution with Luke Hamilton suffering a nasty ankle injury on debut, and that disrupted any rhythm they had, and the All Blacks pounced as Williams kicked through for McKenzie to dive on over the line to open up a 12-point lead.

However, the hosts showed good character to hit back straight away, working their way up to the New Zealand try-line through a strong lineout, and Sam Crane was sent to the bin before Gray stretched over the line to breathe life back into the match.

With Scotland full of renewed hope, it took a moment of set-piece brilliance from New Zealand to effectively end the game as Barrett raced in to re-establish the 12-point gap.

Wyatt Crockett replaced Crane in the bin as Scotland again hit back heroically. They appeared to have missed their opportunity after building up pressure in the 22, but Jones raced in to make for an exciting finish.

Hogg made a last-gasp, brilliant burst for the line but knocked on metres out to end a pulsating second period.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Gunn"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617228.1511033783!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617228.1511033783!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scotland's Jonny Gray scores a try. Picture: SNS/SRU Bill Murray","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotland's Jonny Gray scores a try. Picture: SNS/SRU Bill Murray","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617228.1511033783!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/england-30-6-australia-aussies-sunk-by-late-onslaught-1-4617211","id":"1.4617211","articleHeadline": "England 30 - 6 Australia: Aussies sunk by late onslaught","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511030568000 ,"articleLead": "

England racked up a fifth successive victory over Australia after running amok in the closing stages at Twickenham to emerge 30-6 winners.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617210.1511030563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Danny Care scores Englands fourth try. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Seven days after Eddie Jones apologised for an expletive-laden outburst in the coaches’ box, it was Michael Cheika’s turn to rage for a series of decisions that went against the Wallabies.

Referee Ben O’Keeffe sent Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale to the sin-bin and disallowed tries by Hooper and Marika Koroibete for offside, infuriating Cheika who twice stalked down the stairs to protest to the officials.

England were the superior team and emerged comfortable winners, but they enjoyed the rub of green including in a key moment when Elliot Daly crossed in the 54th minute.

Repeated viewings by the TMO showed the ball that Daly grabbed possibly grazed the touchline, but there was no doubt over the late tries by Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May and Danny Care that buried the Wallabies.

Relentless rain affected handling and no more so than in one second-half passage of play when Australia could have crossed twice but for knock-ons before Daly eventually touched down.

Cheika’s claim that England target their half-backs proved incorrect and for spells the Wallabies were bullied as their coach had predicted, but this was to the hosts’ credit.

Australia fell apart in the closing stages and the result failed to reflect a contest that remained open until Joseph touched down.

Jones felt England answered their critics in perfect fashion after last weekend’s scrappy 21-8 win over Argentina. It was a much more accomplished display against the Wallabies.

“Seeing most of the commentary last week was about us going backwards at a rate of knots, not a bad win,” England coach Jones said.

The Australian added: “It was a tough old game, there wasn’t much in it. We got the bounce of the ball a few times, but we stuck at it.

“That was a great team effort.

“We always back ourselves to play out 80 minutes. At half-time we thought we were in a good position. They had a good 20 minutes after half-time, but we came back really well.

“Our finishers did a great job, our scrum was fantastic. A great team effort for us. I think we were deserved winners at the end.”

Australia’s Hooper, meanwhile, felt the scoreline was harsh on his side. “It got away from us at the end, we were right in that,” he said.

From the start England showed far greater ferocity than seven days earlier against Argentina and a penalty by Owen Farrell gave them an early advantage that, combined with strong runs by Chris Robshaw and Nathan Hughes, contributed to a strong start.

A full-blooded opening quarter continued with bone-jarring defence by both sides broken up by interludes of long-range kicking, and at one point Farrell could be heard calling an opponent – most likely Bernard Foley – a “little rat”.

Australia had a try by Hooper ruled out for offside and the fast pace continued with George Ford directing a cross-field bomb to Daly only for a leaping Beale to snatch the ball.

Hooper was shown a yellow card for collapsing the maul and repeated offsides amid a series of forward-led thrusts from the hosts that ended with a second Farrell penalty.

Cheika seethed in the stands as Beale followed Hooper into the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on and England were making headway by using their pack to bludgeon a route through the gold jerseys.

Reece Hodge landed a monster penalty to set Australia off the mark and they could have taken the lead but for spilled balls by Samu Kerevi and Tevita Kuridrani.

The second of those near the England 22 allowed Jones’ men to counter-attack and when Ben Youngs thumped the ball ahead, Daly was able to gather and touch down via a bounce that fell inside the touchline by only millimetres.

Foley booted a penalty and Australia had a try by the lightning-fast Marika Koroibete ruled out for offside against Stephen Moore.

The Wallabies could have drawn level if that score had been given, but instead Joseph, May and Care plundered late tries.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DUNCAN BECH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617210.1511030563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617210.1511030563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Danny Care scores Englands fourth try. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Danny Care scores Englands fourth try. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617210.1511030563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/bt-cup-edinburgh-accies-spring-a-surprise-1-4616952","id":"1.4616952","articleHeadline": "BT Cup: Edinburgh Accies spring a surprise","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511029709000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh Accies caused a shock in the BT Cup yesterday, the BT National League Division One leaders defeating top-flight side Heriot’s 29-24.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617115.1511029703!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Bouab of Heriot's grasps the ball during the match against Edinburgh Accies. Picture: Alistair Linford"} ,"articleBody": "

The hosts were 14-3 down early in the second half, but tries by Shaun Gunn and Connor Hirini and a conversion by Callum Ramm put them 15-14 up.

Neil Armstrong and Sam Johnson added further scores at Raeburn Place as they came through to win.

In the dying stages Heriot’s were knocking at the door for more than 30 phases, but Accies held firm.

Hawick got a confidence-boosting win in a troubled season, but Selkirk made them battle all the way before going through to the last eight.

Selkirk took a 7-0 lead at Mansfield Park thanks to a Callum MacEwan score before a Guy Graham try made it 7-7.

The two Borders sides were tied at 15-15 at the interval and they kept trading points before a Clinton Wagman try converted by Josh Welsh put Selkirk 29-26 up.

Given that Hawick have lost ten BT Premiership matches in recent months they could have gone into their shell, but 12 late points took the Greens through 38-29.

The key for Hawick head coach George Graham will now be to try to help his players take this form into the league when it resumes early next month.

Watsonians put in a cracking performance at Glasgow Hawks to progress.

When the Edinburgh side took on Finlay Gillies’ men earlier in the season in the league they lost out, but Steve Lawrie’s men took control of this tie in the first half.

They led 19-0 at the break and although the home side showed some spirit in the second half the visitors came out on top 34-19.

Stirling County were always in charge against Falkirk, leading 59-0 after 40 minutes and going on to win 108-0, Logan Bonar’s try being the one to bring up the century. Billy Dineen added the final try and the County coaching panel will have been delighted their second-string players put on a show and have given them some selection issues.

Gala went 3-0 up at Meggetland, but that was as good as it got for the Maroons as Boroughmuir came through to win 67-3. Greg Cannie was Muir’s chief attacker as the Edinburgh men went through.

Marr, Melrose and Ayr were already through to the quarter-finals.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617115.1511029703!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617115.1511029703!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Martin Bouab of Heriot's grasps the ball during the match against Edinburgh Accies. Picture: Alistair Linford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Bouab of Heriot's grasps the ball during the match against Edinburgh Accies. Picture: Alistair Linford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617115.1511029703!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/dundee-0-0-kilmarnock-dees-end-losing-streak-in-bore-draw-1-4617141","id":"1.4617141","articleHeadline": "Dundee 0 - 0 Kilmarnock: Dees end losing streak in bore draw","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511028684000 ,"articleLead": "

Ten-man Dundee stopped their losing streak as they held on for a goalless Ladbrokes Premiership draw with Kilmarnock.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617140.1511033718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kilmarnock's Rory McKenzie battles Dundee's Glen Kamara. Picture: SNS/Sammy Turner"} ,"articleBody": "

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke reckoned that a “fear of losing” from both sets of players contributed to a pretty drab affair at Dens Park.

Dundee supporters will have been glad to see their team’s five-game losing streak halted, especially after Darren O’Dea’s sending off for two quickfire bookings late on meant the Dees were hanging on at the end.

Kilmarnock fans, too, will have been happy enough with a point that continues their steady improvement under new manager Clarke. The Rugby Park outfit are now undefeated in their last four away trips. But, for both sets of fans, the contest is unlikely to live long in the memory.

“A lot of honest endeavour from both teams,” was Clarke’s assessment afterwards. “It looked like a game between two teams that haven’t had the best of starts to the season. Probably a little bit of a fear of losing for both sides. The first half was pretty much a non-event. The second half opened up a little bit.”

Kilmarnock kept the same side which had defeated Hearts in their last outing, while Dundee were boosted by having on-loan Celtic midfielder Scott Allan back on the bench following his recent groin operation.

It was a hesitant start by both sides until Dundee were presented with a chance in the 20th minute. Alan Power was caught in possession by Paul McGowan, who drove forward as the visiting defence backed off. McGowan looked like going it alone until he opted to cross for Marcus Haber but his delivery was poor and the chance was lost.

But it was that kind of game. Opportunities were few and far between and the half-time whistle was a blessing.

Dundee began the second half with more of a tempo, with Faisal El Bakhtaoui seeing his long-range shot blocked and former Killie man Mark O’Hara thwarted in his efforts to seize the rebound.

Allan was thrown on in the 77th minute but it was the visitors who created the next opportunity when substitute Eamonn Brophy found space inside the box, only for O’Dea to block his effort.

Kilmarnock substitute Lee Erwin then found himself clean through but could only shoot straight at home goalkeeper Elliot Parish, who stood his ground.

A minute later O’Dea was sent off after chopping down Rory McKenzie to leave his side hanging on. Gordon Greer almost won it in injury time when his header came crashing back off the bar.

Dundee remain bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership but manager Neil McCann was taking the positives at full-time. “First clean sheet of the season, which I am pleased about,” he said.

“I thought we completely dominated the first half, without really looking like we were going to penetrate too much. You can see how hard Kilmarnock have been working under Steve.

“I asked them in the second half to be a little bit more aggressive in our forward play. To my mind Kilmarnock just played to hit us on the counter attack. But I felt overall probably a point would be a fair reflection on the game.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Craig Forbes"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617140.1511033718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617140.1511033718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kilmarnock's Rory McKenzie battles Dundee's Glen Kamara. Picture: SNS/Sammy Turner","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kilmarnock's Rory McKenzie battles Dundee's Glen Kamara. Picture: SNS/Sammy Turner","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617140.1511033718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/st-mirren/lothian-thistle-hutchison-vale-1-7-st-mirren-stroll-for-buddies-1-4617139","id":"1.4617139","articleHeadline": "Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale 1 - 7 St Mirren: Stroll for Buddies","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511028673000 ,"articleLead": "

The romance of the cup eh? For poor old Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale this blast of harsh reality was akin to being unceremoniously dumped after a dream date. The East of Scotland League side were ruthlessly disposed of by St Mirren in an opening 45-minute salvo which saw them rack up seven goals, with four of them coming from the clinical finishing of Gavin Reilly. Mercifully the Paisley men took the foot off the gas after the break and there was the tiniest crumb of comfort for the hosts as they scored the only goal of the second half.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617138.1511029743!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "St Mirren's Gavin Reilly scores to make it 7-0. Picture: SNS/Bruce White"} ,"articleBody": "

Prior to this match some connected with St Mirren had expressed reservations at this tie being held at Thistle’s home at Saughton Enclosure, just up the road from Murrayfield and Tynecastle. With basic changing facilities and earth embankments for spectator viewings it is certainly a long way removed from the type of venue the Buddies encounter every week in the Championship. However, they didn’t take long to settle into their surroundings – the place also boasts an athletics track and during that first half demolition they quite simply ran amok.

Bizarrely, considering what was to come, the hosts should have been ahead with barely a minute on the clock with Grant Munro missing a great opening off a Louis Swanson corner. St Mirren simply brushed aside this scare however, taking the lead moments later as Lewis Morgan stroked the ball home from ten yards. From there on right up to the interval it was a procession, with Reilly getting the first of his quartet of goals after eight minutes and completing a whirlwind hat-trick
with just over half an hour gone. Jack Baird and Cammy Smith also joined in the demolition, the latter’s goal probably being the most painful of the afternoon for Thistle goalkeeper Kevin Swain as he hit a clearance straight to the St Mirren striker who then proceeded to beat him from all of 30 yards.

Going into this game the Edinburgh side’s record in competitive fixtures had been played 18, won 18 and that included winning through four rounds of the Scottish Cup just to get to this stage of the competition. An eye-opening
5-3 win over League Two Stirling Albion in the previous round showed they are no mugs, but after this game manager Raymond Carr conceded that his players had simply frozen on the big occasion.

“We had a horrendous first 20 minutes which killed the game,” he said. “The thing that we needed to do was get in at half-time, talk and calm them down – and they went out there and put in a much better performance in the second half.”

Sean Wringe drilled in an impressive strike just after the restart for Thistle and although a fightback in terms of a significant reduction in the deficit was never on the cards it set the tone for a much more composed and compact performance from the hosts that at least soothed some of the earlier pain.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Archie MacGregor"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617138.1511029743!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617138.1511029743!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "St Mirren's Gavin Reilly scores to make it 7-0. Picture: SNS/Bruce White","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "St Mirren's Gavin Reilly scores to make it 7-0. Picture: SNS/Bruce White","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617138.1511029743!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/scotland/murrayfield-hails-doddie-weir-ahead-of-all-blacks-test-match-1-4617123","id":"1.4617123","articleHeadline": "Murrayfield hails Doddie Weir ahead of All Blacks Test match","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511028129000 ,"articleLead": "

Murrayfield rose to acclaim Doddie Weir as the former international delivered the match ball ahead of Scotland’s match with New Zealand.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617122.1511028855!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A clearly emotional Doddie Weir, flanked by his three sons, Angus, Hamish and Ben, leaves the pitch having delivered the match ball before Scotland's game with New Zealand. Picture:\\n\\n Neil Hanna"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Doddie Weir interview: ‘I have MND, but I’m a lucky man’

Weir, accompanied by his three sons Angus, Hamish and Ben, received a rousing ovation from the sold-out crowd.

The popular ex-lock forward, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last December, shook hands with captains John Barclay and Kieran Read before presenting the ball to match referee Matthew Carley of England.

Weir, 47, acknowledged the crowd and was clearly touched by the reception as he walked off the pitch.

• READ MORE: Rugby legend Doddie Weir receives major sporting achievement award

Earlier this month a charitable foundation known as “My Names’5 Doddie Foundation” was launched to raise funds both to investigate the causes and potential cures for MND and make grants to individuals suffering from MND to enable them to live as fulfilled lives as possible.

The degenerative condition is currently incurable.

Donations can be made to the foundation by texting MNDD05£1 to 70070 or visiting http://www.myname5doddie.co.uk

• READ MORE: Leader comment: Our love for Doddie, a giant among us all

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "GRAHAM BEAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617122.1511028855!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617122.1511028855!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A clearly emotional Doddie Weir, flanked by his three sons, Angus, Hamish and Ben, leaves the pitch having delivered the match ball before Scotland's game with New Zealand. Picture:\\n\\n Neil Hanna","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A clearly emotional Doddie Weir, flanked by his three sons, Angus, Hamish and Ben, leaves the pitch having delivered the match ball before Scotland's game with New Zealand. Picture:\\n\\n Neil Hanna","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617122.1511028855!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/wales-13-6-georgia-rhys-priestland-to-the-rescue-1-4617110","id":"1.4617110","articleHeadline": "Wales 13 - 6 Georgia: Rhys Priestland to the rescue","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511027243000 ,"articleLead": "

Wales huffed and puffed their way to an unconvincing 13-6 victory over Six Nations wannabes Georgia after being pushed to the limit.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617109.1511027237!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Welsh fly-half Rhys Priestland is tackled by Georgia's centre Merab Sharikadze, right. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Head coach Warren Gatland made 14 changes to face the world’s 12th-ranked team, and it showed signs of backfiring spectacularly during a second half that Georgia dominated at the Principality Stadium.

Wales ultimately prevailed through wing Hallam Amos’ try, plus two penalties and a conversion by stand-off Rhys Priestland – who was easily the hosts’ best performer – despite finishing with 14 players after prop Tomas Francis was sin-binned.

It meant a contentious finale as uncontested scrums were ruled, so Georgia opted to keep possession alive before running out of time.

But it made uncomfortable watching for home supporters as Georgia threatened an upset that would have been Test rugby’s biggest since Japan beat South Africa in the 2015 World Cup.

Georgia’s powerful pack made its presence felt at scrum time, and two Soso Matiashvili penalties were perhaps scant reward as they looked to keep the pressure on Six Nations bosses in their attempt to join European international rugby’s elite.

Wales flanker Dan Lydiate admitted Wales had lived dangerously.

“It was a tale of two halves. In the second half there were a lot of errors, a lot of stoppages,” he said.

“We weren’t clinical enough in the second half.

“We’re happy with the win, but the nerves were going at the end.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDREW BALDOCK"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617109.1511027237!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617109.1511027237!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Welsh fly-half Rhys Priestland is tackled by Georgia's centre Merab Sharikadze, right. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Welsh fly-half Rhys Priestland is tackled by Georgia's centre Merab Sharikadze, right. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617109.1511027237!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/five-things-we-learned-from-ross-county-0-1-celtic-1-4617108","id":"1.4617108","articleHeadline": "Five things we learned from Ross County 0 - 1 Celtic","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511027120000 ,"articleLead": "

Joel Sked gives his take on Celtic’s latest victory as they narrowly defeated a spirited performance by Ross County.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617107.1511027415!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic's Scott Brown holds off Ross County's Davis Keillor-Dunn. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Ross County 0 - 1 Celtic: Griffiths wonder free-kick secures win

What’s the point?

Sometimes you have to ask yourself ‘why?’ and/or ‘what’s the point?’ because, sometimes, football is just rubbish. This afternoon was one of those times. Celtic’s win in Dingwall will not live long in the memory.

Surely there are better things we could be doing with our Saturday afternoon than suffering through that. There’s places to see, people to meet, food to eat, drink to...drink. The game wasn’t played at a particularly high tempo, there was little intensity and passes were wayward and creativity rare. But even the haplessness wasn’t entertaining. It was the perfect cure for insomnia.

Yet, the keyword is ‘suffering’. Sometimes, when it comes to football, you have to suffer. Otherwise what’s the point?

• READ MORE: Ross County 0 - 1 Celtic: How the players rated

That’s the point!

You suffer. Suffer. Suffer some more. And then it happens. The moment that wakens you from your slumber. The moment which stops you questioning your life decisions up until now. Well, halts it for the time being.

Leigh Griffiths stood over a dead ball more than 25 yards from goal, takes a few steps back then curls it up, up over the wall where the ball goes up some more before dropping into the top corner.

It was a fantastic free-kick. There wasn’t much pace on it but there was curl, trajectory, accuracy. Artistry. Taking the occasion out of the equation the goal was better than those netted against England.

What it did was epitomise the gap Celtic have opened over everyone else. It was one of the worst performances under Rodgers but off the bench Celtic have an abundance of options and sheer quality.

Griffiths also offered better delivery from corner kicks, silencing the nonsensical argument that the striker should be in the box for corners. Why, if he is the best deliverer of the ball?

• READ MORE: Celtic defender Kieran Tierney thrilled to meet Jake Bugg

What’s up, Scott Sinclair?

Is it time for Scott Sinclair to be dropped? People may read that and head straight to the comment sections, which is understandable considering he is arguably the best player in the league and is on 11 goals for the season.

However, once again he was below par on the left side of midfield, controlled throughout by Jason Naismith. Teams have become wise to Celtic’s biggest threat, namely the bond which Kieran Tierney and Sinclair possess. When the duo link effectively it is frightening.

It says a lot about how threatening he is. Teams man mark and double up on Sinclair, fearful of what he can do. But he has netted only once in the last 500 minutes or so of league action, while when Celtic have needed a big performance against the big teams in Europe he has not quite stepped up to the mark.

A break from first team action, giving teams other players to think about, while allowing Sinclair to reset . Or it may be a case for Rodgers to rejig the attacking line-up, giving Sinclair a new role which may ask different questions of both the player and the opposition.

• READ MORE: Rumour Mill: | Frank de Boer ‘hasn’t ruled out’ Rangers | Everton considered Dembele bid | Rangers ‘embarrassed’ by win record

Davis Keillor-Dunn good

There would be no surprise if Brendan Rodgers looked on and was most excited about Ross County’s number 40. The precocious talent of Davis Keillor-Dunn was one of the positives from the afternoon. His performance on the left hand side of midfield was excellent.

The 20-year-old was diligent, intelligent and exciting. He was positive and composed in possession and industrious out of it. He had a couple of shots which went close but most impressively was when he took possession in tight spaces. There was no fear or panic, he simply protected the ball and shifted it on nonchalantly.

He seems the kind of talent that Rodgers would enjoy working with, moulding in to an attacking force. Yet, fortunately for Owen Coyle he is County’s and a player they should be looking to build around and support before selling on for a tidy price, more than the club received for Jackson Irvine or Liam Boyce.

• READ MORE: Which Scottish club would most likely sign Niall McGinn?

Defensive masterclass

Okay, Ross County lost. But defensively they were excellent. To a man the whole team put in an excellent shift. They started positively pressing Celtic high up the pitch but their best work came in crowding out attacks through the middle, while Jason Naismith put in a fine individual performance.

How well County defended is emphasised with a telling statistic: Celtic did not have a single shot in the first half. When Celtic did get down the sides the positioning of defenders was excellent to thwart any cut backs.

As ever against Celtic, luck is required and they got that when Christopher Routis felled Callum McGregor in the area, while Rodgers felt the grass was too long and the ground bobbly, effecting his team’s fluency and speed of their game.

However, the main reason for Celtic’s ‘struggles’ was County and how they made it difficult for the champions in waiting with a wonder strike needed to separate the sides.

• READ MORE: Season ticket prices rise in three of four Scottish football divisions

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joel Sked"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617107.1511027415!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617107.1511027415!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Celtic's Scott Brown holds off Ross County's Davis Keillor-Dunn. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic's Scott Brown holds off Ross County's Davis Keillor-Dunn. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617107.1511027415!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/cricket/australian-club-cricketers-defy-england-s-attack-1-4617083","id":"1.4617083","articleHeadline": "Australian club cricketers defy England’s attack","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511026507000 ,"articleLead": "

England’s bowlers managed to take only one wicket on the last day as their final practice match before the opening Ashes Test finished in a draw.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617082.1511026500!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stuart Broad finished with 0-40 in Townsville. Picture: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The four-day game against a Cricket Australia XI team ended with the home team cruising along on 364-4 in their second innings after England’s bowlers had struggled to make any inroads on a flat pitch.

England, who made a huge total of 515 in their first innings, started the final day eyeing the possibility of a win, with the home team trailing by 144 with just seven wickets in hand. But teenager Jason Sangha scored 133 and Matt Short made 134 not out in a 263-run partnership for the home side to end any chance of a result.

Sangha and Short are both club players who have played just seven first-class matches between them but were able to defy an England attack which included test bowlers Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali.

Sangha, 18, became the second-youngest player to score a first-class century against England. The youngest was India’s Sachin Tendulkar, who was just 17 when he achieved the feat 27 years ago. Sangha was the only man out on the final day, facing 226 balls and hitting 13 fours and a six before falling with the total on 350.

Short, the Cricket Australia XI captain, was still unbeaten when stumps were drawn early with no prospect of a result.

For England, Broad finished with 0-40 from 14 overs and Woakes 0-50 from 11. Craig Overton took 0-65 from 15 overs, doing little to press his claims for a Test call-up amid concerns about the fitness of Jake Ball, who missed the match after injuring his ankle in England’s previous practice game.

Ali returned from a side strain to take 2-88 while Mason Crane took 2-97.

The first Ashes Test against Australia starts at the Gabba in Brisbane on Thursday.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617082.1511026500!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617082.1511026500!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stuart Broad finished with 0-40 in Townsville. Picture: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stuart Broad finished with 0-40 in Townsville. Picture: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617082.1511026500!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/hibs-1-2-st-johnstone-saints-win-in-dramatic-fashion-1-4617069","id":"1.4617069","articleHeadline": "Hibs 1 - 2 St Johnstone: Saints win in dramatic fashion","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511026221000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon refrained from berating his players with a trademark broadside, but was left lamenting a flat performance in yesterday’s defeat by St Johnstone.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617068.1511036226!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibernian's John McGinn squares up to St Johnstone superstar Steven Maclean. Picture: SNS/Roddy Scott"} ,"articleBody": "

The home side had been on course to secure at least a share of the spoils when Anthony Stokes levelled with a stoppage-time penalty.

Murray Davidson had scored Saints’ first goal in 620 minutes of action with a 74th minute opener and experienced marksman Steven MacLean netted with the last kick of the game to earn the visitors their first win in seven matches.

“I’m not going to be over-critical of the players,” said Lennon, who drew comfort from the fact that Aberdeen and Rangers – who sandwich Hibs in third place in the Premiership – were also beaten. “I’ll get over it.

“There was a flatness about us and I can understand it. It’s been a fragmented couple of weeks with players being away and players being out injured, some needing a rest.

“A point would have kept a decent run going. I just wanted us to get the point and you can come away saying, ‘well we haven’t played well but we got a point and showed a bit of character’.

“To lose it in those circumstances – it’s crazy.”

Hibs enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first half but failed to make it count during a forgettable 45 minutes of football.

The best chance before the break actually fell to Saints when goalkeeper Ofir Marciano pushed Liam Craig’s 12-yard drive on to the bar.

The McDiarmid Park outfit began the second period with a fresh reminder that they were not in town just to make up the numbers. Steven Anderson had a close-range volley cleared off the line by John McGinn.

A flowing counter-attacking move by the visitors in the 63rd minute then gave Michael O’Halloran a sight of goal but Marciano tipped the forward’s fericious drive over the bar.

However, St Johnstone found an opening through Davidson. Craig’s delivery to the back post was headed back across by Graham Cummings and the midfielder nodded past the Israeli international shot-stopper from close range.

There was plenty of drama to come. Hibs scored a controversial equaliser after Joe Shaughnessy was adjudged to have handled Martin Boyle’s shot. Stokes scored and the visitors were guilty of time wasting as Hibs tried desperately to restart the match.

Ironically, it was Saints who netted the winner with the last kick, through MacLean.

Marciano could not hold Craig’s 12-yard drive and the experienced marksman tapped the ball into the net at the back post.

Saints manager Tommy Wright said: “When you go on the run we’ve been on some people start to doubt you. But I would never doubt these players. You can never write us off.

“When you score a 93rd-minute winner after conceding a penalty in the 90th minute it’s very satisfying. The range of emotions in those three minutes was incredible.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Darren Johnstone"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617068.1511036226!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617068.1511036226!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibernian's John McGinn squares up to St Johnstone superstar Steven Maclean. Picture: SNS/Roddy Scott","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibernian's John McGinn squares up to St Johnstone superstar Steven Maclean. Picture: SNS/Roddy Scott","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617068.1511036226!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/rangers-0-2-hamilton-gers-waste-chances-as-accies-thrill-1-4617049","id":"1.4617049","articleHeadline": "Rangers 0 - 2 Hamilton: Gers waste chances as Accies thrill","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511025705000 ,"articleLead": "

The softness at the core of Rangers remains even in the wake of Pedro Caixinha’s departure. For the ninth time in the last 11 months the Ibrox side went into a match looking for a third consecutive victory and once again they failed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617048.1511033095!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rangers' Alfredo Morelos downbeat after missing a chance. Picture: SNS/Rob Casey"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Video: Fernando Ricksen gets standing ovation from Rangers fans

The script was exactly the same, it just so happened to have a different director. Graeme Murty watched as his team created chance after chance in the opening half and yet contrived to eventually shoot themselves in the foot within minutes of the restart.

Average, even good, Scottish Premiership teams cannot afford to pass up opportunities and expect to win the game. Even though Rangers sides of the past would occasionally indulge in profligacy, you always had the feeling a goal was inevitable. But this is the Rangers team of today. A run-of-the-mill top-flight outfit.

Even the home support could sense it. Though their side were dominating in the opening period there were murmurs of discontent even before the half-time whistle, which was greeted with a short burst of boos. They had seen this movie before. The 3-2 defeat by Hibs, the League Cup semi-final loss to Motherwell, the bampottery of the final minutes of Caixinha’s last match in charge against Kilmarnock, all games which Rangers seemed to have in their hands but let slip. And now this.

Twenty-five minutes of near domination and yet it was the visitors leaving Ibrox with their first victory there since a 1987 Scottish Cup triumph. Better yet, it was Accies’ first league victory at the famous ground since 1926. From the moment Ross McCrorie’s attempted back pass fell woefully short on 47 minutes, allowing David Templeton to run through and open the scoring, you just knew there was only one team who would win the game.

“Candidly, I can’t believe we never got a goal. If we got a goal I think you would have seen a different mentality and different quality to our play,” said Murty. “Getting the knock so early in the second half, we got too frustrated, too frantic to get back into the game.”

The hosts could have been ahead as early as the second minute when Josh Windass blasted Alfredo Morelos’ cut-back high over the bar. Morelos then had a flick saved by Gary Woods at the front post before Morelos and Kenny Miller combined for the latter to send a low shot narrowly past the far post.

The best chance of the opening half then came the way of the Colombian striker. Having started his Ibrox career with eight goals in his first nine games, Morelos has now gone another nine games without finding the back of the net. On 22 minutes he conspired to miss a free header from six yards, nodding Windass’ cross right into the ground and watching the ball bounce over the bar. A minute later Woods tipped his shot from an angle wide of the far post.

It was at this point the tempo started to drop and the nerves kicked in. Still, there were a pair of chances just before the half as Windass picked the wrong option when clean through on the left, before Morelos hit the bar from a Jason Holt cross.

Once McCrorie’s no-look pass to Wes Foderingham fell woefully short, the air was let out of the place. Templeton, back at Ibrox for the first time since his 2016 exit, kept his cool to round the goalkeeper and flick home. Moments later the attacker had a shot from 20 yards flash wide of the far post.

Xavier Tomas almost handed Rangers a lifeline when his bungled attempt at a clearance bobbled towards his own goal. Alex Gogic arrived just in the nick of time to launch the ball clear. Giannis Skondras then did likewise to clear a Morelos flick at the front post.

Though there would be other opportunities at 2-0, Rangers last real chance to get something from the game came when Miller played over the top for Morelos to run through. The striker outpaced the retreating defenders but could only scoop his effort high over the bar, which immediately preceded his substitution.

Eight minutes later, sub Rakish Bingham played Greg Docherty down the left. The midfielder charged forward to the Rangers penalty area where his low ball across goal was emphatically slammed home by Darren Lyon.

Though Gogic was sent off in stoppage time for a second yellow, it mattered very little to the travelling support, who savoured every last second as the clock ticked down on this historic win.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Craig Fowler"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617048.1511033095!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617048.1511033095!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rangers' Alfredo Morelos downbeat after missing a chance. Picture: SNS/Rob Casey","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rangers' Alfredo Morelos downbeat after missing a chance. Picture: SNS/Rob Casey","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617048.1511033095!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/aberdeen-0-2-motherwell-moult-double-downs-dire-dons-1-4617017","id":"1.4617017","articleHeadline": "Aberdeen 0 - 2 Motherwell: Moult double downs dire Dons","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511025081000 ,"articleLead": "

Louis Moult’s double at Pittodrie means Motherwell are the only team to have beaten Aberdeen twice this season and that was enough to have their manager Stephen Robinson believing they can prove Celtic are not invincible after all when they meet up at Hampden next Sunday.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617016.1511033416!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Motherwell's Louis Moult scores to make it 1-0. Picture: SNS/Craig Foy"} ,"articleBody": "

It seems strange to say it when only four league places separate the sides in next week’s League Cup final but a win for the Fir Park side would be right up there with the biggest shocks in Scottish football history.

Even if they do fail to end the league leaders unbeaten domestic run at 65 games they also face the prospect of halting at either 66 or 67 as home and away Premiership matches follow against Brendan Rodgers’ side.

The important thing is they approach that task in the best possible form given the way they coped with an Aberdeen side whose performance was even worse than the League Cup quarter final defeat at Fir Park in September.

That’s taking nothing away from the visitors who lived up to their prematch promise about not treating the game lightly ahead of next week’s showpiece occasion, a suitable sentiment given a run of five straight defeats at Pittodrie prior to this match.

Not that it was a sequence of misery that ever looked like being extended and of course it just had to be Moult who delivered the telling moments against the side who tried in vain to sign the striker in the summer.

He scorer twice against them in the knockout competition last September and repeated the trick here with a first half header that must have left Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes wondering how someone with such a track record was left unmarked in the box to execute it.

After all, Richard Tait’s delivery from a free kick was allowed to travel nearly half the length of the field to reach the striker just three minutes from the interval but the second goal, and Moult’s 50th in just 96 appearances, was a thing of real craft.

Scotland u21 international Chris Cadden left Scott McKenna for dead down the right flank before delivering a sumptuous near post cross that Moult lashed into the roof of the net on the half volley.

That strengthens their place in the top five while leaving Aberdeen six points adrift of Celtic at the top of the table but Robinson is adamant that his team are not going to Hampden Park just to make up the numbers next week.

“Obviously you have to enjoy the occasion but we are going there to win the football match,” said Robinson.

Aberdeen certainly didn’t enjoy losing only their second league game of the season, something reflected in McInnes sending Tony Docherty out to do the post mortem but the assistant manager didn’t hold back. “It was a very uncharacteristic Aberdeen performance, it was a bad day,” said Docherty. “We have no excuses.”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Scott Davie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617016.1511033416!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617016.1511033416!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Motherwell's Louis Moult scores to make it 1-0. Picture: SNS/Craig Foy","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Motherwell's Louis Moult scores to make it 1-0. Picture: SNS/Craig Foy","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617016.1511033416!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/hearts/hearts-continuing-to-work-on-tynecastle-main-stand-1-4616959","id":"1.4616959","articleHeadline": "Hearts ‘continuing to work’ on Tynecastle Main Stand","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511021653000 ,"articleLead": "

Heart of Midlothian are still to make a decision on whether Sunday’s game with Partick Thistle will go ahead.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616957.1511021648!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Work continues on the new main stand at Tynecastle. Picture: SNS/Paul Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Partick Thistle ‘deeply frustrated’ with Tynecastle uncertainty

The club are continuing to work on the stand in the hope that there won’t be a postponement following a midday inspection by City of Edinburgh Council.

The club tweeted: “The club is continuing to work with Building Control with the aim of hosting tomorrow’s Ladbrokes Premiership match against Partick Thistle. Further updates will follow in due course.”

Fans had their hopes raised when a picture emerged of the coverings being removed from seats.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Gunn"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616957.1511021648!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616957.1511021648!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Work continues on the new main stand at Tynecastle. Picture: SNS/Paul Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Work continues on the new main stand at Tynecastle. Picture: SNS/Paul Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616957.1511021648!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5645993052001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/justin-rose-in-pole-position-to-be-eurpean-no-1-again-1-4616940","id":"1.4616940","articleHeadline": "Justin Rose in pole position to be Eurpean No.1 again","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511019862000 ,"articleLead": "

Justin Rose is on course to clinch the most remarkable Race to Dubai title in European Tour history after claiming a slender lead in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616939.1511019856!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Justin Rose celebrates a birdie on the 16th. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Rose was a distant tenth on the money list until earning 2.3 million points with back-to-back wins in China and Turkey and a third straight victory in Dubai would see him end the season as European No.1 for a second time.

The Olympic champion carded a third round of 65 at Jumeirah Golf Estates to finish 15 under par, a shot ahead of playing partner Jon Rahm and South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli, whose 63 was the lowest score of the week.

And, although Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood overcame a slow start to match Rose’s score and remain two behind alongside Dean Burmester and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Rose has the upper hand in what has become a thrilling battle.

“You couldn’t have scripted it much better,” Rose said after a round containing seven birdies and a crucial par save on the 18th, where his approach found the water in front of the green.

“Tommy’s last two rounds have been incredible and he is right there should I make any kind of mistake. He is doing everything he has to do and I’m doing the same, so it’s perfectly set up for Sunday.

“Tommy’s had the pressure of leading all year and I played with a lot of freedom because I had nothing to lose. Does that change now? I just see it as a great opportunity and the course doesn’t know I’ve won two in a row. When I step on the first tee tomorrow that’s irrelevant.”

Fleetwood came into the week with a lead of 256,738 points and has recovered from an opening 73 with consecutive rounds of 65, with yesterday’s effort including eight birdies in the last 11 holes and a back nine of 30.

“I will be gutted if I don’t win, but made up for Justin because he will deserve it,” Fleetwood, 26, said. “It’s been an absolute pleasure trying to win a Race to Dubai coming down these last few weeks.

“It’s a massive thing, the biggest thing I’ve ever tried to achieve. I was in contention in the US Open and in [the WGC event in] Mexico, but they were like one or two rounds. This has been all year and it’s come down to the final event.

“A year and a half ago I was absolutely nowhere in the game, I was a bit lost. This is a different pressure to Wentworth last year [the BMW PGA Championship] when I didn’t want to play because I was scared I would not get it off the first tee.

“This is what you practise for and this is what you play for, but having my seven-week old baby here will do a good job of keeping my mind off it.”

On a day of low scoring which saw Eddie Pepperell criticise the course set-up as “too easy” after his own 66, overnight leader and defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick was one of only six players in the 60-man field who failed to break par.

Fitzpatrick could only manage a level-par 72 to fall five shots off the pace.

Richie Ramsay, the leading Scot, is tied for 38th after a 68 left him four under. One shot further back is Scott Jamieson following an impressive third-round 66. David Drysdale (69) is two under and Marc Warren (68) is level.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PHIL CASEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616939.1511019856!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616939.1511019856!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Justin Rose celebrates a birdie on the 16th. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Justin Rose celebrates a birdie on the 16th. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616939.1511019856!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/ross-county-0-1-celtic-how-the-players-rated-1-4616923","id":"1.4616923","articleHeadline": "Ross County 0 - 1 Celtic: How the players rated","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511019371000 ,"articleLead": "

How the players rated out of ten as Celtic made it 64 domestic games unbeaten with victory over the Staggies.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616922.1511019366!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic's Scott Sinclair competes with Ross County's Jason Naismith. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Ross County 0 - 1 Celtic: Griffiths wonder free-kick secures win

Ross County

Aaron McCarey - 7

Was rarely tested but confidently came for crossed balls and had little chance with Griffiths’ excellent free-kick. He did have a couple of worrying moments when he came out of his box but wasn’t punished.

Jason Naismith - 8

The former St Mirren full-back continues to impress in a Ross County top. He got the better of Scott Sinclair as part of a strong rearguard action from the Staggies.

Marcus Fraser - 7

Another who is improving and can now be recognised as a competent Scottish Premiership centre-back. Always alert and his pace a key asset especially against teams of the quality of Celtic.

Andrew Davies - 8

Battled manfully against Moussa Dembele, winning the physical battle. The Staggies are different proposition with him in the team.

Sean Kelly - 6

He did not have too much to do against James Forrest with Celtic playing through the middle or down the left.

Christopher Routis - 7

There were a couple of moments where he switched off when Callum McGregor slipped past him but in the main was very good in the middle of the park, protecting the defence and using the ball well.

• READ MORE: Celtic defender Kieran Tierney thrilled to meet Jake Bugg

Michael Gardyne - 6

Had a big defensive job helping Naismith with the threat of Sinclair and Kieran Tierney. As an attacking threat he often had too much ground to make up.

Ross Draper - 6

A solid presence in the middle of midfield, his domineering presence made it difficult for Celtic to play through central areas.

Jim O’Brien - 7

With Draper and Routis in the team O’Brien was afforded the freedom to press high up the pitch. He put in a couple of meaty but fair challenges and is another who is trusted with the ball.

Davis Keillor-Dunn - 8

A special talent who will no doubt have admirers already. Was County’s most constant threat and went close a couple of times. For someone so young against the quality of Celtic he was very composed and intelligent with his play.

Craig Curran - 6

A hard role but one which he did his best to annoy the Celtic backline.

• READ MORE: Brendan Rodgers: Moussa Dembele can play way to World Cup

Substitutions

Alex Schalk (for Craig Curran, 62) - 7

Was a threat behind the defence. Gave County a different outlet.

Thomas Mikkelsen (for Jim O’Brien, 82) - N/A

No impact.

Ryan Dow (for Keillor-Dunn 86) - N/A

Strange sub.

Celtic

Craig Gordon - 6

Most noticeable for the catching pink number he was wearing. Swift off his line to thwart an early attack plus one or two more routine saves.

Mikael Lustig - 6

Coming down from the high of qualifying for the World Cup, there were one or two slack moments but kept balance in the defence with his positioning.

Dedryck Boyata - 7

Composed, confident and controlling, the Belgian will only get better if he can get a run of games having started less than half of league games before this fixture.

Nir Bitton - 6

He put the defence under needless pressure in the first half with a risky pass. Should have moved into the midfield with the ball more often to try and create space by forcing a County player into pressing.

Kieran Tierney - 6

Was well marshalled by a vigilant Michael Gardyne. The chemistry hasn’t been right with Scott Sinclair, opposition teams knowing Celtic are strongest down the left.

James Forrest - 5

Made little impact throughout although the ball was often nowhere near the right side.

Scott Brown - 7

He is a constant in the Celtic midfield. The second half saw him put in a real captain’s performance by trying ti inspire those around him by carrying Celtic forward.

• READ MORE: Which Scottish club would most likely sign Niall McGinn?

Stuart Armstrong - 5

A poor afternoon. Passing was wayward and often dispossessed.

Callum McGregor - 6

Celtic’s most prominent threat in the first half, stealthy getting into good positions as he always does. Should have had a penalty. Faded after the interval.

Scott Sinclair - 5

Something is not right with the best attacker in the country. A desperately poor performance in relative terms. There is always the expectation that he will do something even on poor days but was bettered by Jason Naismith.

Moussa Dembele - 6

A mediocre display for the Frenchman after scoring a hat-trick for France’s under-21s. He was not given an inch.

Substitutions

Leigh Griffiths (for James Forrest, 65) - 9

An incredible free-kick. That is all.

Jonny Hayes (for Callum McGregor, 66) - 5

Little of note.

Olivier Ntcham (for Moussa Dembele, 81) - N/A

On to give the team more solidity.

• READ MORE: Rumour Mill: | Frank de Boer ‘hasn’t ruled out’ Rangers | Everton considered Dembele bid | Rangers ‘embarrassed’ by win record

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joel Sked"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616922.1511019366!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616922.1511019366!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Celtic's Scott Sinclair competes with Ross County's Jason Naismith. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic's Scott Sinclair competes with Ross County's Jason Naismith. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616922.1511019366!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/video-fernando-ricksen-gets-standing-ovation-from-rangers-fans-1-4616903","id":"1.4616903","articleHeadline": "Video: Fernando Ricksen gets standing ovation from Rangers fans","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511016986000 ,"articleLead": "

Fernando Ricksen was met by a standing ovation when he arrived at Ibrox Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616902.1511016980!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fernando Ricksen was met by an emotional reception at Ibrox. Picture: SNS/Craig Foy"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Ex-Rangers star Fernando Ricksen reveals health is deteriorating

Arriving ahead of the game against Hamilton Academical, Ricksen was surrounded by fans as he got out of his taxi in a wheelchair and given a rousing and emotional reception.

Ricksen was brought on to the pitch prior to the game kicking off with Ibrox rising in unison to salute the Dutchman. It was followed by a minute’s applause in the second minute in honour of the player.

The ex-Rangers star has been fighting motor neurone disease after being diagnosed with the terminal disease in 2013.

In recent months he’s begun to lose further strength in his arms and neck as his health has deteriorated.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Angus Wright"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616902.1511016980!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616902.1511016980!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Fernando Ricksen was met by an emotional reception at Ibrox. Picture: SNS/Craig Foy","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fernando Ricksen was met by an emotional reception at Ibrox. Picture: SNS/Craig Foy","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616902.1511016980!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5651218560001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/ross-county-0-1-celtic-griffiths-wonder-free-kick-secures-win-1-4616885","id":"1.4616885","articleHeadline": "Ross County 0 - 1 Celtic: Griffiths wonder free-kick secures win","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511015045000 ,"articleLead": "

Substitute Leigh Griffiths’ sizzling second-half free-kick was enough to beat Ross County and extend Celtic’s own British unbeaten domestic record to 64 games.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616884.1511016885!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic's Leigh Griffiths celebrates his goal. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Rumour Mill: | Frank de Boer ‘hasn’t ruled out’ Rangers | Everton considered Dembele bid | Rangers ‘embarrassed’ by win record

Even the most mundane victories can’t seem to pass for Celtic without some sort of landmark being brought up. There was little to recommend the contest in Dingwall save for the efficient marshalling of Brendan Rodgers’ side by Ross County. Until Leigh Griffiths had his say, that is.

You would never mistake the Global Energy Stadium on a bitingly cold November day for a jumping Hampden on a June afternoon, but Griffiths’ free-kick prowess proved a commonality. So did sunshine, though in very different ways.

The low rays of winter proved highly significant in the 26-year-old striker bagging the 100th Scottish top-flight goal of his career. Griffiths’ 78th-minute matchwinner – which followed his introduction as a 61st-minute substitute and gave him his first dead-ball goal since his double against England – was owed, in part, to Aaron McCarey being blinded by the sunlight.

Initially, it seemed the 25-yard curler didn’t show the keeper in, what might be termed, the best of lights. Griffiths put plenty of air in his scooped effort that drifted over the defensive wall but it seemed to travel sedately enough for McCarey to scramble across. Cutely, the Celtic striker knew conditions would make it far from straightforward for the County man to claw it away from the top left-hand corner of his net.

“Craig [Gordon] said at half-time if I got on to try to have a shot because the sun will be in the keeper’s eyes,” revealed Griffiths, “so I knew if I got the ball on target it had a good chance of going in. I’ve had a lot of stick for not getting anything on target since the England game so it’s good to finally put one in the back of the net. It’s a big victory for us.”

The goal also ensured that Celtic’s 64-game domestic unbeaten run would not have a first blank within it, with a Scottish side still to prevent a Rodgers team scoring in 63 attempts. Griffiths attributed that to having “goalscorers all over the pitch”, and sometimes on the bench. That is where the Scotland forward has found himself more often than not of late following the reanimation of Moussa Dembele as goal plunderer extraordinaire.

• READ MORE: Brendan Rodgers: Moussa Dembele can play way to World Cup

Griffiths understands that the Frenchman is in pole position, but is patently not oblivious to the fact that Rodgers could spread the love around this week with Wednesday’s Champions League excursion to play Paris Saint-Germain giving way to the League Cup final against Motherwell on Sunday.

Griffiths agreed his latest example of free-kick flamboyance won’t have done his chances any harm of pushing for a start in Paris while at the same time acknowledging that Dembele “has been on fire” – the 21-year-old also producing pyrotechnics for France, with a 12-minute hat-trick for his country’s under-21s this week.

“If it wasn’t for being injured last week [with a calf strain that caused him to miss his club’s game against St Johnstone then Scotland’s friendly with the Netherlands] maybe I could have got a goal or two then, but I’ve been working with the physios to get back as quickly as I can and today showed it.

• READ MORE: Ross County 0 - 1 Celtic: How the players rated

“We’ve got a big week and I think the manager will take that into consideration. We’ve got a cup final at the end of the week so he will have difficult choices to make.”

Rodgers, while praising his team’s “mentality”, attributed his players’ lack of fluency to a “poor”, bobbly pitch and the dispersion of his players in the international break. But he reserved special praise for Nir Bitton, who lined up in central defence again as the fragile Jozo Simunovic returned to the bench.

“This guy gets slated for not being a centre-half but I haven’t seen one better outside of Celtic,” Rodgers said of Bitton. “He’s heading it, he’s defending, he’s aggressive, and then he goes and he can play. I thought he was outstanding today.”

Asked if Bitton’s display gave him comfort ahead of the daunting PSG fixture, the manager added: “I’ve had comfort with him, I know everyone else hasn’t. For me, that’s why I continue to play him. He’s only going to get better in the position if he needs to play there.”

• READ MORE: Five things we learned from Ross County 0 - 1 Celtic

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Andrew Smith"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616884.1511016885!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616884.1511016885!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Celtic's Leigh Griffiths celebrates his goal. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic's Leigh Griffiths celebrates his goal. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616884.1511016885!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/cycling/richard-moore-how-far-will-britain-push-for-cycling-glory-1-4616605","id":"1.4616605","articleHeadline": "Richard Moore: How far will Britain push for cycling glory?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511011057000 ,"articleLead": "

The timing is perfect but entirely accidental. Tomorrow evening a documentary, Britain’s Cycling Superheroes: The Price of Success?, will be broadcast on BBC Two, just a few days after UK Anti-Doping finally reported, following a 14-month investigation, on one of the many strands to a multifaceted story.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616604.1511011051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Bradley Wiggins celebrates his Tour deFrance victory. Picture: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The film (with which, in the interests of full disclosure, I was involved as a consultant) has been eight months in the making, having been inspired by the various controversies swirling around British Cycling and Team Sky. These included allegations of bullying at the governing body, Sir Bradley Wiggins’ TUEs (therapeutic use exemptions) for a corticosteroid when he won the Tour de France in 2012, and – the subject of the UKAD investigation – a package containing an unidentified medical product delivered to the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné, which Wiggins also won.

Although UKAD said there will be no anti-doping charges, there remain, in the absence of any record of what was in the package, serious questions for Team Sky. The anti-doping agency was critical of the lack of medical records relating to the period in question.

In the programme, we hear at length from two of the men under fire, Sir Dave Brailsford and Shane Sutton: a coaching team so close, and seemingly co-dependent, that they are compared to a married couple.

It opens with the British medal rush at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 but moves on to focus on 2010, when Wiggins flopped at the Tour de France in Team Sky’s first year on the road. It was Brailsford’s first high-profile failure. And it is clear that, in the aftermath of that, changes were made. A new team was put around Wiggins, new doctors were recruited, policies were subtly changed. Which is not to say that any rules were broken, but that they pushed closer to the line of what is and isn’t allowed – Brailsford admitted as much at the time.

For some, the idea of going “to the line” is simply a pragmatic approach to professional sport. You’d be crazy not to do anything and everything that the rules allow. For others, there is, located somewhere before the line, a grey area, where products and practices are legal but ethically dubious (think painkillers, cortisone or intravenous recovery).

The notion of a grey area goes to the heart of the controversy around Wiggins’ TUEs, which we only know about because his medical files were hacked by the Fancy Bears in 2016. The question is whether Wiggins’ use of triamcinolone on the eve of his major targets in 2011, 2012 and 2013 was for a medical need, as he has insisted – and which the authorities accepted, since they approved their use – or to gain a performance advantage.

In the film, David Millar dances either side of a different line, defending the toughness of the Brailsford/Sutton coaching regime at British Cycling but criticising, in the strongest terms, Wiggins’ TUEs for a powerful corticosteroid, which Millar himself had used.

“I think they were gaming the system,” says Millar, “I think we all know that. [It’s] hugely disappointing because they were zero tolerance and you wouldn’t think they’d tread into that very grey area that is cortisone use.” He adds that “a little bit of me died” when he heard.

It is what Sutton says on this that some will interpret as ambiguous. “If you’ve got an athlete who’s 95 per cent ready and that little niggle or injury that’s troubling [them]; if you can get that TUE to get them to 100 per cent [then] yeah of course you would in them days,” says the man who was Wiggins’ personal coach in 2011 and 2012. “The business you’re in is to give you the edge on your opponent.”

The film’s director, Dan Clifton, follows up by asking Sutton: “So finding the gains might mean getting a TUE?” “‘Finding the gains might be getting a TUE?’” Sutton replies, considering the question. “Um. Yes, because the rules allow you to do that.”

Is this consistent with the argument that Wiggins’ use of triamcinolone was strictly, as he told the Andrew Marr Show 14 months ago, “to cure a medical condition”?

Another man interviewed for the film is Steve Peters, the forensic psychiatrist who Brailsford considered his most valued staff member between 2004 and 2014, when Brailsford stepped away from British Cycling and Sutton took over. Peters admits that Sutton’s management style could be problematic: “Shane would admit sometimes his passion overran and it ran into what most people saw as hostility or aggression,” says Peters. “Some would feel intimidated or bullied, not all of them.” It eventually proved too much even for Peters. “I said to Dave after [the 2012] Olympics, I can’t continue.”

Emma Pooley, the Beijing silver medallist, admits she was scared of Sutton. “The staff were scared of him,” she adds, “that was my impression.”

Sutton dismisses the idea that he scared anyone, while Brailsford launches a robust defence of a tough, uncompromising approach to coaching: “We’re going to push and if everybody’s not feeling a bit uncomfortable we’re not pushing hard enough.”

It might have been two different films, one focusing on the allegations of bullying and the “culture of fear” that some have claimed prevailed at British Cycling, the other focusing on the medical practices of Team Sky.

But in a sense they are two sides of the same coin. At the heart of it are questions that are being increasingly asked about elite sport: how far is 
it acceptable to push; how close to the line do you want to go?

l Britain’s Cycling Superheroes: The Price of Success?, BBC Two, Sunday, 9-10pm.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RICHARD MOORE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616604.1511011051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616604.1511011051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sir Bradley Wiggins celebrates his Tour deFrance victory. Picture: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Bradley Wiggins celebrates his Tour deFrance victory. Picture: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616604.1511011051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/partick-thistle-deeply-frustrated-with-tynecastle-uncertainty-1-4616842","id":"1.4616842","articleHeadline": "Partick Thistle ‘deeply frustrated’ with Tynecastle uncertainty","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511007859000 ,"articleLead": "

Partick Thistle have released a statement expressing their frustration over the uncertainty of their match with Heart of Midlothian.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616840.1511007853!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Work continues outside the Roseburn Stand where the Partick Thistle fans will be housed. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: D-Day for Hearts over Tynecastle main stand

The Jags are due to travel through to Edinburgh to face the Gorgie outfit on Sunday in what will be the first fixture of the newly renovated Tynecastle Park.

However, with Hearts still waiting on a safety certificate for the new Main Stand players, fans and staff are unsure whether it will go ahead.

Thistle have said they will reimburse all fans who have bought tickets for Sunday’s game but are unable to make the rearranged fixture if the game is postponed on Saturday afternoon.

It read: “The uncertainty which still surrounds our fixture on Sunday is deeply frustrating for all concerned. We have prepared all week to play on Sunday and that remains very much our focus.

• READ MORE: Craig Levein eager to make room for Niall McGinn

“We are, however, very aware of the impact this is having on our supporters. We would like to reassure them that, in the event of a postponement, those with tickets will be offered a full refund should they be unable to attend the rearranged fixture.

“We all want the game to go ahead as planned and are hopeful that today’s inspection will confirm that is the case.

“We will communicate the outcome as soon as possible.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joel Sked"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616840.1511007853!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616840.1511007853!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Work continues outside the Roseburn Stand where the Partick Thistle fans will be housed. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Work continues outside the Roseburn Stand where the Partick Thistle fans will be housed. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616840.1511007853!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5645993052001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}