As Scotland prepares to take on Ireland in their opening match of the Rugby World Cup in Japan, our players should summon the ‘nothing to lose’ spirit of the stirring second-half comeback at Twickenham earlier this year.
In the second-half of this year’s Calcutta Cup game, Scotland scored 31 points to England’s seven. Play like that and the national side could do something truly extraordinary at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
However, in the first half of that amazing draw, Scotland conceded 31 points and scored seven. Play like that, and an early flight home beckons. Scotland’s opening match, against Ireland tomorrow could give us an indication of which version of the team will turn up.
Perhaps, before kick-off this time, Gregor Townsend and Finn Russell should have an argument like the one at half-time which the latter said helped start the revival – whatever it takes to put some fire in the belly. Russell said the Scots “just came out with nothing to lose, played our rugby... played good Scottish rugby”.
Well, they really do have nothing to lose and they really should have the confidence to play their own game – surely that’s the best way to give themselves a chance. Few give Scotland much chance of winning the World Cup, but how many foresaw the stunning comeback at Twickenham? Believe.