Scotland

Scotland

Allan Massie: Safety to the fore in revision of laws

Football is a simple straightforward game and so its laws, which are easily understood by fans, have remained more or less unchanged for ages, only the interpretation of some, such as what constitutes a dangerous or illegal tackle, being revised. But rugby union is so complicated that a periodic review of 
its laws has been deemed necessary, and there will, it seems, be another revision of several of them after this year’s World Cup.

Scotland
Scotland flanker 'Jamie Ritchie with his children Ava, left, and Oscar. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS

Interview: Jamie Ritchie, Scotland’s stand-out Six Nations player

It will be a pub quiz question for years to come. Who was Scotland’s best player in the opening four rounds of the 2019 Six Nations only to miss out on that crazy day at Twickenham? The answer is obvious, Jamie Ritchie, the stand-out player for Scotland until he was poleaxed playing against Wales and missed the England game with a head/neck injury.

Scotland
Darcy Graham finds time to take a seat on England players during the extraordinary second half at Twickenham.

Darcy Graham: We threw ball about at Twickenham because we had nothing to lose

The former Scotland winger Kenny Logan started his first Six Nations match in 1993 and didn’t score a try in the Championship until seven years later, against Ireland, at Dublin’s Lansdowne Road in 2000. After two Six Nations starts and another appearance off the bench Darcy Graham has scored three times, which gives you a clue just how far Scotland have come in a relatively short time.

Scotland
Sergio Parisse, the greatest Six Nations No 8, will be missed if he bows out. Picture: AFP/Getty.

Allan Massie: Grand Slam built on leadership, efficiency and luck

There have been a good many Welsh teams more exhilarating to watch than Warren Gatland’s Grand Slam winning side, but very few that might lay a claim to being as effective. Wales reminded us that there is more than one way to win a match. Their game was built on the leadership of Alun Wyn Jones, a hard-working and efficient front five, a voracious and skilful back-row, a pair of centres who offered rock-solid defence in midfield, a full-back who swallowed up opposition kicks and reliable goal-kicking. Then they had a try-scoring wing in Josh Adams and what every winner of a Grand Slam needs: a generous slice of luck, with regard to injuries and opposition 
blunders.

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