I’M WRITING this on Tuesday so by the time it’s been published on Thursday we will know how Scotland got on against Georgia in their second game in the World Cup.
I hope we will be celebrating a second win over the team with the huge pack that are coached by former head coach of Scotland, Richie Dixon.
Yes, Georgia are being heralded as a team who are going places – they are climbing the world rankings and this is the first time we have played that country in a proper international game.
On Saturday we played our first game in Pool B of the tournament and after 15 minutes it really did look like we were going to hammer the Romanians with a hatful of tries.
We were 15-3 up thanks to tries by Mike Blair (made by Simon Danielli) and Joe Ansbro. Danielli also had a gilt-edged opportunity to score soon after, but took the wrong option. That could have made it 22-3 with the conversion and we would probably have gone on to humiliate the opposition.
Sadly that didn’t happen and we let Romania back in to such an extent that they went ahead 24-21 with 12 minutes to go, and it was thanks to Simon Danielli with two late tries in two minutes that Scotland came back into the game to secure the five points.
All the team know what went wrong. A potent mix of “foot off the gas” when in front, a high penalty count and doing the basics wrong all combined to us almost throwing the game away.
Scotland are determined to turn their performance around against Georgia and as you read this you will know if they have or haven’t done so.
If they do win that will mean Rory Lawson will have his unbeaten run of successfully leading the team to a fourth successive win as captain. Talking of stats, I was delighted to finally lay my bogie by seeing Scotland win an away game for the first time since 1971 – 40 years ago. There were moments when I thought I really was a jinx to the team, but I’m glad that monkey is off my back and I can enjoy at least one more away win for Scotland before I return home following the England game.
Everywhere you walk in Invercargill, where the Scottish team play their first two games, there are banners about the World Cup. Everyone in the town appear to have adopted Scotland as their second team with plenty of support for the boys.
The next time I report I will be in Wellington for the Argentina game on September 25.