Scots do best when least expected

Scotland celebrate after the Scotland v England rugby international at Murrayfield (Scotland win 26-6) in March 1971 to commemorate Centenary of first international between Scotland & England.'Peter Brown pouring drink with Billy Steele on his left and Ian McLauchlan at the front.

Scotland celebrate after the Scotland v England rugby international at Murrayfield (Scotland win 26-6) in March 1971 to commemorate Centenary of first international between Scotland & England.'Peter Brown pouring drink with Billy Steele on his left and Ian McLauchlan at the front.

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Well here we are – two games away from the end of this year’s RBS 6 Nations championship and it’s been a very disappointing campaign.

After the opening two matches, which we should have won, there was genuine optimism that we would run riot against Italy, or at least win.

Stuart Cameron. Rugby Pundit.

Stuart Cameron. Rugby Pundit.

It didn’t happen, and we couldn’t have had a better opening, with 10 points in the bag after just seven minutes.

The press were pretty relentless as they went straight for the jugular, but if you thought the Scottish newspapers were harsh, some of the comments from other parts of the world were vicious. Now is the time for Scotland to bounce back against England at Twickenham.

Scotland always seem to up their game when written off, so don’t be surprised if the Scots get stuck in about the English from the off and produce a performance they are capable of. I am penning this on Monday night, so by the time you read this the team will be picked. I am expecting a few changes as coach Vern Cotter looks for a much better effort from his troops. He was annoyed at the press conference after the Italian game at the way his squad failed to connect with his message about giving penalties away.

Finn Russell is likely to wear the number 10 jersey. Peter Horne stood in for Russell against Italy following the red card against Wales, and parts of his game were good, but he failed to run the show and Russell will be looking, if selected, to take charge and put us in positions on the park we can build attacks from.

I guess you’re waiting for me to trot out my usual comment about not seeing Scotland win in an away match for 44 years, so I won’t disappoint you. Yes, 1971 was the last time I saw Scotland win in the flesh in a genuine away game and I have fond memories of that day, watching from behind the posts as Chris Rea dived over for a late try. I then saw PC Brown kick THAT kick to win the game 16-15. Surely that bad record has to come to an end sometime?

The critics will say no chance, but never write off Scotland.

I’m saying this more in hope rather than anything else, but as always, when kick-off time approaches, we will be happy to wipe the slate clean and get behind the Scotland team, particularly against the auld enemy.

Dare I predict a rare Scottish win?