I found it hard to watch the Scotland v New Zealand match today, part of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, which ended with NZ beating Scotland by 40 points to nil.
It wasn’t because I knew that they’d lose, I mean I literally found it hard to watch the match because their jerseys were so similar.
Who on earth decided that they should play in those colours?! I found it hard to differentiate the teams, I can only imagine how difficult it was for the match officials to make split-second decisions when their colours were so close. I used to work in a textile mill in Selkirk, and sorting out similar batches of navy and black was incredibly difficult.
Scotland were in their home strip, which is a predominantly navy shirt, with patches of silver-blue hatching, navy shorts and navy socks. New Zealand were in their new away strip which is black and silver-blue, with black shorts and black socks.
I think that New Zealand should have played in their all black strip, and Scotland in their white ‘away’ strip. It would have made watching the game much, much easier.
As for the result, I think Scotland did remarkably well to hold New Zealand to such a low win. Their defence in the second half was tremendous, especially for a second team (many of Scotland’s key players sitting out to prepare for the match against Italy next weekend).
I thought that New Zealand were very disappointing in places: missed and dropped passes, failure to spot otherwise obvious routes through the defence, unnecessary knock-ons. I usually go into a Scotland v NZ game resigned to the fact that Scotland will lose but at least I’ll get to watch some elegant and beautifully executed rugby. It was refreshing not to see that because NZ appeared to be rattled at times by the Scottish defence.
It’s encouraging to see that of the three teams the Kiwis have played so far ours had the lowest points difference:
I’m looking forward to Scotland v Italy next weekend at St Etienne on Saturday 29 September. I think I’m right in saying that Scotland need to either win or draw to stay in the competition. We can’t afford to lose.
But before that we have eight more games to enjoy. England v Tonga will be good to watch. You see, that’s what’s so exciting about supporting Scotland at rugby — you get to be passionate about two teams: Scotland and anyone that’s playing England!