Scotland To Retain the Calcutta Cup

By Nikki Simpson and Jack Nixon

When Jack Nixon, North - east rugby writer and Nikki Simpson, a development officer with Garioch Rugby Club and a key member of Garioch Women’s table topping team in National League 1, met recently not surprisingly the talk came round to Saturday’s game at Murrayfield where Scotland open their Six Nations campaign against England.

Both were excited by the prospect of Scotland retaining the Calcutta Cup, although Jack was a little more cautious, having experienced numerous disappointments since his first viewing of the two sides in 1954, but was won over by Nikki’s youthful enthusiasm. “Scotland have a good record against England under Gregor Townsend who has beaten Eddie Jones twice and had one draw in five outings. Should they win on Saturday, it will be one step towards a Grand Slam, although Scotland have a habit of letting us down after a big win,,” said Nikki.

Jack agreed and said:”There will be no question of Scotland feeling inferior. They have class all over the field, including the key positions of full back and stand off. Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell are well established players who are more than capable of lifting those around them, there again England will be keen to improve on last season’s fifth place in the tournament. I am certainly not writing the English off.”

Nikki added her support of Russell. “Finn is the key player. His all round vision is impressive which enables the players around him to be creative and dangerous. Scotland also have good finishers on the wings. I am very hopeful of a Scottish win, but it’s a long haul to land the Grand Slam. If Scotland can’t do it,I reckon France will, even if they have the habit of flattering to deceive. I am looking forward to watching it on TV, hoping to learn something for Garioch’s last and vital game away to Howe of Fife, the following week. We only need one point to win the title,” she said.

Jack was equally cautious about Scotland’s chances of a third Grand Slam.”We tend to forget just how hard it is to win five games in this the most competitive of tournaments.

Getting off to a good start is vital, whereas losing your first game is a disaster. Perhaps it will be a draw, after all there have 18 draws since this fixture was first played in Edinburgh at Raeburn.”

Nikki’s response was immediate and to the point. “Don’t be so negative Jack. A draw is the worst possible outcome. A total anti - climax,” she said, ending the dialogue but agreeing it could be a game to savour, but not ignoring the possibility of thrills and spills of the first game of the afternoon when Ireland play Wales in Dublin.

“Rugby should be the winner in a great afternoon of entertainment ,” concluded Nikki, managing successfully to get the last word in the debate.

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