Monday, October 3, 2011

Rugby World Cup 2011: Scotland Failed for quarterfinals

 England remain resolute despite only narrowly edging out Scotland
As Martin Johnson was fending off a barrage of inquiries as to the ethical wholesomeness of his squad, so a mere hundred metres away Scotland head coach Andy Robinson was dealing with a far starker scenario – elimination from the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the first time ever that the country have failed to make it to the quarter-finals.
England may be under siege, slated for the behavioural naivety of some of their squad and rebuked for their slatternly ways on the field of play, but at least they are still around to be the centre of attention.
There’s only one thing worse than being talked about – and that’s not being talked about. England are still very much in the game.
Northampton wing Chris Ashton encapsulated the difference between the sides.
Ashton put any off-field difficulties behind him to pledge that he only needed the merest sliver of opportunity to deliver for England, a statement that would have had resonance for those desolate Scottish players as they sat watching Argentina's victory over Georgia on Sunday, a win that confirmed the Pumas’ progress and the Scots' departure from the tournament.
The Scottish lineout is one of the most accomplished in the business so it was no surprise that the impressive Richie Gray was able to wreak such havoc. Scrum-half Ben Youngs had a wretched time and needs better protection.
England have little time to address their failings. Scotland, in contrast, have all the time they might need. There is no doubting who is in the better place. -


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