Saturday 11th of February 2023
The Welsh rugby team heads for Scotland after a traumatic beating in Cardiff by Ireland last week.
There was a time when Scotland were Wales’s bunnies. And there was a time when Wales reigned supreme as the Northern Hemisphere champion rugby players. This was the era when the competition was for the Triple Crown. The four teams competing were Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales.
Welsh Rugby was at its height
This was the time when Welsh rugby was at its height. But even then, in the 1950s and 60s a trip to Murrayfield was not undertaken without trepidation.My own memories are of glorious victories at the Arms Park against England and Ireland, but losses to unfancied Scottish teams at Murrayfield.
Scotland remained the whipping boys of the four nations competing for the triple Crown. Their reputation as weakest team continued when France joined in the tournament.
But then Italy was introduced into the club, and immediately became the whipping boys, providing Scotland with one team at least which they had chances of beating.
This relatively stable status quo remained for some years. but recently the balance has changed. France and Ireland are now rated numbers one and two in the world, seized supremacy over the long time number one from New Zealand, closely followed by the other southern hemisphere teams Australia and South Africa.
England could claim bragging rights over the northern hemisphere teams after their much vaunted World Cup victory.
A new order emerges
Last weekend, a new order began to emerge. Ireland demonstrated its superiority over Wales, leaving the land of my Fathers humiliated and shellshocked.
In contrast, Italy ran France close and showed they had closed the gap between themselves, and the other nations.
But the big surprise of the weekend was a stunning victory by Scotland over England. The world order in rugby has changed completely.
And so it came about that Wales is heading for Murrayfield, the underdogs for maybe the first time in living history.
This is not going to be an easy watch.
To be continued …