media1.jpgWell, Saturday afternoon saw me attend my first international rugby match – and what a match it turned out to be. For those of you who are out of this particular loop, Scotland were playing England at the former’s national stadium, Murrayfield, as part of the Six Nations tournament.

Now, to call me a regular sporting fan of any sport would be an exaggeration of gasp-making audacity. However, this particular rugby match held certain very strong attractions for me: it was local; it was a chance to witness what could (and did) turn out to be a moment of all-too-rare national sporting achievement; and this in the company of an old pal and the charged presence tens of thousands of good-spirited but fervent spectators.

We commented to ourselves, as we took our ring-side seats (I’m still picking random bits of rugby-pitch out of my teeth), that this sort of fixture was the closest we were likely to get to the atmosphere of being present as (non-combatant) witnesses to a historic pitched battle: international rugby as war by other means. The battle was as much against the elements on Saturday as against the “auld enemy” and sitting, as we were, furth (look it up now, non-Scots brethren) of the sheltering canopy of the stadium roof, we were pretty much bang in the firing range. Stout hearts, stout cords and a hip-flask of The Macallan 10-year old saw us right though, and we shouted ourselves ragged in patriotic exhortation.

It was not a match that many people expected Scotland to win – and I wince to think of the odds I probably could have got on a Scotland victory in any of the numerous bookies I passed on the way to the stadium. I could almost certainly have won my ticket price back on a £5 stake. But I was young(ish) and foolish and now am full of tears.

There were no tears to be shed for a loyal Scot as the game progressed, however – a 15-9 victory at last (alright, it was largely on penalties with nery a try on either side, but…) saw us young(ish) and bullish and shortly full of beers. The End.

[Sorry, folks – having terrible computer trouble today for some reason.  Can’t seem to get the picture thingie to work – will try again tomorrow.  “Those whom the gods would have desist from blogging, they first make morons.”]

[UPDATE: Lookie – piccie!]