It’s a silly game anyway……although if we win our last pool match against Samoa on Saturday we are through to the quarter finals of a World Cup – which is something that the host nation cannot now achieve. You have to feel for our friends and neighbours south of the border though don’t you….well don’t you? I always think it a shame when the host nation goes out at the group stages of a FIFA World Cup or UEFA European Championships – it’s like getting put to your bed early at your own party.

Anyway, this Rugby World Cup is a bit of an expensive malarkey -serves me right I hear you say. My ticket for the Leazes corner end at Newcastle’s St.James’ Park for the game against South Africa cost £85. That’s more than the combined amount I paid this year to see The Stranglers AND Sydney Devine – perhaps the SFA were the pricing consultants. Add to that, the match programme was a tenner and it was £4.50 for a pint of bitter in the stadium – which is a pretty impressive, if somewhat lopsided stadium.

I tried to imagine what the place looked like when former Scotland internationalists Hughie Gallacher [1920s] and Bobby Moncur [1960s/1970s] strutted their stuff at St.James’ Park – vast, open terraces, muddy pitches and cheap beer – before Roy Aitken and Steven Caldwell helped usher in the modern era.


Back to the present and Scotland Epistles’ ‘Unlikely Lads’ [David Stuart and myself] will be at Hampden on Thursday flogging fanzines before cheering on Scotland to victory over Poland – hopefully.

Scotland’s egg-chasers will have to beat Samoa this coming Saturday without my assistance however as I’ll be flying out to Faro for the Gibraltar game. Let’s hope it’s still a meaningful fixture – there’s nothing worse than a dead rubber -as England v Uruquay at the rugby world cup will testify. Fnarr! Fnarr!

Robert Marshall

First posted on Facebook October 5th, 2015