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To boo or not to boo - that is the question

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John Beattie | 16:05 UK time, Sunday, 14 March 2010

Is it wrong to boo a kick? If you want my honest answer, I don't think it is.

I'm all for it. In every part of the world, in every sporting contest, the crowd at the event likes to get behind its team. Part of that is making a noise to put the opposition off.

We can claim that rugby is somehow a saintly game but I like to hear a crowd getting involved and making a racket to disrupt a kicker.

So there we are. The rock at The Jam House was good on Saturday night and thanks to the Scottish rugby team for turning up to support the Hearts & Heroes charity and to Chris Cusiter for playing the guitar.

I am writing this in Heathrow with three hours sleep under my belt and my check-in complete for Penang.

The oldest rugby fixture in the world finished without a try - for the third time in succession at Murrayfield. And here is my main point. Do England actually know what they are trying to do on the pitch?

wilkinson595.jpgYou can see shape and guile from Scotland, with Dan Parks channelling the ball to runners in open spaces and inventive use of the occasional long throw at the line-out.

But England? I want England to play with dash and élan but there were times when they looked lost and didn't know what was going to happen next, as their forwards bunched together in midfield like those wildebeest by the crocodile-infested river.

What about the Scots? I was pleased for Graeme Morrison, who had the kind of game we all know he can play, and for Max Evans.

His brother Thom gave a team talk on Friday night where he presented his rugby jersey to team doctor James Robson. James had acted quickly to rescue Thom after his injury in Cardiff and had cut the jersey from his body. Thom had it repaired and made an emotional speech during which he thanked the doctor.

There wasn't a dry eye in the place and that set the tone for a stirring afternoon.

OK, it wasn't a victory, but I spent 15 minutes pitch-side and I can only tell you that at that level the hits and commitment were frightening.

It was Al Kellock who said after the game that for Scotland to beat England everyone in blue has to play the game of their life. And that is what they looked like they were trying to do.

The scrums on both sides were a mess, but you can see Scotland progressing.

Next up for Scotland is Ireland, which will be tough.

Anyway, the big Jumbo calls and I will update from Malaysia, the country of my birth.

Do you agree with me when it comes to booing? I can't see a problem - the game is moving on and the crowd must be given a chance to help and hinder. Well, try asking a French crowd to stop booing...

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    is the oldest rugby fixture not merchiston castle school versus edinburgh academy??

  • Comment number 2.

    Sorry John. I am probably getting old but I find it unsporting and it annoys me.I am happy to scream my lungs out supporting Scotland otherwise.

  • Comment number 3.

    The fact that the Frech might boo is irrelevant; two wrongs don't make a right. The fact that Bill McLaren wouldn't have approved is good enough for me.

  • Comment number 4.

    How on earth can you say it is OK to boo a kicker? that is ridiculous!! I'm all for getting behind your team, but putting someone off is not getting behind your team at all. It is unsporting and needs to be removed from the game.

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't think I've heard booing quite that loud in a match that I can remember.

    I don't agree with it, but it's becoming more and more common. I remember taking my son to his first rugby match and he was in awe of how quiet the stadium was when either kicker was lining up a kick at goal. I remember how amazed he was that no one tried to put the opposition kicker off. It made me fairly proud, but I guess those days are probably over.

  • Comment number 6.

    Totally disagree. The lack of booing sets rugby apart from the 'other sporting contests' of which you speak, and is possibly one of the last bastions of crowd respect at a sporting event. At the moment, Stade de France appears to be least respectful rugby arena, while Croke Park seems to fall completely silent at every kick, even for the away team.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think you have a very slanted viewpoint and you sound like you would be more at home commenting on a football match.

    Firstly, as an Englshman, a hearty congrats to the Scottish players who I thought were brilliant and unlucky not to win. The fans were disgraceful however. They cheered at the replay when Wilkinson was seriously injured and were very unsympothetic when Monye was stretchered off. Terrible.

    I am not a fan of booing when a kicker is taking a penalty or a conversion but I do agree that it can add to the atmosphere. However, booing when fans are singing 'Sweet Chariot' is a bit rubbish, isnt it? As it did kill the atmosphere...though no doubt John, you would not see it like that.

    Wanting to end on a positive, the 'Killer Bs' Beattie, Barclay and Brown are ver impressive and are fast becoming a very formidable back row. I foresee exciting times for Scotland under Robinson....though I hope you appreciate that it is an Englishman who is changing things around for Scotland! How do you like them (English Cox) Apples?!

  • Comment number 8.

    Could not disagree more on the booing issue but England truly look clueless and for a union with such large resources it is beyond a farce.

    I think the lack of booing at place kicks is a fine differential between rugby and other sports. It does not make rugby superior but different from other sports and I am more than happy with that. It are plenty of opportunities to support your team and you don't need to boo the opposition to do that.

    Best of luck to Thom Evans with his recovery.

  • Comment number 9.

    I personally don't like booing a kicker but you can't really stop it if people decide to do so. It is a worrying trend though, this isn't football and if something like this is capable of creeping into rugby them whole long will cricket be safe for? Or Snooker for that matter.

  • Comment number 10.

    I think every sport has it own code of conduct that the fans follow and for a very long time rugby fans reminded quite when a kicker step up, I miss the good old days of quite and the quicker we get it back the better!

  • Comment number 11.

    Munster at Thomand Park show that you can still have the crowd as 16th player and show respect during place kicking. I find it heartening that you can have situations where Wilkinson can be heavily criticised by the English media, and shown the respect of the crowd while playing at Croke Park, the home of the GAA. Showing respect is one of the elements that I think makes rugby a bit special and re-enforces the collegiate nature of the sport, and it would be a shame to lose it.

    As for the French, well they will also boo their own teams at times, which I think is even more appalling.

  • Comment number 12.

    Wow John. What a sad way to get a response. Why would you deem it ok to boo a kicker when most rugby fans are pretty "behaved" when it comes to goalkicking.
    Seems like the Scots are getting away with Blue Murder on this one, they were the home team after all. They are the ones who have failed to score a try in their last 2 games. They are the ones with a 31 year old stand off (Aussie born and bred of course) who is having a renaissance in the twilight of his career, so where is the next one going to come from?

    They French have always booed. It ain't nothin new Johnny.
    Think you need to lean back in your over-sized plane seat and take a long deep sleep, and when you wake up....... smell the coffee!

  • Comment number 13.

    Totally agree with the Booing, its part of the game now and happens at almost every club match I've been to in the last year or so. It gets the fans involved, its not malicious, just a bit of fun and a way to try and help your team. I also love the way the Irish stay silent, that probably has an even better effect on opposition teams!

  • Comment number 14.

    As someone with the responsibility of writing a blog on this website to defend such unsporting behaviour is shameful. I doubt you'd find anyone else involved in rugby (commentator, pundit, coach) who would agree with what you say about crowds booing the opposition's kicker.

  • Comment number 15.

    I can only assume that the lack of sleep has dimmed your brain!You don't get it do you?It is the ultimate act of respect that a spectator can offer to the opposition. Perhaps we should start booing the anthems now also? Will you be at the next Ryder cup?Perhaps during Phil Mickelson's back swing you can blow a rasberry!
    Thomand park is like a library during place kicks.This has moved on to Croke Park and the other provincial grounds in Ireland.Some southern French teams also observe this class act.
    From the point you make about spectator involvement. Is the act of remaining silent not involvement?How many players are actually used to kicking in that environment. So, it may actually put a kicker off. I have heard Stuart Barnes say as much about Thomand Park.I feel that your argument here says more about YOU than you should have revealed.

  • Comment number 16.

    Sorry JB, got to disagree on the booing. Can't condone fans behaving like that. The fans can do much more with positie support rather than this type of negativity. Let's leave that to the football fans.

    And someone should try drying Brian Moore's eyes. He's posibly the worst media pundit around and unbelievably negative. No wonder the Aussies call them "whinging poms".

  • Comment number 17.

    Does it really matter whether the kicker is booed or not? Most people will tell you that they tune out all noise while preparing for a kick.

  • Comment number 18.

    I have to agree with the majority of posters here, lots of other sports do boo and hiss kickers, but why should this great old game of rugby join in?? we have always respected other teams and not made up stupid immature chants about managers, players and their wives/wags

    Why change such a good tradition and lower ourselves, please don't get me wrong - rugby players are not angels but everyone has respect for the opposition and most of the knowledgeable sports fans I know are all rugby fans first most.

    this has got me so annoyed I may just be sad enough to start up a Facebook group to start getting respect for all the kickers in-game, hell why not get recorded messages on the PA system before kick off from all the captains?

    Also I have just herd a horrible game which my beloved saracens got well and truly beaten but the crowd at franklins garden were amazing with the quietness, even the commentators hushed down!

  • Comment number 19.

    Completely agree olla and Leon.

    Staying silent adds to an atmosphere - anyone who has been to watch a game in Thomond or Croke Park could tell you that. The tension throughout the arena when the kicker steps back affects everyone in the stadium and the roar after the kick is much louder after the previous silence. In England and Scotland you can't even tell from the crowd whether the ball's gone over or not, which is hardly conducive to an exciting atmosphere.

    Completely leaving aside the ethics of the issue and the importance of mutual respect in rugby's heritage (although both of these issues are very important), there is a fine line between a good atmosphere and a hostile atmosphere. Although football games may be more "atmospheric" than rugby games, much of this results from chants slagging off the opposition fans and players. This is just a step down from the hooliganism that permeated the game a couple of decades ago. In test rugby, opposition fans sit together and although we make plenty of noise for our team, we can also have a friendly chat with our neighbours about how the match is going from their country's point of view.

    It has always been a friendly, neighbourly sport and any move away from this should not be celebrated, particularly by a BBC pundit, who has influence on the opinion of the public and,therefore, has a responsibility to use this power for the good of the game.

  • Comment number 20.

    I could hardly disagree more on the booing. Being an England fan, I found Scotland's booing yesterday appauling. Before the game, I upmostly respected the Scotland fans, but was shocked by the extent of their booing, particularly when trying to distract Wilkinson. Booing could be beginning to ruin rugby, because fans are booing and jeering like the fans of a football match. How could you say that England's cricket supporters booing Ricky Ponting in the Ashes last year was acceptable. I would expect that a player of your era, John, would condem fans for booing, rather than encourage. Reading this article disgusted me.

  • Comment number 21.

    the game is moving on John but if yesterdays dire game and atmosphere inside the ground is progress, then you can keep it. The booing was terrible and to be honest I was embarressed and saddened to witness it.

  • Comment number 22.

    Couldn't disagree with you more on the booing. Will you be telling us complaining about decisions on the pitch & abusing the ref will be okay next?

  • Comment number 23.

    Yet another blog from JB calling for the scrapping of something that sets rugby apart from all other sports. Last Autumn you blogged about scrapping the Barbarians, now you think it is a good idea for the crowd to boo kickers. Anything else you think might make rugby less appealing JB? Maybe the players should get involved in mass brawls on the pitch and spend their time off snorting cocaine. Oh wait...

  • Comment number 24.

    Booing is probably a function of the fact that most in attendance have no week to week contact with the sport - otherwise they would know it is, and will always be unacceptable. More importantly when are we going to get a referee at Murrayfield who knows and applies the laws to scrummaging and offside at rucks and mauls? The series of prima donnas with whistles foisted on us waste the game as a spectacle and reduce our chances of ever scoring a try.

  • Comment number 25.

    I couldn't disagree with you more. At least it is heartening to see most people are of the same opinion.

    Many years going to Lansdowne, Croker, and away games have taught me that the Welsh and the French boo everyone. However the Scots and the English always seemed to be on a higher sporting level. Yesterday made me sick, and I hope its a situation which can be reversed

  • Comment number 26.

    England were truly woeful but for all the Scottish 'shape and guile', they couldn't score a try either JB.

    As for the booing. I don't like it...this aint chav ball afterall. I'm more than happy for the fans to go nuts during the game but being able to hear a pin drop during kicks really adds to the tension and atmosphere imo.

  • Comment number 27.

    It's the thin edge of the wedge, though, isn't it?

    The booing of the kicker was bad enough, but the cheers that went up around Murrayfield, when Jonny Wilkinson had to leave the field injured, trawled new depths of rugby crowd behaviour.

    I can't recall that happening before and, given the injuries suffered by Scottish players this 6 Nations, was dismayed to hear it yesterday.

  • Comment number 28.

    I can't believe all these people that are complaining about the booing. I was at the game and it all added to the atmosphere. At the end of the day it is all a bit of panto and fun. I think those that are complaining need to have a look at themselves. Why bother going to the game if you are just going to stay silent. A guy behind me kept asking me to sit down during the match! I mean seriously??! If that's what you are after then watch it on your sofa! Well done Scotland for giving it a bash. Next match... bring on the booing!!

  • Comment number 29.

    I think all the Englishmen posting on here berating the Scots for booing JW are very quick to forget the booing of Matt Giteau during the Autumn internationals. The stadium- Twickenham.

    After a similar outburst of disgust to the one we are hearing this weekend it hasn't happened since mind you. Hopefully the same thing will happen north of the border regardless of JB's opinion.

  • Comment number 30.

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  • Comment number 31.

    Compeltely disagree with you about the booing. It's very unsportsman like and disrespectful.

    I personally prefer football to rugby (especially after England's recent uninspiring displays in the 6 Nations). Although, having been to many football and rugby matches, I enjoy the atmosphere at both and I like the fact that they are so different. The calmer (can't think of a suitable word) atmosphere at a rugby match suits the game, and booing the opposition kicker would be completely inappropriate. Having respect for the opposition is all part of the game.

    As for the beautiful game, booing the opposition and particularly individual players is how it has always been and that all adds to the atmosphere, football wouldn't be football without the banter about the other team.

    Both sets of fans love their teams just as much, but there is no place for booing the opposition in rugby. End of.

  • Comment number 32.

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  • Comment number 33.

    @Mr peeps

    we expect the crowd to be respectful for place kick and injurys - you lot can make as much noise as you want at any other time!

  • Comment number 34.

    Unbelievable comment about booing! A sizeable minority of the crowd (mainly children it should be said) embarrassed the Scottish nation yesterday. I felt compelled to apologise to the English supporter next to me. We do not get this treatment when we go to almost all other grounds, even Twickenham. It's nothing to do with being old fashioned or 'saintly' - its to do with respect and the spirit of the game. Every game has its customs.

    Speaking of Bill McLaren, I remember him describing the Murrayfield reaction to England taking the pitch as "good natured booing", and of course at the same time he was appalled by any booing during kicks. That might not seem too logical, but it embodies the spirit of rugby both on the pitch and off; be aggressive/rowdy, but this has to be underpinned by respect and friendliness, or we're left with an unpleasant, corporate, 'win at all costs' Entertainment Solution, not a beloved game.

  • Comment number 35.

    I note John Beatties comments with almost total disgust. There should not be any booing of any goal kicker in any rugby union game for any reason. The late Bill MacLearn would have found such comments an offence to the game that a lot of people enjoy to both play and watch he to was Scot with a great more dignity and devotion to the game than you had or have ever had.

  • Comment number 36.

    I could not disagree more on the subject of booing. It is totally unsporting behavoir and has no place in Rugby.

    Part of what makes Rugby such a great sport is the fact there is no need for segregation of fans. I beleive that if booing were to continue it could potentially lead to worse behavoir on the terraces i.e. fighting (I'm not suggesting we will have a case like football in the 80's but it only takes one or two idiots to start trouble)

    I thought the few who booed the injured JW are a disgrace to themselves and their fellow Scottish rugby fans (many of whom I am sure were equally appalled).

    I find it unbeleivable that someone of John Beattie's standing in the sport can come out and publicly condone such behavoir - You are an idiot!

    On to the game, I thought Scotland were unlucky not to win and over the 80 minutes deserved to. England were bereft of ideas in attack, the midfield was missing and there were too many errors and missed tackles - to state the obvious!

    Looking forward I can see a bright future for Scotland under Andy Robinson, there have a terrific back row and some exciting players in their back line. I think they will be much better come next years 6n.

    For England... Is Danny Care incapable of passing the ball from the ruck without taking two steps or is he being told to do it? are the midfield too blind to see they are not giving wilko any options or are they being told to line up miles away from him and far too deep. I never thought MJ was the right man for the job. To me it is like making Gary Lineker England Football Manager - it wouldn't work.

    Sack him now along with Wells and Smith. Employ Jake White and give hime whoever he wants. I don't think that the current crop of players are good enough to win a world cup but MJ is not getting the best out of any of them.

  • Comment number 37.

    I read your comments with total disgust JB. You are employed by the BBC - an institution with self proclaimed high standards of ethics and quality. Your support for booing demonstrates that you are found lacking on both standards.

    You also demonstrate a total lack of understand of Rugby and as such I cannot understand your employment as an authority on the sport.
    Rugby is a game played by gentlemen. Booing is a disgusting, dishonourable, dreadful reaction from ignorant baffoons. Your support for it shows only that you are similarly oafish.

    I hope on reflection you will realise your poor choice of words here and will retract your statement. Until such time I must say - Shame on you. Shame on you.

  • Comment number 38.

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  • Comment number 39.

    Can't believe your condoning booing it is however becoming part of Murrayfield crowds granted a moronic minority but it is there.I also condem the MF authorities for not making a tannoy announcement asking for it to stop.

  • Comment number 40.

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  • Comment number 41.

    I have always been of the opinion that I would rather be booed if I was an international kicker. To me, the deathly hush of 60,000 fans, all of which are staring at me, would be far more off-putting than a bunch of louts screaming and swearing!

  • Comment number 42.

    Interesting start to your blog JB. Certainly got a reaction!!

    Personally I don't believe booing is a good in the grand scheme of things but neither do I think it puts place kickers off.

    BUT at the match on Saturday there was a totally different crowd of people that normally attend Scotland rugby matches. I have two debentures in the North stand and normally know 15/20 of the people I am sitting beside. On Saturday there were about 4/5 I knew - whould ask why was that but that's another question!! There were many people there who I will probably never see again for another 2 years. For want of a better phrase "rugby etiquette" hence went out of the window. Booing, jeering, talking ALL the time, texting on the mobile, answering their mobile, leaving their seats at regular intervals throughout the game (for a fag, a pee, a pint who knows!!) all were par for the course. Hence the booing was loud and rife but most coming from the one time attendees. I therefore assume that England vs Scotland at Murrayfield brings out a host of people who are there for many reasons but not to watch a rugby game. Sad but true.

    I thought the itself game was riveting as an event but not necessarily a good game of rugby. Scotland, could have, and should have won but again couldn't finish off some good line breaks. Really think Cusiter needs to vary his game plan - break, kick, pass etc. Saw at least two occasions where gaps opened up between the back of the English lineout and number 10 with Steve Borthwick the only English player close by. Cusiter could have been through that gap like a ferret. Thought Beattie, Barclay, Brown all played well. Morrison had his best game for a while. Southwell was poor - bring in Cairns.

    Will regroup and come back with more comments. Booing - no thanks.

  • Comment number 43.

    No to booing. It cheapens the game and its proud history of sporting conduct. As an established figure in the game I'm saddened that you think it is acceptable to be honest.

    Plus I think you gloss over Scotland's continuing problems in the blog - there remains a big issue with scoring tries.

  • Comment number 44.

    Wow JB, what an ill-considered thing to say.

    Time for you to start supporting the 'other' sport, methinks.

  • Comment number 45.

    I have watched rugby and International Rugby for many years. I have attended every international at Twickenham for 13 years, as well as travelling to Cardiff, Edinburgh, Dublin, Rome and Paris. Never before have I heard such a disgraceful crowd as the one at Murrayfield yesterday. They even cheered when it was announced that Jonny Wilkinson (A British Lion) was leaving the field injured. Hang your heads in shame if you were a part of this disgusting and unsporting display. We should be above football, but as usual, the Scottish bigotry brings us down to the lowest common denominator.

  • Comment number 46.

    Sorry mate, but booing or not booing probably wont make a bit of diference to an international player, they all go through there own set kicking rituals anyway, personaly I dont like booing, but each to there own.

  • Comment number 47.

    I feel it is important to retain certain standards and traditions within rugby union including showing respect for the kicker by maintaining a silence, and I therefore must disagree with you John.

    I also feel it is important to retain certain standards and traditions within rugby union considering the present situation the game finds itself in. Constant meddling with the rules and their interpretation, the increase in physicality and lack of evasive running are all areas which presently concern me. As somebody who began playing and following rugby from a young age I am extremely reluctant to see the sport regress any further, whether that be on the field or in the stands.

    Furthermore I look forward to Ireland returning to Lansdowne Road as contrary to what other contributors have said the respect shown to kickers in Croke Park in no way compares to the complete silence one would find in Lansdowne. In 2007 Wilkinson was booed by quite a number of people at Croke Park. Unfortunately a combination of the Celtic Tiger and the large capacity of Croke Park have enabled an extremely unknowledgable crowd to attend Irish home games who begin to leave 5 minutes before half time and also full time(evidenced by the extremely obese man who decided to walk out of the aisle and blocked my view as Stephen Jones kicked a penalty on Saturday) Unfortunately this is at the expense of plenty of my friends who are genuine fans who have played and understand the game but cannot get tickets. The sooner we get back to Lansdowne Road the better.

  • Comment number 48.

    I've been watching rugby now for about four years or so, and have always thought the crowds to be among the most respectful of any sport, especially towards the opposition team. Such a shame, then, that I had those thoughts cruelly dashed yesterday during Scotland vs. England.... Quite why you would think this kind of behaviour acceptable is really beyond me John, and I'm sincerely heartened by the amount of resistance from fellow posters here against allowing (or even supporting) booing and jeering of the opposition during penalty kicks to be come a regular part of the game.

  • Comment number 49.

    i don't think the english are giving their team enough credit. Scotland as we know are poor in finishing usually because they make bad decisions in the opposition 22 but the england defense was excellent yesterday. i remember scotland winning on defense alone in 2006 and getting roundly praisd for it, then again against australia. That england team may lack invension and flair possibly because they're suffocated from MJ or maybe their just not good enough but they were attacked from all angles by a very mobile scottish side and held out well giving their all and putting their bodies on the line and earned themselves a draw. yet do they get a shred of credit - of course not.

  • Comment number 50.

    Sorry John but you are way off the mark. If this is what rugby culture is becoming in Scotland, then I'm very afraid for the game elsewhere. It will only result in the "game they play in heaven" being re-located to hell - which is not pleasant for spectators.

    I honestly hope that you are the only person in Scotland with this viewpoint, and am now fearing what you will say next week - like "we should allow home team spectators to throw things at the opposition fans and players.." Sorry John but this is a game for gentlemen.

  • Comment number 51.

    I'm guessing you knew you'd get this response, John, and said it anyway...

    The booing, in and of itself, is ugly, but it's more of a symptom than the root. Rugby should be aggressive, but not vindictive, passionate, but not nasty - that goes for fans as much as players. I'll yell like mad with the best of them when the play's exciting, but the atmosphere is soured when you're sitting by/near people who don't realise, or don't care, that they're attitude is just ugly.

    If, as other posters are saying, it was mainly children who were booing, there should be a concerted campaign by the SRU to stress to schools and other youth groups the importance of educating the kids about rugby etiquette. It shouldn't be that hard. Kids need to be told where the line is, or they will cross it without realising it. I know some won't be able to help themselves even if they're told, but schools/teachers should warn them they won't get to come again if they're heard booing.

    I was at the 1990 match as a 16-year-old, and a former England football captain was sitting in the row behind us, and kept saying 'Miss it, miss it' whenever Craig Chalmers had a kick at goal. Apart from being a bit daft when surrounded by Scots, I remember thinking he was a bit of an idiot. (He then had to endure Tony Stanger scoring right in front of us). The danger is, if the booing etc. continues or becomes outright abuse, that'll be the reputation we'll get as a nation.

  • Comment number 52.

    I agree with John on this one. We need to to encourage more youngsters to take up the game and to do so we need to create a bit of passion around the game and make going to Murrayfield a real experience.
    We want people to go to Murrayfield and do whatever they can (legally) to help our national team win.
    For too long the stuck up middle class Edinburgh brigade (god forbid if you stand up in front of one of them for too long) have controlled the atmosphere in the ground. Let's get some passion invovled and encourage people to go and have a good time. It's no different to the Munster fans staying deadly quiet.
    I'd also like to get rid of the proclaimers and bring in some real thunderous pipe and drum music to create a real intimidating atmosphere before kick off. Look what happened to Australia when we had the stadium in pitch black with massive flames.

  • Comment number 53.

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  • Comment number 54.

    Johnnie - I am actually a bit shocked at what you've said. I watched you with huge pride playing at Murrayfield in the days when rugby genuinely was a "decent" sport. Watching the match on TV from London yesterday I was disturbed, upset and ashamed to be a Scotland supporter hearing the disgusting behaviour of the Scottish "fans". Professionalism, devolution... the game is no longer the game I loved. That said, Wee Johnnie played maybe the best game of his life in a blue jersey - we're all hugely proud of him. I just wish the fans could behave with a bit more decorum. Sorry - had to be said. Doesn't please me at all to say it.

  • Comment number 55.

    What a ridiculous thing to suggest. Maybe we should emulate other sports and normalise diving and racism on the terraces?

  • Comment number 56.

    i agree with you john, booing is fine. I'm tired of these anti football comments, there so snooty, get over yourselves. Rugby is a fast growing sport bacause of the fierce passion and rivalries especially in the 6N. Rugby grounds should be cauldrons of intimidation. The class players will thrive in the confrontational arena the opportunity to silence the hostile crowds.

  • Comment number 57.

    Jamie MacNab, I agree with some of your ideas, and that those who want to watch a game in complete peace and quiet should watch it on TV instead of at the ground. Yes, let's raise the roof and the passion levels, but passion doesn't have to be nasty or vindictive. Booing isn't passionate, it's casual, lazy and ignorant.

  • Comment number 58.

    Whoa.....come on guys.

    Naigib, howgoodistune, matthew........don't cross the line between a good argument/discussion and personal abuse!! JB is quite right to ask the question and also put forward what he believes and thinks - I see that as part of his job!!

    It's good to see most of the posters disagree with JB on this but that doesn't give anyone the right to "attack" JB personally.

    Calm down - it's only a commercial!

  • Comment number 59.

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  • Comment number 60.

    Spot on Ken Mavor, no need to attack JB personally, booing is not good for rugby, but if he thinks it is then that is is opinnion and we should respect that even if we dont agree.

  • Comment number 61.

    @sammuzz1

    Its a perchance somewhat patronizing to suggest that not liking association football makes one snooty!

    Either way, you're right that this has nothing to do with football. There was admittedly one 'chav' comment, which is silly because this has nothing to do with class either. In any case, the private school kids who were booing on Saturday were certainly not working class!

    I'm sure rugby fans of all backgrounds have here united to say simply that they do not want booing of kicks in rugby!

  • Comment number 62.

    The booing is an americanism, as they are very much in for "abusing" the opposition. I think it is disgusting, it has no place in rugby. Scream, shout, ring for your team when in attack and defence, but a lot of people have talked about the sportsmanship and the bastion of respect that sets rugby apart. That needs to continue. Unfortunately, what you tend to get at Murrayfield is a lot of the "fair weather" rugby supporters, that are all really football lovers that add that disgusting element to the game. I also hate the use of bas**** that punctuates our anthem. None of these will ever be controlled which is truly unfortunate.

    In terms of how we are doing as a team, Scotland that is, it is difficult and I think progression is being banded around far too much. We need to start scoring, then we will truly be showing progression. Running it from side to side and then a few times up the middle isnt all that hard to do. I hope we get it sorted and started converting pressure into points.

    England do look lost, and there seems to be first team politics playing a huge role in who is getting selected. It is a bit of a vicious cycle though, if MJ was to start going for form players but then losing the games, he would criticised, despite the calls for him to select the form players. He goes with what he feels is a bit more tried and tested but still gets critised. He cant win. The heights he reached as a player were meant to, at least in the English eyes, meant to transfer immediately into his England team, and because that hasnt happened, the supporters cant wrap their heads around it.

  • Comment number 63.

    I agree with the other posts - booing when a player is taking a kick has no place in rugby which is a game of hard won respect.

  • Comment number 64.

    Booing the opposition? I love it either way (we boo them and they boo back). It adds to the theatre - which lets face it, has been somewhat lacking in the game of late (although France rediscovering their old selves in this tournament may bump up the entertainment value a notch or two if they can continue some of the stuff they've been playing over a prolonged period). Firstly, can the opposition's kicker handle the pressure? Secondly, if the kicker is of your team and the opposing fans are booing, it makes it that much sweeter when he slots it over (Dan Parks for Glasgow v Dragons a couple of seasons back when all of Newport was baying at him to miss and he knocked over the winning kick).
    Plus all the 'holier than thou' nonsense that has been posted in response is somewhat hollow when you bear in mind that the players that they and many before them have been cheering on have been apt at employing the dark arts of the scrum/line-out/ruck. I was watching footage of Scotland's win in Wales back in 1984 and Richard Moriaty would have been more suited to being a nightclub-bouncer instead of a rugby-playing electrician with his dismissal of the 'fair-play' ideal. And he wasn't the only one. Compared to what goes on during the game, booing is the least of our worries. Anyone see the picture in the Scotland on Sunday of an English player (face obscured by a team-mate so I can't identify him) shoving his finger into Ross Ford's eye? That sort of thing is more of a pressing concern.

  • Comment number 65.

    The SRu needs to stamp this out or we will be tarnished with a bad reputation. and since our national team cant even win games to earn any respect and compensate, thats not something we want.

    There is a line between being a passionate and loud fan and a disrespectfull thug. unfortunately we seem to be crossing over it.

  • Comment number 66.

    I am delighted to see that most of the other comments here also disapprove of booing during rugby games. It confirms my suspicion that many of the current spectators at 6 nation games know or care little about the actual game of rugby and are mainly there for the social aspect. In contrast, the readers of sites like this are obviously interested in the game itself.
    It does not matter whether or not booing affects the other team's kicker at all, it should not be part of the game.

  • Comment number 67.

    JB you really seem to have lit a fire under the belly of some of us here. I will say that I am not a big fan of booing during kicks but then again the Calcutta cup is no ordinary match the passion that it lights in some of us is unrivalled by anything else, is it not all part of the banter anyway. I for one was delighted to actually see the crowd get involved in the game. I have been a student in Edinburgh for 5 years now and only missed one game at Murrayfield during this time and I can say that I am sick of the poor showing from the Scottish fans in turn out and vocalising of support, as someone commented above I have been told on numerous occasions to sit down and stop making so much noise.

    On another note I notice several people have commented that the crowd cheered when Wilko went off and the same when Ugo went off, i'm sorry but were you in the same stadium as me, they both got a applaused off the pitch, for as much as these players have tormented us over the years we still show respect to them for putting their bodies on the line!!

  • Comment number 68.

    JB. You are way off the mark here. What can we expect next, vicious attacks by rugby fans on eachother in the alleyways outside bars after the game like Rangers and Celtic fans?

    We expect poor sportsmanship in soccer. We should not encourage it in rugby.

  • Comment number 69.

    I was watching the game on TV and getting really annoyed by the commentators banging on and on about how disgraceful the booing was.

    If I'd paid seventy quid for a ticket, I would be booing heartilly every time the English kicker lined up, and would have no problem with the English supporter sitting beside me doing the same when our boy was kicking. It all adds to the fun.

    I've seen a lot of boring rugby recently, and it isn't been helped by the improvement in kicking over the years. I mean, hats off to the kickers as they can punt the darned thing over from just about anywhere, but it does mean that games are won and lost by silly fouls in distint areas during non-threatening passages of play. It would be like giving a penalty kick in soccer for every single foul committed in your own half. In no other sport is such a huge advantage gained (an almost-inevitable 3 points) for such trivial mistakes and minor transgresisons made by the other team.

    Given the ludicrous power of the penalty, and the impressive skills of the kickers, why shouldn't a crowd get involved in trying to affect the outcome?

    If all the crowd are allowed to do is roar on their team's exciting attmepts to score a try, then they will have plenty little to roar about! Why try and score a try if you can get an easy three points for fannying about in the opposition half for five minutes until someone in the other team makes a trivial foul?

    A lot of people in Scotland don't like rugby because they see it as elitist, exclusive and snooty. I fear that a number of the responses to this blog may reinforce that tired (and probably wrong) stereotype.

  • Comment number 70.

    I am sorry but I think we have to attack this kind of idiocy on a personal level.
    If we do not and merely brush it off as one person's opinion then that opinion can fester and multiply and you have what took place in Scotland yesterday.
    No, I stand by what I said before, this positive spin on the shabby behaviour that is booing demonstrates a lack of class and understanding that has no place in rugby and no place on the bbc which should have better standards.
    I therefore standby my, and many others', justified attack on JB's character and ability to do his job for this organisation. His position erodes the high esteem in which the public hold the bbc and in which rugby is played and watched.

  • Comment number 71.


    JOHN, I CANT BELIEVE YOU CONDONE AND PROMOTE BOOING!!

    maybe we should shout abuse at the opposition fans all during the game as well and have a big ole fight afterwords...and set aside one stand for the traveling fans so a riot doesn't break out during the game!

    I think this is the dumbest statement you have made yet Johnny boy and from reading above I think everyone would agree.

  • Comment number 72.

    I'm not here to try and justify the booing but I think you can look in detail at the reasons for the booing on the whole.

    I think there are a few contributing factors. I was at the Australia match in the Autumn and at first there was some pantomime booing of Australian players which were more ironic when it became apparent that Mr Giteau had left his kicking boots behind. By the time it came to the last kick the whole stadium / country was so desperate for some success in the recent barren period in Scottish rugby (sport?) that they would have done anything for him to miss that kick. So I think a desire for any kind of success is part of it - a country that hasn't had anything to cheer about rugby wise for over ten years bar the occasional Calcutta Cup.

    Secondly I think England, partially their own (media's) fault and partially the fiercest rival syndrome, are placed on such a pedestal that there is nothing but joy when things go awry, which may explain (but not justify) the jeering at Wilkinson.

    Thirdly the kids involved are seeing rugby generally for the first time, if you look at their exposure to sport then they will be far more familiar with football etiquette than any rugby etiquette. Rugby appears on the TV a few times a year, there are two pro clubs who get about 10,000 spectators between them for a game, apart from the borders, crowds are small at club games and there is no T.V. coverage of pro or club games. Compare that to the exposure football has in their daily life and of course they are going to behave like football fans. You may say their parents should give them a clip around the ear, but the reality is is that these youngsters have been brought by clubs with 7 or 8 kids to one adult.

    Those of you questioning John's attitude to rugby need to grow up. Messrs Moore, Guscott, Davies, Butler, Barnes et al have all said some controversial / biased things on air that have sat poorly with many fans. John's blogs have been well thought out with a passion for rugby; the whole point of a forum is to spark debate, you are not meant to agree with everything he says.

    As for me - Ironic cheers, pantomime booing have a place in the game when coupled with a respect for it - you can boo a kick if you like, but applaud it when it goes over. These guys are professionals who learn to play in a pressured environment: they are unlikely to give a jot. It is just prissy fans looking misty eyed to the past who are upset. Was the punch of Hartley better or worse than the booing? What singles rugby out from other sports is at the end of the day there is still respect between players, fans, referees after all is said and done on the pitch.

  • Comment number 73.

    For those of you noting your disgust, shock, upset or directing insults or (unbelievably) calling for JB to be "disciplined": seek counselling.

    As it happens, I disagree with JB on this one ONLY because in my opinion, the acceptance of booing opposition place kicks could be the beginning of the end of the generally good natured mixed crowds we see at rugby matches. These are professionals who should take it in their stride to block out the jeers but my concern is it could start crowd trouble.

    Cheering the injury of a player is completely wrong. From where I was sitting (not far from where Brown and Monye collided), I saw nothing but concern towards the injured players (who I hope make a full and speedy recovery).

    Anyway, on to the rugby.....having just watched the BBC coverage.....

    JB, I thought Johnnie was awesome again and I'm sure you're beaming with pride at his man of the match performance. Our back row is something to be proud of - in the tradition of the best Scottish breakaway forwards. Graeme Morrison clicked as you said he would and Nick De Luca I think had his best international performance to date. Overall, I'm feeling positive about the future of our team despite being 99% certain we'll end up with the wooden spoon. It's a weird feeling.

  • Comment number 74.

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Another insightful blog from Mr Jingoism - I sincerely hope you do this for nothing - if so you're getting paid too much.

  • Comment number 75.

    PS - Quite a few comments have been posted suggesting that a lot of the booing fans at Murrayfield were not proper rugby fans as they only come along to the big internationals.

    Of course, this is correct - the two biggest rugby clubs in Scotland struggle to get 2,500 fans through the turnstiles at league games, so the vast, vast majority of international fans only go to those games.

    So if you want to chuck out all but the regular 'real' rugby fans then you will be left with quite a quiet Murrayfield.....

    Still, at least there won't be any booing when we add to our collection of wooden spoons....

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    It is quite simple really, articles like this will help destroy the game of Rugby.

    When a player is attempting a kick at goal you shut up and respect him. Croke Park yesterday was proof that 80,000 people can keep quiet and respect the people they are paying to watch.

    I'm sorry, but this game is built on strong morals and traditions. Attempting to distract a kicker is not in the spirit of rugby. It is a mindless act and ultimately never works; you are a supporter, there to support your team, not root against the opposition.

  • Comment number 78.

    I'll add my voice to those with a strong dislike of booing. I was at Franklin's Gardens earlier today for Saints versus Saracens, and there was silence for the place kicking of both teams. And, at the Saints, we'll even offer respectful applause for good play against us.

    Yet another reason to prefer club rugby to international rugby...?

  • Comment number 79.

    I'm not convinced all this booing has any impact on the kicker at all. If the players come out and complain then fine but I haven't heard them do that.

    As for JB, he's doing his job hence the responses. Keep at it JB.

    Light taper and retire....

  • Comment number 80.

    This is one of the few times I'd be inclined to disagree John, I'm all for passionate support however I feel that booing a kicker is highly disrespectful and uneccessary, especially seeing as its 4 points less than it could be! And in some ways John, silence is more off-putting than a lot of noise I think its just in good sportsmanship really. I do however agree with your comments about the game, England look completely lost, and do not seem to have any sense of direction, I think its high time they got rid of Wilkinson and Borthwick, coincidently Johnson's chums. We're looking like we're on the curve of improvement but I still think Morrison either has to step up again, or we need a new option at 12, you also forgot to mention that De Luca had an exceptional game and made some very good breaks and didn't lose the ball once, he has clearly taken comments into account! But once again John, an enjoyable blog entry.

  • Comment number 81.

    JB - i'm with you on this one. lets face it most people who go and watch a sporting event have had a few jars first, myself included. i can't help but cheer eveything my team does and boo what the other team does - if you are passionate about it, this is what a good fan does.You can't just switch it off.

    booing kicks i have no problem with, booing injured players is different. But i think there were explanations for yesterday's booing. Wilkinson is like Carling used to be - a symbol of England - and you just loved it when he was hit, if it had been someone else there would have been no booing... as for Monye it seemed that people were laughing because the buggy had broken down and it was the best push the english forwards had put in all game !

    booing kicks - yes, booing injured players - no, ignore all these uptight
    yuppies on your blog - yes

    keep up the good work John !



  • Comment number 82.

    I'm sorry John but your argument is simply not valid, it has always been that you do no boo. It is all a matter of respect, yes we would all like to see some more pressure on kickers, but I think that kickers deserve respect and the traditions of the game should be honoured.

  • Comment number 83.

    I agree completely with your points on putting off the kicker. Scotland beat Australia in the autumn, probably the proudest Scottish rugby moment for a decade - perhaps aside from any as long as we beat the English occasions, and it only happened because one of the most composed and skilled players in world rugby was put off by a hostile environment created by the crowd.

    If i had a choice between being associated with a sport that's only quality that sets it aside from other sporting contest is the crowd's ability to respect an opposition (enemy-spy) for one facet of a match (despite the effort to create a hostile and advantageous atmosphere in every other way) and lose - or be consistant with global sport and support the home team by giving them every advantage possible and winning, not least one of the best teams in the world, i know which i would chose!

  • Comment number 84.

    A few points from what has been said:

    1) Personal attacks on JB for having an opinion is a bit strong, he has started a debate and there are important points to take from both sides of it, I think we may find out that is all he was aiming to do.

    2) Those that are comparing the booing at kicks and the jeering when wilko went off are contorting the arguement for your own means, that is not what was said.

    3) The big huge issue here is that Murrayfield has been treated like a library for far too long, how often have teams come to Edinburgh and felt like they were at home, apart from Italy I've been to games against all 4 other sides where all through the game all we have heard is Vale of Heaven, Allez les Blues, Sweet Chariot, or Fields of Athenry.

    For the record I like it when it's a silent and you can tell from the fans if the ball is going over, but I don't see booing at kicks being a huge issue and would accept it if it means we get more lively, intimidating atmosphere and can make our team feel like they are playing at home.

    There is,however, no place in a stadium for 'fans' who would boo an injured player and am as annoyed with those Scots booing Wilko/Monye this weekend as I was 2 years ago when the English around me were jeering Rory Lamont when he got that nasty mid air knock in the 6N game. It should be a passionate game but never nasty to that extend. That needs to be cut out.

    JB interesting point and argument, booing kicks adds to the pantomime as some put it and if it improves atmosphere at Murrayfield, then it can be a good thing in my opinion.

  • Comment number 85.

    This is professional sport and the players are paid to deal with the pressure that comes with the job, including booing from fans who pay to watch. Times have moved on and the atmosphere was enhanced by the involvement of the fans during the game, this is what Scotland needs at home. It helps to create a unique atmosphere at Murrayfield, a good contrast to Croke Park and other grounds, not wrong, just different. I think a lot of people have overreacted by saying they are 'disgusted' and 'shocked' by the booing, don't worry, no matter how much people boo, I'm sure we'll always be able to differentiate between football and rugby!

    I do have to say I disagree with booing injured players though as I'm sure everyone, including John, will too.

    As for the game itself I don't think there was a huge amount of progress made, some, not much though. Scotland are still very inefficient in the opposition 22, while the build up is good they still lack the finishing touch to score tries. I do think they threatened the try line more than England did though, like JB says, they don't look like they know what they're doing on the pitch.

  • Comment number 86.

    Watched some more highlights of the game and really believe that AR is starting to make a difference and move things in the right direction. Ireland, I think, will be a great test of this new Scottish team's belief. They are starting to do the simple things correctly and well which allows you to start playing with some progression.

    Scrum seemed to cope OKish with the English pack. Still think we need some more movement from scrum half. Dan Parks needs to try making a break every so often as well. Need to bring in Cairns as well.

    Overall though I think progress has been made and is being amde even though we will take the wooden spoon.

  • Comment number 87.

    Go to a "normal" game and you get respect for the kicker. Croke park was silent.
    Most of the booing at Murrayfield was to drown out Swing Low, fair game.
    However booing the kicker is not on. The announcer made one call to respect the kicker before the match started when the stadium was not even filled.
    Sorry but Johnny and Moyne were not booed when they were injured from what I saw and heard in the stand.
    Roll on the World Cup as Argentina will be the team to beat not Engerland!

  • Comment number 88.

    John

    It goes well beyond bad manners and exposes something quite ugly about the Murrayfield crowd. Having had a week or two build up their errrr...passion, usually over some ancient and usually fictitious grievance, the crowd bay like a pack of animals throughout the game and always scream their hatred at the visiting kicker.

    Rank hypocrisy holds sway in which an English player kicking at goal is booed, apparantly for not running the ball whilst a Scots kicker is reverently applauded for his conservative good sense. When a handful of English supporters tried to get their own back by whistling a Scots kicker there were storms of outraged protest from the Murrayfield faithful...people one assumes for whom the concept of self-knowledge is alien. A significant minority even cheered when Jonny Wilkinson was injured....nice!

    England players never seem to learn that they will encounter a team who have been fired up out of their minds by all the usual baloney and seem fazed by people prepared to play with such violent intensity. It seems eternally odd that players can be whipped into a frenzy by 600 year old events. England it seems either don't have these sorts of grievances to nurse...or they don't form part of the history curriculum so they can't turn up the sheer venom for the big event. There could of course be a solution. Perhaps next time Martin Johnson can brief his players on the terms of the Barnett Formula, a grievance not going on 600 years ago but happening right here...right now. Then it might be Scotland's turn to be on the receiving end of some "violent intensity"...coming onto the pitch at Twickenham with the Barbour jacket types howling their hatred.

  • Comment number 89.

    Amid all this booing controversy beattie has slipped this gem past all of you..

    'You can see shape and guile from Scotland'.

    i'm not sure whether beattie was at the game and maybe things were missed by the bbc cameras but in this 6 nations and the last 'shape' and 'guile' are not words i would use anywhere near the word 'scotland'

    i watched the full game on Saturday, i embarrassingly admit, and am still trying to comprehend what the 30+ 'professionals' produced in 80 minutes of over-hyped 'blood and thunder'
    this was perhaps the most inept display of rugby (i use the term loosely) ever seen.awful. 80 minutes i'll never get back




  • Comment number 90.

    @taffyinbath

    right, so football teams normally win, and rugby teams normally lose. that makes sense. i don't believe booing even puts kickers off. by your logic, scotland should be world champions. but thats not the point.

    @backstick

    don't you realise its the "YUPPIES" - ignorant businessmen there on corporate freebies, bratty private school kids - who are booing? working class, and distinctly non-yuppieish grounds in limerick and llanelli and bristol tend to be the most respectful and silent!

  • Comment number 91.

    Oh and agree entirely with Matthew, if the other team plays well this should also be appreciated, we are after all there to watch rugby, our team winning is just an added bonus!

  • Comment number 92.

    John Beattie is right, there is nothing wrong with booing, but the comments to this blog show why everyone else hates the holier-than-thou attitude of rugby union fans. Especially the constant criticism of soccer crowds, players, officials... guess what? A MAJORITY disagree with you. As for it being "unsporting" to boo, what utter, utter rubbish. It's unsporting to punch opponents in a ruck, but most of Union fans don't seem to have any problem with THAT.

    And for the record, I would boo Ricky Ponting as well.

  • Comment number 93.

    On the England front, I can't for the life of me understand how they are not able to challenge at the highest level. The NH needs a strong England as does the rugby world, I'd hate to see the SH countries run away with the world cup next year, let's at least make it competitive.

    Interestingly, in Eddie Butler's column in Observer last Sunday he listed his 15 players of the tournament this year and not one England player made the list. The killer B's were all there and described as "the most effective back row in the competition both individually and as a unit." Praise indeed!

  • Comment number 94.

    Just back from the game myself John, a hectic journey this weekend involving trains, coaches, taxis, buses and not very much sleep. It was an interesting atmosphere and was good to see fans from both Nations showing support and being vocal. Booing 'Swin Low' is not the end of the world. Booing the National anthem would be a different story though I think. As for Scotland we only have one song but it was good to see that they got the band playing at moments throughout the match to spur people into voice, im guessing that was Robinson's idea or one of his team but great as sometimes it can be just abuse you hear in the stands at the Calcutta cup match.
    Booing kicks is a tricky, subject and shouldn't be encouraged. But silence? is it necessary to stop talking? I was at the London Irish v Leinster match earlier this year and it was silent for the kicks, something that I scoffed at. My answer was that these guys are professionals, is me speaking to the person next to me really going to put him off?
    But still I wasn't booing, although neither was a team I support, but the prospect of that match sounded tasty- sadly it wasn't that great.
    Anyway as for Scotland and International matches I don't think the booing matters that much, it's not nice, but I don't think it really affects the players. Matt Giteau missed most of his kicks at Murrayfield even without the booing...

  • Comment number 95.

    I'm afraid what we are seeing here is the main problem as to why Scotland under perform.
    As a nation we are far too quick at saying " oh well we lost and didn't seem to do much during the game but at least we kept our dignity and self respect"
    That is not what wins matches, passion wins games and we are far too quick in accepting defeat. We seem to much prefer being the plucky losers to the showy champions and until that changes we'll keep losing and a draw on Saturday was a loss.
    For all the people getting excited consider this. would you have gone home from the game happy if Toby Flood had slotted that last kick amid complete silence or would you be far more happy if we'd screamed and shouted at him earlier on and he'd missed his kicks and we'd won" If you prefer that we lose then you're what's wrong with Scottish sport.

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    I agree with you on the booing JB. At least it adds some sort of excitement and atmosphere to this glorified pile on. I would say about 15% of yesterday's game was made up of collapsed scrummages.

    Anglophone - "It seems eternally odd that players can be whipped into a frenzy by 600 year old events"

    I'm sure the Germans of the 21st century can't understand why the Poles are so desperate to beat them at football. "Why can't they just let bygones be bygones?".

  • Comment number 98.


    The way the Scottish fans cheered when Wilkinson was injured and Monye carried off confirmed two things to me.

    1) The notion of a "British Isles" is long dead.

    2) The old adage is true, "Scotland, worth seeing....but not worth going to see."

  • Comment number 99.

    Boo-ing during a kick is disgraceful. it has no place in rugby and JB as a past player you should know better than to condone this sort of behaviour. i was livid when i read the title of this blog, so much so that i registered to post this comment.

    In saying that i appreciate that you had the horrible job of writing a match report on this "game of rugby" and couldnt really find anything else to say on the matter. what a truly awful game of rugby it was.

    we look forward to hosting the scots next week and hope against hope to be able to cope with their "shape and guile"...and then obliterating them.

    JB have some sleep before you post your next blog as this was insulting to true rugby fans

  • Comment number 100.

    #98 archlionheart

    "the notion of a british isles is long dead"

    dead right - 5/6ths of the island of Ireland has been independent since 1922. I am not British, and there is nothing British about my country.

 

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