John Beattie (archive)

What is acceptable violence?

  • John Beattie
  • 12 Mar 07, 05:39 PM

John Beattiesco_badge.gifire_badge.gif Glasgow - Friends of mine know that I don’t like to beat about the bush. So, here goes...why did Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan accuse a Scottish player of deliberately choking one of his players? And this leads to another question: What is an acceptable level of violence on a rugby pitch?

I have been quiet on the blog over the last two weeks because defeat by Italy was hard to take. There has been much gnashing of teeth in this country, and even people with no teeth have been provided with them so that they can join in. But I left Murrayfield at the weekend with a feeling that Scotland had played much better and that they should have beaten an Irish team which turned out to be not quite as good as the hype.

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Is the Scottish exodus a worry?

  • John Beattie
  • 23 Feb 07, 01:18 PM

John Beattiesco_badge.gifGlasgow - The Scottish papers today had an amazing story. Rob Dewey, the powerhouse Edinburgh centre, had signed for Ulster.

One of our country’s most potent attacking weapons and a man with the best rugby years ahead of him was actually going to play across the Irish Sea.

What do you think about this? Do you need your country’s players to play in your country?

There were rumours flying around that Scott Lawson, the Glasgow hooker, had signed for Sale, the papers had already carried stories of two more Edinburgh players leaving, as well as Simon Danielli who is leaving the Borders to go to Ulster.

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Does McLeish or Hadden have the harder job?

  • John Beattie
  • 20 Feb 07, 09:51 AM

John Beattiesco_badge.gifI wonder who has a harder job, a football manager or a rugby manager? In fact, let’s get down to it, which is the better game, soccer-type football or rugby football? I think rugby is.

It was arranged for Scottish rugby boss Frank Hadden and football counterpart Alex McLeish to have lunch the other day, in a rather nice little bistro on Hanover street in Edinburgh.

Rather than sit with them, Andy Gillies (Five Live’s supremo north of the border) and I thought it would be a good idea if we just left them to have lunch together and then interviewed them afterwards.

And it was interesting - you can listen to it here

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Jamming with Chris Cusiter

  • John Beattie
  • 13 Feb 07, 05:46 PM


Here's another photo from the Hearts and Balls charity bash we held at the Jam House in Edinburgh after Scotland beat Wales.

Scotland scrum-half Chris Cusiter is on guitar in the foreground rocking the house down.

Why does home advantage make a difference?

  • John Beattie
  • 12 Feb 07, 11:50 AM

John Beattiesco_badge.gifI seek knowledge. Could someone please explain to me the concept of home advantage? Eh? What is it all about?

Why do teams playing on a piece of turf that is 100m by 70m and largely identical to any other such piece of turf produce a more formidable performance if it is “at home”.

Hoarse, tired, happy. That’s how it feels after you’ve won, and all I was doing was a commentary!

Having been at Murrayfield on Saturday and marvelled at how a Scottish rugby team with such a paucity of comparative resources can beat a Welsh team, life is a bit sweeter.

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Pick your favourites

  • John Beattie
  • 9 Feb 07, 12:22 PM

John Beattiesco_badge.gifGlasgow - Who is the best Scottish player of all time, and who is the best Welsh player of all time? What the heck, who is your favourite player of all time?

Here I am, dribbling, looking ahead to the Scotland Wales game. ESPN the other night had a Wales/Scotland game on from the nineteen seventies, and it was brilliant.

I love these games and they remind me firstly of sitting with two rolls with ham and mustard, a tomato, and a glass of milk, and Andy Irvine taking penalty kicks with me, my brothers and my Dad running to the hall unable to watch and my mum left in the front room.

Also they remind me of great days on the old Murrayfield terraces, or of actually being on the pitch itself.

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Refs must punish handling in the rucks

  • John Beattie
  • 6 Feb 07, 12:57 PM

John BeattieHandling in rucks, it is starting to get to me.

Now, I am a big fan of Irish rugby as I think their efficiency in keeping hold of the ball looks to be the best in the Six Nations.

But exactly how much handling in a ruck are we going to allow for goodness sake, and isn’t too much of it going to spoil the game?

Referees have to be far stricter, don’t you think? Aren't killers of the ball murderers of the game?

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An unhappy medium!

  • John Beattie
  • 1 Feb 07, 08:30 AM

John Beattiesco_badge.gifGlasgow - English players playing as if holding a grudge? I couldn’t believe my flaming ears.

At the end of my road lives on old woman with one leg, bad breath, and a dead dog from whose eye drips lots and lots of yellow-matter custard. The trouble is, she can see into the future and I think I saw Martin O’Neill leaving her house just the other day.

She told me what’s going to happen on Saturday, and I wonder if you agree. This, after I had poured her a whopping great big whisky, is what she said, and I will need to rush as she is banging at my door demanding payment...

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The generation game

  • John Beattie
  • 30 Jan 07, 10:34 AM

John Beattiesco_badge.gifGlasgow - Proof this morning of global warming because I woke up and still had the hots for my wife.

But as I creaked out of bed, gingerly, for I am approaching a major birthday this year, I pondered on whether I had played rugby too long.

And that's the topic today, who's the oldest rugby player you've met or played with or against? Just for fun let us celebrate the older player. How long can you keep playing rugby?

I played until I was 29. The ball sailed my way at the start of the second half at Twickenham and I ran at the nearest English player. He tackled me low, very low, and, bang, the right knee gave way. I should never have caught that flaming ball. Gary Pearce, I shall visit you one day...

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Do we need nationalistic rivalry?

  • John Beattie
  • 26 Jan 07, 06:00 PM

John Beattiesco_badge.gifGlasgow - Are rugby fans more aggressive toward each other now? Especially this silly nonsense between small-minded Scots and equally small-minded English fans?

Do I sense that in some of the postings here, and do I see it and hear it at weekends?

Do we really dislike each other because someone, a long time ago, drew a line in the ground, called it a border, and persuaded us all that those across it were different?

When I was a kid I went to Murrayfield to watch the internationals. I think I can say, hand on heart, that I looked forward to the (then) Five Nations like an excited child anticipating a first bike for Christmas.

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Should rugby be played in the summer?

  • John Beattie
  • 25 Jan 07, 10:38 AM

John Beattie Glasgow - I got into the trusty Saab today on a bright, crisp morning and thought: “What a flaming lovely day. It feels good to be alive.”

This was just before I started chittering and grabbed a cd cover to scrape the ice off the front windscreen. Inside the car the temperature gauge registered -3 degrees. Minus three! Is this really rugby-playing weather?

Now, I write this because I coach West of Scotland rugby team up here North of Hadrian’s Wall, and we shall be training tonight on a surface that will, at best, be described as “crispy”.

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Eating a Big Mac after beating England

  • John Beattie
  • 24 Jan 07, 12:59 PM

John Beattiesco_badge.gifGlasgow - Today is one of those days. Busy. Still no word from Charlotte, maybe I should speak to Gavin Henson. Can one speak to Gavin Henson?

Is it possible to pick up a phone, call the Ospreys, and say: “Can I speak to Gavin Henson please?”

Anyway, I was just along the corridor at the high tech bit of the BBC here in Scotland where they edit fancy bits and pieces together.

Pete, Chris, Katie ( all three locked away in a high static hotbed of multi million pound technology) and I got into a conversation about the size of rugby players as Pete had been at the SRU filming the “portraits” of the players.

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Banging the drum for rugby's casualties

  • John Beattie
  • 23 Jan 07, 02:29 PM

John Beattiesco_badge.gifGlasgow - Anyone know where Charlotte Church is? I need her to sing at a gig in Edinburgh in a couple of weeks?

Sometimes there is so much more to life than a mere result and although I am writing this while we all wait for the Scottish rugby team to take on England to be announced, sometimes it’s worth pausing to realise that friendship is more important than who scores more points.

A couple of my former Scottish team mates have health problems and I want to say hello to them without naming them, and I talked to two current Scottish rugby players last night.

Scrum half Chris Cusiter and back row man Kelly Brown are going to play in my band on 10 February at a big function to try to raise money for rugby injuries.

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About John Beattie

  • John Beattie
  • 17 Jan 07, 12:45 PM

j_beattie_6666.gifsco_badge.gifI was born in Borneo, and swinging from tree to tree helped me in later years as I ended up playing rugby for Scotland.

This was predicted, funnily enough, by my Malaysian headmaster who said, on the day I left to start his new life in Scotland as an eleven year old: “Beattie, you are the roughest boy we have ever had here - you will surely play rugby for your new country.”

I won 25 caps and went on two British Lions tours and on retiring slid into broadcasting even though Chartered accountancy was tugging at my heart strings..

I play guitar in a rock band for fun, coach West of Scotland rugby club, and host radio and TV programmes North of Hadrian’s wall.

I’m, frankly, a bit alarmed that my son, also John, now plays international rugby as it doesn’t seem that long since the child was brought home in a blanket.

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