Scotland (archive)

BBC Sport Rugby

Now That's What I Call Tom and Ben (in photos) (19)

Hang out the bunting, strike up the band, Tom and Ben are home.

Not quite in a jet draped with flags, awaiting a press corps and tumult of fans, more in a campervan, on a ferry, still wearing those flip-flops. And that vest. Probably.

So here's a best of Fordyce & Dirs, in photos and links to remind you of the past seven weeks' adventure.

You can check out all of their photos on

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Mark Orlovac

The Bloggys (70)

Waterloo station/ a cross channel ferry, Monday - As a final parting World Cup gift, myself, Tom and Ben (remember them?) thought we'd dish out a few prizes from the last seven weeks. First prize goes to all of you, obviously, for reading and joining in and making the blog what it is.

But after you lot, there have been some outstanding, and not so clever, achievements. Here's just a few. Let's call them "The Bloggys". (See if you can spot who wrote which ones!)

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John Beattie

Why all six nations should back England (419)

I know, I know, it might seem a crazy idea, but I’d like all Scots, Welsh, Irish, French and Italians to support England in the rugby World Cup final. What do you think?

Aaargh, stop throwing bricks at me and let me put forward my logic.

You see, when I was a wee boy growing up in Borneo, the UK seemed a long way away. But it also struck me that all of us in the Northern Hemisphere are quite like each other. For instance, you can’t say that someone a mile north of the Scottish border with England is markedly different from someone a mile south of it.

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Tom Fordyce

Sweet and sour memories of Marseille (84)

Marseille, Monday morning - There’s no two ways about it – that was without doubt the greatest sporting weekend I’ve ever been involved in.

Marseille this weekend has been a city drenched in beer, tension, disbelief, sorrow, happiness and wild, wide-eyed celebration.

Even now, with the streets finally emptying of campervans, sleeping fans and plastic pint pots, you can still almost feel the excitement bouncing off the sticky pavements.

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Mark Orlovac

Scotland ponder what might have been (84)

Paris – The reaction of the Scotland players as the final whistle went at the Stade de France on Sunday night said it all.

Some sank to their knees, others looked blankly into space, Sean Lamont angrily threw his gumshield to the ground.

As the Argentina players and fans started their delirious celebrations, Scotland were left with the feeling that they had just blown their best of chance of reaching the last four of a World Cup since 1991.

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Mark Orlovac

Argentina v Scotland ratings (50)

Paris - I was at the Stade de France on Sunday night for the quarter-final between Scotland and Argentina as the Pumas reached the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time.

Here's my player ratings for the game, let me know what you think.

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Mark Orlovac

Hail the kicking king (49)

Paris - “Every team needs a Chris Paterson”, said a television commentator as the pinpoint Scottish kicker landed another penalty in the winner-takes-all clash with Italy last weekend.

And how right he is.

For the 30-year-old soon-to-be Gloucester back is one of the prime reasons Scotland are facing a quarter-final clash with Argentina on Sunday rather than joining Wales and Ireland on the plane home.

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Ryan Jones

Barnes will inspire Australia to victory (89)

Swansea - Eight left and by the end of the weekend there will be four.

Which four that will be has yet to be determined, but what is for sure is that the make-up of the semis will be heavily influenced by the performances of each of the team’s key players.

Here’s my rundown on this weekend’s central figures and who will end up winners and losers.

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Tom Fordyce

For those about to rock, we salute you (32)

Marseille, Tuesday morning - “Oh, what an atmosphere!” Ben chirped this morning. “I love a party with a happy atmosphere!”

I sighed. No man likes to be woken up by a semi-naked rugby fan from Romford, particularly when he’s dancing around singing lines from his favourite Russ Abbott songs - but for once Dirsy had a point.

After four weeks of phoney wars and soggy squibs, the World Cup party feels like it’s truly about to start.

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Ben Dirs

Northern exposure leaves Dirsy depressed (79)

To lose one Six Nations side before the quarter-finals of a World Cup is unfortunate. To lose three just goes to show how stagnant and outmoded northern hemisphere rugby has become.

Some claim this tournament has proved that rugby runs stronger and deeper than ever before, with Fiji’s stunning victory over Wales and Georgia’s near upset of Ireland cited as prime examples.

I don’t go for that. After all, the All Blacks and Australia have been gubbing the minnows at this World Cup just as they always have done.

I hesitate to pick on the Scots – at least they managed to scrape through their group - but it was our misfortune to witness their clash with Italy which was the rugby equivalent of a wet weekend in Prestatyn with only a stack of David Essex LPs for company.

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BBC Sport Rugby

Scotland ratings v Italy (142)

Scotland squeezed into the World Cup quarter-finals with a narrow victory over Italy in heavy rain in St Etienne.

It was a tight game with plenty of kicking from both sides but in the end Scotland just had the edge.

What was your view of the game?

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Andrew Cotter

Hacked off with the Haka (772)

This may be the quickest and perhaps least professional blog ever to hit the web but there are valid reasons.

Since I had to check my lap-top in with the rest of my luggage, I am left tapping away at one of those internet kiosks where you pile in coins (which are short).

You have to work as furiously as you can, while your time left, your money and possibly your life quietly slip away in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

I am also encircled by one of the longest check-in queues I have ever seen, consisting almost entirely of All Black supporters - the army of The Dark Lord Henry is on the march again.

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Phil Harlow

Murrayfield mis-match is grey occasion (95)

Murrayfield, Sunday - Don’t you just love the World Cup? The best teams in the world, going hell for leather for victory, the underdog taking it to the favourites and all in front of a backdrop of fervent fans going blinking bananas.

That’s the theory at any rate. Scotland B’s 40-0 hammering by New Zealand certainly didn’t live up to that ideal, or even come close to it.

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Phil Harlow

Scotland ratings v New Zealand (155)

Edinburgh - I was at Murrayfield on Sunday as Scotland went down 0-40 to the mighty but misfiring All Blacks.

Here’s how I rated each individual Scotland player’s performance. See whether you agree and give us your own thoughts.

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Andrew Cotter

Scottish lambs set for slaughter? (108)

Edinburgh - Murrayfield will be close to capacity, The Haka will will be performed by the All Blacks (in a nice light grey) and the Scotland team which lines up to face it will be far from full-strength.

The team which Scotland coach Frank Hadden has chosen is certainly not a surprise but it does offer plenty of talking-points.

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Bryn Palmer

Succour for Scots in Italy mind games (31)

Paris - It is not only England it seems who are struggling to translate training-ground effort into match-day mettle.

The good news for Scotland supporters is that Italy are proving equally inept.

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Andrew Cotter

Did Murrayfield get away with it? (73)

Murrayfield - Scotland's rugby team has certainly earned pass marks so far in this World Cup, but what about Scotland's national rugby stadium as one of the venues?

I don't think anybody would really disagree that in an ideal world (cup) this whole tournament would be taking place in France. But deals were done and backs were scratched, so how was the Parc de Murray experience for you?

There is a suggestion that Scotland might be considering a bid to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup, so you can imagine that there were concerns over the attendance and atmosphere in the Scottish capital. Everyone remembers with some shame the dreadful Scottish attendances during the 1999 World Cup.

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Mark Orlovac

Scotland ratings v Romania (65)

London - Scotland made it two wins out of two with a comfortable enough victory over Romania at Murrayfield.

Frank Hadden's men rarely looked troubled but were a little scrappy and will need to improve their execution, especially at the breakdown, for the tougher tests that lie ahead.

See what you think of my player ratings and let us know what you thought of the Scotland display.

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John Beattie

Beginning of the end for Six Nations? (155)

Do you know, I think that this World Cup is hastening the end of the Six Nations.

The premier northern hemisphere competition is being exposed for what many have suspected it to be for a while – protectionist.

The sooner we let Portugal, Georgia, and Argentina into regular elite competition on an annual basis, the better.

Continue reading "Beginning of the end for Six Nations?"

Andrew Cotter

Scotland reveal their hand? (29)

St Etienne - Scotland continue to draw sizeable crowds of locals to their open training sessions at the St Etienne Football Academy.

Most are there purely to collect autographs and have their photos taken with the lads and they generally give the impression that nobody in this little corner of France has any work to go to.

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Sean Davies

Driven crazy by the opening exchanges (38)

It’s been a frustrating first week of the World Cup for the armchair supporter of the home nations.

I’m not talking about the less than inspiring wins over the USA, Canada, Portugal and Namibia.

It’s those damn Peugeot adverts with the imbecile supporters from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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Andrew Cotter

Scotland play waiting game (18)

St Etienne is a strange place to be at the moment.

The excitement of the first glimpse of the Rugby World Cup at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard (he founded a supermarket chain if you were wondering) has now given way to a general torpor, a hibernation until the next game is staged here and Samoa take on the United States - in just over two weeks' time.

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Nick Mullins

Weekend to forget for Home Nations (49)

In the bright light of a Monday morning, you have to think that in the end Wales produced the most impressive performance of the home nations on the opening weekend.

England were horrendous (it’s a long time since I’ve been patronised by an American over Sunday breakfast), Scotland were OK but nothing more and I still have a rumbling feeling that Ireland are hurtling down the other side of the hill. Their final pool match with Argentina is beginning to look like a career-definer for so many of their players and coaches.

And while the headline writers were sharpening their pencils five minutes into the second half against Canada, Wales eventually rediscovered some composure and towards the end there were even echoes of those mesmerising passages of play against New Zealand and England in 2003.

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James Standley

Scotland player ratings (61)

Scotland won their opening match of the 2007 World Cup by defeating tournament debutants Portugal 56-10.

The Iberian minnows, only two of whom are professionals, will claim a moral victory after making the Scots work for every score.

Let us know what you make of the ratings, and your views in general of the Scottish performance.

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Andrew Cotter

Loving the Lamonts (20)

St Etienne - It's official. St Etienne loves Scotland! And the ladies love the Lamont brothers!

Today was Scotland's first full day in this little corner of the Rhones-Alpes region and the dignitaries of St Etienne appeared with their best smiles and hand-shakes at the first press conference which was held in the rather grand Hotel de Ville (Town Hall, according to O-Grade French).

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