Six Nations Rugby concludes today (with the BBC using Bruce’s Piero with extensively in the coverage) and Dr. Bret has tweeted a link to a fine piece on Scotland’s final triumph last year – Four Lessons on Game-Changing From The Scottish Rugby Team – hinged on an embrace of failure…

“The first match of this year’s Six Nations saw the Scots leading against the Welsh 18-9 at half time. But two things happened. First, two key Scottish players were seriously injured: Glasgow Warriors’ Thom Evans, who subsequently had to have spinal surgery; and Chris Paterson, who’d just won his 100th cap, who injured his kidney. Second, unaccustomed to such an outstanding lead, they began committing stupid errors and handed the game to their opponents, who won the match 31-24… After the Cardiff match, the squad had a choice to play out its role as underdogs or learn from experience. It chose the latter. Robinson began to experiment with the players, bringing on Dan Parks on as Fly Half, and Johnnie Beattie on as a Forward. Whilst, the former is a figure of real controversy as a player and as an individual in Scotland, the latter has been criticised for being too much in the shadow of his renowned Scottish rugby playing father. They both had things to prove for themselves and for Scotland. In addition to experimental player choice, you could see the team trying things out on the pitch, being faster off the mark and making smarter tackles. These things together began to bring a different feel to the Scottish team and although this didn’t initially translate into wins, the possibility started to become more evident.”

The exciting climax can be seen in the video above. Looking forward to similar high drama today with a pint in my hand.

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