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Wednesday, 16 February, 2000, 06:39 GMT
Victory a must for Scots

Scotland need a win - and badly

Ex-Scottish international John Beattie says Scotland need a win against Ireland if they are to avoid the Wooden Spoon this season.

I love Ireland.

Weddings are like distilleries set to music, and wakes are the same except there's one less mouth to feed.

Six Nations Championship
Last time we went there we booked rooms, and the lady said she had rooms with showers and rooms with baths. We asked what the difference was. "In a bath, you lie down!" she said.

There must be logic in this world somewhere.

The predictable thing about the Irish is that they are unpredictable, if that's not a predictable thing to say.

Scotland's trouble, after the pasta-ing in Rome is that they need to put their tortellini at the hands of Diego and company behind them and somehow get back at the table. A loss to Ireland and we are talking about Wooden Spoon territory.

Ireland Ireland will be looking for revenge
Let's start with the basics shall we.

The odds on a Scottish player touching the ball down at Lansdowne road on a piece of four leaf clover are long ones indeed, and this will be a hard match.

Ireland are on the backlash. Scotland are on the backlash. Humiliation has been handed out in equal measure, and if you're not Scottish you won't quite understand how the fans have turned on the team up here.

Maybe because Rome was such an expensive place to go to, but many felt they had shelled out substantial money and been let down.

Logan looking good

But it was good to see King Kenny Logan, who lived in the shadow of the Wallace Monument until he was drawn South by the London pound, doing such a good job for Wasps at the weekend and as Ian McGeechan said: "We hope he doesn't play just every alternate weekend."

Logan is a kicker, he kicks them for Wasps, and Scotland need him to settle fluttering hearts on Saturday with a few kicks for us.

italy Scottish fans felt cheated after their trip to Rome
Other key men are Gregor Townsend, Tom Smith the Lions prop and Glenn Metcalfe - who we shall forgive for being a New Zealander because he can play like a tornado on his day.

The problem, my rugby friends, was that Scotland played the game in front of Italy. They didn't get behind them.

Much depends on the weather, but you can expect Scotland to place the ball behind the big Irish back division, and behind the big Irish pack.

If there is any paint they will all paint Keith Woods' head blue to make it seem as though it was a year ago and Ireland's form was poor.

Scotland have too many good players, like Scott Murray, and Logan, and Martin Leslie, to go to Dublin and get absolutely hammered, but gone are the days when you could say that Ireland play just with passion. They are much more than that. They will play with skill.

I can't see much of a difference between the sides, except that Scotland are defending Five Nations champions and the air of expectancy here will either spur them on or make them freeze.

See you in Dublin for the annual sup of the black stuff and a mingling of two races in sheer joy at being part of a great game.

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See also:
07 Feb 00 |  Six Nations
Rebuilding after Roman humiliation
07 Feb 00 |  Six Nations
Catt takes centre stage
07 Feb 00 |  Six Nations
The dragon will recover
15 Feb 00 |  Six Nations
Same again for England
15 Feb 00 |  Rugby Union
Ireland opt for shake-up
14 Feb 00 |  Rugby Union
Wales axe four for Italian job
14 Feb 00 |  Six Nations
Maggs out for Ireland
Links to other Rugby Union stories are at the foot of the page.