In his latest article for Scotland Rugby News, Peter McGunnigal of Murrayfield Song reveals what Scottish supporters can do to get one over on the ‘Auld Enemy’.
So it’s that time again, the Calcutta Cup; the oft called “most important game in the Scottish Rugby calendar’.
Whether you think it’s a cliché or a truism, this year it really lives up to it’s billing. Scotland have won 2 from 3, and a win this weekend would give us the Triple Crown and put us back in contention for the RBS 6 Nations title.
This year it can be different, it really can.
Everyone’s talking about 34 years of history and the mammoth task of winning at Twickenham, but I’m only interested in this one. Look at how this team have played, look at the victories they have won against the odds and the pundits’ predictions.
Shorn of first choice players (particularly in the front row), down a captain and first choice kicker…and yet we’re still winning. This is the best team we’ve had in 2 decades and Murrayfield has been a fantastic place to be this season. And we, the fans, have played our part. The wall of noise against Ireland, and particularly Wales, was deafening.
But it wasn’t always so good. As I wrote in my first article exactly a year ago tomorrow, England came up to Murrayfield in our first game of the Championship and it was close, but we let our side down. The horrible drone of “Swing Lo” rang out around Murrayfield, our own ground, and sucked the life out everyone in blue. It was OUR HOME, and they outsung US! We had no response that day and they went on to win and take the wind out of our campaign before it had started. Shame on us.
That game was the catalyst for change. That game drove us all to reflect on what might have been. It led me to create the #SingForScotland campaign which, with the help of Scotland Rugby News and all of you, meant that when the French came to town, we found our voice. And what a voice it was.
As I mentioned in my follow up article “Restoring The Faith In Scottish Rugby“, Scotland fans didn’t just create a wall of noise in the final 10 as planned, but instead sang from start to finish and cheered the team on to a famous victory.
Since then Murrayfield has become a relative fortress and, with the exception of the single point loss to Australia in the Autumn, we haven’t lost a game there since.
Which brings us to tomorrow. It isn’t enough for us to be strong at home. We need to start winning away. I have no doubt that Vern Cotter and his charges will do everything they can to win, but what can WE do to help?
With thousands of supporters travelling South we can do a lot. In fact, we can do exactly what the England fans did to us last year and drown them out. We can spoil their party and, if we’re successful and we cheer our team to victory, we can deny England the record equalling 18 wins they so desperately desire.
Wouldn’t that be a sweet revenge? Especially considering how England’s motormouth head coach famously insulted Scotland in the post match press conference 13 months ago.
This is our chance. We all feel it, but remember, there’s more pressure on the England team. The’re in search of consecutive Triple Crowns and Grand Slams, equalling New Zealand’s record of test wins and are coming off the back of a humiliating performance against Italy where they looked clueless for much of the first half. We are still viewed as a lesser team by the other home nations and their fans expect victory. With that comes a great opportunity.
The opportunity is to do what was done to us last year at home and for so many more before that. There will be more Scots men and women at Twickenham on Saturday for a Calcutta Cup match than there have been for a generation.
From minute one, let’s make ourselves heard. Sing the anthem as loud as you can. Then sing it again! Sing Loch Lomond and 500 Miles. Get on England’s back when they’re down and behind our lads when they need it.
Let the team know we are there, that we are behind them and we BELIEVE in them. Help the boys sow the seeds of doubt in the English players and the English crowd early. The Twickenham crowd turned on their own team against Italy and if they do it again who knows?
From the first kick of the ball sing for Scotland because, win or lose, it’s a team worth singing for.
We rediscovered our voice at home, now let’s take it on the road and make that little square of earth in South West London into a home away from home.
Let’s take Twickenham by song.
To find out more and get involved follow @MurrayfieldSong on Twitter.
Will you be there tomorrow? Let us know in the comments below.