There’s no doubt that Scotland will still have a spring in their step this morning, and rightly so. After all, Saturday’s slug fest at Twickenham marked their first victory over England in London in some 38 years. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins from the Scots as they ground out a low-scoring 11-6 victory, but it was a dominant display and understandably it meant a lot to the players and that was evident as they paraded the historic Calcutta Cup around the empty west London stadium.
“We’d talked a lot in the last couple of weeks about lifting a nation, and I believe we’ve done that,” Scotland captain Stuart Hogg said. “This win is a huge deal to us all. During the week we said that if we got everything right on both sides of the ball we’d give ourselves a chance, and we did exactly that.”
The task for Scotland now is to build on that momentum for the remainder of the tournament. It would be such a waste for Gregor Townsend’s men to put in such an incredible shift against the English to blow it all away with defeat to Wales at Murrayfield this weekend or further down the line.
Wales have struggled to get going in the first 12 months under new head coach Wayne Pivac, and even though they stunned Ireland in the opening weekend of the tournament, they were far from convincing in the 21-16 victory over Andy Farrell’s team, who were a man down for much of the game.
It is a game Scotland were expected to win before the tournament even started. However, with the emphatic start to this year’s tournament, the pressure of the nation is now on. Townsend’s men must go out and battle their way to victory in Edinburgh against the Welsh, and we’re sure they will be fired up to do just that come Saturday.
Of course, the victory over England has done little to shift Scotland’s outright Six Nations odds with online betting at Paddy Power. They still lag behind Ireland, England and France in the market, but whilst they may not go on to win the tournament, they can still enjoy one of their best Six Nations in years and there’s no reason why they can’t push into the top three or even two.
Matchday 3 will be a massive test of Scotland’s mettle. They head to Paris to take on new favourites France, and it’ll be a very difficult task to come away with anything from the Stade de France. However, they end the tournament with home ties against Ireland and Italy and if they can win both of those games, then they will certainly be in the mix.
The opening weekend was proof that anything can happen, and if the likes of Finn Russell and Hogg can continue to inspire Scotland, then there’s no reason why they can’t provide an upset this year. The mid-tournament trip to France could be decisive, but it would be a monumental shame to see Scotland go out on a whimper and not challenge for the Six Nations crown from here on in.