We Came. We Almost Saw. We Went Home.
Sunday’s pre-Six Nations friendly match between Scotland and Spain at Scotstoun had all the makings of a fine contest as the teams are fairly closely matched. With honours even over the last three fixtures – a win apiece and a draw – the 800-1,000 ticket holders should have had a decent match to look forward to.
That word ‘Should’ tells it’s own story, however.
Just as the press briefing was being held at 11am, the wee tractor laying salt on the pitch was swapped for one with a snow plough. As the driver went round and round – or as ’round’ as one can go on a rectangular pitch – the Forth Bridge metaphor kicked in as the snow gradually began to cover the bits he had just cleared.
Despite this, the teams came out with around 45 minutes to go for their warm-ups in about three inches of snow, the ploughing having been long abandoned.
The referee’s supervisor came out during this time to have a look at conditions, but kept any comments, very much, to herself. No visible lines, and no attempt to clear any, could have been a hint as to the way things were heading, though.
The final nail in the, still unannounced, coffin was when the small group of pipers and drummers marched off from pitch-side with around 10 minutes to go to find some welcome shelter. Only then was the match abandonment announced, the stadium cleared and your reporter could start the two-and-a-half hour journey back home.
No fault of Scottish Rugby for the late notice as the forecasts had been for a bit of early morning snow, followed by rain before the start and there may well have been an event insurance clause involved e.g. an attempt had to be made to hold the match. There was almost certainly a ‘Don’t be attempting something daft!’ clause in there somewhere…
Regardless of any speculation, however, player and spectator safety is always paramount and Scottish Rugby probably made the correct call on this one.
And it wasn’t all bad news as, if nothing else, the Spanish photographer travelling with the team had never been to Scotland before, and now he had…….
You’re having a laugh if a comprehensive gallery of images is anticipated from this one……