Black and Blue

New Zealand vs Scotland

I found it hard to watch the Scotland v New Zealand match today, part of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, which ended with NZ beating Scotland by 40 points to nil.

It wasn’t because I knew that they’d lose, I mean I literally found it hard to watch the match because their jerseys were so similar.

Scotland v New Zealand

Who on earth decided that they should play in those colours?! I found it hard to differentiate the teams, I can only imagine how difficult it was for the match officials to make split-second decisions when their colours were so close. I used to work in a textile mill in Selkirk, and sorting out similar batches of navy and black was incredibly difficult.

Scotland were in their home strip, which is a predominantly navy shirt, with patches of silver-blue hatching, navy shorts and navy socks. New Zealand were in their new away strip which is black and silver-blue, with black shorts and black socks.

I think that New Zealand should have played in their all black strip, and Scotland in their white ‘away’ strip. It would have made watching the game much, much easier.


As for the result, I think Scotland did remarkably well to hold New Zealand to such a low win. Their defence in the second half was tremendous, especially for a second team (many of Scotland’s key players sitting out to prepare for the match against Italy next weekend).

I thought that New Zealand were very disappointing in places: missed and dropped passes, failure to spot otherwise obvious routes through the defence, unnecessary knock-ons. I usually go into a Scotland v NZ game resigned to the fact that Scotland will lose but at least I’ll get to watch some elegant and beautifully executed rugby. It was refreshing not to see that because NZ appeared to be rattled at times by the Scottish defence.

It’s encouraging to see that of the three teams the Kiwis have played so far ours had the lowest points difference:

NZ Score Score Opponent Difference
New Zealand 76 14 Italy 62
New Zealand 108 13 Portugal 95
New Zealand 40 0 Scotland 40

I’m looking forward to Scotland v Italy next weekend at St Etienne on Saturday 29 September. I think I’m right in saying that Scotland need to either win or draw to stay in the competition. We can’t afford to lose.

But before that we have eight more games to enjoy. England v Tonga will be good to watch. You see, that’s what’s so exciting about supporting Scotland at rugby — you get to be passionate about two teams: Scotland and anyone that’s playing England! 😉

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

5 thoughts on “Black and Blue”

  1. I used to work in a textile mill in Selkirk

    Was it Elliot Weavers? They made a custom tartan for Fish for his wedding, y’know? Not that the wedding happened in the end, but the kilt was made anyway…

  2. It wasn’t Elliot Weavers, it was Claridge Mills Ltd.

    Elliot Weavers is now — I think — run by Robin Elliot, who was in the year above me at School High School. I went on two school trips with him, one to Greece in 1986 and one to Russia in 1988. On the Greece trip I remember him being really into prog rock, especially Pink Floyd.

  3. I used to have to terrorise shop staff selling black/navy blue clerical shirts to be very careful that they got the correct colour when collecting them from the stockroom!

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