Rugby: Chris Cusiter believes this is the real deal

Written by Danny Collins.

GLASGOW Warriors scrum half Chris Cusiter believes that the University of Glasgow’s new partnership with sports giants Nike and Kitlocker will prove to be a massive benefit.

Speaking at the official kit launch, held in the prestigious Nike Store in Glasgow, the ex-Scotland playmaker was quick to praise the work completed in order to tie the link up.

He said: “Automatic association with a huge global brand like Nike and Kitlocker is definitely going to benefit the image of sport within Glasgow Uni.  To have that access to deals that Nike have with the quality of kit is brilliant for the Uni.

"Whether people play uni sport for fun or a use it as a gateway to something further, this promotion gives huge credibility.  Well done to Nike, Kitlocker and of course Glasgow University.”

The new partnership will see Nike and Kitlocker provide the University of Glasgow’s sports and societies with world class sporting products in the hope that the standard of sporting will eventually be raised to a higher level.  This will see a new world-class partnership that no other University in Scotland has ever experienced before.

Glasgow University’s President of Sport, Stuart Law, expressed his delight at managing to seal the deal with one of sports leading provider.

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Six Nations: Scotland v France preview

Written by Calum McClurkin.

THE curtain comes down on Scotland’s Six Nations campaign in Paris this weekend. Overall, it has been an encouraging tournament and one that has lifted the dark cloud which lingered above the national team after a miserable Autumn Test Series.

Scotland have not beaten France since 2006 which incidentally was the year of Scotland’s best Six Nations campaign. A win would replicate the three wins and third place finish of 2006. Scotland will have to bounce back from a 28-18 defeat last week at home to Wales (Scotland lost by the exact same scoreline in 2006) after the visitors proved to be too strong in the final quarter of the match.

Scotland’s campaign has contrasted with France. Les Bleus were joint favourites with England before the Six Nations started after showing terrific form in beating Australia last year but an opening day defeat to the Italians in Rome knocked the stuffing out of them. A draw last week against Ireland is all they have to show for their efforts and will be looking to prove a point in ending the campaign on a high.

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Video: Scotland 12-8 Ireland highlights

Written by Administrator.

SCOTLAND pulled off back to back wins for the first time in the Six Nations for 12 years.
It was far from pretty with the Scots being on the back foot for the majority of the match, but led by captain Kelly Brown - who played on despite a broken nose - the Scots came from behind to record another Murrayfield win.
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Six Nations: Scotland v Ireland preview

Written by Calum McClurkin.

SCOTLAND coach, Scott Johnston, compared his side’s resurgence to the TV show Crime Scene Investigation (CSI). Johnston stated that Scotland showed ”fingerprints” of their development against England whilst victory of Italy provided “eye witnesses” to Scotland’s improvement but insists his team need to beat Ireland for the “police to come around” and consider Scotland as major players in this tournament.

Johnston has supplied the media with various colourful quotes and comparisons (most memorably when he compared statistics to a bikini when he said “statistics are like bikinis, they let you see a lot but not the whole thing”) that suggests the interim boss doesn’t take himself too seriously but behind the scenes he is doing a remarkable job to make Scotland competitive again amongst the world’s elite.

The clash against Ireland is one that Scotland will go into with huge confidence and optimism. The Scots are injury free and only make one change as Ewan Murray makes way for Geoff Cross because of the Tighthead Prop’s faith. Ireland are decimated with injuries to key players in key positions. Fly-Half Jonny Sexton is out with a hamstring problem and is replaced with 21 year old Paddy Jackson who will earn his first cap instead of Ronan O’Gara who received criticism when he came off the bench in Ireland’s defeat to England. Centres, Simon Zebo and Gordon D’Arcy are out with ankle injuries and Lock Mike McCarthy is out with a knee injury.

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Six Nations: Expansion unlikely

Written by Administrator.

THE Six Nations tournament is unlikely to expand any time soon, organisers say.
The premier Northern hemisphere Rugby tournament was most recently expanded in 2000 when Italy entered the competition.
However we are unlikely to be called it the Seven Nations any time soon.
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Six Nations highlights: Scotland 34-10 Italy

Written by Administrator.

Scotland finally hit the heights the Murrayfield support have been waiting for as they swept aside Italy.
In what had been dubbed a wooden spoon decider, Scotland defeated the side who only a week before had defeated France.
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Six Nations: Scotland v Italy Preview

Written by Calum McClurkin.

SCOTLAND succumbed to their seventh successive defeat in their Six Nations opener at Twickenham last week in a courageous but error-strewn display. Next up it’s the Italians who look stronger than they ever have. The Azzurri have matured into this competition and victory over France proved that.
Their aggressive play forced France into mistakes and the capitalised in ways that they have failed to do in the past. Scotland can’t afford to lose this match or back to back wooden spoons may beckon for the first time in Six Nations history.

The Scots should fancy their chances but Italy are no longer the weakest side in this tournament now, the rankings and form suggest that it is Scotland who are the weakest. This tournament is all about Scotland proving that isn’t the case and turning those glimmers of positivity into consistently performing well and getting results. Scotland’s last Six Nations win was this very fixture 2 years ago and that was a stodgy 21-8 win.
However, Scotland should win this game as Italy are not England. Scotland competed well for the majority of the match at Twickenham but were overpowered in the end by a combination of brutal English forward running and lapses in concentration. England broke the line too often and were able to convert opportunities through off-loading and gaining quick ball in the contact areas.

Scotland contributed to their own downfall by missing too many first tackles. The 38 points yielded at Twickenham is the most ever conceded from Scotland in Six Nations history but some aspects of the defence did function better than it did in the autumn. The set-piece worked better and the area we dominated England in was the driving maul success. This proves that when fully concentrated Scotland can keep sides out but they switch off and make too many errors and that could cost us against Italy who were ruthless against France.

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Six Nations: England 38-18 Scotland

Written by Andrew Fleming.

England got their 2013 Six Nations campaign off to an impressive start with a comprehensive victory over Scotland at a packed out Twickenham – much to the delight of coach Stuart Lancaster.

Despite an early try for Scotland, England marched into a commanding half-time lead that they never looked like giving up.
After the 38-18 triumph, Lancaster expressed his delight of clinching the Calcutta cup for the fifth year in succession.
He told the BBC: “Really pleased with the score line, we definitely would have taken that at the start of the day.

“I think we have been building steadily, getting more consistent over the last 12 months. Beating New Zealand in the autumn gave us a lot of confidence.

“We knew if we kept the pressure on Scotland, they would struggle to deal with us in their 22. Fair play to Scotland – their defence was outstanding as well as their work rate and commitment”.

It took only two minutes for England to get on the scoreboard, Owen Farrell landing a penalty after an infringement in the ruck. Stuart Hogg sparked Scotland into life after 9 minutes with a strong break deep into the English 22. After a number of phases, Greig Laidlaw offloaded to debutant Sean Maitland, who dived into the corner to put Scotland in front, with Laidlaw’s conversion attempt swinging wide.

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