What ho, chums!
"This is true, the Scots did stand against Proud Edward's army at Bannockburn in 1314 and his army was routed there by Robert the Bruce. They did indeed send him homewards 'tae think again'.
It would be fair to say also that the English did think about it for a good while and duly came back and knocked d'bollix out of the Scots for their temerity and audacity".
Ah, yes, the Scots. Sweaty. Chippy. Hairy. Miserly. And not very good at rugger.
Clichés aside, it’s hard to get worked up about this one. God knows I love watching our Saxon beefcakes take the whip to the Celts ... but let’s be honest: dishing the Scotch is about as satisfying as boffing a particularly unattractive older filly. Yes, it’s a conquest of sorts but it’s hardly the standard by which we as Englishmen measure ourselves.
As Francis rightly points out, the English have been "knocking the bollocks" out of the Scots since 1314. It's what we do. Jock gets uppity. John Bull spanks him. Jock sulks for a while and then gets uppity again. John Bull spanks him. And so on, and so on, ad nauseam ... like the relationship between a dog and its owner, with the important difference that a dog is generally wise enough to behave after being spanked whereas Jock needs a beasting at least once every five years.
It would be fair to say, however, that Jock is not in one of his uppity phases. Quite the contrary: the Scots at present perceive their inferiority with a terrible and jarring lucidity. Remember that Jock, of all the Celts, has always been the least prone to self-delusion. Not for him the poteen-addled fantasy of Seamus or the hwyl-inspired giddiness of Dai. No, Jock has always been a down-to-earth empiricist and he knows what's coming on Sunday.
The poor blighters will crawl into Twickers in the full knowledge that they will be sent swiftly homewards “tae think again” - and with jolly red bottoms to boot. Poor old Jock knows he can’t win, and we know he can’t win, but the rules stipulate that he has to put himself through 80 minutes of torture anyway.
If I can offer some small succour to our Scottish friends, it is this: the English are not a cruel race. We do not, generally speaking, like to kick dogs when they are down. As a rule, we mete out beastings only when our enemy has done something so heinous that a beasting is warranted. John Bull does not really go in for these Germanic/colonial-style sporting duck shoots. It's simply not our style.
So fear not. I fully expect Johnno and the chaps to rack up 30 or 40 by half-time and then declare. Apart from anything else, it is vital that we conserve some energy for Dublin. The Micks, cunning as ever, have somehow wangled a 7-day turnaround before that fixture in contrast to our 6 days. No doubt they have all sorts of other tricks up their sleeves too. Johnson's New Model Army will need all their wits about them to avoid being knifed in the back beside a bogside hedgerow.
So 35 points by half-time please, chaps, then put your feet up and cast an eye towards next weekend. Jock doesn't really deserve a proper flaying - but Seamus, by God, Seamus should not have a single layer of flesh left on his back by the time the English have finished with him.