Vote now for the defining moment of the 2023-24 season

Select the moment you think best sums up a busy season for Scottish rugby, sponsored by Hampden & Co

Nic Berry's on-field decision was that Sam Skinner did not manage to ground the ball over the line during Scotland's Six Nations round three defeat to France. Image © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Nic Berry's on-field decision was that Sam Skinner did not manage to ground the ball over the line during Scotland's Six Nations round three defeat to France. Image © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

A public poll to choose the defining moment of the 2023-24 Scottish rugby season has opened, with a shortlist of five moments selected by the Scottish Rugby Writers. This poll has been sponsored by Hampden & Co.

To have your say on which moment best sums up a season of towering highs and a few real lows, please read through the shortlist below and then click HERE to register your vote.

Polling closes at midnight on Tuesday 14th May and the winner will be announced at the Scottish Rugby Writers Dinner on Thursday 16th May.

  • Hampden & Co is a private bank serving the day-to-day banking, deposit and lending needs of individuals, their families and associated businesses.
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1. Sam Skinner’s disallowed try versus France

Scotland Men had wobbled against Wales but held on for a first win in Cardiff since 2002 in round one of the Six Nations, and it looked like they were going to take another step towards a potential Grand Slam showdown against Ireland on the final weekend of the championship when they forced their way into a 16-10 lead early in the second half against a clearly out of sorts Les Bleus side at Murrayfield in round two. But they then allowed themselves to be sucked into a kicking battle and ended up 16-20 behind as the game creeped into injury-time. Finally, Gregor Townsend’s side managed to rediscover a foothold in the match and replacement second-row Sam Skinner was sure he had managed to ground the ball over the line amid a pile of bodies for what would have been the match-winning try, but after a long and confusing conversation between referee Nic Berry and TMO Brian MacNeice, it was decided that the initial on-field decision of ‘no score’ should stand. Scotland had lost a game which was there for the taking and subsequent away defeats to Italy and Ireland meant another disappointing fourth place finish from a campaign which had started so promisingly.

Nic Berry's on-field decision was that Sam Skinner did not manage to ground the ball over the line during Scotland's Six Nations round three defeat to France.Image © Craig Watson -
www.craigwatson.co.uk
Nic Berry’s on-field decision was that Sam Skinner did not manage to ground the ball over the line during Scotland’s Six Nations round three defeat to France. Image © Craig Watson – www.craigwatson.co.uk

 

 

2. Duhan van der Merwe’s heroics versus England 

Duhan van der Merwe’s hat-trick set Scotland on course for a fourth consecutive win over England – for the first time since 1972 and only the second time ever – but perhaps the most noteworthy thing about this result is that it was achieved with none of the drama we had come to expect from the men’s national side in recent outings.

The home team started slowly, falling 10 points behind before firing a shot, but looked comfortable thereafter. They took points when they were available to move decisively ahead and then keep their opponents at arm’s length. Crucially, they stayed focussed when the game began to drift towards more of a chess match midway through the second half. They were helped by a lack of cohesion and composure from England in the second half.

Duhan van der Merwe scored a hat-trick in a comprehensive Calcutta Cup win for Scotland versus England.Image: © Craig Watson -
www.craigwatson.co.uk
Duhan van der Merwe scored a hat-trick in a comprehensive Calcutta Cup win for Scotland versus England.
Image: © Craig Watson – www.craigwatson.co.uk

 

3. Scotland Women sell out Hive Stadium for England match

The growth in the profile of the women’s game in Scotland hit a new peak when a crowd of 7,784 watched Bryan Easson’s team take on all-conquering England, comfortably surpassing the previous record of 5,601 which was set against France a fortnight earlier.

Disappointingly for the Scots, they were outgunned by England on the day, losing 0-46 with Easson lamenting that his team “did not manage to fire a shot”. But when viewed in the context of the Red Roses 0-48 battering of Italy and their 88-10 demolition of Ireland, it was not that disastrous a result. In fact, it was the first time Scotland Women had managed to keep England under 50 points since 2018, so perhaps more of a gentle reminder of how much ground needs to be made up.

Scotland's Fiona McIntosh collects the ball at the line-out against England at a full-house Hive Stadium. Image: © Craig Watson -www.craigwatson.co.uk
Scotland’s Fiona McIntosh collects the ball at the line-out against England at a full-house Hive Stadium. Image: © Craig Watson –
www.craigwatson.co.uk

 

 

4. Stirling Wolves beating Ayrshire Bulls in 2023 Super Series Championship Final

They finished the regular season fourth in the table to sneak into the play-offs, then served notice of their title credentials when they defeated table-toppers Heriot’s in the semi-final stage, before claiming another shock scalp with a  29-19 scoreline against Ayrshire Bulls in the final at Hive Stadium.

It was an excellent achievement by a team which had finished the last Super Series Championship dead last.

Ross McKnight scored two tries for Stirling Wolves in the 2023 Super Series Championship Final. Image: Bryan Robertson
Ross McKnight scored two tries for Stirling Wolves in the 2023 Super Series Championship Final. Image: Bryan Robertson

 

5. Johnny Matthews’ try versus Ulster

The irrepressible Johnny Matthews came off the bench for Glasgow Warriors against Ulster on 25th November and finished off a superb handling move with a rampaging run down the right flank, barely 30 seconds later. It not only underlined the hooker’s prodigious scoring ability (he is currently top try-scorer in the URC with 13 in 17 outings for Warriors this season, plus a debut try for Scotland at the RWC) but emphasised how Glasgow have rediscovered the best of themselves under Franco Smith.

Johnny Matthews scored a rampaging try just 30 seconds after coming off the bench for Glasgow Warriors against Ulster in November. Image: © Craig Watson -www.craigwatson.co.uk
Johnny Matthews scored a rampaging try just 30 seconds after coming off the bench for Glasgow Warriors against Ulster in November. Image: © Craig Watson – www.craigwatson.co.uk
  • To vote, please click HERE.

  • Hampden & Co is a private bank serving the day-to-day banking, deposit and lending needs of individuals, their families and associated businesses.
  • Each client has a nominated banker who delivers a service tailored to their specific circumstances and requirements.
  • To discover what it feels like to be looked after by your bank, contact Banking Director Ian Gibson on 0131 297 0158 or ian.gibson@hampdenandco.com

URC: Glasgow fightback falls just short against Bulls

8 Comments

  1. Agree with Paul C, hopefully defining moments yet to come. Or perhaps it should be an off-field event – the horrendous loss sustained by SRU could unfortunately be a defining moment for not just this season but many to come. Who knows, the departure of Mr Dodson could also be as seismic but possibly for the better.
    If we’re just looking at the 5 events listed then undoubtedly the disallowed try is massive. And not just for the impact on the 6N and Scotland’s ultimate position but what it said about referring and the use of the TMO in world rugby. Admittedly, not the only instance of dodgy decision making this season and we can hope against hope that WRU arrive at a sensible decision when TMO role is reviewed under the programme of law reforms.

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