Saturday, 5 February 2011

Welsh Rugby and the Lessons of Culloden

At Culloden ruthless efficiency gave the redcoats victory
So Wales lost 26 - 19 to the old foe last night in Cardiff.

It's not the end of the world. Honest.

OK, so tears welled up in the eyes and the blood of Welsh rugby legend HVP Huzzey ran cold in my veins. But life goes on. The world revolves.

Oh but the thought of the media and commentators of a certain hue wittering on for weeks about this match does have a black cloud hovering over my head.

It's the same old story for Welsh rugby: failure to take points when the opportunities arise; lack of depth in a squad which means when players like Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins are injured our scrum doesn't perform; and what is it with Welsh line-outs? OK, we don't lose as many as we once did, but we certainly don't try and steal the opponents' ones.

More than that I think there is a lack of self-belief in the squad as a whole. Last night was another "if only" game, like those against South Africa, Australia and (dare I bring myself to say it?) Fiji last year.

The Welsh team is missing that cold, clinical edge to their game that teams like New Zealand possess in abundance and other teams like France and Ireland possess at times (like the Welsh they ebb and flow).

I don't know the answers, but professional sportsmen need to win scrums, win line-outs, go for more turn overs and more than all these combined: believe in themselves!

The scumbag that was the Duke of Cumberland only got his accursed redcoats to beat the Highlanders at Culloden (1745), finally ending the Jacobite dream of enthroning Charles Edward Stuart, the genuine heir to the crowns of England & Scotland in place of the Hanoverian thieves, by teaching each soldier to trust the man next to him to do his job, stand his ground, and take out the man in front of him.

With this cold efficiency the Hanoverians won and the sad fact was that the Jacobite victories of the previous year were all for nought.

If the Welsh team can use the same tactics, trusting each other to do their job on the field, taking out the opposition assigned to them, acting together, as one, to defeat the old enemy, then a year from now all this might seem like a bad dream.

Cymru Am Byth.


  1. Cumberlands Redcoats included very many Scots who rather than rally to the "Pretender" stayed loyal to the crown, stability was better than romance.

  2. Strictly speaking they weren't redcoats, they were Loyalist Highlanders such as the Campbells or Independent Regiments. Yes I am aware that Protestant Scots fought with the Redcoats (some Non-Conformists also fought with the Catholic Highlanders). There were also English, French, Irish and other Catholics fighting with the Highlanders. It is a well known simplistic view to see it as English V Scottish battle, especially when Bonnie Prince Charlie was, in essence, fighting for the British Crown.

    However, in most respects and as a simplified overview that most can understand, it was the true Catholic King of England and Scotland (plus they claimed Ireland - not sure if they still claimed France) who rallied the Highland Clans fighting against Cumberland (representing the illegitimate claim of the German Protestant Hanoverians) leading an army mostly of Redcoats.

    Hence the British government banned Clan Tartans, sped up the Highland Clearances, jailed many Highlanders all in order to end the possibility of another Jacobite Uprising following not only the 1745 one that ended at Culloden, but the earlier one of 1715 (both of which had significant battle victories for those fighting for the Catholic claimant to the thrown).

    Stability to a false King, placed to stop the true King purely because he was Catholic - especially after the debacle that was William of Orange, the man who sold the UK to the Bank of England for 400 years (and counting) - is no stability at all, after all Catholics were still not totally free to practice their (our!) religion for almost another 100 years.

    I would take the honourable role model of a Jacobite Highlander over that of a marauding redcoat any day.

    Still... glad Wales beat Scotland in the rugby ;-)

  3. Throne - not thrown. That's what happens when you type at speed when you aren't suited to it! I got ideas above my station ;-)

  4. As a committed Jacobite, obviously not sure I agree with your comparison concerning the Battle of Culloden. But then, I'm just a little bit biased!! What I'm not biased about is a book I've just read by James Stewart on Amazon's Kindle titled 'Burn Away the Cobwebs'. It is about the fight for Scottish Independence, but has a Welsh connection. Give it a try and try to keep an open mind - true Scots will always enjoy meeting you on the field (sports not battle!) but relish the opportunity of doing it as FREE men!!


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