The Haters Guide to the 2016 Four Nations: Scotland Edition

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scotland-four-nations

 

Your Team:

Wait. Scotland has a national rugby league team?

Of course it does. There are 4 rugby league clubs in Scotland which exceeds the “credibility quota” set by the RLEF.  They are conveniently dispersed between Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Inexplicably, none of their national team play for these clubs.

Scotland’s most capped player is Torquay born Australian, Andrew Henderson.

The “Bravehearts” top try scorer is overweight Wigan born “eating/goal-kicking specialist” Mick Nanyn.  Here’s the famous Nanyn family kilt:

The famous Nanyn tartan

The spiritual home of any sports organisation is of course calculated by finding the midway point between the home stadium and the source of most of its players. In Scotlands case that’s  The Zebra Claims Stadium, a.k.a. Derwent Park, and Sydney. Scotland Rugby League has a civic reception planned in Nanyang, China, in the likely event of a tournament victory.

 

Your Tri/Four Nations History
Scotland has never previously been allowed in the Four Nations and had anyone at the RFL thought they could possibly qualify ahead of Wales and France, the qualifying competition would have been restructured accordingly. In 2015, Scotland inexplicably “pulled a Wakefield” and somehow qualified for a competition no one wanted them in.

Scotland has been a regular feature in the chequered history of the rugby league World Cup over the years however. They first appeared in the awesome 1995 World Cup, in the “Emerging Nations” section, before qualifying for the 2000 World Cup through the “willingness to enter a team rule”. They were heavily criticised for not having a single Scottish born player in their 24 man squad, a criticism which the Scots have manfully continued to resist ever since.

The Scots somehow qualified for the dream trip to Australia for the 2008 World Cup, where despite home advantage, they were quickly despatched… but by turning up, automatically qualified for the next one back in England in 2013. This time, Danny Brough guided them out of their group, only to meet and be crushed by one of the proper teams in the quarter finals. Inevitably they’ll turn up like a bad smell in the next tournament in 2017, because if you can finance the trip, you’re in.

Scotland actually qualified for the Four Nations by overcoming France, who are bafflingly terrible in all international competition, Wales and Ireland.

Your Coach:

It’s this pudding: Wigan born Steve McCormack. Steve’s coaching career peaked in 2007 when his Widnes side clinched the Northern Rail Cup, but its been all Swinton and Scotland since then.

steve-mccormack

Yes, that droopiness of the left side of his face is cause by tilting his head every time he speaks. Or because he slept on an iron.

 

Your Squad:

danny-brough-scotland

 

Scotland squad: Danny Addy (Bradford Bulls), Euan Aitkin (St George Illawarra Dragons), Ryan Brierley (Huddersfield Giants), Sam Brooks (Widnes Vikings), Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants), Tyler Cassel (Wests Tigers), Lachlan Coote (North Queensland Cowboys), Luke Douglas (Gold Coast Titans), Dale Ferguson (Bradford Bulls), Ben Hellewell (London Broncos), Liam Hood (Leigh Centurions), Ben Kavanagh (Bradford Bulls), Kane Linnett (North Queensland Cowboys), Ryan Maneely (Halifax), Frankie Mariano (Castleford Tigers), Billy McConnachie (Ipswich Jets), Kieran Moran (Hull KR), Brett Phillips (Workington Town), Callum Phillips (Workington Town), Sheldon Powe-Hobbs (Northern Pride), Matthew Russell (Warrington Wolves), Lewis Tierney (Wigan Warriors), Dave Scott (Batley Bulldogs), Adam Walker (Hull KR).

As a gift for the members of the squad, the RFL awarded them their very first trip to Scotland:

Scotland the Brave

Danny Addy’s first trip abroad

What a shithole.

*****

It’s often said by degenerate gamblers that the great thing about poker is that an amateur player can take on a professional in the world’s biggest tournaments.  Rugby league has decided to invoke that spirit in this tournament.  Want to meet your heroes?  Just tell the RFL you had a cousin from Scotland. The most common birthplace in the Bravehearts squad is Pontefract.

Scotland is captained by Dewsbury-born miscreant Danny Brough.  While he’s unquestionably English, he does have the tattoo count of the average Scottish ASBO, and the gaunt pallor of someone who has been addicted to Irn Bru throughout his Type 2 Diabetes prepubescent years.

The Scots do have one genuine Scottish born player in Irvine born, Matty Russell. You will struggle to find a bigger shit hole in Scotland than Irvine, so it seems appropriate that Russell now plies his trade in Warrington.

With the British currency collapse, Lachlan Coote now makes a higher salary than the GDP of Scotland.

Billy McConnachie is a hilariously named Australian City Council concreter.  His resume is highlighted by the fact that he has knocked out five players during the past two seasons playing for the Ipswich Jets in Queensland Cup.  And he’s a council concreter!

Kane Linnett is used to being recognised by absolutely zero fans while they all rush to get the signatures/head-gear/kicking tees of his international team mates.  The big change for him this time is there are absolutely zero fans for anyone.

Luke Douglas appears to possess the intelligence quotient of a haggis as he is about to swap the sun and sea of the Gold Coast for Sint Ellins. He had this to say, to further endorse his intellect: “I wasn’t sure originally when all the boys were coming over, but when I saw on social media that some were already there, I was feeling I might have missed out a little bit,” Well that is innovative from the Scotland administration, using social media to coordinate the squad’s arrival. Expect a squad of 7 in their first game.

One of these two is Sheldon Powe-Hobbs, who has never been to Scotland:

sheldon-powe-hobbs

jonah_from_tonga

 

What’s New to Hate:

There’s nothing Scottish to hate in the Scotland national rugby league team.  It’s all English and Australian stuff, packaged up to be Scottish, that sucks.  Sheldon Powe-Hobbs in a kilt: that will suck.

Oh, and you are going to have to play in these:

 

What You’ve Always Hated:

scotland-fans

Well, we’ve already established there are no games in Scotland, no Scottish players, no Scottish clubs and no Scottish fans.  And that they will win no games.

Steve McCormack sucks, and he’s been there since 2004, because no-one else has the basket of experiences of direness like Swinton, Gateshead, Barrow, Whitehaven and Gloucestershire coupled with a name that, if you say it in Billy Connelly’s accent, could possibly be Scottish.

 

What You Might Not Hate:

For one half of one game, the Scots will keep things tight while the opposition, through sheer apathy and bad weather, drops the ball a lot.  This will be heralded as a “win” for the Four Nations concept.

It is not a win.  Why are they even AIRING these games? Just air a re-run of Jake and The Fatman instead. The blithe comic interplay between JL McCabe and Jake Styles would be so much better for our collective morale.

 

Let’s remember some Scots!

  • Mick Nanyn
  • Chris Armit
  • Duncan McGillivary
  • The Henderson Brothers
  • Wade Liddell
  • Sheldon Powe-Hobbs

 

Let’s hear it from the fan!

      Yep, we tracked one down: “Maybe if the game was closer to Scotland, then us Scottish supporters would be able to attend the match. I’m disgusted that not one match is actually in Scotland, just shows what you think of us Scottish fans.” Lorraine (from Scotland apparently)

 

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Author: Max Smith

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