Scotland return to Wales in very different circumstances but Scott Cummings is full of confidence
The Scotland squad were on a coach on their way to the Principality Stadium when the news came through. Their Six Nations match with Wales, scheduled for the following day, was off.
It was 13 March, a landmark date. The first death from Covid-19 was recorded in Scotland on this day as the true impact of the virus began to become clear.
It was quickly becoming apparent that public gatherings should not be happening.
The only surprise in Cardiff was that the game had not been called off sooner, sparing thousands of Scottish fans a futile journey to the Welsh capital.
The sides will try again on Saturday, in a different setting amid very different times.
Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli is the venue because the Principality Stadium is being used as a field hospital. The ground, of course, will be empty.
The sides go into the match in contrasting form. For Wales, last season’s Grand Slam champions, the aim is to arrest a losing run which has now stretched to four matches. Scotland, meanwhile, are seeking a fourth consecutive Test victory and the chance to end the Six Nations in credit, with three wins from five.
Scott Cummings, the Glasgow lock, hopes some of the momentum generated by the spring wins over Italy and France can be taken into Saturday’s match.
“I think that when we got those two wins against Italy and France that we were definitely building,” he said. “Our defence was getting better and better. The way we were playing was with a lot more confidence and I think that now we’ve come back together we’ve still got that confidence. We’ll go down to Wales pushing and expecting to get a good result.”
The convincing win over Georgia on Friday certainly enhanced Scottish confidence, particularly among the forwards who impressed against the much-vaunted visiting pack.
“From a forwards point of view you don’t get much bigger guys than Georgians,” acknowledged Cummings, who is in line to win his 14th cap this weekend.
“You know they are going to bring a big physical pack that will give your forwards a massive test. So it was great to come up against guys like that. We enjoyed playing Georgia and feel we have learned certain things from that that will help us this weekend.”
The 23-year-old has started all four Six Nations matches this season and was eagerly anticipating the Cardiff clash before events intervened.
“We were on the bus to the Captain’s Run at the stadium when we got the news,” he recalled. “Gregor stood up and told us. We were looking forward to that game and would have liked to have got the Six Nations finished. There was that bit of frustration that we wanted the game done and we felt we were building towards that game. Our past two performances got us to the stage we were going down there confident.
“We got back to the hotel and packed our bags and got the bus back.”
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.