Dunfermline And Scottish Rugby On The RiseDate: Wednesday, 15th Mar 2023
There are signs of real progress for both Dunfermline Athletic and the Scotland rugby team in what has been a positive start to 2023.
James McPake`s Dunfermline find themselves pushing for promotion back to the Championship, while Gregor Townsend`s Scotland have picked up some impressive wins in the Six Nations ahead of the 2023 World Cup.
The Pars And Scotland On The Up
Dunfermline set out this season to secure an immediate return back to the Championship and the Pars have been showing promise they can achieve the goal this term. As for the Scottish rugby team, they were outsiders for the Six Nations title but made an impressive start to the competition with back-to-back wins over England and Wales.
Defeats to France and Ireland put an end to their title hopes but Townsend`s side will look to finish the tournament on a high as they are 1/8 in the Scotland v Italy betting odds to beat the Azzurri at Murrayfield. Ireland and France are first and second in the world rankings respectively and Scotland are looking to become the best of the rest with a victory over Italy.
James McPake | First Interview | 24/05/2022
Of course these are two teams in different sports but there have been some similarities in Dunfermline`s and the Scotland team`s success this year. Both sides have built their victories on the foundation of a solid defence, with the Pars only conceding 16 goals in their first 27 games of the League One campaign.
McPake can take great credit for making Dunfermline a tough nut to crack and if his side do go on to win the League One title, then their defensive resilience will have played a key role. Meanwhile, Scotland`s defence coach Steve Tandy has been earning strong reviews with the side at Murrayfield. The Scots have been far stronger in defence since his arrival with the national side and a 35-7 win in Edinburgh against Wales was a perfect example of how far they have come.
Bigger Challenges Lie Ahead
While there are plenty of positives from the year to far, there are certainly bigger challenges that lie on the horizon. The Pars firstly have to finish the job of securing promotion to the second tier of the Scottish football pyramid and make sure that if the do reach the Championship, they continue to progress.
Finishing ninth in the standings last season in the Championship was disappointing and many of the players will have learnt from the experience. The key for the coming months will be to finish the League One campaign as strongly as possible and then in the summer to look at how to strengthen the squad for the challenges ahead.
Gregor Townsend reacts to Six Nations win against Wales
As for Townsend`s Scotland, the goal for the last four years has been to build a side that can be a success at the World Cup in France later this year. The Scots find themselves in the toughest group in the competition, with reigning champions South Africa and top-ranked side Ireland in their pool. It will take a monumental effort for Scotland to reach the quarter-finals but this side have shown they are capable of beating any side on their day.
It`s certainly exciting times for Dunfermline and the Scotland team and all eyes will be on how they fare in an important year for both organisations.