Back in the 1960s, an Argentinian football manager named Helenio Herrera devised a defensive system called ‘catenaccio’, Italian for door bolt, which made his club, Inter Milan, the champions of Europe in consecutive seasons.

Then Inter came up against a Scottish genius called Jock Stein and a team all born within 30 miles of Glasgow. With sheer attacking flair and inventive play, the Lisbon Lions destroyed Inter and anti-football catenaccio on the evening of May 25, 1967, and became legends as the first British side to win the European Cup.

I am not saying that the Scotland men who whipped England at Murrayfield on Saturday should immediately become legends, but there is a similarity with the Lions. For just as happened with the much-hyped catenaccio in 1967, in the run-up to the Calcutta Cup match I kept hearing all about England’s amazing blitz defence and how it would blunt Scotland’s attacking edge.   

Derived originally from American football and rugby league, blitz defence is catenaccio with knobs on, a system that is supposed to stop your opponents in their tracks. As originally promulgated at Wasps by Shaun Edwards, now defence coach with France, your defensive line moves up to confront the opposition behind the gain line forcing them to give away the ball through kicking or pressurised passes that cause errors.  

I have to say I watched almost the whole of the first quarter of Saturday’s game in some tension as the blitz defence seemed to work and England deservedly went into the 10-0 lead. But I wasn’t panicking because I could see what was going to happen, and as I wrote last week, Scotland began to attack from anywhere and the pace of Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones rendered the blitz redundant to set up Duhan van der Merwe for Scotland’s first try. Then the Big Man did it all himself from a Jones’ pass for the second and Finn Russell’s glorious chip kick over that much-vaunted defence set up van der Merwe’s hat-trick. Anyone doubting how much playing for Scotland means to him just needs to look at the broad beaming smile on the winger’s face as he scored his third. He is our Jonah Lomu and South Africa must be wondering how they ever let him go.

The Big Man and Russell deservedly got the headlines but I felt there wasn’t a single weakness in a Scotland jersey on Saturday. The likes of Scott Cummings and Jack Dempsey did the hard yards up front and the solidity of Scotland’s set piece play allied to the flair of the backs made for compelling viewing. 

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Some people are worried about the huge reaction to the win, but I am not one of them. For this was a victory for the ages, one that we should celebrate for a long time because it finally destroyed the fear factor that so many English teams have sought to use to intimidate Scotland – after Saturday, we will never fear England again.

English head coach Steve Borthwick must now sit down and think about his blitz defence tactics. Or rather, think about repealing them.  They barely worked against Italy and Wales, and Scotland completely dismantled the system on Saturday. England telegraphed their tactics and Townsend and co showed how to beat the blitz though the Scots were somewhat assisted by England’s error-strewn performance. 

If England try to play the same way against Ireland they will be shredded by the men in green as they march to their second grand slam. I’m sorry, but I cannot see Ireland failing to win the slam, and I would point out that for all Scotland’s magnificent efforts in this tournament, if Ireland beat England at Twickenham and score four tries, they will already have won the championship. Doesn’t matter what Scotland do against Italy in Rome, Ireland can clinch the title at Twickers and I can’t see them not doing so.

That would mean us going to Dublin on March 16 to try for the Triple Crown, and at least it will be nice to be playing for something even if it’s only a trophy and prestige. Of course, had it not been for a blind TMO in our encounter with France, we would be going to Rome knowing that a win would set up a winner-take-all grand slam finale against the Irish, but that was not to be.  

Ireland really want the back-to-back slams, however, and we will need a hugely improved performance and a bad Irish day at the office to upset their apple cart.

Nevertheless, let’s enjoy what Scotland did achieve on Saturday, the day that the Flower of Scotland really did send Steve Borthwick and the English squad homewards tae think again. We who support Scotland get precious few days like that, and let’s hope the current squad can make unique history at Twickenham next year.