It's fair to say that there's a bit of tetchiness between Scotland rugby fans and Matt Williams, and it's kicked off again after the last Six Nations round. The former Leinster coach took charge of Scotland all the way back in 2003 and it's widely seen now as a disastrous spell for Scottish rugby.
In two years, Williams won only three matches with two of them coming against tier 2 nations Japan and Samoa. His only Six Nations win came against Italy in 2005 and he had a win percentage rate of 17.6% before leaving in April 2005 after the Six Nations. Last year, Williams shared some stories about his time as a Scotland coach - including an anecdote about the Scotland gym - and it caused a bit of a furore amongst Scottish fans on social media.
This week, the feud has re-ignited after Williams and the Virgin Media Panel reacted to the Wales-Scotland result. Williams said the Scottish team should 'shut up' after they lost 20-17 to Wales in round 2 of the Six Nations.
"They just gotta shut up. Until they actually action out, and live their talk, they've got to shut up. They've been making fools of themselves."
Ian McKinley, Matt Williams and Rob Kearney on Scotland after defeat yesterday.#WALvSCO #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/gDLwI4CSwi
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 13, 2022
Six Nations: were Scotland hyping themselves up?
There is a certainly a perception that Scotland were bigging themselves up for a Grand Slam run after claiming the Calcutta Cup for a second time in two years. However the quotes from the players and coaching staff after the England game and before the Wales match were quite grounded.
After beating England and being asked 'if this is Scotland's year', Scotland captain Stuart Hogg said 'ah look, we're not going to get carried away. This is just one victory.'
Nor was Gregor Townsend talking about open-top bus parades in Edinburgh in the build up to the Wales game.
"Confidence and belief is important, it gives you the ability to adapt and show character, but we have to deliver the detail as well. We can be better than this week, and we believe Wales will be better than they showed this week.”
However, Matt Williams is not alone in thinking there is a confidence that borders on cockiness in the Scotland team. Nonetheless, his latest comments have Scotland angered fans yet again.
I commented this on the YouTube video itself, but as far as I could see, absolutely no one from the Scotland camp said what Matt Williams claims.
All I saw from Scotland players and staff was warnings about not underestimating Wales. None of them assumed a win. https://t.co/W9LJzJBxTn
— Andrew Forde (@andrewfrugby) February 16, 2022
They were quick to point out the poor record Scotland had under Williams as well.
6N 2004 - Scotland's 2nd biggest home loss v England
6N 2004 - Scotland's 2nd biggest home loss v France
6N 2005 - Scotland's 2nd biggest home loss v Ireland
6N 2005 - Scotland's biggest home loss v Wales https://t.co/2LmmOGuCwB
— Russ Petty (@rpetty80) February 15, 2022
It's not that the Scotland Grand Slam narrative doesn't exist - it's just that it was being driven by the Scotland fans and the media. They were right to be excited about this squad and it's been so long since they've won a Grand Slam. They just beat England two times in a row for the first time in 40 years and, at times, play some of the most exciting rugby in the world right now. However, big wins against England aside, they've been far too inconsistent over the years.
The result in Cardiff was grim and predictable.