Dawson subject to hate mail
May 5, 2000

England captain Matt Dawson has revealed that he has been the subject of a hate mail campaign since the Calcutta Cup defeat by Scotland last month.

But Dawson insists that the vitriol has not been received from English fans angry at the 19-13 defeat at Murrayfield which cost England the Grand Slam.

"I have received literally hundreds of letters from the Celtic countries since the defeat at Murrayfield, many of which are extremely abusive and offensive," Dawson told Rugby World magazine.

"We've been roundly criticised for our lack of flexibility, plan B or C, or ability to react.

"The truth is we would have done all the things we've been told should have happened since, like play the game the way the Scots did, or revert to ten-man rugby, but we couldn't because we never had the platform to do so.

"We failed to get lineout ball, we failed to get clean ball from the scrums because they were constantly turned and we just couldn't get out of our last 30 metres.

"We got it badly wrong and our performance, particularly in the second half, was negligible."

But Dawson insists that the defeat by Scotland was not the shock it was deemed by many.

"I don't think people had been watching Scotland before. They'd been watching them lose but not seeing how,'' said Dawson.

"But for silly mistakes, such as dropping passes or kicking poorly, they'd probably won all their matches, not lost them.

"I believe they possessed the best game plan in the tournament but it requires error-free rugby.

"Against us, they added the other necessary weapon their focus possibly
for the first time in the Six Nations, which was spot on."

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