OOR puir wee boys in blue: whummelt doon in Wales. The 2017 autumn tests, whaur the Scots skelped baith Australia an Samoa, an pit it up tae the All Blacks, gied us aa sic hope. Oor ae-time star pleyer Gregor Townsend wis noo in chairge, an oor laddies were finally ready tae pit a dunt intae the Sax Nations. Mibbie no win it, no just yet. But capable o cowpin the naitural order o hings.

Whit gallusness. In the deys afore the match in Wales, it bordered on feyness, the elation that aye proceeds a deith. An on the perk in Cardiff dee they did. The Scots were blawn aff the baa, oot the stadium an haufway doon the street by the Welsh storm. Scunnert, again.

Usually noo I’d be haverin tae aabdy wha’d listen that aa we need tae dae is get doon tae Murrayfield an gie the team a lift wi the kenspeckle “Murrayfield roar”. Get the kilts on, get the pints doon the thrapple, an let the team ken that they can aye lippen on us fir support, nae maitter whit a towsin we’re gettin.

But this year, I cannae. The SRU an Scottish Rugby as a hail hae at lang-last driven us awa fae Murrayfield. It’s no the blooterins we get aff just aboot ilka team in the warld. It’s no even that the team’s been a dumpin-grun fir dud English pleyers an a dud English coach owre the years. Naw, it’s the politics o the SRU, an the identity o Scottish Rugby.

Scotland, the SRU maks oot, is a guid an leal memmer o the British faimly. Fir aa the seas o Saltires fleein at Murrayfield this Setterdey, fir aa the pruid choruses o Flooer o Scotland that’ll rise owre the skirl o the pipes as the gemme pleys oot, its aa safe, non-rebellious Scottishness safely smuired aneath the heavy British jaicket.

Ane o the forms o potent Unionism on display is the performance o the British Airmy afore gemmes. Syne I wis a bairn the airmy hae pit on a pre-match shaw. Whiles they’ll plummet oot o planes owreheid an parachute ontae the pitch. Whiles they’ll abseil doon aff the roof an gie aabdy a fleg.

This is then follaed up by the visit tae the pitch o Princess Anne. Anne, the dochter o the Queen, is the “patron” o the Scottish Rugby Union. Just afore the anthems, this auld wifie shaks the haun o ilka memmer o baith teams. Even the puir auld republican Irish hae tae dae it, though whiles twa-three o them seem gey sweirt tae.

Auld Annie then climbs back intae the best seat in the hoose, an jyns wi the Scots in singin Flooer o Scotland. Gin ane o the Queen’s ain bairns can sing the Flooer o Scotland, it fair saps ony rebellious energy oot it. Her presence, an the presence o the airmy, mak the hail nationalist display safe an controlled. The storm o Saltires ablow, the Union croon abuin.

This has lang been the case wi Scottish Rugby, sae whit’s chynged fir me tae swither in ma support efter sae mony years?

Twa things. Oor captain Greig Laidlaw leavin the team ahint in the simmer tae ging aff an be a substitute fir the British an Irish Lions, an the heid o the SRU attendin a Burns Supper wi Theresa May in his official capacity.

Lest simmer the Scots were on a tour o the faur side o the Earth. They were in fine fettle, skelpin Italy 34-13 in a special gemme in the heat o Hong Kong follaed by a gallus 24-19 defeat o Australia in their ain hame grun. Things were luikin braw. Wee Greig Laidlaw had cam intae his ain as captain, an wis leadin his team tae an unbeaten simmer tour.

Then oot o naeplace, the British an Irish Lions speart at a Laidlaw tae gie Scotland the dingy an jyne up wi Britain insteid.

Oor captain Laidlaw couldnae hae left the Scotland camp wi mair haste. He flew owre tae New Zealand tae jyne the British hybrid squad, leavin his team verra much in the lurch. Fir him it wis Britain first, Scotland somewhaur faur ahint. Scotland, shorn o its leader just afore the gemme, went on tae record a shock loss tae Fiji.

The seccont sickener that’s finally pit us aff the SRU is that the chairman o the Scottish Rugby Union, Colin Grassie, this Januar attendit a “Burns Supper” doon in Downing Street. This figureheid o the Scottish gemme, in official capacity as representin the SRU, sat doon tae deep fried haggis baas wi a bourach o senior Torys.

In maist weys this wis a guid auld-farrant Tory sleaze fest. Ye hud yer cash-fir-access donors that fund the Tories doon sooth gettin in a blether wi the boss. Ye hud yer Better Thegither lapdugs gettin their wee bit clap aff big Tess in the Big Hoose. Ye hud exactly the skelp o fowk ye’d expect at sic a dinner. An yet, there amang them aa sat oor ain Colin Grassie. Sport an politics gangin thegither as ticht as a moose in a trap.

He had been mis-identified on the leet o invitees. He’d been pit doon as “Colin Grassie, Scottish RFU”. There isnae sic an organisation. They are the SRU. The RFU are the English board, an the implication o this new moniker is that oor national board is just ae wing o the mair muckle national (English) set-up. Ye can forgie the civil servant bodie wha made the error.

Grassie has nae business representin oor organisation like this. He can split breid wi whaever he likes in his personal capacity, but by scrannin doon on tasty venison wi Theresa, he’s taintit the SRU wi the poison o her government. The Scottish Rugby team relies on immigrants, fae Nel the African tae Visser the Dutchman, yet the heid o the SRU was happy tae sup wi, an gie succour tae, the anti-foreign Brexit government.

The politics o the Scotland set-up, fae captain tae chairman, mak it absolutely clear that the Scottish identity as presentit by oor SRU is ane that ranks weel ablow that o Britain, an is merely subsidiary tae it. I cannae thole sic misuse o a appairently non-political body.

We pley France this weekend doon in Embra. I hope we win. But mair nor that I truly hope that suin these laddies will be representin a Scotland we can aa get ahint, a pruid an independent ane. Fir the noo, we are Britain’s wee team, the lovable diddies, an there’s nae beating we can tak that’s as sair as that.