Scotland fans praise Paul O’Connell for ‘shutting down’ John Inverdale

Scotland fans took to social media to praise former Ireland captain Paul O’Connell, after the ex-Munster lock took John Inverdale to task over his comments following the 25-13 Calcutta Cup victory over England at Murrayfield.

– Gregor Townsend sets Scotland heroes a Dublin challenge

The Limerick man was part of the BBC’s coverage of the Six Nations clash, alongside fellow ex-internationals Jeremy Guscott, Martin Johnson and Andy Nicol.

Twice in the second half, England fans may have assumed their team had clawed the game back with two vital tries, but on both occasions, referee Nigel Owens halted the celebrations.

In the first incident, an intercept try for Danny Care – who crossed twice in England’s 61-21 mauling of Scotland last year – was called back by Owens for a penalty against Joe Launchbury in a ruck.

And later, Owen Farrell touched down only for the TMO to reveal a knock-on by Courtney Lawes in a tackle on Scotland skipper John Barclay.

During the post-match discussion, Inverdale suggested that Owens’ performance could come under scrutiny, saying: “A lot of debate is going to be about how Nigel Owens handled the game, particularly in the second half and one or two key decisions that were made.”

Replays of both incidents were then shown on the BBC’s coverage of the match, with Johnson commenting “Technically… Nigel’s right” following playback of the Care incident, but O’Connell replied: “If you want to do a forensic analysis of the game… if you’re an England supporter then you can look at every ruck and see a penalty for you; you can see one for Scotland if you’re a Scotland supporter.

“But – in my eyes – I thought Nigel Owens had a good game.”

Several Scotland fans backed up O’Connell’s comments on social media, with one writing: “Well done Paul O’Connell. Shutting down any nonsense about Nigel Owens’ excellent performance. Great game and top unbiased analysis.”

David Power said: “Fair play to Paul O’Connell for not going along with John Inverdale’s s***e about Nigel Owens” while Clive Morgan added: “My favourite moment was John Inverdale suggesting post match that England lost because of Nigel Owens. Paul O’Connell put him right on that and said he had a good game.”

Hamish Hamilton tweeted: “Love Paul O’Connell just putting John Inverdale’s bias in the bin. Scotland were the better team, end of!”

Owens’ performance also won plaudits from former England head coach Sir Clive Woodward and ex-England centre Will Greenwood.

Woodward sent a message to Owens on Twitter, saying: “Once again excellent performance from you and both teams know the right team won – well done again, it was a great 6 nations game and will I think be the making of both teams – it should be anyway.”

Greenwood, capped 55 times by England, added: “Embarrassed by some of the comments made towards Nigel Owens – watched game for second time – particular focus on key decisions… England can have no complaints about Scotland win.

“Many things to blame – None of them Nigel.”

– England blame Scotland as teams told to explain tunnel scuffle



Your pictures of Scotland: 27 April

Your pictures of Scotland: 27 April – 4 May

A selection of your pictures of Scotland sent in between 27 April – 4 May. Send your photos to or via Instagram at #bbcscotlandpics

Image copyrightDave Stewart
Image caption Dave Stewart reckons the moon looks like a giant snowball rolling down Buachaille Etive Beag in this picture which he took at dawn on Monday.
Image copyrightRon Bisset
Image caption Ron Bisset enjoyed an incredible view from his tent on top of Sgurr na Stri on Skyre during a weekend camping trip.
Image copyrightJohn Moffat
Image caption Here’s another impressive view – this time Jess is looking down from Ben Ledi in Perthshire.
Image copyrightGordie Bain
Image caption Gordie Bain snapped this colourful image of wedding day fun on the shore of Loch Ness.
Image copyrightEwan Baird
Image caption Ewan Baird made the trip to Dundee from Falkirk this week – he’s excited about the opening of the new V&A in September.
Presentational white space
View from Beinn Sgritheall looking along Loch HournImage copyrightBill Cameron
Image caption Bill Cameron has sent us this exceptional panorama, from Beinn Sgritheall looking along Loch Hourn, near Glenelg.
Presentational white space
Image copyrightMALCOLM PARNELL
Image caption Spring is the best time of year at the Newhailes Estate, just outside Edinburgh, says Malcolm Parnell. “I love the way the sun shines through the new leaves on the trees and lights the carpet of wildflowers underneath,” he says.
Presentational white space
Image copyrightMike Forbes
Image caption Mike Forbes sent us this picture of racing yachts off Helensburgh.
Presentational white space
Image copyrightIain Brooks
Image caption This stunning shot of a short-eared owl was taken at Lochindorb in the Highlands, by Iain Brooks.
Image copyrightJane Collins
Image caption Jane Collins snapped this gannet diving for fish at Carnish Bay in Uig while on holiday on Lewis.
Image copyrightStewart Kerr
Image caption This was the first car home at the end of the Flying Scotsman car rally in Edinburgh on Sunday, says Stewart Kerr.
Image copyrightNiall Barnett
Image caption Fife Sea Kayaking Club were rewarded with great weather when they made their annual trip to Arisaig.
Image copyrightSarah Greggan
Image caption Sarah Greggon spent a week at Carrick Shore in Dumfries and Galloway to celebrate her 80th birthday.
Image copyrightNorie Williamson
Image caption Norie Williamson said the six hour trek through boggy terrain was well worth the effort when they reached Glengarrisdale Bay on Jura’s west coast.
Image copyrightNeil Mason
Image caption Neil Mason said he took his father out to watch April’s pink moon rising. The village of Little Ferry, Sutherland, is in the foreground and Tarbat Ness lighthouse beyond.

All images are copyrighted.



Scotland cashes in on spooky history with Dark Tourist boom

SCOTLAND is cashing in on its spooky history with a boom in ‘dark tourism’.

Overseas visitors are flocking here in the build-up to Halloween to get the frighteners put on them at our scariest attractions and locations.

Scotland is cashing in on its spooky history

Professor John Lennon from Glasgow Caledonian University, who coined the term ‘dark tourism’, believes people are attracted to places associated with death.

He said: “There is a voyeuristic element as people want a thrill.”

Edinburgh Dungeon sees a big rise in visitors in the run-up to October 31.

General manager Edward Evans said: “Halloween is a bumper time of year for us and increasingly we’ve found that customers are looking for something extra special.”

Edinburgh attractions see a big rise

And Jean Burke, from Edinburgh ghost walk company Mercat Tours, sees their uptake almost double.

She said: “On an average October day we’ll run 20 tours a day.

“This year over Halloween, we’ll be running 37.”

Here we take a look at six eerie tourism locations.

Simon Jones – The Sun

Tours can see their numbers almost double


QUITE possibly the most haunted city in the world, the Scots capital is a must for those fascinated by the supernatural.

If you are on the hunt for a spooky spot, head to world-famous Edinburgh Castle where former prisoners are said to haunt the dungeons and a headless drummer has also been sighted.

Or why not join a tour like those run by Mercat Tours who this Halloween will spend the Midnight Hour exploring the Blair Street Underground Vaults.

A lone Highlander is said to still roam the deserted battlefield of Culloden


MORE than 250 years after the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated in a bloody battle at Culloden near Inverness, the bleak moor is said to be still haunted.

Cries and gunfire have all been heard while a lone Highlander is said to still roam the deserted battlefield.

If you are nearby on Halloween you might see the Great Scree of Culloden, a black bat-like creature that hovers overhead and is said to be a harbinger of doom.


THIS popular attraction in Angus is reputed to be one of the most-haunted castles in Scotland.

A ghost named the Grey Lady is said to roam the chapel while legends state a monster is kept in one of the castle’s many secret rooms. The historic venue has already sold out open-air screenings of horror movie favourites Halloween and Hocus Pocus.

But visitors can spend an eerie evening exploring the castle and the ghostly grounds with tours running this weekend.

Crathes Castle is said to be home to the spirit of the Green Lady


THIS might look like something from a fairytale but Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire is said to be home to the spirit of the Green Lady, a ghostly apparition dressed in a robe.

In the 1800s, skeletal remains were found behind the fireplace in a room she was spotted in.

It is reported that some visitors to the castle refuse to enter the Green Lady’s room — despite not knowing the story. Halloween sees the castle open after hours for terrifying tours.

Skiall House is said to be built on top of an ancient Pictish burial ground


THIS historic house on Orkney is said to be built on top of an ancient Pictish burial ground.

Ghostly figures are said to walk through empty rooms while mysterious puffs of cigarette smoke fill the air, apparently from nowhere.

You can venture inside the 17th century mansion built by Bishop George Graham and his bed from 1620 is still there. But you can only find out if the ghost stories are real up until Halloween — after which time the house closes for the season.

Brodick Castle is said to have a Grey Lady who is believed to be the ghost of a plague victim


WITH a long history dating back to 1510, Brodick Castle on Arran has its share of spooky stories — with a Grey Lady who is believed to be the ghost of a plague victim.

A ghostly white stag has also been seen on several occasions whenever a chief of the castle’s former owners, the Hamiltons, is close to death. The castle is closed right now but visitors can still go ghost hunting in the grounds — including its walled garden.

We pay for your stories and videos! Do you have a story or video for The Scottish Sun Online? Email us at or call 0141 420 5266