Scotland v Australia, 12 November

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Post by George Carlin on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 11:36 am

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Scotland v Australia, 12 November - Page 7 Scot_f10       Scotland v Australia, 12 November - Page 7 Wallab10
SCOTLAND v AUSTRALIA
12 November 2016
14:30 GMT
BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Live on BBC One

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
ARs: [tbc]
TMO: [tbc]

A. Head to Head

29 Played 29
9 Won 20
0 Drawn 0
20 Lost 9
364 Points 706

B. Recent Form

18 October 2015
Twickenham
35-34 to Australia

23 November 2013
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
15 – 21 to Australia

5 June 2012
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
6 – 9 to Scotland

21 November 2009
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
9 – 8 to Scotland

25 November 2006
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
15 – 44 to Australia

20 November 2004
Hampden Park, Glasgow
17 – 31 to Australia

C. TEAMS:

SCOTLAND 
Scotland v Australia, 12 November - Page 7 Stillg10
Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar, Tim Visser, Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw (capt); Allan Dell, Ross Ford, Zander Fagerson, Richie Gray, Jonny Gray, John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Gordon Reid, Moray Low, Grant Gilchrist, John Hardie, Ali Price, Pete Horne, Rory Hughes.

AUSTRALIA
Scotland v Australia, 12 November - Page 7 Roy__h10
Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Reece Hodge, Henry Speight, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Stephen Moore (capt), Sekope Kepu, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Lopeti Timani.

Replacements: Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Nick Phipps, Quade Cooper.


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Post by beshocked on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 9:56 am

I think the biggest disappointment for Scotland was Hogg. Scotland needed their talisman to put in a better performance.

Part of a full back's role has to be to help his team get good field position and too often I believe Hogg was ineffectual. Too often tried the running option which did not work and was outplayed in the territory battle.

Sure he did some good things but I thought got Scotland into trouble on too many occasions.

Scotland could have done with Hogg relieving the pressure more.

Not sure how so many could rate Hogg's performance so highly.

Also surprised of the criticism of Barclay who I thought worked tirelessly for Scotland.

Russell created some nice things in attack but his tactical kicking is not good enough. His overall game management needs work.

Ultimately Scotland lost because in that 2nd half because Australia created more pressure. They dominated territory and possession in that 2nd half. You have to look at why that was.

Best Scottish forward was obviously Jonny Gray. Best back Huw Jones.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 10:25 am

My Thoughts

Forwards - in the loose we were fine. Dire in the scrums against a team renowned for being bad at scrums! This worries me as Argentina and Georgia are next up and they are no slouches at scrum time! Our line out seemed to function ok and we disrupted the Oz line a couple of times. With Wilson going off early I think out lineouts were effected as he'd be used as a jumper very often.

We were playing three opensides for a large part of the game! I liked this! Purely because it flies in the face of DoR Johnson's need for three 8's to be on!

Backs - Reasonably solid. Feel Hogg needs to direct traffic a bit more and what was with his constant sideways running when he got the ball? Go forward or punt the thing!!! I still feel we lack "leaders" to dictate a game. Why did they go out wide at the end of the game when they should have kept trudging up the middle to look for the penalty or go for the drop goal???

Next week:

If Seymour is back and fit, it's bye bye turnstyle Tim! His defense was awful and what was with getting caught by the Oz flanker when he went for his run down the line? I know the Oz flanker was no slouch, but Tim didn't look like he was going at full pelt and he had plenty time to get up to speed! Also, has Visser forgotten that he can cut in field and doesn't have to just run down the touchline?

Wilson was poop again. Toodle bye Batman, time to move over and let CDP (Or Bradury) have the shirt!

Hardie looks like he is out. So for me it's Barclay, CDP and Watson with possibly Bradbury on the bench for next week?

Peter Horne? How many games does he have to cost us before folk realise that he is not an International level player?

Gutted that we lost by a single point again! Seen folk mention Laidlaws con that hit the post! This was unfortunate but not his fault that we lost, it was a very tough kick! We lost because 1. the first Oz try was stunning! 2. We failed to keep possession in the second half. 3. Peter Horne came on
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Post by RDW on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 10:34 am

I also think we were lacking people with 'street smarts' when it came to trying to get a penalty at the end. We needed a bit of organisation - set up a pod of forwards ready so that when the ball carrier was tackled we could do the old trick of holding the tackler into the ruck to get a not rolling away penalty. You know if it was England, Ireland or New Zealand they would have managed to work a penalty in that situation.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 10:37 am

beshocked wrote:I think the biggest disappointment for Scotland was Hogg. Scotland needed their talisman to put in a better performance.

Part of a full back's role has to be to help his team get good field position and too often I believe Hogg was ineffectual. Too often tried the running option which did not work and was outplayed in the territory battle.

Sure he did some good things but I thought got Scotland into trouble on too many occasions.

Scotland could have done with Hogg relieving the pressure more.

Not sure how so many could rate Hogg's performance so highly.

Also surprised of the criticism of Barclay who I thought worked tirelessly for Scotland.

Russell created some nice things in attack but his tactical kicking is not good enough. His overall game management needs work.

Ultimately Scotland lost because in that 2nd half because Australia created more pressure. They dominated territory and possession in that 2nd half. You have to look at why that was.

Best Scottish forward was obviously Jonny Gray. Best back Huw Jones.


Some fair points about Hogg. He did take on too much at times and could have used that massive boot of his to better effect.

Anyway, hands off our Jonny Gray. It concerns me to hear a fan associated with Sarries talk about one of our star players in such a way. I can assure you that he isn't South African.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 10:37 am

tigertattie wrote:My Thoughts

Forwards - in the loose we were fine. Dire in the scrums against a team renowned for being bad at scrums! This worries me as Argentina and Georgia are next up and they are no slouches at scrum time! Our line out seemed to function ok and we disrupted the Oz line a couple of times. With Wilson going off early I think out lineouts were effected as he'd be used as a jumper very often.

We were playing three opensides for a large part of the game! I liked this! Purely because it flies in the face of DoR Johnson's need for three 8's to be on!

Backs - Reasonably solid. Feel Hogg needs to direct traffic a bit more and what was with his constant sideways running when he got the ball? Go forward or punt the thing!!! I still feel we lack "leaders" to dictate a game. Why did they go out wide at the end of the game when they should have kept trudging up the middle to look for the penalty or go for the drop goal???

Next week:

If Seymour is back and fit, it's bye bye turnstyle Tim! His defense was awful and what was with getting caught by the Oz flanker when he went for his run down the line? I know the Oz flanker was no slouch, but Tim didn't look like he was going at full pelt and he had plenty time to get up to speed! Also, has Visser forgotten that he can cut in field and doesn't have to just run down the touchline?

Wilson was poop again. Toodle bye Batman, time to move over and let CDP (Or Bradury) have the shirt!

Hardie looks like he is out. So for me it's Barclay, CDP and Watson with possibly Bradbury on the bench for next week?

Peter Horne? How many games does he have to cost us before folk realise that he is not an International level player?

Gutted that we lost by a single point again! Seen folk mention Laidlaws con that hit the post! This was unfortunate but not his fault that we lost, it was a very tough kick! We lost because 1. the first Oz try was stunning! 2. We failed to keep possession in the second half. 3. Peter Horne came on

Who would you have to cover 10 on the bench? Or would you move Laidlaw to 10 and just have Pyrgos come on at 9? With a centre on the bench instead?

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 10:44 am

tigertattie wrote:Peter Horne? How many games does he have to cost us before folk realise that he is not an International level player?

I hear what you say but I still think this is a harsh conclusion to reach. He had a strong World Cup and his ability to play fly half and centre is really useful. Yes, that's twice by my count that he's been smashed aside for an opposition score, but from recollection we're talking about Alesana Tuilagi and Tevita Kuridrani, both times coming onto the ball at pace as part of a set move. Both times Horne tried to make the tackle but got his positioning wrong. It's a weakness, but not one that I see as fatal to his international career.

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Post by beshocked on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 10:46 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:
beshocked wrote:I think the biggest disappointment for Scotland was Hogg. Scotland needed their talisman to put in a better performance.

Part of a full back's role has to be to help his team get good field position and too often I believe Hogg was ineffectual. Too often tried the running option which did not work and was outplayed in the territory battle.

Sure he did some good things but I thought got Scotland into trouble on too many occasions.

Scotland could have done with Hogg relieving the pressure more.

Not sure how so many could rate Hogg's performance so highly.

Also surprised of the criticism of Barclay who I thought worked tirelessly for Scotland.

Russell created some nice things in attack but his tactical kicking is not good enough. His overall game management needs work.

Ultimately Scotland lost because in that 2nd half because Australia created more pressure. They dominated territory and possession in that 2nd half. You have to look at why that was.

Best Scottish forward was obviously Jonny Gray. Best back Huw Jones.


Some fair points about Hogg. He did take on too much at times and could have used that massive boot of his to better effect.

Anyway, hands off our Jonny Gray. It concerns me to hear a fan associated with Sarries talk about one of our star players in such a way. I can assure you that he isn't South African.

FES Sarries already have Kruis and Itoje, would be overly greedy to try and sign up Jonny Gray. A few years back I would have gladly seen Sarries sign up Richie Gray but he spurned the offer to sign up for Sale.... oops...

I've generally seen J.Gray as inferior to Kruis and Itoje, so I thought I should give credit to J.Gray where it's due. He played very well.

Scotland haven't done too badly out of Scottish players being at Sarries.

Hogg is a player I've always liked but was disappointed personally. You are right Hogg did take on too much and it didn't help. I feel that Scotland needed a bit more game management in that 2nd half.

Australia did not panic, they just built up the pressure and it's a sign of a team with confidence that they attacked with such boldness and scored a try with only 14 men.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 10:58 am

beshocked wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
beshocked wrote:I think the biggest disappointment for Scotland was Hogg. Scotland needed their talisman to put in a better performance.

Part of a full back's role has to be to help his team get good field position and too often I believe Hogg was ineffectual. Too often tried the running option which did not work and was outplayed in the territory battle.

Sure he did some good things but I thought got Scotland into trouble on too many occasions.

Scotland could have done with Hogg relieving the pressure more.

Not sure how so many could rate Hogg's performance so highly.

Also surprised of the criticism of Barclay who I thought worked tirelessly for Scotland.

Russell created some nice things in attack but his tactical kicking is not good enough. His overall game management needs work.

Ultimately Scotland lost because in that 2nd half because Australia created more pressure. They dominated territory and possession in that 2nd half. You have to look at why that was.

Best Scottish forward was obviously Jonny Gray. Best back Huw Jones.


Some fair points about Hogg. He did take on too much at times and could have used that massive boot of his to better effect.

Anyway, hands off our Jonny Gray. It concerns me to hear a fan associated with Sarries talk about one of our star players in such a way. I can assure you that he isn't South African.

FES Sarries already have Kruis and Itoje, would be overly greedy to try and sign up Jonny Gray. A few years back I would have gladly seen Sarries sign up Richie Gray but he spurned the offer to sign up for Sale.... oops...

I've generally seen J.Gray as inferior to Kruis and Itoje, so I thought I should give credit to J.Gray where it's due. He played very well.

Wash your mouth out young man. In the land of Scottish 606v2 threads, the one-eyed Weegie is king.

Actually Kruis plays more like Richie Gray and Itoje is more like Jonny. Itoje is really a 6, mucking about at lock. There will be room for both Itoje and Jonny Gray come the Lions......

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Post by beshocked on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 11:11 am

FES I am just being honest. It can depend where your loyalties lie.

Lions lock selection will be very competitive.

Richie Gray played well too. Was surprised.

Scotland still lacking a top class 8 in my opinion.

I do think no 8 is one of the most influential positions.

Scotland have some players that can mix it with the best in the world but no 8 is certainly not one of them!

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Post by RDW on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 11:15 am

beshocked wrote:FES I am just being honest. It can depend where your loyalties lie.

Lions lock selection will be very competitive.

Richie Gray played well too. Was surprised.

Scotland still lacking a top class 8 in my opinion.

I do think no 8 is one of the most influential positions.

Scotland have some players that can mix it with the best in the world but no 8 is certainly not one of them!

I would say our backrow is just lacking balance in general. We do have some good options at 8 in Strauss, Denton, Cornel Du Preez is now SQ and has been a standout player in the pro 12 for the last 3 years, and young Magnus Bradbury has been on very good form for Edinburgh this season.

The problem is none of them are established international players.

Denton had a very good world cup then moved to Bath and lost all form and momentum. He's now out injured until the 6N. Strauss for all his physical attributes is yet to fully convince at international level.

We have high hopes for CDP but, as per Strauss he may take time getting up to speed.

Bradbury is young and certainly one for the future.

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Post by beshocked on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 11:24 am

RDW

Well that's good then if you have good prospects, just need to step up now.

It's important to the development of Scotland IMO to sort out the no 8 position.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 11:36 am

Horne is a liability and not just in tackle defense!

remember "that kick"? shudder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Horne is not good enough to play at 12 internationally. He is not good enough to play at 10 internationally. The fact that he covers both positions at club level does not mean it right to pick him as the bench option for Scotland!

I don't mind playing someone out of position due to an injury during the game. moving Huw Jones to wing, or moving Maitland to fullback is acceptable as it's required sometimes. but you wouldn't start Huw on the wing or Maitland at fullback. Having Horne on the bench to cover 10 and 12 is to me, silly! I'd have had Scott on the bench and if Wee Finn gets hurt, then you have to put laidlaw at 10 (or you have another 10 on the bench if Scotland could ever produce one)

The same argument would go for Wilson "he covers all the back row positions" says BVC! Nonsense says I!

Strauss is a better 6 and a better 8 that Wilson and CDP is a better 6 and a better 8 than Strauss!

We need to pick the best player for the position and then the second best players for the bench. Stop picking someone who is 4th or 5th best at two positions just because they are 4th or 5th best at two positions!
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Post by RDW on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 11:38 am

I'm not quite clear here tattie - are you a fan of Horne or not? Very Happy

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 11:46 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:I'm not quite clear here tattie - are you a fan of Horne or not? Very Happy

Decent club player but not an internationalist.

I believe he played for Ayr though which is why folk see him as world class!

I think he had one good game against SA in a summer tour and had half a good game in the world cup. That was down to the opposition giving him acres of space but as soon as there's any pressure or physicality, Horne folds quicker than a paper bridge in the pishing rain!
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Post by EST on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 12:02 pm

Well, very disappointed by the result, however we were a lot better than I imagined we would be and I thought it was an absolutely cracking test match. Here is my stab at player ratings:

1. Dell - 7: A solid first outing, he looked like he held his end of the scrum up and he was prominent in the loose. He has struggled to break into the Edinburgh squad due to injuries and the emergence of Sutherland, however he arrived from SA with some pedigree and he looks like he is starting to deliver on that promise.

2. Ford - 6: Pretty much a repeat of his previous 99 caps, solid if unspectacular. I understand why he started, considering the inexperience of the two props, but I think it could be time for Brown.

3. Fagerson - 6: Struggled at scrum time, prominent in the loose. Will get better with age, a tremendous prospect.

4. R. Gray - 8.5: One of his best ever performances in a Scotland shirt, he doesn't prance about with the backs anymore. His Scotland form has improved with the emergence of his brother.

5. J. Gray - 9: A huge performance. I have been critical of his ball carrying at international level (I sometimes thinks he is too lateral), but he was direct and strong in contact. Often tipped the ball on as first receiver and his usual metronomic tackling.

6. Barclay - 8: I thought he was superb, not a natural 8, but he carried hard, tackled everything and won some really excellent turnovers. I thought Lacey was harsh on him in the second half, another day and the penalties against him could easily have gone the other way.

7. Watson - 7: Tried hard, but not as effective as his he is with Edinburgh. Having some big ball carriers in the backrow alongside him would help.

8. Wilson - 3: Dropped one simple restart and then injured. He is not, never has been and never will be an international standard player.

9. Laidlaw - 7: Lost his way slightly in the last 10 mins, when we needed some direction. But I thought he carried on his decent Scotland form and not as ponderous as he has been.

10. Russell - 7.5: What a ball player, he has all the skills in the world and some of his passing is a delight to watch, he also crunched Foley on more than one occasion. However, he does need to work on his tactical play - I am confident this will come. Head and shoulders above anybody else in Scotland.

11. Visser - 5: Got caught by Dean Mumm when he was away up the wing, and completely shirked out of the tackle on Hodge.

12. Dunbar - 6: Good start, but faded as the game went on - he will be better next week I am sure.

13. Jones - 8: A great start from the young centre, I was slightly surprised to see him start over Bennett, but he definitely has something a bit special about him.

14. Maitland - 7.5: Very solid performance, and he even managed to side-step Hooper.

15. Hogg - 7.5: I understand some of the criticism of Hogg, but I only think he put us under undue pressure once or twice - he may well have been instructed not to kick to the imperious Folau.

Hardie was very good when he came on, but the backrow balance and subs in general was all wrong. GG, well if anybody can explain to me how he merits inclusion I would like to hear it. All in all, I was very encouraged by the performance - I am more hopeful than I was for a win against the Pumas.

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Post by MacKnocked-on on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 12:10 pm

Hopefully if Rory Hutchison continues to get game time for Northampton he might come in to the reckoning in a year or so as a sub option who can play 10, 12 and 13.

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Post by George Carlin on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 12:32 pm

beshocked wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
beshocked wrote:I think the biggest disappointment for Scotland was Hogg. Scotland needed their talisman to put in a better performance.

Part of a full back's role has to be to help his team get good field position and too often I believe Hogg was ineffectual. Too often tried the running option which did not work and was outplayed in the territory battle.

Sure he did some good things but I thought got Scotland into trouble on too many occasions.

Scotland could have done with Hogg relieving the pressure more.

Not sure how so many could rate Hogg's performance so highly.

Also surprised of the criticism of Barclay who I thought worked tirelessly for Scotland.

Russell created some nice things in attack but his tactical kicking is not good enough. His overall game management needs work.

Ultimately Scotland lost because in that 2nd half because Australia created more pressure. They dominated territory and possession in that 2nd half. You have to look at why that was.

Best Scottish forward was obviously Jonny Gray. Best back Huw Jones.


Some fair points about Hogg. He did take on too much at times and could have used that massive boot of his to better effect.

Anyway, hands off our Jonny Gray. It concerns me to hear a fan associated with Sarries talk about one of our star players in such a way. I can assure you that he isn't South African.

FES Sarries already have Kruis and Itoje, would be overly greedy to try and sign up Jonny Gray. A few years back I would have gladly seen Sarries sign up Richie Gray but he spurned the offer to sign up for Sale.... oops...

I've generally seen J.Gray as inferior to Kruis and Itoje, so I thought I should give credit to J.Gray where it's due. He played very well.
I think that you've been drinking the Telegraph kool-aid Beshocked.

Neither Kruis nor Itoje were captain of their club side at 21 years of age. Kruis is 4 years older than Gray is now and Gray has 8 more caps and has scored more tries. Itoje has had an astonishing run, but he is going to be man marked from now on and I certainly believe it is in his interests as a player to not listen to the deafening hype and keep trying to improve as a player. He seems a sensible boy in the interviews that I've seen and I have a lot of hope he will be a special player indeed. But is he without peer? No, absolutely not. Joe Launchbury achieved more and younger than Itoje currently has.

As you say, we're comparing special players to each other and it all depends what your basis for comparison is.
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Post by beshocked on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 12:44 pm

George Carlin wrote:
beshocked wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
beshocked wrote:I think the biggest disappointment for Scotland was Hogg. Scotland needed their talisman to put in a better performance.

Part of a full back's role has to be to help his team get good field position and too often I believe Hogg was ineffectual. Too often tried the running option which did not work and was outplayed in the territory battle.

Sure he did some good things but I thought got Scotland into trouble on too many occasions.

Scotland could have done with Hogg relieving the pressure more.

Not sure how so many could rate Hogg's performance so highly.

Also surprised of the criticism of Barclay who I thought worked tirelessly for Scotland.

Russell created some nice things in attack but his tactical kicking is not good enough. His overall game management needs work.

Ultimately Scotland lost because in that 2nd half because Australia created more pressure. They dominated territory and possession in that 2nd half. You have to look at why that was.

Best Scottish forward was obviously Jonny Gray. Best back Huw Jones.


Some fair points about Hogg. He did take on too much at times and could have used that massive boot of his to better effect.

Anyway, hands off our Jonny Gray. It concerns me to hear a fan associated with Sarries talk about one of our star players in such a way. I can assure you that he isn't South African.

FES Sarries already have Kruis and Itoje, would be overly greedy to try and sign up Jonny Gray. A few years back I would have gladly seen Sarries sign up Richie Gray but he spurned the offer to sign up for Sale.... oops...

I've generally seen J.Gray as inferior to Kruis and Itoje, so I thought I should give credit to J.Gray where it's due. He played very well.
I think that you've been drinking the Telegraph kool-aid Beshocked.

Neither Kruis nor Itoje were captain of their club side at 21 years of age. Kruis is 4 years older than Gray is now and Gray has 8 more caps and has scored more tries. Itoje has had an astonishing run, but he is going to be man marked from now on and I certainly believe it is in his interests as a player to not listen to the deafening hype and keep trying to improve as a player. He seems a sensible boy in the interviews that I've seen and I have a lot of hope he will be a special player indeed. But is he without peer? No, absolutely not. Joe Launchbury achieved more and younger than Itoje currently has.

As you say, we're comparing special players to each other and it all depends what your basis for comparison is.

We are indeed comparing special players but Itoje so far has shone above the rest.

Itoje has captained his club to a LV Cup victory at the age of 20.... he's captained his country to a U20 RWC victory. He's now won the breakthrough player of the year award.

J.Gray is a good player but he's not had the same impact.

Kruis being 4 years older and having less caps doesn't make him worse either. If it was caps compared to age that mattered North would be the best winger in the world.

Launchbury has achieved more? I wouldn't say that. Last time I checked Launchbury hadn't won 2 AP titles and a European title, he's not been named European player of the year....

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Post by BamBam on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 12:51 pm

You've done it now GC

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Post by TJ on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 5:51 pm

J. Gray = led his team to a pro 12 title. gone 3 seasons missinbg only 3 tackles ( this his entire pro career) Top of tackle counts almost every game, runs the lineout.

Look at his stats from the weekend compared to the other locks discussed. AJW and Launchberry both far inferior stats and workrate.

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Post by George Carlin on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 5:52 pm

BamBam wrote:You've done it now GC
Laugh
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Post by tigertattie on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 9:27 am

TJ wrote:J. Gray = led his team to a pro 12 title.  gone 3 seasons missinbg only 3 tackles ( this his entire pro career)  Top of tackle counts almost every game, runs the lineout.

Look at his stats from the weekend compared to the other locks discussed.  AJW and Launchberry both far inferior stats and workrate.

Yeah but AWJ got man of the match against Argentina and they've already fitted him for his Lions suit!
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Post by TJ on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 9:45 am

In some ways I hope he doesn't go. It would be better for Scotland if he didn't but it would be a travesty

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Post by cascough on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 10:01 am

TJ wrote:In some ways I hope he doesn't go.  It would be better for Scotland if he didn't but it would be a travesty

I'm not a fan of this kind of talk.

No player has a right to a Lions shirt. In a position as rich as lock there is even less cause to decide that someone is untouchable. This sort of partisanship is not what the lions are about IMO.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 10:03 am

It's the toughest position. More than one player of excellent quality is going to be left at home.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 11:13 am

Seeing as Scotland have a tour of Aus this summer, I do not mind if Scots players are ignored. People have complained that Scotland do not get respect on one side and on the other that Scotland are not good enough to justify Southern Hemisphere tours. If Scotland only lose Hogg and Nel to the Lions, Scotland could win an Aussie tour and that is far more vital to Scotland than J Gray, Seymour and Bennett sitting on a bench. Is it even money split regardless of involvement for the Unions from the Lions?

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Post by EST on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 1:43 pm

You could make a pretty good case for selecting numerous players at lock for the Lions. I wouldn't be that surprised if Jonny Gray didn't make it, albeit I think he is certainly good enough.

Personally, I would take Itoje primarily as a 6, which frees up another space.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 1:45 pm

tigertattie wrote:
TJ wrote:J. Gray = led his team to a pro 12 title.  gone 3 seasons missinbg only 3 tackles ( this his entire pro career)  Top of tackle counts almost every game, runs the lineout.

Look at his stats from the weekend compared to the other locks discussed.  AJW and Launchberry both far inferior stats and workrate.

Yeah but AWJ got man of the match against Argentina and they've already fitted him for his Lions suit!

AWJ has dirt track captain written all over him.

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Post by RDW on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 1:48 pm

Without turning this into a Lions discussion 6 is probably the least contested back row position. Stander is a real standout but I wouldn't say Robshaw or Lydiate are the kind of players we need to beat the All Blacks. Warbuton at 6? Could see Gatland doing that.

Scotland don't have a proper blindside.

If you had say

4 AWJ
5 Gray
6 Itoje

With Kruis on the bench you'd have a pretty meaty core to the team!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 2:02 pm

I think 6 will be a contest between Itoje and Stander, although I do wonder if Haskell won't also tour as cover across the back row. I also wouldn't rule out a late charge by Nathan Hughes.

If Lydiate is anywhere near the Lions this time around then Gatland is leaving himself open to ridicule. Robshaw is a workhorse, but I think there are better 7s and better 6s. I'd take him over Lydiate however.

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Post by EST on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 2:25 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:I think 6 will be a contest between Itoje and Stander, although I do wonder if Haskell won't also tour as cover across the back row. I also wouldn't rule out a late charge by Nathan Hughes.

If Lydiate is anywhere near the Lions this time around then Gatland is leaving himself open to ridicule. Robshaw is a workhorse, but I think there are better 7s and better 6s. I'd take him over Lydiate however.

I would agree on the choices at 6, fES. We have greater cumulative strength at lock than in the backrow, so it makes sense to use that. Watching Itoje play, I don't think it makes the slightest bit of difference if he has the 4/5/6 shirt on his back. I also think Henderson will strongly be in the mix somewhere, if he can get himself fit - he is an amazing athlete.



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Post by George Carlin on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 2:39 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:I think 6 will be a contest between Itoje and Stander, although I do wonder if Haskell won't also tour as cover across the back row. I also wouldn't rule out a late charge by Nathan Hughes.

If Lydiate is anywhere near the Lions this time around then Gatland is leaving himself open to ridicule. Robshaw is a workhorse, but I think there are better 7s and better 6s. I'd take him over Lydiate however.
Agree - the really interesting question is whether Sean O'Brien will be back in the mix by then as he is definitely a viable option at 6. 

I think that we will see 6. Itoje 7. Warbuton 8. Vunipola - of which Warbuton is the outlier, having been rubbish for a couple of years now. 

Lydiate probably isn't the best loose forward in his family at the moment. 

7 is very hard. Van Der Flier is a possible bolter. Hardie is in with a shout but needs an enormous 6 Nations and a stand-out club season.
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 5:33 pm

EST wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:I think 6 will be a contest between Itoje and Stander, although I do wonder if Haskell won't also tour as cover across the back row. I also wouldn't rule out a late charge by Nathan Hughes.

If Lydiate is anywhere near the Lions this time around then Gatland is leaving himself open to ridicule. Robshaw is a workhorse, but I think there are better 7s and better 6s. I'd take him over Lydiate however.

I would agree on the choices at 6, fES.  We have greater cumulative strength at lock than in the backrow, so it makes sense to use that.  Watching Itoje play, I don't think it makes the slightest bit of difference if he has the 4/5/6 shirt on his back.  I also think Henderson will strongly be in the mix somewhere, if he can get himself fit - he is an amazing athlete.



Henderson is a very good call. An absolute beast, and very much in the Jonny Gray/Joe Launchbury camp in terms of type of lock.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 5:35 pm

George Carlin wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:I think 6 will be a contest between Itoje and Stander, although I do wonder if Haskell won't also tour as cover across the back row. I also wouldn't rule out a late charge by Nathan Hughes.

If Lydiate is anywhere near the Lions this time around then Gatland is leaving himself open to ridicule. Robshaw is a workhorse, but I think there are better 7s and better 6s. I'd take him over Lydiate however.
Agree - the really interesting question is whether Sean O'Brien will be back in the mix by then as he is definitely a viable option at 6. 

I think that we will see 6. Itoje 7. Warbuton 8. Vunipola - of which Warbuton is the outlier, having been rubbish for a couple of years now. 

Lydiate probably isn't the best loose forward in his family at the moment. 

7 is very hard. Van Der Flier is a possible bolter. Hardie is in with a shout but needs an enormous 6 Nations and a stand-out club season.
If SOB can reach anything like his best then I'd say the 7 shirt ought to be his. He's so strong over the ball. 7 is a tricky one though, Warburton may as well be Gatland's first born child. We shouldn't rule out Haskell either. His defensive shift in the summer against the Aussies was truly epic. I haven't seen enough of Van Der Flier.

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Post by EST on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:40 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:I think 6 will be a contest between Itoje and Stander, although I do wonder if Haskell won't also tour as cover across the back row. I also wouldn't rule out a late charge by Nathan Hughes.

If Lydiate is anywhere near the Lions this time around then Gatland is leaving himself open to ridicule. Robshaw is a workhorse, but I think there are better 7s and better 6s. I'd take him over Lydiate however.
Agree - the really interesting question is whether Sean O'Brien will be back in the mix by then as he is definitely a viable option at 6. 

I think that we will see 6. Itoje 7. Warbuton 8. Vunipola - of which Warbuton is the outlier, having been rubbish for a couple of years now. 

Lydiate probably isn't the best loose forward in his family at the moment. 

7 is very hard. Van Der Flier is a possible bolter. Hardie is in with a shout but needs an enormous 6 Nations and a stand-out club season.
If SOB can reach anything like his best then I'd say the 7 shirt ought to be his. He's so strong over the ball. 7 is a tricky one though, Warburton may as well be Gatland's first born child. We shouldn't rule out Haskell either. His defensive shift in the summer against the Aussies was truly epic. I haven't seen enough of Van Der Flier.

At this early stage, that would be my starting back row if everybody is fit.

6. Itoje
7. O'Brien
8. Vunipola

Too bad the schedule gives them virtually no chance of winning.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:44 pm

I think Barclay has been doing himself some favours lately too. He was outstanding last Saturday and if he keeps this form up, he might be in with a shout.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:51 pm

I could see Barclay touring but not being involved in tests (barring injuries)
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 1:10 pm

Hmm, too many players ahead of Barclay. I think he'd need to fair few injuries to even tour.

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Post by EST on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:02 pm

I'm delighted Barclay is back in the Scotland fold - it was always madness that such a good player was ignored for so long However, I honestly don't even think he will come into Gatlands reckoning.

If anybody wants an interesting read, have a look at the Telegraphs current Lions selection.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:11 pm

Gethin Jenkins and Jamie Roberts.

No Scottish centres or wings.

Interesting indeed. If by interesting you mean comical.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:22 pm

Barclay would be a good tourer as he covers all the positions in the backrow. Handy to have sitting on the bench for the midweek games!
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Post by EST on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:22 pm

Gethin Jenkins as a tighthead, no less.

Just shows the reputation our players still have.

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Post by George Carlin on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:27 pm

I expect that Phil Vickery will tour before Ross Ford.
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Post by IanBru on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:44 pm

Jamie Roberts, a guy who even Welsh fans are suggesting shouldn't play international rugby anymore, and Rob Kearney who was so average he needs to play alongside his brother to look good.

One delightful wag replied to the Telegraph piece with "That would be a fantastic squad! I assume it was written in 2014." Laugh
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Post by tigertattie on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:18 pm

I'm afraid that until Scotland start winning matches against Ireland, England and Wales again, we'll always struggle for lions representation
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Post by bsando on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 7:42 pm

Yeah exactly tigertattie, it will be hard for Gatland to shun certain players if they play well, beat their opponent and fall on the winning side of the scoreline. We all know Gray twins would be great and so too would several other Scots but really just need the results now or else it'll be Good luck WP Nel and Stuart Hogg in 7 months time.

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Post by Anglobraveheart on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 8:10 pm

I love the Lions, always have. But it's become tainted by nepotism. First of all by that smug clown Woodward, and now by power crazy Gatland.
Let him destroy his fave picks from Wales, England and Ireland, and hopefully leave our players behind to concentrate on squad development and growth, have a decent rest in the off season, and then have a proper go at the AI's and 6N in the 17/18 season.
Gatlands only going to do it his way, to try and get a chance at AB coach. Which isn't gonna happen. Meanwhile he'll use the troops as cannon fodder any way he can on a very tough tour schedule.
I'd prefer not to jeopardise our limited, but quality players, for the means of a megalomaniac.
Toonie can then lead us to 6N glory in 2018.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 9:10 am

IanBru wrote:Jamie Roberts, a guy who even Welsh fans are suggesting shouldn't play international rugby anymore, and Rob Kearney who was so average he needs to play alongside his brother to look good.

One delightful wag replied to the Telegraph piece with "That would be a fantastic squad! I assume it was written in 2014." Laugh

Sadly I suspect that squad isn't far away from what we'll end up with.

Healy, Jenkins, Toner, Roberts and Kearney stand out for me. Of those only Toner is in any sort of form. Also, whilst Gatland will almost certainly pick him, I personally don't see what Halfpenny would bring to the party. We have top class goal kickers with Sexton, Biggar and Farrell, all likely to tour, and no-one can say with a straight face that Halfpenny is a better full back than Williams, Hogg and Brown if you take his goal kicking out of the equation. You also have Anthony Watson, a certain tourist, able to cover fullback if needed.

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Post by EST on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 9:35 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:
IanBru wrote:Jamie Roberts, a guy who even Welsh fans are suggesting shouldn't play international rugby anymore, and Rob Kearney who was so average he needs to play alongside his brother to look good.

One delightful wag replied to the Telegraph piece with "That would be a fantastic squad! I assume it was written in 2014." Laugh

Sadly I suspect that squad isn't far away from what we'll end up with.

Healy, Jenkins, Toner, Roberts and Kearney stand out for me. Of those only Toner is in any sort of form. Also, whilst Gatland will almost certainly pick him, I personally don't see what Halfpenny would bring to the party. We have top class goal kickers with Sexton, Biggar and Farrell, all likely to tour, and no-one can say with a straight face that Halfpenny is a better full back than Williams, Hogg and Brown if you take his goal kicking out of the equation. You also have Anthony Watson, a certain tourist, able to cover fullback if needed.

Unfortunately, I think you are probably correct fES. We already have virtually no chance of winning the series, but one thing that will guarantee us losing, is Roberts crashing it up the middle, which is probably what we are going to get.

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Post by RDW on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 9:44 am

I think the Ireland win has given us more confidence. I know people will say that NZ were missing key players in the pack (which IMO downplays how good a performance it was from Ireland) but they might also be injured next summer - there's a drop off in quality at lock for NZ when Whitelock and Retallick are injured.  Ireland also showed that if you smother them up front you can take the first step to beating them. I know many times have tried and failed to beat up NZ over the years but we do stand a chance given the pack we can put out.  There's a long way to go yet in terms of selection but if we could put out something like

1 McGrath/Vunipola
2 Hartley/Best
3 Nel/Cole/Lee
4 AWJ/Toner/R Gray
5 J Gray/ Kruis
6 Itoje / Stander / Robshaw
7 O'Brien / Warbuton
8 Vunipola / Faletau

And if they can gel into a cohesive unit in such a short space of time we stand a chance.

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