Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

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Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:57 am

2017 Autumn Test Results

Scotland 44 - Samoa 38 Smile

Tries - Hogg, Jones, McInally (2), Dunbar, Horne

Scotland 17 - New Zealand 22 Crying or Very sad

Tries - J Gray, Jones

Scotland 53 - Australia 24 Yahoo

McGuigan (2), Price, Maitland, J Gray, Jones, Barclay, McInally


6N fixtures

Wales V Scotland
Scotland V France

Scotland V England

Ireland V Scotland
Italy V Scotland




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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:06 am

So, normally we are in the position of being really downbeat, pessimistic or dealing with a false dawn.

However now I genuinely feel we have a good chance of winning the 6N.

There is an argument to be made that we are the favourites to win all of our games apart from Ireland away.

We also still have Taylor, Nel, Dell, Dickinson, Ford, R Gray, Scott and a few others to come back from injury.

Apart from at half back, we seem to have developed a lot of depth over the AIs.

So I'm now in the position instead of dialling down the pessimism I'm now having to dial down the enthusiasm.

I don't really know how to do that are we actually very good or do we need a bit of a reality check?
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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:23 am

Little bit of a reality check. England will go to scotland as favourites. Doesn't mean we will win but there we go.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by Heuer27 on Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:40 am

The development of some depth should help Scotland in what will doubtless be an attritional 6N.  I think the first round of games will set the tone for Scotland. A win in Cardiff and the belief within the camp should push them on. The new found enthusiasm of the Murrayfield crowd which has been severely lacking for such a long time should drive the team on and I think no other side is looking forward to a visit to Edinburgh this time around. I worry that if Price and especially Russell go down we will be left fairly rudderless for this new Toony style of play.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:52 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Little bit of a reality check. England will go to scotland as favourites. Doesn't mean we will win but there we go.

What makes you say that? Home advantage went a long way last year.
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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:06 am

Ranked 2nd in the world, for me currently the best team in the world. Wider than that it's the squad we have. So much depth that by that 3rd game we're both bound to be down a few players which will bite scotland harder. Simply due to the record over that last year or so england will be made favourites as we've lost once.

The way the teams set up will favour england. I expect our pack to be on top and scotland will play loose and into the hands of the counter attack. Then the depth ie the england bench comes on.

As I said first up its sport nothing is set in stone but at this moment england will go into each game as favourites and favourites to win a grand slam. The only way for that to change would be for England to lose against Italy away or wale at home by a thumping.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:11 am

Those that know me on here will know that I am always cautious about our chances in the 6N, as I know how brutally tough a tournament it is. Scotland have every chance of picking up 3 or 4 wins, but there is probably a greater chance we’ll only manage 1 or 2. Indeed if we lose some key players (I.e. Finn Russell) we may struggle badly.

If Scotland get some luck with injuries and 50/50 decision going our way I think we have the ability to win 3-4 games, which would be a remarkable achievement given we only have 2 at home this year. I think the talk of us winning the Championship is way off though – England will be overwhelming favourites with Ireland close behind.

If we can win in Wales (and feck me it is long overdue that we do) then we’ll go into the France game with great confidence and I’d back us to win that too. I think England will have too much power for us and if Ireland are on a good run and don’t have injuries by the time we meet them in Dublin they’ll have too much for us too. Hopefully we give Italy a good humping at the end.

So I think 3 wins is definitely achievable for us and I’d be very happy with that – beating France and Wales in one tournament would be a great achievement IMO.

I’d say a home win against France and win in Italy is the bare minimum we need, and it shows how far we’ve come that we would be a little disappointed with 2 wins in the 6N! It’s worth remembering that it is only a few years ago that we got the Wooden Spoon.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:23 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Little bit of a reality check. England will go to scotland as favourites. Doesn't mean we will win but there we go.

Sadly I have to agree with 7.5 here.  Whilst we've done pretty well this AIs so have England and they destroyed us last time out.  Sure there was a total injury nightmare and players all over the place out of position, and it was at twickenham but, I'd say England have probably improved since then, as have we granted, but we're further behind in terms of a starting point.

Whilst I am delighted with how Scotland got on in the AIs especially with the number of injuries we have, we have to consider that generally we do ok in the AIs, last year we beat, Georgia, Pumas and lost narrowly to Oz, we were all on a high in terms of we'd be putting up a good fight etc in the 6 nations and we came 4th, ahead of a shockingly poor french team and an even worse Italian team.

In the 2014 Autumn tests we beat Tonga and Pumas and lost by 8pts to NZ, 2015 6 nations - last

I'm going to get carried away when some of our injured players come back and I'll be as hopeful as anyone that we'll mount a decent challenge and this 6 nations could be ours, but sadly history has shown that our AI form doesn't really mean anything when it comes to the 6 nations.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by tigertattie on Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:46 am

Looks like we're split 50/50 for the 6Ns predictions.

I'll even go as far as giving a rough score prediction which could obviously change nearer the time based on team selections

Wales V Scotland - 36 to 22 to Scotland
Scotland V France - 32 to 16 to Scotland
Scotland V England - 23 to 16 to England
Ireland V Scotland - 28 to 27 to Ireland
Italy V Scotland - 46 to 10 to Scotland

yes we are at home to England but they really are looking very very efficient under Eddie Jones. I'm afraid that their forward power will just be too much for us and will strangle the life out of the game and starve us of the ball.

That game will be completely crucial to the outcome of the championship. If we can turn England over, then we're off to Dublin to what could well be the title decider. Ireland are also a very efficient team right now and will be by no means easy to beat but nor are they invincible.

If I had to put labels on things, I'd say the following

England have the best pack
Scotland have the best backline
Ireland are the better all-rounders  

What makes things knickers for Scotland is we can never get Ireland and England at home in the same year which makes things difficult.
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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by SecretFly on Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:06 am

tigertattie wrote:

England have the best pack
Scotland have the best backline
Ireland are the better all-rounders  


That was the recipe for a 3 from 3 Lions win down in New Zealand, wasn't it? But someone got the messages mixed when picking Whistle Run

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by BigGee on Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:32 am

A very good AI series from Scotland, but lets not kid ourselves that we are the finished article just yet.

Luckily I don't believe that Toonie, his coaches nor any of the players, who seem a pretty honest bunch, do!

So where can we improved.

1. Front row.
Hopefully players coming back from injury will add more experience and depth to this area. Nel in particular, if he can find his form of old would be a massive addition. We are without any suggestion of how bad his injury is though and how long he will be out for.. LH is probably less of a worry, though Sutherland will be a decent addition to the mix once he is back up to speed. Marfo and Bhatti both did ok and should really continue to improve with more games at this level. I can really seen Ford struggling to get back into the side now and I am sorry to say that I think Dickinson is heading for retirement.

2. No.8
I watched the match back again yesterday once I got home and Ryan Wilson really does get through some work, which I guess is why they keep picking him. Theere are other candidates though, if we want a more ball carrying mix rather than work rate. CDP impressed in patches and will hopefully continue to improve this season now that his injury seems to be behind him. Denton is trying hard down in Worcester to stay injury free and they are starting to play better and then there is Bradbury, who now probably has some ground to make up.

3. Wing
Tommy S was uncharacteristically poor over the series. maybe he has the Lions hangover/ he may well end up being the one fighting for his place. There are more than a few candidates to step up, probably lead by McGuigan, who was very impressive and could nail down one of the spots.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:48 am

Nel fractured his arm I believe. Saw him the other day and his arm was in a sling, nothing more. Don't think he'll out be for too long.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by BigGee on Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:12 am

EWT Spoons wrote:Nel fractured his arm I believe.  Saw him the other day and his arm was in a sling, nothing more.  Don't think he'll out be for too long.

Even a simple undisplaced fracture, you are probably looking at 6-8 weeks to heal and then rehab to get the arm strong enough to play again. He may just make it back for the 6N, but will likely be short on match fitness, which he already did even before this injury to be honest. He would be a big miss if he does not make it back.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:15 am

He should in theory then be healed by beginning of Jan, then a month of rehab and hopefully a game or two. Of course this depends on how bad the fracture is, but I guess my point was that it could have been worse.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by BigGee on Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:17 am

EWT Spoons wrote:He should in theory then be healed by beginning of Jan, then a month of rehab and hopefully a game or two.  Of course this depends on how bad the fracture is, but I guess my point was that it could have been worse.

Indeed yes, it could have been lot worse. look what happened to Gilchrist when he broke his arm, almost cost him 2 years!

Hopefully he will be back quicker than that!

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:06 pm

Well I think we can all agree that overall the AIs were a success. Before them the consensus seemed to be that a comfortable win against Samoa, a decent performance against NZ with a respectable scoreline, and a win vs Aus (backing up last summer's one), would constitute a successful campaign. Based on that the Samoa game was a bit tighter than what we might have wanted, but they obviously exceeded the targets against both NZ and Aus.

I wrote at the start of the Aus thread that Scotland really needed to bring the same intensity as the previous week, and back up the performance, and they did (and then some)! Yes the RC* arguably changed the game, but Scotland were good enough to take huge advantage. Speaking of which, they played I think 61 minutes against 14 men over the course of the three tests (including one minute against 13 men vs Aus), and scored 9 tries in that time! That does suggest that the expansive game is working particularly well with a man advantage. I'm sure opponents will pick up on that, which will make them more wary of committing the cynical fouls, which in turn might be to Scotland's advantage (quicker ball, etc.).

*It's been nice (and almost a bit surprising if I'm honest) to see no complaints from Aus (players, coaches or media) about that one. They've all said (as far as I can see) that it was deserved.

So yes, a successful autumn in terms of results, and performances. Going beyond that, it's been good to see some real depth coming through. Marfo has been quite a find, while McInally had a tremendous series, and must be pushing Brown hard for the starting spot. I thought Bhatti did OK too, and will only improve with time. Also was impressed by Horne, who looked as at home at international level as I've ever seen him. Concerns are still there, TH is a bit of a worry, and we don't really have a bruising number 8. Also reckon that behind Price we're missing a SH who offers a similar threat.

Looking ahead to the 6N, the fixture list falls OK-ish. The week breaks after the France and England games will be welcome time to recover. I do think the opening match is absolutely crucial (rather like last year). Win that, and I'd expect them to see off France the next week, and create some real momentum. Perhaps not a bad thing to have Wales first up, as they're slow starters generally, so important that Toonie gets the intensity there for that one.

Target-wise, it's hard to say. They should really be aiming to win every game, with Ireland and England the toughest two fixtures, and ones for which IMO we start as underdogs, though much less than we would have done a year or two ago. I think three wins would be a decent enough return, anything less a disappointment. 4+ wins would be a success.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:17 pm

Here's a stat for you - Hamish Watson averaged a turnover every 29 minutes, higher than any other tier 1 player in November!

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by tigertattie on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:30 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:Here's a stat for you - Hamish Watson averaged a turnover every 29 minutes, higher than any other tier 1 player in November!

Yet Guscott still had Navidi in his dream team of the AIs

Its actually no bad thing. I like that Watson is managing to avoid all hype in the mainstream media. It means he gets to fly under the radar and seems to be forgotten about by his opponents come game day!
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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:37 pm

Once again a good article from Tom English

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/42130433

He makes a good point about teams getting red cards in particular:

Cheika said that good sides can still find a way to compete despite a numerical disadvantage. It didn't help, for sure, but it didn't explain the whopping final score. There are loads of examples of sides rising above the loss of a man.

New Zealand lost Sonny Bill Williams in the 25th minute of the second Test against the British and Irish Lions and still took Warren Gatland's team to the wire, losing by just three points. Elliot Daly was shown a red in the opening minutes of England's Test against Argentina last year, but England still won. Ireland lost CJ Stander after 23 minutes in South Africa in the summer of 2016 and yet they went on to win the match. A red card doesn't always render the Test a slaughter, but that is what Saturday became.


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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by SecretFly on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:41 pm

A red card though was a slaughter when Scotland met Wales a few years back and got one. Scotland should have memory enough and sympathy enoug to realise that implosions can happen when down to 14 men against a team bent on scoring as many as they can.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:43 pm

SecretFly wrote:A red card though was a slaughter when Scotland met Wales a few years back and got one.  Scotland should have memory enough and sympathy enoug to realise that implosions can happen when down to 14 men against a team bent on scoring as many as they can.

Very true, but those were the dark days of Scottish rugby where we were probably going to lose badly anyway - Australia are 3rd best team in the world and good enough on their day to beat the All blacks!

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:44 pm

I would say that in all those cases, the side with the man advantage didn't manage to really open the game up. For instance, South Africa aren't exactly renowned for their free-flowing attacking wide game, and Ireland managed to turn the game into an arm-wrestle, which they came out on top of. On Saturday, obviously, this didn't happen. That's partly because Australian sides are rarely set up for arm wrestle-type matches, but also in large part because Scotland didn't give Australia a chance to slow the game down and keep it tight. So we come back to my stat of 9 tries in 61 minutes with numerical advantage, which suggests that Scotland's style of play gives them a big advantage when a man up.

On Watson, the man is a machine! If he were just getting the turnovers, then he'd already be some player, but he's also a terrific carrier (as others have alluded to, he has incredible strength).

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:45 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
SecretFly wrote:A red card though was a slaughter when Scotland met Wales a few years back and got one.  Scotland should have memory enough and sympathy enoug to realise that implosions can happen when down to 14 men against a team bent on scoring as many as they can.

Very true, but those were the dark days of Scottish rugby where we were probably going to lose badly anyway - Australia are 3rd best team in the world and good enough on their day to beat the All blacks!

It was also very early on IIRC? Whereas Australia's came half-way through the game.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:47 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:
SecretFly wrote:A red card though was a slaughter when Scotland met Wales a few years back and got one.  Scotland should have memory enough and sympathy enoug to realise that implosions can happen when down to 14 men against a team bent on scoring as many as they can.

Very true, but those were the dark days of Scottish rugby where we were probably going to lose badly anyway - Australia are 3rd best team in the world and good enough on their day to beat the All blacks!

It was also very early on IIRC? Whereas Australia's came half-way through the game.

yeah it was the 22nd minute.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by MacKnocked-on on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:55 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:Well I think we can all agree that overall the AIs were a success. Before them the consensus seemed to be that a comfortable win against Samoa, a decent performance against NZ with a respectable scoreline, and a win vs Aus (backing up last summer's one), would constitute a successful campaign. Based on that the Samoa game was a bit tighter than what we might have wanted, but they obviously exceeded the targets against both NZ and Aus.

I wrote at the start of the Aus thread that Scotland really needed to bring the same intensity as the previous week, and back up the performance, and they did (and then some)! Yes the RC* arguably changed the game, but Scotland were good enough to take huge advantage. Speaking of which, they played I think 61 minutes against 14 men over the course of the three tests (including one minute against 13 men vs Aus), and scored 9 tries in that time! That does suggest that the expansive game is working particularly well with a man advantage. I'm sure opponents will pick up on that, which will make them more wary of committing the cynical fouls, which in turn might be to Scotland's advantage (quicker ball, etc.).

*It's been nice (and almost a bit surprising if I'm honest) to see no complaints from Aus (players, coaches or media) about that one. They've all said (as far as I can see) that it was deserved.

So yes, a successful autumn in terms of results, and performances. Going beyond that, it's been good to see some real depth coming through. Marfo has been quite a find, while McInally had a tremendous series, and must be pushing Brown hard for the starting spot. I thought Bhatti did OK too, and will only improve with time. Also was impressed by Horne, who looked as at home at international level as I've ever seen him. Concerns are still there, TH is a bit of a worry, and we don't really have a bruising number 8. Also reckon that behind Price we're missing a SH who offers a similar threat.

Looking ahead to the 6N, the fixture list falls OK-ish. The week breaks after the France and England games will be welcome time to recover. I do think the opening match is absolutely crucial (rather like last year). Win that, and I'd expect them to see off France the next week, and create some real momentum. Perhaps not a bad thing to have Wales first up, as they're slow starters generally, so important that Toonie gets the intensity there for that one.

Target-wise, it's hard to say. They should really be aiming to win every game, with Ireland and England the toughest two fixtures, and ones for which IMO we start as underdogs, though much less than we would have done a year or two ago. I think three wins would be a decent enough return, anything less a disappointment. 4+ wins would be a success.

Much like the selection of Luke Hamilton and Chris Harris in the AIs squad, I wonder if the new beefed-up SQ system hasn't already identified players who might help fill problem positions within the squad for the 6Ns. I'd imagine that the way we are playing would be a great incentive for players to opt for Scotland if they are dual qualified and have a choice of countries to play for.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:56 pm

The problem for Toonie is that Glasgow have the best 3 SHs (Price, Pyrgos and G Horne) and the best 3 FHs (Russell, P Horne and Hastings) playing in Scotland just now.   Unless the Edinburgh equivalents sort out their schieze soon, on the evidence of Friday night's game v Cheetahs that looks a long way off, so Toonie goes to the Glasgow well for Ints. Not healthy for the game and particularly for Glasgow.
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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by SecretFly on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:57 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
SecretFly wrote:A red card though was a slaughter when Scotland met Wales a few years back and got one.  Scotland should have memory enough and sympathy enoug to realise that implosions can happen when down to 14 men against a team bent on scoring as many as they can.

Very true, but those were the dark days of Scottish rugby where we were probably going to lose badly anyway - Australia are 3rd best team in the world and good enough on their day to beat the All blacks!

Cool Well...thanks to you guys, I can confirm that Australia WERE 3rd best team in the world. They're not now.... Whistle

Anyway, just another little point on the subject. Australia probably WERE 3rd best team in the world much more for their attacking prowess than their defending ability. So they lost a player to the wrong team. Had they met us with one man down, we'd probably have still toyed around with them in our usual midfield muck wars rather than kill them off good and dead. Final score AUS 10 - IRL 11 and a half.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:01 pm

Glasgow did OK without the first two choices yesterday Wink

Anyway, Finn's off in the summer, which means Horne and Hastings will both get a lot of gametime at 10, which is good for Scotland. I'm less worried about the 9s, you also have Laidlaw of course. It would though be great if SHC could get back to the level he was at a couple of years ago or so, where he was pushing Laidlaw for the starter jersey.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:03 pm

SecretFly wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:
SecretFly wrote:A red card though was a slaughter when Scotland met Wales a few years back and got one.  Scotland should have memory enough and sympathy enoug to realise that implosions can happen when down to 14 men against a team bent on scoring as many as they can.

Very true, but those were the dark days of Scottish rugby where we were probably going to lose badly anyway - Australia are 3rd best team in the world and good enough on their day to beat the All blacks!

Cool Well...thanks to you guys, I can confirm that Australia WERE 3rd best team in the world.  They're not now.... Whistle

Anyway, just another little point on the subject.  Australia probably WERE 3rd best team in the world much more for their attacking prowess than their defending ability.  So they lost a player to the wrong team.  Had they met us with one man down, we'd probably have still toyed around with them in our usual midfield muck wars rather than kill them off good and dead. Final score AUS 10 - IRL 11 and a half.

I think that's fair. Australia have in the past coped well vs Wales when a man (or two, in the RWC) down. They also played with 14 men against England for 20 minutes, and didn't concede in that time, though it arguably did take its toll when England's finishers came on at the end.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:36 pm

Some more stats for you from Opta – McInally had the best lineout throw rate of any hooker, missing just 1 in 31, and only Naholo scored more tries!

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:46 pm

I think it's McInally's position to lose now, he has been superb in the AIs and Brown will have to work incredibly hard to displace him.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man on Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:04 pm

No more Ross Ford - yessssssss !
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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by BigGee on Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:29 pm

21st Century Schizoid Man wrote:The problem for Toonie is that Glasgow have the best 3 SHs (Price, Pyrgos and G Horne) and the best 3 FHs (Russell, P Horne and Hastings) playing in Scotland just now.   Unless the Edinburgh equivalents sort out their schieze soon, on the evidence of Friday night's game v Cheetahs that looks a long way off, so Toonie goes to the Glasgow well for Ints.   Not healthy for the game and particularly for Glasgow.

Cockers seems to be addressing the FH situation at Edinburgh and I can't imagine that he won't be looking at the SH situation as well. None of the three Edinburgh scrummies look like they are up to it. SHC may have done once, but seems to be on a endless downward spiral atm.

He is someone who should almost be encouraged to leave and to see if he can go and improve himself in another environment. He has been just to comfortable at Edinburgh and has not developed as he should have. I can't imagine that Cockerill will let that go on and there are a few SQ scrummies down south that might fancy a chance with Edinburgh. Think Steele & Brand at LI, Vellacott, Dawson at Newcastle. These are all decent players that would benefit from some regular rugby.

Something is going to give on the Edinburgh SH front this season for sure.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:16 pm

Scotland are designed to do better against Aus and NZ as they play a similar sort of game and don't rely on the scrum. Glasgow always struggled when they did not have a platform at all in the scrum and unfortunately come Feb/March that is what we will face.

One thing to remember is that Wales whipped themselves providing the bulk of the Lions squad and injuries are starting to hit (J Davies, Warburton, Tipuric, Lee, L Williams). The Lions hangover takes it's toll and it will be interesting to see if that plays a part by the 6 nations after the players with short summers are most of the way through 18 months on a short break.


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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by George Carlin on Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:31 am

BigGee wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:He should in theory then be healed by beginning of Jan, then a month of rehab and hopefully a game or two.  Of course this depends on how bad the fracture is, but I guess my point was that it could have been worse.

Indeed yes, it could have been lot worse. look what happened to Gilchrist when he broke his arm, almost cost him 2 years!

Hopefully he will be back quicker than that!
Don't forget that Gilchrist is a girl and Nel isn't.
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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:45 am

So I think our chances in the 6N really rely on injuries and us being able to put out near close to our best  23 most games.  Some key area for me:

Front row

We're going to struggle against top scrummaging teams if we're having to rely on the likes of Bhattie, Turner and Berghan (as good as Bhatti and Turner were in the loose), I've written Dickinson off and Nel is unlikely to feature, at least for the first few games, so our hopes rest on Sutherland, Dell, Reid, Brown and Ford getting fit. For all Ford's faults he is our best scrummager to steady the ship for the last 20 minutes of a game or so, and came onto a good run of form last season. He's 3rd choice behind McInally and Brown IMO, but he's a good 3rd choice to have.

Centre

Horne is a trier bless him, but we need a physical presence at 12 - we desperately need Dunbar or Taylor to be fit IMO. England game aside, Dunbar is our defensive general and will stand up to the big running 12s that we're likely to come up against in the 6N.

So making an assumption on fitness, if we were able to put out a 23 along the following lines I'd be a lot more confident

1 - Marfo/Dell (depending on fitness/form)
2 - McInally
3 - Fagerson
4 - R Gray (if he's fit - still a class above Toolis and Gilchrist IMO)
5 - J Gray
6 - Barclay
7 - Watson
8 - Wilson/CDP/Bradbury (a weak position for us - whoever is in form)

9 - Price
10 - Russell
11 - Seymour (assuming he regains his form, McGuigan/Jones if not)
12 - Dunbar
13 - Jones
14 - Maitland
15 - Hogg

Subs - Marfo/Dell/Sutherland, Brown, Berghan/Welsh, Toolis, CDP/Wilson/Bradbury, Laidlaw (calming presence to close out games), Horne, Taylor

The strength of the bench being the real difference from what we had these AIs.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by Anglobraveheart on Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:03 pm

If fit/legal, there is also Ashe, Strauss, Hardie, Bennett, Scott. Who are also strong bench options.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:42 pm

Anglobraveheart wrote:If fit/legal, there is also Ashe, Strauss, Hardie, Bennett, Scott. Who are also strong bench options.

True, but although they add to our depth none really stand out over the current options available.

Does anyone know what is wrong with Matt Scott? He hasn't played for Gloucester in ages so must be a serious injury.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by BigGee on Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:58 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
Anglobraveheart wrote:If fit/legal, there is also Ashe, Strauss, Hardie, Bennett, Scott. Who are also strong bench options.

True, but although they add to our depth none really stand out over the current options available.

Does anyone know what is wrong with Matt Scott? He hasn't played for Gloucester in ages so must be a serious injury.

Ankle injury, right at the beginning of the season. Required surgery.

So yes, quite serious. He has been pretty unlucky on the injury front has Matt Scott and it has definitely cost him plenty of Scotland caps.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by bsando on Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:39 pm

https://scrummagazine.com/26365-2/

John Hardie has been handed a 3 month ban (from his initial suspension in mid October) and will be available for selection in mid January 2018.

That is a fair punishment I feel and it means he can focus on his game a bit better leading up the 6N. He is still a class act and it would have been a shame to see him out for a long time.
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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by wisden on Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:43 pm

Scotland won't win the 6 nations, however a strong scotland will make the championship a very competitive one..they could Frak up a lot of side's chances..they have looked very good, and it's good to see them do well this autumn, even with key players missing

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:49 pm

wisden wrote:Scotland won't win the 6 nations, however a strong scotland will make the championship a very competitive one..they could Frak up a lot of side's chances..they have looked very good, and it's good to see them do well this autumn, even with key players missing

I think that sums it up perfectly!

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by reallybored on Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:13 am

imo the thing Townsend has to address is how we navigate teams that want to drag us into an arm wrestle up front, i.e. England, Boks, France.

If the fastest show on earth doesn't work, what's our plan B.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by George Carlin on Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:39 pm

reallybored wrote:imo the thing Townsend has to address is how we navigate teams that want to drag us into an arm wrestle up front, i.e. England, Boks, France.

If the fastest show on earth doesn't work, what's our plan B.
Give it a rest squire. It's taken this long to get a Plan A which actually works.

Our Plan B is to bring on Duncan Weir and ask him to kick the arse off the ball and throw the occasional intercept. That'll confuse them.
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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by poddy89 on Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:29 am

I know we still have the six nations to get through but I just saw that our 2018 summer tour is to the USA and Canada. Scotland have a young team as it is and have been introducing new players. Is this tour really going to be of.much benefit for us? With the world cup the following year you would have felt it would be better to get some games against the bigger teams.

I suppose it's possible we will add a third game to the tour, just seems a bit odd to be doing a tier 2 tour next year,

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:48 am

poddy89 wrote:I know we still have the six nations to get through but I just saw that our 2018 summer tour is to the USA and Canada. Scotland have a young team as it is and have been introducing new players. Is this tour really going to be of.much benefit for us? With the world cup the following year you would have felt it would be better to get some games against the bigger teams.

I suppose it's possible we will add a third game to the tour, just seems a bit odd to be doing a tier 2 tour next year,

We might not have had much choice to be fair - these tours were decided years ago and Scotland deliberately chose not to have test tours against the big teams.

In a way it is a good thing going into a world cup year, as historically we've been on our last legs by the time these tours come along and it should mean resting our big players, and developing more depth at 10 for example.

It would be nice having one big test though at the beginning, maybe Argentina?

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by poddy89 on Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:24 am

If we can get a test against Argentina it would probably being a decent enough tour and would allow us to try a few things out. As long as we don't split the squad and go and play a late test against south Africa again.

Are we likely to play Japan in the November tests next year or will we meet them in the world cup next?

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:26 am

2018 AIs haven't been announced yet I don't think.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by poddy89 on Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:01 am

Looking forward to finding out who we are playing as I might manage to time my trip home to suit. Haven't managed to get along to a game since the 2011 world cup warm up.

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

Post by Hazel Sapling on Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:04 pm

Is it too early to name an experimental 23 for the summer games....?

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Re: Scotland Autumn Test postmortem and 6N look ahead

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