6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February

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Post by George Carlin on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 9:23 am

First topic message reminder :

6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February - Page 14 Wales_106N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February - Page 14 Scot_f10

WALES v SCOTLAND
3 February 2018
KO: 14:15 GMT
Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Live on [ITV, RTE, SC4, FR2, DMAX / BBC (H)]

Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)
Assistant 1: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant 2: Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)

A. Head to Head

122 Played 122
70 Won 49
3 Drawn 3
49 Lost 70
1,624 Points 1,263

B. Recent Form

9 March 2013
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
18–28 to Wales

15 March 2014
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
51–3 to Wales

15 February 2015
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
23–26 to Wales

13 February 2016
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
27–23 to Wales

25 February 2017
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
29–13 to Scotland

C. Teams

WALES 
6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February - Page 14 Welsh_10
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets); Josh Adams (Worcester), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Steff Evans (Scarlets); Rhys Patchell (Scarlets), Gareth Davies (Scarlets); Rob Evans (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Cory Hill (Dragons), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, capt), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester).

Replacements: Elliot Dee (Dragons), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Bradley Davies (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Aled Davies (Scarlets), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Owen Watkin (Ospreys).

SCOTLAND
6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February - Page 14 Scotty10
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks); Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors); Gordon Reid (London Irish), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Jon Welsh (Newcastle Falcons), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray, John Barclay (Scarlets, captain), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh), Cornell du Preez (Edinburgh).

Replacements: Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), Murray McCallum (Edinburgh), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne), Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Maitland (Saracens).


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Post by IanBru on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 3:25 pm

Cardiff Dave wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Outdoor game. Roof open unless it will make it unplayable imo.

Ditto and those watching in the front seats best wear waterproof pants too I guess.
I'll be honest, I've worn waterproof pants ever since I saw Lomu step out at Murrayfield. Shook me to my core.
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Post by jimbopip on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 3:32 pm

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:One spare ticket going for face value gents (£82.50).

PM if interested.

That better not be my ticket Mr Scones furious

Or has one of the party dropped out after being told they had won the "seat next to Jimbo" lucky draw? Shocked

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Post by IanBru on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 3:35 pm

jimbopip wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:One spare ticket going for face value gents (£82.50).

PM if interested.

That better not be my ticket Mr Scones furious

Or has one of the party dropped out after being told they had won the "seat next to Jimbo" lucky draw? Shocked
I don't honestly believe that.

On being told she had a ticket to the Calcutta Cup, Hagia Sophia's immediate response was "Brilliant, we can meet up with Jim. Oh oh oh Ian, can we go to Edinburgh Zoo?" In a single moment, my plans for interesting conversation and a Saturday lunchtime gin distillery tour went out the window.


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Post by jimbopip on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 3:36 pm

Also, I was glancing at the BBC Sport page when I thought I saw a story headlined,

TEENAGE JAILBAIT TO MAKE DEBUT FOR FRANCE Shocked Shocked

Fortunately, it was this

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/42904858

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Post by jimbopip on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 3:42 pm

IanBru wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:One spare ticket going for face value gents (£82.50).

PM if interested.

That better not be my ticket Mr Scones furious

Or has one of the party dropped out after being told they had won the "seat next to Jimbo" lucky draw? Shocked
I don't honestly believe that.

On being told she had a ticket to the Calcutta Cup, Hagia Sophia's immediate response was "Brilliant, we can meet up with Jim. Oh oh oh Ian, can we go to Edinburgh Zoo?" In a single sentence, my plans for interesting conversation and a Saturday lunchtime gin distillery tour went out the window.

I've gone right off zoos since Mrs Pip and I took young Pipetto to Chessington and were on the "safari vehicle through the Serengeti". Or some such guff. There was a gaggle of giggling women behind me who began shrieking and howling at near hysterical levels. When I looked round all I could see was a small group of zebra minding their own business. Then I noticed that most of the zebra were female and all were forming an orderly queue around the one male. His todger was literally brushing the ground as he walked. Shocked

I'll never forget the contemptuous looks those women gave me. Sad

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 3:49 pm

Please Jimbo you are triggering my work swear feature!!!
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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 3:50 pm

jimbopip wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:One spare ticket going for face value gents (£82.50).

PM if interested.

That better not be my ticket Mr Scones furious

Or has one of the party dropped out after being told they had won the "seat next to Jimbo" lucky draw? Shocked

Nope you're still in Jimbo - only my brother would sit next to you though and he's got a fart problem at the moment.

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Post by highland_scot on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 3:50 pm

jimbopip wrote: Also, I was glancing at the BBC Sport page when I thought I saw a story headlined,

TEENAGE JAILBAIT TO MAKE DEBUT FOR FRANCE  Shocked  Shocked

Fortunately, it was this

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/42904858

That'll be Radge's work pr0n filter triggered now!

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Post by Steffan on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 3:52 pm

Scottrf wrote:England is similar. It's just that football is for poor people
True. In Cardiff actually the City football lot are of the more "down to earth" variety where as Cardiff rugby club is occupied by the prawn sandwich munchers.

In other parts of Wales though like the Valleys and parts of West Wales it is still reasonably a working class crowd at the rugby

I guess a lot of people from the British/Irish Isles can afford these prices as it's the only time they attend rugby matches (pink cowboy hat and 'Scrum and get me' t shirt lot in the Welsh case)

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Post by miaow on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 3:52 pm

As for the game, much of what has been said is fair. Predictions are limited in that a lot of the variables appear to be up in the air.

If I had to focus on one strand that might be the deciding factor, I'd say it would be the old coaching adage of 'accuracy'; specifically, if the new players in the Welsh set-up can minimise the number of mistakes they make, I would say the advantage sits with Wales.

This might seem obvious enough, but I think it's a key point for the Scotland game. It's not just new players who are coming in to the side here, but new units - most notably the backrow, back three, and to a lesser extent the midfield. The latter feels relevant as what works for the Scarlets may not work in test rugby.

This is the next point, and one that's been mentioned by the Scots. It's all well and good billing this as a Scarlets v Glasgow exhibition match, but Scotland have been producing, and winning, with their style of rugby on the international stage since midway through Vern Cotter's time in charge. As Wales saw against Australia, for all the good intentions of implementing an offloading game akin to the Scarlets, two mistakes and the game was over. Add in all those little errors like knock-ons, or passes that check runs, or not risking a pass, or simply the opposition's defence is more intense and ruthless, and Wales will likely find they not only have fewer try-scoring opportunities, but that when they get them, they have to put them away because the opposition is going to be more ruthless in attack, too, than at club level.

What does that all mean in practice? It means that Wales will largely play a similar game as they have done since 2008. I think the 'Gatlandball' idea is reductive and misses the nuances which have changed quite significantly over the last 10 years, but by and large Wales will be wanting to dictate the game - specifically, territorially and how much time the ball is in play for. Scotland's task will be how well they get around that. They're probably the only team in the competition Wales can hope to squeeze physically and so, even if they weren't inclined to, they will have to try to go around Wales' tactics rather than through, to an extent.

The other key difference is the manner of attack. This is a bit simplistic, but by and large I'd say the Glasgow/Scotland attack is coast-to-coast i.e. they attack the try-line in quite a direct manner at pace. Scarlets, on the other hand, are more lateral. That is an oversimplification, but I'm trying to make the point that it's not as if the two styles of running rugby are the same. Here's a crude example as they're different counter-attacking positions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nChNz_ZQaJI

https://youtu.be/cdZfRxsFNlY?t=11m30s

The key difference, I think, is pace. Hogg is lightning, Steff Evans (Wales' biggest threat, not actually playing in this game) is fantastic but relies on his footwork rather than his gas. Scarlets/Wales look to break up the game and then go from anywhere - everyone offloads, everyone's a threat, jinking around the ruck, moving the ball back against the grain. They move the ball wide early to Ken Owens or Barclay etc. on the wing, and come back inside, offloading out of the tackle which means players running off shoulders are attacking defenders who are setting up a defensive line, i.e. they're relatively static

Scotland/Glasgow (again, this is simplified) go less lateral, or at least their scores are a lot more direct than the Scarlets', at a higher pace, in a narrow 'strip' of pitch as the above example shows. That's not to say that they can't play it wide as well, of course, just that the Scarlets' danger relies on more phases and more 'horizontal', offloading rugby; once they've gone through those phases, so many of their tries end up being scored by going through the hands an exploiting an overlap in the corner if/when they can't go through the middle, which is a fairly uncommon score in top level rugby these days. In theory, that should translate well to Wales, as Gatland's teams have always been tactically quite good at building the phases, even when they've been at their worst and showed little threat. For me, that's the big question - can Wales be threatening whilst still minimising errors and adhering to a level of accuracy that squeezes Scotland? If they can, they should stand a good chance of winning, as I think Halfpenny will kick well, even if it's just conversions.

In all honesty, though, the biggest factor in this not being a Scarlets team is Tadhg Beirne. He is, quite simply, the most important cog in the Scarlets' success. Everyone's played their part - and they're a fantastic squad, let alone team - but his mobility, power, and work-rate makes him a constant threat; that keep defences 'honest', allowing a split second of hesitation to be exploited by whichever options Gareth Davies, Patchell, or Dan Jones choose to take. The most important Welsh player, at least outside the two or three obvious players, is Aaron Shingler, particularly from a defensive point of view. His linespeed - where he rushes up, intentionally creating a dog-leg (possibility to exploit for Scotland?) in order to shut down the first receiver - transferred well to Wales in the autumn, but it's his general all round play, a bit like Beirne's, that makes him a threat. Head and shoulders the best blindside in Wales now, and has been for some time, and he's also a great lineout option. Other than that, we have to hope the wingers get two or three half chances to run and create something from there; Gareth Davies is a natural try scorer; 10-12-13 could be brilliant, but if it misfires, I'm not sure who takes control or makes the calls (SW and HP have been club captains; SW very experienced but been through a recent rut, the other two are test rookies; RP is in a position to boss play, but very much a 'confidence' player (isn't everyone to an extent?) so may want to relieve some of that pressure etc.). Big game for Ken Owens and AWJ for me; AWJ in how his calls and reading influences the game, Owens for how his leadership and knowledge of the Scarlets players aids his captain. Could be a key dynamic.

As for Scotland, I'm not sure where the weaknesses are other than, possibly, their midfield, and the obvious problems upfront. Is Finn Russell a liability? Increasingly, the answer appears to be no, but as with any player who takes risks for the sake of creativity, the chance is there to exploit him. As Wales did in 2015 and 2016 with putting pressure on George Ford's kicking - one that directly resulted in a try for Biggar - they will try to shut him down and then benefit from that. The foil to that, of course, is that Patchell is a player in a similar mould as Russell, and although less experienced than the Scot, he may be inclined to take risks that Scotland can exploit or simply benefit from is they are mistakes. Key example: Patchell's pass against Toulon, intercepted by Ashton, gets the away side a score having been rocking on the back foot. Ultimately, Scarlets won as they were able to offset it, thanks to Patchell's contribution to that, by playing positive rugby and beingn confident enough to know that they can make amends - I'm not sure the Scarlets' psyche/belief will transfer so seamlessly en masse to a Welsh shirt, certainly not in one game, if things start going 'wrong'.

It would be great for fans and neutrals if it does turn in to a toe-to-toe slugfest, with both teams just running it from everywhere. My worry is that the Welsh players will panic as they're not used to winning games when they concede more than 20-25 points at test level, and the flaky Welsh psyche will curtail their ambition/ability to risk it, particularly if the crowd gets jittery which is frustratingly common. On the other hand, if they're 6 points down with 5 minutes to play, and the crowd gets behind them, that home advantage can be better than any other atmosphere in world rugby in terms of intimidation.

The scrums can be an advantage for Wales, particularly from the bench. Wyn Jones and Tomas Francis are at least as good, if not better, scrummagers than the starting props. Francis on at 50, Jones on around 70, and if Scotland are struggling or get themselves in a scrum 5 situation, that could be curtains. That said, I'd rather the lineout was a liability for Scotland, as I think a weak scrum can be mitigated to an extent. There's so much pressure on a hooker, if there's a breakdown in fluidity at the lineout, and if he can't hear the call, those few seconds throwing in can become hellish, and it only gets worse with anticipation. It would also be something quite different for Wales to actively look for touch from kicks, but I don't think they will change this tactic, even if Hogg can rip them apart. We'll see if they mix it up from the start, or adapt if it's going pearshaped. Wales have picked a pack that should produce a good maul, but I liked Toolis in the autumn, Barclay's a pest (potential yellow card pest though), and J Gray is a sublime player.

Having left these boards for a while (agree with the other posters that they were ruined by a select few), apologies for the length, but thought I'd get it all out of the way. In theory, this could be one of the greatest games of running rugby the championship has seen, but how often do such games live up to their billing? Hogg is your Shane Williams, and so Wales cannot shut him down completely, they just have to hope they can stifle him. I don't think Huw Jones is fantastic, I think that our centres have better all round games and might be able to get something out of him with ball in hand, but he is a fantastic finisher and a clear threat.

One final point on your centres - Scotland surely have the best depth of centres of any of the 6Ns, some truly brilliant players. What has happened to Mark Bennett and Matt Scott? Didn't the former recently come back from injury? Do Scotland fans think they will ever make it on the test stage again, not least because of the Scottish depth, but also injury/form permitting?

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Post by IanBru on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:11 pm

Thanks for that Miaow - that's really excellent!
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Post by overlordofthewest on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:15 pm

Any suggestions about where would be best to watch the game in Edinburgh? Here til Monday and with the better half, looking for nice and busy with a good rugby atmosphere!
Cheers in advance

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:15 pm

Good post miaow.

Bennett has only just come back from a long injury lay-off with Edinburgh. He's in the 6N squad, but I expect he'll sit out at least the first few rounds and in fact be sent back to Edinburgh for match practise. If Dunbar and Taylor get fit, or Harris does really well, we probably won't see him for the tournament.

Scott's also been out with injuries, and hasn't been playing much at all for Gloucester, though he did play in the Anglo-Welsh last week-end. Rumours are that they're letting him go (on his way to Edinburgh). Not in the squad.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:17 pm

miaow wrote:As for the game, much of what has been said is fair. Predictions are limited in that a lot of the variables appear to be up in the air.

If I had to focus on one strand that might be the deciding factor, I'd say it would be the old coaching adage of 'accuracy'; specifically, if the new players in the Welsh set-up can minimise the number of mistakes they make, I would say the advantage sits with Wales.

This might seem obvious enough, but I think it's a key point for the Scotland game. It's not just new players who are coming in to the side here, but new units - most notably the backrow, back three, and to a lesser extent the midfield. The latter feels relevant as what works for the Scarlets may not work in test rugby.

This is the next point, and one that's been mentioned by the Scots. It's all well and good billing this as a Scarlets v Glasgow exhibition match, but Scotland have been producing, and winning, with their style of rugby on the international stage since midway through Vern Cotter's time in charge. As Wales saw against Australia, for all the good intentions of implementing an offloading game akin to the Scarlets, two mistakes and the game was over. Add in all those little errors like knock-ons, or passes that check runs, or not risking a pass, or simply the opposition's defence is more intense and ruthless, and Wales will likely find they not only have fewer try-scoring opportunities, but that when they get them, they have to put them away because the opposition is going to be more ruthless in attack, too, than at club level.

What does that all mean in practice? It means that Wales will largely play a similar game as they have done since 2008. I think the 'Gatlandball' idea is reductive and misses the nuances which have changed quite significantly over the last 10 years, but by and large Wales will be wanting to dictate the game - specifically, territorially and how much time the ball is in play for. Scotland's task will be how well they get around that. They're probably the only team in the competition Wales can hope to squeeze physically and so, even if they weren't inclined to, they will have to try to go around Wales' tactics rather than through, to an extent.

The other key difference is the manner of attack. This is a bit simplistic, but by and large I'd say the Glasgow/Scotland attack is coast-to-coast i.e. they attack the try-line in quite a direct manner at pace. Scarlets, on the other hand, are more lateral. That is an oversimplification, but I'm trying to make the point that it's not as if the two styles of running rugby are the same. Here's a crude example as they're different counter-attacking positions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nChNz_ZQaJI

https://youtu.be/cdZfRxsFNlY?t=11m30s

The key difference, I think, is pace. Hogg is lightning, Steff Evans (Wales' biggest threat, not actually playing in this game) is fantastic but relies on his footwork rather than his gas. Scarlets/Wales look to break up the game and then go from anywhere - everyone offloads, everyone's a threat, jinking around the ruck, moving the ball back against the grain. They move the ball wide early to Ken Owens or Barclay etc. on the wing, and come back inside, offloading out of the tackle which means players running off shoulders are attacking defenders who are setting up a defensive line, i.e. they're relatively static

Scotland/Glasgow (again, this is simplified) go less lateral, or at least their scores are a lot more direct than the Scarlets', at a higher pace, in a narrow 'strip' of pitch as the above example shows. That's not to say that they can't play it wide as well, of course, just that the Scarlets' danger relies on more phases and more 'horizontal', offloading rugby; once they've gone through those phases, so many of their tries end up being scored by going through the hands an exploiting an overlap in the corner if/when they can't go through the middle, which is a fairly uncommon score in top level rugby these days. In theory, that should translate well to Wales, as Gatland's teams have always been tactically quite good at building the phases, even when they've been at their worst and showed little threat. For me, that's the big question - can Wales be threatening whilst still minimising errors and adhering to a level of accuracy that squeezes Scotland? If they can, they should stand a good chance of winning, as I think Halfpenny will kick well, even if it's just conversions.

In all honesty, though, the biggest factor in this not being a Scarlets team is Tadhg Beirne. He is, quite simply, the most important cog in the Scarlets' success. Everyone's played their part - and they're a fantastic squad, let alone team - but his mobility, power, and work-rate makes him a constant threat; that keep defences 'honest', allowing a split second of hesitation to be exploited by whichever options Gareth Davies, Patchell, or Dan Jones choose to take. The most important Welsh player, at least outside the two or three obvious players, is Aaron Shingler, particularly from a defensive point of view. His linespeed - where he rushes up, intentionally creating a dog-leg (possibility to exploit for Scotland?) in order to shut down the first receiver - transferred well to Wales in the autumn, but it's his general all round play, a bit like Beirne's, that makes him a threat. Head and shoulders the best blindside in Wales now, and has been for some time, and he's also a great lineout option. Other than that, we have to hope the wingers get two or three half chances to run and create something from there; Gareth Davies is a natural try scorer; 10-12-13 could be brilliant, but if it misfires, I'm not sure who takes control or makes the calls (SW and HP have been club captains; SW very experienced but been through a recent rut, the other two are test rookies; RP is in a position to boss play, but very much a 'confidence' player (isn't everyone to an extent?) so may want to relieve some of that pressure etc.). Big game for Ken Owens and AWJ for me; AWJ in how his calls and reading influences the game, Owens for how his leadership and knowledge of the Scarlets players aids his captain. Could be a key dynamic.

As for Scotland, I'm not sure where the weaknesses are other than, possibly, their midfield, and the obvious problems upfront. Is Finn Russell a liability? Increasingly, the answer appears to be no, but as with any player who takes risks for the sake of creativity, the chance is there to exploit him. As Wales did in 2015 and 2016 with putting pressure on George Ford's kicking - one that directly resulted in a try for Biggar - they will try to shut him down and then benefit from that. The foil to that, of course, is that Patchell is a player in a similar mould as Russell, and although less experienced than the Scot, he may be inclined to take risks that Scotland can exploit or simply benefit from is they are mistakes. Key example: Patchell's pass against Toulon, intercepted by Ashton, gets the away side a score having been rocking on the back foot. Ultimately, Scarlets won as they were able to offset it, thanks to Patchell's contribution to that, by playing positive rugby and beingn confident enough to know that they can make amends - I'm not sure the Scarlets' psyche/belief will transfer so seamlessly en masse to a Welsh shirt, certainly not in one game, if things start going 'wrong'.

It would be great for fans and neutrals if it does turn in to a toe-to-toe slugfest, with both teams just running it from everywhere. My worry is that the Welsh players will panic as they're not used to winning games when they concede more than 20-25 points at test level, and the flaky Welsh psyche will curtail their ambition/ability to risk it, particularly if the crowd gets jittery which is frustratingly common. On the other hand, if they're 6 points down with 5 minutes to play, and the crowd gets behind them, that home advantage can be better than any other atmosphere in world rugby in terms of intimidation.

The scrums can be an advantage for Wales, particularly from the bench. Wyn Jones and Tomas Francis are at least as good, if not better, scrummagers than the starting props. Francis on at 50, Jones on around 70, and if Scotland are struggling or get themselves in a scrum 5 situation, that could be curtains. That said, I'd rather the lineout was a liability for Scotland, as I think a weak scrum can be mitigated to an extent. There's so much pressure on a hooker, if there's a breakdown in fluidity at the lineout, and if he can't hear the call, those few seconds throwing in can become hellish, and it only gets worse with anticipation. It would also be something quite different for Wales to actively look for touch from kicks, but I don't think they will change this tactic, even if Hogg can rip them apart. We'll see if they mix it up from the start, or adapt if it's going pearshaped. Wales have picked a pack that should produce a good maul, but I liked Toolis in the autumn, Barclay's a pest (potential yellow card pest though), and J Gray is a sublime player.

Having left these boards for a while (agree with the other posters that they were ruined by a select few), apologies for the length, but thought I'd get it all out of the way. In theory, this could be one of the greatest games of running rugby the championship has seen, but how often do such games live up to their billing? Hogg is your Shane Williams, and so Wales cannot shut him down completely, they just have to hope they can stifle him. I don't think Huw Jones is fantastic, I think that our centres have better all round games and might be able to get something out of him with ball in hand, but he is a fantastic finisher and a clear threat.

One final point on your centres - Scotland surely have the best depth of centres of any of the 6Ns, some truly brilliant players. What has happened to Mark Bennett and Matt Scott? Didn't the former recently come back from injury? Do Scotland fans think they will ever make it on the test stage again, not least because of the Scottish depth, but also injury/form permitting?

clap

Excellent post.

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Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:19 pm

Miaow,

terrific post - are you Disco in disguise ? A stats/ form poster on the Glasgow Warriors site

cheers and enjoy the game Saturday.
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Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:20 pm

overlordofthewest wrote:Any suggestions about where would be best to watch the game in Edinburgh? Here til Monday and with the better half, looking for nice and busy with a good rugby atmosphere!
Cheers in advance

Ehhh...... Glasgow
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Post by munkian on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:21 pm

Three Sisters pub was fun when I went up last.

http://thethreesistersbar.co.uk/

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Post by jimbopip on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:30 pm

miaow, that's a cracking post that is. Informative and interesting. Very Happy

As far as the Scottish centres go;
Matt Scott, in my own opinion, has never recovered from his shoulder injury and the defensive side of his game is poor to say the least. Mind you going forward he is still very good but Toonie likes players who tackle, ask Tim Visser.

Mark Bennett is only just fit after ACL damage and we wait to see Fingers Crossed

Hopefully Dunbar and Taylor will be fit for the next match.

Pushing those already mentioned is Nick Grigg who is almost as tall as Phil Bennett was and almost as difficult to tackle.( Mind, he's nowhere near as good as Phil Bennett was...but who is?).

Huw Jones is a tricky one...7 tries in 11 tests, an outside break that is sublime...but I'm not convinced defensively. Although he had been playing 12 in Sarf Effrika and 13 is totally different, so maybe he'll be fine on Saturday.

The only place I disagree with you, miaow, is that I think the back rows will do more to decide the match. I think John Barclay could be the key man on the pitch.

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:34 pm

jimbopip wrote:

The only place I disagree with you, miaow, is that I think the back rows will do more to decide the match. I think John Barclay could be the key man on the pitch.

Good. Now all we need is a designated contact lens man and a dedicated necklace finding man and all players will feel more at ease about finding their property pronto.

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Post by Tramptastic on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:44 pm

21st Century Schizoid Man wrote:
overlordofthewest wrote:Any suggestions about where would be best to watch the game in Edinburgh? Here til Monday and with the better half, looking for nice and busy with a good rugby atmosphere!
Cheers in advance

Ehhh...... Glasgow

Dinnae listen to his P1sh - The Diggers and Teuchters are proper pubs but packed out on match day, ghillie dhu is good but packed, three sisters is a bit "lads on tour", Brewhemia is meants to be a decent laugh, The standing order is a pretty decent weatherspoons and the matches will be on the big screen... i never bother with haymarket as its too busy!

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Post by miaow on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:54 pm

Cheers boys.

Don't laugh, but in all honesty I have a feeling Wales could go and do a Grand Slam this year. If they beat Scotland that in itself will be a great result, and naturally it's 'easy' to get up for England the week after - two wins from the first two games, in no small part due to carrying over Scarlets' form and confidence, and I think we should be hoping to win the tournament. It is just a feeling, as much reliant on the fact that they tend to come out of the woodwork at times, and I feel like the fans/public 'need' it. Let's be honest, with Brexit etc. it's not exactly a great time, and people, generally, are looking for something good to hope for. There is some more solid logic to that feeling, though, and I think the changes to the Welsh team will shake up the older players, too - it's been needed for a long time. I don't actually think the squad is that much of a shock, Josh Adams aside, but even then it's not as if Gatland hasn't done this before, throwing certain players into the outside backs and asking them to perform. The one disappointment for this game is Navidi over Tipuric as I don't think we have enough over the ball. Tipuric is also underrated around the tackle area in his own right when not playing the ball, excellent tackler and deceptively strong. Would have preferred a straight swap with Navidi for Moriarty (who actually is a pretty good carrier, not sure why people run him down so much in that aspect? He's not a Vunipola or Vermeulen who will go through a player or two, but he makes ground running at shoulders and is pretty mobile.) around 50-55 minutes - as someone said, Navidi - though a good club player and solid all-round back rower - is the third best 7 at the Blues. If there was a game to test James Davies' physicality in the international arena, it would've been against Hamish Watson.

Again, however, Wales' worst 6Ns performance is invariably 18 months before a RWC. Partly, because Gatland's been away with the Lions, as have plenty of Welsh players, which means that we're physically drained, and tactically/mentally in need of a refreshment. That takes its toll; in terms of tactics, the regeneration/tactical update usually doesn't come until the summer of a RWC unfortunately, although there are signs from the autumn that Gatland's being a bit more laissez-faire with his focus on fitness and accuracy over style. But that poor form at this point in the 'cycle' is also partly because other teams are starting to peak or have gone through that regeneration - it's not just an insular thing. However, it does feel a bit different this time; England had their regenerative 'peak' in 2016 and, as expected, whilst they're still progressing they're also not finding things as easy as it was in EJ's first season; Scotland are probably peaking now and are unfortunate with injuries, but that will surely pay off in the long run, particularly if the first choices can slot back in where possible; Ireland and Wales are only now starting to properly blood their RWC '19 squads; France have ripped it up and started again. I don't think Wales have the 'toughness' to grit out a Grand Slam in those circumstances, but with psychological momentum that comes through fresh blood, it's possible.

On the tournament, I think England will struggle with the fall of fixtures - it's a lot easier having Italy 2nd, 3rd, or 4th to give *something* of a break to your side, if only in terms of intensity and the mental fatigue of being in a tight game for 80 minutes. Aside from the rare game (Scotland at Twickenham last year, for example), that is now the case with games between all of the Home Nations, and France may well join them as well, which makes it an unbelievably intense and unpredictable tournament.

I think England will be somewhat undercooked with Italy first up following on from the Lions, and partly why I hope Wales might be able to do a job on them in the final 20 minutes if they avoid an arm wrestle and stay in touch for the first 60. For all the anger from Scottish fans last summer, the lack of Lions representation could be a blessing now. The Samoa and Australia games were fantastic, as was the All Blacks match. Like England, you're unlucky you don't have Italy 'in the middle' of your fixtures, but there's a very real opportunity for Scotland to win it.

Predictions are so hard. Would be great if we have a tournament a bit like 2015 with 3 (maybe 4?) teams in with a chance of winning it on the final weekend. It's hard to pick a decisive fixture that could determine the tournament, but this might be it. It's disappointing that Scotland are no longer an 'easy' fixture in terms of Wales's championship hopes, but it definitely makes the games, tournament, and spectacle a lot better.

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Post by miaow on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 5:07 pm

jimbopip wrote:The only place I disagree with you, miaow, is that I think the back rows will do more to decide the match. I think John Barclay could be the key man on the pitch.

Cheers Jim, and I don't disagree with that at all. Don't think du Preez is a massive threat, but you don't need every player to be that - he does bring balance to what are ostensibly the two opensides he's playing alongside. As a Scarlets fan, I know Barclay is quality,

I also don't think it's overly useful to compare like for like, so for example Watson v Navidi, Price v Davies etc. It's fun for the fans to debate who they think is better etc., but it's a way of conceptualising the game that rarely reflects the actual reality of what happens. However, for this game, comparing the 'breakdown units' is quite telling. It's as much about how well Navidi slots in with Shingler, and shares the poaching work with Rob Evans and Ken Owens, than how good he is in a head-to-head with Watson. In my opinion, that is where this Scarlets-for-Wales tactic will not work - Barclay is absolutely key to the breakdown, as is Beirne, as is James Davies, or even Will Boyde and Josh Macleod (Scotland must have traded them for Jon Welsh and Huw Jones...?) when they play. It's too much pressure on Navidi alone, or even Tipuric, to not only replicate that turnover threat by himself, but also to slow down the opposition, making them add extra players into rucks to secure their own ball. I would expect Scotland will force Wales to do just that, but I cannot see how Wales will counter it in all honesty other that brute force or forcing the play, therefore making errors, and therefore watching their gameplan crumble. If that happens, heads could go and we might be looking at a second-half not too dissimilar to the game in Murrayfield.

So no, I don't disagree at all, and if Wales struggle at ruck time it will almost certainly be because they haven't defended Barclay and Watson well enough, nor do they have enough breakdown poachers in their own side.

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 5:11 pm

Have I read this right - Jamie Roberts is a spectator for the first time in 10 years having made a record 45 consecutive appearances for Wales in the 6N??? I’ve always thought of him as a bit injury prone, so that’s either wrong or very surprising. But if true then that’s some record. It’s impressive but also a little sad that we’ve not tried anyone else in that position (not sure he played anywhere else other than 12 for Wales, even though I know he started off as a fullback for the Blues). 10 years?! Surely not?!


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/42876014

Edit: I think it means squad. Read the article earlier and I’m sure it said ‘team’. Maybe it was edited.
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Post by SecretFly on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 5:17 pm

'Team' and 'squad' can become a blur when you're a hard pressed journalist looking for angles.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 5:20 pm

Miaow that's some top quality posting. A Welsh grand slam is maybe a bit premature this season, get Pivac at the helm and I think that crop of players will produce the goods, but this season smacks of transition by default rather than by design. I don't believe for one minute that the team we see arrayed against us in red on Saturday would have been chosen if Warburton, Biggar, Faletau, Webb, North, Williams and JD were fit.
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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 5:30 pm

miaow wrote:
jimbopip wrote:The only place I disagree with you, miaow, is that I think the back rows will do more to decide the match. I think John Barclay could be the key man on the pitch.

Cheers Jim, and I don't disagree with that at all. Don't think du Preez is a massive threat, but you don't need every player to be that - he does bring balance to what are ostensibly the two opensides he's playing alongside. As a Scarlets fan, I know Barclay is quality,

I also don't think it's overly useful to compare like for like, so for example Watson v Navidi, Price v Davies etc. It's fun for the fans to debate who they think is better etc., but it's a way of conceptualising the game that rarely reflects the actual reality of what happens. However, for this game, comparing the 'breakdown units' is quite telling. It's as much about how well Navidi slots in with Shingler, and shares the poaching work with Rob Evans and Ken Owens, than how good he is in a head-to-head with Watson. In my opinion, that is where this Scarlets-for-Wales tactic will not work - Barclay is absolutely key to the breakdown, as is Beirne, as is James Davies, or even Will Boyde and Josh Macleod (Scotland must have traded them for Jon Welsh and Huw Jones...?) when they play. It's too much pressure on Navidi alone, or even Tipuric, to not only replicate that turnover threat by himself, but also to slow down the opposition, making them add extra players into rucks to secure their own ball. I would expect Scotland will force Wales to do just that, but I cannot see how Wales will counter it in all honesty other that brute force or forcing the play, therefore making errors, and therefore watching their gameplan crumble. If that happens, heads could go and we might be looking at a second-half not too dissimilar to the game in Murrayfield.

So no, I don't disagree at all, and if Wales struggle at ruck time it will almost certainly be because they haven't defended Barclay and Watson well enough, nor do they have enough breakdown poachers in their own side.

We are extremely fortunate to have breakdown operators like Watson, Barclay and even McInally. However France and England countered the guile on the floor with sheer power and we had no answer, granted I don't see Wales having the physical threats similar to Itoje, Haskell, Robshaw, Billy V etc but it can be countered physically.

It's also an area we were able to attack NZ in the autumn. NZ have a great reputation for looking after the ball but we turned them over a lot at the breakdown
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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 5:45 pm

Roof is going to be closed. Farce Rolling Eyes

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 5:50 pm

It’s a 2.30pm kick off ffs. Let some natural light in and be done with it. There’s no hurricanes forecast. Sad
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 5:52 pm

I do wonder how much of this 'Scarlets way' we're going to see on Saturday. I hope people aren't expecting too much. Clearly having 10 Scarlets in the starting XV will be a real boost in terms of familiarity and understanding, but I'd say that's only likely to really be a factor in broken play, of which there might not be much if Wales are looking to play a tight game. And that's the other thing: this is 10 Scarlets in a Gatland XV, not 5 non-Scarlets in a Pivac XV. It's Rob Howley, and not Stephen Jones, who's been putting the backs through their paces.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 5:55 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I do wonder how much of this 'Scarlets way' we're going to see on Saturday. I hope people aren't expecting too much. Clearly having 10 Scarlets in the starting XV will be a real boost in terms of familiarity and understanding, but I'd say that's only likely to really be a factor in broken play, of which there might not be much if Wales are looking to play a tight game. And that's the other thing: this is 10 Scarlets in a Gatland XV, not 5 non-Scarlets in a Pivac XV. It's Rob Howley, and not Stephen Jones, who's been putting the backs through their paces.

Hahahahaha! Luckless I reported this post by accident. I clicked report instead of quote with my fingers like Mars bars on my phone touch screen.

I meant to say that there will be 11 Scarlets on the pitch Wink
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 5:55 pm

Laugh

It is 11? I read 10. Maths was never my strong point.

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 6:15 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I do wonder how much of this 'Scarlets way' we're going to see on Saturday. I hope people aren't expecting too much. Clearly having 10 Scarlets in the starting XV will be a real boost in terms of familiarity and understanding, but I'd say that's only likely to really be a factor in broken play, of which there might not be much if Wales are looking to play a tight game. And that's the other thing: this is 10 Scarlets in a Gatland XV, not 5 non-Scarlets in a Pivac XV. It's Rob Howley, and not Stephen Jones, who's been putting the backs through their paces.

For me the positive is the inclusion of in form players, who happen to be Scarlets, rather than emulating the Scarlets themselves. Of course their inclusion was forced somewhat. But for so long we’ve been frustrated at Gats picking out of form and low in confidence players like North, Cuthbert, Roberts, et al., that for once at least we have players who will go onto the field feeling full of confidence and off the back of some wins in the league and Europe. I get that it could all backfire if they’re made to play a system they’re not used to or optimised for, but that’s International rugby. Rarely if ever do the systems all match, unless a successful club coach goes straight into the national team and carries on as before (Townsend and Schmidt?). So I never expected to see Scarlets rugby. But if those confident Scarlets players are given a bit of licence then we’ll probably see more from them than we would have from the old guard of Gatlandball who are out of form.
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Post by Steffan on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 6:16 pm

Wow I only just realised that Llanelli have 11 players in the starting lineup

Let's hope they can use that 'Spirit of 1972' to get us a Grand Slam

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Post by jimbopip on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 6:16 pm

warning Naughty Radge, naughty warning

Luckless, he lured you in with all that nonsense about Mars Bar sized fingers then sucker punched you with the "John Barclay is actually a Scarlet too ending. drumroll

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 6:33 pm

jimbopip wrote:warning Naughty Radge, naughty warning

Luckless, he lured you in with all that nonsense about Mars Bar sized fingers then sucker punched you with the "John Barclay is actually a Scarlet too ending. drumroll

One love my bredda Hug
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Post by overlordofthewest on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 6:39 pm

Tramptastic wrote:
21st Century Schizoid Man wrote:
overlordofthewest wrote:Any suggestions about where would be best to watch the game in Edinburgh? Here til Monday and with the better half, looking for nice and busy with a good rugby atmosphere!
Cheers in advance

Ehhh...... Glasgow

Dinnae listen to his P1sh - The Diggers and Teuchters are proper pubs but packed out on match day, ghillie dhu is good but packed, three sisters is a bit "lads on tour", Brewhemia is meants to be a decent laugh, The standing order is a pretty decent weatherspoons and the matches will be on the big screen... i never bother with haymarket as its too busy!

Cheers mate. Checking out the pubs in the grassmarket as I type. Plenty of time to check out your suggestions tomorrow afternoon OK

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Post by overlordofthewest on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 6:40 pm

Tramptastic wrote:
21st Century Schizoid Man wrote:
overlordofthewest wrote:Any suggestions about where would be best to watch the game in Edinburgh? Here til Monday and with the better half, looking for nice and busy with a good rugby atmosphere!
Cheers in advance

Ehhh...... Glasgow

Dinnae listen to his P1sh - The Diggers and Teuchters are proper pubs but packed out on match day, ghillie dhu is good but packed, three sisters is a bit "lads on tour", Brewhemia is meants to be a decent laugh, The standing order is a pretty decent weatherspoons and the matches will be on the big screen... i never bother with haymarket as its too busy!

Cheers mate. Checking out the pubs in the grassmarket as I type. Plenty of time to check out your suggestions tomorrow afternoon OK

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 6:41 pm

Teuchters is brilliant, but to be honest Rose Street typically has a brilliant atmosphere during the 6N
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Post by RDW on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 7:09 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I do wonder how much of this 'Scarlets way' we're going to see on Saturday. I hope people aren't expecting too much. Clearly having 10 Scarlets in the starting XV will be a real boost in terms of familiarity and understanding, but I'd say that's only likely to really be a factor in broken play, of which there might not be much if Wales are looking to play a tight game. And that's the other thing: this is 10 Scarlets in a Gatland XV, not 5 non-Scarlets in a Pivac XV. It's Rob Howley, and not Stephen Jones, who's been putting the backs through their paces.

Hahahahaha! Luckless I reported this post by accident. I clicked report instead of quote with my fingers like Mars bars on my phone touch screen.

I meant to say that there will be 11 Scarlets on the pitch Wink

I was gonna say - it was one of the most ridiculous reports I've seen!

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Post by overlordofthewest on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 7:26 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Teuchters is brilliant, but to be honest Rose Street typically has a brilliant atmosphere during the 6N

Cheers OK more places to try out!

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 7:28 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I do wonder how much of this 'Scarlets way' we're going to see on Saturday. I hope people aren't expecting too much. Clearly having 10 Scarlets in the starting XV will be a real boost in terms of familiarity and understanding, but I'd say that's only likely to really be a factor in broken play, of which there might not be much if Wales are looking to play a tight game. And that's the other thing: this is 10 Scarlets in a Gatland XV, not 5 non-Scarlets in a Pivac XV. It's Rob Howley, and not Stephen Jones, who's been putting the backs through their paces.

Hahahahaha! Luckless I reported this post by accident. I clicked report instead of quote with my fingers like Mars bars on my phone touch screen.

I meant to say that there will be 11 Scarlets on the pitch Wink

I was gonna say - it was one of the most ridiculous reports I've seen!

The comment in bold is an interesting one Lando. Laugh

I'd be interested to see what's more ridiculous!!!
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Post by Shifty on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 9:41 pm

Oooh it's 6 nations time. Just had a look at the rugby news pages and found out Tandy had been sacked from the Ospreys! Sad to say I'm clueless on a lot of the Welsh team, as I'm so out of date with everything, but posters seem a bit pessimistic with Wales chances. Might as well have a look at the club league tables as well to see whos doing well. It's amazing how the much the Wales team has chanced in a couple of years.
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Post by Gwlad on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 7:01 am

Tramptastic wrote:
Gwlad wrote:Scotch tight 5 already creaking and we haven't started yet

I know it can be difficult to tell the difference between an alcoholic beverage and a national identity but there is a subtle difference;

Scotch = Alcoholic beverage

Scottish = National identity

I hope this clears this up for you

Scotchists are all perfidious...just like in days or yore they can't make a decision still......King James or not, roof open or not. Freedom!!!!

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 8:34 am

Gwlad wrote:
Tramptastic wrote:
Gwlad wrote:Scotch tight 5 already creaking and we haven't started yet

I know it can be difficult to tell the difference between an alcoholic beverage and a national identity but there is a subtle difference;

Scotch = Alcoholic beverage

Scottish = National identity

I hope this clears this up for you

Scotchists are all perfidious...just like in days or yore they can't make a decision still......King James or not, roof open or not. Freedom!!!!


Sounds like you've been on the scotch yourself, Gwlad!
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6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February - Page 14 Empty Re: 6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 11:00 am

jimbopip wrote:warning Naughty Radge, naughty warning

Luckless, he lured you in with all that nonsense about Mars Bar sized fingers then sucker punched you with the "John Barclay is actually a Scarlet too ending. drumroll

And it went right over my head!

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6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February - Page 14 Empty Re: 6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February

Post by Tramptastic on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 11:33 am

Gwlad wrote:
Tramptastic wrote:
Gwlad wrote:Scotch tight 5 already creaking and we haven't started yet

I know it can be difficult to tell the difference between an alcoholic beverage and a national identity but there is a subtle difference;

Scotch = Alcoholic beverage

Scottish = National identity

I hope this clears this up for you

Scotchists are all perfidious...just like in days or yore they can't make a decision still......King James or not, roof open or not. Freedom!!!!

I think you'll find the evidence points to the contrary - we can make a decision, we just make lots of them at once.

Come on you can do better, I really want you to wind me up, you are repeating your previous "Scotch" hook in the hopes of provocation. You need something more sly. Its just such an obvious opening gambit, akin to me declaring "Wales isn't a country it's a Principality" - Easy and predictable, rather like the quality of rugby in the Principality lololololol.

Try harder please.

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6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February - Page 14 Empty Re: 6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February

Post by tigertattie on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 11:43 am

Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, Asturias, Wales

what do they have in common?
tigertattie
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6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February - Page 14 Empty Re: 6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February

Post by Tramptastic on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 11:46 am

tigertattie wrote:Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, Asturias, Wales

what do they have in common?

An inability to play rugby waheeeeeeeeeey

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6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February - Page 14 Empty Re: 6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February

Post by Scottrf on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 11:49 am

Principalities. I feel like the guy who gives a serious answer on a panel show.

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6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February - Page 14 Empty Re: 6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February

Post by The Oracle on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 11:50 am

tigertattie wrote:Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, Asturias, Wales

what do they have in common?

I know I'm in danger of biting here which might be the whole point...... but............... Wales in't a principality.

OK, you got me!
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6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February - Page 14 Empty Re: 6N 2018: Wales v Scotland, 3 February

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