6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

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6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by BigGee on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 1:36 pm

First topic message reminder :

          
SCOTLAND v FRANCE
11 February 2018
KO: 15:00 GMT
BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Live on [BBC Jockland]

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant 1: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant 2: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

A. Head to Head

91 Played 91
35 Won 53
3 Drawn 3
53 Lost 35
1,118 Points 1,302

B. Recent Form

8 March 2014
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
17 – 19 to France

7 February 2015
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
15 – 8 to France

5 September 2015
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
19 – 16 to France

13 March 2016
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
29 – 18 to Scotland

12 February 2017
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
22 – 16 to France

C. Teams

SCOTLAND 

Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, Peter Horne (all Glasgow), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Finn Russell (Glasgow), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne); Gordon Reid (London Irish), Stuart McInally, Simon Berghan, Grant Gilchrist (all Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow), John Barclay (Scarlets, capt), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow).

Replacements: Scott Lawson (Newcastle), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow), Jon Welsh (Newcastle), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), Dave Denton (Worcester), Ali Price (Glasgow), Chris Harris (Newcastle), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh).

FRANCE


Palis; Thomas, Doumayrou, Lamerat, Vakatawa; Beauxis, Machenaud; Poirot, Guirado, Slimani, Itturia, Vahaamahina , Lauret , Tauleigne.

Replacements: Pelissie, Ben Arous, Gomes Sa, Gabrillagues, Serin, Belleau, Fall.

***


What is worse? Getting utterly thrashed by a rampant Welsh team away from home, when everyone (except the Welsh clearly) saw Scotland as the up and coming team about to do great things in this tournament; or to lose a game with a drop goal on the last kick of the game to an Irish team who had just kept the ball for 31 phases!

Answers on a postcard please!

The truth is neither scenario is a good one and it is hard to guess how they will play on the minds of the respective teams over the coming week.

The good thing is that in the 6N, redemption is potentially only a game away and both teams have another chance at it this coming weekend.

Both teams look like they will have to make significant changes, France due to injury and Scotland because they were so cr*p yesterday. How that will pan out on the game is anyone's guess.

I am not however expecting to hear to many optimistic noises coming from the Scotland camp or their fans and media this week. Let us go back to being the underdogs, it seems to be the only mindset that can get us to play well!

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 05 Feb 2018, 10:47 pm

He played 80 minutes and scored a decent try. Would have been called up by now so can't see it happening - maybe later in the tournament.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by R!skysports on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 2:30 pm

Sigh.....

Well this is already a depressing competition. I think if we lose this in any way similar to last year (or against Wales), it is time to realise that we are still awaiting a corner......

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by Eejit on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 2:40 pm

We’re pish and we’re going to get pumped.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 2:42 pm

Ah good to say we've returned to the good old days of Scotland support in the 6N! Laugh

I've got to say i wasn't overly comfortable with this hope and expectation malarkey anyway.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by Tramptastic on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 2:48 pm

Haud on, bit of context please

for years we have been competing for the wooden spoon

last year we got 3 wins using good attacking, clinical rugby with high skill levels exectued under pressure

This led heightened expectations that could be pushing for winning the whole thing.

One. Good. Year.

If we have a similar tournament to last year i.e. 2-3 wins under a new coach I will call this steady progress.

Its really not over and the loss against Wales shows lessons need to be learned but its not the end of our tournament.

Chin up everyone

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by R!skysports on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 2:50 pm

Tramptastic wrote:Haud on, bit of context please

for years we have been competing for the wooden spoon

last year we got 3 wins using good attacking, clinical rugby with high skill levels exectued under pressure

This led heightened expectations that could be pushing for winning the whole thing.

One. Good. Year.

If we have a similar tournament to last year i.e. 2-3 wins under a new coach I will call this steady progress.

Its really not over and the loss against Wales shows lessons need to be learned but its not the end of our tournament.

Chin up everyone


How very dare you, having hope and a sunny disposition
]
We're Dooooooomed I say Dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooomed

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by Tramptastic on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 2:53 pm

R!skysports wrote:
Tramptastic wrote:Haud on, bit of context please

for years we have been competing for the wooden spoon

last year we got 3 wins using good attacking, clinical rugby with high skill levels exectued under pressure

This led heightened expectations that could be pushing for winning the whole thing.

One. Good. Year.

If we have a similar tournament to last year i.e. 2-3 wins under a new coach I will call this steady progress.

Its really not over and the loss against Wales shows lessons need to be learned but its not the end of our tournament.

Chin up everyone


How very dare you, having hope and a sunny disposition
]
We're Dooooooomed I say Dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooomed

I am club captain for the 2nd worst rugby team in East Region 2, I HAVE to be sunny

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 3:00 pm

Eejit wrote:We’re pish and we’re going to get pumped.

I think there is an element of "GET A BLOODY GRIP" that needs to be widely shouted out.

Wales gave us a pasting, but lets not beat about the bush that was the best Welsh performance since the RWC. Let's also not forget that they have done a number on Ireland who are quite highly fancied from time to time.

I'm fed up of hearing how it's another false dawn. It's not, we were beaten in Cardiff, and that is not the humiliation that some seem to think it is. They are a bloody good side and a terrific one at home.

This isn't a false dawn and I expect that point will be apparent this weekend. We can beat this French side and if we do so, we can take that confidence onwards to the England game. Ireland lost the first game of the tournament last year and still finished strongly.
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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 3:07 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Eejit wrote:We’re pish and we’re going to get pumped.

I think there is an element of "GET A BLOODY GRIP" that needs to be widely shouted out.

Wales gave us a pasting, but lets not beat about the bush that was the best Welsh performance since the RWC. Let's also not forget that they have done a number on Ireland who are quite highly fancied from time to time.

I'm fed up of hearing how it's another false dawn. It's not, we were beaten in Cardiff, and that is not the humiliation that some seem to think it is. They are a bloody good side and a terrific one at home.

This isn't a false dawn and I expect that point will be apparent this weekend. We can beat this French side and if we do so, we can take that confidence onwards to the England game. Ireland lost the first game of the tournament last year and still finished strongly.

Whilst I agree that Wales are a good team, and played well, the concerning thing is how utterly abysmal we played. I'm sure a part of that was Wales' tactics and individual performances, but a big part of it was just how bad our own performance was and the fact that we couldn't adapt our tactics to suit.  It also showed some real mental fragility in the team and perhaps a bit of arrogance about their abilities - I'd hoped that would no longer be a problem after Twickenham last year.

I certainly don't think we're doomed and we're going to be back at the dark days of Scottish rugby, but this is going to be the biggest test of Townsend's coaching career - it will be fascinating to see how he reacts.

Oh to be a fly on the wall at the Scotland camp this week...

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by highland_scot on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 3:18 pm

I fully expected Wales to win, just didn't expect us to throw the towel in like we did. It wasn't losing, it was the manner of the defeat in the end. Losing an early try or 2 shouldn't mean curtains - but for us it did.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by bsando on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 3:35 pm

The first half was Scotlands really, only difference was Wales were better prepared and more accurate than Scotland. Then after two quick penalties in the second half Scotland lost sight of the win and deflated which is very displeasing.

I'd like to know why Scotland were so rusty in that first half? Why couldn't they string together the plays and make their attacking opportunities count like they did on the opening day last year?

On that btw, Ireland received a drilling from us and managed to finish second overall so it's not impossible to place in the top three still.
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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by SecretFly on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 3:53 pm

bsando wrote:The first half was Scotlands really, only difference was Wales were better prepared and more accurate than Scotland. Then after two quick penalties in the second half Scotland lost sight of the win and deflated which is very displeasing.

I'd like to know why Scotland were so rusty in that first half? Why couldn't they string together the plays and make their attacking opportunities count like they did on the opening day last year?

On that btw, Ireland received a drilling from us and managed to finish second overall so it's not impossible to place in the top three still.

A drilling? And still second? Which year was that?

My stats head has a migraine.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by Eejit on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 5:53 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Eejit wrote:We’re pish and we’re going to get pumped.

I think there is an element of "GET A BLOODY GRIP" that needs to be widely shouted out.

Wales gave us a pasting, but lets not beat about the bush that was the best Welsh performance since the RWC. Let's also not forget that they have done a number on Ireland who are quite highly fancied from time to time.

I'm fed up of hearing how it's another false dawn. It's not, we were beaten in Cardiff, and that is not the humiliation that some seem to think it is. They are a bloody good side and a terrific one at home.

This isn't a false dawn and I expect that point will be apparent this weekend. We can beat this French side and if we do so, we can take that confidence onwards to the England game. Ireland lost the first game of the tournament last year and still finished strongly.

Whilst I agree that Wales are a good team, and played well, the concerning thing is how utterly abysmal we played. I'm sure a part of that was Wales' tactics and individual performances, but a big part of it was just how bad our own performance was and the fact that we couldn't adapt our tactics to suit.  It also showed some real mental fragility in the team and perhaps a bit of arrogance about their abilities - I'd hoped that would no longer be a problem after Twickenham last year.

I certainly don't think we're doomed and we're going to be back at the dark days of Scottish rugby, but this is going to be the biggest test of Townsend's coaching career - it will be fascinating to see how he reacts.

Oh to be a fly on the wall at the Scotland camp this week...

Friendly fire lads, post was 100% meant tongue in cheek. I tried putting in one of those emoticons but Jimbo’d (c) it up clearly as I’m posting on my phone.

The serious point is of course there is a good team in this Scotland team somewhere but there is a mental fragility that is deeply worrying. Glasgow stuck two quick tries on the Chiefs a few weeks ago and they didn’t crumble like we did Saturday - different teams different competitions obviously, but the point stands. There’s something different when you put the same players in different jerseys. While we’ve seen plenty of honking Glasgow performances, there always been endeavour and very rarely an acceptance that they’re going to get pumped.

We saw what happened at Twickenham last year and now at Cardiff this year. This not winning away is starting to become a problem and I hope that the players don’t start believing that it’s impossible.

As for France, we have the quality to put them to the sword at Murrayfield. There’s no excuses for this one.

On a sidenote, can you imagine the insanity on Sunday if opposite Price and Russell are Serin and Belleau!

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 8:58 pm

You see all you needed was a wee winky face Wink
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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by The Oracle on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 9:42 pm

bsando wrote:The first half was Scotlands really, only difference was Wales were better prepared and more accurate than Scotland. Then after two quick penalties in the second half Scotland lost sight of the win and deflated which is very displeasing.

I'd like to know why Scotland were so rusty in that first half? Why couldn't they string together the plays and make their attacking opportunities count like they did on the opening day last year?

On that btw, Ireland received a drilling from us and managed to finish second overall so it's not impossible to place in the top three still.

Un-beeeee-leeeee-vuble!
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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by David-Douglas on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 10:05 pm

The Oracle wrote:
bsando wrote:The first half was Scotlands really, only difference was Wales were better prepared and more accurate than Scotland. Then after two quick penalties in the second half Scotland lost sight of the win and deflated which is very displeasing.

I'd like to know why Scotland were so rusty in that first half? Why couldn't they string together the plays and make their attacking opportunities count like they did on the opening day last year?

On that btw, Ireland received a drilling from us and managed to finish second overall so it's not impossible to place in the top three still.

Un-beeeee-leeeee-vuble!

I have to agree with The Oracle, that’s the sort of comment that I’m used to seeing from Welsh fans after yet another humping from Australia. Let’s not get that desperate.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by Scottrf on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 10:20 pm

Can someone please make a compelling case for one of the teams because I can't predict.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by The Oracle on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 10:22 pm

David-Douglas wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
bsando wrote:The first half was Scotlands really, only difference was Wales were better prepared and more accurate than Scotland. Then after two quick penalties in the second half Scotland lost sight of the win and deflated which is very displeasing.

I'd like to know why Scotland were so rusty in that first half? Why couldn't they string together the plays and make their attacking opportunities count like they did on the opening day last year?

On that btw, Ireland received a drilling from us and managed to finish second overall so it's not impossible to place in the top three still.

Un-beeeee-leeeee-vuble!

I have to agree with The Oracle, that’s the sort of comment that I’m used to seeing from Welsh fans after yet another humping from Australia. Let’s not get that desperate.

Agreed! Reeks of ‘morale victory’, ‘delusion’, ‘wummage’ and that that stuff that originates in the valleys and pours downhill towards the coastal towns of South Wales every time Wales lose. For shame, Bsando, for shame!
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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by George Carlin on Wed 07 Feb 2018, 5:07 am

Scottrf wrote:Can someone please make a compelling case for one of the teams because I can't predict.
WhoCares - can you help with how injuries will affect the French team?
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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by NeilyBroon on Wed 07 Feb 2018, 9:17 am

Scottish amnesia has set in, now feeling buoyish. I give us a 3-5 point win and a restoration of confidence in the boys!
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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by EST on Wed 07 Feb 2018, 9:50 am

NeilyBroon wrote:Scottish amnesia has set in, now feeling buoyish. I give us a 3-5 point win and a restoration of confidence in the boys!

I do think we will see a reaction from the boys, I mean it's almost inconceivable that they will play that badly again. Surely they won't!?

I expect France to put more bodies into the ruck, and try and physically dominate us at the breakdown - which should give us more room to operate, as long as we keep our ball and are prepared to hit it up a few times. However, I wonder if the Wales game has given France a blueprint - keep the ball in play and let us run our moves in front of a drift defence?

This is a huge test of Toonie's credentials, I get the impression that he doesn't believe the tactics were to blame (you could argue that the tactics were OK to start with, but it was obvious in the second half that we didn't try and adapt to the way Wales were playing). That's a worry for me, I love that we play with adventure - but if its not working, we have got to be able to adapt.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by SecretFly on Wed 07 Feb 2018, 10:04 am

Against France, Ireland had a lot of possession but as we've seen couldn't get much traction from it.  Indeed, France seemed to have played us at our own game - allowed us the ball and just put a very rigid brick wall in front of us.  "Pass that" seems to have been the cry.

Now our gameplan at the best of times is blunt so I'm not saying Scotland won't try to find creative ways past the wall............ but possession isn't all it's cooked up to be.  Some sides/tactics are prepared to give up possession and watch the opposition try to get past a defence where all players concentrate on it.  Again, an example is Ireland - we have creative players but not many people see them in action in attack because they are sacrificing themselves to long periods of intense defending.

I'm not so sure this French team is the poor side people are still making them out to be.  The new coach learned a lot about pragmatism when he coached Italy.  I might be proven wrong but I think he's got potential to get France back on the road.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by EST on Wed 07 Feb 2018, 10:13 am

SecretFly wrote:Against France, Ireland had a lot of possession but as we've seen couldn't get much traction from it.  Indeed, France seemed to have played us at our own game - allowed us the ball and just put a very rigid brick wall in front of us.  "Pass that" seems to have been the cry.

Now our gameplan at the best of times is blunt so I'm not saying Scotland won't try to find creative ways past the wall............ but possession isn't all it's cooked up to be.  Some sides/tactics are prepared to give up possession and watch the opposition try to get past a defence where all players concentrate on it.  Again, an example is Ireland - we have creative players but not many people see them in action in attack because they are sacrificing themselves to long periods of intense defending.

I'm not so sure this French team is the poor side people are still making them out to be.  The new coach learned a lot about pragmatism when he coached Italy.  I might be proven wrong but I think he's got potential to get France back on the road.

They were better than I had anticipated, Fly. Resolute in defence and still capable of the odd moments of magic.

Regarding the possession comment, that's essentially what Wales did to us. Let us go wide to wide, and then wait for our errors. We need to challenge France in different areas - whether we have the ball carriers to do that, remains to be seen.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Wed 07 Feb 2018, 10:37 am

I haven't watched the match on telly but being at the game, it seemed like Hogg didn't join the back line as much as he did against NZ...might be wrong though.

Key is keep the French defence honest - vary the attack including (accurate) dinks over the top.

I'm hoping Saturday was a blip - Scotland looked laboured and tired so I'd hope that training was too full on this week.

It wouldn't shock me to see Scotland give France a bit of a tonking this week.

Who knows though!

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by whocares on Wed 07 Feb 2018, 11:13 am

George Carlin wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Can someone please make a compelling case for one of the teams because I can't predict.
WhoCares - can you help with how injuries will affect the French team?

From the team that played Ireland I expect :
- Danty to replace Chavancy
- Picamoles to replace Gourdon
- Beauxis to replace Jalibert
- couilloud to replace Machenaud

The last 2 are my wild guesses really but given Beauxis and Couilloud are team mates it makes sense (Machenaud is too slow for me and was only there for his kicking)

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by lostinwales on Wed 07 Feb 2018, 11:52 am

whocares wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Can someone please make a compelling case for one of the teams because I can't predict.
WhoCares - can you help with how injuries will affect the French team?

From the team that played Ireland I expect :
- Danty to replace Chavancy
- Picamoles to replace Gourdon
- Beauxis to replace Jalibert
- couilloud to replace Machenaud

The last 2 are my wild guesses really but given Beauxis and Couilloud are team mates it makes sense (Machenaud is too slow for me and was only there for his kicking)

Is Gourdon injured? He's not Picamoles but he looked useful.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by sensisball on Wed 07 Feb 2018, 2:37 pm

Turned his ankle in the Ireland match, out for 2 weeks. Picamoles was apparently dropped because of a perceived lack of work rate by Brunel. He may feel he has something to prove if picked on Sunday!

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 10:29 am

Judging by the radio silence on SRU twitterfeed - we'll hear teams tomorrow?

I hope this re-ignites my enthusiasm!
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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 10:30 am

Team will be announced in half an hour

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 10:31 am

Dunbar and Denton in the 1st XV please

Words cannot express how sorely we lacked front foot ball against Wales.
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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by BigGee on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 10:32 am

The club teams are out at 12, so I guess protocol says that the international team should be first.

If we saw the players sent back to clubs, it would give the game away in any case!

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by tigertattie on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 10:34 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Team will be announced in half an hour

the suspense.........................
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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 10:38 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Dunbar and Denton in the 1st XV please

Words cannot express how sorely we lacked front foot ball against Wales.

If Denton can recreate his form from 2015 I'd be happy. Even better if his manbun gives him superhuman strength.
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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by EST on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 10:45 am

Cause im bored at work, here is my best guess:

Bhatti
Mcinally
Berghan
Gray
Gilchrist
Barclay
Watson
Wilson

Price
Finn
Seymour
Dunbar
Jones
Maitland
Hogg

Reid
Lawson
Welsh
Toolis
Denton
Laidlaw
Horne
Bennett

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by BigGee on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 10:51 am

I still don't think Bennett is ready, has looked rusty and needs games still.

Kinghorn to bench for me.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 10:53 am

We'll find out in 8 minutes....

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by EST on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 10:53 am

BigGee wrote:I still don't think Bennett is ready, has looked rusty and needs games still.

Kinghorn to bench for me.

Fo' shame - I actually forgot about King Blairhorn.

He does deserve to be ahead of Benentt.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:00 am


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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:02 am

Some huge calls there - Laidlaw starting and Berghan straight into the starting spot!

I can understand Laidlaw but Berghan starting is a huge risk. He's certainly gone for bulk with GG starting and Denton on the bench.

Gutted that Dunbar isn't fit.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by EST on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:05 am

Big ask for Berghan to come straight back in against what is a very strong French pack - Toonie obviously wants more from his TH than just locking out the scrum.

I think dropping Price is the wrong call, feel he should have been given an opportunity to redeem himself, as he is so key to the way we play - can understand why the decision has been made though.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:08 am

Head Coach Gregor Townsend has made six changes to the starting Scotland side for this Sunday’s NatWest 6 Nations match against France at a sold-out BT Murrayfield Stadium (11 February, kick-off 3pm) – live on BBC.

The changes are split evenly between the backs and forwards with scrum-half Greig Laidlaw, wing Sean Maitland and centre Pete Horne promoted from the bench into the back-line, while lock Grant Gilchrist and back-row Ryan Wilson do likewise into the pack.

Tighthead prop Simon Berghan is the only starting addition from outwith last weekend’s match-day 23, becoming available at the end of a six-week suspension.

Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend, said: “As a group we’re delighted to be playing at home in front of another sell-out crowd at BT Murrayfield and are looking forward to putting in a performance that can energise our supporters.

“To do that we need to out-work the opposition and be more accurate in a number of aspects of our play.

“We’ve seen a response from the players in training this week and that needs to continue into and through the 80-plus minutes of the match because France will pose a massive and immensely-physical challenge.”

Laidlaw is reunited with stand-off Finn Russell at half-back, with this Sunday’s Test the scrum-half’s first Scotland start since being injured in the corresponding fixture last year in Paris, with British & Irish Lions selection and subsequent injuries keeping the former captain out of contention until last weekend’s return as a replacement in Cardiff.



Maitland comes in for injured Sale Sharks wing McGuigan (hamstring) to join Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour in the back-three, while Horne is deployed in midfield in place of Chris Harris (who joins the bench), with Huw Jones returning to the outside-centre role he has occupied in his previous 11 Tests for Scotland.

The remaining changes see Gilchrist and Wilson start in place of Ben Toolis (who moves to the bench) and Cornell du Preez, who drops out of the match-day 23.

Jonny Gray, Hamish Watson and captain John Barclay are reselected to complete the back-five of the scrum, while Stuart McInally and Gordon Reid return to join Berghan in the front-row.

Worcester Warriors back-row David Denton and in-form and uncapped outside back Blair Kinghorn take the places vacated by Wilson and Maitland on the bench.

Scotland team to play France at BT Murrayfield Stadium NatWest 6 Nations
Round 2: Sunday 11 February (kick-off 3pm) - live on BBC
15. Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 56 caps

14. Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 40 caps
13 Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 12 caps
12. Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 29 caps
11. Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 30 caps

10. Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors) – 33 caps
9. Greig Laidlaw VICE CAPTAIN (ASM Clermont Auvergne) – 59 caps

1. Gordon Reid (London Irish) – 28 caps
2. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) – 13 caps
3. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh Rugby) – 5 caps
4. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – 19 caps
5. Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 39 caps
6. John Barclay CAPTAIN (Scarlets) – 67 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 16 caps
8. Ryan Wilson VICE CAPTAIN (Glasgow Warriors) – 33 caps

Substitutes
16. Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons) – 47 caps
17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
18. Jon Welsh (Newcastle Falcons) – 12 caps
19. Ben Toolis (Edinburgh Rugby) – 8 caps
20. David Denton (Worcester Warriors) – 35 caps
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 12 caps
22. Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons) – 2 caps
23. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) – uncapped

Currently unavailable through injury: Alex Dunbar (thigh strain), Richie Gray (calf), Duncan Taylor (head).

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:09 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Some huge calls there - Laidlaw starting and Berghan straight into the starting spot!

I can understand Laidlaw but Berghan starting is a huge risk. He's certainly gone for bulk with GG starting and Denton on the bench.

Gutted that Dunbar isn't fit.

Harris on bench is quite generous but I guess third time lucky? This is definitely last chance saloon for him I think.

Pleased to see Kinghorn get a chance to impress, though I suspect unless it's a cricket score he won't get much time on the field.

I think we'll see a response from Price - hopefully a positive one.

Finn HAS to be better, otherwise be brave and hook him after 40 minutes and put Horne in at 10, we won with Horne at 10 before didn't we? Anything would be better than last week's travesty performance from him.
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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by Tramptastic on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:10 am

That is such a small backline - rapid though!

I thought he'd have given Price another chance but maybe it's good he comes in and ups the tempo on 60 minutes - only risk with that is he tries too hard fluffs it

Glad Denton is on the bench, thats a lot of go-forward carrying to bring on at 60 minutes to launch straight at tired frenchmen.

Ach im quite pleased

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by BigGee on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:13 am

Toonie seems to rate Berghan over Jon Welsh, he has consistently picked him ahead of him. Fitness should not really be an issue I suppose as he has not been injured and other than in the scrums, I don't recall JW name being mentioned the whole game last week either. I guess it also means that we will have a strong scrummager coming on as a sub in the second half, just when France might be planning to put the screw on.

Laidlaw starting was no great surprise and I think is a good call. If we start the game a little more steadily this week, I am not complaining.

Good to see Kinghorn on the bench, he deserves his debut and I am sure is going to be a star of the future.

Harris may get some shot at redemption as well. From what I have seen, he is no bad player and it is hard to judge him on what he has had to deal with so far in his international career. I don't think we have ever played France without picking up some injuries, so I am sure he will get his chance at some point.

The bench generally looks a lot stronger as well.

Not far off the best team we could have picked I think, with Dunbar still being out.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by BigGee on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:24 am

Injuries really have disrupted Dunbar's career. He seems to struggle to ever put more than a game or two together.

I am actually ok with Horne at 12. He is a lot better defensively than he is given credit for and it seems to bring the best out of Finn, having another play maker outside of him. I don't think we were ever going to win this game by battering our way through the French 12 channel.

Horne is definitely a better solution at 12 than playing Huw Jones there. I am not sure that will be an experiment tried again.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:27 am

I'm not sure about Laidlaw starting. Toonie has been speaking about playing in the same manner as the autumn and last weekend, and I don't think Laidlaw's skills lend themselves particularly well to that approach. He's a calm head who will slow the ball down, not play "the fastest rugby in the world" or whatever the term is that we are going for.

He's a good player and I have no issues with him, I'm just not sure dropping Price after one bad game when he's played so well in others, is the best of moves.

I can understand Berghan as I don't think we will lose that much at scrum time between him and welsh and he shows up in the loose more, and from hearing cockers interview recently Berghan has been working like mad on his fitness and work in the loose and scrum.

Harris i don't get, unless there is no one else left. I really want him to do well for us, because on paper and based on his newcastle performances he should be great, but sadly he's just not stepped up. I would have dropped him and brought him back in the summer tests to try him out in a more relaxed environment.

All in a pretty underwhelming team, which I appreciate is in part driven by injuries.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by BigGee on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:37 am

EWT Spoons wrote:


Harris i don't get, unless there is no one else left.  I really want him to do well for us, because on paper and based on his newcastle performances he should be great, but sadly he's just not stepped up.  I would have dropped him and brought him back in the summer tests to try him out in a more relaxed environment.


I think with Dunbar and Taylor injured and Bennett probably still not quite international match sharp, Harris was the last man standing.

Based on what I have seen for Newcastle, I am happy to give him another chance. It will be better for him playing outside a proper 12, Horne, who won't give hospital passes and won't run out of the line defensively either.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by EST on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:41 am

I'm quietly hopeful that Gilchrist will put in a good showing - he has been building his form back up since Cockers arrived. We don't need him to do anything fancy, just hit rucks, provide ballast in the scrum and and carry hard.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by sensisball on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:52 am

Berghan starting is plain nonsense. He hasn't played for a month and is a poor scrummager to boot.
You want to give the French some confidence away from home? Simply pick a weak scrummaging unit so they can get a few easy penalties and points.

Why doesn't he go the whole hog and drop Welsh completely? He might as well since unless there is an injury or Berghan gets binned he will give him minimal game time. The only facet of Scotland's play that was competitive against Wales was the scrum and this is how Welsh is rewarded? totally, totally bizarre decision.

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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:55 am

BigGee wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:


Harris i don't get, unless there is no one else left.  I really want him to do well for us, because on paper and based on his newcastle performances he should be great, but sadly he's just not stepped up.  I would have dropped him and brought him back in the summer tests to try him out in a more relaxed environment.


I think with Dunbar and Taylor injured and Bennett probably still not quite international match sharp, Harris was the last man standing.

Based on what I have seen for Newcastle, I am happy to give him another chance. It will be better for him playing outside a proper 12, Horne, who won't give hospital passes and won't run out of the line defensively either.

I suspect you are right, although Grigg was called up to the training squad wasn't he? I have to confess I've not seen much of him this season, but based on positive reviews from Glasgow fans, he could have been an option.

Your second point does assume he would come on to replace Jones should he go off injured or just be terrible, but what happens if Horne picks up a knock, or Finn does, and we have to move Horne to 10? We're then back in the horror show of last weekend with Jones at 12 and Harris 13.

Sorry i realise I'm being really negative here, but I think Townsend has made wholesale changes in areas he probably didn't need to, but not made sufficient changes in others. Clearly he knows more about the players etc than I do, so undoubtedly I'm wrong, I'm just concerned by that team.


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Re: 6N 2018: Scotland v France, 11th February

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