Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

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Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 9:36 am

Scotland v Fiji
Satuyrday 10th November
BT Murrayfield Stadium
Edinburgh

KO 14.30

Well this match has got bannana skin written all over it for Scoltand! A tough , flamboyant opposition in a game that Scotland should be expected to win. What could possibly go wrong?

We lost to the Flying Fijians the last time we meet when we played them at home. The conditions were less than ideal for us, but Toonie was not particularly impressed by the way some of the team played that day. Josh Strauss in particular, has never really come back into contention for the henious crime of not turnng up! Toonie, depite his affiable personality, does have an edge as a coach and will remember these things.

In our favour this time, we will be playing at home in a full stadium in weather conditions that will suit us a lot better than they did in Suvla! We have also got a game under our belt and you would hope that we will not play as sluggishly as we did against wales, particularly in the first half. we will also have our full squad available for this one and we will need them!

It is hard to see that Finn and Greg will not be involved in the squad in some shape or form and will quite likely start. Sean Maitland is also likely to come in.

Our problems are likely to be in the back row and the centres, areas where we thought we were pretty well stocked but injuries have taken some toll in recent weeks.

Blade Thompson was apparently up and about after the match on friday, but as he was out cold it is hard to imagine that he will play this weekend, hopefully he gets back for one of the other games. Matt Fagerson made a pretty good impact from the bench, so he may get the starting spot over Ritchie for this one, giving a back row of Watson, Fagerson and Wilson. Ritchie may well stay on the bench, in the absence of anyone else fit. I suppose there is an argument for bring in Rob Harley for some defensive solidity, but we would then lose other aspects of our game. I think Rob is better off in the second row these days in any case.

Centres is also a conundrum. Huw Jones poor tackling cost us two tries and the fact that he was singled out by Toonie for that suggests he was not pleased and will take some action. The only other obvious 13 in the squad is Chris Harris, probably much better defensively, but we would lose a lot in our attacking shape with him on board. Dunbar could move out, but I think he is better at 12. Matt Scott may also be gunning for that position if he is fit.

There could defiitely be some interesting selections coming up!

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 9:41 am

My stab at the team:

Dell
McInally
Nel
Gray
Gilchrist
Wilson
Watson
Fagerson
Laidlaw
Russell
Maitland
Dunbar
Jones H (his chance at redemption)
Seymour
Kinghorn

Allen
Brown
Berghan
Skinner
Ritchie
Horne G
Hastings
Graham

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 9:43 am

I was going to suggest the same team Biggee but I am tempting to give Skinner a start.

Toonie certainly needs to earn his money this week - historically we follow up disappointing performances with a barnstorming display, so hopefully the same happens this week!

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 10:05 am

I'd go with a slightly different team (but not radically);

1. Dell
2. McInally
3. Nel
4. Gray
5. Gilchrist
6. Ritchie
7. Watson
8. Fagerson (it’ll be Wilson, but I’d like to see Fagerson here)
9. Laidlaw
10. Russell
11. Maitland
12. Dunbar
13. Jones
14. Seymour
15. Kinghorn

16. Allan
17. Brown
18. Berghan
19. Skinner
20. Fagerson/Wilson
21. G.Horne
22. Hastings
23. Graham

I don’t think Ritchie did enough to drop out the side (if you see what I mean) and being at home should hopefully see an improved performance from him.

I don’t, and I doubt ever will, see the appeal of Wilson at international level, as I just don’t think he offers anything more than our other options who generally seem to offer more. Had Thomson not taken a head knock against Edinburgh I would have had him starting at 8 ahead of Wilson, but Fagerson seems to be in form and hopefully can stake a claim for the 8 shirt.

I’d look to bring Skinner off the bench rather than start him in this one, given it’ll be his debut, might be good for him to get a feel for the match before he comes on. No logic really to that, just gut feel.

Also I think we should be sending Harris on a long winded, complex and time consuming errand just to keep him away from the match day squad



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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by Tramptastic on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 10:17 am

What I'm most pleased about from Saturdays game was Dunbar's performance. I'm a wee bit of a fanboy (mostly cause I emptied him during a colts game between the Stewartry and Annan) so might be slightly biased but I think a full pre-season has done him wonders.

His defensive shape was good (Jones was at error for biting early and slipping off the tackle, not Dunbar who had his man marked safely) but we expect that from Dunbar. What was pleasant to see was his footwork, pace and aggression in ball carrying was far better than the past few seasons where it looked like injuries were slowing him down.

He brings a solidity to that midfield that none of our other centres do and when he picks a line and runs it with intensity he always seems to get over the gainline and create space for others.

He's not a show pony but it was good to see he's looking a lot fitter than he has been!

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 10:21 am

I'm just happy he made it through an international match without picking up some horror/small but time consuiming injury

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 10:22 am

Ryan Wilson was probably one of our better forwards on saturday and he certainly provides a bit of leadership to the team.

A back row with Fagerson and Ritchie in it would be very light on experience.

I would keep RW in for this one.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 10:29 am

See I don't think he does provide much in the way of leadership, he gets into a number of fights and he's been around a bit, but I'm not sure he actually leads. Could be wrong obviously, as I'm not on the pitch, but i don't see it.

To be honest it's largely irrelevant as he'll play, Toonie won't drop him and as you say Fagerson & Ritchie would be a very raw back row. I just don't get the appeal of Wilson, but given he starts most weeks for Glasgow and Toonie plays him pretty consistently as well, I'm going to go out on a limb and say both Rennie and Toonie know more about coaching a successful rugby team than I do. It's close with all my non success at top level sports coaching, but they probably just about edge it.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 10:32 am

I would agree with Spoons - Wales were 100% 'smarter' with the ref and got away with murder at times. As a nation we've not been able to influence refs like that for as long as I can remember. They had so much more street smarts.

Wilson just gets in fights.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 10:54 am

Ashe and more interestingly, Strauss have been added to the squad. I'd love to see ashe do well, not convinced by strauss beyond club level.

Weir has also been added, would be interesting to see if toonie uses him as a bench so that finn/hastings get some rest
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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 10:59 am

Ford, Pyrgos and Fife have been released back to Edinburgh too - not surprised!

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by bsando on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 11:13 am

NeilyBroon wrote:Ashe and more interestingly, Strauss have been added to the squad. I'd love to see ashe do well, not convinced by strauss beyond club level.

Weir has also been added, would be interesting to see if toonie uses him as a bench so that finn/hastings get some rest

Yes it will be interesting to see who starts and who benches at 10 this weekend. I'd probably say Russell to start and Weir to bench giving Hastings a rest. I wouldn't be surprised if Hastings benches for SA.

I am actually very happy to have Strauss back, I was trying to figure out how we would combat the physicality of SA in a few weeks time and Strauss could certainly help in that area. I think he he's done pretty well at international level actually and puts his body on the line. Haven't seen him play this year though so unsure how fit he is currently at Sale.

Ashe and Cummings are great additions and I thought Cummings looked great for Glasgow vs Ospreys last weekend, made some strong runs.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by tigertattie on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 11:14 am

Whats needed for the nact game

1. For Huw to realsie he needs to defend the wide channel and tackle the opposition that Dunbar doesnt have lined up.

2. For Ali Price to be dropped. I'd start Horne (the good Horne, not the pi5h one) but I can see Laidlaw coming in.

3. For Blade Thomson to be rolled out at No 8 - Wilson can bugger off. Anyone who thinks Wilson was in any way effective against wales has never played in the forwards or doesnt understand what a forward is supposed to do.
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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by bsando on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 11:16 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:I would agree with Spoons - Wales were 100% 'smarter' with the ref and got away with murder at times. As a nation we've not been able to influence refs like that for as long as I can remember. They had so much more street smarts.

Wilson just gets in fights.

Not to offend Welsh supporters but I thought some of the Wales players were behaving disgustingly with their loud calls and appeals to the ref. It was sad to see the ref not reacting to this as well and in many cases allowing these calls to influence him possibly. No place for it in the game.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 11:20 am

Not convinced that calling up Strauss and Weir is a particularly good move. Strauss hasn't shown anything at international level nor has Weir. Both are ok club players, but that's their limit (at least so far).

Strauss doesn't seem to bring the same aggression or carrying to the international scene as he did when he was at Glasgow. I've not seen much of him since his move, but I can't imagine that will have changed.

Ashe there was always high hopes for, but his constant injuries hampered that. Hopefully he can step up.

Weir to close a game out isn't the worst idea, but his style of play is totally different to how Scotland play currently, and he's been far from good at international level as well. I appreciate he's doing well at club level just now, so probably has earned a look, but I can't see it working.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by George Carlin on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 11:24 am

Mata's not playing, right? I mean, he wouldn't do that to us, surely.
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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 11:30 am

Unfortunately he will be.

He's probably absolutely knackered though - he's played numerous games in a row now without a rest. I'm sure he'll be well up for this one though.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 11:37 am

Head Coach Gregor Townsend has added six players to the Scotland squad for the 2018 Autumn Tests.



Glasgow Warriors quartet Adam Ashe (back-row), Scott Cummings (lock), Nick Grigg (centre) and Stuart Hogg (full-back) are joined by inbound English Premiership pair Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks back-row) and Duncan Weir (Worcester Warriors stand-off).

The additions follow injuries sustained by Scarlets back-row Blade Thomson (head) and Harlequins centre James Lang (rib) as they represented their club sides at the weekend, while David Denton (Leicester Tigers) and Matt Scott (Edinburgh) continue their ongoing recovery from head injuries with their respective clubs.

The national team also confirmed Edinburgh trio Ross Ford (hooker), Henry Pyrgos (scrum-half) and Dougie Fife (wing) have been released back to the club.



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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 11:43 am

Well some really good new in there.

Hoggy is fit again, well ahead of schedule. I aw him warming up wiht the team on saturday and he was waterboy for Glasgow on friday. It would be a lot to chuck him straight back in though, maybe he will bench for this one and start against SA.

Ashe and Cummings have been in very good form for Glasgow the past couple of weeks, suddenly showing us the players we all hoped they might become. They could play a part in some of these games. Grigg has been on fire as well and could easily leapfrog over Jones for the 13 shirt.

I am not so sure about Strauss though, he even seems to have fallen down the pecking order at Sale these days and does not usually start.

It does not sound as if Lang, Scott, Thompson or Denton will be playing any part in the AIs unfortunatley. Weir is coming in as a direct replacement for Lang.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 11:47 am

I'm amazed Hogg is back so quickly.

I wouldn't rush him in immediately - we all want to see what Kinghorn can do and we don't want Hogg to be brought back prematurely and get injured again.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 11:49 am

Revised team:

Dell
McInally
Nel
Gray
Gilchrist
Wilson
Watson
Fagerson
Laidlaw
Russell
Maitland
Dunbar
Grigg (on reflection he deserves a seat on the naughty step)
Kinghorn
Hogg

Allen
Brown
Berghan
Skinner (toss up between him and Cummings)
Ashe
Horne G
Hastings
Graham


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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 11:52 am

I can't imagine Hoggy is ready for a full game, but he must be fit if in the squad and seemed to be moving pretty well when we saw him at the weekend.

I think he will start him, then pull him when he starts to blow, Kinghorn could then move accross.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by jimbopip on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 12:00 pm

tigertattie wrote:Whats needed for the nact game


3. For Blade Thomson to be rolled out at No 8 - Wilson can bugger off. Anyone who thinks Wilson was in any way effective against wales has never played in the forwards or doesnt understand what a forward is supposed to do.

Just a wee bit hysterical.  warning

I think Mrs Gibbins brings a lot to the game. Certainly on Saturday he put his tackles in and ruffled a few Welsh feathers. Toonie and DR are pretty good judges of horseflesh, in a rugby sense, and both consistently select him. So we'll agree to disagree: based on the fact that I'm right again and you have spent far too much time at the Library discussing the likelihood of Edinburgh ever turning out in cerise and chartreuse.


I also think Saturday will see a few players rested before Sarf Effrika; the prospect of Gray, Dunbar, Watson and McInally picking up knocks and missing it is too terrible to contemplate. Beside which, I thought young Gray looked slightly leaden footed on Saturday and  probably needs a Saturday off.


So


1. Allen

2. Brown

3. Berghan

4. BBB

5. Gilchrist

6. Bluto

7. Arthur Ashe

8. The Middle Fagerson

9. Wee George

10. Wee Duncy

11. Even Wee-er D'Arcy

12. Not Dunbar Furra Linee, Huw Jones? Probably Matt Scott, though the prospect of a "second five eight outside Meatball may make Furra linee the tallest in the three quarters. Scott is out so Furra Linee?

13. Very Wee Grigg

14. Lee Jones For a bit of height

15. Sleepy Sean

16. Shrek

17. MacCallum

18. Turner

19. Skinner

20. Ritchie

21. Wee Greig

22. Huw Jones

23. Dancer.



I think that the Boks is a bigger scalp, beating them will do more for morale than beating Fiji and, conversely, losing to them with a strong side would damage morale more than losing to Fiji with an experimental side so the Tombola will spin this week and there will be surprise.


Last edited by jimbopip on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by IanBru on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 12:00 pm

BigGee wrote:Hoggy is fit again, well ahead of schedule. I aw him warming up wiht the team on saturday and he was waterboy for Glasgow on friday. It would be a lot to chuck him straight back in though, maybe he will bench for this one and start against SA.
Interesting fact: Hogg has only ever benched one game, the Wales match in 2012 when he got his first cap. Every single cap since then, he has started.

That, perhaps more than anything else, shows just how vital he's seen to be in the national setup.
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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 12:04 pm

Jimbo - I think if we put out the team you're suggesting we'd be looking at Fiji gaining their first ever away win against a Tier 1 nation. That's a bonkers selection!

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by jimbopip on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 12:07 pm

Hogg is no more match fit than GC's mildly racist Uncle Dougie at the moment. But he might bench, though. Hogg that is.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 12:10 pm

If we had beaten Wales, then I would have been much more along the same lines as Jim with selection, but we did not and we cannot afford to take Fiji lightly. If we lost this one, the whole autumn could go pear shaped and losing all four games would not be out of the question.

We need to go full strength for this one and then again against SA, a bit more chance for some rotation against Argentina.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by EST on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 12:35 pm

This game has got banana skin written all over it....Yato, Mata, Nakarawa, Tuisova, Goneva and Radrada could all be in the line up.

We need to keep things as tight as possible, absolutely no point getting into a loose game with that lot.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 12:43 pm

From memory Wales recently played Fiji in the AIs got the tactics spot on. We shouldn't completely reign in out attacking instincts, but you've got to be perfect in the set piece and kick accurately, as well as being up front and aggressive in defence. We basically need to starve them of possession/territory.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by jimbopip on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 12:48 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:From memory Wales recently played Fiji in the AIs got the tactics spot on. We shouldn't completely reign in out attacking instinctsWee George will keep their back row "honest" and set a tempo which should have their forwards blowing after 20 minutes, but you've got to be perfect in the set piece and kick accurately Meatball, as well as being up front and aggressive in defenceBBB and, to a lesser extent GG. We basically need to starve them of possession/territory.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 1:17 pm

Against Wales we got the back-row wrong and were overpowered/outsmarted for the first 40. Wales did not actually create too much. They waited for Scottish mistakes. Looking at the stats of the game Wales had less yards, tackled more and less territory by a decent margin. Why we lost was the large amount of turnovers we conceded, we lost the kicking game, lost the patience to take opportunities in their 22 and conceded dumb penalties in key positions (i.e. 40m out that Halfpenny could slot 9/10 times).

As for Wilson, we got tanned by Wales in the 6 nations without him. Here we went behind and at least looked to get the upper hand as the game went on as opposed to going the Gandhi route. He is not an average international, but he will demand other players go over the top to stop him from getting beaten up.

Fiji probably do not pose as much of a threat in the front five or in the kicking department. They are going to play a more open game so there is the question of whether we are closing the stable doors after the horse has bolted if we try to pick a more powerful back-row.

I would be tempted to have Skinner start in the back-row at 6. He is a back 5 forward, not a lock. Just so happens Exeter have a fantastic back-row to choose from. Gray was ineffectual and I would give Gilchrist the nod there. Ritchie for me did not do enough to justify his place for this game. Ashe is a tough one for me. I think we need a big, carrying sort of 6 to help Wilson/M Fagerson at 8, but I want to see what Skinner can do as he is more likely to stay healthy.

Hastings needs reps. This game does little to help Russell. I am tempted to leave him out entirely as he is going to play a considerable amount of games his season already. Dunbar was probably the best back against Wales. H Jones may have to have a L Jones moment against Fiji to teach him tackling.

Allan - Brown - Berghan (Dell - McInally - Nel (doubt it will be the case, but save our bigger guns for SA a bit))
Toolis - Gilchrist (C) (Cummings)
Skinner - Wilson - Watson (M Fagerson)

G Horne - Hastings (Price - Russell)
Dunbar - H Jones (Grigg)
Maitland - Kinghorn - Seymour

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by EST on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 1:52 pm

I think the Wilson debate will rumble on until he retires. For me, he crumples when carrying ball and is terrible at clearing rucks. Toonie must see something in him, but for me he has always looked pretty ineffectual at this level.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 2:00 pm

Is Skinner really a back 5 forward? I know that Thomson is but from reading up on Skinner he is very much a lock at Exeter. I only found out about him when he was announced in the squad so should be wrong!

At 6ft 5 he's certainly not 'too tall' for the back row but the question would be whether he is mobile enough.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 2:05 pm

EST wrote:I think the Wilson debate will rumble on until he retires.  For me, he crumples when carrying ball and is terrible at clearing rucks. Toonie must see something in him, but for me he has always looked pretty ineffectual at this level.

I'd agree with that. Sadly you could probably say the same about Strauss as well. Both capable at club level, but never really able to make the step up.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by 123456789. on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 2:26 pm

I wouldn't have Hogg near the team for this series, he's not played for weeks and Kinghorn needs the experience, no point risking his injury. Better to drop a game here, this is a really long season for Hogg and if he can get 3-4 weeks in now to rest up then it could pay dividends come world cup time.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by EST on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 2:33 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:
EST wrote:I think the Wilson debate will rumble on until he retires.  For me, he crumples when carrying ball and is terrible at clearing rucks. Toonie must see something in him, but for me he has always looked pretty ineffectual at this level.

I'd agree with that.  Sadly you could probably say the same about Strauss as well.  Both capable at club level, but never really able to make the step up.

Yeah, I'd say 8 is the position where we are most behind our competitors in terms of quality, with loosehead not too far behind. From what I read/see about Baldey Blade, he has a chance of nailing that position for his own, so annoying that he and Bradbury are injured.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 2:52 pm

123456789. wrote:I wouldn't have Hogg near the team for this series, he's not played for weeks and Kinghorn needs the experience, no point risking his injury. Better to drop a game here, this is a really long season for Hogg and if he can get 3-4 weeks in now to rest up then it could pay dividends come world cup time.

I don't imagine they are risking his injury by bringing him into the squad. It is his match fitness that is in question, not his injury.

These guys do an awful lot of conditioning even when they are injured, so he may well be in much better shape that we are giving him credit for.

I still think he will get half a game this week and a whole one against SA.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 3:01 pm

BigGee wrote:
123456789. wrote:I wouldn't have Hogg near the team for this series, he's not played for weeks and Kinghorn needs the experience, no point risking his injury. Better to drop a game here, this is a really long season for Hogg and if he can get 3-4 weeks in now to rest up then it could pay dividends come world cup time.

I don't imagine they are risking his injury by bringing him into the squad. It is his match fitness that is in question, not his injury.

These guys do an awful lot of conditioning even when they are injured, so he may well be in much better shape that we are giving him credit for.

I still think he will get half a game this week and a whole one against SA.

Whilst you are more than likely right BigGee, it's an understandable concern given he's back so early. It's probably not, but it feels rushed.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 3:05 pm

Is he's going to play I'd say bench him. If he starts there's a risk he'd end up having to play 80 depending on injuries (appreciating that you could also say he might have to come on early for injuries!)

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by George Carlin on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 3:31 pm

jimbopip wrote:Hogg is no more match fit than GC's mildly racist Uncle Dougie at the moment. But he might bench, though. Hogg that is.
To be fair, this is a man who describes his main form of exercise as 'anger'.
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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by 123456789. on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 3:56 pm

I don't doubt that he's ready to go but I think if they'd planned on this series without him then it may be a decent idea to play it without him. If Kinghorn gets games against Argentina, South Africa and Fiji he'll be a much better player for it.
Let's remember this may well be his last chance to play international rugby until the warm up games, certainly at full-back.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by tigertattie on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 4:41 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:
EST wrote:I think the Wilson debate will rumble on until he retires.  For me, he crumples when carrying ball and is terrible at clearing rucks. Toonie must see something in him, but for me he has always looked pretty ineffectual at this level.

I'd agree with that.  Sadly you could probably say the same about Strauss as well.  Both capable at club level, but never really able to make the step up.

+1 from me

I've never seen Wilson get over the gain line, he just gets felled, or worse, knocked back.

And don't give me the "He inspires others around him" line. Against Wales, the ref shouted at Ali Price numerous times at the back of a maul to use it, Ali Price had his hands on the ball but either wouldn't or couldn't get the ball away form Wilson. The maul then stopped and Wales got the turnover! Wilson and Price then had a look between them to try and assoicated balme with one another. If Wilson is a leader then he shouls have taken that on the chin or he should have listened to Price and let the ball go.

Whichever Edinburgh player injured Blade Thomson on Friday should be fined a months wages! The erse!

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 4:46 pm

tigertattie wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:
EST wrote:I think the Wilson debate will rumble on until he retires.  For me, he crumples when carrying ball and is terrible at clearing rucks. Toonie must see something in him, but for me he has always looked pretty ineffectual at this level.

I'd agree with that.  Sadly you could probably say the same about Strauss as well.  Both capable at club level, but never really able to make the step up.

+1 from me

I've never seen Wilson get over the gain line, he just gets felled, or worse, knocked back.

And don't give me the "He inspires others around him" line. Against Wales, the ref shouted at Ali Price numerous times at the back of a maul to use it, Ali Price had his hands on the ball but either wouldn't or couldn't get the ball away form Wilson. The maul then stopped and Wales got the turnover! Wilson and Price then had a look between them to try and assoicated balme with one another. If Wilson is a leader then he shouls have taken that on the chin or he should have listened to Price and let the ball go.

Whichever Edinburgh player injured Blade Thomson on Friday should be fined a months wages! The erse!


it was Hunter-Hill, but to be fair he was just standing and Blade fell face first onto his knee

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 4:46 pm

Thomson headbutted CHH's knee - there's not a lot he could do about it!

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Nov 2018, 10:14 pm

Scotland coaching staff talking down Hoggy's chances of playing this weekend. We may have to wait another week. Not to clear on Blade Thompson's prospects either, evn though they are keen to get him involved.

STUART Hogg has yet to take contact in training with Scotland after making a faster than expected return from injury, but the national selectors now have high hopes that the full-back will be able to feature in the Autumn Tests. The announcement of the team to face Fiji this weekend has been put back a day to Thursday, and although other injury doubts contributed to that decision, the extra time could allow Hogg to prove he is now ready to play again following ankle surgery. If it is decided that Saturday is too soon, Blair Kinghorn should retain the No 15 jersey, with Hogg then focusing on a return against South Africa and/or Argentina.

The Glasgow player was one of six additions to the Scotland squad yesterday as Gregor Townsend assessed the damage from Saturday’s defeat by Wales, with three other Warriors also called up: centre Nick Grigg, uncapped lock Scott Cummings and No 8 Adam Ashe. Josh Strauss has also been recalled as back-row cover after a long period in the wilderness, while Duncan Weir similarly returns after a long time out and will provide backs cover.

Leicester’s David Denton and Matt Scott of Edinburgh have been released back to their clubs after sustaining head knocks, Blade Thomson may be out of action for the three Tests after being concussed playing for Scarlets against Edinburgh, and James Lang has dropped out after injuring his ribs while playing for Harlequins. Dougie Fife, Ross Ford and Henry Pyrgos have also been released back to Edinburgh, who have the week off in any case.


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The balance of the back-row looks particularly problematic this week given the loss of Denton and Thomson, but it is the early recall of Hogg that will provide the big talking point in the coming days. Injured while playing against Munster in early September, he stayed on the field for most of that game, and subsequently travelled to South Africa with Glasgow on PRO14 duty before being sent home once the extent of his injury was realised. It was after he had ankle surgery on 21 September that a prognosis of 10-12 weeks on the sidelines was made, so any return this month would be ahead of schedule.

“He’s made a bit of progress, but there’s a bit more to make just to make sure he’s ready to go – and I think the next few days will determine that,” Scotland assistant coach Danny Wilson said yesterday (Monday). “He’s made really good progress in his re-hab, he’s worked extremely hard in a short space of time, and he’s shown me how important it is for him to play for Scotland.

“He’s desperate to play rugby full stop, desperate to get back out on the pitch, and he’s made real good progress, done everything that’s been asked of him. From our point of view as well it would be great to have him back out there, but we have to make sure we do our due diligence and he does his and we put him out there at the right time when he’s fully fit. And hopefully the next few days will dictate when that will be.”

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Asked if Hogg would feature in later Autumn Tests even if he was not passed fit to play against Fiji, Wilson continued: “At this stage we’re definitely hopeful of that, but we have to wait and see how the next three days go. It’s quite an important week ahead.

“He’s not [taking contact] in this environment, no. He’s just come back today, so there’s a few boxes to tick yet.

“I think he wanted to play Friday night for Glasgow and he wants to play at every opportunity – that’s what I’m learning from him. He’s desperate to play at every opportunity for both his club and country, and it would be great to get him out there. He’s had his bumps and knocks as we know, but I think part of the process is getting him out there and passing running tests and slowly but surely getting himself fully fit for contact and the intensity of playing international rugby.”

Asked about the chances of Thomson’s returning to the squad and making his debut this month, Wilson suggested that the Scarlets forward’s case was similar to that of Hogg: the coaches are keen for him to be involved, but will wait patiently until there is certainty that he is ready. “It obviously looked like quite a nasty injury on Friday night, so we’ll have to wait and see. Blade came in for the first couple of weeks and from his performances with the Scarlets and how he’s trained and what he’s shown in the camp, he’s an exciting player that we’re desperate to get involved. But we might have to wait a little bit longer for that.”







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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by BigGee on Tue 06 Nov 2018, 12:53 pm

Josh Strauss doing the press conference for Scotland today.

That is often a good indication of who is going to be in the team for the weekend. Is Toonie planning on beefing up the backrow?

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by tigertattie on Tue 06 Nov 2018, 1:59 pm

BigGee wrote:Josh Strauss doing the press conference for Scotland today.

That is often a good indication of who is going to be in the team for the weekend. Is Toonie planning on beefing up the backrow?

I have no idea how Strauss has been getting on dan saf but for sheer physicality (which we desperately lacked at the weekend) I can see him being drafted into the No 8 position.

Strauss has never been able to play at international level as it was a step to fast for him but the forwards of Fiji won't be as structured, so Strauss could be an option here.

It will inevitably mean Ryan "bloody" Wilson will play at 6 which is a tragic bit of news but at least he’s not as ineffective at 6 as he is at 8.

I’d be tempted to go with big bad Boab at 6 for a bit more grunt with Strauss at 8 and the Mish at 7 (though Mish may be rested given SA and Arg will be up next so Ritchie could be moved to 7 against the Fiji massive.

I’d probably have McCallum at least bench in this one for a bit rotation.

Fraser Brown is a perfectly capable player and I’d start him to give McInally a rest (either bench or have young Turner benching)

Second row should be Toolis and Gray as I’d not want to drop Toolis after his decent performance and Gray needs a shot at redemption. Gilco to bench.

Backs pretty much pick themselves I’d say. Hogg should be no where near this team. Horne or Laidlaw to start/bench whichever way round. I’d be tempted to give Hastings another run and save Finn for the SA and Arg games. Dunbar and Huw to be in the centre but Huw to be hooked at halftime if he’s having another stinker.

Seymour and No Maits on the wings with Kinghorn at 15.


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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 06 Nov 2018, 2:01 pm

I have more positive memories of Strauss playing for Scotland than most - yes he's not been able to transfer his Glasgow form to Scotland but he's generally put in decent enough displays without setting the heather alight (and let's' face it, when was the last time any of our 8s did?) He was also absolutely heroic away to France 2 years ago.

So I have no qualms about picking him but it just doesn't fill me with excitement.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Tue 06 Nov 2018, 2:50 pm

I think I am the opposite, I remember Strauss getting a load of stick for doing nothing on the pitch for most of his international career. Plus weirdly he seems to have fallen out of favour at Sale, and yet now gets a call up.

I don’t get it, I have no doubt if he plays the same questions will be asked around why he just doesn’t look up to it at Int. level. Hope he proves me wrong though.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

Post by EST on Tue 06 Nov 2018, 2:55 pm

Strauss's performances at international level have always been a bit underwhelming. In the championship winning season at Glasgow he was an absolute colossus - I suppose his main skill (running into people and breaking the gain line) is mitigated against at int level to a greater degree, and he doesn't have the all round game to stand out.

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Re: Scotland V Fiji Saturday 10th November

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