Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

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Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 10:23 am

Scotland v South Africa
BT Murrayfield Stadium
Edinburgh

Saturday 17th November
KO 17.00


Well another interesting game coming up between two old rivals.

Scotland found their form with a vengeance this Saturday, putting a much fancied Fiji side to the sword very emphatically. They are a team who have very good home form now and they will see this as their biggest test of the autumn.

South Africa are also on the up and playing much better under Erasmus, with a noticeable scalp of the All Blacks this season and beating England in a series over the summer. Recent form is a bit mixed, they lost a game they should have won against England and won a game they should have lost against France, so hard to know just what to read into that. It has been a long hard season for them and it is not going to be easy stringing together 4 hard tests in 4 weekends.

Scotland will have the advantage of having been able to rest and rotate a few of their players. The question remains though will Toonie go all out with his strongest team for this one (does he even know what his strongest team is?) or will he continue with some gentle tinkering, as is his want and maybe even introduce a few new players into the mix. Will we see Gary Graham capped for instance in his first appearance in a Scotland squad after a road to Damascus moment sometime over breakfast (humble pie on the menu) this weekend.

My stab at the Scotland team before we get a few clues with media interviews during the week:

Nel
McInally
Dell
Gray
Skinner
Wilson
Strauss
Watson
Laidlaw
Russell
Seymour
Dunbar
Jones H
Maitland
Hogg

Allen
Brown
Berghan
Gilchrist
Graham
Horne G
Hastings
Kinghorn



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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by Eejit on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 10:30 am

Great move from Toony calling up Gary Graham. He’ll get pelters from some of a particular political persuasion based on his previous comments but if it was up to me I’d cap the bloke at Twickenham that wears the St George’s cross suit if he could shift like Graham can.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 10:39 am

Cheers for the tread BG, another sterling job.

I’ve given up trying to predict what team Toonie will pick. He’s clearly found the tombola again and is making full use of it, I mean even calling up Gary Graham is just peak Toonie.

Arguably he should be looking to put out his first choice team here, as South Africa should be our biggest test this autumn, but as you say BG, does Toonie even know who that is.

I’m going to put up a team I think will play, but I have no faith in it looking anything like the team that will take the field on sat:

EDIT- I just typed out the team and realise it nearly exactly matches BG’s so not going to bother. Only change is I wouldn’t be surprised if Ritchie is on the bench instead of Graham, but could equally see him on the bench to get him capped. Or possibly have Fagerson start again with Strauss on the bench, just to give Fagerson and chance, and Strauss did well off the bench.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 10:49 am

I don't think he will flog Ritchie and Fagerson this autumn. They have both had some decent international game time this series and as MF was injured last weekend (though not seriously it seems) it would not be a bad idea to sit them out and bring them back to play the Argies the following week.

OS definitely looks like the better position for JR in any case and no doubt Watson will start this one. I still think he is a little bit lightweight to play BS against some very physical international teams and none come any more physical than the Boks!

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by bsando on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 10:57 am

Well well, I was totally bamboozled by your bench (Darcy Graham as backup for Backrow??.. oh, wait!).

Scotland have been rather canny this Autumn. Thomson, Skinner, Johnson, D Graham and now G Graham. The pack has received some great new additions and Johnson and Graham will give the backline some added competition too.

I like your team Gee, I think my only change would be Ritchie on the bench rather than Graham unless he looks like he can play a big part off the bench. I think Ritchie can carry some momentum and confidence that will be very handy for SA. Perhaps Graham will be in with a shout for Argentina? I suspect Townsend will like to see what he can do this Autumn pre 6N.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by jimbopip on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:00 am

Realistically, we might see the prodigal Graham welcomed back into the fold from the bench against Argentina. Toonie maintaining the competition for places though; Hardie, Fagerson, Thompson, Ritchie, Bradbury, Skinner and Bluto. I can only think of Mrs Gibbins and Hamish Frae The Glen who might think they are automatic choices.


I think selection for Sarf Effrika must be based on our strongest 23. So


1. Dell (Allan)

2. Rambo (Brown)

3. Nel (Berghan)

4. Jonny

5. Toolis (Skinner, GGmk1 has not impressed so far. He may be as divisive as Mrs Gibbins)

6. Mrs Gibbins

7. Hamish (Fagerson)

8. Bluto

9. Frodo (toss a coin, if we're ahead Wee George would run riot counter attacking, but if it's still trench warfare then Aldi Price)

10. Dancer (Hastings)

11. Sleepy Sean

12. Eck

13 Jones (Furra Linee)

14 Seymour

15. Baby Please Don't Go, as Van The Man sang.



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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:06 am

If you haven't seen Gary Graham play...your in for a treat

A raging aggressive, livewire and physicality. Monster tackler and a great carrier. He could very well make a back row position his own up tithe world cup ..he's that good.

And we're getting John Hardie fit and firing again for you aswell ....

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:08 am

BigGee wrote:I don't think he will flog Ritchie and Fagerson this autumn. They have both had some decent international game time this series and as MF was injured last weekend (though not seriously it seems) it would not be a bad idea to sit them out and bring them back to play the Argies the following week.

OS definitely looks like the better position for JR in any case and no doubt Watson will start this one. I still think he is a little bit lightweight to play BS against some very physical international teams and none come any more physical than the Boks!

Hasn't MF only had some of the first half against Fiji before his injury this Autumn?  I'd like to see him get a bit more time to show he's capable, but no issues with it being against the pumas.

Similar to Bsando I thought Ritchie could possibly still be involved as he is probably on a massive high from Fiji and full of confidence.  Again though no issues with him being rested but wouldn't be shocked if he was still involved in this game in some capacity.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:09 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:If you haven't seen Gary Graham play...your in for a treat  

A raging aggressive, livewire and physicality. Monster tackler and a great carrier. He could very well make a back row position his own up tithe world cup ..he's that good.

And we're getting John Hardie fit and firing again for you aswell ....

You're doing a grand job for us down there GF. If you could also see your way to being total toss against Edinburgh in the Heineken cup it would be appreciated.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:11 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:

And we're getting John Hardie fit and firing again for you aswell ....

Thank you for that, really glad someone stepped up to the plate on that one. He will be back in the mix as well if he can stay fit. His problem unfortunately is he has an almost total disregard for his own safety and well being when he plays and so often gets hurt.

Look after him for us please!

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:12 am

Ha ha ha....we're toss in the league at the minute...seem to be saving it for the cups.

The two locks...Glen young and Andrew Davidson are coming on a treat aswell. Davidson will get a Scotland cap I'm pretty sure.

Young is a bit older..about 27 but has been very impressive this year.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:14 am

BigGee wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:

And we're getting John Hardie fit and firing again for you aswell ....

Thank you for that, really glad someone stepped up to the plate on that one. He will be back in the mix as well if he can stay fit. His problem unfortunately is he has an almost total disregard for his own safety and well being when he plays and so often gets hurt.

Look after him for us please!

Dean Richards is an outstanding head for falcons...he manages players brilliantly and helps them fulfil potential.

He'll get Hardie back to his best.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by Eejit on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:14 am

Although I agree that Rambo will probably start I think that Brown is a better player and in better form but there is wisdom in being able to bring him off the bench to cause mayhem. I'd also like to see Skinner start next to Gray as he really looked a handful. Seeing how he copes vs the Boks physicality will be excellent.

Scotland are developing some real depth at the moment. Too weird. Bring back Dan Parks.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:15 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Ha ha ha....we're toss in the league at the minute...seem to be saving it for the cups.

The two locks...Glen young and Andrew Davidson are coming on a treat aswell. Davidson will get a Scotland cap I'm pretty sure.

Young is a bit older..about 27 but has been very impressive this year.

I saw he was MoM this weekend. A few weeks at Glasgow seems to have done him the power of good!

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:21 am

Davidson was excellent this weekend. His link and support play for a big lock was outstanding. That comes from his experience playing flanker aswell. He's very tall and once he fills out a bit...could be a fixture for club and country.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:22 am

Eejit wrote:Although I agree that Rambo will probably start I think that Brown is a better player and in better form but there is wisdom in being able to bring him off the bench to cause mayhem. I'd also like to see Skinner start next to Gray as he really looked a handful. Seeing how he copes vs the Boks physicality will be excellent.

Scotland are developing some real depth at the moment. Too weird. Bring back Dan Parks.

Wash your mouth out with soap! warning

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by Eejit on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:34 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
Eejit wrote:Although I agree that Rambo will probably start I think that Brown is a better player and in better form but there is wisdom in being able to bring him off the bench to cause mayhem. I'd also like to see Skinner start next to Gray as he really looked a handful. Seeing how he copes vs the Boks physicality will be excellent.

Scotland are developing some real depth at the moment. Too weird. Bring back Dan Parks.

Wash your mouth out with soap! warning

I knew that would get you! It's still true though.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:34 am

Skinner compliments either Gray or Gilchrist very well. You have the big, hard working one, doing the grunt and the close qurter carrying and tackling and the slightly smaller more mobile one who can carry in the outside channels and get around the pitch a lot better. He can even kick quite well. as he showed on Saturday. He was a stand off apparently in his youth and his brother, who also plays for Exeter, still is.

Ritchie Gray used to play that roving lock role for Scotland but has tightend up his game a lot more since going to France.

I am very excited about Skinner, he is a point of difference from all of our other locks. A younger and maybe better version of Swinson in the making.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by Eejit on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:39 am

Didn't realise Skinner had a brother, cheers for that Gee. I guess Toony will have to cap the lad in the summer. Can't be rugby playing brothers without playing for Scotland, its the law.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:40 am

Agree with all of that BG.

I know it's early days in his international career but based upon that one appearance I'm going full hype train and agreeing he looks a real prospect.  If he can continue that form then he's got to be involved going forward, and given he can play both 2nd & back row it gives him versatility that will likely see him in the WC squad.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 11:50 am

Looking at our backrow options we actually have a lot to chose from, and not many of them we'd currently be able to say are nailed on for the world cup:

6/8 - Bradbury, Barclay, Wilson, Thomson, Graham, Denton, Strauss, Fagerson
7 - Watson, Ritchie

That's 10 people that will need to go down to 5 or 6 for the WC.

My concern here is that some of those are very inexperienced - Bradbury, Thomson, Graham, Fagerson and Ritchie - so if Townsend thinks they're going to be in the WC he has to play them a lot between now and then.

Basically what I'm saying is as good as it is to have the likes of Thomson and Graham, less than a year from a WC we can't afford to be going into it with half our back rows on a few caps.

For what it's worth I think Fagerson may be the one that misses out - he's shown good form for Glasgow recently but is still very young and probably still has some physical developing to do.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:08 pm

I guess a lot will depend on who's fit come WC time, as injuries could easily knock a few of them out of contention, but assuming all fit, then yeah I could see Fagerson dropping out of the running. That's not a slight on him, as I think he could have a big future in the game, but he's only 20 and didn't play particularly well in the summer tour and only lasted 35-40 mins against Fiji due to injury (again not his fault, but he's running out of chances to prove he's worthy of a seat on the plane).

Barclay, Wilson & Watson are nailed on, the last few slots are potentially up for grabs (although I think Bradbury might be penciled in for one)

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:11 pm

You can probably add Hardie to that list as well. he will be in the mix if he can get some game time for Newcastle and stay clear of injury.

It is good to have the luxury of some depth to the squad, we have not had dilemmas like this before for a world cup.

Unfortunately for some of them, injury will no doubt rule someone out, it always does.

Denton also looks like a weak link in that group to me, as he just does not have the ball skills to play the game that Toonie wants Scotland to play. If Bradbury does not make it back for the 6N and has no chances to show what he has got, it might well cost him as well.

What we can say for sure is that some very good players, who would have walked into previous squads will miss out.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:16 pm

Forgot about Hardie - knew there was one I'd forgotten! Assuming we take 6 back rows I'd go with

Barclay, Bradbury, Wilson, Watson, Ritchie, Thomson/Graham

That's a good mix of power, skill and athleticism with all bar Watson able to cover more than one position. I think one of Thomson or Graham have a good chance given they can cover 2nd row as well - they definitely need to take their chances when given it. Alternatively Skinner could go as a lock who covers back row.

Certainly plenty to play for!

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:21 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:Forgot about Hardie - knew there was one I'd forgotten! Assuming we take 6 back rows I'd go with

Barclay, Bradbury, Wilson, Watson, Ritchie, Thomson/Graham

That's a good mix of power, skill and athleticism with all bar Watson able to cover more than one position. I think one of Thomson or Graham have a good chance given they can cover 2nd row as well - they definitely need to take their chances when given it. Alternatively Skinner could go as a lock who covers back row.

Certainly plenty to play for!

I think it's potentially more likely Skinner would play BR rather than Thomson or Graham playing 2nd. But that's mostly because I'm already on the skinner hype train.

If Strauss can follow up his performance against Fiji, then he might take that last slot as I suspect we might not see Thomson during the AIs and I think Graham mostly plays 7 (could be wrong), so we need a ball carrying 8.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by jimbopip on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:24 pm

If we're being realistic then we should probably look at  losing at least six players from our "ideal"World Cup squad due to injury or loss of form.

The lack of experience is a very important factor. If you think of a back row of Fagerson-Bradbury-Ritchie ; doubtless it is very exciting and if played in a Pro 14 setting would be one of the best in the league. However, if we had to play a World Cup quarter final tomorrow against one of the top sides then I think that combination might be found to be "naive" in certain areas of the game.

It does raise the question: which is better; playing your strongest 23 in every match of the 6 Nations in order to build confidence or resting key players and getting others ( Skinner, Thompson, Graham, Horne, Bradbury, Fagerson, Graham) some experience of test match rugby regardless of the result? I think I would lean towards the latter. Put Fagerson-Bradbury-Ritchieout against Les Blues in Paris and see how they cope. Have a back three of Graham-Kinghorn-Hughes at Twickers. Then we'd really know if they could be counted on to play in the crunch matches come the World Cup.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:30 pm

Gary Graham doesn't cover second row...
Mark Wilson does for the falcons

I would say Graham is a 7...who's style allows him to play 6 aswell.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:31 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Gary Graham doesn't cover second row...
Mark Wilson does for the falcons

I would say Graham is a 7...who's style allows him to play 6 aswell.

I was sure I had seen him at 2nd row - might have been a reserve match earlier in the season though.

Sounds like he's direct competition for Ritchie then as a 7 who can play 6. Ritchie certainly set down the marker against Fiji!

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by jimbopip on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:34 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:Forgot about Hardie - knew there was one I'd forgotten! Assuming we take 6 back rows I'd go with

Barclay, Bradbury, Wilson, Watson, Ritchie, Thomson/Graham

That's a good mix of power, skill and athleticism with all bar Watson able to cover more than one position. I think one of Thomson or Graham have a good chance given they can cover 2nd row as well - they definitely need to take their chances when given it. Alternatively Skinner could go as a lock who covers back row.

Certainly plenty to play for!

RDW, I think Toonie will take six players who can play IN the back row as opposed to six back row players. So we might see Turner there as third hooker and back row cover. Similarly there most likely will be a lock/flanker in the squad so one of Swinson/Harley/Skinner. It's interesting that you've put Thompson/Graham above  all three of them on the evidence of zero minutes test rugby Shocked .
Mind you this would mean only four "proper back row" places and Barclay, Wilson and Watson seem to have nailed three of those jerseys down. Whichever way you look at it some very talented young players will be staying at home.


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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:34 pm

jimbopip wrote:If we're being realistic then we should probably look at  losing at least six players from our "ideal"World Cup squad due to injury or loss of form.

The lack of experience is a very important factor. If you think of a back row of Fagerson-Bradbury-Ritchie ; doubtless it is very exciting and if played in a Pro 14 setting would be one of the best in the league. However, if we had to play a World Cup quarter final tomorrow against one of the top sides then I think that combination might be found to be "naive" in certain areas of the game.

It does raise the question: which is better; playing your strongest 23 in every match of the 6 Nations in order to build confidence or resting key players and getting others ( Skinner, Thompson, Graham, Horne, Bradbury, Fagerson, Graham) some experience of test match rugby regardless of the result? I think I would lean towards the latter. Put Fagerson-Bradbury-Ritchieout against Les Blues in Paris and see how they cope. Have a back three of Graham-Kinghorn-Hughes at Twickers. Then we'd really know if they could be counted on to play in the crunch matches come the World Cup.

I don't think we experiment much per say in the 6N, the games are to important to everyone and winning will do so much for our confidence going forward. We have three home games this year and could do well, we also have to get the monkey of playing better and winning away off our backs. There will be injuries though and plenty of players will get their chances. I think we will have a much better idea who is Toonie's first choice team by the end of that tournament.

I am not sure that Hughes is going to be in the mix at all though, he is not in this squad and is struggling to get game time for Glasgow. Another one who unfortunately, seems to get injured every time he plays.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:36 pm

jimbopip wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:Forgot about Hardie - knew there was one I'd forgotten! Assuming we take 6 back rows I'd go with

Barclay, Bradbury, Wilson, Watson, Ritchie, Thomson/Graham

That's a good mix of power, skill and athleticism with all bar Watson able to cover more than one position. I think one of Thomson or Graham have a good chance given they can cover 2nd row as well - they definitely need to take their chances when given it. Alternatively Skinner could go as a lock who covers back row.

Certainly plenty to play for!

RDW, I think Toonie will take six players who can play IN the back row as opposed to six back row players. So we might see Turner there as third hooker and back row cover. Similarly there most likely will be a lock/flanker in the squad so Swinson/Harley/Skinner. It's interesting that you've put Thompson/Graham above  all three of them on the evidence of zero minutes test rugby Shocked .
Mind you this would mean only four "proper back row places and Barclay, Wilson and Watson seem to have nailed three of those jerseys down. Whichever way you look at it some very talented young players will be staying at home.

Worth saying it was very much a guess at this stage, but my reasoning on Swinson/Harley is they have been shown to be average international players at best so there is a real chance for Thomson/Graham/Skinner to show they are better than that. The latter 3 are at an advantage in that they will probably be given a chance so Townsend can find out - I'd be very surprised if we see Swinson or Harley play for Scotland before the World Cup, injuries aside.


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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:39 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Gary Graham doesn't cover second row...
Mark Wilson does for the falcons

I would say Graham is a 7...who's style allows him to play 6 aswell.

I was sure I had seen him at 2nd row - might have been a reserve match earlier in the season though.

Sounds like he's direct competition for Ritchie then as a 7 who can play 6. Ritchie certainly set down the marker against Fiji!

Graham is your classic 6.5 modern flanker, maybe a bit more abrasive than Ritchie, but not quite as mobile. I think they are both good players and not dissimilar but Graham has not showed he can step up to international level yet, Ritchie now has.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by jimbopip on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:45 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:Forgot about Hardie - knew there was one I'd forgotten! Assuming we take 6 back rows I'd go with

Barclay, Bradbury, Wilson, Watson, Ritchie, Thomson/Graham

That's a good mix of power, skill and athleticism with all bar Watson able to cover more than one position. I think one of Thomson or Graham have a good chance given they can cover 2nd row as well - they definitely need to take their chances when given it. Alternatively Skinner could go as a lock who covers back row.

Certainly plenty to play for!

RDW, I think Toonie will take six players who can play IN the back row as opposed to six back row players. So we might see Turner there as third hooker and back row cover. Similarly there most likely will be a lock/flanker in the squad so Swinson/Harley/Skinner. It's interesting that you've put Thompson/Graham above  all three of them on the evidence of zero minutes test rugby Shocked .
Mind you this would mean only four "proper back row places and Barclay, Wilson and Watson seem to have nailed three of those jerseys down. Whichever way you look at it some very talented young players will be staying at home.

Worth saying it was very much a guess at this stage, but my reasoning on Swinson/Harley is they have been shown to be average international players at best so there is a real chance for Thomson/Graham/Skinner to show they are better than that. The latter 3 are at an advantage in that they will probably be given a chance so Townsend can find out - I'd be very surprised if we see Swinson or Harley play for Scotland before the World Cup, injuries aside.

So Harley to start at 6 on Saturday then. Laugh

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:46 pm

jimbopip wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:Forgot about Hardie - knew there was one I'd forgotten! Assuming we take 6 back rows I'd go with

Barclay, Bradbury, Wilson, Watson, Ritchie, Thomson/Graham

That's a good mix of power, skill and athleticism with all bar Watson able to cover more than one position. I think one of Thomson or Graham have a good chance given they can cover 2nd row as well - they definitely need to take their chances when given it. Alternatively Skinner could go as a lock who covers back row.

Certainly plenty to play for!

RDW, I think Toonie will take six players who can play IN the back row as opposed to six back row players. So we might see Turner there as third hooker and back row cover. Similarly there most likely will be a lock/flanker in the squad so Swinson/Harley/Skinner. It's interesting that you've put Thompson/Graham above  all three of them on the evidence of zero minutes test rugby Shocked .
Mind you this would mean only four "proper back row places and Barclay, Wilson and Watson seem to have nailed three of those jerseys down. Whichever way you look at it some very talented young players will be staying at home.

Worth saying it was very much a guess at this stage, but my reasoning on Swinson/Harley is they have been shown to be average international players at best so there is a real chance for Thomson/Graham/Skinner to show they are better than that. The latter 3 are at an advantage in that they will probably be given a chance so Townsend can find out - I'd be very surprised if we see Swinson or Harley play for Scotland before the World Cup, injuries aside.

So Harley to start at 6 on Saturday then. Laugh

With Townsend I wouldn't be surprised!

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by 123456789. on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:49 pm

I’d rather play to win the six nations, put the same team out through each round and try to win the thing. It’ll take probably some of Scotland’s biggest performances ever to win the World Cup. I’d rather we won the six nations and failed to exit the group than get to the semi-finals if I’m honest. If we lose the first two games (although we start with Italy at home so you’d have to say that’s as near to a banker as we’re ever likely to get against a tier one side) then we can look to experiment. But it’s worth saying that at the moment we have a 35 year history of failure at twickenham and a 20 year one in France. Breaking them are more important long term than a one off game against Australia in the semi final. Unless we win the semi-finals and then the final but let’s be honest if we’re down to our second and third choices that is simply not going to happen.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:49 pm

I think we will get to know where Harley stands in Toonie's reckoning if he gets to play this autumn or not. If not and I don't think he will, then he won't be going to the WC baring a raft of injuries. BBB will fight for every blade of grass in a Scotland (or Glasgow shirt) but probably does not have the ball skills that he is looking for in his high speed game. Other back row players do have that, as well as are good in the close quarter stuff and that is their point of difference. Glasgow play Harley more as a lock these days and he is not going to be in the mix in the second row, despite being versatile.

Swinson is more of a dark horse. A bit like Wilson, the fans struggle with him a lot more than the coaches do again largely down to his prenominal work rate. He would score in the versatility stakes as well, except from what we have seen of him, he is not that good in the back row, just a yard short of pace a bit like Harley unfortunately.

Toonie does like what he brings though, as did BVC, who picked him over Big Jim last time around, much to his fury. He will be in the mix and if injuries strike could still come into but likely to be overtaken by some younger faster models this time around.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:50 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:Forgot about Hardie - knew there was one I'd forgotten! Assuming we take 6 back rows I'd go with

Barclay, Bradbury, Wilson, Watson, Ritchie, Thomson/Graham

That's a good mix of power, skill and athleticism with all bar Watson able to cover more than one position. I think one of Thomson or Graham have a good chance given they can cover 2nd row as well - they definitely need to take their chances when given it. Alternatively Skinner could go as a lock who covers back row.

Certainly plenty to play for!

RDW, I think Toonie will take six players who can play IN the back row as opposed to six back row players. So we might see Turner there as third hooker and back row cover. Similarly there most likely will be a lock/flanker in the squad so Swinson/Harley/Skinner. It's interesting that you've put Thompson/Graham above  all three of them on the evidence of zero minutes test rugby Shocked .
Mind you this would mean only four "proper back row places and Barclay, Wilson and Watson seem to have nailed three of those jerseys down. Whichever way you look at it some very talented young players will be staying at home.

Worth saying it was very much a guess at this stage, but my reasoning on Swinson/Harley is they have been shown to be average international players at best so there is a real chance for Thomson/Graham/Skinner to show they are better than that. The latter 3 are at an advantage in that they will probably be given a chance so Townsend can find out - I'd be very surprised if we see Swinson or Harley play for Scotland before the World Cup, injuries aside.

So Harley to start at 6 on Saturday then. Laugh

With Townsend I wouldn't be surprised!

At 10

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:55 pm

BigGee wrote:I think we will get to know where Harley stands in Toonie's reckoning if he gets to play this autumn or not. If not and I don't think he will, then he won't be going to the WC baring a raft of injuries. BBB will fight for every blade of grass in a Scotland (or Glasgow shirt) but probably does not have the ball skills that he is looking for in his high speed game. Other back row players do have that, as well as are good in the close quarter stuff and that is their point of difference. Glasgow play Harley more as a lock these days and he is not going to be in the mix in the second row, despite being versatile.

Swinson is more of a dark horse. A bit like Wilson, the fans struggle with him a lot more than the coaches do again largely down to his prenominal work rate. He would score in the versatility stakes as well, except from what we have seen of him, he is not that good in the back row, just a yard short of pace a bit like Harley unfortunately.

Toonie does like what he brings though, as did BVC, who picked him over Big Jim last time around, much to his fury. He will be in the mix and if injuries strike could still come into but likely to be overtaken by some younger faster models this time around.

I think Harley's time in a Scotland shirt is over. He's been great for Glasgow this year, but arguably we have better BR players now (and Harley is mostly playing lock) and we have better locks. When Harley has played for Scotland he's done a great job, but he's quite limited as a player and the team and what toonie wants from them, have moved on.

Swinson, is tough. There is no rational reason for him to be anywhere near the squad. He's not as good a lock as the other locks we have, and despite some thinking he can, he cannot really play in the back row.

So in summary, after reading back what I have just posted, I agree with BG. Except I don't think Harley has any chance of getting into the squad during the AIs

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by jimbopip on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:57 pm

I was about to say that BigBadBob would be a more natural 9, which I thought might have more comedic impact you know big, lumbering aggressive flanker attempting to fill the role of small, nippy, mercurial scrummy....then I remembered Mike Phillips Erm

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by BigGee on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 12:57 pm

123456789. wrote:I’d rather play to win the six nations, put the same team out through each round and try to win the thing. It’ll take probably some of Scotland’s biggest performances ever to win the World Cup. I’d rather we won the six nations and failed to exit the group than get to the semi-finals if I’m honest. If we lose the first two games (although we start with Italy at home so you’d have to say that’s as near to a banker as we’re ever likely to get against a tier one side) then we can look to experiment. But it’s worth saying that at the moment we have a 35 year history of failure at twickenham and a 20 year one in France. Breaking them are more important long term than a one off game against Australia in the semi final. Unless we win the semi-finals and then the final but let’s be honest if we’re down to our second and third choices that is simply not going to happen.

We should not be aiming for one or the other, both are different beasts.

If we are going to develop as a team, we do eventually need to be able to win away, especially in graveyards like Stade de France and Twickers.

In the WC I would be really disappointed not to get out of our group and then after that , they are knock out games and anything goes. We should have been in the semis last time and if we had been, then the Argentina game was very winnable.

The WC is a different beast, the players spend a lot longer together and they are away from home. Some teams grow into it and some collapse under the pressure. England have massively under performed on more than one occasion as have NZ going back a few years. Both these sides have massive expectation upon the, which we probably won't especially on the other side of the world.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 1:01 pm

jimbopip wrote:I was about to say that BigBadBob would be a more natural 9, which I thought might have more comedic impact you know big, lumbering aggressive flanker attempting to fill the role of small, nippy, mercurial scrummy....then I remembered Mike Phillips Erm

I was about to post at 13, but similar to yourself I actually thought that might be possible, as our 13 channel has been relatively weak defensively of late, and BBB would own anyone coming down that channel. We would be as attacking as a bag of cement but I genuinely wouldn't put it past Toonie

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by jimbopip on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 1:12 pm


Parks-G-Dog-BigBad furious probably the best attacking three quarter combination Scotland never put out.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by Eejit on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 1:13 pm

jimbopip wrote:
  Parks-G-Dog-BigBad furious probably the best attacking three quarter combination Scotland never put out.

Vernon? He plays where he wants.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by jimbopip on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 1:18 pm

The problem is Eejit His Richieness actually was a very good 13. As all Warriors fans know; the season we won the league he and Furra Linee played 12-13 more often than Dunbar-Bennett did and the win ratio was higher with the less fancied pairing. ( that is Horne-Vernon in case you're confused). So as quite a good 13, both offensively and defensively His Richieness would be out of place in that trio.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by Eejit on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 1:24 pm

jimbopip wrote:The problem is Eejit His Richieness actually was a very good 13. As all Warriors fans know; the season we won the league he and Furra Linee played 12-13 more often than Dunbar-Bennett did and the win ratio was higher with the less fancied pairing. ( that is Horne-Vernon in case you're confused). So as quite a good 13, both offensively and defensively His Richieness would be out of place in that trio.

True, but I meant at 9 not 13!

The problem we have with our backrow in Scotland is that the two best backrowers in the country aren't Scottish in Mata and Mr Gibbins. Internationally we've struggled with the fact that Wilson, Barclay and Watson will all play if fit and its always seemed a little unbalanced to me. Again, at the risk of tempting RDW Admin Boy's luvvie wrath of doom, if you were to put together a combined Edinburgh Glasgow XV I reckon Gibbins would get the 7 over Watson. As well as Brown over Rambo.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 1:47 pm

Eejit wrote:
jimbopip wrote:The problem is Eejit His Richieness actually was a very good 13. As all Warriors fans know; the season we won the league he and Furra Linee played 12-13 more often than Dunbar-Bennett did and the win ratio was higher with the less fancied pairing. ( that is Horne-Vernon in case you're confused). So as quite a good 13, both offensively and defensively His Richieness would be out of place in that trio.

True, but I meant at 9 not 13!

The problem we have with our backrow in Scotland is that the two best backrowers in the country aren't Scottish in Mata and Mr Gibbins. Internationally we've struggled with the fact that Wilson, Barclay and Watson will all play if fit and its always seemed a little unbalanced to me. Again, at the risk of tempting RDW Admin Boy's luvvie wrath of doom, if you were to put together a combined Edinburgh Glasgow XV I reckon Gibbins would get the 7 over Watson. As well as Brown over Rambo.

You're coming very close to a ban Eejit - I want 100 lines saying "I must not talk pish"!

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by jimbopip on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 2:18 pm


I tend to agree with you Eejit.

I can write this now as it seems that we're past the worse.

Last week Mrs Pip was suggesting I stop planning trips to Murrayfield as everytime I do someone gets ill; Baz with his kidneystones and Caz with his springbok knee. Oh how we laughed.

On Friday as Young Pipetto was walking to the school bus talking to friends he felt a slight pain in his chest. Ten minutes later he was texting herself to say his chest was really hurting him.

MrsPip said "That's not like him. Can you go and meet him off the bus?"

"Aff the bus! Do I look like Shrek?"

Anyway, I met him. He was in great discomfort so we went straight to the GP's. He suspected a spontaneous haemothorax and sent us to A&E. When we got there they were expecting us and listened to his chest,

"How did he get from the car to here?" asked the nurse.

When we said he had walked she said he had a collapsed lung andwas walking nowhere but rather getting lifted onto a trolley and rushed to re-suss.
By midnight he had stabilised enough for them to say he would stay in overnight and if things were the same could come home in the morning. Herself stayed with him and I was sent home.
When I got back in the morning he was bright and breezy just waiting for the consultant to discharge him. An hour later his lung had collapsed again and they were preparing to blue light him up to a hospital in London. Which is were he is just now.


The latest update is that he is making much better than expected progress and should be home very soon.Yesterday when it seemed as if we had "turned the corner" Mrs Pip said, "Don't cancel this weekend. I think the break will do you good." kiss
I realise this isn't funny or germane to the selection issues Toonie faces but typing it has been , slightly, therapeutic for me.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 2:21 pm

Holy crap Jimbo that's awful - hope he gets out soon Hug

Stop going to rugby games!!! I'm definitely never going to go to one with you now.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by jimbopip on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 2:32 pm

Coward. Whey faced poltroon.

If you watch the match on telly I'm pretty sure you'll see me sitting by a quarantine zone of empty seats with only Bru and Baz sitting either side of me. I'll be the one with the dead albatross around my neck.

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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 2:34 pm

Bloody hell Jimbo, hope everything works out and hope when he gets out he takes it very easy for a while


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Re: Scotland v South Africa Saturday 17th November

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