Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

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Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:37 am

Autumn Tests

14:30 Scotland 14 - 9 Argentina
17:20 Scotland 20 - 26 South Africa
14:30 Scotland 54 - 17 Fiji
14:45 Wales 21 - 10 Scotland

6N fixtures

Sat 2 Feb 2019
14:15 Scotland v Italy

Sat 9 Feb 2019
14:15 Scotland v  Ireland

Sat 23 Feb 2019
14:15 France v Scotland

Local time: 15.15 GMT: 14:15
Sat 9 Mar 2019
14:15 Scotland v Wales

Sat 16 Mar 2019
17:00 England v Scotland

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:58 am

Tom English summed things up nicely when he said this was a strange series, where we could have won 4 from 4 (given the number of chances we failed to convert against Wales and SA) but also could easily have only won 1 from 4, which would have been bit of a disaster. Perhaps we are getting used to big performances from Scotland in the AIs but I find myself looking back over the last 4 weeks on an overall negative note.

The reason for that is due to two major areas of concern - power (or lack of) and the breakdown.

Power

We have seriously been lacking power this series. One of Toonies biggest failings over his reign is at times underestimating the need for power at this level. We were a distant 2nd best against Wales on the power front and similar against SA. Against a Puma's team who are hardly beasts of world rugby we didn't dominate in any area or really get a foothold up front. The only time we managed that was against Fiji but they were a bit of a shambles when we played them.

On the plus side a big part of this was due to missing personal - if we put Fagerson, R Gray, Bradbury, Thomson, Denton, Taylor and Matt Scott (who would have been desperate to make an impression) suddenly power and physicality looks much less of an issue. Gray and Taylor are perennially crocked but hopefully the others on the list can regain fitness and form ASAP.

Breakdown

This used to be one of our major strengths - and historically as a nation too - but we're now one of the worst in the top 10. There was a stat before the Argentina game that we were 9th in terms of our turnover gained / against ratio. Given that we need to play the game fast - especially because the lack of power issue - we are utterly reliant on quick ball and we just didn't get that all series apart from Fiji.

Is it too much to say that this was all down to missing John Barclay? Potentially, but he would have made a huge difference. He was instrumental in our wins in last AI series and most recent 6N. Obviously it shouldn't rely on one person and we need to improve across the board - what's Richie Gray (the other one?) up to these days?

The pack

Underwhelmed this series. In the front 5 we have a lot of depth on paper but no one is currently standing out above the rest. Our front row has been rank average - Dell, Nel and Berghan used to be strong scrummagers who would also carry hard and get the odd turnover. They are now neither of those things - just solid but unspectacular in all areas. Alex Allan adds to the average-ness and the backup options (Bhattie, Sutherland and Marfo) aren't exactly screaming from the rooftops to play. It's a shame Townsend didn't play McCallum - he is a good scrummager and is prominent in open play. Really don't know why he didn't play him TBH.

It is a similar story in the 2nd row but not as extreme. Skinner has been a welcome addition but let's see how he performs in the 6N before getting too carries away. GG and Toolis have again been solid yet unspectacular - we need more from them. J Gray's form has been concerning - he is renowned for his workrate but that doesn't seem to be as stand out any more. He also isn't developing as we needed him to - he doesn't dominate games like other top locks in the 6N.

Back row is a concern - again when you compare us against the other 6N teams we don't look nearly as damaging. Barclay and Bradbury will help and let's hope Thomson can get back to fitness in times for the 6N - it was a bad head knock though so he may need time. On the plus side Ritchie has established himself as an international class player which is great to see.

Backs

Still remain our strength but the debate about 9 and 12 rumbles on. It's a shame the weather was crap for the Russell-Hastings experiment but I think it showed that this isn't something that is suddenly going to work over night - alas I don't think we have the time (or can risk the defeats) to try and let the combo bed in. I also don't think it will work against the 6N beasts.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by BigGee on Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:30 am

As others have said on the other thread, we should stop experiementing now and play our best team from here on in.

The trouble with that is that there are still a few positions where we do not know our best player or maybe even combo.

There are also a few players still in with a shout of going to the WC, who for whatever reason, generally injury, did not get to play this autumn. You could put Thompson, Johnson, Hardie and Graham into that position. I am assumming that Zander and John Barclay will walk back into the team if they can get themselves fit again and taylor will be there or there abouts as well if he ever gets a break.

Our best team may be something like this, putting more than one player in where it is not definite:

1. Allen/Reid/Dell - This is one of our weaker positions
2. Brown/McInally - Either is fine, Brown probably on better form atm
3. Fagerson - The other THs have not shown up well this autumn
4. Gray J
5. Gray R/ Gilchrist/Skinner/Toolis
6. Barclay
7. Watson
8. Strauss/Denton/Bradbury/Thompson/Wilson
9. Laidlaw
10. Russell
11. Maitland
12. Horne P/Taylor/Johnson/Dunbar
13. Jones H
14. Seymour
15. Hogg




So by my reconning, we have 11 positions nailed down, assuming that Brown and McInally are interchangable

We need clarity on LH, Second row, No.8 and IC


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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:52 am

Agree with much of the above Biggee but I don't think we can definitively say Fagerson is 1st choice tighthead - he had a great start to the season with Glasgow before getting injured but worth remembering he has also been underwhelming for Scotland over the last few seasons. There is also still question marks over his scrummaging at the highest level - he seems to give away a lot of penalties.

Again we've been unlucky with injuries - if he hadn't injured himself he probably would have come into the AIs as first choice. He's got to find that form again though.

Any idea when he'll be back>

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by EWT Spoons on Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:04 am

I'd largely agree with your team there BigGee, however I wouldn't say Fagerson was in as first choice TH. Only reason is his form last season took a serious dip towards the end, and at that point he was quite far out the reckoning with McCallum looking as a possible replacement for him. Sure he's done a lot better this season and if he continues there is nothing to say he couldn't take the shirt, but given he's injured just now, I think Nel or Berghan will be ahead of him in the pecking order.

Also I am very glad you left Marfo out the running for LH. He's got no chance of being involved, Cockers doesn't rate him as his attitude seems to be off, and from what I understand he's struggling to get into the Boroughmuir side currently, let alone Edinburgh.

12 I'd probably add Scott into the mix as had he not taken a head knock I suspect he would have had some game time during the AIs, as he was in form for Edinburgh prior. He's got a lot of ground to make up, but given there doesn't seem a standout candidate I think he could be in the conversation. With that said I personally think Horne is the man for the role. I've gone back and forward on this many times, and whilst he has the occasional brainfart, he does a lot right. He's sort of like Russel in that regard (not the same level obviously) but when on form Russell is world class, when he's not he's a liability. When Horne is in form he can be a very good player, when he's not, he's a liability.

You could also put Kinghorne in the running for 14, but I think Seymour’ss hattrick against Fiji helped nail him into position.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:08 am

I forgot to mention Matt Scott in my summary - he was in great form for Edinburgh before picking up a head knock. I think he would have brought great go forward for Scotland this series if he had been picked. He runs great lines and is hugely physical now.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by BigGee on Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:18 am

Yeah I overlooked Matt Scott as well, he will be in the mix.

I really think we missed out on seeing what Sam Johnson could do though, he may well still be the dark horse.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by miaow on Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:20 am

Good post RDW.

From the outside, it seems to me like every problem stems from Scotland being underpowered. Wales smashed you in the 6Ns, and then ground you down in the autumn. You're a bit like watching Wales around 2005 - wonderful at running the ball, genuinely so exciting and fluid, but ultimately you can't seem to go toe to toe when a team wants to play physically.

Also, as an outsider, playing Russell at 12 seems like madness. With no disrespect to Townsend, I can see how that sort of thinking could happen from the inside of a camp, slowly building up until, yeah, it makes sense to play him there, doesn't it...? But Owen Farrelll is underpowered as a test 12, and he is much better suited to the role than Russell. Surely the solution to playing with two play-makers is to get Stuart Hogg coming in as second receiver? Or would that take away from his running game; do you want him wider, with more space, to just blitz the opposition? Scotland have an absolute glut of test quality centres (remember Graeme Morrison? Andrew Henderson? Nick de Luca...!? Try spreading that quality out rather than having it all at once!) so I don't believe Russell is a sensible option 12 months away from a RWC other than as a way to give him a go there to prepare to a situation where you need to go all out attack with a few minutes to go to stay in the competition.

Honestly, the long and the short of it is Scotland don't have enough power across the team, but particularly up front. Sam Skinner is an absolute coup because he is that kind of player - dynamic enough to play 6, with the power to step up to lock. But you need more, even from the likes of Jonny Gray. It must be an coaching/environment thing, surely? Are there really not 2-3 Scottish forwards in the Jim Hamilton mould who can come in and toughen up the side?

You add that, and Scotland becoming genuine challengers on the 6Ns/RWC stage.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by tigertattie on Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:40 am

I'm just putting it out there but:

Jonny Gray - we always shout from the rooftops about how great he is. Better than AWJ and gets stuck in more that Itoje. This AI though he's been rather quiet.

Does he just need a rest? Is he carrying an injury? He's form has definitely dropped
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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by BigGee on Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:12 pm

It is probably a fair point about JG. It is not as if he has been playing badly and his tackle stats are as good as ever, but he has seemed less dynamic than usual.

He has even been subbed off twice this series, which never usually happens. There may or may not be any significance to that, but the fact that it has happend is unusual in itself.

Hopefully he gets a week off now to refresh himself before the euro games and comes back firing.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by EST on Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:45 pm

I think with JG, the fact that his tackle stats are so good sometimes masks the deficiencies in his game. He has never really been a particularly good ball carrier, and although he is hugely consistent, he rarely stamps his authority on a game in the way AWJ or Itoje does.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by BamBam on Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:51 pm

Think it might be the case that you expect Gray to make all his tackles, but now watching him just do that is getting old and you want something more. I think if he was rested, and his replacement missed a few you'd soon be wanting him back!

He still makes far more impact on the field than many locks, especially Jones!

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by TJ on Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:19 pm

For me I don't know if I am coming or going on this. I have been following scottish rugby since the 70s and we are in afar better state now than we have been for much of that time. The problem is we now have expectations, I wanted us to be pushing on from last year and we really haven't done that. so 6/10

Much of the team we now know our first choices. We also know that with Townsend and Russell we are never going to be playing a pragmatic safe game. What we do need however is some consistency and not trying to win the game with every pass made.

Problems are back row balance and centres we need a heavyweight ball carrier and and inside centre with a bit of power. too many of our backs are small for modern rugby We can only play with the players we have. We really need Taylor and Scott back and someone to put their hand up to be the back row juggernaut.


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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:47 pm

On Gray, I wonder if the reason he isn't so standout in games is because of his role - his role is to make tackle after tackle and carry in the tight, which inevitably doesn't make many yards. It's not like he's hanging back in the defensive line looking for turnovers or standing in the 15m channel looking for wonder carries.

An example being Pocock - Australia deliberately get him to hang back in the defensive line so that he doesn't have to tackle, and can therefore swoop in for the jackle. Because Gray does a lot of tackling he spends a lot of time on the floor so can't do much else.

Regardless of the above I still needs to take his game to the next level to make game changing interventions more often to really be classed as a World Class lock.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:09 pm

Overall, it did feel like a slight step back, or perhaps more accurately a step sideways while other teams moved forwards. I hope that Toonie is now mostly done with experimentation, and will look to play pretty much his best available 23 going forward.

Having said that, I think it's a real shame we didn't get to see Thomson or Johnson in action. Our backrow lacks a bruising ball carrier, and I do wonder if Johnson could be the mix we're looking for at IC. I actually agree with jimbo that somehow we seem to be more dangerous in attack with Horne there, but he does make (bad) mistakes. Johnson has pretty good distribution but also offers more physicality, sort of a mix of Dunbar and Horne if you will. Centre's a bit of a problem position: we seem to have plenty of decent/good options, but have never quite found the right pairing.

If Johnson or Taylor is fit for the 6N, I'd really like to see them line up alongside Jones, think there's some potential there.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by tigertattie on Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:18 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:On Gray, I wonder if the reason he isn't so standout in games is because of his role - his role is to make tackle after tackle and carry in the tight, which inevitably doesn't make many yards. It's not like he's hanging back in the defensive line looking for turnovers or standing in the 15m channel looking for wonder carries.

An example being Pocock - Australia deliberately get him to hang back in the defensive line so that he doesn't have to tackle, and can therefore swoop in for the jackle. Because Gray does a lot of tackling he spends a lot of time on the floor so can't do much else.

Regardless of the above I still needs to take his game to the next level to make game changing interventions more often to really be classed as a World Class lock.

I know he makes his tackles but normally he puts players right down but this time I didn’t see him driving opponents back. Coupled with giving away a few penalties (his double movement being the biggest), he just seemed not to be firing at all.
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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by jimbopip on Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:36 am

Mad for Chelsea wrote:

Having said that,  I do wonder if Johnson could be the mix we're looking for at IC. I actually agree with jimbo that somehow we seem to be more dangerous in attack with Horne there, but he does make (bad) mistakes. Johnson has pretty good distribution but also offers more physicality, sort of a mix of Dunbar and Horne if you will. Centre's a bit of a problem position: we seem to have plenty of decent/good options, but have never quite found the right pairing.

If Johnson or Taylor is fit for the 6N, I'd really like to see them line up alongside Jones, think there's some potential there.

Thank you MadFor, may I direct the rest of you ne'erdowells towards the Rugby Pass Index site? It's a bit Moneyball, in as much as it ranks players and teams by statistical analysis (and we all know what you can prove with statistics) but it is interesting.

Only Scottish player in their world team of the week? Hornee Furra Linee.
Top ranked 12 in the world? Hornee Furra Linee.

I'm not sure who is "the best" out of; Dunbar, Johnson, Taylor or Horne. They all have differing skill sets. However, Toonie's gameplan seems to very much require getting the ball into Huw Jones' hands often and early. A battering ram 12 who takes the ball on the gainline will struggle to get it wide at times.
Battering Ram...................................................................................................Second Five Eight (as our antipodean friends say)

.....................Dunbar................Taylor ........Johnson  ...... Furra Linee


You pays your money and takes your choice.


Last edited by jimbopip on Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:23 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by LondonTiger on Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:41 am

Do they not note though that if Farrell were still at 12 he would be ahead of Horne?  Or at least I thought I read that in their article.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by bsando on Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:40 pm

In a way I think it’s good that nearly every player has work on’s to go away with after these tests. Last year everything was looking golden then we all witnessed an embarrassment of an opening 6N fixture in Cardiff. It’s fair to say the confidence and self belief will still be there in a few months time, yet hopefully with each player making slight improvements to their game.

Italy first up is a great opportunity to set a marker. A win at home to get the ball rolling and put into practice what was missing in the Autumn would be excellent.

I think the power will return to the Scottish pack for the 6N. Thomson looks like he’ll be a great addition, Skinner has proven he is, Barclay, Bradbury, Hardie and Denton have been absent in the back row and we haven’t seen Cummings or Charmichael this autumn among others.. A lot can change in a couple of months as we all know so I’m not too worried actually. Wales and Ireland home games are going to huge.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by bsando on Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:08 pm

Off topic but I think Maitland deserves a mention for his year in a Scotland shirt. Easily his best in my opinion and considering he was on the bench for Wales in the 6N he has really cemented his place in the starting XV. Lots of well taken try’s and he’s been off his wing a bit too. He’d be in my XV of the autumn series.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by EWT Spoons on Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:13 pm

Don’t know if this has been mentioned already, but in years gone by, we’ve done well in the Autumn tests, gone into the 6n as dark horses and generally done pretty poorly.

This year, we didn’t do all that well in the autumn tests, we’re not regarded as dark horses for the 6n, with Ireland, Wales and to an extent England coming in as the likely favourites.  Plus we have France & England away and our record at both of those is terrible, no one is expecting anything of us.  Which historically has suited us, I mean not to any real benefit as we don’t win anything, but in individual matches.

What I am saying is…… we’re dark horses for the 6 nations……..DAMMIT!!!!

To be fair whilst we do have more depth than we’ve ever had, the like of Ireland, Wales and England have more quality in their depth, but if we can somehow get our first choice first 15/23  fit and on the field/bench then we can give any of them a game.  Can we win, maybe, will we win the 6 nations, oh hell no.

6N Prediction:

Scotland vs Italy – Win
Scotland vs Ireland – We’re no all blacks so loss
France vs Scotland – Loss – We’re terrible on the road and our record in Paris is woeful.  It’ll be a close dour game, likely in the freezing cold and rain, with likely just a score in it.  France will out physical us.
Scotland vs Wales – Win – Wales in Cardiff is our kryptonite (along with most away games actually), but with this game at home, we have a far better chance.  This is far from a comfortable win, but I just think we might sneak it a home.  Could also easily be a loss, but I’m hopeful on this one.
England vs Scotland – loss.  We don’t win in Twickenham.

2 wins

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:27 pm

I think 2 wins is pass marks for this 6N, and I agree they are most likely to be against Italy and Wales (with the Wales game going either way). I'd really like us to get our sh!t together against France as they are a complete basket case, and if we can compete with them physically we have a good chance - the last 2 games in France we were really struggling physically but were still in the game up until near the end.

Stranger things have happened though - we beat Ireland at Murrayfield last time we played them and they were favourites for the championship at that time too. If they lose Sexton they're not the same team so you never know.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by sensisball on Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:28 pm

The problem as far as playing France is concerned is that Clermont, who have scored more tries than any other team in the T14 (39 after 10 rounds of games) are in the Challenge cup and are therefore able to rest some of their first line players for their European games.

If they remain injury free then the best club back line in France could provide: Parra (9), Lopez (10), Raka (11 (with his freshly smelling French passport)), Fofana (12), Lamerat (13) and Penaud (14), assuming that they all get picked. Of course that would involve dropping Basteraud which is something the coach may not be willing to do.

If you haven't seen Raka watch a highlights reel and see why the French management are so keen to get him involved. He has pace, power and very quick feet making him very hard to stop if the first tackle is missed. Unlike a lot of Fijian wingers his defence is also excellence, both in the tackle and dealing with high balls.

If, and its a bit if, their forwards get the kind of dominance they showed for large parts of the South Africa and Argentinian games then they will be hell of a hard for anyone to beat them in Paris.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:45 pm

.....but they still lost to Fiji!

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by IanBru on Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:09 pm

sensisball wrote: If you haven't seen Raka watch a highlights reel and see why the French management are so keen to get him involved. He has pace, power and very quick feet making him very hard to stop if the first tackle is missed. Unlike a lot of Fijian wingers his defence is also excellence, both in the tackle and dealing with high balls.
I haven't seen Raka, but I have seen 'Rakka' the Neill Blomkamp science fiction short film about the human race being enslaved and exterminated by a race of telepathic reptiles. Honestly, if you're looking to evaporate any optimism you might have for the future of our species, watch Rakka. Alternatively, you could watch the last ten minutes of Dragons v Edinburgh and spend the spare ten minutes eating biscuits.
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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by tigertattie on Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:45 pm

Momentum is a massive thing and this year we’re plauing Italy first at home. Win that and we can get rolling.

Ireland will be massively hard. Probably the hardest game even though it’s at home.

France away though doesn’t actually worry me. I’m not saying we’ll win it, but by god we’ve got a good chance for a change.

England in England will likely be a step too far.

Wales at home should be winnable.

It’s a World Cup year mins so what we need is momentum going into that.
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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by TJ on Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:06 pm

2 wins is not enough.    It can never be enough.  the pass mark is 3 wins and this year we need to go a step further than last.  also rans is not good enough

This is the best group of Scotland players fr a generation.  In the immortal words of Shuggy - "its time to win something"I

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by EWT Spoons on Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:51 pm

I wouldn't say I'd be happy with 2 wins, but it's what I expect. I guess it's the minimum acceptable return.

Whilst this is our best group of players for a generation, sadly Wales & Ireland have also gotten on that bandwagon and have a cracking group of players. France are poor, but they are massive, and that always seems to be our downfall, and England.....actually I have no idea if they are any good or not, but they always beat us a twickenham.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by TJ on Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:58 pm

I have just been watching the scottish women.  We have have the answer to the no 8 - the lass at 8 played a blinder and is huge.  Whistle

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by TJ on Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:58 pm

2 wins may be what you expect - but it can never be good enough.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by Cyril on Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:15 pm

I think Scotland have got a bit unlucky. They have a decent side now and probably aren’t much off Aus and SA (the latter I expect to get much better) but Ireland, England and Wales have made massive strides in results and depth. Scotland could have a very tough 6Ns and beyond. They seem to have been left behind. Italy should be a gimme (who is at home?). France must improve. Probably the 4th/5thplay-off.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:24 pm

You have very high standards indeed TJ if pass marks for you would have to include either winning in France for the first time since 1999, winning in Twickenham for the first time in decades or beating the current best team in the world!

And that's assuming we can beat Wales too which would be a huge result in itself.

As Cyril said the 6N is a brutal tournament - given we're used to fighting for a wooden spoon historically, 2 wins and a few losing BPs would be a reasonable result. 3 wins would be a huge achievement noting the above.

It of course doesn't mean we can't aim high but as always with the 6N my expectations remain grounded!

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by TJ on Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:39 pm

pass marks has to be above 50%.  Rolling Eyes I guess its as much sematics as anything else but given we have 5 games 3 must be the minimum acceptable number of wins in my book.  Even that is settling for second best.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:50 pm

It's all relative though - 50% for Ireland would be abject failure whereas 50% for Italy would be s miraculous result.

You can't apply a basic principle of winning more than you lose when the odds are heavily staked against that.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by tigertattie on Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:05 pm

We should win against wales and Italy.

We could beat France

England and Ireland will likely be a step too far. We’ve got Ireland at home though and we beat them 2 years ago when the were equally as impressive.
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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by BigGee on Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:20 pm

tigertattie wrote:We should win against wales and Italy.

We could beat France

England and Ireland will likely be a step too far. We’ve got Ireland at home though and we beat them 2 years ago when the were equally as impressive.

We could beat any of them, though none will be straightforward, other than you would imagine, Italy. In any of the other games, we could play our best rugby and still lose, such is the strength in depth of the 6N these days.

It is going to be a very interesting tournament this year, with potentially lots of sides knocking lumps out of each other. Hard to see any easy games at all, for any countries.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:46 pm

When we beat Ireland they were without Sexton - they definitely weren't the same team without him.

That was one of our best performances in recent times - it was so out of the blue as well!

It was a great tournament, other than getting horsed by England (I was there Sad )

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by IanBru on Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:08 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:It was a great tournament, other than getting horsed by England (I was there Sad )
I was there too mate, with Jimbo, Baz and the Hagia Sophia. Dark days. Dark bloody days.

On the train home, my brother called me and asked if at any point Sophia started cheering for Scotland out of pity. "No, don't worry."

"Thank God", he said, "That would have made it worse."
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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:20 pm

It was the fact that we conceded so early and lost Fraser Brown to a yellow so early - we were down and out before we could even get going! The England fans around me were even taking pity and not rubbing it in too much...which almost made it worse!

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by tigertattie on Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:29 am

It’s all good.

We’ll beat Wales this time, both in terms of score and morally. Then it’s off to twickers to try win the title

Easy stuff
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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by bsando on Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:11 am

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/coaches-jake-white-scott-johnson-emerge-as-wallabies-candidates-20181125-p50i9k.html

Don't know if anyone mentioned this but Scott Johnson has been labelled as a contender for Wallabies head coach. Not sure how wise that is considering he hasn't coached for quite some time!

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by BigGee on Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:16 am

bsando wrote:https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/coaches-jake-white-scott-johnson-emerge-as-wallabies-candidates-20181125-p50i9k.html

Don't know if anyone mentioned this but Scott Johnson has been labelled as a contender for Wallabies head coach. Not sure how wise that is considering he hasn't coached for quite some time!

The other one mentioned was Jake White, who gets mentioned every time a job comes up, I imagine it is just someone doing a bit of fishing. As you say SJ has not done any serious coaching for years now and even longer since he did it with any success!

If he was to go back to Oz, it would more likely be in a director of rugby type job to overhaul their systems, more like the job he is doing here, which you could argue, he has been doing reasonably well, not that anyone ever has anything good to say about him.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by bsando on Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:30 am

BigGee wrote:
bsando wrote:https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/coaches-jake-white-scott-johnson-emerge-as-wallabies-candidates-20181125-p50i9k.html

Don't know if anyone mentioned this but Scott Johnson has been labelled as a contender for Wallabies head coach. Not sure how wise that is considering he hasn't coached for quite some time!

The other one mentioned was Jake White, who gets mentioned every time a job comes up, I imagine it is just someone doing a  bit of fishing. As you say SJ has not done any serious coaching for years now and even longer since he did it with any success!

If he was to go back to Oz, it would more likely be in a director of rugby type job to overhaul their systems, more like the job he is doing here, which you could argue, he has been doing reasonably well, not that anyone ever has anything good to say about him.

Haha yes that is true, his reputation is a little ambiguous. And as you say, Scotland and the SRU have made been doing well, he must have had some part in that success. I'd personally be sad to see him leave the Scotland setup, I think he's done a good job as a Director.

Jake White would be a good choice I suppose, I'm not sure of his recent record in Japan but it can't be a bad thing to have a RWC winning coach holding the reigns surely? A Gatlandesque coach would be a good option for Aus I think. I wonder if Matt Taylor has been on anyone at ARU's radar? He's been involved with Glasgow and Scotland a long time now. How many other Australian coaches have the experience he has?

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by LondonTiger on Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:34 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:It was the fact that we conceded so early and lost Fraser Brown to a yellow so early - we were down and out before we could even get going! The England fans around me were even taking pity and not rubbing it in too much...which almost made it worse!

I had that at Scotstoun a few years ago. In the end, you have to laugh as your team falls apart, the harder they try the worse it gets.


On a separate point, does Townsend know his strongest team?

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:45 am

LondonTiger wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:It was the fact that we conceded so early and lost Fraser Brown to a yellow so early - we were down and out before we could even get going! The England fans around me were even taking pity and not rubbing it in too much...which almost made it worse!

I had that at Scotstoun a few years ago. In the end, you have to laugh as your team falls apart, the harder they try the worse it gets.


On a separate point, does Townsend know his strongest team?

Someone posted earlier that he probably knows around 11 of the 15 if everyone is fit. Backrow and 12 are completely up for grabs.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by TrailApe on Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:09 pm


With reference to the Twickenham game - here your major ally could be Eddy Jones.

Most of us English reckon that Eddy's found (almost by accident) some backrow players that can provide something that England have been missing for a long time - a balanced back row.

A potential back row of Wilson, Underhill & Billy V would provide power, pace and brickwall defence, however given Eddy's mad selection policy there's a chance we'll see Lawes, Shields and Hughes.

So you may have a good chance to repeat last 6N's result.
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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by demosthenes on Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:06 pm

Just as a wee aside, I see that the BBC are reporting, as part of a piece on Australia being contacted by Jake White, that Scott Johnston is 'in the running' to replace Cheica as Australian coach.

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by demosthenes on Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:07 pm

Oops I see someone has beaten me to it!

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:33 pm

I don't know if you guys have picked up on this but apparently Scott Johnson.....

Very Happy only joking, sorry demosthenes

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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

Post by IanBru on Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:39 pm

TheMildlyFranticLlama wrote:I don't know if you guys have picked up on this but apparently Scott Johnson.....

Very Happy only joking, sorry demosthenes
Phil Vickery's retiring too. Quite a blow for the England pack.
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Re: Scotland AI summary and 6N lookahead

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