6N 2019: France v Scotland

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 11 Feb 2019, 9:40 am

First topic message reminder :

Saturday 23rd Feb 2019
Stade de France
KO 14:15

France
6N 2019: France v Scotland - Page 3 Gorden-Kaye-581659

Scotland
6N 2019: France v Scotland - Page 3 Maxresdefault

After two opening losses for France and a home loss for Scotland, both teams are looking to get their tournament back on track. Expect a response or implosion from France at home but also expect the same from Scotland.

This could be interesting.
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Post by BigGee on Fri 15 Feb 2019, 6:45 pm

I looked for the Racing v Toulouse teams earlier but not out yet

Hopefully Ritchie Gray will be playing as well

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Post by whocares on Sat 16 Feb 2019, 2:26 pm

sensisball wrote:Laidlaw starting for Clermont against Bordeaux on Saturday whilst all their France players (Parra, Lopez, Fofana, Penauld, Vaahamahina and Itturia) are rested.
Would imagine that Finn will be involved in Racing's game on Sunday.

Ironically it used to be the other way around... all that extra resting time hasn’t made a difference though ...

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Post by jimbopip on Sat 16 Feb 2019, 3:40 pm

I have a feeling that Toonie will see his choice for this match to be between; (a) put out the strongest 23 available and hope for a win to keep our Six Nations' "interesting" and (b) put out an "experimental" side while resting/allowing injured players to recuperate before the Wales and England matches.
The logic being that if we are not championship contenders we really want three wins to class the tournament as a success, and two as a minimum. Since we never win in Paris these days the pressure must be on us to win at home against the Welsh and put out a strongs side in the last match as there will be no excusing, or forgiving, a supine defeat at Twickers.

Having said that, my prediction is a full Tombola next week.

We should have a sweepstake with a prize for anyone who gets reasonably close to the XV.


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Post by sensisball on Sat 16 Feb 2019, 4:55 pm

Well Greg survived the full game, first at 9 and then at 10 for the final 10 minutes or so. Kicked his goals well and guided Tim Nani-Williams through the game pretty well.
Exciting match which Clermont won fairly convincingly, 40-22, but missed out on the bonus point as they weren't three tries clear at the end.When France need another openside then Fischer looks like he might be the next in line.Big, strong and quick, looks and plays way older than his 21 years would suggest.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Sat 16 Feb 2019, 5:56 pm

Hutchinson apparently had a great game at 13 for Northampton today.

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Post by BigGee on Sat 16 Feb 2019, 7:20 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:Hutchinson apparently had a great game at 13 for Northampton today.

He is a good player, who missed the first part of the season when he got injured playing against Glasgow in pre season.

He is probably making his run for the squad a bit late in the day for this WC cycle, but definitely one for the future. He is likely a player with more potential than Chris Harris, but does not have the game time yet.

Then again, with Toonie picking the squad, you never know. I am sure he will be aware of him.

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Post by BigGee on Sat 16 Feb 2019, 10:05 pm

Well some big plus points from the weekend.

Fagerson Z, Bradbury and Turner are back and look ready for action. All three had good games and will be in the mix for the squad next week.

Adam Ashe had a steady game for Glasgow, but did not really put up his hand.

Nick Grigg was a mixed bag, good in attack, but not so good defensively. I really don't see that we are much clearer about who will play 13 next week. I don't know what kind of game Harris had for the Falcons but they did not win. I am sure Toonie will be watching the game! Johnstone is probably the only 13 who did play well but he has no international or evem squad experience.

It is going to be a tough call!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 16 Feb 2019, 10:49 pm

I still say get johnstone into the squad. France may be too soon but wales is not. Also lang scored for quins as part of a comprehensive win so there's another back up.

I think we've got more options than Harris, I just hope toonie sees it that way.

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Post by 123456789. on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 12:51 am

I feel we ought to be doing one of those best team of the pro era things, only issue is I can't think of too many players that would get into our first choice fully fit team now. Perhaps Nathan Hines, Tom Smith, John Barclay, (of 9 years ago), Jason White, Simon Taylor and Mike Blair in his pomp. Gordon Bulloch or MacInally would be a tough call, Ross Ford might even sneak into the conversation on account of his best moments. Oh and Kyle Traynor. Now a worst team of the pro era would be a good one for Scotland.
Probably leaves:
1.Smith
2.MacInally
3. Nel
4. Hines
5. Scott Murray
6. White
7. Barclay
8. Taylor
9. Blair
10. Russell
11. Maitland
12. Tait
13. Jones
14. Metcalfe
15. Hogg

16. Dickinson
17. Bulloch
18. Murray
19. Gray
20. Rennie
21. Redpath
22. Townsend
23. Paterson

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Post by RDW on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 11:20 am

Just watched the mad Glasgow game - a few interesting selection calls now for Townsend.

Front row wise Fagerson did ok on his 50 minutes but I wouldn't rush him back unless Nel isn't fit. It is going to be a physical onslaught and Berghan is battle hardened and ready. The scrum creaked against Ireland but they are one of the best front rows in the world. IMO Fagerson needs another 2 games for Glasgow then should come into contention for the last 2 games. If Nel isn't fit then Fagerson to bench.

Turner's performance was superb and I wonder if we'll see a Toonie special with Brown at 7 and Turner on the bench!

Horne did enough to solidify his place on the bench, and means we'll have cover every position in the backs which is important given there's usually a high attrition rate against France.

Grigg did well in attack but is still dodgy in defence. Whoever we pick at 13 I'm going to be worried.

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Post by EST on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 11:33 am

RDW wrote:Just watched the mad Glasgow game - a few interesting selection calls now for Townsend.

Front row wise Fagerson did ok on his 50 minutes but I wouldn't rush him back unless Nel isn't fit. It is going to be a physical onslaught and Berghan is battle hardened and ready. The scrum creaked against Ireland but they are one of the best front rows in the world. IMO Fagerson needs another 2 games for Glasgow then should come into contention for the last 2 games. If Nel isn't fit then Fagerson to bench.

Turner's performance was superb and I wonder if we'll see a Toonie special with Brown at 7 and Turner on the bench!

Horne did enough to solidify his place on the bench, and means we'll have cover every position in the backs which is important given there's usually a high attrition rate against France.

Grigg did well in attack but is still dodgy in defence. Whoever we pick at 13 I'm going to be worried.

I'd agree, Grigg is a great attacker but even at club level he gets exposed in defence.  I do wonder if Toonie has something up his sleeve for that position - I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a bit of a wildcard selection.

Bradbury looked very good on Friday, just read that he has put on some weight when out injured - apparently he is sitting at 115kgs - I know we shouldn't get carried away just by physical stats, but our BR has been crying out for somebody with that physicality - I wouldn't be surprised to see him start at 6. Like RDW said, Ashe was solid - but did nothing to really press his case for inclusion.

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 11:47 am

Half-Tombola

10 Dancer
12 Furra Linee
13 Smiling Sam

Three Quarter Tombola
10 Dancer
12 Smiling Sam
13 Pocket Rocket

Full Tombola And Damn The Torpedoes
10 Haircut Hastings
12 Dancer
13 McDowell (actually, not even Toonie would do that Smiling Sam at 13)

I wouldn't bet against any of the above. Shocked

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Post by EST on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 11:51 am

jimbopip wrote:Half-Tombola

10 Dancer
12 Furra Linee
13 Smiling Sam

Three Quarter Tombola
10 Dancer
12 Smiling Sam
13 Pocket Rocket

Full Tombola And Damn The Torpedoes
10 Haircut Hastings
12 Dancer
13 McDowell (actually, not even Toonie would do that Smiling Sam at 13)

I wouldn't bet against any of the above. Shocked

I think I prefer the Half-Tombola - I seem to remember Sam playing at 13 for Glasgow?

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Post by RDW on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 11:56 am

Johnson is definitely more of a 12 IMO and it would be a shame to not give him a run in his favoured position, but a Horne-Johnson partnership might be the least worst option.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 1:06 pm

You do wonder if Toonie, out of character though that might be, could just role the dice on this one.

As RDW says, least worst options might come into play.

Harris might be the obvious choice, but playing in a poor Newcastle team that are losing week in week out is probably not doing anything for his confidence and form. He has more international experience than some of the other choices, but has not really convinced when he has played.

Johnson at 13 - out of position
Grigg - good in attack, poorish in defence
Johnstone - playing well but untried at this level
McDowell at 13 - probably the pick for the future, but is he ready now?
Hutchinson - also a natural 13 and playing well, but again a big jump up

This one is going to be very hard to call.

I would originally have said Bradbury to bench, but actually on reflection, he should start at 6, he lasted the full 80 mins well on Friday and should be even better next weekend. He can also move to No.8 if or when Strauss starts to tire and if Maggy is sharing the workload with him, then he may even last a lot longer.

The backrow bench spot is also up for grabs. Hardie and graham are both probably suffering in the same way that Harris, short of form and confidence in a losing team. Graham certainly looked a lot better in a winning team last year.

If not either of them, does he stick with Harley, who did not look on the pace against Ireland or bring in Crosbie, again untried, but looking up for it. Alternatively, as has been suggested, put Brown and Turner on the bench.

It is going to be an interesting team announcement next week!


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Post by RDW on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 1:32 pm

Laidlaw played 80 minutes this weekend despite Clermont comfortably winning - is it cynical to suggest it was a deliberate ploy to give the Scotland captain a thorough workout the week before France play them, or does that forget that French clubs don't give a crap about the national team??

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Post by BigGee on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 1:37 pm

RDW wrote:Laidlaw played 80 minutes this weekend despite Clermont comfortably winning - is it cynical to suggest it was a deliberate ploy to give the Scotland captain a thorough workout the week before France play them, or does that forget that French clubs don't give a crap about the national team??

Have to say that Ali Price had a really good game for Glasgow last night and seems to be getting right back to his best form. His passing was very good, quick and crisp, he definitely gets the ball away quicker than Laidlaw.

Laidlaw does not need to play 80 mins next week, Toonie should have the confidence to pull him off and let Price being his pace into the game especially as the French are likely to be tiring towards the end of the game.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 1:56 pm

RDW wrote:Laidlaw played 80 minutes this weekend despite Clermont comfortably winning - is it cynical to suggest it was a deliberate ploy to give the Scotland captain a thorough workout the week before France play them, or does that forget that French clubs don't give a crap about the national team??

It's possible, but I suspect that it had more to do with Parra and Lopez being unavailable (kept away by France).

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Post by RDW on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 4:35 pm

Finn Russell off with an HIA  Shocked

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 4:47 pm

Richie Gray and Russell both playing right now. Racing are making mistakes and Russell is probably at 5/10. Took a head knock a moment ago though. Hopefully comes back on.

Looking at options for 13, McDowall is probably the best overall whilst Harris is the safe choice defensively. Horne-Johnson lacks a bit of pace without having the size to make up for it. There are no great options. As critical as we have been about Dunbar, he may be the Tombola option unless there is something beyond cost that drove the SRU to send him to Newcastle. I don't want an outside centre who can't defend that is the only thing I ask. France will make errors if they are under pressure and an easy escape valve is asking for trouble.

With Bradbury - Ritchie - Strauss we have ended up with a big backrow to build off and we can pick anyone to sit on the bench between Graham, Hardie, Ashe or even Crosbie (who I thought initially was a 6/8 at 1.96m and 110kg (wiki)). Brown is great in the loose for a hooker but Hardie and Graham are better opensides. Harley is athletic for a lock, not so much a backrow. If Townsend is happy with Gray today, he may be a shout for a bench spot to come on for the last 20.

Z Fagerson is going to be the bench option I think. No way we risk Nel if he is not right and lose him against Wales (who are up there with Ireland in the scrum). That England front 5 looks similar to the Sarries front 5 that struggled against Glasgow...we could do with Kebble and Schoeman having Scots grandparents. France are heavy but they have not been able to bully teams in the scrum yet. Berghan with Fagerson coming on at the 50-55 minute mark should be solid. It is the other side that is concerning.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 4:48 pm

Did not look to serious but does not seem to be coming back on. Hopefully just the coach being cautious

Racing getting rubbed anyway, RG playing well for Toulouse

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 4:54 pm

Russell looked like he had little apetite for that one TBH: was missing rather a lot of tackles before the HIA. Still some lovely passes and breaks. Hopefully more a precaution than anything. It seems Racing have a decent relationship with Scotland over Russell, and in the week they were saying he wasn't going to play the full 80 here. In fact Chavancy also off with a knock, and for a moment it looked like Russell might come back on (eventually sent on Rococoko instead), which I'll take as a good sign.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 5:05 pm

There is a lot of rugby still to be played this year so you would imagine Racing would not want to take any risks with him.

He is working watching the game atm. His pride and his knees look the only things that are sore with him!

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Post by BigGee on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 5:07 pm

Racing are getting stuffed!

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 5:38 pm

BigGee wrote:Racing are getting stuffed!

Did a Cardiff and got within 5 by the end. Gray played 80. If Toonie is not a fan of Toolis, certainly got to be in with a shout!

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 5:38 pm

Improbably Racing came back to nab a losing BP, and had a final play to nick it, but Toulouse immediately turned it over and secured the win. Decent game that.

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Post by RDW on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 5:41 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:
BigGee wrote:Racing are getting stuffed!

Did a Cardiff and got within 5 by the end. Gray played 80. If Toonie is not a fan of Toolis, certainly got to be in with a shout!

Given his familiarity playing against French forwards might not be too bad an idea. He'd add plenty ballast off the bench.

Frees up Toolis to play in a huge game for Edinburgh too!

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Post by 123456789. on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 7:44 pm

If there's a shred of doubt over Russell for the weekend I'd start with Hastings at 10, he's had a horrendous head knock before and we can see how Hastings does in that kind of environment.
I'd also have Richie Gray back in a heartbeat he's a class act and we need a bit of bulk.

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 8:03 pm

Russell will he struggling to get back in time.

Meatball could be looking at a call up
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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 8:06 pm

If Russsell is out of the France game, how bad is that for Scotland, regard's play'maker and who is Scotland second 10?

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Post by sensisball on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 8:35 pm

Wee Greig looked fine for 12 minutes at the end of Clermont's win over Bordeaux! But he was playing behind the big yellow machine with Percile Yato as his number eight.
Starting Hastings would be a massive gamble if Finn isn't fit. Fingers crossed he was kept off as a precaution after his head knock today.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 8:36 pm

tigertattie wrote:Russell will he struggling to get back in time.

Meatball could be looking at a call up

Probably looking at Laidlaw or Horne getting on the bench. Certainly could see Price-Horne-D Graham as the three bench options if Harris starts.

From the sounds of the commentators they thought Russell could have come back on, but Racing were getting stuffed so they left Volavola on.

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Post by sensisball on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 8:48 pm

PS. Potential bad news for Scotland next week is that the Clermont loose head Ettienne Falgoux has been called up as Danny Priso picked up an injury this weekend.He is small by modern prop standards: around 5 ft 11 and 110kg. However he is a technically excellent scrummager and usually puts tall tight heads under huge pressure. Not a big ball carrier but great at slowing down and turning over ball on the floor. Also really mobile and puts in loads of tackles.

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Post by 123456789. on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 10:14 pm

Laidlaw is the conservative option, Hastings the like for like and Horne the compromise. Hastings I think is the best option with Laidlaw there as the back up. Laidlaw did the job last year. Weir probably won't cut it at this level.

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Post by reallybored on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 12:49 am

Who's weetabix did Toonie sh!t on to deserve this luck, absolutely ridiculous that we've lost Hogg, Jones and Russell.

After this weekend, I'd go with;

1 - Dell
2 - McInally
3 - Berghan
4 - Gilchrist
5 - Gray
6 - Bradbury
7 - Ritchie
8 - Strauss
9 - Laidlaw
10 - Horne
11 - Maitland
12 - Johnson
13 - Grigg
14 - Seymour
15 - Kinghorn

16 - Brown
17 - Allan
18 - Fagerson
19 - Toolis
20 - Harley
21 - Price
22 - Hastings
23 - Graham

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 7:32 am

Aren't we glad this isn't happening during the rwc? It's a pain yes but its the ultimate stress test, which will hopefully improve scotland as a squad.

I have to say though, I really am concerned for the players' wellbeing. Esprcially the implications later in life.
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Post by EST on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 8:43 am

NeilyBroon wrote:Aren't we glad this isn't happening during the rwc? It's a pain yes but its the ultimate stress test, which will hopefully improve scotland as a squad.

I have to say though, I really am concerned for the players' wellbeing. Esprcially the implications later in life.

There was an interesting article with Wayne Smith recently, where he voiced his concerns about injuries in rugby - perhaps not the best thread to discuss it, but the number of injuries these days really are alarming - it's difficult to see the game coping if it keeps on it's current trajectory.

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Post by RDW on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 8:45 am

reallybored wrote:Who's weetabix did Toonie sh!t on to deserve this luck, absolutely ridiculous that we've lost Hogg, Jones and Russell.

After this weekend, I'd go with;

1 - Dell
2 - McInally
3 - Berghan
4 - Gilchrist
5 - Gray
6 - Bradbury
7 - Ritchie
8 - Strauss
9 - Laidlaw
10 - Horne
11 - Maitland
12 - Johnson
13 - Grigg
14 - Seymour
15 - Kinghorn

16 - Brown
17 - Allan
18 - Fagerson
19 - Toolis
20 - Harley
21 - Price
22 - Hastings
23 - Graham

Can you imagine if we won with that team, given all the good teams that have lost out in Paris over the years??

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Post by EST on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 8:46 am

tigertattie wrote:Russell will he struggling to get back in time.

Meatball could be looking at a call up

I'd agree - if he did fail his HIA, 6 days from the injury would be the very earliest he could come back for - which is game day....seems a bit rushed to me.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 9:07 am

In some ways this may not be a bad thing.

We do need z strategy for when Finn is not available. He can't play every game!

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Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 9:24 am

RDW wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:
BigGee wrote:Racing are getting stuffed!

Did a Cardiff and got within 5 by the end. Gray played 80. If Toonie is not a fan of Toolis, certainly got to be in with a shout!

Given his familiarity playing against French forwards might not be too bad an idea. He'd add plenty ballast off the bench.

Frees up Toolis to play in a huge game for Edinburgh too!

Sorry got to disagree, Gray has played 1.5 games in the last 18 months, he's going to take some time to get back up to speed and I think this game is just too soon.

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Post by EST on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 9:26 am

BigGee wrote:In some ways this may not be a bad thing.

We do need z strategy for when Finn is not available. He can't play every game!

Yeah, I do somewhat agree - would have much preferred it if we could integrate a plan B option into a more settled team though. Thinking about who will start, I think Toonie will go with Horne at 10 - I don't think its the environment to bring in Hastings.


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Post by BigGee on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 9:27 am

I think RG sits this one out as well. We are fine in the second row, so let him come back at his own speed.

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Post by RDW on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 9:27 am

I'd probably pick Toolis too, but given he was kept on the bench for 80 against Ireland Toonie obviously doesn't overly rate him.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 9:29 am

EST wrote:
BigGee wrote:In some ways this may not be a bad thing.

We do need z strategy for when Finn is not available. He can't play every game!

Yeah, I do somewhat agree - would have much preferred it if we could integrate a plan B option into a more settled team though.  Thinking about who will start, I think Toonie will go with Horne at 10 - I don't think its the environment to bring in Hastings.


I think Hastings

Fundemantly Horne is not a 10, and certainly not a test 10

He can do a job, but will always be limited in that position, wheras Hastings has the potential to be good. Give him a shot.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 9:34 am

RDW wrote:I'd probably pick Toolis too, but given he was kept on the bench for 80 against Ireland Toonie obviously doesn't overly rate him.

He was stripped and about to come on, until I think Jones took his knock and at that point he sat back down again. It would have required a fairly sizeable reshuffle and I don't think Toonie wanted to risk making a change when someone else might need to move to centre.

Toonie then just left it alone for fear that Jones or someone else wouldn't make it through the rest of the game.

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Post by EST on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 9:36 am

BigGee wrote:
EST wrote:
BigGee wrote:In some ways this may not be a bad thing.

We do need z strategy for when Finn is not available. He can't play every game!

Yeah, I do somewhat agree - would have much preferred it if we could integrate a plan B option into a more settled team though.  Thinking about who will start, I think Toonie will go with Horne at 10 - I don't think its the environment to bring in Hastings.


I think Hastings

Fundemantly Horne is not a 10, and certainly not a test 10

He can do a job, but will always be limited in that position, wheras Hastings has the potential to be good. Give him a shot.

Yeah, I don't think I would be too unhappy about that choice - I would not normally advocate Horne at 10, but with the likely inexperience of those around him, I think i'd want him in there.

Somebody mentioned it earlier, but with all these injuries and lack of experience, do we think there might be a recall for Dunbar? I know he isn't on great form, but we are in uncharted territory in terms of injuries.

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Post by RDW on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 9:37 am

it always annoys me why journalists don't ask these kind of questions post match - they're always try to be too pally with the coaches and players.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 9:38 am

BigGee wrote:
EST wrote:
BigGee wrote:In some ways this may not be a bad thing.

We do need z strategy for when Finn is not available. He can't play every game!

Yeah, I do somewhat agree - would have much preferred it if we could integrate a plan B option into a more settled team though.  Thinking about who will start, I think Toonie will go with Horne at 10 - I don't think its the environment to bring in Hastings.


I think Hastings

Fundemantly Horne is not a 10, and certainly not a test 10

He can do a job, but will always be limited in that position, wheras Hastings has the potential to be good. Give him a shot.

Whilst I would ordinarily agree with you on this, I wonder if Horne starting at 10 against Cardiff and Hastings benching, might see Toonie follow suit.

It certainly wouldn't surprise me to see Horne start at 10, with Hastings on the bench.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 10:50 am

EWT Spoons wrote:
BigGee wrote:
EST wrote:
BigGee wrote:In some ways this may not be a bad thing.

We do need z strategy for when Finn is not available. He can't play every game!

Yeah, I do somewhat agree - would have much preferred it if we could integrate a plan B option into a more settled team though.  Thinking about who will start, I think Toonie will go with Horne at 10 - I don't think its the environment to bring in Hastings.


I think Hastings

Fundemantly Horne is not a 10, and certainly not a test 10

He can do a job, but will always be limited in that position, wheras Hastings has the potential to be good. Give him a shot.

Whilst I would ordinarily agree with you on this, I wonder if Horne starting at 10 against Cardiff and Hastings benching, might see Toonie follow suit.

It certainly wouldn't surprise me to see Horne start at 10, with Hastings on the bench.

Hastings is the starter for the big games for Glasgow. He has been in camp for two weeks with Toonie. France are looking poor and yet, there is little pressure on him to win as no one expects anything. This is a comparatively low pressure situation to Wales at home.

In October, Russell gets ruled out of a QF against NZ (something to do with Miss Japan and Miss World fighting over him). Are we going to win with Horne? We have a higher ceiling with Hastings and he needs these experiences now.

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