Six Nations round 4 Scotland vs Wales

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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 24 Feb 2019, 7:09 pm

First topic message reminder :

Sat, 9 Mar, 14:15
Murrayfield Stadium

Scotland.

Kinghorn, Seymour, Grigg, Graham, Horne, Russell, Price; Dell, McInally, Nel, Gilchrist, Gray, Bradbury, Strauss, Ritchie.

Reps: Brown, Reid, Berghan, Toolis, Watson, Laidlaw, Hastings, McGuigan



Wales.

Liam Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams; Gareth Anscombe, Gareth Davies; Rob Evans., Ken Owens, Tomas Francis; Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones; Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Reps: Elliot Dee, Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Aaron Wainwright, Aled Davies, Dan Biggar, Owen Watkin.



Referee Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Scotland v Wales is on BBC One


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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 6:30 pm

EnglishReign wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
EnglishReign wrote:Could Hogg be in contention for this one?

Hopefully but he was seen arm in sling at the weekend.

Hmm, maybe bench at best then. Kinghorn looks decent but feel a player of Hogg's ability is integral to Scotland getting anything from the game, IMO.

Kinghorn looks great. May be a great idea for Scotland to give him a chance if Hogg isn’t a 100%.

I think I heard a Scott say in the pub during the France match that Kinghorn is the only player in the history of the championship to get dropped after a hattrick


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Post by jimbopip on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 6:49 pm

There's a pop song from the 60's which includes the line, "England swings like a pendulum do.." (N.B. in this instance "swinging" refers to being hip and groovy, not to the kind of swinging you find on "adult lifestyle" forums...where swinging like a pendulum would probably be applauded. With gusto. and this does seem an accurate reflection of the way most Scottish posters have been reacting to this year's Six Nations.


So Frodo was lauded going into the tournament: hardly anyone used his full title Frodo The Ponderous before the French game. Now it's ubiquitous.

Toonie was a creative and imaginative thinker, now he's clueless.

Bluto was the answer to our no8 problems on Saturday morning and should be dropped now.

I could go on.... Headscratch

You could argue the point but Dancer, Shug and Hoggy are probably the best in their positions in the northern hemisphere. Not because of the tries they score but all three of them ask questions of defences which often creates space for other players. No team, or system, could lose all three of them and carry on regardless. I thought Sam Johnson had a quiet game in Paris, but it must be very easy to look good playing between Dancer and Shug and not quite so easy to shine between Furra Linee and Battleship Griggtempkin. So was Johnson having a poor, by his standards, game or was he doing the best he could in the circumstances?


Similarly, Frodo The Ponderous: I think he did exactly what he always does on Saturday. The difference is that Dancer is so good at 10 that it doesn't really matter who's at 9, he'll make something happen. (As Barry John said to the young Gareth Edwards, "You throw it...I'll catch it.) Furra Linee is a 12 playing at 10: if he gets quick ball and space to attack, something good will happen. If he gets slow ball and a blitz defence... probably not.


I may sound tactically naïve but I thought the game was lost on Saturday when the French ran one of Furra's kicks for a length of the field try. If you look at it, it's a decent kick. The defender is isolated and has let the ball bounce. Furra is chasing his kick and just as the ball hits the deck there is a moment where; if the ball bounces back to Furra he's likely scoring, if it bounces skewwhiff the defender won't gather it and anything can happen, if it bounces high and forward it's over his head and he's in trouble. Then the ball bounces vertically, straight up in front of the defender which gives him time to scan the field and decide what to do while waiting for the ball to drop into his arms. What happened next was beautiful, typical French counter attacking. But if the ball skids off the turf and we come away with points it really would have been a different game.


So, let's stop the lynch mob mentality.


Wales should win next time out. Scotland will probably perform better. Hopefully the Tombola will make us smile.

It's all fun at the end of the day.

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Post by Eejit on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 6:51 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
EnglishReign wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
EnglishReign wrote:Could Hogg be in contention for this one?

Hopefully but he was seen arm in sling at the weekend.

Hmm, maybe bench at best then. Kinghorn looks decent but feel a player of Hogg's ability is integral to Scotland getting anything from the game, IMO.

Longhorn looks great. May be a great idea for Scotland to give him a chance if Hogg isn’t a 100%.

I think I heard a Scott say in the pub during the France match that Kinghorn is the only player in the history of the championship to get dropped after a hattrick

The lad is a great talent and took his tries very well but many of the Scottish posters feel that there are limitations in his game that have a detrimental effect on those around him that if he doesn’t fix may see him branded as somewhat of a show pony.

The most serious of these offences is his inability or unwillingness to pass the ball which invariably lands us in a lot of trouble. The thing that makes Stuart Hogg great is that defenders have absolutely no idea what he’s going to do next and he is wonderful at bringing in defenders and releasing someone his space. Kinghorn is on tram tracks and when he gets the ball he’s bloody well keeping it. He may make the occasional break but he’s not a handful in the way Hogg is.

Hogg often comes in as second receiver in an attempt to get our main attaching threat on the ball more often. Kinghorn just isn’t that guy, which is why it’s so irritating when’s Townsend sends out a team to do the exact same thing when we don’t have the personnel to do it!

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Post by BigGee on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 7:01 pm

To be fair on Blairhorn, Hoggy used to play a lot like that when he was a slightly petulant youngster. His all round game has improved enormously as he has matured.

Hopefully no reason to suspect King Blair won't take a similar pathway. He is still very inexperienced at this level.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 7:15 pm

What is it with Wales at the moment, they play like Supermen on speed Saturday and then they get the warmest February day on record. What next, Katherine Zeta-Jones for Queen.

Mind you after today a cold chilly game on Scotland might just put them off.

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Post by Eejit on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 7:15 pm

BigGee wrote:To be fair on Blairhorn, Hoggy used to play a lot like that when he was a slightly petulant youngster. His all round game has improved enormously as he has matured.

Hopefully no reason to suspect King Blair won't take a similar pathway. He is still very inexperienced at this level.

Never said anything to the contrary, just responding to the suggestion that he is undroppable because he scored a hattrick! Remember when Hogg used to do that we used to lose an awful. Now we win an awful lot more and have a reputation for actually being able to score tries and win games. Its important that Scotland are able to adapt to what's happening around them.

This is a problem we have had throughout Townsend's coaching career whether at Glasgow or Scotland is that he doesn't seem to be able to implement any sort of plan B. Mercurial brilliance wins games, and one Pro12 title but its not likely to win any Six Nations championships or get us to the latter stages of the World Cup.

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Post by miaow on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 7:29 pm

On Kinghorn - can't say I've seen enough of him to comment on his all-round game but the comparisons to Hogg are fair. Hogg took a fair few seasons to become the player he is now: honestly, I didn't think he'd ever be the player he is, I thought he'd stagnate/hit a wall in terms of level and ability but he pushed right through and has become a truly world class player, not just a world class attacker.  Fair play to him.

However, the differences are important. Focusing solely on their running game, Hogg is the kind of player who's very hard to tackle. He's the small kid in school who is just natural pacey and jinky and hard to catch, let alone tackle, with a fast footspeed. Kinghorn, on the other hand, looks like a 400m runner. He's got a more 'natural' runner's gait in that he's running fast but the size of his steps mean he doesn't look it. It also means he has the ability to keep getting faster, deceptively so.

Now, both are very, very hard to tackle, but for different reasons. Hogg because he can - as mentioned - do anything and go anywhere. But Kinghorn showed against France he has the power in his running to just blast through people on the outside, shrug off outside backs who are nearby, because of his gait, height, and speed, and make clean breaks and big yards. He's a big threat. Just needs supporting runners to help him out/improve his passing game?

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 7:38 pm

Eejit wrote:
BigGee wrote:To be fair on Blairhorn, Hoggy used to play a lot like that when he was a slightly petulant youngster. His all round game has improved enormously as he has matured.

Hopefully no reason to suspect King Blair won't take a similar pathway. He is still very inexperienced at this level.

Never said anything to the contrary, just responding to the suggestion that he is undroppable because he scored a hattrick! Remember when Hogg used to do that we used to lose an awful. Now we win an awful lot more and have a reputation for actually being able to score tries and win games. Its important that Scotland are able to adapt to what's happening around them.

This is a problem we have had throughout Townsend's coaching career whether at Glasgow or Scotland is that he doesn't seem to be able to implement any sort of plan B. Mercurial brilliance wins games, and one Pro12 title but its not likely to win any Six Nations championships or get us to the latter stages of the World Cup.

Not having a plan B is an interesting point that gets raised in many nations dissection of their previous not so great result.

Is it fair? I’m not so sure, a plan b is to see what’s in front of you and adapt quickly and hopefully successfully.

To implement plan b players need the confidence to react.

I thought Scotland did have a plan b and it came with Hastings. It looked really good too and was very close to reaping the rewards. France also had a plan b and locked the game down.

Adapting to what is in front of you isn’t a coaches implementation it’s the players.

This is still a reasonably young and inovative team. Plenty of key players missing. As an opposition fan I am wary of your threat, seen enough great rugby by these same players in the PRO14 to know what they are capable of.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 7:39 pm

Kinghorn is also very fast, faster than Hogg at the top end, though he takes a little longer to get there.

He is a talent and we will just hsve to bear with him while he develops.

It is not as if we get a lot like him in Scotland!

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Post by miaow on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 7:50 pm

Also - in the best way possible and hopefully not coming across like a hobnob - is any Scotland fan happy to provide a bit of translation work?



Just a key in the main thread with Scottish nicknames and the player they refer to. Might make the next 2 weeks a bit easier!

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Post by Eejit on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 8:07 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
Eejit wrote:
BigGee wrote:To be fair on Blairhorn, Hoggy used to play a lot like that when he was a slightly petulant youngster. His all round game has improved enormously as he has matured.

Hopefully no reason to suspect King Blair won't take a similar pathway. He is still very inexperienced at this level.

Never said anything to the contrary, just responding to the suggestion that he is undroppable because he scored a hattrick! Remember when Hogg used to do that we used to lose an awful. Now we win an awful lot more and have a reputation for actually being able to score tries and win games. Its important that Scotland are able to adapt to what's happening around them.

This is a problem we have had throughout Townsend's coaching career whether at Glasgow or Scotland is that he doesn't seem to be able to implement any sort of plan B. Mercurial brilliance wins games, and one Pro12 title but its not likely to win any Six Nations championships or get us to the latter stages of the World Cup.

Not having a plan B is an interesting point that gets raised in many nations dissection of their previous not so great result.

Is it fair? I’m not so sure, a plan b is to see what’s in front of you and adapt quickly and hopefully successfully.

To implement plan b players need the confidence to react.

I thought Scotland did have a plan b and it came with Hastings. It looked really good too and was very close to reaping the rewards. France also had a plan b and locked the game down.

Adapting to what is in front of you isn’t a coaches implementation it’s the players.

This is still a reasonably young and inovative team. Plenty of key players missing. As an opposition fan I am wary of your threat, seen enough great rugby by these same players in the PRO14 to know what they are capable of.

Easy for you to say as a Wales fan with Evil Professor Gatland coming up with set plays on a remote skull shaped island in an HQ situated inside an active volcano.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 8:13 pm

Eejit wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
Eejit wrote:
BigGee wrote:To be fair on Blairhorn, Hoggy used to play a lot like that when he was a slightly petulant youngster. His all round game has improved enormously as he has matured.

Hopefully no reason to suspect King Blair won't take a similar pathway. He is still very inexperienced at this level.

Never said anything to the contrary, just responding to the suggestion that he is undroppable because he scored a hattrick! Remember when Hogg used to do that we used to lose an awful. Now we win an awful lot more and have a reputation for actually being able to score tries and win games. Its important that Scotland are able to adapt to what's happening around them.

This is a problem we have had throughout Townsend's coaching career whether at Glasgow or Scotland is that he doesn't seem to be able to implement any sort of plan B. Mercurial brilliance wins games, and one Pro12 title but its not likely to win any Six Nations championships or get us to the latter stages of the World Cup.

Not having a plan B is an interesting point that gets raised in many nations dissection of their previous not so great result.

Is it fair? I’m not so sure, a plan b is to see what’s in front of you and adapt quickly and hopefully successfully.

To implement plan b players need the confidence to react.

I thought Scotland did have a plan b and it came with Hastings. It looked really good too and was very close to reaping the rewards. France also had a plan b and locked the game down.

Adapting to what is in front of you isn’t a coaches implementation it’s the players.

This is still a reasonably young and inovative team. Plenty of key players missing. As an opposition fan I am wary of your threat, seen enough great rugby by these same players in the PRO14 to know what they are capable of.

Easy for you to say as a Wales fan with Evil Professor Gatland coming up with set plays on a remote skull shaped island in an HQ situated inside an active volcano.

How did you know about that Island?

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 9:12 pm

Caldey Island???
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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 9:26 pm

The Oracle wrote:Caldey Island???

Shhhhh they’ll know all the secrets.

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Post by miaow on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 10:33 pm

Holy cologne and chocolate?

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 5:04 am

5 weeks ago I would have said we should be winning this game every day of the week and twice on a Sunday. But somehow in the intervening period Scotland have gone downhill and Wales are soaring remarkably high. Let's be clear, if we had our full XV out I'd be optimistic, if not confident. But we don't and Wales are doing very, very well.
The thing is, I'm not even 100% sure we'll see a reaction because we seem utterly devoid of leaders currently. If I think of something positive to say in the mean time about Scotland's chances against Wales I will post.

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Post by munkian on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 8:11 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:What is it with Wales at the moment, they play like Supermen on speed Saturday and then they get the warmest February day on record. What next, Katherine Zeta-Jones for Queen.

Mind you after today a cold chilly game on Scotland might just put them off.

You have been to Wales, right ? Erm
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Post by tigertattie on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 9:39 am

Eejit wrote:
miaow wrote:That's because I get the sense half the Scots are just as posh as most of the English players? It's a public/private school thing? Scottish fans, on the whole, less likely to come from that background, if only through averages of population? Could be wrong though but, removing the SH imports, feels like a pretty even split between someone like Hogg or Russell and then the 'posh Scots', no?

It doesn't stop at the players, the Edinburgh fans on these boards are mega posh too. RDW has all his shopping delivered from Harvey Nics by a gentlemen named Bentley and Tattie owns a castle.

Only castle I own is a replica of castle Greyskull. It's still up in the attic somewhere!
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Post by George Carlin on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:01 am

What? It cannot be time for our annual arsekicking from Wales already, can it?

Time flies.
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Post by munkian on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:04 am

George Carlin wrote:What? It cannot be time for our annual arsekicking from Wales already, can it?

Time flies.

You did alright last time we visited Shocked
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Post by tigertattie on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:09 am

munkian wrote:
George Carlin wrote:What? It cannot be time for our annual arsekicking from Wales already, can it?

Time flies.

You did alright last time we visited Shocked

Just ignore him. He's been in the sun too long

Also been reading the sun for too long (He's a Glasgow fan you see)

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Post by Ricardo74 on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:18 am

Heard Shaun Edwards on the radio yesterday, talking about the Welsh mindset going into this game: "last time we went up there they did a right job on us.".

Regardless of win streaks and confidence levels, they're not taking the trip up lightly.

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Post by munkian on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:22 am

Ricardo74 wrote:Heard Shaun Edwards on the radio yesterday, talking about the Welsh mindset going into this game: "last time we went up there they did a right job on us.".

Regardless of win streaks and confidence levels, they're not taking the trip up lightly.

Nope, never do when are away to anyone.
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Post by tigertattie on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:55 am

It's madness for any team to take any other team in the top 10/12 lightly.

All these teams are professional outfits now and if you go in thinking the game is already won, you can get a big big fright!
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Post by munkian on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:59 am

tigertattie wrote:It's madness for any team to take any other team in the top 10/12 lightly.

All these teams are professional outfits now and if you go in thinking the game is already won, you can get a big big fright!

Like Scotland in Cardiff last year Run
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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 11:23 am

The Six Nations is a fickle beast. Last year we came in hot after a great Autumn, Wales were injury ravaged and we got thumped. England came to us and got comfortably beaten setting up a terrible six months or so for them.

This year, Wales had a positive AI's and should have lost to France/looked lacklustre against Italy. They then went and beat England who had comfortably beaten an Irish side away people were saying were number one in the world.

Basically, Scotland should win by 20 based on that. As it is, we are far too injured and our set piece has been shredded.

The focus now ought to be development. S Johnson and Ritchie have both had their stock rise and are in the WC if they keep this up for two more games (caveats with injury/club form). Need to find a couple more and Bradbury, Graham and Graham all should have a chance to lay down a marker

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Post by Tramptastic on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 12:28 pm

I'd be hoping for a response from the Scottish forwards for this game. The last 2 times we have played wales they dominated Scotland physically and smothered Scotlands attack with quick linespeed.

Without Barclay, Watson, Wilson and Nel we just dont have anyone who is really bloody minded, someone who just spends all day getting in the faces of the Welsh. Having seen Graham play and seen him in interviews he seems like he could be the answer?

Also, as much as Frodo the ponderous was...ponderous... last time out we shouldnt stick price on after his horror show against Davies - get Horne the younger in!

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 12:36 pm

Using this time to bring on potential is a bonus in the long run. As you said Wales hammered by injuries a number of times has given experience to players now challenging for starting places

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Post by George Carlin on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 12:39 pm

munkian wrote:
tigertattie wrote:It's madness for any team to take any other team in the top 10/12 lightly.

All these teams are professional outfits now and if you go in thinking the game is already won, you can get a big big fright!

Like Scotland in Cardiff last year Run
Laugh
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Post by robbo277 on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 2:24 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:The Six Nations is a fickle beast. Last year we came in hot after a great Autumn, Wales were injury ravaged and we got thumped. England came to us and got comfortably beaten setting up a terrible six months or so for them.

This year, Wales had a positive AI's and should have lost to France/looked lacklustre against Italy. They then went and beat England who had comfortably beaten an Irish side away people were saying were number one in the world.

Basically, Scotland should win by 20 based on that. As it is, we are far too injured and our set piece has been shredded.

The focus now ought to be development. S Johnson and Ritchie have both had their stock rise and are in the WC if they keep this up for two more games (caveats with injury/club form). Need to find a couple more and Bradbury, Graham and Graham all should have a chance to lay down a marker

Ritchie has been very impressive this tournament. I didn't know too much about him coming into the tournament, but he's looked very good for Scotland. One of your standouts this tournament.

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Post by miaow on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 3:03 pm

For Scotland, I'd play Skinner. He's the kind of hard edge forward, who's young enough to be mobile in the loose, they'll need against Wales/going forward.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 3:57 pm

miaow wrote:For Scotland, I'd play Skinner. He's the kind of hard edge forward, who's young enough to be mobile in the loose, they'll need against Wales/going forward.

Think he is still injured. First couple of minutes of the Italy game. It really sums up how many we are missing that it is not just the first choice that has been badly hit, it is the next men up that have been hit as well.


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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 3:59 pm

Cory Hill is ruled out for the rest of the Six Nations. I assume Beard will start and Ball will come on to the bench.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 5:11 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Cory Hill is ruled out for the rest of the Six Nations. I assume Beard will start and Ball will come on to the bench.

That is probably not going to weaken Wales significantly, they have got good depth there.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 5:18 pm

Too bad for us as Hill was playing very well as usual. Interested to see what Ball can do when he gets some game time - he should bring a very physical, hard edge which would be handy coming off the bench.

I’ve only seen a little of Bradley Davies this year but it looks as if he still has what it takes.

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Post by The Oracle on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 6:11 pm

Who are our lock options for the rest of the 6N and beyond?

AWJ - I know lots of people outside Wales don’t rate him but for me he’s still easily 1st choice despite his advancing years. Plus he’s captain.
Cory Hill - out now but should be back for the World Cup.
Adam Beard - I’m not his biggest fan. For no real reason really! Just haven’t seen enough of him and wonder what the fuss is about. But hasn’t put a foot wrong so far in fairness. I think it’s cos he looks like a teenager so I don’t quite trust him yet! Not fair of me really.
Jake Ball - I’m a big fan. Like his physicality. A bit injury prone of late though. Needs to be managed well for the World Cup.
Big Bad Brad - again, not one I’ve seen much of lately. I kinda think of him as a bit ‘yesteryear’. Don’t think he’ll feature much going forward unles there are more injuries.

And then who?

There was talk of Seb Davies featuring at lock but he’s played most of his rugby at 8 (I think?)

Is it a bit bare after that? AWJ won’t last forever so I think we need to unearth a few new ones sometime soon or suddenly that becomes an area with little depth if we have an injury or two.

Any good young prospects on the cusp of breaking through?
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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 6:53 pm

I think Seb Davies’s is a great promise but see Ball as the most likely replacement

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Post by RDW on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 7:37 pm

Hamish Watson is back training and potentially fit for Edinburgh this weekend

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Post by majesticimperialman on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 7:50 pm

It is always sad when one of you best players get's injured. 

It can sometimes be a bit of a struggle of who too replace them with.

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 8:44 pm

RDW wrote:Hamish Watson is back training and potentially fit for Edinburgh this weekend

Now that is good news for Scotland

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Post by Eejit on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 9:49 pm

Suspect the kitman will need to pry the 7 jersey out of Jamie Ritchie's cold dead hands, and fair play the lad has been playing alright, particularly when other more senior players haven't been doing the business so would like to see him play again.

As others have said, Sam Johnson has also been pretty good and he should be given as many minutes as possible.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 3:17 am

Eejit wrote:Suspect the kitman will need to pry the 7 jersey out of Jamie Ritchie's cold dead hands, and fair play the lad has been playing alright, particularly when other more senior players haven't been doing the business so would like to see him play again.

As others have said, Sam Johnson has also been pretty good and he should be given as many minutes as possible.

If I could pick a player to wrestle anything it would be Hamish Watson. I really rate him. Hate playing against players like him. He is a ball shadow and a very good one.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 8:23 am

Eejit wrote:Suspect the kitman will need to pry the 7 jersey out of Jamie Ritchie's cold dead hands, and fair play the lad has been playing alright, particularly when other more senior players haven't been doing the business so would like to see him play again.

As others have said, Sam Johnson has also been pretty good and he should be given as many minutes as possible.

If Watson is fit again, then I would expect Ritchie to take the 6 slot as he does currently for Edinburgh. I'd like to see a backrow of 6. Ritchie, 7. Watson, 8. Bradbury. I guess the main issue with that is that Bradbury doesn't tend to play 8, but I have no doubts about him stepping up, and I think a lot of us see it as his long term position.

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Post by RDW on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 8:35 am

Skinner is the real wildcard here - all the chat when he as injured was that he would be back for this game. Townsend clearly rates him but the question is does he play and where?

I think we have enough back row resources now that he shouldn't need to slot in at 6, but with R Gray back we've now got 5 players to go into 3 positions.

I really want to see R Gray back, if even on the bench - before his bad injury he had shown that he had significantly improved his physicality and was show pony no more (although I think that label has never been fair on his abilities). Fit and on his best form he is still our first choice #4 lock IMO.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 8:50 am

With Skinner, is he capable of playing 8?  I think he's played there for Exeter , but I'm not sure if he's all that good there.

If he's able to and he's fit again, then maybe 6. Ritchie, 7. Watson, 8. Skinner with Bradbury on the bench as cover.

Mind you having Skinner on the bench would be useful too, given he can cover lock and backrow.

If R.Gray is fit enough (he's still only played 2-3 games since his long long layoff) and in form then he would be a huge (literally) asset to come back into the reckoning.  However, I've not seen much of him recently, which I can't imagine many have given his injury record, so I have no idea if he's hitting the same levels he was pre-injury. If he is though then hard to argue that he wouldn't walk straight back into a starting slot.

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Post by RDW on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 8:55 am

Richie's had 2 full games and 55 minutes under his belt and should get another full game this weekend, so almost 4 games - that should be enough to get him match fit, especially at the levels of physicality in the Top 14.

I have never seen Skinner play 8 but TBF I've only started paying attention since he was called up in November! IMO he looks a bit slow and lumbering for an international class 6 so I don't think he'll be playing at 8.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 9:08 am

Would be good then if R.Gray is fit enough. Out of all the injury issues the team has currently, locks seems relatively unaffected, so it's not likely to change our fortunes massively, but always nice to have a quality player back.

Skinner may struggle to get games then for us, as we are stocked at lock, and as you say he's possibly not dynamic enough for the back row, which from the limited games I've seen him play, I agree with.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 9:47 am

This is going be a tough tough ask for Wales. We struggled against France and a bit of luck (some of it due to our own pressure and skill, admittedly) saw us home. Struggled a little against Italy too. And then obviously the England game was a great result - but at home v England it ALWAYS gives us an extra 20% or so in the tank - that mixture of passion, fire, determination, anger - whatever it is that allows us to go up a notch against England. But it’s only against England that we are able to experience that. We won’t have that extra 20% boost against Scotland. No offence to Scotland, but it’s not the game that boils the blood in the same way as England. I think Scotland experience this too when they play England at home, and last year’s fixture is a good example of that where they were able to have a turbo boost and beat them convincingly.

The last game against England was like our World Cup final, sadly. So I think we may see Wales return to the stuttering performances we saw in the first two games. And Scotland at home will be tougher than France and Italy, for me. We struggled with France’s backs who ran a lot. England decided not to play that sort of game and kicked a lot and we were a match for that luckily. With Scotland we’ll be back to a team of excellent backs looking to run it a lot and they’ll create lots of chances. This will be tough.

Not looking forward to this at all!
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Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 10:18 am

If Scotland fall for the old Gats favourite (we're not playing well at all here in the first half. Players look heavy legged and unable to find their passing rhythm)...... if Scotland fall for these old Welsh tricks then Townsend's calibre as an International coach really does need to be questioned.
Make no mistake about it - Gatland wants that Slam. And the closer they get, the more obsessed both he and his team are in getting it. They'll leave nothing behind in the way of ambition and energy to get i, and if Scotland feel they have the run of the game in the first half then they better be ready for some serious defending in the second - virtually always when Wales comes alive and are designed to come alive.

Gatland in his last year wants this bad. I think Townsend too often thinks attack is always the answer.... he still has a club mentality in a sense. He should temper his players and tell them this is not that game to lose their emotions in as they try to regain confidence with endless attacking spurts. Wales are smart smart side, Scotland will be tripped up in their attacking high spirits. So I think if Townsend is going to win this one he should prepare his players to play a drudge game in the middle of e field...take all the emotion out of the encounter and if he gets a 13-6 win.... so be it. Scotland too often try to be the Harlem Globetrotters and it's good to have that in your armoury but you need a good boring game too.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 1:52 pm

I’m hoping that the team will want to open up and score tries to try and get some points in the bag rather than just trying to get a win.

Should make an entertaining match from both teams perspective if wales do try to run the ball more.

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