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Post by RDW on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 8:39 am

First topic message reminder :

FORWARDS (23)

John Barclay (Edinburgh) – 71 caps; Rugby World Cup 2007 and 2011
Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 19 caps
Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh) – 7 caps
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 42 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Allan Dell (Edinburgh) – 22 caps
Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 3 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 33 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – 2 caps
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 51 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 27 caps
Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 29 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Gordon Reid (London Irish) – 34 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 10 caps
Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 5 caps
Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped
Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks) – 22 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – uncapped
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 18 caps
George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 5 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 43 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015

BACKS (19)

Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 4 caps
Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons) – 8 caps
Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 11 caps
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 67 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 41 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints) – uncapped
Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 21 caps
Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 11 caps
Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne) – 71 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 40 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) – 8 caps
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 24 caps
Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh) – 27 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 44 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 50 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 21 caps



World Cup Warmups

France V Scotland
Scotland V France
Georgia V Scotland
Scotland V Georgia

World Cup Fixtures

Ireland v Scotland
International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama
Sunday 22nd September 2019
Kick Off: 8:45am

Scotland v Samoa
Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe
Monday 30th September 2019
Kick Off: 11:15am

Scotland v Russia
Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka
Wednesday 9th October 2019
Kick Off: 8:15am

Japan v Scotland
International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama
Sunday 13th October 2019
Kick Off: 11:45am


Last edited by RDW on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 9:54 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Tramptastic on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 10:19 am

BigGee wrote:
Tramptastic wrote:
Maybe its the modern young mans sense of invincibility? "Nothing could wrong, i'll be fine"?

quote]

Yes that is possibly true, risk aversion is certainly something that I have developed as I have gotten older. There were plenty of scrapes that I had as a young man that could have done me some serious damage, but I was lucky enough to get away with.

Just last weekend, a good friend of mine, who I had several of those episodes with, phoned me up to tell me that his son was in hospital having been seriously hurt going through the back windowscreen of a car. He had been cycling home from the pub at the time, doubtless having consumed a few pints!

Fortunately the young person concerned looks like he has escaped any lasting damage, but he was incredibly lucky.

You can tell young people about risks, but they don't always listen, just as I am sure I did not back in my day, when my dad was the one laying it down. The only point of difference back then , was that most of the risky behaviour was aimed at ourselves and not necessarily at other innocent parties!


Aye, my risks back in the day were always underage-drinking-in-the-forest related (as a country bumpkin, the forest was THE place to be)

Comparatively it is an invincibility thing, but where the difference lies is this young man has thought being derogatory/sexist/objectifying is an ok thing to do for a laugh with his mates. Its abhorrent and reeks of self entitlement.

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Post by RDW on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 10:35 am

I wonder if it suggests something about the culture of the team if he felt comfortable sharing it with the entire team as opposed to a few of his closer mates. It's not like it was just a funny meme or GIF which all group chats get.

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Post by Tramptastic on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 11:00 am

A rugby team whatsapp is a horrific place to be (for both men and womens, i've had a preview of our womens whatsapp and its possibly more vile than the mens!), but all chat groups tend to find a line they are comfortable with.

Sadly this would indicate that the team as a whole has a line that they are quite happy to ignore/cross regularly if this video was just posted up there.

There will undoubtedly be quite a few people in the group who ignore that kind of chat and will only be guilty of not speaking out against, something that at that age will be difficult to do.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 11:06 am

We don't know the full ins and outs of it.

The girl did get to know about it, so maybe one of the other players told her, I suspect she may have know others in the squad as well.

I would be surprised if they were all comfortable with that sort of thing, but as you have said, it is not easy to speak out in such a tight group.

All in all, this was an extremely unfortunate and unpleasant incident, that does no credit to anyone involved and unfortunately to the image of Scottish rugby.

These boys really need to come into the 21st century.


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Post by tigertattie on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 11:14 am

I'm a believer that you only post online what you'd say to someone face to face.

For example, I'd call Boris Johnson a mad mopped todger to his face, but I'd most likely avoid all eye contact with Vlad Putin if he came strutting into the office!

People seem to think that you can hide behind a screen these days and say/do what you want without consequence, see one Israel Falou for example. Further examples are the number of people I've rejected giving an interview to when applying for a job at my work after looking at their Facebook profiles and seeing posts such as "Skived work today coz I got blootered at the weekend"
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Post by RDW on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 12:54 pm

Just noticed Stuart McInally sat in the captains chair for team photo and addressed the crowd at the kit launch - an early indicator on who will be captain?

I don't think he's as good a captain as Barclay or Laidlaw (not recent 6N Laidlaw) but he is probably more of a guaranteed starter than those two.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 1:00 pm

RDW wrote:Just noticed Stuart McInally sat in the captains chair for team photo and addressed the crowd at the kit launch - an early indicator on who will be captain?

I don't think he's as good a captain as Barclay or Laidlaw (not recent 6N Laidlaw) but he is probably more of a guaranteed starter than those two.

May be shared captaincy as is the trend these days. Particularly in a WC squad where rotation is far more necessary than the 6Ns.

It also could well be that it's just because he captained during the 6Ns the duties continue until further notice, we'll see after the warm-ups. Would be a shame not to call on Barclay's experience and quality for captaincy, particularly as a lack of that was one of our issues during the 6Ns.
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Post by RDW on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 1:03 pm

Think I've mentioned before but I would go with Barclay, assuming he's fit and plays well in the summer games. He's one of the players who just makes the team better as a whole (in an actual way, not the Ryan Wilson way Wink )

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 1:51 pm

Makes sense to let McInally do the media and let Barclay just focus on getting his body and form back. The type of injury he had is brutal for anyone to come back from, let alone a guy at the back end of his career.


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Post by EWT Spoons on Tue 30 Jul 2019, 12:28 pm

Apparently McInally isn't hugely keen on being captain. From what I've been told he's happier just getting on with his job, rather than having to worry about the rest of the team.

Doesn't mean he wouldn't say yes if asked to be capt. but it's not something he's seeking.

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 30 Jul 2019, 12:47 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:Apparently McInally isn't hugely keen on being captain.  From what I've been told he's happier just getting on with his job, rather than having to worry about the rest of the team.

Doesn't mean he wouldn't say yes if asked to be capt. but it's not something he's seeking.

He strikes me as a "club captain". He'll do the PR stuff, the geeing the boys up at training and before a game, but when he's out playing in a game, he's concentrating on his own game and leaves the tactical or ref management side of things to whoever is the captain on the field that day.
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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 30 Jul 2019, 12:48 pm

I'd agree that he looks better without the added responsibility. Also gives us more flexibility to bring brown on for a half. For me unless barclay plays badly which is unlikely the captaincy should be his.
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Post by bsando on Wed 31 Jul 2019, 8:53 am

https://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/scotland-stand-off-finn-russell-opens-up-on-half-time-chat-in-calcutta-cup-at-twickenham-1-4974029

“With all players and coaches you need discussions like that,” he said. “It has to be open and honest. Whether that is myself, another player, you need to have these discussions and say what you think. You might be wrong but as long as you feel comfortable saying it.

“That is what I try and get out of the young boys. I ask them, ‘what do you think of that, what do you think of this’? The more the young guys speak they will see things different to others.

“At half-time in that game something was not working. I was just saying what I thought we had to do. [Scrum-half] Greig [Laidlaw] made a few points, [Head coach] Gregor [Townsend] had his points as well.

“I suppose rather than just have Gregor saying we have to do this and that the more heads you have working together the better the outcome.”

I like how at halftime they banded together and shared opinions on what was going wrong. Kudos to Toonie for allowing Russell to say what he wanted to say and for letting the team solve the problem themselves with a little guidance from himself. I am a big fan of a team working out difficult problems together rather than the coach barking orders or dictating everything.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 31 Jul 2019, 9:55 am

Coaching styles can fit on a spectrum like anything else.

On one side you have a coach who brings out the best in players by involving them and facilitating an environment where players can problem solve and manage themselves.

On the other is a very dictatorial "do as I say or yer out"

Either way has pros and cons and often the best coaches are those who are flexible enough to allow the players to express themselves but are able to do the big bad hard man approach when players need a boot up the jacksie
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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed 31 Jul 2019, 9:59 am

I think too much is being made of the second half at Twickers. Yes it was a remarkable turnaround that only Finn could have pulled off at 10 but it was also a remarkable implosion from England. If we play that rugby against disciplined teams (like Ireland) they will just smother us and punish mistakes/high risk passes. 80 minutes of Finnsanity doesn't always win a game just as 80 minutes of Laidlaw 'game management' doesn't (granted I'd rather watch us lose through Finnsanity though it is even more painful).

However, I'm pleased to see he recognises that it is a team effort and is focused on his job in the backs rather than buying into the media hype and making it the Finn show. We will have to take a different approach against Ireland, as the last times we've played them it really hasn't worked.
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Post by 123456789. on Wed 31 Jul 2019, 2:22 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:I think too much is being made of the second half at Twickers. Yes it was a remarkable turnaround that only Finn could have pulled off at 10 but it was also a remarkable implosion from England. If we play that rugby against disciplined teams (like Ireland) they will just smother us and punish mistakes/high risk passes. 80 minutes of Finnsanity doesn't always win a game just as 80 minutes of Laidlaw 'game management' doesn't (granted I'd rather watch us lose through Finnsanity though it is even more painful).

However, I'm pleased to see he recognises that it is a team effort and is focused on his job in the backs rather than buying into the media hype and making it the Finn show. We will have to take a different approach against Ireland, as the last times we've played them it really hasn't worked.

I agree with this to an extent. Interceptions and charge downs contributed enormously to it. England were obviously incredibly invested in the game emotionally after what had happened in the year before. However if you consider the second half to be an English implosion than the first half was a Scottish one. I'm not sure if you can even attribute interceptions and charge downs simply to errors on the other team anymore either. I'm not sure on the stats but I suspect we are the beneficiaries of more interceptions than most teams (with Finn Russell and Tommy Seymour in particular). That said you are absolutely right than Ireland would not allow us back into the game, nor Wales, New Zealand or South Africa (given their remarkable resurgence). It's becoming increasingly obvious that to reach the semi-finals we will have to see two of Scotland's best ever performances or pray for Ireland's quadrennial spontaneous combustion.

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Post by bsando on Thu 01 Aug 2019, 10:12 am

Scotland really upped their intensity in defence in that second half and I think England were a bit shell shocked by it as the tries started to come off when Scotland gained possession. The Russell intercept was just Finn going for it really, anticipating a slower pass from Farrell. Farrell had time to zip it out he just didn't for some reason and I think Russell could feel that England were being a bit hesitant in attack.

Danny Wilson mentioned on Rugbypass something interesting (to me anyway) about the lineout. I had noticed Scotland never really challenged for them anymore, focussing on preventing a strong driving maul or setting up the defence for opposition set piece plays. Wilson says that now he's had more time with the squad they can mix it up a bit more. He also says he's added his own stamp and been over the finer details with the forwards where as he didn't have that opportunity in the 6N.

These warm up games are really going to be interesting. The warm ups against France in 2015 really impressed me for the physicality of Scotland and I'm expecting something similar but also a much faster attack, one that is (fingers crossed) controlled with no knock ons and poor handling only 3-4 phases in like the Wallabies of late.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 01 Aug 2019, 10:40 am

Well it couldn't be much worse than it was during the 6Ns. Looking forward to hopefully more aggression!
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Post by EST on Thu 01 Aug 2019, 11:31 am

I think that's where Duncan Taylor could make the biggest difference, a defensive leader to hopefully stop our turnstile like midfield defence.

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Post by RDW on Thu 01 Aug 2019, 11:51 am

bsando wrote:Scotland really upped their intensity in defence in that second half and I think England were a bit shell shocked by it as the tries started to come off when Scotland gained possession. The Russell intercept was just Finn going for it really, anticipating a slower pass from Farrell. Farrell had time to zip it out he just didn't for some reason and I think Russell could feel that England were being a bit hesitant in attack.

Danny Wilson mentioned on Rugbypass something interesting (to me anyway) about the lineout. I had noticed Scotland never really challenged for them anymore, focussing on preventing a strong driving maul or setting up the defence for opposition set piece plays. Wilson says that now he's had more time with the squad they can mix it up a bit more. He also says he's added his own stamp and been over the finer details with the forwards where as he didn't have that opportunity in the 6N.

These warm up games are really going to be interesting. The warm ups against France in 2015 really impressed me for the physicality of Scotland and I'm expecting something similar but also a much faster attack, one that is (fingers crossed) controlled with no knock ons and poor handling only 3-4 phases in like the Wallabies of late.  

I thought he was talking about scrums when he said we didn't have good defensive stats?

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Post by bsando on Thu 01 Aug 2019, 1:46 pm

“Line-out wise, our ball was also pretty good, the drive attack and defence was reasonably good.
“We probably want to affect opposition ball a little more, because perhaps we set a foundation to make sure no-one drove against us, but it affected our ability to steal in the air. We need a balance moving forward.”

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Post by RDW on Thu 01 Aug 2019, 1:50 pm

Ah fair enough - I read it on the Scotsman which had badly edited what he said.

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Post by bsando on Fri 02 Aug 2019, 10:13 am

Yeah I think the BBC did too!


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Post by jimbopip on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 9:44 am



Morning peeps. I came across this article and thought I might share it with you. Hug

https://scrummagazine.com/the-pen-on-a-fascinating-start-at-glasgow/?fbclid=IwAR3e_MX0XBhI15H3CQgtoDHdddlzRR2p6DPnElZsM_Em3Brkeb-u_LHbfE4

The Pen GW is usually well informed about signings at Scotstoun (hence the nickname). The interesting thing for me comes when he discusses which centres might not make the plane to Japan.



And then there’s the centres. Grigg, Horne Snr., Huw Jones, and Johnson have all been called up to train and with the surprise package Kyle Steyn also vying for a place, that leaves Kelly and McDowell at Scotstoun.

I don’t expect Townsend to take Grigg given his indifferent end to last season and I have to say I wouldn’t be surprised if Huw Jones misses out as well. A player who 2 years ago looked like a world beater is just not the same now, and if he does go, it’s not based on last season’s form that’s for sure… Jones and Grigg could easily be starting in South Africa.

Most of us, I think it's safe to say, assumed that Not A Pony couldn't get back into the Warriors' starting XV because he was too pretty and hair gelled for DR. The hope, among those of us who want to see his mercurial try scoring in a Scotland jersey continue, was that he would have a good training camp and convince Toonie to take him to The Land Of The Rising Yen. Headscratch I wonder if Not A Pony hasn't been seen as a personification of the big decision Toonie has to make, and the next step the squad must take. The Jones boy is wonderful going forward and scores lots of tries. However, I am still to be convinced about his ability to defend. So, if Toonie decides to play the "we'll score more tries than you" game then it's Jones at 13 every time. However, if he decides that teams like Ireland and Wales have worked out how to frustrate us and stop us from scoring ( cue running around as if our hair's on fire scenario) and we really need to be more consistent in defence as well as attack.....Seaman probably has the edge there.
If Not A Pony misses the world cup you do wonder how long he'll hang around in Glasgow.


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Post by BigGee on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 9:59 am

I read that as well. I follow the pdn as well, but he is not the greatest tactician nor does he have quite the inside track that he portrays.

Not a chance that Jones won't go if he is fit!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 11:00 am

Yeah seems a stretch not to bring Jones although that may be the punch in the balls he needs to up his game.

That being said, if Taylor comes back playing as well as he did 2/3 years ago then maybe it will push Huw out. Superdunc has a great strike rate and is excellent at bringing players into the game. Not to mention his superior defence and ability to cover 12 and 15. I expect the two 12s will be Furra and Johnson, and if Dunc gets the 13, it leaves one slot. Steyn could muscle his way in this summer leaving Shug in the cold unless he has good games, or Superdunc fails to meet expectations. Considering how positively everyone's been talking about Taylor in the Scotland camp, I can see this being close.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 11:24 am

If you've listened to the latest podcast from the SRU too, toonie has said not everyone will get into the warmup squads and most players will get 2 games. So that'll give us a fair indication of the 31 and which positions are secure/up for grabs.
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Post by jimbopip on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 11:57 am

BigGee wrote:

Not a chance that Jones won't go if he is fit!

Gee, I always hate to disagree with you; but this time.... chin

I think Neily could be onto something.

I know we all find Toonie's selection process more mystifying than the Da Vinci code or the Backstop Agreement. However, I think we have been looking at him the wrong way. is he really an unpredictable maverick who plays the Tombola compulsively? I'm beginning to think he's a cold blooded Marxist who has fully embraced the theory of dialectic materialism. Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis.

Idiot's Guide to Dialectic Rugby

     Thesis
     You have a 10 who is excellent at one thing: Kicking, step forward Desperate Dan. Your team improves noticeably but soon hits the limitations imposed by his lack of a running game.
   
     Antithesis
     You replace him with a 10 who has an instinctive , mercurial running game. Step forward Rhuaridh Jackson. Your team improves, but the lack of a kicking game soon becomes a problem.

     Synthesis
     You replace him with someone who runs better than Desperate Dan and kicks better that Rhuaridh. Step forward Meatball.

     But the dialectic never stops. Shocked

    Thesis
    You have a 10 who has a kicking and running game that is good but too predictable for international rugby

    Antithesis
    You replace him with someone who has both a kicking and running game but will bring 100% Batshit Finnsanity to each and every match.

      But the dialectic never stops. Shocked

     See Dr's comments about Haircut becoming a "more effective 10" than Dancer in the not too distant future. Mainly because he is not 100% Batshit Finnsane.  


 Now, what has this got to do with Not A Pony? Well, we all think he is the answer to our prayers at 13 because his outside break is a thing of beauty and he scores lots of tries. Toonie will be looking at him and asking if that is enough. Is his defence good enough? Is it as good as Seaman's? As good as Superdunc's? Is Hutcheson a better bet?

I think Taylor would bring a Sarries type discipline and solidity to the outside defence. Seaman was preferred to Not A Pont by DR for most of the season, mainly because of his defence.

Eddie Jones says that Bob Dwyer always insisted that the coach didn't make selections; the players made the decisions for them. Perhaps Not A Pony doesn't put as much effort into persuading coaches as others do. Perhaps he feels that his try scoring record should be enough?

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Post by BigGee on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 12:20 pm

I think there are a lot of smoke screens around Shuggy performances for Glasgow.

While I agree he has not set the heather alight in a Warriors shirt, there probably are some extenuating factors.

1. Injuries - he does unfortunately seem to get injured a lot and he has missed big chunks of both his seasons at Scotstoun for this reason, never really allowing him to get up to speed in the 13 shirt.

2, He also had the misfortune that in his absence, two other players, Grigg, then the Stein of Destiny, started playing out of their skins and made themselves nigh on undroppable, so towards the end of the season, Shuggy was playing off scraps and never had the chance to build any form.

3. The will he won't he transfer saga probably took its toll out of him mentally as well, as he clearly was in two minds at that stage. Just when it looked like it was settling down, he got injured again!

He has got a lot more credit in the Scotland shirt than he has in a Glasgow one, though I am still confident that will come once he gets a run of games.

He has also got the experience, which Hutchy, Grigg and Steyn do not have. There is no way he can take a backline of complete novices out to Japan.

I think Jones is as nailed on as anyone and the competition is for who else goes as a 13 out of Grigg, Harris, Steyn or Hutchy. The smart money is on Hutchy, but he probably needs a decent warm up game to cement his place. Steyn could still go as a winger, who can cover centre. I don't hold out much hope for Grigg or Harris.

The fact that Toonie picked Jones before bringing Steyn into the original squad probably shows you where the pecking order stands.

Duncan Taylor, I think will go as the second 12 who can also cover 13 if required.

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Post by jimbopip on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 12:33 pm

See Gee, as the old song has it "There are more questions than answers/ the more I look the less I know".

By your logic Smiling Sam and SuperDunc are the 12's. With Jones and A.N. Other as 13's.

I will be very surprised, or not at all surprised as this is Toonie we are talking about, if Furra Linee is not on the plane. I know that the logic of the dialectic is that Smiling Sam seems to be a synthesis of Eck's physicality and Furra's distribution but Furra plays at a pace that Toonie loves. I think it's Smiling Sam and Furra at 12 and it's 13 that is wide open.

If Taylor is fit it's him and someone else. Hugh Jones seems to be in danger of falling into that twilight zone that swallowed Alex Dunbar in his latter days at Scotstoun; injured-no game time- unable to find form-others playing out of their skins. Maybe ht e time spent with the squad has allowed him to get it right and Toonie will start him in Nice. Hopefully he scores a hat-trick before half time and everything is settled.

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Post by BigGee on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 1:18 pm

Agreed Jonesy having a blinder in Nice will end all of these conversations, unless he gets injured in the next game, which with his form, is entirely possible!

Pete Horne is in many ways the exact opposite to Shuggy, great form for Glasgow, usually off the bench but has flattered to deceive in his many opportunities for Scotland.

I still think his selection will depend on which of him or Laidlaw, Toonie sees as the third FH option.

If it is Laidlaw, then that might produce a plane ticket for Steyn or Blairhorn and I think that might be a better pick for the squad as a whole.

If Pete Horne does go, I don't think he will play very much, possibly just against Russia.

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Post by tigertattie on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 1:44 pm

Jones will go. This talk of his poor defence is heresay. The stats show time and again that’s he’s actually one of the top performing centres in defensive duties.

In other news, does anyone else think Frodo the ponderous looks rather Hoffmanlike?

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.independent.ie/lifestyle/i-thought-i-was-finished-26337726.html
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Post by jimbopip on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 3:08 pm

tigertattie wrote:Jones will go. This talk of his poor defence is heresay. The stats show time and again that’s he’s actually one of the top performing centres in defensive duties.


Tiger warning you can prove anything with statistics. Remember, Furra Linee was the best centre in the world for a large part of the season according to some rugby website's statistical analysis.


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Post by 123456789. on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 5:06 pm

I think Jones will almost certainly be on the plane to Japan, unless he uses Toonie's ensuite and does not flush. Simply because if we are four points down to Ireland or Japan or Samoa or South Africa with the clock in red he is one of three or four players we have who can score from nowhere. Grigg has played six games for Scotland and not come close to scoring in any of them. Huw Jones has scored 10 tries in 17 games for Scotland. Every players hit bad form but class is (usually) permanent.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 6:39 am

... except when you're Johnnie Beattie!

Yes class can be permanent, however you can be class but play very poorly for a spell which matters when you're going into a world cup. . I forgot that Hutch was in the squad in my previous post which puts more pressure on Jones. I think Taylor, Hutch, Steyn and Jones are all capable of being game changers on their day but as Finn said in his interview, one can only make an impact if everyone else is working well together. Jones just hasn't been on his game, Hutchinson has, Taylor we don't know but one of his facets as i said earlier is his ability to bring players into the game and to manage the defensive line. If Jones can use this squad time to learn off other players he could yet become one of the best Scotland centres of all time but at the moment he's got to prove it wasn't just one great season. Until then it's fair game, and i actually think if he plays as poorly as he has been then he may be pushed out by Steyn or Hutch (again, assuming Taylor takes a spot if he's on good enough form)
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Post by jimbopip on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 11:16 am

Eck Dunbar Not A Pony
established centre Peter Horne Duncan Taylor
breakthrough season Smiling Sam Seaman
wonderkid Lord Stafford Hutch

Now, if we were going into this World Cup with a fully fit and healthy Dunbar-Jones pairing as our starting centres then most of us would be feeling quite sanguine about our prospects.

We all saw with Dunbar how the constant run of injury-lay off-lack of fitness- loss of form ( caused by injury and lack of fitness) - limited playing time meant that DR decided that Glasgow could cope with the three centres ahead of him and save his wages bill by shipping him out. We can only hope, and pray, that over this summer Huw Jones has found the level of fitness required AND the appetite for the fray to convince Toonie that he is ready to show everyone that he is as good as we all think he is.

Tiger, my concern over Jones' defence isn't that he can't tackle; he can. He tackles like someone who played a lot of rugby in Saarf Effrika: he hits hard and gets up and does it again. If runners come down his channel he'll be there to hit them all day long. My concern is when teams throw decoy runners and don't run straight at him: he tends not to read more complex plays. see the All Blacks tries on their last visit to Murrayfield

At centre we could be spoiled for choice. But then again we're two injuries away from a crisis.

Johnson-Taylor-Jones -Horne Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Harris-Grigg- Seaman-Hutch Not so much.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 11:46 am

I'd put Hutch somewhere between those groups. If he plays like he does in the prem he's a great addition, in the mold of Johnson except at OC.
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Post by jimbopip on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 1:28 pm

If we group them, as of the end of the season;

fit, in form, internationally proven

Smiling Sam, Furra Linee

fit in form international novice

Harris, Grigg, Seaman, Hutch

unfit, out of form

Not A Pony, Super Dunc

So, the last pairing could have shown their fitness by now and have the warm up games to get some kind of form.

In the middle group Harris and Grigg haven't really convinced in the chances they've had. Seaman and Hutch look as if they could be international class but will that potential translate in the heat of a world cup?

With so many questions over those two groups I would suggest that Furra and Smiling Sam will be taken for sure.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 5:27 pm

I look back to the last world cup and the rapid ascension of Mark Bennett after a handful of relatively underwhelming caps priorly and feel Hutchinson could be *that* player, especially when you consider his early career he also was in playmaker position at 10. Steyn i think would be the centre equivalent of Sean lamont, solid, reliable, hardworking, occasionally capable of brilliance but not first choice beyond club level.

The other two are known quantities, and neither are particularly good beyond club, or in harris's case, not great at club at the moment either. I would say Steyn and Hutchinson have already put themselves above them in the pecking order it's just a case now of whether DT or HJ shine. I expect toonie will drop Harris and maybe Grigg (but I think he likes the cut of his jib so probably Steyn instead) prior to the summer tests to narrow down options and focus on WC group match combos.
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Post by 123456789. on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 5:43 pm

I'm pretty sure Mark Bennett had been pretty good for Scotland in the year prior to the world cup. Off the top of my head he scored against England and Italy, and made a number of breaks against France and Wales having only debuted in the Autumn.
I'm a bit unsure of this whole question of form. By the time the first warm up arrives we will have reached nearly three months between games (Glasgow players, Skinner and Maitland, the rest even longer). By the time the world cup is here it's very nearly four. Now I'm normally a big advocate of picking on form but form is  not really a measurement that overly applies. Ultimately the best sign of form we can get is the warm-ups and even they're no real comparison to the World Cup.
The measurement we do have is their performance in a Scotland shirt. Our options at 13 are Steyn, Hutchinson, Grigg and Jones. Steyn and Hutchinson have never played a competitive game for Scotland, taking both of them is a gamble too far, even for Toonie. We know of plenty players whose form never translated from the club game to the international scene. At club level Pete Horne and Nick De Luca would be a solid, creative partnership; in the international arena it would be an error strewn nightmare (might be a bit harsh on Horne there but you get the gist. Nick Grigg is another of those players. Harris has never played well for Scotland and Grigg, frankly, never will. Jones is probably the best outside centre Scotland have had in the last 20 years.
The biggest danger for Jones may come from elsewhere. Townsend is reputedly a huge fan of Duncan Taylor and obviously an enormous fan of Johnson. If they go well through training and the warm-ups I imagine they will travel. Taylor covers outside-centre though, and has played very well for Scotland there in the past. If Jones is seen to have an attitude problem or his poor form from last season has got even worse over the summer it is feasible we could see Horne taken as a 10/12 and Taylor as a 12/13.
I think it's unlikely that Jones will miss out, he has a phenomenal try scoring record over the last three seasons for Scotland. I highly doubt there's another 13 in Tier One rugby with his record as a finisher. Hutchinson and Steyn have half a season each of regular professional rugby between them. Grigg is not an international. Taylor has not played for two years. Jones' fall is overstated, he came back from a knee ligament injury at the end of a season and although he didn't set the heather alight, he did not become Marcus Di Rollo.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 6:05 pm

None of us are saying he's a hark back to the dark ages, we're just saying he's potentially not going to make it as we've gone from 0 to significant competition for 13. Duncan taylor, when he has played has been a better all-round player, also has a lot of intl experience and plays 15 and true we don't know how hutchinson will take to it but hopefully we'll know soon enough! If huw has another quiet spell this summer and hutch and/or taylor end up involved in 5 tries i know who I'd rather goes! Equally if the reverse is true Jones'll prove that he's still got it and I'd want him going but a season and a half of mediocrity for Glasgow doesn't really sit well, and his last appearances in a Scotland shirt, whilst alright weren't what we've come to expect, he looks pretty jaded on the whole. I think a club move may be best for him as a player so he can re establish himself at a domestic level. Either that or he needs to turn it around like Ali price did with his lull. Regardless it's a good opportunity for him to do so this summer.
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Post by BigGee on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 6:23 pm

Well HJ has just signed on for another couple of years at Scotstoun, so he is not going to be changing clubs any time soon.

I am sure he will come good, just needs to get a few games under his belt

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Post by RDW on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 8:47 am

Two more weeks until the first game...anyone got any good chat? Tumbleweed

I nodded at Bruce Springsteen at the weekend and he nodded back - my life is now complete.

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Post by Tramptastic on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 9:40 am

RDW wrote:Two more weeks until the first game...anyone got any good chat? Tumbleweed

I nodded at Bruce Springsteen at the weekend and he nodded back - my life is now complete.

How is your preseason efforts going?

We are 2 weeks away from our 1st preseason game with our opening Bowl game on the 31st - also our local derby game so expecting at least 2 yellows and 1 red bare minimum


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Post by RDW on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 9:49 am

We have numbers of 60+ most training sessions, which is very different from my experience in Scotland! It's a nice problem to have but it does mean some sessions aren't great as there are just too many people. They split it into 1s and 2s and the rest (I go with the rest) and there is usually around 30 of us.

Pre-season is a bit different down here too - it's lots of mini-games and various versions of touch. We had really good pre-seasons in Scotland with lots of rugby specific fitness and skills work - again helped by having more workable numbers. There's been no contact at all and speaking to the guys there won't be much until just before the games start - this should be heaven to my ears as a softy back but I'd like to do some contact before the games start having not played for 3 and a half years!

The season starts the end of September but I'm hoping there are pre-season games before, as I'm missing half of October to go to Singapore and Aus!

How have numbers been for you? Strangely in London the Tuesday numbers are much better than Thursday - in London Thursday is when all the after works drinks are so lots of people are out getting pished instead. In Scotland the Thursday session is usually more popular as they're normally not as hard!

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Post by Tramptastic on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 9:52 am

Sorry didn't mean to ignore your Springsteen chat, was it a passing in the street moment?

I once had a rabbit in the headlights moment involving Mike Blair and (to a lesser extent) Phil Godman.

I was handing out flyers for the festival at the long stretch between teviot square and george square. Having clocked that Mike Blair (and Godman) were walking directly towards me I went in to hero-worship over drive and started rehearsing "Hello, would you like to see some comedy?" as an easy opener and excuse to start talking. After the longest 15 seconds of my life they walked by me and i didn't say a word.

So i yelled out "I LOVE RUGBY" and ran away

So smooth Run

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Post by RDW on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 10:00 am

So the short version of the story is Mrs RDW and I were at the global showjumping championship at Chelsea  on Saturday (this is how we roll these days) - kind of like the showjumping equivalent of F1.

Anyway Bruce's daughter Jessica is a top class show jumper - she is also beautiful but that's a side matter. I saw her up close too which was almost as exciting!

Anyway we were in the bar outside the main arena and I saw Jessica leaving - having stared at her for a while I then noticed that Bruce and his wife Patti (also in E-Street) were leaving too and I realised he was going to pass me on his way out. Worth saying that I am a ginormous fan and his music has been a huge part of my family life since I was a child! I think about asking him for a picture but decide against it and opt for staring at him instead and as he walks by he looks my way so I gave him a smile and a nod which he (sort of) replicated.

I then dissolved!

That's funny you say that about Blair and Godman - you must have seen them the same day I did. According to Timehop (an app that looks back over your social media posts on that day over the years) I put on Facebook 8 years ago that I'd seen Scotland players Blair and Godman at the festival. You may have even handed me out a flyer!

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Post by Tramptastic on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 10:02 am

RDW wrote:We have numbers of 60+ most training sessions, which is very different from my experience in Scotland! It's a nice problem to have but it does mean some sessions aren't great as there are just too many people. They split it into 1s and 2s and the rest (I go with the rest) and there is usually around 30 of us.

Pre-season is a bit different down here too - it's lots of mini-games and various versions of touch. We had really good pre-seasons in Scotland with lots of rugby specific fitness and skills work - again helped by having more workable numbers. There's been no contact at all and speaking to the guys there won't be much until just before the games start - this should be heaven to my ears as a softy back but I'd like to do some contact before the games start having not played for 3 and a half years!

The season starts the end of September but I'm hoping there are pre-season games before, as I'm missing half of October to go to Singapore and Aus!

How have numbers been for you? Strangely in London the Tuesday numbers are much better than Thursday - in London Thursday is when all the after works drinks are so lots of people are out getting pished instead. In Scotland the Thursday session is usually more popular as they're normally not as hard!

Aye, preseason has been grand for us, numbers are up and we have a link with QMU so their guys use our pitches for their uni league and they train with us and play with us on a Saturday

Due to us having more numbers are training is now turning to more match based situations with more contact ramping up now which is enjoyable as I've not played since the beginning of march when i wrecked my ankle

Oh where abouts in Australia are you going? we just came back from 3 weeks on the east coast and it was unreal how good it was - highlights being Byron Bay and Port Douglas, so chilled, so much good food and the coffee is waaaaaaay better than in Scotland

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Post by RDW on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 10:10 am

Tramptastic wrote:
RDW wrote:We have numbers of 60+ most training sessions, which is very different from my experience in Scotland! It's a nice problem to have but it does mean some sessions aren't great as there are just too many people. They split it into 1s and 2s and the rest (I go with the rest) and there is usually around 30 of us.

Pre-season is a bit different down here too - it's lots of mini-games and various versions of touch. We had really good pre-seasons in Scotland with lots of rugby specific fitness and skills work - again helped by having more workable numbers. There's been no contact at all and speaking to the guys there won't be much until just before the games start - this should be heaven to my ears as a softy back but I'd like to do some contact before the games start having not played for 3 and a half years!

The season starts the end of September but I'm hoping there are pre-season games before, as I'm missing half of October to go to Singapore and Aus!

How have numbers been for you? Strangely in London the Tuesday numbers are much better than Thursday - in London Thursday is when all the after works drinks are so lots of people are out getting pished instead. In Scotland the Thursday session is usually more popular as they're normally not as hard!

Aye, preseason has been grand for us, numbers are up and we have a link with QMU so their guys use our pitches for their uni league and they train with us and play with us on a Saturday

Due to us having more numbers are training is now turning to more match based situations with more contact ramping up now which is enjoyable as I've not played since the beginning of march when i wrecked my ankle

Oh where abouts in Australia are you going? we just came back from 3 weeks on the east coast and it was unreal how good it was - highlights being Byron Bay and Port Douglas, so chilled, so much good food and the coffee is waaaaaaay better than in Scotland

That's good to hear! As always the challenge is to keep those numbers when the season starts, especially the students when coursework and nights out take precedence.

My mate's getting married in Sydney - we only just went to Sydney and Melbourne last year so wanted to make a different trip given how far away it is and how expensive it is. So we're going to stop at Singapore on the way there for a few days, head to Sydney for the wedding then back via Perth to break up the journey. Sydney and Perth will involve lots of day trips, especially wine country! Looking forward to Singapore too - as a structural engineer it does look like heaven.

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Post by Tramptastic on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 10:11 am

RDW wrote:So the short version of the story is Mrs RDW and I were at the global showjumping championship at Chelsea  on Saturday (this is how we roll these days) - kind of like the showjumping equivalent of F1.

Anyway Bruce's daughter Jessica is a top class show jumper - she is also beautiful but that's a side matter. I saw her up close too which was almost as exciting!

Anyway we were in the bar outside the main arena and I saw Jessica leaving - having stared at her for a while I then noticed that Bruce and his wife Patti (also in E-Street) were leaving too and I realised he was going to pass me on his way out. Worth saying that I am a ginormous fan and his music has been a huge part of my family life since I was a child! I think about asking him for a picture but decide against it and opt for staring at him instead and as he walks by he looks my way so I gave him a smile and a nod which he (sort of) replicated.

I then dissolved!

That's funny you say that about Blair and Godman - you must have seen them the same day I did. According to Timehop (an app that looks back over your social media posts on that day over the years) I put on Facebook 8 years ago that I'd seen Scotland players Blair and Godman at the festival. You may have even handed me out a flyer!

I also had the delight of meeting David Denton during that festival and this time i did have the courage to go and say hello

I asked him if he wanted to go and see a comedy show, he smirked and said "No" in a sarcastic manner and walked off

Kn*b

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