France v Scotland World Cup Warm Up Match - Saturday 17th August

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Post by BigGee on Fri 09 Aug 2019, 8:01 pm

First topic message reminder :

France v Scotland
World Cup Warm Up
Nice
KO 20.00

Live on Premier Sport

Well the first warm up for both teams and you would imagine there might be a fair bit of experimentation on both sides as they try to hone in their squads.

So who might be playing will be complete guesswork and ergo I am going to have a guess at the Scotland team! This might be the only chance for some of the less fancied players in the squad to have a crack though and I fancy he will put them in this week and then a stronger line up next weekend for the home return match:

1. Dell
2. McInally
3. Fagerson
4. Cummings
5. Toolis
6. Barclay (capt)
7. Ritchie
8. Thompson
9. Laidlaw
10. Hastings
11. McGuigan
12. Taylor
13. Harris
14. Rae
15. Kinghorn

Subs:

Reid
Turner
Berghan
Skinner
Strauss
Horne G
Horne P
Hutchinson


Expect a few changes of position within the game as well, especially within the backs!

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 4:08 pm

One can only assume the citing commissioner has a pair big enough to do his job.

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Post by cakeordeath on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 4:38 pm

jimbopip wrote:One can only assume the citing commissioner has a pair big enough to do his job.

Wouldn't bet on it.

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 4:42 pm

Me neither to be honest. A citing would/should lead to a ban and could have a big effect on france's Worls Cup so probably nothing will happen.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 4:50 pm

Back row is challenging to select. Only Watson at 7 is really nailed on. I'd like Bradbury and Fagerson to play along side him this coming weekend. We need to find more dynamism from somewhere.

I hate to say it, but Wilson might have to be on the plane.

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Post by cakeordeath on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 4:56 pm

jimbopip wrote:Me neither to be honest. A citing would/should lead to a ban and could have a big effect on france's Worls Cup so probably nothing will happen.

You know, I am not even mad it was missed during the game. What sickens me is after, when there is clear evidence, nothing is done. For all the noise WR make about player safety it's just lip service. Anyway I hope I am wrong and a citing happens

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 5:06 pm

Barclay got clattered but you can’t blame that on the performance. If he was injured as a result of that clash he should have come off.

For Ritchie his issue is that he’s against Barclay and Watson for a place in Edinburgh. He’d absolutely walk into the Glasgow back row. For the World Cup I can see Ritchie being the back row bench option as he covers 7 and 6.

Wilson shouldn’t be anywhere near the starting line up for us in the World Cup.

I’m not taking much stock in the performance yesterday. It’s early days. If we get spanked in the WC by Ireland or we manage to lose to Samoa or Japan then we need to start worrying. Toonie most.
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Post by Yoda on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 5:14 pm

That clear out was disgusting. Someone is going to get seriously hurt if world Rugby doesn't clamp down on it. The players are all off their feet both in attack and defence these days. We saw how much of a shambles the breakdown was on Eng wal with sealing off and jacking off feet. This though should be a lengthy ban. What will have to happen is proper accountability or players take it into their own hands and reinstigate 99 calls to protect themselves. How did barclay team mates respond?

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 5:24 pm

Just caught up with the highlights. Jesus wept, our defence was absolutely rancid! I’m extremely glad I didn’t sit through 80 minutes of that, my deepest sympathies to those of you who did.

Of course if you listen to the usual insipid facebook comments this is all nothing to worry about and we’ll be just fine come Japan if we all get behind the team and cheer mediocrity. But that requires more faith in Toonie’s abilities than I have right now.

Too Private Fraser for a Sunday? Wink

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 6:57 pm

I think we need to see much more belligerent side on Saturday.
Dell-Turner-Nel
Principal-Little Jonny
Blade-Batman-Fagerson
Frodo (it's his turn)
Furra-Linee
Maitland
Hutchie
Harris
Seymour
Hogg

If we had scored in either of the two visits to their red zone immediately after their first try I suggest the game would have been very different. Haircut made two very poor decisions and let them off the hook. Back to the old days of "Let Scotland have the ball and if they don't score in three or four phases they'll give the ball back to us." Furra now has a chance to move up in the pecking order. And before you scream at me... Haircut made two awful decisions in the Pro14 final which arguably cost Glasgow the match. Furra could travel as second 10 by virtue of not being as profligate as Haircut.

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 8:27 pm

Hardly fair on Hutch to play him between the Phil Godman and Graeme Morrison of the current day.

Hutch was a bright spark in an otherwise horrid team effort yesterday. Why do you want to punish the boy so?
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Post by RDW on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 8:39 pm

The French bloke has been cited.

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Post by bsando on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 8:56 pm

Just watched the full game replay. It was a difficult watch but not a full blown failure.

First and foremost, Scotland looked like a side set to peak in a few months time, not now. That is in terms of fitness and strength and conditioning. France looked well ahead on that schedule. I can only speculate but because it was a case of the entire team looking slow and tired, the plan must be to be at a certain level of fitness in a few months time rather than 100% now.

In my opinion the forwards attack and defence was the biggest let down. This was followed by the distribution from 9 > 10 >12/13 and lack of tactical kicking/chase.

The Scottish defensive maul and attacking maul was very poor. That surely has to be a big concern.

The line out looked good overall and Scotland got a couple of good steals too. Gilchrist slapped one back well but I think that actually led to a turnover due to slow reaction from Price and then the Hastings yellow card and a French try. Harsh! More awareness from GG to catch it rather than slap it may have resulted in a good attacking opportunity, he had time.

From the get go France were in Scotland's faces and making a mess of rucks when Scotland had possession. Despite that, Scotland made some good early snipes and nearly scored thanks to a Huw Jones break (he probably could have gone himself but was safe with his offload to McGuigan). McGuigan had a difficult day on the left wing. Maitland has the physicality to stay infield in tight situations but McGuigan can't and had to either attempt the offload or almost certainly get dragged out a few times.

Hastings struggled to unleash his backline but service from Price wasn't that flash either really. It was a sluggish day for the 9/10 axis. That combined with the hunger of the French defence to disrupt ball seemed to effectively nullify the Scottish attack.

Hutchinson looked good, a similar player to Taylor and a nose for opportunity. He made a few poor passes early on but as he got into the game made some nice individual decisions.

I actually thought Barclay was the best of the backrowers. Ritchie still makes silly errors at times despite his great work rate and Strauss lacked the aggressiveness of M Fagerson. No one was really getting over the gain line like the French backrow was.

Lots to work on but I'm sure we'll see a stronger team on Saturday. I think several players lost some stock and opened the door for their rivals. Price, Hastings, Strauss, Toolis, Bhatti (he was awful at times), McGuigan.

For Saturday maybe something like the following

Dell, Stewart, Fagerson
Gray, GG
Skinner, Thomson, Watson

Laidlaw
Russell
Johnson, Hutchinson
Maitland, Hogg, Seymour

McInally, Reid, Berghan, Toolis, Bradbury, Horne, Horne, Taylor


Last edited by bsando on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 6:10 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 7:26 am

A good article from tom english again
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/49387742
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Post by jimbopip on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 8:04 am

Brando, a well balanced and considered assessment. Keep it up and you'll be banned for shaming the rest of us.
The main quibble I have with your team for Saturday is that I seem to recall Toonie saying that Johnson was due to be fit by the Georgia games. I think Taylor will probably bench so the starting 12 is either Hutch or Furra. See how quickly our embarrassment of riches becomes a dearth. I'm not sure we learn anything from playing Dancer and I also feel that Haircut should be sat on the naughty step and made to watch his rival have a crack at it.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 8:55 am

BigGee wrote:According to Peter Wright on BBc website, Bhatti is off and Berghan playing LH

So looks like we might well be taking just the 5 props to Japan

I mean who could have seen this coming?!

EWT Spoons wrote:I think we might be looking at only taking 5 props to the WC.  I've heard Toonie/the SRU have been asking if certain players could/would be willing, to play on the opposite side of the scrum.  Now this might be a worst case scenario and 6 will be taken, or it could mean that Toonie is only thinking of taking 5, with one of the 5 covering both sides.


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Post by EST on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 9:15 am

That was pretty woeful, I can only assume that the fitness issue is down to the training programme having the team peak in a months time - but to my eyes they looked severely under powered and badly conditioned - some of them just looked overweight.

Not many pass marks, although I thought Hutch and Fagerson Jnr played well when they came on and Richie battled manfully.

I really hope this is the kick up the arse this team need, but as the article from Tom English notes, I think the problem is more systemic - in the recent past we have been blown away by France twice and of course the half against England..Toonie really needs to get a handle on this quickly.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 9:24 am

That performance on sat was terrible, Tom English’s piece sums it up perfectly for me. Even if we play superbly on Sat and win comfortably it won’t mean anything, as we are good at home and terrible away, and Toonie doesn’t seem to have an answer to that, which is a concern given the WC isn’t at BTMF.

I said at the time and I’m repeating it now, Toonie was promoted into that position too early. The SRU should have stuck with BVC and let Toonie go and experience coaching somewhere else. At home he’s got us playing well, unless the opposition try to outmuscle us, and starve our players of the ball, if that happens we have no answer to it and inevitably lose. Away from home we’re near as damn guaranteed a loss.

In terms of the game on Sat;

Strauss wasn’t due to be playing that game and from his performance I think he was still of that mindset until he went off.

Ritchie was the standout for me, he has shown again he is more than capable of playing at this level. Watson practically has the 7 shirt nailed on, but Ritchie played most of his club rugby at 6 (for Edinburgh over the last season) so I’d like to see how he gets on there for Scotland. Barclay is a great player and should travel, but I don’t think he should be first choice at the moment.

Fitness seems to be an issue as Fagerson Snr looked buckled from almost the moment he stepped onto the pitch. His ‘wee’ brother looked decent when he came on, I was a bit concerned by him in his last Int. run out as he seemed underpowered, but he looks like he might have addressed those short comings. If Bradbury’s “rib” injury keeps him out for a while, then Fagerson could make a compelling case to a seat on the plane. Of course it’s no guarantee that Bradbury would be ahead of him anyway,

Lastly this excuse about the players being rusty doesn’t really wash either. This was France’s first warmup game too. Granted their league is insane and only finished in June, but that’s still at least 2 months since some of their players last played a game.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 9:29 am

Maybe its all part of a grand plan, play terrible, make everyone think we're back to the Hadden days, rock up in the first game vs Ireland then blow them off the park!!!
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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 9:43 am

To be fair it'd be the most elaborate sandbagging I've ever seen if thats the case!
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Post by tigertattie on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 10:10 am

I'm just getting fed up of it Neily

We're just too inconsistent. The ability is clearly there as can be seen in games like vs NZ a couple of years ago. It therefore means it can only be a mental or attitude issue.

As a nation we simply prefer to be plucky underdogs and underachievers in sport!

I’ll always watch rugby, but I’m going to stop getting so emotionally invested in it. The highs are great, but the lows are just far more frequent so not worth it.

I don’t mind stuffing up in warm up matches as they are there to get the cobwebs out. If we have a thoroughly disappointing world cup though, then all thoughts of buying a new jersey if Macron ever decide to size them correctly, are oot the window!
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Post by TJ on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 10:38 am

My take on it. Are we seeing Townsends limitations as a coach / selector?

From the game - the forwards as a group simply looked sluggish and not up for it at all with the exception of Ritchie who according to ESPN stats made 26 tackles. Apparently we had the heavier pack as well! Taking a couple of their lineouts was the only positive.

The backs - some good individual performance including in my mind Jones! However they simply looked like a bunch of individuals who had never played together before. Breaks were made but the support was rarely there to capitalise. Darcy Graham looked lively and he took Raka down a couple of times. Made the most tackles of the backs. Taylor looked good - so glad to see him back. We need him. The new boy Hutcheson looked like a prospect in the few minutes he had

On the Barclay headbutt - I have only seen one angle on Twitter and from that it looked accidental maybe reckless.

Hastings needs to learn he is not Finn - we need him to be steadier more controlling not attempting to be Finn. He must learn this if he is to play a major part in Scotlands future

The result shows to me two things - without certain key players we look much poorer. Leaderships still seems missing and just maybe we need Frodo on the pitch. It cannot be a coincidence that with him on the pitch we look a more organised side. Look at the performances over the last few years - the better ones include Frodo!

Finally - Andy Nichol is a fud!

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Post by BigGee on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 10:38 am

I think the fact that the French have already named their squad was maybe significant as well.

Our players at times seemed to be playing to get on the plan, theirs were playing to win.

You do wonder what the value is in carrying dead wood in the squad at this stage. At the very least, he should be trimming the squad down after the game this weekend and concentrating on the core group who all look like they really need to be getting some rugby into them!

It is going to be an interesting selection this time around, second chances or wholesale changes?

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Post by EST on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 10:54 am

BigGee wrote:I think the fact that the French have already named their squad was maybe significant as well.

Our players at times seemed to be playing to get on the plan, theirs were playing to win.

You do wonder what the value is in carrying dead wood in the squad at this stage. At the very least, he should be trimming the squad down after the game this weekend and concentrating on the core group who all look like they really need to be getting some rugby into them!

It is going to be an interesting selection this time around, second chances or wholesale changes?

I agree BigGee, my original thought was to give the core players a couple of run outs, but seeing the condition of many of the players, I think we need to concentrate on our starting 15 and get them up to match fitness.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:17 am

I think we all are to be honest.

The only consolation really is that our players individual talents are appreciated so, if required, we could attract a relatively high profile coach in. I don't know if dave rennie will be that keen to pick up toonies mess, and cockerill is definitely no good.

Either way... it is what it is. If toonie can surprise us all that'd be great
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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:24 am

tigertattie wrote:I'm just getting fed up of it Neily

We're just too inconsistent. The ability is clearly there as can be seen in games like vs NZ a couple of years ago. It therefore means it can only be a mental or attitude issue.


And inconsistent in games. A lot was made of the comeback at Twickenham (which was excellent) but as a coach you should be fixing whatever it was that caused such a huge deficit in the first place.


As to the "Barclay headbutt" as referenced by TJ. Having not seen the game was that a headbutt by or on Barclay? I know a Frenchman has been cited for an incident.

https://www.world.rugby/news/444109?lang=en

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Post by BigGee on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:33 am

The French player flew into a ruck head first with no attempt to bind on a clatered into Barclays head. He did not go off, but did not seem the same player afterwards.

It was pretty reckless and looked worthy of a citing.

I would not call it a deliberate head butt though

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 1:06 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
tigertattie wrote:I'm just getting fed up of it Neily

We're just too inconsistent. The ability is clearly there as can be seen in games like vs NZ a couple of years ago. It therefore means it can only be a mental or attitude issue.


And inconsistent in games. A lot was made of the comeback at Twickenham (which was excellent) but as a coach you should be fixing whatever it was that caused such a huge deficit in the first place.


As to the "Barclay headbutt" as referenced by TJ. Having not seen the game was that a headbutt by or on Barclay? I know a Frenchman has been cited for an incident.

https://www.world.rugby/news/444109?lang=en

This is the bit that worries me the most LT. It was all swept under the carpet at the time, but when Finn was interviewed he basically said that the coaches were saying "stick to plan A" but he felt plan A wasnt working so he took it onhimself to do plan B.

Could Townsend have lost the changing room? Are the players now just not listening to him? We're the rank opposite of Ireland who seem to be a team that plays as a whole that is greater then the sum of it's parts. We're the opposite, we're not even getting to the sum of our parts.

We look devoid of leadership and direction!
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Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 1:11 pm

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/french-lock-cited-but-hearing-listed-as-three-weeks-after-the-rugby-world-cup

Apparently not being cited until after. Joke

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Post by EST on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 1:12 pm

What's really worrying is that out next game is our last opportunity to test ourselves against a tier one team. Yes, Georgia will be a huge physical test, especially away from home, but we really should be putting them away.

I can't help feel that these fixtures should have come the other way around.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 1:16 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:https://www.rugbypass.com/news/french-lock-cited-but-hearing-listed-as-three-weeks-after-the-rugby-world-cup

Apparently not being cited until after. Joke

If you look at the communique from World Rugby (I posted link above) it states the hearing is tomorrow 20th August.

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Post by RDW on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 1:46 pm

On the citing, if the angle from the far side shows there was no arms involved in the clearout it is a straight red incident. That's what it looked like from the original angle.

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Post by bsando on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 1:53 pm

jimbopip wrote:Brando, a well balanced and considered assessment.  Keep it up and you'll be banned for shaming the rest of us.
The main quibble I have with your team for Saturday is that I seem to recall Toonie saying that Johnson was due to be fit by  the Georgia games. I think Taylor will probably bench so the starting 12 is either Hutch or Furra. See how quickly our embarrassment of riches becomes a dearth. I'm not sure we learn anything from playing Dancer and I also feel that Haircut should be sat on the naughty step and made to watch his rival have a crack at it.

Cheers Jimbo! Ah I didn't realise he was injured. Horne most likely then at 12 perhaps? But Taylor could be given another start alongside Jones if Toonie likes the look of that combo. Really hope we win this one!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 2:40 pm

Well my 8 hour drive up to Edinburgh better be worth it!

To be honest I'd even take an 80 minute performance at this stage, let alone a win. It all feels a bit Andy Robinson meets Scott Johnson at the moment! (Funnily enough, two coaches Toonie worked with and learnt off of!)
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Post by jimbopip on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 3:02 pm

So many cries de couers Sad

OK boys, this is Scotland we're talking about.
This is Toonie we're talking about.

OK so their scrum dismantled ours. French front rows playing at home do that to most sides most of the time.

Our pack, collectively, were never in the right place at the right time to stop them smashing it up through the middle. True, but I did notice last week in one of the interviews one of the senior players talking about the difference between being really fit and breaking PB's in raining and actual match fitness and how the next block of training will be more match focussed. Let's hope that block begins on Monday.

A 9-15 which hadn't played together looked disjointed and struggled. Quelle surprise.

Let's look at what we have learned

So long and thanks for the fish  Bluto, Barry, Bhatti, the last at least for this World Cup. The first two, The Long Goodbye.

The Beautiful And The Damned Blarehorn and Haircut. Both seem to be in the process of being undone by their own talents. Blarehorn reminds me of Rob Dewey who reached international status mainly by virtue of being a huge laddie on the wing. Then he reached a level where he couldn't run over people and we were all shocked to realise that his cupboard was bare. No swerve, no sidestep no outside break. Nothing. Nada. Similarly, I get the feeling that for mot of his life King Blarehorn has caught the ball, run round eight or nine players and dotted the ball down. Now that he's being asked to make decisions under pressure he's making Boris Johnson's edicts on Brexit  look like the wisdom of Solomon.
As for Haircut  picard  if I could be bothered I would look out the video clip midway through the first half of the pro 14 final, Glasgow are trying to get back in front, they have Leinster pinned back, they have gone through afew phases and the defence is under pressure. Haircut throws a big looping pass out to the left winger, missing out both centres. It is slightly behind him and bounces before it reaches him. He has to check to gather it and is then bundled into touch. Glasgow lose possession and the defence breathe a huge sigh of relief. Now, did he not do EXACTLY the same thing on Saturday night? Then compound it by grubber kicking the ball straight to their full back on the next possession!
With both these lads I think their self-belief has drifted into arrogance and they feel that their beautiful talents will triumph every time. Personally, I just wish that Finlay Calder had been on the pitch with them during their formative years.

The Hobbit, Or There And Back The World Cup will be a long journey, an adventure even. There is no point going all Bilbo Baggins and protesting, "Adventures. No thank you. Nasty , uncomfortable things. No thank you." Saturday was dragons and direwolves and orcs and pitiless sorcerers. If we don't weep with frustration and disappointment we are not Scotland fans. Remember, we are in the phony war. I'd rather feel like we do today than I did immediately before Argentina 1978.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 3:12 pm

jimbopip wrote:So many cries de couers Sad

OK boys, this is Scotland we're talking about.
This is Toonie we're talking about.

OK so their scrum dismantled ours. French front rows playing at home do that to most sides most of the time.

Our pack, collectively, were never in the right place at the right time to stop them smashing it up through the middle. True, but I did notice last week in one of the interviews one of the senior players talking about the difference between being really fit and breaking PB's in raining and actual match fitness and how the next block of training will be more match focussed. Let's hope that block begins on Monday.

A 9-15 which hadn't played together looked disjointed and struggled. Quelle surprise.

Let's look at what we have learned

So long and thanks for the fish  Bluto, Barry, Bhatti, the last at least for this World Cup. The first two, The Long Goodbye.

The Beautiful And The Damned Blarehorn and Haircut. Both seem to be in the process of being undone by their own talents. Blarehorn reminds me of Rob Dewey who reached international status mainly by virtue of being a huge laddie on the wing. Then he reached a level where he couldn't run over people and we were all shocked to realise that his cupboard was bare. No swerve, no sidestep no outside break. Nothing. Nada. Similarly, I get the feeling that for mot of his life King Blarehorn has caught the ball, run round eight or nine players and dotted the ball down. Now that he's being asked to make decisions under pressure he's making Boris Johnson's edicts on Brexit  look like the wisdom of Solomon.
As for Haircut  picard  if I could be bothered I would look out the video clip midway through the first half of the pro 14 final, Glasgow are trying to get back in front, they have Leinster pinned back, they have gone through afew phases and the defence is under pressure. Haircut throws a big looping pass out to the left winger, missing out both centres. It is slightly behind him and bounces before it reaches him. He has to check to gather it and is then bundled into touch. Glasgow lose possession and the defence breathe a huge sigh of relief. Now, did he not do EXACTLY the same thing on Saturday night? Then compound it by grubber kicking the ball straight to their full back on the next possession!
With both these lads I think their self-belief has drifted into arrogance and they feel that their beautiful talents will triumph every time. Personally, I just wish that Finlay Calder had been on the pitch with them during their formative years.

The Hobbit, Or There And Back The World Cup will be a long journey, an adventure even. There is no point going all Bilbo Baggins and protesting, "Adventures. No thank you. Nasty , uncomfortable things. No thank you." Saturday was dragons and direwolves and orcs and pitiless sorcerers. If we don't weep with frustration and disappointment we are not Scotland fans. Remember, we are in the phony war. I'd rather feel like we do today than I did immediately before Argentina 1978.

A year where we aren't crushed with disappointment is the year all the other teams catch norovirus.

It's just frustrating as it's not as if France set the world alight this year, and were in the same boat really. We have actually outfrenched the French.

We just need a gameplan and someone who is not scared to give the players a b*llocking - but not to the extent of Cockers who believes in his way or no way.

We need Shlong to come back and give an inspirational speech prior to the game. For all his faults he was often the most passionate player on the field.

Basically we need the team to exhibit attributes in Japan that (bar the second half against England) they haven't exhibited for over a year...
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Post by BigGee on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 4:12 pm

Lamont was actually pitchside on saturday night

I think he is involved on the S&C side of things, not that that seems to have been going well either

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Post by 123456789. on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 4:21 pm

I'm not sure you can blame the away, soft stuff on Gregor Townsend. Vern Cotter recognised it and failed to remedy it by having them kill rabbits. Perhaps Toonie should have them out big game hunting. If killing rabbits doesn't toughen them, then wrestling elephants might. Our away record is terrible back to his days of playing. Against the five nations teams we have gone a combined 83 years without a win away. That spans through Cotter, Johnson, Robinson, Hadden, Williams, McGeechan... I'm not sure it's a lack of leadership as much as a lack of 'know how'. For 38 minutes in the second half against England we were utterly brilliant. The last two were miserable. We were around the halfway line with seconds on the clock. From that point it's simple; don't compete at the rucks, spread the defence across the pitch, allow them to get desperate and either expose themselves (in rugby terms not literally) or make a mistake. Teams do it to us all of the time. We conceded a penalty, they scored. Everyone was still relatively happy because of the comeback. To an extent it will be as simple as softness; there is no Alun Wyn Jones or Jonny Sexton or Owen Farrell who has been in those big do or die European games, Six Nations deciders and Lions tests. Perhaps it's a symptom of the relative scarcity of our professional resources. Jonny Sexton had to clamour for years and years past Contepomi for Leinster, past O'Gara for Ireland. He'd won two European cups by 2011 (dragging Leinster through the 2011 final almost single-handed). When the 2011 world cup came round he was still not an automatic first choice for Ireland. He was 26 at that point. Adam Hastings is 22, when he made his Scotland debut he wasn't considered definitely ahead of Peter Horne in the Glasgow 10 pecking order. He now has 11 caps, at his age Sexton had not won a single one.
I think Hastings is quite possibly a more talented player than Sexton. But he has never had to fight to the same extent that Sexton had to (or believed he had to) to get to where he is today. It sounds silly but when things are going against him in the way it was in the Pro14 final or in the game on Saturday, he simply does not have the reserves that Sexton (or even Russell) has to delve into. The experience of playing on a Poopie pitch for a semi-pro team or battling past a more experienced pro to get into the side. Farrell had Hodgson at Saracens, Russell went through the Scottish club system, Biggar has been written off a lot and is obviously a very angry man; Sexton is very, very angry all of the time, went through the Irish club system and had to battle past O'Gara and Contepomi. Compared to those four, but particularly Sexton (who has achieved the most) Hastings has had it relatively easy. It's the same across our side, players have to achieve less to get into our team than they do for many other sides and we wonder why they're a bit soft.
Partly that has to be considered a hangover from the dross that we had from 2004-2014. Players like Ruaridh Jackson being capped ahead of time by dint of not being Dan Parks. There's no doubt we have a very talented group of players now, equally as talented as the Welsh, Irish and English. There's plenty of time to remedy the plethora of issues (hopefully in time for the printers of the 'Scotland World Cup Champions 2019' t-shirts to make a profit) and to see them be successful, tournament challengers (and ideally winners) for Scotland. It may be that the effort of pushing out Hogg and Russell is what Kinghorn and Hastings need to toughen up. Although Laidlaw has been leaving the door ajar from 2014 and not one of our very talented trio of Hidalgo-Clyne, Price or Horne has driven through conclusively yet. I am starting to wonder if we'll finally see Laidlaw entirely lose his place when George Horne's grandson steals his zimmer frame.

Anyway all's well that ends well, and we'll laugh at the doomsday predictions after we win the world cup. Losing 32-3 against France is no worse than 61-21 against the English or 34-7 to Wales.

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 9:32 am

I dont think big game hunting is the answer.

For me, when the team come back I'd take them to two places:

1. A club in the "rough" areas of Glasgow, showing them that there's a whole generation of youngsters looking up to them and looking at rugby as a way to bring structure and teamwork to thier lives.

2. A soup kitchen in the middle of Edinburgh on a pishing down horrid night showing them that there's people on this earth who would give thier back teeth to have the comfort and security these boys have.

They need to understand that the people of Scotland don't expect them to be world beaters but we really really do expect them to have pride in their jersey and for them to give every ounce of effort when they are out on that pitch!
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Post by 123456789. on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 1:21 pm

tigertattie wrote:I dont think big game hunting is the answer.

For me, when the team come back I'd take them to two places:

1. A club in the "rough" areas of Glasgow, showing them that there's a whole generation of youngsters looking up to them and looking at rugby as a way to bring structure and teamwork to thier lives.

2. A soup kitchen in the middle of Edinburgh on a pishing down horrid night showing them that there's people on this earth who would give thier back teeth to have the comfort and security these boys have.

They need to understand that the people of Scotland don't expect them to be world beaters but we really really do expect them to have pride in their jersey and for them to give every ounce of effort when they are out on that pitch!

I really think Big Game Hunting would have the desired effect. Nothing would galvanise the nation more than a hippopotamus running scared just looking at Gordon Reid.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 2:03 pm

France's team for this weekend looks strong - pretty much full strength. Players largely in their actual positions too, which is novel.

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