Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September

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Post by BigGee on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 11:39 am

So after a mixed bag in the first two games, we now face a difficult away trip to Tiblisi followed 6 days later by hosting the same team at home at Murrayfield.

With the travelling involved, a 6 hour flight apparently, as well as a Georgian team with a lot to prove playing in front of a crowd of 50,000, this ill no doubt be a serious test and an indication of what playing in a hostile environment in unpleasant conditions will be like. A dress rehersal for the Japan game in many ways.

So who does he play first up?

The squad is being finalised after the away game, but you would imagine that he is not going to want to waste any spaces on players that he has already made his mind up about.

He certainly is not going to risk any injured players, so that rules out Thompson, Skinner, Seymour for sure, along with the possibity of Taylor, Bradbury, Gray and we are not sure if Brown and Johnson will be fit either.

I am going to assume that none of them are ready to travel and have a stab at a team along these lines:

1. Reid
2. McInally
3. Fagerson Z
4. Gilchrist
5. Cummings
6. Wilson
7. Ritchie
8. Fagerson M
9. Horne G
10. Hastings
11. Graham
12. Hutchinson
13. Jones
14. Maitland
15. Kinghorn

Subs
Berghan
Turner
Nel
Toolis
Barclay
Price
Horne P
Harris

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Post by BigGee on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 11:44 am

Team are flying out tomorrow and so squad will be told who is playing today

Not sure when official announcement is though

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Post by RDW on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 11:57 am

Anyone else really nervous about this game? I fear an ambush, and I'm not convinced Bigee's team above would have enough to cope with it!

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Post by BigGee on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 12:05 pm

Skinner definitely out of WC squad

Tim Swinson has come in to train with the squad!

Seems very strange not to bring in RG, maybe something going on that we don't know about? Further injuries etc


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Post by 123456789. on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 12:08 pm

I think perhaps Richie Gray and Gregor Townsend may have had a bit of an argument. Swinson has never been nearly the player that Gray is.

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Post by jimbopip on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 12:09 pm

That's a kick in the teeth for principal who was looking really good; dynamic and aggressive.

Timbo training with the squad Shocked Well he's got plenty of dog as the Criminal Element would say.

We really need to see Ickle Jonny play soon.

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Post by RDW on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 12:09 pm

I really hope the journos press Townsend for an answer on why Gray continues to be ommited, but they tend to lack any balls to ask the big question (or are not allowed to) so I won't hold my breath.

Vastly experienced lock and British and Irish Lion who is a regular for one of the best teams in Europe versus a decent club man who has never done much at International level.....madness.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 12:10 pm

RDW wrote:Anyone else really nervous about this game? I fear an ambush, and I'm not convinced Bigee's team above would have enough to cope with it!

Yes it is going to be a tough one no doubt. In our favour may well be the two French games which if nothing else will have shaken off the rust.

Georgia have not had such a warm up, their match with Russia was cancelled for political reasons and they play the Southern Kings tonight, which with all due respect, will be a serious miss match

We are certainly not going to have our strongest team out again, but we really do need to step up, I can't beleive they are going to be complacent about this game and for some of them, it will be their last chance.

I am also hoping that some of the injured players may in fact play in this game, though clearly not Skinner now, who is really unlucky and I thought played really well on saturday.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 12:10 pm

BigGee wrote:Skinner definitely out of WC squad

Tim Swinson has come in to train with the squad!

Seems very strange not to bring in RG, maybe something going on that we don't know about? Further injuries etc


Absolute waste of a spot, not a chance he's going, nor will he play. If this is just to make up bodies then surely a young lad should be given a chance to experience being involved, rather than Swinson. I mean ideally RG should be there as BigGee says, but Swinson is a bizarre call-up

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 12:10 pm

RDW wrote:Anyone else really nervous about this game? I fear an ambush, and I'm not convinced Bigee's team above would have enough to cope with it!

I am not Scottish yet I am nervous. Especially about the potential for injury.

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Post by RDW on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 12:14 pm

I wonder if Gray declined the call up. Given his injuries last season he'd maybe rather get proper gametime with Toulouse than spend the next 2 months holding tackle bags. We're one more lock injury from Tim Swinson being in the squad now - madness. This has 2015 written all over it again when Swinson was picked over Hamitlon despite not being part of the summer camps and having just got back from his honeymoon!

There's got to be more to this.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 12:14 pm

So that may have opened up the door for Toolis to get back into the squad, having nearly played his way out of it in the first game.

Looks like Cummings will go now and BT needs to see off Swinson for the last spot.

I guess he needed to bring another lock back into the squad in case there is another injury.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 12:19 pm

Some of the journos suggesting that they brought Swinson in as someone who can offer crossover cover with the backrow, in the same way that Skinner could.

Maybe Thompson could have fulfilled that role as well, except his injury status is not clear now either

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Post by RDW on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 12:21 pm

It's written in the stars - Swinson is going to end up going to the WC isn't he.

Might as well call up Strokosh too while we're at it! He is in good shape to be fair after all the stone lifting.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 12:29 pm

RDW wrote:It's written in the stars - Swinson is going to end up going to the WC isn't he.

Might as well call up Strokosh too while we're at it! He is in good shape to be fair after all the stone lifting.

Jim Hamilton has been seen relacing his boots.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 1:02 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
RDW wrote:It's written in the stars - Swinson is going to end up going to the WC isn't he.

Might as well call up Strokosh too while we're at it! He is in good shape to be fair after all the stone lifting.

Jim Hamilton has been seen relacing his boots.

He would be doubly p**d off if it happen, baring in mind how it panned out last time!

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Post by BigGee on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 1:06 pm

Rob Robertson suggesting that RG was offerred the place vacated by Skinner but turned it down, wanting to be at home with the new baby.

I guess that is a good enough reason especially as he was not expecting to have been going having missed out on the original squad.

That may be the end of his international career and if so, you would have to say that it did not really quite live up to its original promise, albeit there have been some highlights along the way. He always did seem like someone who did not like to be in the limelight though and he may be happy to go quietly into the sunset.

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Post by George Carlin on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 1:11 pm

I am staggered that Jim has not yet offered the quote that he has Georgia on his mind.
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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 4:02 pm

A lot of us Welsh fans will be paying close attention to this game. Georgia being our first opponents.

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Post by demosthenes on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 4:22 pm

BigGee wrote:Rob Robertson suggesting that RG was offerred the place vacated by Skinner but turned it down, wanting to be at home with the new baby.

I guess that is a good enough reason especially as he was not expecting to have been going having missed out on the original squad.

That may be the end of his international career and if so, you would have to say that it did not really quite live up to its original promise, albeit there have been some highlights along the way. He always did seem like someone who did not like to be in the limelight though and he may be happy to go quietly into the sunset.

Toonie could always roll the tombola and name RG in the final 31 anyway, on the basis that he is match-fit and if he joins up with the squad in Japan is experienced enough to be able to fit in with less prep time. Especially if his brother has been keeping him up to speed with things. Long shot, I know, but by no means impossible.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 4:35 pm

Danny Wilson confirming the RG story in the afternoon press conference. Swinson is in the squad currently as training cover, but presumably would get elevated if another lock gets injured.

So that surely kind of means that all four locks currently in the squad will go, baring injuries.

He also said that they had not ruled out SS coming back into the squad during the tournament if anyone does get injured. They are unsure of the prognosis of the injury, but are looking at least 4 weeks and I guess they cannot take a chance on it going any longer than that. It would be good for the lad if he did get another shot, not that i am wishing injury on anyone else.

Better news as well on Seymour and Thompson who are on track with their concussion protocols. It was definitely the right thing to do to pull them off immediately, but then again for concussion, it always is!

It don't see either of them either playing or flying to Georgia, but hopefully they will be back the following week.

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Post by profitius on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 4:37 pm

Think playing Georgia twice is a good idea? They're an attritional type of team who will look to win through physicality. So there could be injuries.


It's a no win situation for Scotland. Win and they won't get much praise but if they lose the knives will be out.
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Post by BigGee on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 4:44 pm

profitius wrote:Think playing Georgia twice is a good idea? They're an attritional type of team who will look to win through physicality. So there could be injuries.


It's a no win situation for Scotland. Win and they won't get much praise but if they lose the knives will be out.

What can you do, we do need some hard games to knock us into shape. Not many international teams will lack in physicality these days, unless they are undercooked.

Most of the Georgians are professional players these days and will want to go to the WC. They won't be going if they start doing stupid things on the pitch.

This is the sort of game we traditionally struggle in, but it is exactly the sort of game we need to play and win to show we are a better side than we are often given credit for. We really should have the game to beat them without getting totally sucked into a war of attrition which is what they will try and do for sure.

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Post by Tramptastic on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 4:46 pm

profitius wrote:Think playing Georgia twice is a good idea? They're an attritional type of team who will look to win through physicality. So there could be injuries.


It's a no win situation for Scotland. Win and they won't get much praise but if they lose the knives will be out.

Scotland are still at a stage where they have a wider training squad. This away match is seen as a chance for the fringe players to push their case/get pushed out, the squad is expected to be trimmed after the away game/cut to the 31 which means the final game will be about giving the 1st choicers time to get form

So overall, would hope that not a lot of 1st choice picks get taken in the away game which the Georgians will be gunning for and is likely to be the more physical of the 2

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Post by jimbopip on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 4:48 pm

GC, it'll be A Rainy Night in Georgia before I stop to such predictable pop culture references. And I'll brook no bent on that. drumroll

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 5:01 pm

profitius wrote:Think playing Georgia twice is a good idea? They're an attritional type of team who will look to win through physicality. So there could be injuries.


It's a no win situation for Scotland. Win and they won't get much praise but if they lose the knives will be out.

We were discussing who had the best arranged warm up amongst the 4 B&I countries. Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I would not exchange the schedule we had with teh head to head games first, then a tough home game (ok not in hindsight tough), followed by a week off to allow bodies to rest and extra fitness sessions before the easiest game last and fly out.

I think Scotland's was the worst ending as it does with this double header against an extremely physical team.

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Post by RDW on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 5:10 pm

I think a 1 week break between one of the games would have been good. Especially for those on a HIA - if they get one it's basically guaranteed they won't play the next week.

The downside of that is your first game would be a week earlier so less training time. And it's not like Scotland were in great shape for their first game anyway!

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 5:12 pm

I think the convo with Toonie and Ritchie Gray would have been along the lines of:

"Big man, It's toonie, how do you fancy joing the traing squad?"

"Hi Gregor old bean, that sounds interesting, tell me, am I realisitically going to be going to Japan or will I be going to a triaing camp to hold tackle bags for the other boys who actually will be going"?

"yeah bud, its tackle bags for you"

"nah yer ok there boss, I'd rather spend my time with the little one before the club season starts as my club that I play for think I'm a good player, BI lion and all that, so they'll be playing me most weeks so I might as well get some valuable time with the bub now rather than wasting my time at a camp where I'm surplus to requirements"

Man management. The most difficult part of any job!!!
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Post by RDW on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 5:16 pm

Problem with that tattie is the French league started last weekend!

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Post by profitius on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 7:33 pm

BigGee wrote:
profitius wrote:Think playing Georgia twice is a good idea? They're an attritional type of team who will look to win through physicality. So there could be injuries.


It's a no win situation for Scotland. Win and they won't get much praise but if they lose the knives will be out.

What can you do, we do need some hard games to knock us into shape. Not many international teams will lack in physicality these days, unless they are undercooked.

Most of the Georgians are professional players these days and will want to go to the WC. They won't be going if they start doing stupid things on the pitch
.

This is the sort of game we traditionally struggle in, but it is exactly the sort of game we need to play and win to show we are a better side than we are often given credit for. We really should have the game to beat them without getting totally sucked into a war of attrition which is what they will try and do for sure.


Theyll view this game as a massive opportunity. Theyve been pushing for a place in the 6 nations for a while now so i reckon they'll be desparate to win especially in front of their fans.
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Post by Anglobraveheart on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 12:13 am

The forecast for Tbilisi is due to be 33 degrees over the next two days, then dropping to 21 degrees and piddling down all day Saturday. Not sure if that will benefit us or not? But, you would hope that our guys should be able to handle the conditions better, being the higher ranked country, and with the bulk of the players playing regularly at a higher level.
I think we might see seasoned campaigners up front and a second string back division.

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Post by RDW on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 7:36 am

Rain isn't good - will turn it into the mud wrestle they they want.

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Post by bsando on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 8:26 am

Well Georgia beat Southern kings 24 - 20 last night. However the score was Georgia 5 - 20 Kings on the 68 minute mark?!? I'm assuming that was a Georgian 2nd string side surely?


Team that just beat Southern Kings

Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September Screen14

vs 2016 Autumn test side to lose to Scotland

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Post by RDW on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 8:37 am

Can imagine it was a mainly 2nd string team given it was on a Tuesday I don't know enough about Georgian rugby to know! Fair play to Southern Kings for trecking to Georgia though.

I like that it was the 'TBC' rugby series.

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Post by RDW on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 9:01 am

In other news, the NZ squad announcement really shows how tight a 31 man squad is. Their choice to have a 5th back 3 player means they only have 5 props, 4 locks (including Retallick who is out until at last the QF) and 5 back row.

You're going to have to compromise somewhere! Saying that once they play SA they've got a hell of an easy group with Canada, Namibia and Italy to follow.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 9:15 am

More WC chat related than for this game, but Russia lost to Jersey. I think it was a 2nd string Russian team, but we really should be winning that game comfortably.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 9:35 am

Scotland take Georgia lightly at your peril, they almost beat Wales two years ago at the Principality, they are a very physical side, who will try and take you on up front.

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Post by Tramptastic on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 9:41 am

LordDowlais wrote:Scotland take Georgia lightly at your peril, they almost beat Wales two years ago at the Principality, they are a very physical side, who will try and take you on up front.

Don't think anyone is! we played them last in 2016ish with a final score that was something along the lines of 40-10 at Kilmarnock, wasn't pretty and the georgians looked organised and surprisingly tidy behind the scrum

Of more concern was the world cup match against them in 2011 which we won 11-6(?), barely! They are a good side and probably should be playing the six nations sides more regularly, if not annually in the seven nations!

This is a proper banana skin but it'll be a good match (win or lose) to figure out who to cull from the wider squad

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Post by EST on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 10:27 am

I'm torn over what to do for this game. Part of me thinks that as it will be a very similar environment to the Japanese game, 'd be inclined to go over there with our first team for the experience. The other part of me thinks we should send the b team and wrap Hoggy et al. in cotton wool.

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Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September Empty Re: Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September

Post by RDW on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 10:30 am

I would rather we pick a team that gets a win than experiment too much - can imagine the press reaction if Georgia won. That's not something we want to get caught up in in our world cup prep!

Saying that I do think some players need more gametime to settle some debates about selection - LH, BR and centres being the main areas. Finn and Hoggy should be rested though.

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Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September Empty Re: Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September

Post by Tramptastic on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 10:45 am

I think the difference in Georgia between this game and the Murrayfield return fixture is going to be massive. They are going to be at 110% for this home game, over the top physical - i would much rather not risk Russell, Hogg etc for this one. Give them the home fixture instead and use this game to cull the fringe players

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Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September Empty Re: Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September

Post by George Carlin on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 11:15 am

Well, this is what happened last time:

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Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September Empty Re: Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September

Post by EST on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 11:16 am

Tramptastic wrote:I think the difference in Georgia between this game and the Murrayfield return fixture is going to be massive. They are going to be at 110% for this home game, over the top physical - i would much rather not risk Russell, Hogg etc for this one. Give them the home fixture instead and use this game to cull the fringe players

I sort of agree, but we are a different team completely at home - would we not benefit much more from getting a really good win away from home, in a hostile atmosphere? I think the only two players I would exclude are Finn and Hoggy.

I wonder when the team is announced, i sort of expected it to be today.

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Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September Empty Re: Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September

Post by demosthenes on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 11:17 am

Tramptastic wrote:I think the difference in Georgia between this game and the Murrayfield return fixture is going to be massive. They are going to be at 110% for this home game, over the top physical - i would much rather not risk Russell, Hogg etc for this one. Give them the home fixture instead and use this game to cull the fringe players

Agree 100% on that. If the 31 is to be announced between the two games, this is the last chance for fringe players. Unless they are already 'off the boarding list' they will deserve one last chance. And from a publicity point of view, it would be better to go there with the 'possibles' and lose than to do so with the 'probables' and win at the cost of injuries. The result of this game does not matter - its what we learn from it that matters.

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Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September Empty Re: Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September

Post by BigGee on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 11:34 am

No, don't agree with that

The result does matter. We showed we could roll up the sleeves and grind out a result last weekend. Got to do the same here or else we will be perpetually labelled a team that can only win at home and it will just reinforce thst mind set with the players.

We have lost to many soft games away in recent years and somehow that needx to change if we ard evet going to improve

Do you think Ireland England or Wales would be happy to go out there and lose?

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Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September Empty Re: Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September

Post by Tramptastic on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 11:49 am

Whats the needs at this point though? losing 1st choice players unnecessarily to injury in a game that has no bearing on our pool games in Japan but at least we got the win?

Nah. Opportunity for the fringe players to show they should be starting and if they muck it up then we've learnt a lot more than we would playing Hogg, Russell, Nel etc

We know our front line players can play well, if we dont give the fringe players a shot then it doesnt help our decision making going forward

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Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September Empty Re: Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September

Post by BigGee on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 11:55 am

These fringe pkayers are all internationals, some if them pretty experienced

They should have enough in them to best Georgia, we can't just use the excuse is not our strongest tesm or we were playing away

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Post by Tramptastic on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 12:02 pm

I totally agree with you there! they should be beating them, home and away, and if they don't they should know the consequences. I just dont think risking our best players tells us anything.

Look at the first Wales England game - Gatland chucked out his 1st team with his obvious intention being to win the game/get his 1st choice team up to speed. The result was they lost both the score and Anscombe to injury - should they have put out his 2nd choice team like England did? Maybe, but hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Townsend will want to win this match. He will also tell any side he puts out he expects them to win it so I think he'll chuck out his fringe players to finally establish who's going and who's not

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Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September Empty Re: Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September

Post by tigertattie on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 12:19 pm

You can't play international rugby on the basis of who you want to protect from injury.

You dont want your 1st XV going into the world cup undercooked and potentially picking up injuries over in Japan.

I'll use Wales as the example. Say you kept Anscombe out of that first game and it was Biggar who got injured. You then need to play Anscombe in all the following games and if he then gets injured, yer stuffed.

If you dont get players battle hardened then in the first game they play, the risk of injury is far greater due to lack of match fitness.
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Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September Empty Re: Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September

Post by jimbopip on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 5:15 pm

BigGee wrote:No, don't agree with that

The result does matter. We showed we could roll up the sleeves and grind out a result last weekend. Got to do the same here or else we will be perpetually labelled a team that can only win at home and it will just reinforce thst mind set with the players.

We have lost to many soft games away in recent years and somehow that needx to change if we ard evet going to improve

Do you think Ireland  England or Wales would be happy to go out there and lose?

I tend to agree with this, mainly due to how the two France fixtures and the unavailability of some players combined to fecc up any plans Toonie may have had. We still have far too many unanswered questions. We still don't know who our best 12 is. "Best" in the sense of being fit and in form. Of the three, serious, candidates; Taylor played an hour spent mainly chasing Frenchmen en route to our try line and hasn't been heard about since, Johnson hasn't been seen at all and Furra Linee decided the French needed a head start to make things interesting. I still think he looked as if his hamstring had tightened up when he went off: possibly playing with a lower back injury?.
The 13 jersey is almost identical; Not A Pony had a very blah game against the French, Harris was very competent against the French and Hutch looked very good in the first match but "alright" in the second.
Now you could say Taylor-Jones were unlucky in Nice because if you're pack is getting stuffed there's not much you can do to showcase your attacking skills and as such they need to start this game to allow them a chance to stake their claim. But, at the same time, if we play a "possibles" team and lose then (a) the first XV picks itself by default and that isn't good for morale, and (b) the continued inability to win away will sit on our shoulders eating bananas and throwing faeces at passers-by for at least another month.

I was extremely hurt when a few of our Luvvie brethren ganged up after I dared suggest Ben Toolis had done himself no favours in Nice: two things that have come out of the Scotland coaches lately and I paraphrase in Nice our tight five were very poor at stopping the French driving up the middle, which led to the back row being tied in at the tackle and unable to stop quick ball so the French backs made hay, whereas in Edinburgh the usually destructive French driving line out maul recorded a negative yardage over the course of the game.

Now there was a very stark difference in the aggression and determination shown by the packs in those two games. Anyone who started in the forwards in Nice, with the exceptions of Rambo and Hamish, must surely have been wondering about their place in the squad. Similarly, anyone who played in the pack on Saturday must have done their chances a lot of good.

Before Nice I would have rated the locks;
Gray
Skinner
Toolis
Gichrist
Cummings

So,
Gray is still not fit Sad but hopefully will play the return Georgia match.
Principal is out Sad Sad Sad
Gichrist put himself about to good effect on Saturday.
Cummings had a very good game.
Toolis will travel. He has credit in the bank and we are in danger of running out of locks. But that doesn't mean he didn't underperform massively in Nice.

Oh and Boris Johnson is trying to set a dangerous precedent: Parliament wont allow me to pass the legislation I want, I'll just shut Parliament down while I pass it then. I don't care what any of us feel about Brexit, that is simply unacceptable in a parliamentary democracy.


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