Scotland post mortem

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 1:49 pm

So we're oot.

Question is... what now?

Do we think toonie will stay? If he does take the can which seems quite likely then who do we get to replace him?

I think this has to be the end of a few players too. We can't keep picking people on past form.
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Post by bico on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 1:50 pm

TAXI for TOONIE

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:02 pm

The plan is

Hire Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd and buy a delorian. Go back in time and shoot whoever though of replacing Vern with Toonie.

Explain that SJ will be a one hit wonder, upgrade Taylor’s health insurance.

Tell the Horne parents to encourage George to play rugby but to advise Pete to go into a career in social media influencing.

Cap Hutchinson in the 6ns

Tell players that kicking the ball away aimlessly is a silly idea.
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Post by sensisball on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:06 pm

I still fear the SRU will not push Toonie, and he is sitting on around 400 K, no one else is mad enough to pay him that kind of wedge.
Has Toonie got the character to pull the plug himself? Time will tell.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:09 pm

Its more like back to the future II. Howley owns a gambling empire from winnings when he skipped forward in time to see Japan top their pool.

He now controls the future, along with Gatland to ensure Scotland never reach tier one again and are relegated from the 6Ns for Georgia.

Toonie and the Scotland team explore the wastelands, looking for teams to play other than Spain and Belgium.


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Post by Eejit on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:10 pm

Well that was a complete fudging disgrace.

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:13 pm

If the galoot fi gala doesn’t walk then the SRU simply have to bin him.

Our game plan and tactics vs different teams simply isn’t correct. Giving Japan 80% possession is as silly as not playing a phase game and just chucking the ball wide, or worse, kicking it, when it simply isn’t on.

The issue is though who would come to replace him? We need someone pragmatic to turn us into a competent team and no one with that level of pragmatism would be silly enough to sign up with us.
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Post by BigGee on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:15 pm

I think Toonie will fall on his sword, he did look completely broken in his interview. Have a decent break, then back into club coaching in some shape or form. I still think he has a lot to give as a coach but probably had not earned his spurs for this role in truth.

I have always been a Toonie fan and if he has lost me, then he probably has lost pretty much everyone else.

I would like to get a new coach in now though and to give them a full WC cycle. There is going to be some rebuilding of this team required with a few old stalwarts needing to stand down.

Laidlaw, Reid, Barclay, Nel, Seymour, Wilson and Horne P have probably all played their last Scotland games now and some of the other 30 somethings may want to think about whether they have another WC cycle in them.

Some of them in truth, were past their best prior to this tournament and it has shown.

Who the next coach might be is the $600 million dollar question.

Dave Rennie? A return to Scotland for Cotter? I am struggling to see to many other outstanding candidates out there. Jamie Joseph would be good, but I think he is staying with Japan.

Maybe Scott Robertson if he does not get the All Blacks job!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:20 pm

I know edinburgh fans have mixed feelings, but i feel cockers may actually do alright as head coach, provided he has a good team that doesn't include Hodge. He flogs the same group of players but that's not such a problem at international. In fact he may be the hard erse we need.

Beyond cockers theres rennie who is a definite no from me. Beyond that who else do we have? We're back to being a poisoned chalice, thanks to toonie and his insistence on having the job 2 years ago.
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Post by BigGee on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:32 pm

I would be amazed if his contract did not have some sort of review clause in it at this stage, so it is likely that the SRU probably could off load him at this stage without costing them a fortune.

The question is, unless we get someone else who is going to take the team forward, is it a worthwhile exercise.

Cockers is not the man for me, better at the day to day graft of club coaching than the more cerebral international game.

Whoever we get, it is always going to be a gamble, that is the truth, but there is the basis of a decent team in Scotland and that might attract someone.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:34 pm

Do we think jim malinder will be installed as interim? For me that could potentially become a long term solution too.
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Post by TJ on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:39 pm

Townsend has to carry the can for the failure to qualify along with the people at the SRU who decided to dich Cotter adn parachute him in. Clearly out of his depth and we have gone backwards under him.

He has the makings of a good coach but needs a lot more experience.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:43 pm

Scotland need to have a long think about how they want to play.

From the outside looking in it all looks disjointed. The forwards are big but not especially powerful and bit particularly mobile. They have a tendency to want to play narrow. The backs are the not built for that, they are inventive and pacey and want to play wide. Bad combination. Made worse by pairing a steady Laidlaw who likes a methodical pace to a maverick like Russell.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:44 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:Do we think jim malinder will be installed as interim? For me that could potentially become a long term solution too.

Do we need an interim?

We are not playing again until February and the 6N.

If we are going to make a change, best do it now and start the 6N with a clean slate.

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:54 pm

Toonie Either he goes PDQ or gets another World Cup cycle. He may well point to all the young players he has helped develop and say 2023 will be the time to judge him. I'm tempted to agree with that view. He is not a man to stand still, or coast. If he doesn't see a way to improve the side he'll leave. He won't need to be asked. This disappointment may just put extra iron in his soul.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:55 pm

Well i meant interim in the way that lancaster was an england interim. Trial period followed by contract.

What stands out in VCs tenure over Toonies is the hard edge we had for most of our games. It wasn't dominant forward play but as a unit we became bloody difficult, especially getting turnovers and the like. Brown plays like that, Ritchie plays like that and Cummings plays like that. If he's coached well Zandbags could become a difficult barsteward too, and has better control of his temper. We've also lost the patience we so often saw. I could probably count on the fingers of one hand how many times we went over 3 phases this WC. I think toonie brings out the worst in finn, we need someone who will bring out the best.

We need a coach who's style is like NZ's really. They don't dominate contact, but they dominate the breakdown and don't make stupid mistakes. That's the way we were going, that's the way we should be going. Japan are actually an excellent model for Scotland. They're fast and accurate and play the numbers. We could learn a lot and I just don't think toonie has the right personality for the job. Too wishy washy when we need someone who is pretty straight.
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Post by BigGee on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 3:14 pm

Lancaster was a punt by England, did not really have the pedigree but did better than expected and so got the job. In truth they were always waiting for a stronger option to come along, even when he was in post.

I am not sure I would want to waste half a WC cycle trying someone out, in those circumstances, it might be better to stick with Toonie, who may well improve in time and as his starlets grow up a bit more.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 3:20 pm

Equally we don't want a cheika who seems to have more lives than a cattery.

With that in mind i think new coach is the way to go.
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Post by 123456789. on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 4:07 pm

I think Townsend has to take the blame for this. I think on balance that we have to let Townsend go. Comparing the rugby we played in the halcyon days of November 2017 against New Zealand and Australia is damning. If Townsend could get back to that then I'd be happy to keep him. It's whether he's lost the faith of the players on account of his tactical intransigence. Against England we kicked for the first forty minutes against a team that kept the ball. We found ourselves pummelled. We turned it round by keeping hold of the ball and playing to our strengths. Against Japan we played the exact same tactics against another team that keeps hold of the ball and found ourselves in almost the exact same position. In the second-half we showed up but not well enough and, crucially, the Japanese did not implode. Our tactics were off against Ireland too.
We have exciting players that can do things in space. We need to have a game plan that creates the space and puts them into it.

In terms of personnel I think Laidlaw probably outstayed a bit. He was very, very slow today and there's no point having Russell, Hogg et al playing off slow ball. I think Horne has to come to the forefront now. He  is the embodiment of Scotland at their best. He might not be controlled but we're not very good at controlled rugby anyway. If Hidalgo-Clyne and Price can get their best back then we'll have three very good players in competition. Barclay and Wilson are a bit underpowered now. I think in the back row Bradbury, Ritchie, Thomson, Fagerson and Watson are the future. Brown and MacInally are very good, Nel is 33 so probably on his way out. Fagerson was very good when he came on today and Berghan is a good player so I don't think that will be too damaging. Kebble and Schoeman qualifying will be big for us at loosehead. Jonny Gray, Grant Gilchrist and Cummings need to get a bit nasty. Bringing Richie Gray back will be helpful.
Russell is still our best player and for 20 minutes he was sublime, it just shows how futile it is playing him with Laidlaw. Sam Johnson hasn't stepped up entirely, Taylor was brought back too soon and seemed to be a tad off the pace whenever he played. Harris impressed me in the tournament and probably increased his stock over the summer. Unfortunately being "solid" is not good enough at international level. I do wonder if Hutchinson at 12 and Jones at 13 might be the way forward for us. I hope Maitland sticks around because he is very, very good. Darcy Graham was a tad underwhelming through the tournament but then he never really got any space apart from against Russia. Hogg needs to lose a bit of weight I think to get some pace back but tactically he's a much better player these days.

In an ideal world this is how I'd like us to line up in Dublin:

Head Coach: Scott Robertson

1. Dell
2. MacInally
3. Fagerson
4. Skinner
5. R Gray
6. Bradbury
7. Watson
8. Thomson
9. Horne
10. Russell
11. Maitland
12. Hutchinson
13. Jones
14. Graham
15. Hogg

16. Bhatti
17. Berghan
18. Brown
19. J Gray
20. Ritchie
21. Price
22. Hastings
23. Kinghorn

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Post by alanmackie6 on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 4:27 pm

Why so sad arguably the best match so far,Japan are no mugs thesedays Sa may get a surprise.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 4:35 pm

Its not the loss to Japan, it's the general no show at this tournament and the 6Ns.

Delighted for Japan but Scotland once again are at sea.
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 4:36 pm

1.Dell 2.McInally 3.Nel 4.J Gray 5.R Gray 6.Skinner 7.Ritchie 8.Bradbury 9.G Horne 10.Russell 11.Maitland 12.Hastings 13.Bennett 14.Graham 15.Hogg

16.Z Fagerson 17.Brown 18.Bhatti 19.Cummings 20.Watson 21.Price 22.Hutchinson 23.Kinghorn

This would be my 6 Nations XV and subs. With Laidlaw gone I would opt for game management at 12 outside Russell. Good impact on the bench, with a starting pack that shouldn't get bullied.

As for the coach, I would not go with Cockerill. I prefer him at Edinburgh. What about Stuart Lancaster?

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 4:49 pm

SL is maybe too nice. We need someone with a bit of grit.
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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 4:56 pm

I posted on another thread. Now Scotland are out of the RWC, is it the end for Gregor Townsend? Or will have a chance to redeem himself in the 6ns?

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 5:18 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I posted on another thread. Now Scotland are out of the RWC, is it the end for Gregor Townsend? Or will have a chance to redeem himself in the 6ns?

Fans want him out but the SRU seem to have a deep rooted fascination of having a home grown coach. This is why Vern cotter was punted as Toonie said he was going elsewhere unless he was given the top job.

I think we need to cast a wide net and not rush into a selection. I’d get Peter Wright to take us through the 6ns if we don’t have a new coach by then.
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Post by bsando on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 5:20 pm

I want the SRU to keep the faith with Townsend. There's a brilliant coach in there who is still learning and come next RWC we could be at whole new level of improvement. Toonie needs to re-evaluate his game plan though and his erratic selections. If he can draw up a changed game plan that includes more emphasis on using the pack and improving Scotland's defensive system he could be on to a winner wit hsome of the attacking talent we have. I find Toonie is constantly contradicting himself with selections. He wants the "Fastest brand of rugby" but leaves behind Huw Jones and Hutchinson then starts Laidlaw over Price/Horne. I get going for experience, but Peter Horne did exactly what we all expected Peter Horne to do today, Laidlaw did exactly what we all expected. They are not an ingredient you add to the fastest brand of rugby in the world. Also, Duncan Taylor? He was a long shot to be at his best so quickly. I think he'll improve but one of Hutchinson or jones or both should have travelled and I think Toonie knows it deep down.

It's a blank slate come 6N time, competition is going to be fierce amongst the centres, scrum half, fly half and the back row. No one is a dead cert for starting in nearly every position apart from probably Sean Maitland at 11 and Johnny Gray at 5. In many ways it's a good thing because the squad is by no means poor and rebuilding can commence from the bottom up!


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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 5:21 pm

I think the WC was Toonies chance and he blew it in the games against tier one. We made a mediocre ireland look exceptional, and we didn't show up for 40 minutes against Japan.

In the warmups we looked poor. The team selections have been off. We've been on a downward slope for 2 years.

Toonie has to go, I think it'd be a mistake to keep him any longer than necessary.
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Post by tigertattie on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 5:28 pm

People need to remember that all we have done in the last two years is beat a pish poor Samoa, a battling but ultimately amateur Russia and we had a good half against England where the players revolted against the system and did their own thing.

Toonie staying on further is unjustifiable
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Post by 123456789. on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 5:37 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I posted on another thread. Now Scotland are out of the RWC, is it the end for Gregor Townsend? Or will have a chance to redeem himself in the 6ns?

Think there's two fairly salient sides to that debate.

On one hand you can say that we lost by 7 points to a well drilled, well coached team in particularly challenging circumstances. If we accept that this was our biggest game for four years, then you have to accept that we had the worst possible preparation for it. A four day turnaround in Japan's biggest typhoon since 1958 with uncertainty lingering over the game at the stadium of the hosts with 70,000 cheering the opposition on. There were several mitigating factors.

On the other hand, it was a situation largely of the coaches making. It's his job to ensure we were prepared for the Ireland game. He fell very far short. It's his job to select the tactics, he got them wrong. In the first half we adopted the same tactics as against Ireland and as against England, they simply did not work. The only caveat is that Laidlaw has always had the tendency to resort to kicking everything that moves when he's up against it. However he has had two years to get to grip with that. If you widen the scope to this season our record against tier one nations is woeful. Defeat to Japan is not very good, we have better players than them, it should not have happened. It comes after poor results against the USA and against Fiji. His selection is not brilliant. Harris played the best he has for Scotland this summer. However two occasions summed him up, the rip that led to Japan's fourth and his chip after the break. A top class player executes on those occasions.

For me it comes down to two factors. Can Townsend get his players playing the way they were when we thrashed Australia and tormented the All Blacks in November 2017? Can he regain the trust of the players to do so? I have doubts about the first one. After all it was the same year we beat Wales and Ireland also, it may be that it was a hangover from the Cotter era and this team at its peak. Hogg hadn't had the injuries yet, Huw Jones was on fire, Price was ahead of Laidlaw, Seymour was at his peak. The second question will surely unfold in the coming days. We know that Townsend and Russell had a disagreement on tactics at Twickenham. We know that when Russell played his way we did better. If the same has happened today then there's an issue.

Then there's, perhaps the bigger question, not should he go but will he go? Currently he's talking in terms of 'we' with regard to the Six Nations. That could be a general thing to buy him time to decide. So it's unclear whether he will resign. Which then leaves the question, will he be sacked? Sacking Townsend would cost, he signed an extension to 2021 last summer. It's also an admission that he made a mistake booting Cotter in 2017 (which we all knew anyway). However if Townsend stays on and things get worse then he's in trouble. The precedent is there with Townsend's early mentor. Andy Robinson was kept on in 2011 and within a year we'd lost at home to Tonga and then the Scott Johnson era began. I suppose the compromise solution would be to keep him in place through the Six Nations and make a decision based on that. I hope they start "sounding out" coaches now, people are lining up for the New Zealand job, someone won't get it. Sean Edwards hasn't confirmed anything yet. He seems pretty tough, getting him involved would be a starting point. We're in a similar place to Wales in 2007 right now, perhaps a successful New Zealander coupled with Edwards then that looks a winning ticket. If a decent candidate can be found now I'd wield the axe. If it can't I'd stick for the Six Nations, and work from there. The last thing we want is a year lost with an interim Head Coach.

So in short:

If he's lost the dressing room, wield the axe
If he can get a top coach in now, wield the axe
If things don't improve in the Six Nations, wield the axe

If we see genuine improvement and an appreciation of where we've faltered come 2020, keep the faith.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 6:05 pm

Fair assessment numbers. Honestly hope he's not kept on to the 6Ns though. Look at Australia under cheika and how many chances he's got, they're really suffering because of it.

Scotland's warren gatland, toonie is not. Vern could have been but toonie pushed him out of the way. I have limited sympathy and tolerance for a man who has unashamedly politicoed his way to the top job.
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Post by TJ on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 6:10 pm

I am going to disagree with numbers. NO wasting any time. We now know Townsend is not up to the job. He must go and also the folk at the SRU who appointed him

We got rid of the best coach I have seen in my time following Scotland and replaced him with an inexperienced coach. the gamble failed

I have always liked Townsend but he clearly is and was not ready for the job. This is a great squad of players and they have consistently underperformed since he took the job. this is not a knee jerk reaction to the loss to Japan - this is an assessment of the last 2 years.

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 6:22 pm

Another thing to think about is do the SRU put their hands up and confess that Toonie wasn’t ready. They tell him to part ways amicably and leave the door open for him to come back in 10 years time.

Or does he hold on for another year or two then be booted on bad terms never to return again?
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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 6:27 pm

Knowing the SRU it'll be the latter. They'll take back SJ as head coach in 2021 who'll come back grinning saying "told ya the boys missed me"
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Post by Poorfour on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 6:35 pm

As a (largely) neutral observer, I’d say that Toonie’s position is not that surprising. The RWC is different from every other tournament and there are very few coaches who have done well at their first attempt. 

Woodward and Henry had disappointing first cracks at the title only to get it right at the second attempt. I think that a coach needs to have gone to it in a senior coaching capacity before they can successfully plan and execute an RWC campaign.

Scotland were unlucky to be in the actual Pool of Death - the only one in which we have seen upsets that affected qualification - against a Japanese team whom everybody underestimated. He also found himself in the position (that Japan found themselves in 4 years ago) of needing to win a game against strong opposition after a four day turnaround to qualify. Do not underestimate how tough that is to do.

The question - which we’re not well placed to judge - is whether he’s learned enough from the experience to be worth persisting with. Personally, if it were my call, I would be looking to hire a senior mentor for him to help with selection and planning. Joe Schmidt, maybe? Or Geech (who - unlike Woodward - is still very much on the ball as a pundit).
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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 6:36 pm

On another point against toonie, it's no coincidence that we've lost all patience in attack. Think back to when he was attack coach back in 2011, all feels a bit familiar to be honest.
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Post by 123456789. on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 6:53 pm

I'm not in favour of him staying per se. But I don't see the point in booting him with no alternative. If we can convince a Scott Robertson, an Ian Foster, a Rob Baxter, a returning Vern Cotter or f**k it Warren Gatland (never going to happen I know) then by all means get rid of him, I'll chip in for his redundancy package. But if there's no one there to follow on naturally it seems stupid to go back to the wasted years of 2013 and 2014 with no permanent manager and no sense of direction. It's an insult to fans who buy tickets and player who risk injury. They have short careers, I imagine Denton looks back on 2013 and 2014 wistfully now. If there's no one prepared to take over now then why not buy time and stick with Townsend for the Six Nations at least.

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 7:24 pm

Hmmmm

Scott Johnson is buggering off. Could we keep Toonie on and bring geech in as a DoR or some kinda consultant? Just someone to help guide Toonie?
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Post by George Carlin on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 7:29 pm

Might as well post my big, whiny polemic from the other thread here too:

A very pissed off person wrote:You do have to think a little bit about Toonie's selections.

I don't like it when coach's hands are forced by injury and then the coach sees fit to take a lap of honour when their forced replacement has a blinder. Why were Barclay and Wilson anywhere near the squad when they could not get in the headspace for the first game in Japan? They effectively played no part in the rest of the tournament. In what respect was this not bad judgment from a head coach?

Thomson, Mbawsa (your finest moment, Jim) and Bradbury were broadly the find of the tournament for Scotland. Form players. Not favoured initially. Again, Hamish Watson's injury brought Ritchie to the fore and he outperformed everyone else in the pack.

We were worried that our two starting centres had precisely 80 minutes of test rugby in combination before the start of this tournament. That worry was vindicated. The combinations looked unsettled and did not really offer much penetration up front or solidity in midfield. Was taking a tried and tested Johnson/St Shug combination really that bad an idea?

Harris surprised everyone and as blunt tools go, was a high quality option. Taylor clearly was not 100% and his presence showed nothing more than Toonie is heavily dependent on favourites and refused to prioritise form and fitness. I absolutely refuse to buy that Peter Horne should have travelled or is a test class player against decent opposition. He is not.

Should Toonie really get credit for 'introducing' George Horne. Of course not, another enforced change.

The chat on the BBC website is that Toonie will get the next 6 Nations to demonstrate improvement or his coat is on the shoogliest of nails. Dodson is quite hard core and I think will now be scouting the market for a replacement in 2020.
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Post by SecretFly on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 7:30 pm

Eddie Jones?

Talk of him going before contract states so...probably after WC?

Big money bucks needed of course if it was possible

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Post by George Carlin on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 7:38 pm

123456789. wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:I posted on another thread. Now Scotland are out of the RWC, is it the end for Gregor Townsend? Or will have a chance to redeem himself in the 6ns?

Think there's two fairly salient sides to that debate.

On one hand you can say that we lost by 7 points to a well drilled, well coached team in particularly challenging circumstances. If we accept that this was our biggest game for four years, then you have to accept that we had the worst possible preparation for it. A four day turnaround in Japan's biggest typhoon since 1958 with uncertainty lingering over the game at the stadium of the hosts with 70,000 cheering the opposition on. There were several mitigating factors.

On the other hand, it was a situation largely of the coaches making. It's his job to ensure we were prepared for the Ireland game. He fell very far short. It's his job to select the tactics, he got them wrong. In the first half we adopted the same tactics as against Ireland and as against England, they simply did not work. The only caveat is that Laidlaw has always had the tendency to resort to kicking everything that moves when he's up against it. However he has had two years to get to grip with that. If you widen the scope to this season our record against tier one nations is woeful. Defeat to Japan is not very good, we have better players than them, it should not have happened. It comes after poor results against the USA and against Fiji. His selection is not brilliant. Harris played the best he has for Scotland this summer. However two occasions summed him up, the rip that led to Japan's fourth and his chip after the break. A top class player executes on those occasions.

For me it comes down to two factors. Can Townsend get his players playing the way they were when we thrashed Australia and tormented the All Blacks in November 2017? Can he regain the trust of the players to do so? I have doubts about the first one. After all it was the same year we beat Wales and Ireland also, it may be that it was a hangover from the Cotter era and this team at its peak. Hogg hadn't had the injuries yet, Huw Jones was on fire, Price was ahead of Laidlaw, Seymour was at his peak. The second question will surely unfold in the coming days. We know that Townsend and Russell had a disagreement on tactics at Twickenham. We know that when Russell played his way we did better. If the same has happened today then there's an issue.

Then there's, perhaps the bigger question, not should he go but will he go? Currently he's talking in terms of 'we' with regard to the Six Nations. That could be a general thing to buy him time to decide. So it's unclear whether he will resign. Which then leaves the question, will he be sacked? Sacking Townsend would cost, he signed an extension to 2021 last summer. It's also an admission that he made a mistake booting Cotter in 2017 (which we all knew anyway). However if Townsend stays on and things get worse then he's in trouble. The precedent is there with Townsend's early mentor. Andy Robinson was kept on in 2011 and within a year we'd lost at home to Tonga and then the Scott Johnson era began. I suppose the compromise solution would be to keep him in place through the Six Nations and make a decision based on that. I hope they start "sounding out" coaches now, people are lining up for the New Zealand job, someone won't get it. Sean Edwards hasn't confirmed anything yet. He seems pretty tough, getting him involved would be a starting point. We're in a similar place to Wales in 2007 right now, perhaps a successful New Zealander coupled with Edwards then that looks a winning ticket. If a decent candidate can be found now I'd wield the axe. If it can't I'd stick for the Six Nations, and work from there. The last thing we want is a year lost with an interim Head Coach.

So in short:

If he's lost the dressing room, wield the axe
If he can get a top coach in now, wield the axe
If things don't improve in the Six Nations, wield the axe

If we see genuine improvement and an appreciation of where we've faltered come 2020, keep the faith.
Instead of the smouldering pile of love sacks I inflicted on this thread above, I actually meant to write this. clap
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Post by robbo277 on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 8:13 pm

We gave Brian Ashton the 2008 Six Nations when the writing was on the wall. He didn't last much longer. Okay, the team had been successful but that wasn't down to the coaching.

The last two times we made a clean cut after the World Cup. What would success for Townsend look like in Six Nations 2020? Win it? Top three? What would you want to see?

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 8:22 pm

George Carlin wrote:Might as well post my big, whiny polemic from the other thread here too:

A very pissed off person wrote:You do have to think a little bit about Toonie's selections.

I don't like it when coach's hands are forced by injury and then the coach sees fit to take a lap of honour when their forced replacement has a blinder. Why were Barclay and Wilson anywhere near the squad when they could not get in the headspace for the first game in Japan? They effectively played no part in the rest of the tournament. In what respect was this not bad judgment from a head coach?

Thomson, Mbawsa (your finest moment, Jim)and Bradbury were broadly the find of the tournament for Scotland. Form players. Not favoured initially. Again, Hamish Watson's injury brought Ritchie to the fore and he outperformed everyone else in the pack.

We were worried that our two starting centres had precisely 80 minutes of test rugby in combination before the start of this tournament. That worry was vindicated. The combinations looked unsettled and did not really offer much penetration up front or solidity in midfield. Was taking a tried and tested Johnson/St Shug combination really that bad an idea?

Harris surprised everyone and as blunt tools go, was a high quality option. Taylor clearly was not 100% and his presence showed nothing more than Toonie is heavily dependent on favourites and refused to prioritise form and fitness. I absolutely refuse to buy that Peter Horne should have travelled or is a test class player against decent opposition. He is not.

Should Toonie really get credit for 'introducing' George Horne. Of course not, another enforced change.

The chat on the BBC website is that Toonie will get the next 6 Nations to demonstrate improvement or his coat is on the shoogliest of nails. Dodson is quite hard core and I think will now be scouting the market for a replacement in 2020.

Woahhhhhh there. You Weegie’s ain’t taking the credit for that one!!!
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Post by BigGee on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 8:32 pm

Toonie does not sound like he is planning on going anywhere!

From ToL


GREGOR TOWNSEND says that he believes Scotland can bounce back from their early World Cup exit when the Six Nations kicks-off in just over three months’ time.

His side’s 28-21 defeat to host nation Japan in Yokohama earlier today left them third in Pool A, meaning they become only the second Scottish side ever – after Andy Robinson’s team in 2011 – to fall at the first hurdle in international rugby’s flagship competition.

It is a painful blow, but Townsend stressed that the team were always up against it after being burdened with playing their last two pool games – against Russia and Japan – just four days apart, which put an enormous stress on the squad.


“There’s a lot more in this team,” said Townsend. “Experiences are what make you as a group and how you react to those experiences. It was a unique situation we were in and we always knew it was going to be a challenge given our turnaround.

“But we had the team and we had the ability at the start of the game to go on and win it by the necessary amount of points. That we didn’t was hugely disappointing. We have to learn from that, and we’ve got to improve as we get to next tournament, the Six Nation.”

The coach added that the biggest emotion he felt in the aftermath of the Japan team was of regret that the team failed to deliver to the standards they expect of themselves.

“Over the piece we are disappointed that we were not able to win by more than eight points,” he said. “We started very well in attack and defence, but we didn’t see much of the ball for the rest of the first half. Partly due to the errors we made, but also due to what Japan were doing when they had the ball.

“Two tries from our perspective were soft,” he added. “Both from our possession, one from a 22 restart and another one the ball was ripped out. That happened either side of half-time and that made it very difficult for the result we were looking for.

“The players put a huge effort into the next 10 to 15 minutes and with 58 minutes gone we were only seven points behind. But we did not do enough to get the win.

“Of course, we came here with high aspirations and getting out of the pool stage. We have worked really hard throughout the last four months and throughout the tournament to go further than we did tonight. It is obviously very disappointing.”

No excuses

Scotland also had to contend with a huge amount of uncertainty this week as to whether their final game would go ahead or would be cancelled (meaning they would be dumped out of the tournament) if the impact of Typhoon Hagibis rendered the International Stadium Yokohama unplayable. A final decision on whether the game would go ahead was only made just over seven hours before kick-off.

That was the case for both teams, but given that Japan would have gone through anyway if the game had been cancelled, the uncertainty surely weighed more heavily on Scottish minds. To Townsend’s credit, he refused to cite that as a mitigating factor, pointing out that his players started the match like a runaway train, with Finn Russell going over for the opening try in the sixth minute.

“The players acted very professionally,” he said. “We always believed the game was going to go ahead. We acted and behaved that way in our preparations.

“Yesterday was compromised and we had a quick turnaround – we knew this week was going to be challenge – but I look at how we started the game and that was an indication of where the players were in terms of their energy.

“After that, our errors gave Japan the ball and they made the most of that. They are on great form just now. The sign of a quality team is taking opportunities and they did that.

Praise for Japan

“They are a very cohesive group. You can tell they have been together for a long time. They know the game that they play and it suits their strengths. They play a really fast game and creating quick ball at the ruck is probably the best thing in their game.

“They execute their set-piece really well, they had pressure in the lineout, and they have some great ball-carriers in the forwards mixed in with the harder workers, they have players with real pace and confidence in the backline, and when you play tournament at home you maybe bring 10-20 per cent more.

“The confidence from their Ireland win was evident tonight. They will be a tough team to beat. It will be a tough game for South Africa [in the quarter-final]. They played [each other] a few weeks ago but score-line [41-7 to South Africa] was not the same as the performance because Japan had opportunities in the first half which they would have taken in their current form. And a couple of tries South Africa scored in the second half were through interceptions or errors.

“‘I believe opposition coaches have known for some while that Japan are a quality side. Their run of results going into that South Africa game was outstanding – dispatching Fiji, Tonga and USA.

“Beating Ireland who were ranked number one or two in the world at the time and beating us – they are a very good side. They cause you problems in a number of areas. They came down the short side which worked for them and in defence they come up really hard in the No 10 channel. Obviously, they are a very fit team as well.”

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Post by BigGee on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 8:37 pm

I think the 'give him the next 6N' school of thought, might be the way that Dodson goes with this one.

Inadvertently and with a few tweaks still to make, Toonie may have come across his best team. Maybe give him one more chance to see if he can get them to fire and if not then arrivederci!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 9:14 pm

More pain for very little or no gain.

I may just not watch Scotland next year. Too hard on the blood pressure!
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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 9:21 pm

I’d like to see Toonie go ASAP, but since some of you are happy to give him another 6N to continue our rapid regression I’ll do you a deal.... one more 6N chance for Toonie if Dodson immediately fecks off from Scottish rugby? Deal?

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 9:38 pm

Dodson has done a lot for scottish rugby and i think he should see his projects through, although there are still some cultural issues within the SRU which need attention agree there.

Basically we're not in a great place but have been shown better places when we hit higher heights under cotter. Our team can still achieve something together but needs to be a cohesive unit and play better than the sum of its parts. If Toonie can do that he has my vote. But i feel even after two years he's stacking up evidence against himself and our players are becoming more a group of decent players rather than a team. Expect to see the tier one victory rate drop to 40% before he goes.
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Post by TJ on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 9:52 pm

Townsend has had two years and all he has achieved is a drop down the rankings and a string of poor results with the best team we have had for a generation. He has to go. Was it Dodson who appointed him? Whoever made that decision has to go as well or if Dodson ( to whom I give credit for sorting out the finances) be kept well away from any rugby decisions

I am disgusted by what has happened. We sack the best coach we have had for a generation and this is where we are two years later? Its pathetic.

I am not one for knee jerk reactions nor do I usually call for a coaches head but facts are facts. Townsend has turned us from contenders to also rans and that interview smacks of excuses. the 4 day turnaround is irrelevant because it was Russia first and he could rest almost an entire team

Selection has been consistently poor, he has been out thought tactically, the team is playing as less than the sum of the parts.

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 10:13 pm

GC, tigertattie, I never claimed credit for "Mbawsa". I first heard it at school in the days of Raliegh Chopper bikes, Pans People and Ted Heath as Prime Minister.
Secondly, we lost to a team who have won six WC matches on the trot, were playing at home and had a week's rest as opposed to a four day turnaround with a day's travel included. And we only lost by seven points.
Toonie is a very good coach. He improved Glasgow after St Sean of Lineen and they have stagnated at best under the kiwi wonder coach.
There have been too many big games where the wheels flew off like Charlie Caroli's clown car....but Big Vern had 61pts put on his side at Twickers!
I think Toonie gives a thank you dinner for a number of players and then picks a core of youngsters to begin building for 2023.
Either Toonie uses this to make him harder, more effective or he walks away, even if that means a very clear set of performance indicators to ensure he will.

Let's not go all baby and bathwater. We ended up where our seeding predicted we would. Apart from Ireland we played well.

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Post by sensisball on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 12:18 am

Jimbopip
You are right to say the weeege improved under Townsend but if you ask why you might find that Toonie found himself much like a small boy being given the keys to the sweet shop able to gorge himself on his favourite treats whilst ignoring the boring old Werther's originals under the counter.
Lineen had a small budget, no marque players and a Hodge podge of facilities for training and a piss poor venue in the shape of Firhill.
Toonie got the brand new Scotstoun, a much bigger budget and St Leone of Nakawara who allowed his team to play his wide, wide and wide again style by singe handedly sucking in 3 or 4 defenders and off loading out the back/front/top or side door as he saw fit. It meant Toonie didn't need to develop a game based on phase play as they only needed about 5 phases max to score or made serious inroads into the opposition.
This desire to make the magic happen in an instant is why Scotland can't look after the ball. Get past 7 phases and we look bereft of ideas. Japan help the ball for more than 10 carries on multiple occasions in the match.
Toonie stubbornly refuses to learn the lessons from the defeats his team suffer. Perhaps as Jeremy Guscott was once famously quoted as saying that Townsend had the attention span of a gnat is in fact true.

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