Scotland post mortem

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

First topic message reminder :

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 CaptainHaddock on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 1:14 am

..."What? We're not in a tri team tourny wiht Italy agian? We love playing summer tours against teams we've already played earlier in the year!!!

Maybe other teams jsut dont want to play against us in case the game is cancelled due to an outbreak of the Zombie virus and we end up suing them for A) the game being cancelled or B) our players having thier brains eaten by Zombies!
"

Given some of the tactics and decision making I've seen from the team recently I think the Zombies would be going hungry ;-)

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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 6:02 am

Damned lies and statistics Jimbo! 😂🙈

Will happily eat my words on his record vs Verns, but what would be most interesting would be to compare line graphs of years vs wins. Verns starting point is lower yes so his trajectory may be skewed but Toonie arguably should at least be on a plateau rather than a sheer drop like we've seen

I also look at the WC and the warm up games. You say Nice shouldn't count for anything but it was beyond dire so is pretty hard to ignore given the context of the last 18 months. The other thing that strikes me is the nature that we lose these games. Ireland were poor in the first WC game but we made them look like world beaters and gave them their easiest bonus point. 6 nations we had injuries but even then there were so many should've would've could've moments.

We're not matching where we were. Other teams can manage to scrape par. Even ireland who have had a crap year and played pretty unspectacular stuff have managed to maintain enough to reach the quarters and have a respectable 6Ns. Look at Wales, who hardly set the heather alight during the 6Ns yet won the grandslam. I'm not suggesting we're in a position to win tournaments but i would suggest given our current squad we are in a position to be doing much better. Which is something we all agree on!

Basically I'll put my pitchfork away if either:
Toonie gives us results - winning at least 3 6Ns fixtures and playing well in the rest. We have to at least match our previous best to justify him staying.
Or Toonie goes.

I can't see them kicking him out pre 6Ns.
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Post by tigertattie on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 9:16 am

NeilyBroon wrote:Damned lies and statistics Jimbo! 😂🙈

Will happily eat my words on his record vs Verns, but what would be most interesting would be to compare line graphs of years vs wins. Verns starting point is lower yes so his trajectory may be skewed but Toonie arguably should at least be on a plateau rather than a sheer drop like we've seen

I also look at the WC and the warm up games. You say Nice shouldn't count for anything but it was beyond dire so is pretty hard to ignore given the context of the last 18 months. The other thing that strikes me is the nature that we lose these games. Ireland were poor in the first WC game but we made them look like world beaters and gave them their easiest bonus point. 6 nations we had injuries but even then there were so many should've would've could've moments.

We're not matching where we were. Other teams can manage to scrape par. Even ireland who have had a crap year and played pretty unspectacular stuff have managed to maintain enough to reach the quarters and have a respectable 6Ns. Look at Wales, who hardly set the heather alight during the 6Ns yet won the grandslam. I'm not suggesting we're in a position to win tournaments but i would suggest given our current squad we are in a position to be doing much better. Which is something we all agree on!

Basically I'll put my pitchfork away if either:
Toonie gives us results - winning at least 3 6Ns fixtures and playing well in the rest. We have to at least match our previous best to justify him staying.
Or Toonie goes.

I can't see them kicking him out pre 6Ns.

This is my main gripe with Toonie. We're either on fire, or we're horrendous.

We win and we win well or we get a spanking.

Or we have a horrendous 40 mins then a decent 40.

It's the consistancy or lack of that gets me. There were times even in the dark days where we played quite well but we were beaten by a better team at the end of the day. We played to our potential but that potential jsut wasnt good enough to get us the win. No we're jsut not playing half the time. If we were losing games by a score (a la vs Oz in the last WC) then you walk away feeling like you left it all out there.

Under toonie if we're not firing, we're jsut terrible. The Japan and England games are microcosims of this mind set. We are horrendous in the first half then in the scond half we wake up but by then the damage is done.

If we can get to that peak then why cant we maintain it??????
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Post by poddy89 on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 10:53 am

tigertattie wrote:
robbo277 wrote:https://www.rugbypass.com/news/fiji-set-for-massive-clash-at-beginning-of-2020-test-season/

Suggests Scotland will play 1 test against the ABs and possibly two against Fiji, Samoa or Tonga

What? We're not in a tri team tourny wiht Italy agian? We love playing summer tours against teams we've already played earlier in the year!!!

Maybe other teams jsut dont want to play against us in case the game is cancelled due to an outbreak of the Zombie virus and we end up suing them for A) the game being cancelled or B) our players having thier brains eaten by Zombies!

I'm pretty sure we were meant to have a two test series in nz and a single test against one other.. We are suppose to be on three test tours again now but looks like we are going to slip back into tier two tours with one off tests against the big ones.

If we only play tier two games on these tours then we will just cement our place as a tier two. We need more exposure to the big games. Learn to handle a bit of pressure.

Really what will Scotland learn from playing against the islanders again. We seem to go there more than any other team. If anything we should be playing nz and two tests in Japan or aus\sa

Disappointed to think we may still end up on pretty pointless summer tours..



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Post by Tramptastic on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 11:18 am

What I think the Scotland team is good at is spotting gaps in defence or latching on to mistakes by the opposition. Toonie's fondness of joue exploits this really well.

What we struggle with is creating space in the 1st place, lack of decent ball carriers and ball retention is probably the issue here. If the opposition defence is organised we don't score, if they drift off then we're excellent at exploiting the gap and usually go all the way. Zander Fagerson's try was a good example, the opposition fringe defence switched off, forwards interlinked wonderfully and then it was try time.

similarly, Darcy Graham's try that was chalked off where russell fumbled it (backwards it should be said) he then punted it through as the japanese defence rushed up to pressure the spilled ball more. Russell fumbled, saw the resultant space from the onrushing defence, punted it through for Darcy and it really should have counted as a score.

We are such a reactionary team so if the opposition, like Ireland or Japan who are so organised, keep their shape we won't be able to do a thing

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Post by bsando on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 1:56 pm

Yes I agree Tramptastic, Scotland struggled with rush defence all year including the 6N. The chip kick over and grubber through (not into the players arms Russell) could be a way of getting around this. However, I think cross field kicks are a great option too. The one Russell did against Samoa was a peach of a kick and I’d like to see that more. Also, we don’t always have to go left right right left. I’d like to see more inside plays around the ruck, eg SH to FH, FH to 12, 12 cutting back in around the FH and passing to SH. Little things like that. Our attack was far too predictable in the RWC against Ireland and Japan except for when the players counter attacked or got the offloads working.

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Post by CaptainHaddock on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 11:33 pm

@Tramptastic & @bsando - agree with you both. one of the things that is particularly noticeable between Scotland and many of the other teams (particularly those coached by kiwis) is the ability to retain the ball, slow down and reset. It means that we attempt to pull off the 100:1 shot rather than realising that the oppo haven't been twisted out of shape so then switching into a "reset" mode which allows us to get our attacking shape back and then go again. If you watch the 'saders, highlanders and the ABs they are great at it. Japan against us were the same - they didn't just play 100 mile an hour attack, attack, attack. There were times our defence did a very good job and stalled their progress. They then held on to the ball, reset and built again.

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Post by bsando on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 7:42 am

CaptainHaddock wrote:@Tramptastic & @bsando - agree with you both. one of the things that is particularly noticeable between Scotland and many of the other teams (particularly those coached by kiwis) is the ability to retain the ball, slow down and reset. It means that we attempt to pull off the 100:1 shot rather than realising that the oppo haven't been twisted out of shape so then switching into a "reset" mode which allows us to get our attacking shape back and then go again. If you watch the 'saders, highlanders and the ABs they are great at it. Japan against us were the same - they didn't just play 100 mile an hour attack, attack, attack. There were times our defence did a very good job and stalled their progress. They then held on to the ball, reset and built again.

Yes exactly! I think Japan had a few periods of play in our 22 where they didn't score but went through 20+ phases. It is energy sapping for the defensive side and allowed Japan to break those crucial tackles later on when lots of Scottish players were getting tired. Also, I'm sure any player will know themselves that playing a disorganised side rather than an incredibly well organised side effects the psyche. You feel less certain that you'll make that break, pass or tackle because the opposition have been relentless with little or no errors.

I forgot to ask/mention about a rule regarding tackling and a ruck being formed. Japan last weekend were doing this a lot, a Japanese player would be tackled, stopped but then crawl, roll or jump back onto their feet and gain a few extra meters. Isn't that supposed to be a penalty? It was highly effective and the ref didn't call it once.

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Post by Tramptastic on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 8:08 am

bsando wrote:
CaptainHaddock wrote:@Tramptastic & @bsando - agree with you both. one of the things that is particularly noticeable between Scotland and many of the other teams (particularly those coached by kiwis) is the ability to retain the ball, slow down and reset. It means that we attempt to pull off the 100:1 shot rather than realising that the oppo haven't been twisted out of shape so then switching into a "reset" mode which allows us to get our attacking shape back and then go again. If you watch the 'saders, highlanders and the ABs they are great at it. Japan against us were the same - they didn't just play 100 mile an hour attack, attack, attack. There were times our defence did a very good job and stalled their progress. They then held on to the ball, reset and built again.

Yes exactly! I think Japan had a few periods of play in our 22 where they didn't score but went through 20+ phases. It is energy sapping for the defensive side and allowed Japan to break those crucial tackles later on when lots of Scottish players were getting tired. Also, I'm sure any player will know themselves that playing a disorganised side rather than an incredibly well organised side effects the psyche. You feel less certain that you'll make that break, pass or tackle because the opposition have been relentless with little or no errors.

I forgot to ask/mention about a rule regarding tackling and a ruck being formed. Japan last weekend were doing this a lot, a Japanese player would be tackled, stopped but then crawl, roll or jump back onto their feet and gain a few extra meters. Isn't that supposed to be a penalty? It was highly effective and the ref didn't call it once.

It depends if they are held by the tackler. So a lot of defensive systems at pro level are big on the tackler being useless if they are lying on the deck so the idea is to tackle, pop up and compete. But if the tackler doesn't get that hold on the deck the ball carrier is not held and can keep going if he wants to.

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Post by bsando on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 8:20 am

I've rewatched the whole game now and Russell contributed hugely to that game being lost. His kicking wasn't accurate enough, his offloading was really poor (multiple knock on's) and he picked out poor options in attack such as a short pass to Reid who got obliterated by two Japanese defenders and turned over when there were fewer Japanese players out wide. It really wasn't his day, I didn't realise how poor a game it was from him at the time.

Personally I think Townsend was wrong to not have Johnson and Russell on the bench for Russia. They both played like they were rusty and actually they both hadn't played in 2 weeks, only trained. If Russell could have had even 15 minutes at the end and Johnson a few minutes too, I think that would have made some difference. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Russell plays better with more game time under his belt and actually, Johnson in the 6N had his best game at the end of the tournament.

The demands of a professional rugby player are high but the coach can definitely help them out a little too. I think it is a bit unrealistic to expect players who haven't had a lot of game time to just perform.

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Post by bsando on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 8:28 am

Tramptastic wrote:
bsando wrote:
CaptainHaddock wrote:@Tramptastic & @bsando - agree with you both. one of the things that is particularly noticeable between Scotland and many of the other teams (particularly those coached by kiwis) is the ability to retain the ball, slow down and reset. It means that we attempt to pull off the 100:1 shot rather than realising that the oppo haven't been twisted out of shape so then switching into a "reset" mode which allows us to get our attacking shape back and then go again. If you watch the 'saders, highlanders and the ABs they are great at it. Japan against us were the same - they didn't just play 100 mile an hour attack, attack, attack. There were times our defence did a very good job and stalled their progress. They then held on to the ball, reset and built again.

Yes exactly! I think Japan had a few periods of play in our 22 where they didn't score but went through 20+ phases. It is energy sapping for the defensive side and allowed Japan to break those crucial tackles later on when lots of Scottish players were getting tired. Also, I'm sure any player will know themselves that playing a disorganised side rather than an incredibly well organised side effects the psyche. You feel less certain that you'll make that break, pass or tackle because the opposition have been relentless with little or no errors.

I forgot to ask/mention about a rule regarding tackling and a ruck being formed. Japan last weekend were doing this a lot, a Japanese player would be tackled, stopped but then crawl, roll or jump back onto their feet and gain a few extra meters. Isn't that supposed to be a penalty? It was highly effective and the ref didn't call it once.

It depends if they are held by the tackler. So a lot of defensive systems at pro level are big on the tackler being useless if they are lying on the deck so the idea is to tackle, pop up and compete. But if the tackler doesn't get that hold on the deck the ball carrier is not held and can keep going if he wants to.

Right okay I see, I just thought once you completed the tackle and popped back up that was it and the ball carrier needs to recycle the ball. I think Japan were waiting for the tackler to get back up and then moving forwards again despite a full tackle being made. But I suppose the ref is the one to deem what is a completed tackle. I think perhaps the threshold of tolerance from refs has risen and players can get away with crawling and rolling on the floor more these days.

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Post by Tramptastic on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 9:02 am

it all depends on how quick the post-tackle disconnect is between the tackler and ball carrier, if he's let go before they've even hit the ground its fair game for the ball carrier to keep going.

As with all rugby it's nuanced and subjective so one referees completed tackle is another's "not held" Laugh

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 9:31 am

Tramptastic wrote:it all depends on how quick the post-tackle disconnect is between the tackler and ball carrier, if he's let go before they've even hit the ground its fair game for the ball carrier to keep going.

As with all rugby it's nuanced and subjective so one referees completed tackle is another's "not held" Laugh

Highlights again how naive we are as a team. our players will have been jumping up and not realising that they needed to hold on a bit longer to stop the Japanese momentum.

We're really bad at playing to the ref and adapting to our opposition.
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Post by Tramptastic on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 9:45 am

tigertattie wrote:
Tramptastic wrote:it all depends on how quick the post-tackle disconnect is between the tackler and ball carrier, if he's let go before they've even hit the ground its fair game for the ball carrier to keep going.

As with all rugby it's nuanced and subjective so one referees completed tackle is another's "not held" Laugh

Highlights again how naive we are as a team. our players will have been jumping up and not realising that they needed to hold on a bit longer to stop the Japanese momentum.

We're really bad at playing to the ref and adapting to our opposition.

yeh Japan consistently kept an eye on doing it whenever scotland switched off. Scotland did not react well.

Watching our set piece defence at scrum time, Laidlaw was so slow at tracking that first attacker it meant our defence couldn't push across to cover the wide spaces fast enough with out becoming disconnected, was brutal to watch how slow laidlaw was

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Post by jimbopip on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 10:52 am

Tramptastic wrote:
tigertattie wrote:
Tramptastic wrote:it all depends on how quick the post-tackle disconnect is between the tackler and ball carrier, if he's let go before they've even hit the ground its fair game for the ball carrier to keep going.

As with all rugby it's nuanced and subjective so one referees completed tackle is another's "not held" Laugh

Highlights again how naive we are as a team. our players will have been jumping up and not realising that they needed to hold on a bit longer to stop the Japanese momentum.

We're really bad at playing to the ref and adapting to our opposition.

yeh Japan consistently kept an eye on doing it whenever scotland switched off. Scotland did not react well.

Watching our set piece defence at scrum time, Laidlaw was so slow at tracking that first attacker it meant our defence couldn't push across to cover the wide spaces fast enough with out becoming disconnected, was brutal to watch how slow laidlaw was

Was anyone, anywhere, surprised by that?

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Post by 123456789. on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 10:55 am

I think unfortunately World Cups seem to be the place that players who have held on for a wee bit too long get found out. Laidlaw being the prime example. Probably because players are conditioned and primed for months on end and the heat and humidity also. Our older players just did not show up. Barclay was in a similar boat.

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Post by jimbopip on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 12:15 pm

https://www.scotlandrugbynews.com/quiz/which-scottish-rugby-star-are-you/6/

I get John Barclay Shocked

I was pretty certain that I would end up a Shrek. Laugh

Thank fecc I didn't get Frodo. The irony would have killed me. Whistle

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Post by RDW on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 12:42 pm

jimbopip wrote:https://www.scotlandrugbynews.com/quiz/which-scottish-rugby-star-are-you/6/

I get John Barclay Shocked

I was pretty certain that I would end up a Shrek. Laugh

Thank fecc I didn't get Frodo. The irony would have killed me. Whistle

Huw Jones - I'll take that! Mrs RDW got Ryan Wilson... Shocked

I'm in Sydney just now and got a friend's wedding tomorrow so going to miss the England and Ireland games. Very selfish of him to bring us all out this far and not put the rugby on at his wedding!

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 2:44 pm

RDW wrote:
jimbopip wrote:https://www.scotlandrugbynews.com/quiz/which-scottish-rugby-star-are-you/6/

I get John Barclay Shocked

I was pretty certain that I would end up a Shrek. Laugh

Thank fecc I didn't get Frodo. The irony would have killed me. Whistle

Huw Jones - I'll take that! Mrs RDW got Ryan Wilson... Shocked

I'm in Sydney just now and got a friend's wedding tomorrow so going to miss the England and Ireland games. Very selfish of him to bring us all out this far and not put the rugby on at his wedding!

I got Nel (think we both like a sunday roast)

mrs RDW would have gotten Ryan Wilson coz she'd have clicked on the batman picture!

Jimbo is not a Barclay. Nothing in common other than they are both old! Jimbo is more Peter Wright (same outlook on referees)
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Post by jimbopip on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 2:49 pm

John Barclay; literate, softly spoken, blindside flanker, captain.

My final seasons as a rugby player were as blindside and captain. Ayethangyew. oh yeah

Mrs Flounder, shall we call her Ursula?, got Ryan Wilson: have you ever gone home on a Friday with a broken pay packet? Of course you have to be old enough to remember getting your wages (a) weekly and (b) in a brown envelope with all the details on the outside in order to fully appreciate the allusion to domestic violence contained therein.

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 2:53 pm

jimbopip wrote:John Barclay; literate, softly spoken, blindside flanker, captain.

My final seasons as a rugby player were as blindside and captain. Ayethangyew. oh yeah

Mrs Flounder, shall we call her Ursula?, got Ryan Wilson: have you ever gone home on a Friday with a broken pay packet? Of course you have to be old enough to remember getting your wages (a) weekly and (b) in a brown envelope with all the details on the outside.

Literate, yes
Softly spoken, eh, naw!

But yes, you put the blind into blindside.

PS, Ursula, I like it laughing
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Post by Pal Joey on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 12:00 am

RDW wrote:
jimbopip wrote:https://www.scotlandrugbynews.com/quiz/which-scottish-rugby-star-are-you/6/

I get John Barclay Shocked

I was pretty certain that I would end up a Shrek. Laugh

Thank fecc I didn't get Frodo. The irony would have killed me. Whistle

Huw Jones - I'll take that! Mrs RDW got Ryan Wilson... Shocked

I'm in Sydney just now and got a friend's wedding tomorrow so going to miss the England and Ireland games. Very selfish of him to bring us all out this far and not put the rugby on at his wedding!

Welcome here RDW... enjoy the wedding! Nice weather for it. Very Happy
Surely there must be a big screen at or near the venue?
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Post by RDW on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 12:16 am

Pal Joey wrote:
RDW wrote:
jimbopip wrote:https://www.scotlandrugbynews.com/quiz/which-scottish-rugby-star-are-you/6/

I get John Barclay Shocked

I was pretty certain that I would end up a Shrek. Laugh

Thank fecc I didn't get Frodo. The irony would have killed me. Whistle

Huw Jones - I'll take that! Mrs RDW got Ryan Wilson... Shocked

I'm in Sydney just now and got a friend's wedding tomorrow so going to miss the England and Ireland games. Very selfish of him to bring us all out this far and not put the rugby on at his wedding!

Welcome here RDW... enjoy the wedding! Nice weather for it.  Very Happy
Surely there must be a big screen at or near the venue?

Not so good when wearing a kilt! Thick wool wasn't meant for 28deg.

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Post by RDW on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 12:16 am

jimbopip wrote:John Barclay; literate, softly spoken, blindside flanker, captain.

My final seasons as a rugby player were as blindside and captain. Ayethangyew. oh yeah

Mrs Flounder, shall we call her Ursula?, got Ryan Wilson: have you ever gone home on a Friday with a broken pay packet? Of course you have to be old enough to remember getting your wages (a) weekly and (b) in a brown envelope with all the details on the outside in order to fully appreciate the allusion to domestic violence contained therein.

Low blow Jimbo!

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Post by Pal Joey on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 2:10 am

RDW wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:
RDW wrote:
jimbopip wrote:https://www.scotlandrugbynews.com/quiz/which-scottish-rugby-star-are-you/6/

I get John Barclay Shocked

I was pretty certain that I would end up a Shrek. Laugh

Thank fecc I didn't get Frodo. The irony would have killed me. Whistle

Huw Jones - I'll take that! Mrs RDW got Ryan Wilson... Shocked

I'm in Sydney just now and got a friend's wedding tomorrow so going to miss the England and Ireland games. Very selfish of him to bring us all out this far and not put the rugby on at his wedding!

Welcome here RDW... enjoy the wedding! Nice weather for it.  Very Happy
Surely there must be a big screen at or near the venue?

Not so good when wearing a kilt! Thick wool wasn't meant for 28deg.

Hopefully you'll get a late afternoon sea breeze there or there-a-boots!
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Post by jimbopip on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 9:05 am

RDW wrote:
jimbopip wrote:John Barclay; literate, softly spoken, blindside flanker, captain.

My final seasons as a rugby player were as blindside and captain. Ayethangyew. oh yeah

Mrs Flounder, shall we call her Ursula?, got Ryan Wilson: have you ever gone home on a Friday with a broken pay packet? Of course you have to be old enough to remember getting your wages (a) weekly and (b) in a brown envelope with all the details on the outside in order to fully appreciate the allusion to domestic violence contained therein.

Low blow Jimbo!

Is that what she did to you? That can really hurt. Especially if she delivered the low blow in the kebab shop.

Explain that to your fellow antipodean wedding guests, Flounder.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 12:53 pm

Well ireland are making me feel somewhat better we didn't get through to that QF!

It also shows how far we've fallen that a massively off form ireland put 24 unanswered points on us!
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Post by tigertattie on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 12:56 pm

NZ are over the moon at avoiding Scotland.

Unlike Ireland Scotland would never be this poor and if we’re being honest, NZ would have been lucky to beat us.
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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 12:59 pm

Well who can beat us when batman and furra come off the bench? Retallick would be terrified
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Post by 123456789. on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 1:10 pm

I think we can chalk this down as a probably would have won if Cotter was still in charge. Somewhere in a parallel universe we're going through to the semi-final.







And Gordy Reid is captain.

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Post by jimbopip on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 1:15 pm

What about the criminal element? Two intercept tries, a tapped penalty in their own red zone leading to the decisive score!!! 70% possession in the second half.
They reminded me of someone.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 1:16 pm

His breathless team talks at the set pieces 10 minutes in would be inspiring.
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Post by tigertattie on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 1:20 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:His breathless team talks at the set pieces 10 minutes in would be inspiring.

“Boys boys boys. Let’s focus up. I’m breathing out my erse here. I’m exhausted. I can barely breathe. How long have we got till I can get off and get me a chicken curry?”

“Soz Gordie, we’ve only played 3 minutes”
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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 1:20 pm

Brave blossoms vs ferocious ferns finale?
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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 1:22 pm

I think we need to rebrand ourselves the jaggy thistles
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Post by tigertattie on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 1:34 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:I think we need to rebrand ourselves the jaggy thistles

The wet paper bags

The trousers round the ankles

Toonies Muppet

The startled bunnies

The headless chickens

The chuck it aboot charlies

The “we miss you Vern” posse
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Post by jimbopip on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 2:16 pm

The Headless Katsu Chicken Kebabs, surely.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 2:38 pm

The Fellowship of the fastest rugby in the world
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Post by Heuer27 on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 3:43 pm

Watching the Northampton v Saracens game. Specifically Rory Hutchinson. Toonie should be sacked on that call alone. He is a class player bang on form. As opposed to the semi fit / semi proficient centres we did take.

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Post by tigertattie on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 4:39 pm

Heuer27 wrote:Watching the Northampton v Saracens game. Specifically Rory Hutchinson. Toonie should be sacked on that call alone. He is a class player bang on form. As opposed to the semi fit / semi proficient centres we did take.

I’m saying nothing. I’ve been praising Hutchinson for ages. He’s a fast player with an eye for a gap and has good distribution. Basically he’s the opposite of Harris. He’s also not permainjured like poor old Taylor. Sam Johnson is also in danger of being a one hit wonder.

I’m actually starting to think we should have a look at a Hastings (10) Russell (12) hutchy combo.

It’s that or Matt Scott and Mark Bennett come back
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Post by Heuer27 on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 5:24 pm

He was playing 12 today. Russell 10 , Hutchy 12 , Jones 13? Hastings 15. That could be interesting but short of grunt. Matt Scott went well at Gloucester at 13 so that’s another option along with Johnston and or Jones if they ever rediscover their form.
Problem is we haven’t developed a ball carrier in the middle of the park who can also pass and catch. MCDowall has a huge opportunity there if he can kick on.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 9:44 pm

Scott has a good opportunity to put down a marker at 12. As does bennett at 13. If their form continues they'd be my first choice pairing this season. Also Taylor looks handy.

At Glasgow McDowall has to kick on from early promise, which may be difficult given the early return of Johnson and a fairly poor start to their season means rennie may go straight for reinforcements.

It still baffles most of us why Hutch wasn't picked. It also baffles me that Steyn didn't make it further. He's a physical lad and plays wing. Similar mould to Harris but you've got to feel he has the attacking edge.

Also how important is it that Hastings kicks on this season? I think having that second option is vital. It's a good thing finn isn't there to influence his game. When Hastings is on song he's a very cool head for a young player.

The thing I'm most worried about is our forwards. We have a lot of okay backrows but other than watson and Ritchie, and hot and cold Bradbury, no-one looks anything special. Bradbury needs to play 8 this season. I'm not hugely convinced by blade. He's been better than bluto but that's not saying much.

Ritchie, Bradbury and Watson could be a very handy and mobile backrow. If they form a cohesive unit at edinburgh, that would really help Scotland's cause.
Second row is again lacking, but hopefully RG will be ready to play for the next 6Ns, really cummings is the future though. CHH needs to start pushing. Loosehead, we're really thin. Gone are the days of chunk and dicko. Depending on residencies for that one! Hooker as discussed above, looks okayish.. TH pretty much same as loosehead. Need a few players to step up otherwise our scrum will be creakier than a haunted house. Fagerson needs to get some consistency, as does Berghan. If Nicol can up his game soon that'd be good timing!
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Post by SecretFly on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 9:50 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:The Fellowship of the fastest rugby in the world

I think we saw that Fellowship passing us today on the way to our tryline. Can't be sure though, they were travelling too fast.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 10:23 pm

Frodo moonlights for the all blacks. Don't feel too bad, whilst he appears slow and ponderous it's just because he's run and passed that fast he appears to be standing shouting in the same spot for 5 minutes. He's really run the width of the pitch 10 times.
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Post by George Carlin on Sun 20 Oct 2019, 7:35 am

RDW wrote:
jimbopip wrote:https://www.scotlandrugbynews.com/quiz/which-scottish-rugby-star-are-you/6/

I get John Barclay Shocked

I was pretty certain that I would end up a Shrek. Laugh

Thank fecc I didn't get Frodo. The irony would have killed me. Whistle

Huw Jones - I'll take that! Mrs RDW got Ryan Wilson... Shocked

I'm in Sydney just now and got a friend's wedding tomorrow so going to miss the England and Ireland games. Very selfish of him to bring us all out this far and not put the rugby on at his wedding!
Stuart McInally!? Erm
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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 20 Oct 2019, 9:18 am

I got hoggy. Well i guess i do have freckles and burn easily
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Post by jimbopip on Sun 20 Oct 2019, 9:35 am

George Carlin wrote:
RDW wrote:
jimbopip wrote:https://www.scotlandrugbynews.com/quiz/which-scottish-rugby-star-are-you/1/

I get John Barclay Shocked

I was pretty certain that I would end up a Shrek. Laugh

Thank fecc I didn't get Frodo. The irony would have killed me. Whistle

Huw Jones - I'll take that! Mrs RDW got Ryan Wilson... Shocked

I'm in Sydney just now and got a friend's wedding tomorrow so going to miss the England and Ireland games. Very selfish of him to bring us all out this far and not put the rugby on at his wedding!
Stuart McInally!? Erm

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Post by BigGee on Sun 20 Oct 2019, 10:47 am

Mark Palmers take on the Dodson-Toonie dynamic in the Sunday Times.

To some extent they seem to be joined at the hip and maybe hard to see one going without the other!


However Mark Dodson is viewed on the global stage, internally he has something close to absolute power. In eight years as the SRU chief executive, he has built a position of strength on the twin pillars of impressive financials and close alignment with Gregor Townsend. Their stars have risen in parallel, and in assessing Townsend’s prospects after Scotland left the World Cup early, we must remember the role each Murrayfield man has played in the progress of the other.

When Dodson arrived in 2011, Townsend was the attack coach in a Scotland set-up that, within weeks, would become the first not to reach the quarter-finals. Not five months later, Dodson announced him as the new head coach of a Glasgow Warriors team bound for their second Pro12 playoff in three years under Sean Lineen.


That move came about on the back of advice from the then national coach, Andy Robinson, and director of performance rugby, Graham Lowe, but Dodson has never let anyone forget that it was him who made the call. It was the first really big one of his tenure and Townsend paid him back, becoming the first coach to lead a Scottish pro-club to a major honour and funnelling a succession of talent towards the national team.



Highs and lows: Scotland coach Gregor Townsend’s early impact as coach has been followed by a poor Six Nations and now underachievement at the World Cup

Highs and lows: Scotland coach Gregor Townsend’s early impact as coach has been followed by a poor Six Nations and now underachievement at the World Cup


By 2016 — the year after he won the league — Townsend felt sufficiently sure of his importance and his boss’s confidence to deliver what amounted to an ultimatum: either he was given the Scotland job or he was off. Dodson had to choose between Vern Cotter’s promise of continued progress and the man on whom he had already staked so much. Cotter, who had been Dodson’s first box office signing, lost out. Another era-shaping moment, another big call, and Dodson again plumped for Townsend.

Again, the coach delivered, or at least initially. The first 12 months of his reign saw Scotland record home and away wins over Australia, beat England and France and come as close as they had in almost 30 years to a maiden toppling of the All Blacks. Since mid-2018, however, the fare has been middling at best, an underwhelming autumn series giving way to an injury-hit but still mediocre Six Nations and now a poor World Cup.




Townsend’s stock has fallen in this period, and so has Dodson’s, the chief executive embroiled in a series of draining conflicts from the Keith Russell employment tribunal through the botched introduction of Super 6 to last week’s battle with World Rugby.

The twin public faces of Scottish Rugby are pock-marked but remain inextricably linked and mutually dependent. Let us not forget that the Scottish system is built from the top down, and that the 15-match sequence of Murrayfield sell-outs which Townsend’s team and style have encouraged is behind many of the positive numbers on which the Dodson narrative depends. The Lancastrian can be fickle when it comes to backing employees, even those he has sourced himself, but never has he been more personally invested than he is with Townsend.

If Dodson’s balance sheet cannot afford for the national team to slide, it would amount to a huge personal climbdown for him to change coach right now. Bigger than binning the men who laid the foundations with Glasgow and Scotland? Maybe not in the eyes of the outside world, but certainly for Dodson. Townsend is his boy, his ticket. They have worked well for each other and Dodson will believe they can do so again. The absence of credible Scottish potential replacements will also be a significant factor.

This is not to say that Townsend is guaranteed to see out the contract which theoretically ties him until summer 2021. The deal was initially to 2020, but at the height of the fall-out from the Russell case, Townsend was wheeled out for a photo-shoot with Dodson to announce an incongruous one-year extension. Whether they are blowing hot or cold, coaches can deflect heat.

With the positive vibe from that moment long vanished, it’s clear that Scotland must demonstrate significant improvement in the forthcoming Six Nations. Three away fixtures — in Dublin, Rome then Cardiff — offer ample if daunting scope to show they can hang tough on the road in a way that has largely proved beyond them so far under Townsend and was certainly not apparent in big chunks of the Yokohama defeats by Ireland and Japan.

They will also need to find some semblance of a convincing answer to the other recurring questions around a second style and how they deal with more physical opponents.

It may seem odd to argue that five additional games will give us more definitive grounds on which to judge, but by the end of the Six Nations Townsend will have been in the job three years — the same time Cotter got — and it can’t be that he’s still being hamstrung by the same things that were identified as key problems early on. There has to be a sense that Scotland are moving forward, and that hasn’t been the case for more than a year.

Questions can and will be asked of each of Townsend’s assistants. Matt Taylor is a loyal and well-regarded lieutenant, but the days when defence was a Scottish strength feel distant. Though new forwards are emerging to demand a changing of the guard, the Scotland pack has regressed since Danny Wilson replaced Dan McFarland.

As for Mike Blair, the skills coach, he and Townsend will be frustrated that Scotland haven’t been able to enact their attacking A game against a top team since the 2018 Six Nations while recent attempts to integrate more kicking have been at best partially successful.

There is a sense that, as a group, the coaches all come from the same touchy-feely school: where is the Andy Farrell, the Shaun Edwards, dare we say it the Richard Cockerill?

The SRU, and Townsend, have previous here. Defence coach Graham Steadman was the first to pay the price for the failed 2011 expedition, while Townsend got rid of his forwards coach, Shade Munro, at Glasgow just after they won the Pro12.

We must acknowledge, however, that what we’re dealing with goes beyond the coaches and even the Scotland set-up. There are much more deep-rooted issues in the pipeline now being overseen by Jim Mallinder, Dodson’s long-time chum. Another ex-RFU employee, Ben Ryan, recently completed a review into the academy and age-grade structures, the study having been commissioned in the wake of the under-20s’ summer relegation from the top-tier World Championship.

Also swirling away is the business of how to bridge the gap between the club and professional games, something Super 6 will attempt to address when it launches on November 8. For all that Lineen has been left holding the baby, it belongs to Dodson and he will take the flak or credit depending on how it grows.

There will be those who complain that with Townsend, he is putting off making a decision. But to a large extent he made it in 2012 and then again in 2016. That faith will not vanish overnight and neither will the coach.


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Post by George Carlin on Sun 20 Oct 2019, 11:05 am

jimbopip wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
RDW wrote:
jimbopip wrote:https://www.scotlandrugbynews.com/quiz/which-scottish-rugby-star-are-you/1/

I get John Barclay Shocked

I was pretty certain that I would end up a Shrek. Laugh

Thank fecc I didn't get Frodo. The irony would have killed me. Whistle

Huw Jones - I'll take that! Mrs RDW got Ryan Wilson... Shocked

I'm in Sydney just now and got a friend's wedding tomorrow so going to miss the England and Ireland games. Very selfish of him to bring us all out this far and not put the rugby on at his wedding!
Stuart McInally!? Erm
Rugby's answer to Zeppo Marx. All the personality of pannacotta, a vanilla pancetta.
Yep, the human equivalent of a grey Arran sweatervest.

Hence why I don't understand the link. For a pale blue person, I am nowhere near as white as I look.
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Post by 123456789. on Sun 20 Oct 2019, 3:32 pm

I think we need to start from scratch in the Scotland midfield. We still have very good options but they all seem to go out of form at the same time.

Taylor obviously was not match fit. I don't think he should be written off though. He is obviously a very good player and if he can get going again then I'd be more than happy for him to return to the fold. I'd put Alex Dunbar, Matt Scott and Mark Bennett in that category as well. Dunbar seems to have nailed a place down at Brive. He was always a decent anchor in the midfield, a good defender and great over the ball. I do suspect it was his size that sucked defenders in and allowed the space outside for Hogg and Jones to play in. He is a terrible distributor though and has no kicking game to speak of. Still he's not a bad option to have. Matt Scott is another player who has never fulfilled his potential. As a former 10 he should have the distribution skills and you can't say he's not big enough. There are question marks over his defence and always have been. Bennett was a quality operator, struck down by Jones rapid ascent and then injury. This time four years ago he won some award as the breakthrough player in world rugby. These four players once seemed a breath of fresh air after the Lamont-Morrison era. They're all still relatively young and shouldn't be ruled out.

Then there's the likes of Pete Horne, Sam Johnson, Huw Jones and Chris Harris who have burst into the hole left by the problems of injury/ form of the four above (I know there was some overlap but roughly speaking). Both have blown hot and cold. Horne has moment of brilliance and moments of insanity. Like Scotland in recent times it's been heavily weighted toward the latter. Did not seems wise to mouth off in the paper that he's a very good player, I'd have preferred him to do his talking on the pitch. Sam Johnson was heralded as the answer to the inside centre problem. To an extent he was but it's worrying that he's never entirely clicked with Finn Russell or any of the outside centre. Chris Harris is "solid" in defence but I think he is the weakest of our centre options. He doesn't have Bennett or Jones' eye for a gap nor Hutchinson's skill as a footballer. A sort of Jack of all trades master of none when it comes to outside-centre play. If any are to be phased out entirely it should be Harris. Lastly there's Jones, 20172018 Huw Jones is the best Scottish outside centre this century by a mile. 2019 Huw Jones is in the Marcus Di Rollo society of Scottish centres. If he can get his mojo back he'd be the first name on the team sheet. I've not seen much of Glasgow this season but his mojo seems AWOL. I don't think him and Rennie click together, so perhaps we won't see the best of Jones again until one of them leaves Glasgow.

Then there's the new generation. Hutchinson, Steyn and McDowall. Hutchinson seems quality to me and his non-selection was criminal. Steyn is brilliant but perhaps needs a bit more time before he plays at international level. He seemed a bit overwhelmed in the Pro14 final if I recall correctly. It's just a matter of time before McDowall get's in at 12, he seems to be ha slight upgrade on the player Dunbar was before his acl rupture. The two Edinburgh lads, Dean and Johnstone seem a wee bit behind the rest but by no means bad players, probably not international standard.

By my reckoning there are 13 Scottish centres currently fit and playing rugby. None of whom are in the imminent retirement age bracket. Personally if all were fit and available I'd like to see Hutchinson and Jones play together. As a former playmaker he could take some of the load from Russell and is intelligent enough to find space for Hogg and Jones despite his lack of obvious bulk.

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