Scotland post mortem

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun Oct 13, 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 Highland Shaun on Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:29 am

For me, it is simple, Gregor has to carry the can for this and either have the guts to resign, otherwise the SRU have to have the balls to sack him.

I also don't agree with just appointing Richard Cockerill or Dave Rennie, unless they are up to the job, which Edinburgh and Glasgow results prove isn't the case. It would also be a no to the normal names spouted such as Sean Lineen and Todd Blackadder, Nick Mallet and Bryan Redpath etc.

I see Scott Robertson mentioned here, I can't comment on him as I know nothing about him, but he is a SH coach so I could take to him if he gets the job.

Shaun Edwards would be great but how likely is it he would take the job, same goes for Jake White, Wayne Smith and Ewen MacKenzie.

I also agree with most on here that say GT should NOT get the 6N, that would just be rewarding failure.

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Post by 123456789. on Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:57 am

I get the argument he should go now. In principle I entirely agree. But what’s the point if there’s no one decent to replace him. If we can find a top class coach with a track record of success by February then brilliant. If not it’s either a rushed appointment or an interim guy. The pitfalls of the former are obvious. On the latter I simply do not see the point. Why get someone in who’s off soon anyway ahead of Townsend? Reward or punishment shouldn’t come into it. The only reason for him to go without a succession plan in place would be if the players refused to play for him anymore. I think that’s a distinct possibility because of his game plan being so woeful for the big games. Do I want him to be the coach come 2023? Currently absolutely not. Do I see any benefit in sacking him for the sake of it? No. I would seek out the top coaches and sound out the possibility of them coming in. If they’re keen I’d snap them up. If not I’d set high standards for the Six Nations. If, and as soon as, it became apparent those standards wouldn’t be met I’d be back on the phone to the best and beginning a comprehensive search for Townsend’s successor.

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Post by miaow on Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:30 am

Have to be honest and say there's quite clearly an issue that goes beyond Scotland here - all 3, or 4 if you include Italians, of the Pro14 teams have looked pretty average with ball in hand this tournament. Even compared to the non-Islander tier 2 nations - Uruguay, Japan, even Georgia had a few nice moments.

For all the success Glasgow, the Scarlets, and even Leinster have had and do have a club level, the national teams play rugby in a way that sometimes looks behind the times. There's a real fundamental danger of all 3 of the 'Celtic' countries getting left behind as new guns like Japan flex their muscles. It's not as if we're genetically blessed in the height/weight/size/pace department for hte most part, particularly not when compared to PIs, but even compared to the English.

Now, that's a distant point in relation to Scotland, but I think it's one that comes out of this mess. What works in the Pro14 really doesn't work at test level outside the 6Ns, where it's basically just a bit more slog, and similar tries coming from overlaps and mistakes and pressure. Support lines, attacking intent to break past the man and not just flop down to retain possession, instinct and the ability to read and react to each other before the defender can...for all their individual talents and desire to play mercurial, fast paced stuff, even Scotland looked second best v Japan for a lot of that game. This idea that Scotland are a 'progressive' side looks really silly when they come up against Japan. I honestly think they would have lost to Fiji as well had they played them.

Personally, I've never understood the Townsend experiment, and if they have someone lined up - even if it's Vern - you'd be best getting rid now and just accepting that he isn't Head Coach material. McInally isn't a captain; Hogg/full backs aren't vice captains - that decision alone just feels so amateurish, so out of touch with...well...modern rugby. And amateur rugby. The leadership team within the Scottish squad is symbolic of what's wrong, for me. The forwards aren't the optional extras who help enable the wizardry at 10. I remember after the Ireland game Townsend answering a question about 'the right to go wide' and he smirked at it, as if it was a stupid question...yet nothing suggests Scotland's wide game is actually that good when they face a fit, focused, and disciplined team like Japan today, or Ireland a few weeks ago.

Just get rid and move on, I'd say. Townsend is a backs coach as far as I can tell.

Desperate stuff for Scotland. Could have been in a RWC final 4 years ago, and now, after all the off the field stuff, it's some dreadful performances on the field that result in going out in the group. The whole team looks like it needs belief and a fresh start. You could even see that against Samoa - Samoa have been awful, yet Scotland looked nervous, on edge, and relieved to get a bonus point against them.

Lots of good players for Scotland, but also feel like selection was way off. Need to take opportunity to find a hard nosed coach who will also accept the fact Scotland cannot play like England or France - and have to play a wide attacking game - so you get both a functioning forward pack who are emboldened to go out and smash the opposition every game, and backs who are held responsible for f'ing things up. Townsend looks like an enabler for bad rugby, frankly. Too much of a hangover from letting his own playing career influence his coaching.

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Post by Highland Shaun on Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:39 am

I have stolen this from another rugby forum, its regarding players coming through and ones that are worthy of playing for Scotland in the future.

I still think we have a better generation than we have had for a long time but I think I overestimated how good they are. Our squad just seems to have a lot more average players than it seemed a while ago. Where are we strong? Where are we weak but with players coming through? Where are we desperate?

Tight head - Not quite desperate as Nel, Fagerson and Berghan is not too bad a crop but need someone (Nicol?) to come through. Could really do with Fagerson progressing to add some carrying and dynamism to our game.

Hooker - still think our first two choices are very good. Some promising youngsters but a few injuries and we are desperate.

Loosehead - Pretty desperate - big area for improvement. I quite like Dell as a player but his scrummaging (or ref's view of it) is very hit and miss and seems inconsistent in the loose too. Only prospects are project players and others who have not lived up to expectation.

Second row - Another area that has turned from potential strength to a weakness. Not as drastic here as Gray (as shown in second half) can do much more and we have Cummings, Skinner and Carmichael who should be coming through. We need to make that a priority though as it is a clear area of advantage for all the top teams over us.

Back Row - In transition at a bad time but optimistic. To me, the group for the 6N needs to be Ritchie, Watson, Bradbury, Fagerson and Thompson with people like Crosbie pushing

Scrum Half - another one that we have been losing out on. I'd give the spot to Horne with Price covering but behind that relying on Shiel and Divide coming through fast.

Flyhalf - Happy if Russell and Hastings fit, desperate if not. Weir is the only other established pro and no youngsters getting any gametime

Centres - a position of strength turned into a real weakness over the last year but I think this one can be put more on a mixture of injuries and Townsend rather than a lack of talent. There is possibly a question of how well Johnson fits into the system but between him, Jones, Scott, Hutchison, Bennett and Taylor and Harris surely we can build a good partnership with hands, power and pace and even a bit of a kicking game.

Back Three - This is a bit of a mix. Going forward, I think in Hogg, Kinghorn and Graham we have an exciting back three albeit with some defensive frailties. Maitland is a decent option for now too. There is not that much behind them though. The issue in the WC though was that in the year leading up to it we seemed to lose the ability for them to connect and play together

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Post by TJ on Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:04 am

One thing we need to now / find out is the players views. I am sure some will get into the press over the next week or two

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Post by Pie on Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:42 am

Russell is the problem

Its like Pele playing for Scunthorpe

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Post by cakeordeath on Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:03 am

As an aside, who was the no.8 playing for Edinburgh on Friday, he looked pretty handy

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Post by RDW on Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:05 am

Here's me thinking we could do with a post mortem thread and you feckers are almost already on page 3!

I'm still too gutted to put words down in detail, plus I'm currently enjoying the bright lights (and intense heat) of Singapore.

Spoiler alert - it's pretty much going to be along the lines of 'we're not very good now are we'

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Post by bsando on Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:58 am

I’m probably going to rewatch that first half to better understand where it went wrong. But from memory, the minute Laidlaw got turned over for being slow at a ruck after Russell had just scored it was all down hill from there. Scotland really lacked street smartness yesterday.

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Post by George Carlin on Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:14 am

I just want to take people back to a few key dates:

30 September 2007: Wales 34-38 Fiji. Wales are knocked out of the World Cup at the pool stages.

01 October 2007: Gareth Jenkins sacked as Wales head coach in his Paris hotel room.

09 November 2007: A fat head coach of Waikato is appointed as new Wales coach. He is talented but untested at international level.

2008-2019: Wales have won four Six Nations titles, including three Grand Slams, and reached the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup.

My point is that rugby unions should aspire to better and recognise their mistakes. The only good reason for Toonie to take Scotland through the 2020 6N is because his successor is seeing out his notice period.
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Post by George Carlin on Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:17 am

Also worth mentioning that Fatland was the head coach of the British and Irish Lions on their 2013 tour of Australia, where they won the Test series 2-1, and 2017 tour of New Zealand, when the series was drawn.
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Post by sensisball on Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:40 am

Worth remembering that Gatland was a former front rower who knows that forwards win matches. Wales went from powder puffs up front to hard nosed, streetwise and very, very hard to dominate.
We have a former free wheeling 10 who thinks the forwards job is to get the ball out as quickly as possible so he could do his magic.
Interesting that one of his first acts upon winning the Pro12 was to let Shade Munro go as Glasgow's forwards coach. A coach who turned Leone Nakawara into a world class lock. Sorry got that wrong it was Toonie who did that job, apparently.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:46 am

Don't. It's depressing how poor the toonie decision was. I genuinely believe we were on the road to becoming more than a flash in the pan with VC, he could have easily stayed with us for at least 5 years. The writing was on the wall when toonie was failing with Glasgow in his last season there, yet got anointed through his sheer arrogance of "if you don't make me head coach, I'm leaving abd not coming back".

The more I think about it the more I don't like him. At least Robinson and Hadden seemed like they cared about more than their coaching careers and were pretty honest in the process of coaching a piss poor side.
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Post by LordDowlais on Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:47 am

George Carlin wrote:01 October 2007: Gareth Jenkins sacked as Wales head coach in his Paris hotel room.

He was sacked in the car park.

George Carlin wrote:09 November 2007: A fat head coach of Waikato is appointed as new Wales coach. He is talented but untested at international level.

George Carlin wrote:Also worth mentioning that Fatland was the head coach of the British and Irish Lions on their 2013 tour of Australia, where they won the Test series 2-1, and 2017 tour of New Zealand, when the series was drawn.

Seriously ?

Anyway, back to the rugby.

I posted this on that cringe worthy fire Townsend thread:-

Hello my fellow Scottish members, I must say, when I saw this thread go up, I was cringing, fire Townsend, for what ? What do you all expect from Gregor Townsend ? He is working with vastly inferior tools to his peers in the 6N bar Italy. Scotland has 2 pro clubs, half of what the rest have in the Pro14. That means half the amount of players. The fact that Scotland are comfortably in the top 10 is a massive achievement. The SRU are constantly having to scour the globe for SQ players just to pad out your national team, or bring players in with the potential to represent Scotland. For my liking, Scotland will win the rest of their games in their group, and you will qualify, and that is about the best that you can expect, if you do lose to Japan, then that will be just an indictment of where you are. Scotland have not one an away game outside of Italy in the 6N for years, this is not Gregor Townsend's fault. Why would you expect to beat Ireland, Samoa, Japan and Russia away from Scotland when you have not won away from Scotland on a regular basis for years ? Sometimes I think you Scottish build yourself up for disappointment. You have some decent players, Hogg, Russell, Watson, but your good players would have to work damn hard to get into any of the other nations above them in the rankings. If you all think firing Townsend is the answer, then fair play to you, carry on. Who else is out there who would take on the Scotland job who is better ? Reality is, Scotland's place in the rugby world order is about right at 9th best in the world, 5th best of the 6N, with the odd result spattered in here and there, which should always be celebrated. I think, Scotland are doing good for what they have at their disposal, you have just nilled a country that a lot of people were expecting you to lose to. I expect you to win your next two games, but Japan, at this time, in their own country, will be tough, and if Scotland lose, I will not be surprised, but that does not mean Townsend should lose his job either. Sorry if I sound a little condescending, I just think a little bit of reality is needed here, also, I apologise in advance if what I have put on here will upset any of our Scottish, or indeed any other nations members. OK wrote:


Now the question that needs to be asked, is for how long do you keep classing nations like Scotland as tier one ?

I ask that question in all seriousness, and please do not all jump on me for it. They are not alone, Italy as well, even Argentina, how do they get to keep their tier one status, whilst countries like Japan are pigeon holed into tier two ?

I have taken notice of Japan ever since we drew a series over there a few years back, we underestimated them whilst Gatland was away with the Lions, and we became a cropper. Ever since they have been improving year on year. They have a pro league, with oodles of money, they have beaten tier one sides twice on the trot, whilst tier two sides around them are getting nilled or are having 4 tries plus put on them. Also lets not forget the last world cup where they beat SA.

Now, to get back to my point, Scotland have not achieved anything of significance for nigh on 20 years. I cannot remember the last time you beat any of the home nations and France away from home. Yes you spring the odd surprise, but come on.

For me Gregor Townsend is doing a decent job, he has made you very competitive at home, Murrayfield is not a banker for anybody anymore.

I ask this genuinely, what are your expectations ? Where do you all think you should be ? Because I think Gregor Townsend is doing a good job with the tools he has. thumbsup

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Post by majesticimperialman on Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:52 am

Out of the Scotland team apart from Greg Laidlaw, who else will be retiring from  the International game?

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:57 am

It’s funny that on one hand you give us a history lesson on the exact circumstances surrounding Gareth Jenkins’ sacking, and on the other you completely fail to see the parallels between Wales’ situation then and Scotland’s now. By getting a strong coach in who tailored your game plan to the strengths of the players he had available you were able to achieve great success. I wonder why it is that you can’t see that this is the exact situation Scotland find themselves in, or why Scottish fans may look to emulate the success you’ve been fortunate enough to revel in during Gatland’s time?

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:01 am

LordDowalis, since he took over from VC we've gone backwards and become more inconsistent and more impatient in attack. Baring in mind this is largely the same group, with the odd change, i would say thats a coaching, not a player issue. Using the last 20 years, though true, is not a great bar to set our standards by. 2015-2017 showed us where we can get to realistically.

I remember when wales had to play under howley, a lot of wales fans weren't exactly happy. Same with Scott Johnson after ruddock. Would you be throwing the baby out with the bathwater in saying the welsh side under him were capable of better? No.

I'm sick of this "oh your players are gash so put up and shut up" attitude. They're not, they're at least the same level as Japan in terms of individual strength, and we've all seen what japan have achieved through good coaching and teamwork.


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Post by sensisball on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:03 am

So Gatland turned Wales from laughing stock into a multiple grand slam winning team and you are asking what is the point in changing a clearly failed coach. Seriously?
We have many weaknesses, not all of which can be addressed by a new coach alone but someone with a more rounded approach to coaching other than Toonie who wants joue, joue all the time. This would give us more of a chance of staying in games deep into the second half instead of being beaten by the time the oranges are consumed.

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:09 am

NeilyBroon wrote:LordDowalis, since he took over from VC we've gone backwards and become more inconsistent and more impatient in attack. Baring in mind this is largely the same group, with the odd change, i would say thats a coaching, not a player issue. Using the last 20 years, though true, is not a great bar to set our standards by. 2015-2017 showed us where we can get to realistically.

I do not think Scotland have gone backwards, Vern Cotter was still losing the same games as Gregor Townsend is losing, and infact when Wales used to go to Scotland I was always confident, now, no way.

NeilyBroon wrote:I remember when wales had to play under howley, a lot of wales fans weren't exactly happy. Same with Scott Johnson after ruddock. Would you be throwing the baby out with the bathwater in saying the welsh side under him were capable of better? No.

Scott Johnson was more of a stop gap, but I cannot remember mass outrage on a par with this. Rob Howley will never an international level head coach, not unless he changes his ways, again, he was just an interim coach. This is not a like for like comparison.

NeilyBroon wrote:I'm sick of this "oh your players are gash so put up and shut up". They're not, they're at the same level as Japan in terms of individual strength, and we've all seen what japan have achieved through good coaching and teamwork.

How many coaches have Scotland had over the past 15/20 years ? They cannot all be inept, yet here we are. Gregor Townsend has a better record than all of them, you are not spooners in the 6N anymore, you are better than Italy, a nation where you used to scrap with for the spoon, and he has you sparring with France.

Gregor Townsend has taken you from wooden spooners, to mid table. You have one or two decent players, but the rest are just not that good unfortunately.

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Post by EST on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:10 am

I can't help but feel that the SRU will stick, rather than twist. They took a huge gamble in appointing Toonie and sacking them now would be tantamount to them admitting that it was a mistake. Dodson, as I think was shown last week, does not strike me as a character who would readily admit to errors of judgement. Also, we only just have a new DoR in the door - has he been in there long enough to be allowed to conduct a review of Toonies performance?

On Toonie, I don't see a shred of evidence to suggest he has the necessary skills to take us forward. The tactics he adopted against Japan were quite staggeringly bad, and a repeat of the same mistakes made against England in the first half this 6N. In fact, it's hard to discern any plan or structure in a lour play - rushed, incoherent and panicked. We have regressed significantly from the high point of Vern's last season, the list of terrible performances is extensive: Wales away, Fiji away, USA away, first half against England, France in Paris and Nice, Ireland this WC, first half against Japan.....in all of these games the pattern is the same.

The team is at a crossroads now with lots of the old guard moving on, I think we need someone who knows what they are doing taking them forward.

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:12 am

sensisball wrote:So Gatland turned Wales from laughing stock into a multiple grand slam winning team and you are asking what is the point in changing a clearly failed coach. Seriously?
We have many weaknesses, not all of which can be addressed by a new coach alone but someone with a more rounded approach to coaching other than Toonie who  wants joue, joue all the time. This would give us more of a chance of staying in games deep into the second half instead of being beaten by the time the oranges are consumed.

Gatland did not turn us in to anything, they signs were already there under Ruddock, but he walked, and we gave the job to the popular choice, who was out of date with modern rugby, until it took a failed WC campaign and a string of diabolical results before hand to change the coach. It is totally different, we had the players, Scotland unfortunately do not, bar the odd two or three.

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Post by EST on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:19 am

LordDowlais wrote:
sensisball wrote:So Gatland turned Wales from laughing stock into a multiple grand slam winning team and you are asking what is the point in changing a clearly failed coach. Seriously?
We have many weaknesses, not all of which can be addressed by a new coach alone but someone with a more rounded approach to coaching other than Toonie who  wants joue, joue all the time. This would give us more of a chance of staying in games deep into the second half instead of being beaten by the time the oranges are consumed.

Gatland did not turn us in to anything, they signs were already there under Ruddock, but he walked, and we gave the job to the popular choice, who was out of date with modern rugby, until it took a failed WC campaign and a string of diabolical results before hand to change the coach. It is totally different, we had the players, Scotland unfortunately do not, bar the odd two or three.

The key point Lord, is that our performances were improving under Vern - he still had the odd shocker, but the trajectory was upwards. Performances under Toonie, with the odd exception, have regressed.

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:20 am

EST wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
sensisball wrote:So Gatland turned Wales from laughing stock into a multiple grand slam winning team and you are asking what is the point in changing a clearly failed coach. Seriously?
We have many weaknesses, not all of which can be addressed by a new coach alone but someone with a more rounded approach to coaching other than Toonie who  wants joue, joue all the time. This would give us more of a chance of staying in games deep into the second half instead of being beaten by the time the oranges are consumed.

Gatland did not turn us in to anything, they signs were already there under Ruddock, but he walked, and we gave the job to the popular choice, who was out of date with modern rugby, until it took a failed WC campaign and a string of diabolical results before hand to change the coach. It is totally different, we had the players, Scotland unfortunately do not, bar the odd two or three.

The key point Lord, is that our performances were improving under Vern - he still had the odd shocker, but the trajectory was upwards.  Performances under Toonie, with the odd exception, have regressed.

I think we can agree, to disagree on this one. Very Happy thumbsup

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Post by EST on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:21 am

LordDowlais wrote:
EST wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
sensisball wrote:So Gatland turned Wales from laughing stock into a multiple grand slam winning team and you are asking what is the point in changing a clearly failed coach. Seriously?
We have many weaknesses, not all of which can be addressed by a new coach alone but someone with a more rounded approach to coaching other than Toonie who  wants joue, joue all the time. This would give us more of a chance of staying in games deep into the second half instead of being beaten by the time the oranges are consumed.

Gatland did not turn us in to anything, they signs were already there under Ruddock, but he walked, and we gave the job to the popular choice, who was out of date with modern rugby, until it took a failed WC campaign and a string of diabolical results before hand to change the coach. It is totally different, we had the players, Scotland unfortunately do not, bar the odd two or three.

The key point Lord, is that our performances were improving under Vern - he still had the odd shocker, but the trajectory was upwards.  Performances under Toonie, with the odd exception, have regressed.

I think we can agree, to disagree on this one. Very Happy  thumbsup

Fair enough - Wales looking very good value for a Semi final


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Post by LordDowlais on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:23 am

Also, what I cannot fathom is why the SRU appointed Gregor Townsend if Vern Cotter was such a good coach ?

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:28 am

Pure jingoism. They wanted to be seen to be bringing through a Scottish coach, Toonie wasn't willing to wait so told them I'll take the job when BVCs contract finishes or I'm walking. The SRU took the bait. None of the fans wanted it but gave toonie a chance based on Glasgow. We looked fine for the short period after verns departure but then toonies non-structures came into play. It's worth noting as well we went rapidly downhill after McFarland left for ulster, suggesting he was more responsible for holding the group together.

I don't know why murrayfield worries you under toonie! We've looked bloody awful there this season. I'd say it's back to a gimme as long as you turn up.
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Post by EST on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:33 am

LordDowlais wrote:Also, what I cannot fathom is why the SRU appointed Gregor Townsend if Vern Cotter was such a good coach ?

None of us can either. Toonie told the SRU he was leaving Glasgow - i'm not sure if he demanded the Scottish job, or if they felt that they couldn't be seen to lose a young, successful coach. Either way, it led to Vern moving on after our most successful 6N in years.

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:41 am

Didn't there used to be a Vern Cotter thread on here where everybody aired their dislikes ?

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Post by EST on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:44 am

LordDowlais wrote:Didn't there used to be a Vern Cotter thread on here where everybody aired their dislikes ?

I'm sure there was the odd grumble, he had his selection quirks, like most coaches.

He received a standing ovation in his last match in charge at Murrayfield, he was really well liked.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:45 am

Not that I'm aware of! We all agreed vc was a good coach to my understanding.
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Post by LordDowlais on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:56 am

Vern Cotters record for Scotland is as follows:-

played 36
won 19
lost 17

Honours
Douglas Horn Trophy
Winners: 2014

Gregor Townsend's record for Scotland is as follows:-

played 28
won 15
lost 12
draw 1

Six Nations Championship
Third: 2018
Calcutta Cup
Winners: 2018, 2019
Auld Alliance Trophy
Winners: 2018
Hopetoun Cup
Winners: June 2017, Nov. 2017
Douglas Horn Trophy
Winners: 2018

Gregor Townsend has a better record than Vern Cotter, albeit I do not know what the Hopetoun cup is, or the Douglas Horn trophy. Did Vern Cotter ever finish as high as third in the 6N ?

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Post by EST on Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:01 am

LordDowlais wrote:Vern Cotters record for Scotland is as follows:-

played 36
won 19
lost 17

Honours
Douglas Horn Trophy
Winners: 2014

Gregor Townsend's record for Scotland is as follows:-

played 28
won 15
lost 12
draw 1

Six Nations Championship
Third: 2018
Calcutta Cup
Winners: 2018, 2019
Auld Alliance Trophy
Winners: 2018
Hopetoun Cup
Winners: June 2017, Nov. 2017
Douglas Horn Trophy
Winners: 2018

Gregor Townsend has a better record than Vern Cotter, albeit I do not know what the Hopetoun cup is, or the Douglas Horn trophy. Did Vern Cotter ever finish as high as third in the 6N ?

What you are missing out from this narrative is their respective starting points - Vern took over when Scotland were a laughing stock, in his last few games we managed to beat Wales and Ireland at home. Toonie took over this team and has made them worse over time, with arguably a better squad.

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:09 am

EST wrote:Wales and Ireland at home

You have four wins against us in the last two decades, one 2002,2003 and 2007 I was there for that game, and one in 2017 Vern Cotters win, when Howley was covering for Gatland on his Lions duties. Like I have said, the odd result. But hey ho, we can all agree to disagree.  OK

But I do not think Gregor Townsend is as bad as you are all making out, changing coaches will not turn Scotland into the team they were in the past. thumbsup

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Post by bsando on Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:17 am

EST wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Vern Cotters record for Scotland is as follows:-

played 36
won 19
lost 17

Honours
Douglas Horn Trophy
Winners: 2014

Gregor Townsend's record for Scotland is as follows:-

played 28
won 15
lost 12
draw 1

Six Nations Championship
Third: 2018
Calcutta Cup
Winners: 2018, 2019
Auld Alliance Trophy
Winners: 2018
Hopetoun Cup
Winners: June 2017, Nov. 2017
Douglas Horn Trophy
Winners: 2018

Gregor Townsend has a better record than Vern Cotter, albeit I do not know what the Hopetoun cup is, or the Douglas Horn trophy. Did Vern Cotter ever finish as high as third in the 6N ?

What you are missing out from this narrative is their respective starting points - Vern took over when Scotland were a laughing stock, in his last few games we managed to beat Wales and Ireland at home.  Toonie took over this team and has made them worse over time, with arguably a better squad.

I was trying to get my head around this and posted a wee summary of Scotland's 2019 as a thread. Scotland are currently developing as a team now and the introduction of so many new players has most certainly impacted on results. The same happened to Wales as Lydiate, Warburton, Cuthbert, Roberts, Priestland moved on. I think the 2020 6N will be a lot better than this years one and Scotland will find some extra bite in their performances as the younger guys start to feel more comfortable. Laidlaw won't play for Scotland again, he's done. Hastings is probably going to make a move for the 10 shirt and Kinghorn may well replace Hogg at 15 for more games in 2020 depending on Hogg's form. Exciting times really!

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Post by SecretFly on Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:23 am

I think Lord D is annoyed that Scottish fans are annoyed.

I'd be annoyed.... especially about the 21 points.  21 points suggests that despite all the fancy Japanese stuff, the game was there for Scotland with more savvy on the field.

So where do Scotland start losing?  Perhaps in the stubbornness of Townsend to believe in the old mantra of 'we'll score more than you'.  
Scotland can score tries.  They can look extremely slick in attack and counter-attack.  But you have to be an extremely good side to make that claim - we'll score more than you - because part of the claim indirectly admits that defence will be sacrificed somewhat in the pursuit of attack.  So you extend the claim reallly - we know you might get a few tries against us, but we'll score more than you.

Townsend perhaps doesn' allow his defence coach enough team tactics input.  Who is his defence coach?  (Matt Taylor, google tells me). Maybe the defence coach is too shy or reticent a character against Townsend's ultra belief in his own methods.  Maybe a more rugged and vocal defence coach is needed to demand more time with players and more energy in 80 mins given to honest defence rather than endless hair trigger readiness to attack. International defensive requirements are more demanding than Club requirements.

I'd be annoyed with Townsend.  Japan are in a fine vein of form. But it still seems to me that game was there for a more pragmatic coach with respect for the ideals of defence as much as attack.

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Post by bico on Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:54 am

It is interesting what Lord D seems to be repeating ad nauseam about Scotland's players being significantly poorer than those from Wales with a few exceptions. Unfortunately national pride seems to be on display here. The Scottish teams hold their own against the Welsh in the Pro 14 from what I can see. I would understand if it was an Irish poster making the claims and statements of the good Lord but he really wants to have a look at his Principality's results against the southern hemisphere sides over the last couple of decades before getting on his high horse.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:01 am

Spot on secretfly. I think youve got your finger on the pulse a lot better than other neutrals.

I think any fans would be annoyed if this was the scenario with their respective country. As I've said before the decline became most notable after Dan McFarland left as forwards coach which to me suggests the good work was mostly down to him under toonie. Our attacking style seems all too similar to 2011 where toonie was attack coach, the only difference being we have players with a better skillset so it occasionally pays off, doesn't take much to put the two together.

We should be looking to play like Japan, because when scotland have played as a unit in the past (particularly under cotter) they've given teams a game. Headless chicken mode is the new norm unfortunately with emphasis put on individuals to change a game when it simply doesn't work with such a small player pool.

We may be relative minnows in tier one but we're still capable of much better.
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Post by BigGee on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:03 am

Most of the pundits, who have expressed a view, including Peter Wright, a fairly trenchant critic, have said that he will go on for now and that a judgement more likely after the next 6N.

The next 6N will in itself be interesting due to the come down and fatigue from the WC and the natural churn of players and coaches following that event. It may well throw up some surprising results and could potentially give Toonie a chance to redeem himself a bit.

On reflection, after a sleep on it, I would probably have to say that Japan won that game, rather than we lost it. Two of their tries were from sublime bits of skill that was undefendable and when we finally got our act together in the second half, they defended like there was no tomorrow. It was a compelling game and we played a big part in it.

Japan are a good side no question, beating Ireland as well and could easily give other tier one countries a scare in the right circumstances, their challenge is going to be maintaining that progress once this generation of players moves on, which many will post WC.

Scotland's challenge has got to be to find out why we let these games get so badly away from us, so early on. Even in most of our better results recently and there have been a few, we always seem to come from behind. If Toonie and his coaches can't fix that, then someone else will have to.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:14 am

BigGee wrote:Most of the pundits, who have expressed a view, including Peter Wright, a fairly trenchant critic, have said that he will go on for now and that a judgement more likely after the next 6N.

The next 6N will in itself be interesting due to the come down and fatigue from the WC and the natural churn of players and coaches following that event. It may well throw up some surprising results and could potentially give Toonie a chance to redeem himself a bit.

It has to be remembered that England tumbled out of 2015 and won the GS in 2016. Scotland now have a head start in preparing for the next 6Ns and have to take advantage of that. There are things that need to be sorted:

Tight 5 - will WP Nel step away from internationals? More power needed anyway.
Back Row - Watson unlikely to be fit, but with Ritchie and Bradbury there seem to be guys you can build around.
Half Backs - George Horne has to start surely?
Centres - That Chirs Harris may have been your best centre indicates an issue
Back 3 - Some potential there.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:21 am

The thing that annoys me is that the same pundits were saying the WC was a chance for Toonie to prove himself, and that he was on thin ice then.

I fear he has become teflon toonie. Nothing ever sticks. He's riding the success of one title at Glasgow in one of the least competitive leagues. Did he bring them on to Euro success? Not really. Even Edinburgh have got further than Glasgow historically. Look at his prior record with Scotland. He'd never coached before yet was elevated straight to attack coach and we looked even worse in attack.

We can't keep giving this man chances on the basis of a couple of good seasons with Glasgow after Lineen and Munro built them from the ground up. None of us want Rennie in charge for example and arguably he's acheived much the same as Toonie did.

No, no more chances, I'd get it if we were this bad before but we weren't. It's not a coincidence that over 2 years we've taken a nose dive.


Last edited by NeilyBroon on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:22 am

Also England got eddie jones post wc no?

Surely that's an argument for dropping toonie?
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Post by LordDowlais on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:27 am

bico wrote:It is interesting what Lord D seems to be repeating ad nauseam about Scotland's players being significantly poorer than those from Wales with a few exceptions. Unfortunately national pride seems to be on display here. The Scottish teams hold their own against the Welsh in the Pro 14 from what I can see. I would understand if it was an Irish poster making the claims and statements of the good Lord but he really wants to have a look at his Principality's results against the southern hemisphere sides over the last couple of decades before getting on his high horse.


Oh please....... Rolling Eyes

Look this is not national pride. But hey ho. thumbsup

Where do you think Scotland to be at the moment ? And why ? Because Scotland have done nothing for years, yet every coach cannot be at fault. I think that Gregor Townsend is doing a fantastic job with the players they he has at his disposal. His record against former Scottish head coaches speaks for itself in that regard. Scotland just do not have enough good players, hence why they have to scour the globe to pad out their national side. Unfortunately that is where you are.

To balance things out, I think Wales are where they are, we can be looking good for a semi final at this WC, and that's about it, and if the fixtures go our way in the 6N, England home, Ireland home, then we can push for the title. Wales have more good players to chose from, but when injuries occur, Wales tend to struggle. That is about it.

Wales are currently where I expect them to be, in the group of top 5 best teams in the world, but not the best, Scotland are where I expect them, in the next group of 5 teams in the world and when you factor that in, with the resources you have, then that is an achievement in itself.

In my opinion, just to put another factor in, I think that both England and France are the biggest underachievers in world rugby, and New Zealand are massive over achievers.


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Post by 123456789. on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:29 am

SecretFly wrote:I think Lord D is annoyed that Scottish fans are annoyed.

I'd be annoyed.... especially about the 21 points.  21 points suggests that despite all the fancy Japanese stuff, the game was there for Scotland with more savvy on the field.

So where do Scotland start losing?  Perhaps in the stubbornness of Townsend to believe in the old mantra of 'we'll score more than you'.  
Scotland can score tries.  They can look extremely slick in attack and counter-attack.  But you have to be an extremely good side to make that claim - we'll score more than you - because part of the claim indirectly admits that defence will be sacrificed somewhat in the pursuit of attack.  So you extend the claim reallly - we know you might get a few tries against us, but we'll score more than you.

Townsend perhaps doesn' allow his defence coach enough team tactics input.  Who is his defence coach?  (Matt Taylor, google tells me). Maybe the defence coach is too shy or reticent a character against Townsend's ultra belief in his own methods.  Maybe a more rugged and vocal defence coach is needed to demand more time with players and more energy in 80 mins given to honest defence rather than endless hair trigger readiness to attack.  International defensive requirements are more demanding than Club requirements.  

I'd be annoyed with Townsend.  Japan are in a fine vein of form.  But it still seems to me that game was there for a more pragmatic coach with respect for the ideals of defence as much as attack.

I think Lord D that therein lies your answer.

In the whole Cotter vs Townsend debate. Cotter took over after 2013 and 2014, they were both utterly dire years to be a Scottish rugby fan. The rugby was poor, the pitch was worse and it wasn't helped by the fact that ultimately it was irrelevant because the coach was a temporary figure. In 2015 we won the wooden spoon but the green shoots of recovery were there. If I recall correctly we had a few decent performances that season, including a stonking victory over Argentina

By the end of 2015 we could, and arguably should, have played in a world cup final. In 2016 we recorded victories over France and Italy, as well as narrow defeats to England and Wales. In 2017 we won all three matches at home, should have beaten France away and were utterly decimated against England. After nilling Italy Vern Cotter received a standing ovation, and for the first time in his life, experienced what other humans call "emotion".

The point being that there was steady progression in place, quite obviously. Vern took over a team that was nowhere near anything, and by 2017 we were playing in a Championship decider, albeit one in which we were utterly destroyed.

Townsend took over in 2017 and to be fair the 2017-2018 season was, if anything, an improvement on the previous year. We thrashed Australia, should have beaten New Zealand, beat England and France at home and Italy away. However when you look at results against Ireland and Wales away we were further than we had been for years.

2018-2019 was not a good season, we lost, relatively narrowly to the Springboks. It is a testament to Vern Cotter and Gregor Townsend's work that a lot of us expected to win that game. Obviously you could, and probably will, say that was hubris. Scotland aren't that good etc. But it's worth pointing out that we'd played every other Tier One team in the two years prior at Murrayfield and beaten all bar one of them (and a narrow defeat to New Zealand is marked improvement on where we were prior to VC). Having started to build a fortress at Murrayfield we lost to Ireland and Wales at home this season. We were thrashed by France away in the Six Nations, then beaten by more over the summer.

The second-half of the England game is quite rightly pointed out to be Scotland at our best. The first half shows why there are serious questions over Townsend. We kicked everything. The other team held the ball and worked their way up the pitch. Then scored. we kicked off, lost the ball. And every time we regained it we kicked it back to them failed to retrieve the ball and they came back at us. Those tactics failed miserably. Yet he used them again against Ireland and he used them again against Japan. Both games went dreadfully. Townsend's peak in 2017 saw us get the ball, hold the ball, play quickly with it and go wide to Hogg, Jones, Maitland and Seymour in space. Basically, play to our strengths. If we had played rugby that suited our players against Japan and lost I think there'd be more sympathy, I don't think that would happen. Whenever we held onto the ball and attacked with pace they struggled to cope with us. The issue being that Townsend did not just get the tactics wrong for the game, he did not just fail to play to our strengths. In doing so he rehashed the utterly dreadful tactics that failed against England and failed against Ireland. Repeating the same process and expecting different results is, famously, the definition of insanity. So yes, you may be right that our players aren't as good as we think, but, be that as it may, he is still failing to get the best out of them. Whereas before our results were improving we are now going backwards.



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Post by miaow on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:30 am

bsando wrote:I’m probably going to rewatch that first half to better understand where it went wrong. But from memory, the minute Laidlaw got turned over for being slow at a ruck after Russell had just scored it was all down hill from there. Scotland really lacked street smartness yesterday.

Again, from the outside, that's what it feels like watching Scotland the lat 12-18 months. One thing goes wrong and they're powerless to stop momentum. Honestly look like less than the sum of their parts, and that alone is a sign something's fundamentally wrong.

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Post by BigGee on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:33 am

LondonTiger wrote:

Tight 5 - will WP Nel step away from internationals? More power needed anyway.
Back Row - Watson unlikely to be fit, but with Ritchie and Bradbury there seem to be guys you can build around.
Half Backs - George Horne has to start surely?
Centres - That Chirs Harris may have been your best centre indicates an issue
Back 3 - Some potential there.

Chris Harris showed up well and credit to him but I don't think any of us think he is our best centre option, he may well be to old to be doing another full WC cycle as well. I think he will stay in the mix for now, but hopefully some of our more exciting players will come back into play: Jones, Hutch, Bennett and lets not forget about Steyn who was in fabulous form for Glasgow at the end of last season.

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Post by BigGee on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:35 am

miaow wrote:

Again, from the outside, that's what it feels like watching Scotland the lat 12-18 months. One thing goes wrong and they're powerless to stop momentum. Honestly look like less than the sum of their parts, and that alone is a sign something's fundamentally wrong.

That is a fair point, but who is responsible for that, the coach or the players on the pitch?

I am pretty sure Toonie does not tell them to go directly into panic mode as soon as the opposition scores a try!

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:37 am

BigGee wrote:I am pretty sure Toonie does not tell them to go directly into panic mode as soon as the opposition scores a try!

This exactly.

He does not tell players to drop passes, miss tackles e.c.t.......

Also, just to put it in, the last time Scotland lost to Italy Vern Cotter was in charge. I do not think Gregor Townsend has lost a fixture to a tier two side either, who was in charge when Scotland lost to Fiji in 2017 ?

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Post by BigGee on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:44 am

LordDowlais wrote:
BigGee wrote:I am pretty sure Toonie does not tell them to go directly into panic mode as soon as the opposition scores a try!

This exactly.

He does not tell players to drop passes, miss tackles e.c.t.......

Also, just to put it in, the last time Scotland lost to Italy Vern Cotter was in charge. I do not think Gregor Townsend has lost a fixture to a tier two side either, who was in charge when Scotland lost to Fiji in 2017 ?


Toonie was.

It was right at the beginning of his tenure. He beat a full strength Australia out there the week before!

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Post by SecretFly on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:48 am

Japan is a tier 2 side

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Post by 123456789. on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:49 am

LordDowlais wrote:
BigGee wrote:I am pretty sure Toonie does not tell them to go directly into panic mode as soon as the opposition scores a try!

This exactly.

He does not tell players to drop passes, miss tackles e.c.t.......

Also, just to put it in, the last time Scotland lost to Italy Vern Cotter was in charge. I do not think Gregor Townsend has lost a fixture to a tier two side either, who was in charge when Scotland lost to Fiji in 2017 ?
We've had an annual defeat to Tier 2 teams since he took over. Fiji in 2017, USA in 2018, Japan in 2019. Vern Cotter was never beaten by a Tier 2 outfit.

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