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Scotland Post Mortem

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Post by KickAndChase Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:23 pm

A by no means polished set of thoughts on Scotland after today. This is intended to create discussion - all words are my own opinion and not statement of fact - if you would like to disagree (or agree) do so kindly and in the spirit of debate. Cheers.

The Reaction

Personally I am not pleased. 3 P 0 W 0 D 0 L is not good enough. If this exact same story didn't play out in the last few years as well I wouldn't worry so much, but the simple fact is you cannot say "Scotland are building, they are looking good" for *this* long. It is at the stage where Scotland need a win, and need a win badly. That is all.

Winning

At the start of Robinson's tenure I noticed his interviews were all around the same thing: winning. When we played Australia , Samoa, Argentina in his first autumn he was asked : "what's important?" and he said "winning. Winning is all we want to do." etc etc.

Well, Andy, tough luck. You've won next to nothing. Two SH scalps at home are brilliant but not if they are not backed up by at least moderately regular defeat of 6N opposition - even two a year might be enough. And the losses in the world cup were not acceptable.

So What Can We Do From Here?

Sacking Robinson is not the way to go - there are no clear alternatives and the current crop of players is good. I am not sure it is possible, but instead of "Robinson needs to go" ... Robinson needs to let go - hopefully the appointment of Scott Johnson will help in this.

Laidlaw, Hogg, Jones. 11 caps between them and 3 tries this 6N. You could argue that it should be 5 [Laidlaw v England, Hogg v Wales]. These are all new boys to the Scotland set up and they have shone. Forget about Matthew Tait, we need to blood these youngsters and kick on from their positive performances. With Visser coming in the summer our backline looks phenomenal. I have one thing to say to Mr. Robinson:

1. Pick on form

Scotland threw things away, again. Wales 2010. Argentina & England RWC. Wales 2011. England 2011. These are all matches we could / should have won. Silly errors, missed tackle or yellow card debacles are all too common for this national side. It takes a really special side to throw away so many games. Some have argued that this is not down to Robinson, well I hasten to disagree strongly. The psychology of the side is very much in the hands of, and the responsibility of the coach. He is a COACH for goodness sakes ... it is his job to coach the team into the right tactical set up as well as the right mindsets. Something that has been woefully missing from Scotland for years is my second of two suggestions:

2. Work on psychology

How you do this is up to the coaching set up, but I don't think one can argue that it should not be done. Coming from a family of professional coaches and psychologists I can not understate the importance of this. I understand that the forum may have less expertise in psychology than in raw rugby, but it does not mean it is not important.

WHAT YOU THINK...


Last edited by KickAndChase on Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Lots of dumb typos I need to use preview next time)

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Post by ultra Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:30 pm

I think scotland rugby will kick on after today...sacking a.r. would be a huge mistake, build on your forwards based game and let him get the next few bricks on those foundations.......

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Post by KickAndChase Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:32 pm

ultra wrote:I think scotland rugby will kick on after today...sacking a.r. would be a huge mistake, build on your forwards based game and let him get the next few bricks on those foundations.......

I am purely asking out of interest...what do you think is different today than the last 50 matches that has been said after?

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Post by SecretFly Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:34 pm

Problem for Scotland is that when they think they are moving forward (players, coaches and fans) the other sides aren't standing still waiting for them. They're doing their own navel gazing and looking to improve their lot.

So it can seem like no matter how much improvement in Scotland, it's never quite good enough. Not the right way to look at it though, in my opinion. Better to think that Scotland have a longer road and therefore the improvements will take longer to pay dividends when other sides are on shorter roads to improvements for them.

Scotland IS getting better. It might take a new coach now to take Robinson's part of the journey on to the next level but they've certainly become a more dangerous side in the minds of the opposition.


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Post by GavinDragon Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:38 pm

test match rugby is all about fine margins and mistakes cost you, a missed tackle today was ruthlessly exploited by the french,

not to dis similar from when wales went on their bad patch under gatlandm just keep doing what your doing cut the errors out and a victory will come

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Post by 123456789 Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:44 pm

I think the next two matches will make or break Robinson if:

We win them both then we will push on and have a great two years or so and I expect with the current crop of players we will win the six nations

If we push Ireland close and beat Italy by 15+ then I think that the summer tour will be absolutely crucial and I can see us finishing in the top three

If we lose to Ireland and narrowly beat Italy then same old, same old. Robinson will claim a success etc.

If we lose them both then he has to go because I would only have Parisse in the Scotland team and possibly Castrogiovanni and Benvenuti and sixth quite frankly isn't good enough.

If handled properly then I think we will see a power shift in the British teams with Wales and Scotland on top because no young English player excites me, and that does include Farrell who isn't a scratch on Wilkinson, and Ireland don't seem to be bringing in any youngsters and the "Golden generation" of Hayes, Best, Flannery, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, Heaslip, Wallace, Stringer, O'Gara, O'Driscoll, D'Arcy, Bowe and Trimble is finishing and there doesn't seem to be much coming up there second team lost to England's who lost by 35 points to Scotland the next week!

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Post by Shifty Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:51 pm

SecretFly wrote:Problem for Scotland is that when they think they are moving forward (players, coaches and fans) the other sides aren't standing still waiting for them. They're doing their own navel gazing and looking to improve their lot.

So it can seem like no matter how much improvement in Scotland, it's never quite good enough. Not the right way to look at it though, in my opinion. Better to think that Scotland have a longer road and therefore the improvements will take longer to pay dividends when other sides are on shorter roads to improvements for them.

Scotland IS getting better. It might take a new coach now to take Robinson's part of the journey on to the next level but they've certainly become a more dangerous side in the minds of the opposition.

I think thats a fair and well written assessment of Scotlands situation.
Personally I think Scotland might do better with a fresh perspective from a new coach, but most Scottish fans seem generally happy with Robinson.
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Post by KickAndChase Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:02 pm

AlynDavies wrote:
Personally I think Scotland might do better with a fresh perspective from a new coach, but most Scottish fans seem generally happy with Robinson.

You clearly don't frequent Scotland selection threads...

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Post by SecretFly Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:04 pm

123456789 wrote:
If handled properly then I think we will see a power shift in the British teams with Wales and Scotland on top because no young English player excites me, and that does include Farrell who isn't a scratch on Wilkinson, and Ireland don't seem to be bringing in any youngsters and the "Golden generation" of Hayes, Best, Flannery, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, Heaslip, Wallace, Stringer, O'Gara, O'Driscoll, D'Arcy, Bowe and Trimble is finishing and there doesn't seem to be much coming up there second team lost to England's who lost by 35 points to Scotland the next week!

All might be as you describe but because Wales and Scotland don't have that great a proving pool operating at Regional level, they can afford to give their hopeful players the real humdinger International shirts. Nothing to lose and everything possible to gain.

Ireland have been operating on a proving pool basis. Players performing in Pro12 and HC are considered our natural Internationals. If Welsh and Scottish sides had been winning HC, the pressures on Gatland and Robinson would be to pick players from the successful Regions.

Therefore, because of Provincial success...our younger guys, generally speaking, wait longer to be picked. But from your list of usual Irish suspects, some are already gone, some won't be getting back in and some are by no means at the finishing stage yet. Our younger hopefuls are still operating at Pro12/HC level. Just because nobody sees them doesn't mean they're not there...you only have to look at HC/Pro12 games to see where they'll be coming from. If Irish results steadily decline in this year then you'll see our newer guys as by then we'll have no choice but to put them on display - finally.

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Post by KickAndChase Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:08 pm

PS can anyone tell me who missed the tackle that led to the second France try?

Laidlaw two steamrolls in two matches - and this time only Trinh Duc - that really needs to be looked at. I think he will end up an international scrum half eventually.


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Post by TJ1 Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:19 pm

Robins has to go. In his tenure we have a dreadfull set of results despite treh best crop of ayers for a long time.

He must carry the can.

The try scorers all should have been playing in the first match. Thats Robinsons fault they were not. He is too conservative and cautious in selection. teh youngsters have only got a game when an injury or other reason has meant on of Robinsons favourites has had to go

fine margins indeed - and selection and mental preparation are at fault.
We will not improve with Robinson at the helm. he failed with England and he has failed with Scotland. If he had any honour he would have resigned after the world cup.

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Post by George Carlin Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:41 pm

Ironically, Scotland did have a team psychoanalyst but he was let go after the World Cup...
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Post by KickAndChase Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:03 pm

George Carlin wrote:Ironically, Scotland did have a team psychoanalyst but he was let go after the World Cup...

Didn't know that. He must be truly awful.

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Post by bsando Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:04 pm

AR is the man for the job.

I think you have to look at AR's term as coach in two sections rather than one long spell. He took on a ragged Scottish side with lack of direction/basic skills. He made them into a functioning unit and Dan Parks became a big part of that. The peak of that was after we beat SA and Samoa.

2011 is when we plateaued. There was a lot of uncertainty about certain positions, especially no.10 with Jackson new on the scene, ansbro being brought in as well as short spells with southwell, danielli, walker etc. Not to mention the one mistake I do think AR made, giving Kellock the captaincy.

Now in 2012, there has been an injection of young talent and we're on our way again. It's essentially the end of an era if you will. No more Paterson, Hines and Parks. Once Visser and Scott are brought in we'll be close to a finished product and a more obvious starting XV.

I am very excited about the summer/autumn tests this year.

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Post by TJ1 Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:11 pm

bsando

He has been reluctant to brig these players in and so many obvious selection errors.

Parks in the calcutta cup

NO Hogg untill injury forced his hand

No NDL today

We have the centres. Groves, Cairns, Scott, Ansbro

He is too conservative in selection. We have had a dreadful run of reslts and are now 12th in the world after todays result.

Its just not good enough. the WC was poor and the last two 6N have been well below what should have been - this is the best grupoor of Scotland players I have seen for a long time

Look at the players that have made and scored the tries in this 6N - none of them did Robinson want to play.

He failed with England - he has failed with Scotland. an honourable man would have quit

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Post by sensisball Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:42 pm

We are once again are staring down the barrel of a 6 N's whitewash.

Yes, lots of players have made simple mistakes and we have let several scoring chances go begging in the last 3 games BUT and it is a massive BUT, the team have been hamstrung by a succession of poor selections from Robinson.

No amount of waffle about being almost there, or weren't we unlucky can hide this fact any longer.
Robinson is the man in charge of selection and eventually he will need to carry the can for his appalling decisions. The Matthew Tait saga has warped his view of new players so completely that he simply will not try out fresh talent until his hand is forced.

The backs have been much talked about: Hogg wouldn't have got his chance except for injuries to Ansbro and Evans. Laidlaw would have stayed on the bench if Parks hadn't retired, and Weir only got his chance because of injury to Laidlaw! Undoubtedly after 3 pretty average games for Glasgow Jackson will leap frog Weir for the Ireland game.

Continuing to play Sean out of position is now becoming something of an embarrassment. His inability to pass the ball was shown up by everyone's bete noire, Graeme Morrison who actually had a reasonable game. he isn't the best 12 in the world but guess what? He actually is an inside centre, so why not play a 12 in the position he is accustomed to playing week in, week out?De Luca had his best game for a long time with a player inside him who could actually pass the ball to him more than once in the match.

But it is the forwards that Robinson is being really one eyed. The scrum was always going to be under pressure but he refuses to pick the best loosehead prop available in the form of John Welsh who has just played his last three games on the tight side, giving Leinister's Heinke Van Der Merve a tough time on Saturday night. Even if he had selected him for the bench it would have given us some front row strength in the latter stages of the game. Instead the redoubtable Ed Kalman comes on and along with the faded Jacobsen proceed to be totally dominated for the last 15 minutes or so, giving us no scrum platform.

Although Barclay had a strong game in several aspects, not least snaffling the ball for our second try we were sorely lacking in big hitters in the back row, allowing the French to come forward almost at will through their forwards. Rob Harley has been outstanding for Glasgow this season and his tackle count and amazing work rate could have made a huge difference in unsettling the French in their pick and go game. If we play Ireland with 2 open sides then we could be blown away. (Assuming they pick a more balanced back row unit.)

So in summary, the players continue to make crucial mistakes but the mistakes perpetrated by Robinson, in his selections, are the ones that are really costing the team their best chance of victory. Until he grows a set and starts picking players on form and not on past performance or seniority we will continue to lose tight games against good opponents.



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Post by NeilyBroon Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:34 am

Just going to reflect the above sentiments. Yes it is nice that we've got some glimpses of good play and what Scotland COULD be, but its time to stop saying we could and start being what we SHOULD be. I don't think it is in the slightest acceptable that we're so consistently losing right now, admittedly it's a lot better play but we should be winning from it. These guys perform for Edinburgh and Glasgow week in, week out, Robinson knows this and shouldn't wrap these performances in cotton wool. No other teams say "we lost but at least we scored some tries!" that's just not how it works. Saying Scotland played well is almost like the pity vote, they need to be tough and just say no, its not good enough, we're not playing well, we have to assess why and more importantly don't screw up in future. Its the same old mistakes time and time again and I for one am sick of the players and Robinson saying "oh yeah we're so close to clicking, oh its really important for us to score tries, we need to play heads up rugby" because every team has to do that, and a lot of them do it without fuss.

I disagree with Robinson not leaving, we need a new pair of eyes, although I don't know how much influence Johnson will have, Robbo is reknowned for being very stubborn. I think the exclusion of Matt Scott is daft, I think the exclusion of Alex Grove is daft, I think he's not going the right way.

I am all for caution but Whilst other coaches dive off the 9ft board into the deep end with introducing new players, Robinson is by the baby pool with his armbands dipping his toe in. We need more adventure and to trust the young players who can play what is in front of them.

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Post by KickAndChase Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:41 am

And at 12th in the world, it's not like we've anything to lose right?

I figured out it was Lee Jones that missed the second tackle. There is a strong argument that if we stuck Scott / Grove et al in the centres for relatively new caps too then we would get steamrolled in defense far too much due to lack of international experience. So semi-conservative could work. But I think you're right in saying that Robinson is ultra-conservative and that's just not good enough.

Also, even though we did miss those tackles, in a way it didn't matter that much yesterday because we were close to matching France in attack. I don't think you could or should attempt to neutralize France...you need to score more than them. This is certainly the only way to beat the world champions for the most part too...and WC Final aside it is regularly how they beat others themselves.

One other thing:

Tactics

Were a bit poor. At 10-10 in the first half or even at 10-7 there was a very, very strong argument for a drop goal attempt. On several occasions we also ran it in our own half only to get turned over and lose a lot of ground, when even kicking it to their back three would have gained territory relative to that. We've swung from one extreme to another and I hate to say it on a couple of occasions I was wishing Parks was suddenly at 10 to stick it in the corner where I was confident Scotland could disrupt lineout or pressure the clearance kick. I was surprised Weir didn't do this as Robinson did himself tout Weir as the tactical alternative to Laidlaw.

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Post by George Carlin Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:04 am

There are quite a lot of contradictory arguments here and it boils down to some straightforward questions:

1. Is it enough to be indisputably a very good coach and a very bad selector? Some people may feel that it may be.

2. Will Scott Johnson be able to help Robinson with the backs selection sufficiently to ensure some consistency in the team?

3. Is it enough (as some people have suggested in other threads, including Johnny Beattie Snr) for us to merely point at our player numbers and be happy that we are broadly competitive? Is asking to win matches actually too much? That's seriously a question that we need to answer because if winning is not the most important thing, then it would be absolutely fine to stick with Robinson.

4. Why do we give Robinson more leeway than we did with Captain Franklyn Haddock and even Matt Williams when his win/lose record is inferior to both?

5. When players like Hamilton have gone on record to say that chopping and changing the squad is unsettling to the players and we criticised the hell out of Lievremont for doing the same thing (Robinson has not picked the same half back combination for 9 consective matches now - Lievremont was more consistent), can we really not suggest that the priority should be good selection rather than purely good training?

6. Where does blaming the players stop and blaming the coaches start? It's not such a straightforward question. Melbourne Rebels had Rod McQueen coaching them in their first season last year. He is without question one of the greatest world cup winning coaches that there's ever been and one of the finest that Aussie has ever produced. Of course, the Rebels had a patchy season and were frequently horsed by more experienced sides with stronger squads. Was anyone calling for Rod's head? Of course not.

So where are we with Robinson?
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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:05 am

I love how all the scotland fans slated AR for not picking Lailaw, and have now turned on Laidlaw when he has.
For all that weve heard Scotland are turning a corner 50 times weve also heard if they sack the coach or pick player x then scotland will be brilliant 50 times, right up untill its done then the next excuse is wheeled out.

I do think his job should be under threat if he cant deliver at leats 2 wins in this tournament, but pushing this French side to the limit is a big improvement, They really should have put England away, thats the biggest failing so far.

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Post by Imperialbigdave Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:27 am

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:I love how all the scotland fans slated AR for not picking Lailaw, and have now turned on Laidlaw when he has.
For all that weve heard Scotland are turning a corner 50 times weve also heard if they sack the coach or pick player x then scotland will be brilliant 50 times, right up untill its done then the next excuse is wheeled out.

I do think his job should be under threat if he cant deliver at leats 2 wins in this tournament, but pushing this French side to the limit is a big improvement, They really should have put England away, thats the biggest failing so far.

I dont think anyone has turned on Laidlaw. I think most people accept that hes worth persevering with. I think we were maybe a bit guilty of hyping him up as the saviour of Scottish rugby (myself included), but h has certainly put a bit of spark into our backs.
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Post by nickj Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:43 am

Disappointed, but ultimately proud.

Huge congratulations to Hoggy on a cracking debut.

I thought that was one of the best games I've seen in a long time.


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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:46 am

George Carlin wrote:There are quite a lot of contradictory arguments here and it boils down to some straightforward questions:

1. Is it enough to be indisputably a very good coach and a very bad selector? Some people may feel that it may be.
No, it isn't, unless he delegates selection to somebody else

George Carlin wrote:2. Will Scott Johnson be able to help Robinson with the backs selection sufficiently to ensure some consistency in the team?
Am sure he will help with our attacking tactics

George Carlin wrote:3. Is it enough (as some people have suggested in other threads, including Johnny Beattie Snr) for us to merely point at our player numbers and be happy that we are broadly competitive? Is asking to win matches actually too much? That's seriously a question that we need to answer because if winning is not the most important thing, then it would be absolutely fine to stick with Robinson.
No it is not enough - 12th in the world is appalling

George Carlin wrote:4. Why do we give Robinson more leeway than we did with Captain Franklyn Haddock and even Matt Williams when his win/lose record is inferior to both?
We shouldn't. Let's recognise that Robinson has done some good things (defense, first ever tour win vs Argentina, the odd SH scalp) but ultimately he must be judged on overall results

George Carlin wrote:5. When players like Hamilton have gone on record to say that chopping and changing the squad is unsettling to the players and we criticised the hell out of Lievremont for doing the same thing (Robinson has not picked the same half back combination for 9 consective matches now - Lievremont was more consistent), can we really not suggest that the priority should be good selection rather than purely good training?
Agreed totally

George Carlin wrote:6. Where does blaming the players stop and blaming the coaches start? It's not such a straightforward question. Melbourne Rebels had Rod McQueen coaching them in their first season last year. He is without question one of the greatest world cup winning coaches that there's ever been and one of the finest that Aussie has ever produced. Of course, the Rebels had a patchy season and were frequently horsed by more experienced sides with stronger squads. Was anyone calling for Rod's head? Of course not.
The buck stops with the Head Coach - of course, his assistants and the players should share in some of the blame where that is due

George Carlin wrote:So where are we with Robinson?
Time for either his wings to be clipped (and selection given to someone else, preferably us knowledgeable 606v2 Scottish fans!) or else off to Bath Braveheart

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:48 am

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:I love how all the scotland fans slated AR for not picking Lailaw, and have now turned on Laidlaw when he has.
For all that weve heard Scotland are turning a corner 50 times weve also heard if they sack the coach or pick player x then scotland will be brilliant 50 times, right up untill its done then the next excuse is wheeled out.

I do think his job should be under threat if he cant deliver at leats 2 wins in this tournament, but pushing this French side to the limit is a big improvement, They really should have put England away, thats the biggest failing so far.
PSW, pushing this French side to the limit is a good start, altho even then we had chances to win this one. Don't think I've seen any posters turning on Laidlaw - think, as per usual, you've seen a fairly honest assessment of our players' strengths and weaknesses. Laidlaw was ok yesterday, just not great?

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Post by doctornickolas Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:53 am

My own thoughts are

Previous optimism has been misplaced as he has been working with largely the same, tried and failed, squad of players.

However now I think there are genuine reasons for optimism.

There are some good youngsters coming through but Robinson has to have the courage to blood these players.

Dan Parks has gone and its time to put out to grass the likes of Sean Lamont who I have never really thought was up to much other than being a big lump.

Scotland are now out of this championship so what is there to lose by throwing some more youngsters in there.

Selecting a player like Hogg has totally changed Scotland's attacking threat and along with the likes of Jones, Visser (soon), Max Evans, Jackson and Weir there should be enough players with real pace and ability to cause teams problems.

How much more threatening do those players sound compared to your lamonts, Parks, Walker, Morrison, etc.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:54 am

Fair enough 100...reading back through its actaually been mostly one guy who seems to have it in for Laidlaw.

Its funny that with an improved attacking dispaly and loss ebveryones talking up England and Lancaster, with Scotland doing the same everyones talking down Robinson.

I honestly beleive that taking the 3 games a s a whole Scotland have perofmred better than England so far in this 6 nations, yet the England fans seem for more positive about their team and coach.

Maybe you lot need the psycho analyst....i wouldnt want to suggest that dourness is a trait of the Scottish Wink

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:01 am

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:Fair enough 100...reading back through its actaually been mostly one guy who seems to have it in for Laidlaw.

Its funny that with an improved attacking dispaly and loss ebveryones talking up England and Lancaster, with Scotland doing the same everyones talking down Robinson.

I honestly beleive that taking the 3 games a s a whole Scotland have perofmred better than England so far in this 6 nations, yet the England fans seem for more positive about their team and coach.

Maybe you lot need the psycho analyst....i wouldnt want to suggest that dourness is a trait of the Scottish Wink
Ha, ha, PSW - you are right, we revel in our misery!!

I know what you mean about our performances, but rugby, like any sport, is about results, and we simply haven't delivered. Both England and Scotland have been improving thus far, it will be interesting to see where they both go from here OK

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Post by George Carlin Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:02 am

AsLongAsBut100ofUs wrote:
George Carlin wrote:There are quite a lot of contradictory arguments here and it boils down to some straightforward questions:

1. Is it enough to be indisputably a very good coach and a very bad selector? Some people may feel that it may be.
No, it isn't, unless he delegates selection to somebody else

George Carlin wrote:2. Will Scott Johnson be able to help Robinson with the backs selection sufficiently to ensure some consistency in the team?
Am sure he will help with our attacking tactics

George Carlin wrote:3. Is it enough (as some people have suggested in other threads, including Johnny Beattie Snr) for us to merely point at our player numbers and be happy that we are broadly competitive? Is asking to win matches actually too much? That's seriously a question that we need to answer because if winning is not the most important thing, then it would be absolutely fine to stick with Robinson.
No it is not enough - 12th in the world is appalling

George Carlin wrote:4. Why do we give Robinson more leeway than we did with Captain Franklyn Haddock and even Matt Williams when his win/lose record is inferior to both?
We shouldn't. Let's recognise that Robinson has done some good things (defense, first ever tour win vs Argentina, the odd SH scalp) but ultimately he must be judged on overall results

George Carlin wrote:5. When players like Hamilton have gone on record to say that chopping and changing the squad is unsettling to the players and we criticised the hell out of Lievremont for doing the same thing (Robinson has not picked the same half back combination for 9 consective matches now - Lievremont was more consistent), can we really not suggest that the priority should be good selection rather than purely good training?
Agreed totally

George Carlin wrote:6. Where does blaming the players stop and blaming the coaches start? It's not such a straightforward question. Melbourne Rebels had Rod McQueen coaching them in their first season last year. He is without question one of the greatest world cup winning coaches that there's ever been and one of the finest that Aussie has ever produced. Of course, the Rebels had a patchy season and were frequently horsed by more experienced sides with stronger squads. Was anyone calling for Rod's head? Of course not.
The buck stops with the Head Coach - of course, his assistants and the players should share in some of the blame where that is due

George Carlin wrote:So where are we with Robinson?
Time for either his wings to be clipped (and selection given to someone else, preferably us knowledgeable 606v2 Scottish fans!) or else off to Bath Braveheart
ASBO - you know that I agree with all of this.
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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:06 am

George Carlin wrote:
ASBO - you know that I agree with all of this.
GC, absolutely, mate, realised that they were nearly all rhetorical questions, just thought I'd reinforce your points by replying OK

PS How's the little one doing?

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:07 am

AsLongAsBut100ofUs wrote:
Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:Fair enough 100...reading back through its actaually been mostly one guy who seems to have it in for Laidlaw.

Its funny that with an improved attacking dispaly and loss ebveryones talking up England and Lancaster, with Scotland doing the same everyones talking down Robinson.

I honestly beleive that taking the 3 games a s a whole Scotland have perofmred better than England so far in this 6 nations, yet the England fans seem for more positive about their team and coach.

Maybe you lot need the psycho analyst....i wouldnt want to suggest that dourness is a trait of the Scottish Wink
Ha, ha, PSW - you are right, we revel in our misery!!

I know what you mean about our performances, but rugby, like any sport, is about results, and we simply haven't delivered. Both England and Scotland have been improving thus far, it will be interesting to see where they both go from here OK

I think England fans are at the point Wales were a while back. They kept losing tight games but were happy with the duirection teh team was going. THad that persisted for too long though ( ay theyd lost that Ireland game, and had Strettle grounded that ball and earnt England a draw) I guess they wouldve really started turning on Gatland (again) despite some strong performances and a decent run in the world cup.

There does come a point where you have to say enough is enough and try something new when your side keeps losing. The SRU gave Haddock a target, AR is doing no better.

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Post by Biltong Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:15 am

I can full well understand that Scottish fans are frustrated.

I acknowledge that I know nothing about scottish local rugby , so I do not know if there are better players out there.

What I think must be done though is to take their results in context.

Against England they dominated possession and territory, they scored a try which was disallowed (was it England of Wales). England got a charge down try due to the kick Parks had to wait for the ball from Cusiter.

Against Wales they were level at half time, then a bizarre chain of events happened.

Laidlaw misses a tackle and Cuthbert scores a try, Two minutes later De Luca is yellow carded, 8 minutes later Lamont is carded, during that period Wales scores 17 points.

Scotland comes back and and right at the end of the Lamont yellow card Scotland gets a try.

They continued to put pressure on Wales during that time.
Statistically again they dominate territory and possession.

Against France Scotland put everything in, scored two well worked tries and again a Laidlaw missed tackle provides France with the impetous to win the match.

Again in this match they dominated possession and territory.

So when you look at all these factors, the Scotland forwards are able to dominate general play and line outs they do well in. The French scrum showed yesterday that perhaps they lack some scrumming power or technique.

Blair looked good yesterday as did Hogg, when Denton went off and even to an extent Laidlaw, Scotland lost their go forward.

Form my perspective scotland needs to strengthen their front row for the big teams' scrums, and the need to continue playing the way they are, they can only get better and that elusive win can't be that far away.

What else do yo want to change?

Hogg and Jones have pace and an ability to find the gap, Lamont borthers aren't bad at all.

If it wasn't for some poor tackling by Laidlaw you might have won two of those matches.
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Post by Axeman Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:22 am

Hmmm - disappointed that we lost (again). That said it was a performance that lifted - there was passion, power and even tries.

I thought that Blair was back to his best for until he was injured. Laidlaw was ok - as a newbie I'd don't expect him to always get things right - he's stilllearning.

The biggest positive for me (and I'm surprised to be saying this!) was the performances of the Morrison and NDL. There was catching and passing and the ball was even offloaded well. Maybe NDL has some talent and he just needs to be playing in a midfield with a fellow centre who can pass the ball. And on this unsettling news I'm off for a coffee.

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:32 am

Interesting to read Wagga's views on Mark Bennett in the Herald:

Now playing with Clermont-Auvergne in the French Top 14, he knows there is another teenage talent likely to make his bid to join the likes of Hogg, Jones, Weir, Dave Denton and Richie Gray in taking Scotland into a new era. That is his clubmate, Mark Bennett.

Rated the most exciting talent of them all when he played for Scotland under-20s, the centre suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage at the beginning of the season but is poised to return.

"We're expecting Mark to be back in the next couple of weeks and he is looking very strong," said Hines.

"He would have played a lot for us this season if he hadn't been hurt and, while an injury like that is obviously not the ideal way for it to happen, it has given him the chance to build up his strength. He hasn't lost anything as a result of the injury."

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:40 am

Interesting to note that Rob Harley and Matt Scott were out warming up with the players as the 23rd and 24th man - is this an encouraging sign of things to come? Braveheart

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Post by Pat_Mustard Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:27 am

Thought I spotted a ginger glow in the distance!

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Post by George Carlin Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:32 am

AsLongAsBut100ofUs wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
ASBO - you know that I agree with all of this.
GC, absolutely, mate, realised that they were nearly all rhetorical questions, just thought I'd reinforce your points by replying OK

PS How's the little one doing?
Very well, thanks for asking. OK

Obviously she can't speak yet because she's only 7 weeks, but having watched a couple of Scotland games with me, I am worried her first words will be "why do we keep losing, daddy?"
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Post by IanBru Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:35 am

That's good to hear about Bennett - being the understudy to Rougerie and Fofana can't hurt either!
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Post by Axeman Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:56 am

IanBru wrote:That's good to hear about Bennett - being the understudy to Rougerie and Fofana can't hurt either!

Except when he's playing against them in practice :-)

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