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RWC 15 - Pool B - South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, USA

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Post by Pot Hale Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:00 am

RWC 15 - Pool B - South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, USA Japan10 RWC 15 - Pool B - South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, USA Samoa10 RWC 15 - Pool B - South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, USA Scotla10 RWC 15 - Pool B - South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, USA Southa10 RWC 15 - Pool B - South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, USA Usa10
The pool with all the Ss - well three of them.

Teams:

South Africa (3) [13/2]
Scotland (10) [250/1]
Samoa (12) [500/1]
Japan (13) [2500/1]
USA (15) [5000/1]

Fixtures:

19 Sep South Africa v Japan
20 Sep Samoa v USA
23 Sep Scotland v Japan
26 Sep South Africa v Samoa
27 Sep Scotland v USA
3 Oct Samoa v Japan
3 Oct South Africa v Scotland
7 Oct South Africa v USA
10 Oct Samoa v Scotland
11 Oct USA v Japan


South Africa have to back up 4 days between their last last two matches against Scotland and USA but you have to back the two-time winners to manage the games and performances to take out the pool.   It's the match seven days before their Scottish encounter that might take its heaviest toll going up against Samoa gunning for second spot from this pool.  

All eyes will be on the match between Scotland and Samoa in the final round on 10 Oct which will likely decide who emerges from this group behind South Africa.   Should be a raw encounter.

What price the Japanese causing an upset to any of these three?  Possibly their second match against Scotland in their first run-out, or Samoa caught cold in trying to rest players in between their matches against SA and Scotland?

Is there an upset in this pool?  And who will be upset?


Last edited by Pot Hale on Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:42 am; edited 7 times in total
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Post by Artful_Dodger Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:07 am

Its worth pointing out that after the last of the warm up games the bookies now have Scotland as being much more likely to reach the quarter finals than Samoa. Where as even before the last two Scotland warm ups they had Samoa as being marginally more likely. South Africa still heavy, heavy favourites to top the pool though.

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Post by George Carlin Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:24 am

As long as we don't adopt the Frank Hadden approach of putting out Scotland Under 18 Ladies Third XV against the Springboks, then I'm pretty much fine with whatever happens as long as we get out of our damn pool. We should, really.
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Post by Biltong Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:30 am

What I am looking to see from South Africa is form, if they want to convince me they can win this thing they need to demolish their pool.

I doubt it will happen though as Meyer is going to attempt to get his half injured squad match fit during the pool.

Question is how many of those injured and ageing players will actually last through the pool stage.
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Post by blackcanelion Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:56 am

South Africa: 100% southern
Samoa: 100% southern
Japan: 29% southern
USA: 26% southern
Scotland: 16% southern

They're all southern to some extent.

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Post by EWT Spoons Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:24 am

blackcanelion wrote:South Africa: 100% southern
Samoa: 100% southern
Japan: 29% southern
USA: 26% southern
Scotland: 16% southern

They're all southern to some extent.

It's a work in progress, there are only so many players the AB's can cap.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:44 am

EWT Spoons wrote:
blackcanelion wrote:South Africa: 100% southern
Samoa: 100% southern
Japan: 29% southern
USA: 26% southern
Scotland: 16% southern

They're all southern to some extent.

It's a work in progress, there are only so many players the AB's can cap.

To be fair, this has been a long long development process.

In the mid 19th century, we sent thousands of Scots down to the South Island to pretend to mine gold. What we really wanted was the spreading of Scottish seed in order to enhance the rugby playing skills of our cousins in NZ. It worked a treat. So here were are, approx. 160 years later cashing in on our investment.

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Post by fa0019 Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:01 am

It looks like this world cup has come 1 year too early for Scotland. Look decent but not decent enough to genuinely challenge the springboks. Springboks will be far better than we saw in RC.

Very difficult for Samoa to gel in such a short space of time, almost as tricky as a barbarians set up. To be fair, no one can tell until we see them in the RWC.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:07 am

Agree with Tattie, we're doing a pretty awesome job these days of scouring the World for talent. The "grandfather" generation have done us proud.

By the next World Cup we'll be able to field: Dell (should be we completely desperate), Bresler, Toolis, Du Preez, Hardie, Coman (same as Dell) and Strauss.

Great work Sean Lineen!

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Post by Biltong Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:17 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:Agree with Tattie, we're doing a pretty awesome job these days of scouring the World for talent. The "grandfather" generation have done us proud.

By the next World Cup we'll be able to field: Dell (should be we completely desperate), Bresler, Toolis, Du Preez, Hardie, Coman (same as Dell) and Strauss.

Great work Sean Lineen!

I am sure you are saying that tongue on cheeck though.
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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:54 am

I'm not. The rules are the rules are until they are changed into something resembling a sensible framework, we should exploit them. Whilst the selections of Hardie and Strauss have been somewhat shambolic for this World Cup, on the whole I'm entirely in favour of Scotland operating within the rules to maxmise the capabilities of the international team.

In terms of "your" players, a big thank you for Nel, Bresler, Du Preez and Josh Strauss. To a man they are completely awesome (I'm not convinced that Bresler wouldn't add something to the Bok squad - is Matfield really still worth his place?).

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Post by fa0019 Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:33 pm

No but he near guarantees 100% lineout and Meyer loves him for it. Not athletic enough for the steal mind.
For me Flip vd Merwe is better, didn't lose a single lineout in the entire 2014 season if I recall... and much more worthy around the field too.

Matfield may be old but he's very smart. He doesn't have the usual big man arrogance and backs himself too much... if he's marked he calls for someone else and acts as a decoy.  That's why SA's lineout is so good.

I've always thought the best lineout captain should never be the jumper for that reason but guys like Matfield buck the trend.

Will his knees hold out though???

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:30 pm

There's no questionning Matfield's lineout expertise. I can't think of a better lineout practitioner in my rugby viewing lifetime. Ian Jones was decent. Borthwick was clever. POC was/is very good. Even our very own Al Kellock knew a wee bit about lineout calling (not that Ford ever managed to actually execute the call). Still, Matfield is indeed the master. I just think that his allround game isn't what it needs to be to make the Bok starting XV. He's going to make an awesone coach though in the longer term.

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Post by fa0019 Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:49 pm

most agree with that.

Tom Croft was an excellent jumper, I'd say the best front man in the game for many years. So light and tall he only needed one lifter meaning disguise was much easier.

But in terms of calling, Matfield turned it into an art form.

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Post by lostinwales Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:00 pm

fa0019 wrote:most agree with that.

Tom Croft was an excellent jumper, I'd say the best front man in the game for many years. So light and tall he only needed one lifter meaning disguise was much easier.

But in terms of calling, Matfield turned it into an art form.

Lions in SA used AWJ as a lifter for Croft. I guess he must have had a head for heights

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:03 pm

From a Scotland perspective our finest was probably Scott Murray. When he played in conjunction with Gordon Bullock at hooker, and with Hines, White and Taylor in tandem, we had a really strong lineout. It all went to pot for Scotland after that - partly down to a complete lack of consistency around selections. That's a problem South Africa have never had - Smit, Matfield, Botha and Juan Smith must have played a whole bench of games together than that shines through.

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Post by fa0019 Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:10 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:From a Scotland perspective our finest was probably Scott Murray. When he played in conjunction with Gordon Bullock at hooker, and with Hines, White and Taylor in tandem, we had a really strong lineout. It all went to pot for Scotland after that - partly down to a complete lack of consistency around selections. That's a problem South Africa have never had - Smit, Matfield, Botha and Juan Smith must have played a whole bench of games together than that shines through.

Spies and Russouw were very good too. Bakkies never really jumped but when you have a 2.00 metre tall behemoth lifting another 2.00 metre tall chap you're going to be 1ft above everyone else.

Always though Hamilton was one of the best front jumpers in the game in terms of playing opposition ball. He had good instincts, shame he was a complete nutjob... well just too much of a nutjob.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:38 pm

Question for fa & Biltong:

The home result against Argentina........was that a blip or did the Argies show up the Boks weaknesses that could potentially be exploited by a hard fast running team (Samoa)?

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Post by NeilyBroon Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:41 pm

Scotland to win the pool. Smash the QFs. Blow away the SF opposition. Scott to throw the winning pass for our last gasp try against a stunned ABs side.

Dodson has spoken, anything less than Frodo lifting the Webb Ellis trophy I'll be surprised and disappointed.

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Post by Biltong Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:45 pm

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:Question for fa & Biltong:

The home result against Argentina........was that a blip or did the Argies show up the Boks weaknesses that could potentially be exploited by a hard fast running team (Samoa)?

Boks were just poor Tattie, we are told Meyer was disappointed with the fitness of the players when they joined the Bok camp, so he was droling them hard during the RC, and although Argentina deserves credit for their perfomance the Boks was just plain crap
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Post by fa0019 Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:46 pm

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:Question for fa & Biltong:

The home result against Argentina........was that a blip or did the Argies show up the Boks weaknesses that could potentially be exploited by a hard fast running team (Samoa)?

Kriel was playing right wing... first time in his career for club or country in the pro's. Argies scored 3 well taken but tame tries down his channel.

It was a bit of a blip. Boks lacked their usual pomp mind, they lost the game upfront rather than in the backs. Samoa won't be able to beat up the boks like Argentina did. That's the only way to beat the boks.. match them in the pack.

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Post by fa0019 Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:48 pm

Remember in 2013 when Scotland took SA close in SA... that was the same, physical chaps such as Strokovsch took them up front, surprised the boks a little and it threw off their entire game plan.

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Post by NeilyBroon Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:51 pm

fa0019 wrote:Remember in 2013 when Scotland took SA close in SA... that was the same, physical chaps such as Strokovsch took them up front, surprised the boks a little and it threw off their entire game plan.

I have a feeling it'll be like France was last week. Close but no cigar. SA like every other team are there for the taking if Scotland outplay them intelligently, but I can't see that happening at the WC.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:53 pm

Well......If Scotland's pack can perform like they did against the French monsters, then we should be, at least, competitive.

Should be a cracker of a game though....looking forward to that one.

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Post by Biltong Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:57 pm

Another thing I forgot to mention about that game we had a debutant Kock at tight head, he was penalised at evry scrum, Ayersa scrummed illegally and Poite my favourite referee had eyes for Koch only
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Post by alive555 Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:03 pm

can someone name who will be the expected SA first team and the bench .? and some summary. the big inside center looked very good in the RC.

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Post by fa0019 Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:04 pm

I still think the boks are vunerable to high intensity rugby. Look at the ages of the probable first team

Mtawarira, Bissie, Jannie, Eben, Victor, Schalk, Louw, Vermeulen, Du Preez, Lambie, Habana, De Villiers, De Allende, Pietersen, Le Roux

They are already a big team... the pack weighs in near 920kg if not more and yet 6 are 30+. 3 more 30+ in the backs with 2 aged 29. That's 9 players over 30.

Their seems to be a lack of players aged 25-28 (the golden period)... only Le Roux comes into this catergory with the 3 remaining 24 or under.

The balance is not brilliant; heavy and old or rather young.

England's dad's army only had 6 players in 2003 aged 30+ with 7 in their peak years (25-28).

If I were the coaches of any side facing the boks I would make them run everything.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:06 pm

Biltong wrote:Another thing I forgot to mention about that game we had a debutant Kock at tight head, he was penalised at evry scrum, Ayersa scrummed illegally and Poite my favourite referee had eyes for Koch only

Ha ha excellent.

Perhaps if Kock was loose, it might have meant a smoother engagement?

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Post by fa0019 Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:08 pm

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:
Biltong wrote:Another thing I forgot to mention about that game we had a debutant Kock at tight head, he was penalised at evry scrum, Ayersa scrummed illegally and Poite my favourite referee had eyes for Koch only

Ha ha excellent.

Perhaps if Kock was loose, it might have meant a smoother engagement?

Bit unfair on koch. Debut vs. best scrum in the world.

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Post by George Carlin Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:13 pm

From what I saw, literally every scrum went to Kock.
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Post by Biltong Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:17 pm

Yes it did, except for the first scrum where Ayersa was penalised
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Post by Galted Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:17 pm

Has Gwlad been banned? Thought he'd be on here in an instant to say that Samoa are going to beat SA.

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Post by Biltong Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:21 pm

Good question, and yes you are correct.
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Post by BamBam Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:23 pm

Strange, I thought he'd been behaving himself a bit more recently, and being less of a naughty naughty boy on England threads than he had been for a while!

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Post by Biltong Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:28 pm

Well, he isn't banned, so maybe he is lying in wait Wink
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Post by Mr Fishpaste Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:13 pm

Biltong wrote:Another thing I forgot to mention about that game we had a debutant Kock at tight head, he was penalised at evry scrum, Ayersa scrummed illegally and Poite my favourite referee had eyes for Koch only

Who also gave the Argies an interesting try!
But seriously now, the Boks have a tendency to underestimate teams and not mentally prepare for teams that they feel are 'weaker'. If those 'weaker' teams do their homework and play well they can give the boks a fright. And when that happen the Boks do take their time to regain composure..

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Post by robbo277 Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:28 pm

I guess the worry for South Africa is that Scotland do what they did to the All Blacks in 2007 and South Africa leave the pool undercooked, to play a battle-hardened runner up of the pool of death. Same could happen in the ABs pool and ABs could be undercooked and run in to France or Ireland who have at least been tested against each other.

Having said that, I think Scotland now are a better side than they were in 2007, and certainly closer to these springboks than they were to those all blacks, so I really hope they don't as Scotland or Samoa could even turn them over. What a prize that would be for winning the Pool Of Death, a wounded Springboks side in the Quarter Finals, ready to strike back.

My betting is, one way or the other, we don't get the New Zealand/South Africa semi-final everyone is predicting.

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Post by bsando Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:29 am

I am convinced Scotland will do well in this pool. The 6N went poorly which was disappointing for sure, but against England, Wales, Italy and France a win was possible had they not been out muscled for big parts of the game and around the breakdown.

The team that played France in 6N..

Dickinson, Ford, Murray, R. Gray, J. Gray, Harley, Cowan, Beattie
Laidlaw, Russell, Visser, Dunbar, Bennett, Maitland, Hogg
Replacements: Brown, Reid, Cros, Hamilton, Strockosh, SHC, Horne, Fife

Predicted team to play SA..

Dickinson, Ford, Nel, R. Gray, J. Gray, Denton, Hardie, Strauss
Laidlaw, Russell, Seymour, Scott, Bennett, Maitland, Hogg
Replacements: Brown, Reid, Welsh, Gilchrist, Strockosh, Prygos, Horne, Lamont

First impressions, the pack is going to be much more competitive. Nel has looked good in warm up games and the backrow has been much better. Hardie especially has impressed and Denton is looking good too. You're only as good as your last game, or so they say. Well Scotland played France in Paris last weekend and unlike earlier this year they competed far stronger up front. To beat SA is going to be very tough, but I do think it is possible.

WC Omissions who played in 6N.. Hamilton (retired), Beattie, Harley, Cowan, Cross, Murray (retired), Fife

It's only been 7 months since Scotland lost a tight game in Paris on the opening weekend of the 6N but a lot has happened since then. I would say Scotland are going to be a more well rounded team than they were in the 6N

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RWC 15 - Pool B - South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, USA Empty Re: RWC 15 - Pool B - South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, USA

Post by RDW Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:04 am

I have a genuine concern about Japan and USA - particularly the USA. Given that we're likely to put out a largely 2nd XV against them I can see us struggling.

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Post by Fanster Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:12 am

I'd worry more about Samoa, they may not have been able to handle the sheer brilliance out in the wider channels that Fiji and NZ produced against them recently, they were more than capable of beating both teams up upfront, especially around the breakdown!

Samoa have really impressed me this season, and look extremely dangerous! Theyre not doing anything flashy, or cute, but they are getting their house in order.

They will flood the breakdown and hurt you up the middle, over and over and over. SA could match their physicality, but with youngsters in key chanells (10/12) I think Samoa will really test them, and Scotland I worry can't match theuir intensity, it may be a case of hold on in there until the last 20 and strike.

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RWC 15 - Pool B - South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, USA Empty Re: RWC 15 - Pool B - South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, USA

Post by RDW Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:14 am

That's not me saying I'm not worried about SA and Samoa - obviously I am - bit there's less of an unknown from that. We pretty much know what our team is going to be, we know how we're going to play and we know how they will play. Those games will take care of themselves.

There's a lot of unknowns about playing USA with a 2nd XV

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Post by Fanster Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:23 am

Is it going to be a 2nd 15 though? I would say that would be a mistake, and would rank Japan and USA pretty evenly currently.

I would have thought a few key [players would be rested, but a 2nd 15 is very risky!

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Post by RDW Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:37 am

The USA game is 4 days after the Japan game - we can't play the same team twice, and the general consensus is that he'll put out a stronger team against Japan.

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Post by Fanster Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:42 am

Theres no need to differentiate between though,

I would rest 4/5 key players for Japan, rest a different 4/5 key players for USA, and ensure you rotate the bench in both games once it's won.

No need for risks whatsoever

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Post by RDW Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:45 am

I would agree with that.

The problem is that we've only just established our First XV, and are still vulnerable if we mix it up - we will be playing combinations that have rarely played together.  As a nation too we've never been great at putting 'smaller' nations away - especially at world cups.

It is 4 years ago today since we played Romania in New Zealand and struggled badly - Timehop tells me that I was up at 2:30am watching the game and posted a lot of expletives on Facebook saying how crap Scotland were. You know Raudridh Jackson was playing bad when I said that he needs to be taken off pronto and replaced by Dan Parks!

I'm probably being overly negative - and if we're aiming to get to the quarters we shouldn't be overly worrying about our two easier games - but I can see these first two games being real dogfights and not easy run ins at all.

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Post by Fanster Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:50 am

Your being a bit 'Scottish'. The sun will come out, your excma will clear, and Scotland will be fine against the giants of USA and Japan.

Realistically I think the squad was selected with Samoa and SA in mind, but even with a drop off in quality in the replacements there are amatuers in the USA and Japan teams, and most of the pro's are not up to that much.

The Samoa game is key, even if they run up points on USA and Japan and Scotland get over the line without doing so beating them still ensures your qualification

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Post by Biltong Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:53 am

RDW, but surely Scotland has improved their depth, obviously every team has core players that has to pish through the pain threshold of playing one game after another, with a bench of 8 players you could manage both the Japan and Romania matches by subbing a little earlier than usual, once Scotland have those matches under control you can start managing player minutes
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RWC 15 - Pool B - South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, USA Empty Re: RWC 15 - Pool B - South Africa, Scotland, Samoa, Japan, USA

Post by RDW Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:59 am

Biltong wrote:RDW, but surely Scotland has improved their depth, obviously every team has core players that has to pish through the pain threshold of playing one game after another, with a bench of 8 players you could manage both the Japan and Romania matches by subbing a little earlier than usual, once Scotland have those matches under control you can start managing player minutes

We do have better strength in depth but it is generally unproven or represents a big step down in quality from the first choice.

For example a Swinson-Gilchrist lock combination is a big step down from Gray-Gray

A back row of Strokosh-Wilson-Strauss is a massive step down from Struass-Hardie-Denton

Duncan Weir instead of Finn Russell is probably the biggest step down of the lot.

Saying that, it was our reserve front row that put up with the French scrummaging onslaught on our 5m line - I've certainly got more confidence about their abilities now.

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Post by Fanster Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:04 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
Biltong wrote:RDW, but surely Scotland has improved their depth, obviously every team has core players that has to pish through the pain threshold of playing one game after another, with a bench of 8 players you could manage both the Japan and Romania matches by subbing a little earlier than usual, once Scotland have those matches under control you can start managing player minutes

We do have better strength in depth but it is generally unproven or represents a big step down in quality from the first choice.

For example a Swinson-Gilchrist lock combination is a big step down from Gray-Gray

A back row of Strokosh-Wilson-Strauss is a massive step down from Struass-Hardie-Denton

Duncan Weir instead of Finn Russell is probably the biggest step down of the lot.

Saying that, it was our reserve front row that put up with the French scrummaging onslaught on our 5m line - I've certainly got more confidence about their abilities now.

I disagree, I think you're comparing exposure with ability. Russel and Weir don't have too much between them except 1 attribute. And at least with the other lock combo you've got some guys willing to do the hard work in the tight, which allows the back row to play more backrowy.

But combinations of all would be plenty enough for USA and Japan so I still don't see the problem

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Post by EWT Spoons Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:10 am

Fanster wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:
Biltong wrote:RDW, but surely Scotland has improved their depth, obviously every team has core players that has to pish through the pain threshold of playing one game after another, with a bench of 8 players you could manage both the Japan and Romania matches by subbing a little earlier than usual, once Scotland have those matches under control you can start managing player minutes

We do have better strength in depth but it is generally unproven or represents a big step down in quality from the first choice.

For example a Swinson-Gilchrist lock combination is a big step down from Gray-Gray

A back row of Strokosh-Wilson-Strauss is a massive step down from Struass-Hardie-Denton

Duncan Weir instead of Finn Russell is probably the biggest step down of the lot.

Saying that, it was our reserve front row that put up with the French scrummaging onslaught on our 5m line - I've certainly got more confidence about their abilities now.

I disagree, I think you're comparing exposure with ability. Russel and Weir don't have too much between them except 1 attribute.  

Is that one can play rugby whilst the other looks like a Meatball?

Sorry but there is a gulf in class between Russell and Weir, even the most die hard Glasgow supporter would tell you that Weir isn't even in the same ball park in terms of ability.

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