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Scotland's Try-Scoring Capability

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Scotland's Try-Scoring Capability Empty Scotland's Try-Scoring Capability

Post by Senlac Fri 23 Oct 2015, 12:45 pm

As people may have guessed from my Debut Try-scorers quiz, I'm a bit of a statistics lover when it comes to Scottish Rugby, and looking at those related to try-scoring, it seems as though we may have uncovered a Golden Generation of tryscorers in Scottish Rugby.


To illustrate:


The record for most tries scored by a Scotland internationalist in their career is 24.

This was set by Ian Smith in 1933 and has never been broken in the 82 years following it.

It has been matched once, by Tony Stanger, who's international career ended in 1998.


The closest any other player has come to this record is Chris Paterson who, despite being Scotland's record cap holder with 109 caps, and generally regarded as Scotland's most potent attacking weapon for the best part of a decade, managed only 22 tries himself.  A strike rate of just 1 in 5.  Remarkably, Paterson's last try for Scotland came in the 2007 World Cup pool match against Romania - a full 4 years before he actually retired from international rugby after the 2011 World Cup.


This really goes to illustrate just how poor Scotland has been at scoring tries, not only in recent years, but throughout rugby history.


For comparison, the record tryscorers for other countries are as follows:

Japan: Daisuke Ohata - 69
Australia:  David Campese - 64
South Africa:  Bryan Habana - 64
Wales:  Shane Williams - 58 (+2)
England:  Rory Underwood - 49 (+1)
New Zealand:  Doug Howlett - 49
Ireland:  Brian O'Driscoll - 46 (+1)
France:  Serge Blanco - 38
Uruguay:  Diego Ormaechea - 33
Spain:  César Sempere - 31
Argentina:  José María Nuñez Piossek - 30


Now, circumstances have to be taken into account with some of these, such as the quality of opposition Ohata would be playing against and the 9 tries Piossek scored in a 144-0 win over Paraguay, but nonetheless, it gives us an idea of exactly how low Smith & Stanger's 24 is.



But that is where the doom and gloom, i hope, ends.  Because if we take a look at some of the current squad's record, things look a lot brighter:


Tommy Seymour:  11 tries in 22 tests - 50%
Tim Visser:          10 tries in 23 tests - 43.4%
Stuart Hogg:         9 tries in 38 tests - 23.6%
Mark Bennett:       6 tries in 13 tests - 46.1%

Seymour and Visser may be 27 and 28 years old respectively, however, at that strike rate, barring injury or lack of selection (possible in Visser's case), you'd be very foolish to bet against either of them breaking the current record.


Hogg's record may not be quite as impressive, however, at just 23 years old with 38 caps already under his belt, he has more than enough time to not only overtake, but to smash Mossy's cap record, and with it, surely, the tryscoring record.


Most exciting, however, is Mark Bennett, with a strike rate of almost 1 try every 2 matches after 13 caps, and at just 22 years old, he could be very, very special indeed.



There may well be others in the current squad who will go on to score more than 24 tries for Scotland too, and maybe more who have not been capped yet.  However, considering that the current record has stood for over 80 years, the fact that we have at least 4 players of the SAME GENERATION who will surely all break it, says a lot about how far Scottish Rugby has come from the days when our top 6 Nations try-scorer was Tom Smith!


Thoughts?




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Post by TJ Fri 23 Oct 2015, 1:25 pm

It is great to see a Scotland that has remembered how to score tries. all we need now is a defence as well. IIRC this WC Scotland score 17 or 20 tries, last WC 4

It needs to be backed up in the 6N tho or its all hot air

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Post by fa0019 Fri 23 Oct 2015, 1:41 pm

Visser is one of the most deadly wingers in the game. Thats proven in his Rabo strike rate... but if you can give a player chances, he'll struggle.
Had Habana been McHabana I'd say he'd be lucky to be on 20-30.

Tony Stranger was half decent but he played around the time Scotland were good themselves which helps immensely.

Outside of Italy, Scotland have only scored 65 tries in 64 6N games... its not due to a lack of finishing, its due to lack of chances.

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Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand Fri 23 Oct 2015, 1:42 pm

Part the issue is that Scotland has not had that many great backs. Or at least not of the dashing variety. And if/ when they have, they've tended to play in weaker sides.

A secondary factor is strength of opposition - I can't think many teams have played as high a proportion of their games against teams ranked higher than them.

As context, France have seven players with 24 or more tries (and two on 23), England have six, Wales have three (and North on 23), Ireland have three.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Fri 23 Oct 2015, 1:52 pm

I think there is more to it than meets the eye.

The SH teams play a much more expansive game wheras the NH teams basically take part in a forward driven dirge.

It's a rarity to see 6N games become a try fest.
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Post by fa0019 Fri 23 Oct 2015, 1:58 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:I think there is more to it than meets the eye.

The SH teams play a much more expansive game wheras the NH teams basically take part in a forward driven dirge.

It's a rarity to see 6N games become a try fest.


Scotlands problems are not a NH problem. Here is the try scoring prowess in 6N history i.e. 2000+ excluding italy.

All have played 64 games.

England 153 tries (2.39 per game)
Ireland 138 tries (2.16 per game)
France 126 tries (1.97 per game)
Wales 110 tries (1.72 per game)
Scotland 65 tries (1.02 per game)

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Post by SimonofSurrey Fri 23 Oct 2015, 4:22 pm

This coming 6N will be really interesting to see Scotland's try scoring ability. Against Oz, you could argue they scored through three pieces of individual brilliance rather than by creating 'team tries' as did Oz. On the other hand, if the Scots hadn't already been applying good pressure, their players wouldn't have ben in the right place at the right time to score as they did.

As a rugby fan, I'd love to see Scotland start to run in more regularly the kinds of flowing tries their general improvement hints at. As an England fan, I'd love to see them do it against the other four 6N sides.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 24 Oct 2015, 8:04 am

fa0019 wrote:...Had Habana been McHabana...

That's a screenplay idea if ever I've heard one.

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Post by Nematode Sat 24 Oct 2015, 12:43 pm

Although in recent times our backs haven't scored much, there have been some impressive victories in the De Luca/Morrison days like vs Australia (2), SA (1), Argentina (~3?), Ireland (that Parks kick...) etc.

With our more fruitful backs there haven't really been any significant victories when you think about it.

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Post by 123456789 Sat 24 Oct 2015, 1:43 pm

Nematode wrote:Although in recent times our backs haven't scored much, there have been some impressive victories in the De Luca/Morrison days like vs Australia (2), SA (1), Argentina (~3?), Ireland (that Parks kick...) etc.

With our more fruitful backs there haven't really been any significant victories when you think about it.

Well we've played Argentina home and away in the Cotter era and won them both, Andy Robinson won two and lost two, in Robinson's era we scored a grand total of one try against them in four and in Vern's we've scored seven in two. The victories against Australia, whilst impressive in their own way were not indicative of a team that could win the six nations, the win against them in 2009 was largely down to Giteau's inability to kick and a host of opportunities spurned and 2012 was mainly due to the weather, in fairness the South Africa win was from a very good performance but we still did not score a single try and came off the back of a 49-3 defeat to New Zealand, that defeat did come in the middle of a run in which we beat Ireland, Argentina twice, South Africa and Samoa, a run in which we scored a grand total of three tries, forget all this Poopie about intercepts and luck in every game at the world cup we scored an intercept try, except maybe the USA, further back Seymour has scored them against New Zealand and Argentina last Autumn and Bennett against Italy in the Six Nations, it is undoubtedly a skill Scotland have developed. If you don't score tries you're always unlikely to pull more than the 8 points away from the opposition that you need for safety, whilst we obviously suffer more from brainfarts than anybody else their impact is magnified because we, at best, have a narrow lead on the opposition, in 2011 we dominated the crucial games but conceded last minute tries that lead to defeat whereas this time the last minute try Samoa scored has been forgotten as we were scoring tries and had pulled away.

Also for me whilst victories against Australia and South Africa, and of course the frequent victories over the All Blacks are fun, I think we overestimate their significance, I'd swap a decade of failure against the Big Three, for a Six Nations title, maybe even a triple crown and you don't win titles playing ten man rugby, especially not anymore.

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Post by eirebilly Sat 24 Oct 2015, 3:39 pm

Watching the build-up to 1/2 final 1 on Dutch TV and Tim Visser is there. They say that he had a great RWC being defensively strong, good under the high ball and Scotlands most potent attacker Shocked

Strangely, Tim Visser also believes that he would have made a difference in the 1/4 final and would have helped Scotland through.

Its feicing cringe worthy.
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Post by Shifty Sat 24 Oct 2015, 4:54 pm

eirebilly wrote:Watching the build-up to 1/2 final 1 on Dutch TV and Tim Visser is there. They say that he had a great RWC being defensively strong, good under the high ball and Scotlands most potent attacker Shocked

Strangely, Tim Visser also believes that he would have made a difference in the 1/4 final and would have helped Scotland through.

Its feicing cringe worthy.

You can't blame them for pushing Dutch players to be honest, the Dutch want to be involved also. Hell they got more chance of that than success in football at the moment! Run

Joking aside they could probably qualify if they trawled South Africa for players. notworthy
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Post by 123456789 Sat 24 Oct 2015, 6:29 pm

eirebilly wrote:Watching the build-up to 1/2 final 1 on Dutch TV and Tim Visser is there. They say that he had a great RWC being defensively strong, good under the high ball and Scotlands most potent attacker Shocked

Strangely, Tim Visser also believes that he would have made a difference in the 1/4 final and would have helped Scotland through.

Its feicing cringe worthy.

To be fair it's said that Visser is only benched because Savea asked specially on the basis that seeing Visser play makes him feel insecure about his rugby ability.

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