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Vern Cotter must be so frustrated!!

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Vern Cotter must be so frustrated!! Empty Vern Cotter must be so frustrated!!

Post by Scottish Shaun Mon 08 Feb 2016, 1:32 am

I posted something on the rugby union section of this forum accidentally so can one if mods delete that please.

Anyway, on topic now.

As my title says, Mr Cotter must be so frustrated at how Poopie we are just now and tbh, if I was him I'd be questioning my own future.

I was fairly confident going into this years 6N after a very positive World Cup but, as per f***ing usual, I was let down.

First of all, why the hell are we so pish yet Glasgow are defending pro 12 champions and Edinburgh doing well this year, its mostly players from these clubs that make up the vast majority of our International team.

So, I ask, first of all, should Greig Laidlaw be replaced as captain and if so, by who?

Or, should Cotter be replaced and if so, by who and if no, why!?

In my opinion, we are going to have another winless 6N which should be enough to cost Cotter his job, especially when you consider that other coaches have been sacked for only getting 1 win each year.

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Post by alive555 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 6:21 am

Scottish Shaun wrote:I posted something on the rugby union section of this forum accidentally so can one if mods delete that please.

Anyway, on topic now.

As my title says, Mr Cotter must be so frustrated at how Poopie we are just now and tbh, if I was him I'd be questioning my own future.

I was fairly confident going into this years 6N after a very positive World Cup but, as per f***ing usual, I was let down.

First of all, why the hell are we so pish yet Glasgow are defending pro 12 champions and Edinburgh doing well this year, its mostly players from these clubs that make up the vast majority of our International team.

So, I ask, first of all, should Greig Laidlaw be replaced as captain and if so, by who?

Or, should Cotter be replaced and if so, by who and if no, why!?

In my opinion, we are going to have another winless 6N which should be enough to cost Cotter his job, especially when you consider that other coaches have been sacked for only getting 1 win each year.

replace cotter when hes the best coach we have ever had makes a lot of nonsense to me

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Post by majesticimperialman Mon 08 Feb 2016, 7:55 am

Shaun.

First of all i will agree with you Cotter must of had his head in hands several times on saturday.

Second i am not sure i would get rid of Laidlaw. If any one i would get rid of Finn Russell. He took a perfect intercept pass had one of the fastest guys on the pitch to his left and kick the ball away.

Thirdly i would not be in to much o an hurry to replace Cotter to be honest Scotland have played a lot better since he came on the scene.

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Post by RDW Mon 08 Feb 2016, 7:57 am

Yeah I agree the players are the issue here not the head coach. And we certainly won't get anyone much better if we binned Cotter.

I'm not completely disconsolate just yet as we're only 1 game in, but things ain't gonna get any easier over the coming weeks.

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Post by Prothero Mon 08 Feb 2016, 8:11 am

Reality check time shawn,

1, We have the best coach possible in cotter.

2, The best players available to Scotland were on the pitch. I really cant believe we are having the same debate about Laidlaw again. He is currently the most potent scrum half we have. SHC has had a poor season this year and isn't the force he was.

3, Rugby is a game where there are very few freak results, the team with the best players wins 95% of the time. England have better players than us, ergo losing to England as horrible as it is for a scotsman's soul isn't a reason to abandon ship.

4, I cant help thinking if we had another game before the England game the mistakes may not have happened, things would have been tighter and we would have scored 1 try at least. Then different story??

5, Two wins this year would be success, we could still achieve that.

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Post by RDW Mon 08 Feb 2016, 8:15 am

I agree with your number 5 - I've said all along that I'd be happy with 2 wins and I still think we have a good chance of achieving that against Italy and France. They are in no way guaranteed though especially given Italy's performance (where did that come from btw??)

Hopefully those who said that they would only count 3 wins as a success have had a bit of a wake up call. Currently one win would count as progress!

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Post by TJ Mon 08 Feb 2016, 8:33 am

Cotter is the best coach we have had for a decade or more! Judge him after the six nations

I have to say tho the team did not play to their potential or as well as they did in the WC why I do not know. However in the WC they only played better in patches. Is it something in the mental preparation? Scotland certainly were disappointing and not as good as they could be. Perhaps slightly out-thought? certainly we were set up for going for turnovers and a fast offloading game. England went for a power game. We played the game the way England wanted not the way we wanted to - why?

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Post by TJ Mon 08 Feb 2016, 8:40 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:

Hopefully those who said that they would only count 3 wins as a success have had a bit of a wake up call. Currently one win would count as progress!

I'm one of them. Its just I cannot be happy with losing more games than we win. Two wins would be progress and I would be happier than last year but still I would not count 2 wins as a success. A lessor failure is still a failure

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 08 Feb 2016, 8:48 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:I agree with your number 5 - I've said all along that I'd be happy with 2 wins and I still think we have a good chance of achieving that against Italy and France. They are in no way guaranteed though especially given Italy's performance (where did that come from btw??)

Hopefully those who said that they would only count 3 wins as a success have had a bit of a wake up call. Currently one win would count as progress!

Agree with this. Italy and France were always going to be the two most likely sources of victory for Scotland, although with the power ball carriers the French have we are going to need to show more backbone in the second half.

England, Ireland and Wales are better teams with better players. In Wales' case they are World Class. I'm not happy losing to them, but at the same time I do not "expect" to beat them. They are better teams with better players.

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Post by BigGee Mon 08 Feb 2016, 8:57 am

It is not even about having better players.

On paper we were not far off a match for that England team, perhap apart from the bench! Lots of pundits said that, even english ones.

On paper we match up well with both Ireland and Wales as well.

Where we are still losing out is in the mental game. We still just do not know how to win games. You would have to say having watched that games, that we never really did think that we were going to win it, the belief simply was not there.

Unfortunately that is also probably the hardest part to fix. If we could just take that first step and gain some confidence, then we could be off and running.!

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 08 Feb 2016, 8:58 am

01201 111131

Whilst that may be the phone number of a Poole bakery, it is also Scotlands win record in the last 11 Six nations. If we extend that sequence back to 2000 when Italy joined the six nations, Scotland still have the solitary season where more matches were won than lost.

So while 2 wins may feel like failure because it is more defeats than wins, you have to surely consider where you are coming from. Two wins is sufficiently ahead of past performance to be deemed as not only progress but also as a success to be built upon.

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Post by englandglory4ever Mon 08 Feb 2016, 8:59 am

There looked like too much inexperience in the Scotland team. The interception fiasco and your winger running meekly into touch are just two examples. More games will harden them up.

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Post by RDW Mon 08 Feb 2016, 9:06 am

LondonTiger wrote:01201 111131

Whilst that may be the phone number of a Poole bakery, it is also Scotlands win record  in the last 11 Six nations. If we extend that sequence back to 2000 when Italy joined the six nations, Scotland still have the solitary season where more matches were won than lost.

So while 2 wins may feel like failure because it is more defeats than wins, you have to surely consider where you are coming from. Two wins is sufficiently ahead of past performance to be deemed as not only progress but also as a success to be built upon.

Couldn't agree more - I can't fathom the reasoning behind only classing 3 wins as success. We've got to be realistic.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 08 Feb 2016, 9:08 am

BigGee wrote:It is not even about having better players.

On paper we were not far off a match for that England team, perhap apart from the bench! Lots of pundits said that, even english ones.

On paper we match up well with both Ireland and Wales as well.


Where we are still losing out is in the mental game. We still just do not know how to win games. You would have to say having watched that games, that we never really did think that we were going to win it, the belief simply was not there.

Unfortunately that is also probably the hardest part to fix. If we could just take that first step and gain some confidence, then we could be off and running.!

I disagree, and those pundits who said otherwise are wrong. England do have better players, and certainly on the bench (which you admit yourself). That doesn't mean we can't beat them, and let's remember it was a pretty close game, but man for man they have the edge. I pulled together a combined XV ahead of the game and managed to squeeze in 5 Scots, which is probably about right. Had I done a bench as well I suspect the balance would further tip to England.

I'll do the same for Wales and Ireland:

Wales:

1.Dickinson 2.Ford 3.Nel 4.J Gray 5.AWJ 6.Warburton 7.Tipuric 8.Faletau 9.Davies 10.Biggar 11.North 12.Roberts 13.JD2 14.Seymour 15.Hogg

6/15

Ireland:

1.McGrath/Healy 2.Best 3.Nel 4.J Gray 5.Toner 6.CJ Stander 7.SOB (although I'd put Hardie ahead of O'Donnell) 8.Heaslip 9.Murray 10.Sexton 11.Earls 12.Henshaw 13.Bennett 14.Trimble 15.Hogg

4 or 5/15

We can beat these teams, but I think it's silly to expect us to do so.

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Post by sensisball Mon 08 Feb 2016, 9:21 am

I think a large of the blame lies squarely on Tonnie's shoulders. Yes, the Glasgow players have suffered a post Pro12 champs and post world cup syndrome. He should have predicted that in June.

So why, oh why, would you kick out the forwards coach (Shade Munro) who has been integral to guiding Glasgow from a laughing stock to champions? Why? I never understood the logic behind it other than: as I am I currently king of the world, I can finally get rid of any coach who was part of the Lineen era.

Glasgow's success has always been built upon strong forward foundations and without them the backs cant perform, they lose confidence and try things that aren't on because they don't trust they can keep the ball for more than 3 phases.

PS. Not offering John Welsh a new deal was also mental given that the Rev was near the end of his career and was always going to be looking for one last big pay packet.

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Post by NeilyBroon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 9:30 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:I agree with your number 5 - I've said all along that I'd be happy with 2 wins and I still think we have a good chance of achieving that against Italy and France. They are in no way guaranteed though especially given Italy's performance (where did that come from btw??)

Hopefully those who said that they would only count 3 wins as a success have had a bit of a wake up call. Currently one win would count as progress!

I wouldn't say wake up call. To be honest I still think we can get three wins. The key issue for me is that we currently don't have any real game changers in reserve. We flooded the pitch with our substitutes and they just made it even more stale.

I don't think it's tinfoil hat territory to say we can win 3 games. We can, but we can also play better than we did on Saturday. England knew our gameplan and completely nullified it. I think, despite their heroic efforts yesterday, we still have a chance against Wales. We proved in 2010 they're not invincible at home. France didn't exactly set the heather alight despite promise, we should be able to beat them but will need to be on top game to nullify their runners. No letting them run at us like we did at times with England. Italy look to be a tough proposition, but still beatable. Ireland again, aren't invincible.

I still think we have a good chance of beating these teams. 3 wins isn't completely unrealistic, nor is it something that we should be embarrassed about. It's not like we're saying yeah let's win the Grandslam (which by the way, I hope the u20s can challenge for, although they'll probably get beaten by Wales u20), 3 games is a good tournament and should be what we expect. Especially as most of our games can go either way. Its time we started turning them around, yes I was gutted this weekend, no I am not changing my mind that 3 wins would be a good tournament.

Bring on Wales, let's hope our boys can pull it out of the bag.

Oh and on the subject of the thread, don't bin Cotter, that's an awful idea.
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Post by fa0019 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 9:39 am

Scotland didn't play well. They got a decent forwards platform but their kicking especially was poor and their attack lacked belief and imagination. Russell had a poor game just by the fact alone he influenced it so little, there seemed to be no direction coming from the backline, there didn't look to be a plan at any time to read the game and play rather than simply crashing it forwards. Thought the lack of turnovers was particularly poor also. Scotland seemed to get to the rucks first but their positioning and streetsmart play was below par. Look at how SH tackle and play. They ambush players, allow them to run a little deeper than usual into midfield often by a forward who is then gang tackled and turned over. Its all a ploy. I don't think I saw that once in any of the 3 matches.

England did enough to win, they didn't look great but to be fair they coped will with a troubled scrum. I think they are good enough to beat France away, Ireland at home and maybe even Wales. They will grow with confidence even though they didn't really look impressive.

Hogg has to be disappointed. He's too seasoned now for his gusto type performances to show commitment and enthusiasm but not brains. He's got to smarten up.

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Post by EWT Spoons Mon 08 Feb 2016, 9:57 am

Got to go with the majority here, replacing Cotter, would be pointless given as others have said he's the best coach we've had in years.  I mean look how few changes most of us would have made to the team he selected against England, that's a huge improvement on previous seasons.

SHC last season was a challenger to Laidlaw, right up until the RWC warm ups, at which point his form nose dived.  He’s still not hit those heights again and isn’t really a viable option to start.  Maybe if he can find the form of last season and maintain it, but not now.

I still think 3 wins should be the measure of success, 2 is an improvement don’t get me wrong and I would be delighted if we managed to achieve that, but I wouldn’t class that as a success.  I would say that’s closer to what we should be achieving each year rather than any actual success.  I want the players to feel like they failed if they don’t get 3 wins rather than saying “well we got two, that’s good enough”.  I’m not saying that we’ll achieve it every year, but it should be the minimum target.  If it doesn’t happen then we need to look at why it didn’t happen, which doesn’t necessarily involve sacking the coach, unless that coach is Scott Johnson, in which case it ALWAYS involves sacking the coach.

Glad though that we at least seem to be on an upward curve (despite the result on Saturday).  The side is full of young players who should only improve, the average age of our backs against England was just 25, with 4 of the players 25 (Scott) or less (Hogg 23, Bennett 23, Russell 23), it was only old man Laidlaw at 30 who brought it up as high as it was.

Plus the u20s got a win against England and a good number are either involved regularly with the pro teams (Kinghorn, Ritchie, Cummings etc) or have contracts in place with other clubs (Hasings, Nairn etc).  Plus the players who have just stepped out of that team in Sutherland & Fagerson who both made their full debuts at international level, 21 & 19 respectably.  Plus Bradbury who is only 20 himself and is breaking into the Edinburgh side.

If you look at if from that viewpoint a lot of these players are still learning their trade and the SRU have invested heavily in youth and coaching (not just poaching players from abroad as some have said).   If we keep doing these things right then the future looks fairly bright.  We might never be world beaters, but we have a stream of good young players coming through.

Yes I’m disappointed we lost, and it was the same old failings that let us down time and again (poor decision making, panicking and failing to hold onto the ball), but from a coaching perspective you have to be excited about the future of Scottish rugby.

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Post by RDW Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:06 am

NeilyBroon wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:I agree with your number 5 - I've said all along that I'd be happy with 2 wins and I still think we have a good chance of achieving that against Italy and France. They are in no way guaranteed though especially given Italy's performance (where did that come from btw??)

Hopefully those who said that they would only count 3 wins as a success have had a bit of a wake up call. Currently one win would count as progress!

I wouldn't say wake up call. To be honest I still think we can get three wins. The key issue for me is that we currently don't have any real game changers in reserve. We flooded the pitch with our substitutes and they just made it even more stale.

I don't think it's tinfoil hat territory to say we can win 3 games. We can, but we can also play better than we did on Saturday. England knew our gameplan and completely nullified it. I think, despite their heroic efforts yesterday, we still have a chance against Wales. We proved in 2010 they're not invincible at home. France didn't exactly set the heather alight despite promise, we should be able to beat them but will need to be on top game to nullify their runners. No letting them run at us like we did at times with England. Italy look to be a tough proposition, but still beatable. Ireland again, aren't invincible.

I still think we have a good chance of beating these teams. 3 wins isn't completely unrealistic, nor is it something that we should be embarrassed about. It's not like we're saying yeah let's win the Grandslam (which by the way, I hope the u20s can challenge for, although they'll probably get beaten by Wales u20), 3 games is a good tournament and should be what we expect. Especially as most of our games can go either way. Its time we started turning them around, yes I was gutted this weekend, no I am not changing my mind that 3 wins would be a good tournament.

Bring on Wales, let's hope our boys can pull it out of the bag.

Oh and on the subject of the thread, don't bin Cotter, that's an awful idea.

I'm by no means saying we shouldn't be targeting 3 wins, my issue is with classing anything less than 3 wins as failure. If we go on to win 2 games from this tournament after that opening fixture I'll be delighted!

It will be utterly soul destroying for all the players (and fans) if we have yet another abysmal tournament - it will be back to square 1. 2 wins would give us some optimism at least that we're going somewhere.

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Post by MacKnocked-on Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:17 am

NeilyBroon wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:I agree with your number 5 - I've said all along that I'd be happy with 2 wins and I still think we have a good chance of achieving that against Italy and France. They are in no way guaranteed though especially given Italy's performance (where did that come from btw??)

Hopefully those who said that they would only count 3 wins as a success have had a bit of a wake up call. Currently one win would count as progress!

I wouldn't say wake up call. To be honest I still think we can get three wins. The key issue for me is that we currently don't have any real game changers in reserve. We flooded the pitch with our substitutes and they just made it even more stale.

I don't think it's tinfoil hat territory to say we can win 3 games. We can, but we can also play better than we did on Saturday. England knew our gameplan and completely nullified it. I think, despite their heroic efforts yesterday, we still have a chance against Wales. We proved in 2010 they're not invincible at home. France didn't exactly set the heather alight despite promise, we should be able to beat them but will need to be on top game to nullify their runners. No letting them run at us like we did at times with England. Italy look to be a tough proposition, but still beatable. Ireland again, aren't invincible.

I still think we have a good chance of beating these teams. 3 wins isn't completely unrealistic, nor is it something that we should be embarrassed about. It's not like we're saying yeah let's win the Grandslam (which by the way, I hope the u20s can challenge for, although they'll probably get beaten by Wales u20), 3 games is a good tournament and should be what we expect. Especially as most of our games can go either way. Its time we started turning them around, yes I was gutted this weekend, no I am not changing my mind that 3 wins would be a good tournament.

Bring on Wales, let's hope our boys can pull it out of the bag.

Oh and on the subject of the thread, don't bin Cotter, that's an awful idea.

We beat them last year at U20 so should go in to the game with some confidence. Watched that game online and our attacking play and defence were excellent. The main area of weakness was our scrum which got destroyed, obviously Fagerson has been promoted so unless he is dropped back down to the U20 team them we have to work with what we've got, but a successful U20 campaign challenging for the championship could work wonders for the senior Scotland team over the next two or three years with the added confidence it would bring.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:36 am

I agree, and I do wonder whether Fagerson should be strategically moved back to U20s to allow them a better shot at that tournament. He showed up well-ish from the bench and it's a massive credit to where he is in his development that he can look comfortable enough at that level already, but we do have another option with Moray Low at Exeter who could act as an impact sub for Willem Nel, or Jon Welsh if he's fit.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:36 am

As an England supporter, I can certainly understand your frustration - we did not play particularly well (a couple of individuals excepted) and yet won while only rarely looking in danger (end of the first half).

There is talent in the Scotland back division, certainly more than there has been for several years, and the starting tight 5 is very solid. The back row looks decent on paper, although I think Denton is a bit of a show pony. I do think Laidlaw is something of a weak link in that he doesn't set a good tempo for the attacks, but do you really have anyone better?

Strength in depth is a definitely an issue - England made reasonably early replacements with Mako for Marler and Lawes for Launchbury, so brought on two experienced British Lions. Scotland simply don't have that power from the bench,,,

The frustration with Scotland is that they can look quite dangerous and fluent playing through the middle section of the pitch, but as soon as you get into the attacking 22 you seem to run out of ideas on how to penetrate a defence.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 08 Feb 2016, 1:10 pm

In my opinion, from my observations, Scotand probably think too much and get heated up psychologically too much by past performances (good or bad).
I can see them thinking about how good they should and could be even as they play.  I can see it in many of the players' eyes.  Stop thinking about how good you could be or should be, and play a game that allows that goodness to develop more clinically.

Too many players were thinking of the WC and Australia and losing a lot of energy thinking all they had to be was as frenetic as against Australia and they'd beat a 'lesser' England side.  So, when it wasn't happening, the frustration set in for players....'why isn't this easier than against the WC finalists!!!!????'

Thinking too much about games that have gone before...and allowing energy to be drained from them trying to emulate past heroics.  Just think of the game that's in it and give England the respect they always deserve - try to win slowly, boringly and by a few points at most.  Stop thinking trytime GLORY!!! everytime you step on the field... think boring attritional process.

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Post by RDW Mon 08 Feb 2016, 1:15 pm

SecretFly wrote:In my opinion, from my observations, Scotand probably think too much and get heated up psychologically too much by past performances (good or bad).
I can see them thinking about how good they should and could be even as they play.  I can see it in many of the players' eyes.  Stop thinking about how good you could be or should be, and play a game that allows that goodness to develop more clinically.

Too many players were thinking of the WC and Australia and losing a lot of energy thinking all they had to be was as frenetic as against Australia and they'd beat a 'lesser' England side.  So, when it wasn't happening, the frustration set in for players....'why isn't this easier than against the WC finalists!!!!????'

Thinking too much about games that have gone before...and allowing energy to be drained from them trying to emulate past heroics.  Just think of the game that's in it and give England the respect they always deserve - try to win slowly, boringly and by a few points at most.  Stop thinking trytime GLORY!!! everytime you step on the field... think boring attritional process.

Obviously none of us can know what the players were thinking, but what I would say is that all the pre-match talk was downplaying what happened during the world cup (although saying enough to generate some much needed confidence) and saying how what happened against Australia won't count for much over 80 minutes against England.

On the surface at least there was no resting on their laurels after the WC.

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Post by englandglory4ever Mon 08 Feb 2016, 4:30 pm

Eddie did some analysis of Scotland and found that they rarely score many points after the first half hour. Could be due to a weak bench who knows but if your in front after 30 minutes you have a good chance of beating Scotland.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 08 Feb 2016, 4:38 pm

englandglory4ever wrote:Eddie did some analysis of Scotland and found that they rarely score many points after the first half hour. Could be due to a weak bench who knows but if your in front after 30 minutes you have a good chance of beating Scotland.

He didn't do that research as Japanese coach, did he?

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Post by Shifty Mon 08 Feb 2016, 5:56 pm

LondonTiger wrote:01201 111131

Whilst that may be the phone number of a Poole bakery, it is also Scotlands win record  in the last 11 Six nations. If we extend that sequence back to 2000 when Italy joined the six nations, Scotland still have the solitary season where more matches were won than lost.

So while 2 wins may feel like failure because it is more defeats than wins, you have to surely consider where you are coming from. Two wins is sufficiently ahead of past performance to be deemed as not only progress but also as a success to be built upon.

Take the Italian wins out of the equation and Scotland would of had enough white washes to be able to play cricket instead!
tomato Run
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Post by True Raven Mon 08 Feb 2016, 6:12 pm

Just get a proper defence coach and you'll be fine. You've got a talented back line who can create opportunities but its your defence that's poor. However, I do think you guys seriously overestimate your pack though, I'm not a fan of Ross ford and think r gray and Denton are show ponies with no substance. I also think you should move on without John Barclay and focusing on using a six who will do the dirty work.

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Post by Notch Mon 08 Feb 2016, 7:52 pm

Let's be honest here- Laidlaw wouldn't get a game for Glasgow would he? There's a team that has enjoyed success by trying to speed the game up and inject tempo, and he's a player that likes to slow things down. Laidlaw, fine player though he is, would be anathema to Glasgows style of play. You have a small, mobile pack and some skilful backs. Slow ball equals death with the players you have. You're not going to breakdown any half-decent defence off slow ball- not gonna happen. You need the halfbacks to keep the tempo high.

Scotland could do a lot worse than to try and follow Glasgows example and play as high tempo a game as possible, with lots of offloading and trying to clear the rucks quickly. It absolutely won't yield the same results of course. You will be forced into numerous errors, which will be punished, and you'll still lose a lot more than you'll win. It is not really possible to turn that kind of game on with just a few weeks preparation each year. But losing more than you win is what is already happening! You're already rubbing along the bottom half of the table season after season- it reminds me of another team. Argentina.

Argentina were in a no pressure zone when they joined the Rugby Championship because the gulf in class meant they were looking at losing every game. So- they took a long view, tried to play a very positive attacking brand of rugby. If they were going to go down, they would go down swinging. They were generally punished for this in almost every game and they lose most Rugby Championship matches. But come the World Cup the players had experience of striving to play this high tempo game and with the additional preparation time they were able to put together an extremely impressive ball in hand game plan that took them to the semi-finals.

You should be treating the Six Nations like Argentina have treated the Rugby Championship.
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Post by RDW Mon 08 Feb 2016, 7:56 pm

Very well said Notch! OK

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 09 Feb 2016, 9:15 am

Some very good points there Notch, and whilst I do think Laidlaw can adapt to play a more expansive game (he's done so in the past for Edinburgh), his natural game is more structured. What Scotland really needs is a kilted Matawalu. Unfortunately SH-C hasn't really been on form this season, and if you pick Pyrgos then Russell has to take the kicks, which he isn't very good at.

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Post by MacKnocked-on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:49 am

Laidlaw seemed to regress on Saturday from his WC displays, reverting instead to his favoured box kicks to little effect. I'm sure he will keep his place as he is by far the best place kicker available as we haven't yet seen if SH-C could kick under international pressure and Russell is capable of missing the proverbial.
Laidlaw has to up the tempo of his game though.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Tue 09 Feb 2016, 11:04 am

Shifty wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:01201 111131

Whilst that may be the phone number of a Poole bakery, it is also Scotlands win record  in the last 11 Six nations. If we extend that sequence back to 2000 when Italy joined the six nations, Scotland still have the solitary season where more matches were won than lost.

So while 2 wins may feel like failure because it is more defeats than wins, you have to surely consider where you are coming from. Two wins is sufficiently ahead of past performance to be deemed as not only progress but also as a success to be built upon.

Take the Italian wins out of the equation and Scotland would of had enough white washes to be able to play cricket instead!
tomato Run

Thank you that's most helpful.
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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 09 Feb 2016, 4:27 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Shifty wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:01201 111131

Whilst that may be the phone number of a Poole bakery, it is also Scotlands win record  in the last 11 Six nations. If we extend that sequence back to 2000 when Italy joined the six nations, Scotland still have the solitary season where more matches were won than lost.

So while 2 wins may feel like failure because it is more defeats than wins, you have to surely consider where you are coming from. Two wins is sufficiently ahead of past performance to be deemed as not only progress but also as a success to be built upon.

Take the Italian wins out of the equation and Scotland would of had enough white washes to be able to play cricket instead!
tomato Run

Thank you that's most helpful.

I think it's supposed to be "banter".

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Post by TJ Tue 09 Feb 2016, 4:36 pm

NOpe - shifty is just trolling - he has been doing it all over the scottish threads

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Post by Shifty Tue 09 Feb 2016, 7:08 pm

Right I'm not trolling, I'm trying to put forward a genuine idea here.
Back in 2002 Graham Henry took Wales to Dublin and lost by 50 odd points and promptly resigned. Steve Hansen took over and realised the players themselves were simply not up to it. Within a year many old hands had left or been booted out.

2002 squad under Henry:
Chris Anthony
Nathan Budgett
Colin Charvis
Ian Gough
Iestyn Harris
Rob Howley
Dafydd James
Spencer John
Duncan Jones
Stephen Jones
Gareth Llewellyn
Andy Marinos
Robin McBryde
Andy Moore
Craig Morgan
Kevin Morgan
Dwayne Peel
Craig Quinnell
Scott Quinnell
Jamie Robinson
Nicky Robinson
Tom Shanklin
Brett Sinkinson
Mark Taylor
Gareth Thomas
Gavin Thomas
Iestyn Thomas
Barry Williams
Martyn Williams
Rhys Williams
Chris Wyatt

2003 Squad under Hansen:
Colin Charvis
Gareth Cooper
Leigh Davies
Mefin Davies
Ben Evans
Iestyn Harris
Jonathan Humphreys
Gethin Jenkins
Dafydd Jones
Mark Jones
Stephen Jones
Gareth Llewellyn
Martyn Madden
Craig Morgan
Kevin Morgan
Michael Owen
Dwayne Peel
Tom Shanklin
Robert Sidoli
Ceri Sweeney
Mark Taylor
Gareth Thomas
Gavin Thomas
Iestyn Thomas
Matthew Watkins
Gareth Williams
Martyn Williams
Rhys Williams
Steve Williams

Going into the 2004 Six Nations the squad was totally unrecogniseable from 2 years before:
Huw Bennett
Colin Charvis
Brent Cockbain
Gareth Cooper
Mefin Davies
Ben Evans
Iestyn Harris
Gethin Jenkins
Adam Rhys Jones
Dafydd Jones
Duncan Jones
Stephen Jones
Gareth Llewellyn
Robin McBryde
Michael Owen
Sonny Parker
Dwayne Peel
Alix Popham
Jamie Robinson
Tom Shanklin
Robert Sidoli
Ceri Sweeney
Mark Taylor
Gareth Thomas
Iestyn Thomas
Jonathan Thomas
Martyn Williams
Rhys Williams
Shane Williams

At the time a lot of those lads were late teens to early 20's with little or no exposure to top flight rugby, yet he wanted to mold them from the start. Teach them good habits and wanted them to be free of the failure and scarring of the players that were there before them.
Wales were arguably the team of the 2003 World Cup tournament,with a fantastic game against New Zealand, followed by a loss to eventual winners England. We then went onto win our Grand Slam in 2005. That success has basically carried over through the Welsh team until today. It's fair to say with the benefit of hindsight what Hansen started has really helped Wales join England, Ireland and France at the top end of the 6 Nations.

Do any Scottish fans think it might be a good idea to try something similar to what Wales did? Give a largely complete new team a chance, players with no baggage, no fear of failure, a group of players who can be taught good habits at the start of their professional careers, who could get a lot of caps at a very young age much like Wales did. There's no argument anyone can give that says the Scottish U20 side is poor, there is nothing wrong with your academy development, just a lack of opportunity once they leave the U20 bracket, which results in an unfortunate stagnation of their careers. In reality Scotland can't do much worse than they are now, their in the bottom 2 teams of the 6 nations either way.
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Post by RDW Tue 09 Feb 2016, 7:57 pm

You raise an interesting point shifty, but I think it worth saying that our squad is generally pretty young as it is.

Jonny Gray just turned 22 and big brother is only just 26. Ben Toolis is 23 and gilchrist is only 25.

So second row alone has a number of players who have many years left in their careers.

When you also then consider that Fagerson, Hidalgo-Clyne, Russell, Bennett and Hogg are all 23 and under there is a real core of the squad that is young. I reckon around 80% at least of the 6N squad will still be playing at the next world cup.

I do agree with your general principle, but within reason. I think it would be inappropriate to just chuck a load of kids into the 6N - indeed the physical demands of international rugby is vastly different to 2004.

What does annoy me though is the likes of Tim Swinson being picked over someone like Ben Toolis - Swinson will never be an international class lock and Toolis may yet be. At 23 now is the time to play him!

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Post by GLove39 Tue 09 Feb 2016, 9:56 pm

Here's something else for Cotter to be frustrated about

Apart from losing yet another Calcutta Cup match, the defeat means that Scotland are now likely to face a nightmare draw at the 2019 World Cup.

Given World Rugby’s crazy seeding system, the top seeds for the 2019 World Cup will be decided at the end of this year. Therefore it is imperative for teams to be ranked as one of the top eight nations at the close of 2016.

As a result, the game between England and Scotland took on added long term significance, with the two nations ranked 8th and 9th respectively before kick off.

Therefore victory would go a long way to ensuring an advantageous seeding ahead of the 2019 World Cup, and defeat consigning the losing team to a potential pool of death.

Indeed, in the aftermath of their victory, England have risen to 7th in the World rankings, and Scotland fall to 11th.

Consequently, with Italy currently ranked behind them in 12th, the Scots will have to beat both Ireland and Wales to have any chance of claiming a vital seeding at the World Cup draw.


Last edited by GLove39 on Wed 10 Feb 2016, 12:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by True Raven Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:01 pm

Did someone post earlier wales are in tenth? Its a daft system, personally I think the four teams who got knocked out in the quarters in the last world cup should be seeded 5-8 and the four that won should be seeded 1-4 the rest can use the four years in between to determine their seedings

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Post by GLove39 Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:16 pm

Wales are 4th.
But the system you suggest makes so much more sense, plus we'd all get to laugh at England which would be nice!

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Post by maestegmafia Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:33 pm

The Scot under twenties are a good side with some talent coming through so just be patient. Last Saturday's game was decided on a player choosing to kick instead of pass.

Loads to work on for both teams, neither were good performances and the ref let everyone down.

I'm sure we will see a stronger set piece and some smarter attacking from Scotland in Cardiff.

There are some good players in that team. I expect them to play a lot better.

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