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Scotland 6N post mortem

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Post by BigGee Sun 07 Feb 2016, 2:14 pm

First topic message reminder :

Scotland 6N post mortem - Page 6 _88860115_sixnations

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Post by tigertattie Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:59 am

better than world class

he's Ayr class!

He should be starting for the full team in the next match!
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Post by EST Thu 10 Mar 2016, 11:26 am

That must be the most developed pack a Scotland age group team have ever put out. It will be interesting to see if Zander solves the scrum issue, or if it is more of a collective problem. Despite his meteoric rise in the pro game, I can't help think that the full side is a step too far at the moment for him.

I think this group of players, with the two Edinburgh boys, will do something special at the WC.


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Post by tigertattie Thu 10 Mar 2016, 11:35 am

I'm just hoping that young Hastings can develop into a handy 10 for Scotland in the future!
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Post by EST Thu 10 Mar 2016, 11:50 am

I will be intersting to see how he goes.  He showed ambition to move down to Millfield School (I think?) and get out of the SRU bubble at a young age.

If he and Robbie Nairn continue to show promise for the rest of the U20 season and at Bath/Quins, Edinburgh should do all they can to entice them back.

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Post by IanBru Thu 10 Mar 2016, 12:04 pm

EST - very true about Fagerson. As highly as I rate him (and for the record, him starting for Glasgow does not worry me - he was outstanding in the loose on Sunday), I do think the national side is a step too far. I mean, he's 20. He's at least two electoral cycles away from reaching (what we would normally consider to be) his prime years as a prop. That is unless Mr Trump gets in, in which case all our discussions are a trifle... academic.
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Post by EST Thu 10 Mar 2016, 12:46 pm

IanBru wrote:EST - very true about Fagerson. As highly as I rate him (and for the record, him starting for Glasgow does not worry me - he was outstanding in the loose on Sunday), I do think the national side is a step too far. I mean, he's 20. He's at least two electoral cycles away from reaching (what we would normally consider to be) his prime years as a prop. That is unless Mr Trump gets in, in which case all our discussions are a trifle... academic.
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He certainly was outstanding in the loose, punching holes almost every bust.  I'm looking forward to him eviscerating the French loose head in an act of glorious retribution for being dropped, but in actuality the French young fella will probably be equally monstrous.

As for Trump.  I just don't understand. Although upon refelction, and after having spent a large amount of time in the States, perhaps I do.

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Post by tigertattie Thu 10 Mar 2016, 12:55 pm

Fagerson is very much still developing! The boy hasn't finished growing yet!

Nel is doing a great job for Scotland at the moment but he's no spring chicken. Fagerson will be the next solid 3 for Scotland I'm sure!

PS, is Donald Trump an absolute echo of hitler? This whole xenophobic wall building thing is really quite frightening (and also quite pointless, Mexicans know how to dig for goodness sake)
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Post by IanBru Thu 10 Mar 2016, 3:22 pm

The Daily Show did a great bit comparing Cruz and Trump: "Well, Cruz is like slow bone cancer that'll definitely kill you, while Trump is more like a brain clot - you don't necessarily know he's there, but he could suddenly decide to kill you in an instant. Cruz will definitely nuke someone, but at least you can be confident that he'll be nuking another country. Trump might just nuke Minnesota because some guy there tweeted about his hair."

It's a crazy, crazy world we live in.
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Post by tigertattie Thu 10 Mar 2016, 4:01 pm

I genuinely am quite frightened by the whole affair! It looked like Hillary Clinton was going to walk it and even though she is an egotistical shameless self promoting charlatan, at least she's not likely to start world war three. Trump seems to now be gaining support beyond the far right muppetry of the US and the slightly less far right muppets in mid west america seem to be supporting him too!

Americans = 1 part muppet, 1 part religious zealot
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Post by lostinwales Thu 10 Mar 2016, 4:39 pm

Re: Donald Trump

This is a great watch if you have 20 minutes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGc2nN9OguQ

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Post by EWT Spoons Thu 10 Mar 2016, 5:23 pm

lostinwales wrote:Re: Donald Trump

This is a great watch if you have 20 minutes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGc2nN9OguQ

Agreed. Trump is a maniac, It's really between him and clinton and I can't see America voting for a female president, at least not yet. We're Doomed!

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Post by funnyExiledScot Fri 11 Mar 2016, 10:30 am

As we digress I will throw in my thoughts on the whole US debacle:

Obama did a fantastic job on the ground of registering individuals who were otherwise not eligible to vote. On the whole they were individuals identifying closely with the Democratic Party: non-white/mixed race voters. Since that effort the Republicans have lost both elections comfortably: neither McCain nor Romney, both relatively moderate Republicans, ever looked like winning the White House.

Now, the Republicans look set to choose one from Ted Cruz and The Donald. Cruz is to the right of Trump and will score big with the Republicans who always vote Republican (the same ones who voted for McCain and Romney). He'll win Texas with something to spare, but both McCain and Romney won those as well. The Donald is more of a moderate on most things with the rather notable exception of immigration. As noted above, this is a real achilles heal in the context of US demographics. Another issue Trump has is that he's not trusted by intellectual Republicans (I'm told they exist) and the party leadership, so there's actually a core of Republicans who may well abstain (although I don't see them voting for Clinton somehow). This will cost him in crucial swing states who will value Clinton's competence above Trump's inconsistencies and Cruz's extreme views.

In short, I don't see Republicans winning the White House of a right wing ticket, or an anti-immigration ticket. For the Republicans to win they need a compelling moderate, and a Democratic Party swinging to the left. It's why it's so important that Clinton defeats Sanders and chooses a VP to solidify that middle ground. Democrats will never ever vote for Trump or Cruz, and both will scare off a Ralph Nader for fear of diluting the centre/left vote, so she has nothing to worry about from those currently voting for Sanders. She'll always get them at the general. Those that vote for Trump or Cruz would never vote for her anyway, so she needs to stick to her guns on policy and hog that centre ground. She can also learn from Marco Rubio: stay away from personality attacks on Trump - let others in her party do that (Obama and Bill Clinton for example, or the chosen VP). She needs to stay above it.

In even shorter form: Clinton will win the White House.

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Post by sensisball Fri 11 Mar 2016, 10:46 am

Nice analysis FES.
I hope you are right!

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Post by funnyExiledScot Fri 11 Mar 2016, 11:28 am

Me too! The only problem is that Trump has already defeated the conventional wisdom upon which my theory is based. I never saw him making it this far, even before his ludicrous and ill-thought through policies on immigration. For reasons unfathomable to me, hordes of people are voting for him, and not just the usual Tea Party suspects. I had my money on Rubio, Christie or Bush making it through - in fact I thought Bush/Rubio ticket most likely, principally to secure Florida and appeal to Latino voters.

Worrying times.

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Post by EST Fri 11 Mar 2016, 12:12 pm

Nice analysis fEs.

Trump seems to exist on a totally different planet, one where the same rules do not apply. I, like any sane individual, had assumed that the wheels would have fallen off by now; that his blatantly impossible pledges would have been ousted for the nonsense that they are. Unfortunately, his particular brand of xenophobia, delivered with the utmost confidence and bravado, has struck a cord. Years of lies and deception in the mainstream media, ratcheting up the fear of immigrants/terrorism, has led to a fertile ground for somebody like the Donald to exploit.

Worrying times indeed.

Getting back to the Rugby, I think I will head along to the U20 game today. This Sunday I will be busy watching Ross County dispatch Hibs at the Wendyball.


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Post by demosthenes Sat 12 Mar 2016, 8:35 pm

Does anyone actually know why two first choice (for the match day 23) Scotland players are in New Jersey playing this evening?

If they are fit enough to play for their club, they are fit enough to play for Scotland; and if they are fit to play, they should both have been in the squad.

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Post by Prothero Sun 13 Mar 2016, 8:06 am

I think Cowan is deemed surplus to requirements at the moment, Maitland however seems to me the sort of character that may have thrown his toys out the pram?

I agree that given wingers in particular are quite liable to pull up with hammys, having maitland on call would be usefull.

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Post by BigGee Sun 13 Mar 2016, 10:17 am

It does seem very odd the way this has panned out. I think there is no doubt that VC was not very impressed with the two of them playing that weekend. You can't help but feel that there was some pressure from their club for them to do so.

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Post by RDW Sun 13 Mar 2016, 10:19 am

Cowan is a bit of a worry given it was a head knock then two weeks later he was smashed by Tuilagi.

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Post by Majestic83 Sun 13 Mar 2016, 1:02 pm

Prothero wrote:I think Cowan is deemed surplus to requirements at the moment, Maitland however seems to me the sort of character that may have thrown his toys out the pram?

I agree that given wingers in particular are quite liable to pull up with hammys, having maitland on call would be usefull.

Think that is a bit harsh on maitland. Met him a couple times and seems very much a team man and pretty humble. Think with him at the moment the coaches realise he isn't in good form and has been told to go back to London Irish and find some form which last week he certainly seemed to do. Despite Irish losing maitland was a stand out and a threat all game from full back.

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Post by jimbopip Sun 13 Mar 2016, 1:49 pm

Without going into the injured/fit/WTF are they playing at debate, surely if they were playing in the Land Of The Supersize Portion last night there is no way they will be available for training/selection for next week's match in Dublin.

I would be very surprised if BVC is slipping off into a good night's sleep with a smile on his face and the words, "Oh those London Irish fellas...You've got to love them." as his last thoughts before dreaming about next year's Grand Slam.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 14 Mar 2016, 1:28 pm

Just thought it was best to post this here.

If we lose to the Irish, we could finish 5th still. I think we can turn them as that Irish pack holds no demons and their backline still has not clicked at the top level. Hammering Italy is a good start for them, but they need more before the Irish fans bust out the Black Velvet (champagne and guinness for those who have not heard of it). We need to nip this in the bud.

Visser tackled well but we defend narrow and get caught out by it. Need to pick up line speed to put pressure on the passing lanes and the players. Can't let them pass until a wing is against Nel and Dickinson.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 14 Mar 2016, 3:07 pm

Black Velvet - that is a new one on me. Pretty sure I'd rather take the two drinks separately as I am partial to both!

I think the concerns around our defensive shape are valid and we were perhaps fortunate that this French side have nothing like the array of distribution skills of their predecessors (the French team of the mid-1990s for example would have made hay on Sunday with their wide passing game). Ireland, with those slick wrap around moves and Sexton and Payne at the heart of things will prove harder to contain.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Mon 14 Mar 2016, 3:18 pm

Perhaps too much is being made of France being poor. Granted, they aren't performing as well as they could but I think more credit should go to Scotland for preventing them from getting anywhere.

Our line speed in defence yesterday was as good as I've ever seen it - bordering on offside some might say.

Ireland will bring more to the table next week but I actually see Scotland employing some tactics now depending on the strengths of the opposition. Ireland will be no different and Cotter will have the guys working on defensive patterns to nullify their attack. The difference being that the players now actually understand what they're supposed to be doing.

Don't get me wrong, I strongly believe we'll be on the wrong side of the score on Saturday, but it'll be far from the 40 point dry shafting we got last year.

Meeting a confident Ireland away from home containing some tremendous players......I'd say if we can get 2-3 tries and stay within a score, it won't be too bad.

This Championship, we've been racking up the points. If we can get the defence right, next year could result in cementing a top 3 place (only England away being the game we have a 1% chance of winning).

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Mon 14 Mar 2016, 3:32 pm

Also....just saw this. Nice wee article.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/35788754


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Post by cakeordeath Wed 16 Mar 2016, 10:53 pm

Part 2 of the Scotland analysis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmzdaNMFxu0

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Post by RDW Sat 19 Mar 2016, 10:11 pm

4th place, 2 wins (could have been 3) and our highest ever try scoring tally - I'll take that!

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Post by cakeordeath Sat 19 Mar 2016, 10:17 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:4th place, 2 wins (could have been 3) and our highest ever try scoring tally - I'll take that!

Not a bad campaign, within a score in 2 of our 3 losses. Huge improvement. My only disappointment is some of BVC's selections

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Post by George Carlin Sun 20 Mar 2016, 6:11 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:4th place, 2 wins (could have been 3) and our highest ever try scoring tally - I'll take that!
Kind of. It certainly bores the hole off me to watch those 'tries of the tournament' compilations on YouTube and see us never feature.
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Post by RDW Sun 20 Mar 2016, 6:32 pm

Gutted - pipped into 2nd place in Risky's fantasy 6N league by 3 measly points!

Given that I swept all aside during the world cup I suppose I'll settle for 2nd!

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Post by R!skysports Sun 20 Mar 2016, 7:44 pm

AS Scotland did better, my fantasy team did worst

I took one for the team - you are welcome

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Post by R!skysports Sun 20 Mar 2016, 7:45 pm

On the OP

I lookahead never seeing Weir in a Scotland top ever again

How can someone be so terrible and still get picked

Mistake after mistake after mistake


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Post by MacKnocked-on Sun 20 Mar 2016, 7:57 pm

Cotter is a very good coach and has undoubtedly improved us but he must surely see the error of his selection of Weir, Wilson and probably Swinson (works hard but..). Also perplexing substitutions, why did he replace Hardie??? Strauss certainly had an impact when he came on but it should have been instead of Wilson or possibly the tiring Barclay.
Weir was hopeless, I think Townsend has sold Edinburgh a pup there. For a supposed kicking 10 his kicking cost us dearly. We have several options beyond Weir that we need to concentrate on now.
On a positive note, four Scots in the Telegraph team of the 6Ns; Hogg, Nel, Hardie and Taylor. All would be on the Lions tour if it was this summer. Taylor has made himself the main man at centre, Bennett will really need to up his game to get back in.

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Post by BigGee Sun 20 Mar 2016, 9:11 pm

He has persisted with the 2 openside strategy over the whole tournament and it worked well in parts, that is to say, other than the first and last games. It will be interesting to see if he persists with that strategy when Du Preez comes on line and we finally have the option of the genuine ball playing, big carrying monster at BS.We were still a little bit light on the ball carrying front at times and no point having 2 opensides if the ref does not let anyone compete for the ball anyway, which will happen from time to time depending on the ref.

There is still a bit of evolution to go with this team, we need a bit more in the second row, some genuine back up props (I think we have them they just need to gain experience) and some different options in the back row when it is required. Another flying wiinger would be good as well!

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Post by BigGee Sun 20 Mar 2016, 9:15 pm

MacKnocked-on wrote:
On a positive note, four Scots in the Telegraph team of the 6Ns; Hogg, Nel, Hardie and Taylor. All would be on the Lions tour if it was this summer. Taylor has made himself the main man at centre, Bennett will really need to up his game to get back in.

I would hope a few more would be touring as well, even if they don't make the test team. Dickinson, Seymour Gray x2, Dunbar are surely all going to be in with a shoult and hopewfully we have not seen the last of Mark Bennett!

They ewon't all go, but it may well be a more representative side that goes this time than in previous years.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 21 Mar 2016, 11:00 am

I like Cotter and overall he's done a fine job, but he's made some mistakes as well.

Negatives:

- Cotter sees something in Ryan Wilson that simply doesn't exist. He is not big enough or strong enough to play international rugby.
- Cotter sees something in Duncan Weir that simply doesn't exist. He is not skillful enough or consistent enough to play international rugby. He just doesn't have the game.
- Cotter has failed to see something in Rhuriadh Jackson that does exist. Other than Russell he is comfortably the best option to deploy the game plan and style that Scotland are looking for. In his cameo against Wales his pass to release Duncan Taylor was superbly timed and a perfect demonstration of why he is simply better at rugby than Meatball.
- Cotter has failed to see something in Ben Toolis that has been evident to Edinburgh fans for some time. Toolis is big, powerful, athletic, good in the lineout and an extremely consistent performing. He is the reason why the loss of Gilchrist will not be keenly felt. He is both younger and better than Tim Swinson and should have featured against Ireland.
- We still lost three games. Hopefully with Wales and Ireland at Murrayfield next season we can get one over our celtic brethren. I'm getting tired of losing to these teams.

Positives:

- Our attacking game is sharper than it's been for 15 years, and there is a confidence in the squad that's been missing for a long time.
- Some key players have stepped up to the next level: WP Nel, Jonny Gray, John Hardie, Alex Dunbar, Duncan Taylor and Stuart Hogg. This is the nucleus of a fine team.
- Richie Gray has returned to form.
- A debate as to which from Scott, Dunbar, Horne, Taylor and Bennett starts for Scotland is a debate and a headache worth having. This is real actual bona fide depth.
- We won two games, scored a bunch of lovely tries and ended with a positive points difference. Much much better than last season.

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Post by RDW Mon 21 Mar 2016, 11:06 am

Good summary FES.

Would be interesting to hear from the likes of TJ et al who said that 2 games would be classed as failure.

I understand their arguments that we should never be happy with losing more than we win, but given the vast improvement from last season (which was absolutely desperate) surely this can be classed as a positive 6N?

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Post by TJ Mon 21 Mar 2016, 11:25 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:I like Cotter and overall he's done a fine job, but he's made some mistakes as well.

Negatives:

-..................................
Positives:

- Our attacking game is sharper than it's been for 15 years, and there is a confidence in the squad that's been missing for a long time.
- Some key players have stepped up to the next level: WP Nel, Jonny Gray, John Hardie, Alex Dunbar, Duncan Taylor and Stuart Hogg. This is the nucleus of a fine team.
- Richie Gray has returned to form.
- A debate as to which from Scott, Dunbar, Horne, Taylor and Bennett starts for Scotland is a debate and a headache worth having. This is real actual bona fide depth.
- We won two games, scored a bunch of lovely tries and ended with a positive points difference. Much much better than last season.

I quite agree with all that. The scotland performance is clearly improving. We need however to win more of the close games. Discipline and set pieces cost us again. I am happy that we came 4th and that we beat a team ranked above us. Its a useful and positive step on the way. Its more of a philosphical / sematic point. I am not content with finishing in the bottom half with more losses than wins. Closer to that target than last year.

Not time to crack open the champagne, but I'll happily raise a pint to the team cider :

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Post by tigertattie Mon 21 Mar 2016, 12:05 pm

Oh dear, here we go!

I think there are three ways we can look at the outcome of this year's 6Ns.

1. Scotland did better than expected
2. Scotland did as well as expected
3. Scotland did less than expected

For me I think we did as well as expected!

Why? Well, lets look at results (its a results based system remember). We managed to beat one of the most urine poor italian sides seen in a long time and we managed to hold out against a french team that doesn't know if it is coming or going!

We then got comfortably beaten (in terms of possession and territory) by an under performing ireland team. We were solidly beaten by an average welsh team and we put up a spirited fight against an improving english side!

I can't really say that we've progressed to where we want to be!

Is this a fair assessment? or am I being too harsh? after all, we did manage to win two games!
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Post by IanBru Mon 21 Mar 2016, 12:36 pm

My feelings in the lead-up to the championship were thus:

One win, most likely against Italy, would be the minimum we could expect, but would not indicate anything new, and would most certainly be a step back from the RWC.
Two wins, against either Italy, England or France, would be a sign of progress in the Six Nations, and a consolidation of the best parts of our RWC performance.
Three wins is pretty close to dreamland - As above, I thought these could come against England, France and Italy. I did not expect us to be competitive against Wales or Ireland.

So where are we? Well it's a mixed bag.
The two wins were good, and we can safely say we didn't scrape by in them; they were performances full of confidence and gritty determination. Against France, that was Scotland's most complete performance since... hell I don't know.

Even in the matches we lost, we were competitive throughout, and it's just a shame that our worst performance, against England, marked the biggest missed opportunity. Of course, it's a long way from a seven point loss to a one point win, but if we get the extra 10% needed in these games, we could do something special. Essentially, genuine achievement isn't that far off.

Scotland's attacking play was scintillating, and it's encouraging that the main protagonists (Hogg, Taylor, Russell, McInally, Seymour, Dunbar) are all relatively young. Even when Vern leaves, we have a coach in Townsend who will continue to play a similar balls-to-the-wall style. I hope it's not over-egging the omelette to say that Scottish rugby could come to be known for it's beautiful style, if nothing else.

The bad?
Well we have to be honest; The overall quality of our players is the highest it's been in years, but depth is still a problem. We were lucky with injury through most of the tournament, such that Ireland was the only match where we were seriously affected.

It's a nagging worry that for all of Hogg's brilliance, if he takes a knock then we're in real trouble. It's a similar story with Jonny Gray - a once-in-a-generation player, but once he's injured we're stuck with Swinson and Alex Toolis (OK, Ben, but prove to me they didn't climb into each other's cots shortly after birth. You can't.) They're both good players - broadly on a par, Swinson slightly more skilful and experienced, Toolis with the bulk and potential - but neither of them is fit to shine Jonny's boots.

Even with the quality of our play, our composure let us down, in the same way it always has. If we want to win a championship (and we can), we need to find touch with our penalties, hold out against France before half-time, and for God's sake, hit George North early, before he builds up steam. We could have won against Wales, and it's still the little moments that are costing us.

Our defence is still suspect - we conceded 13 tries in 2016, one more than in 2015 when collecting the wooden spoon. England conceded 4. In only 4 years (2006, 2009, 2010, 2013) have we conceded fewer than 10 tries. Why did we lost to Australia? Because they scored five tries against us. Our attack can be as glitzy as we want, but until we learn to stop conceding tries, we'll never go anywhere.
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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Mon 21 Mar 2016, 12:41 pm

tigertattie wrote:Oh dear, here we go!

I think there are three ways we can look at the outcome of this year's 6Ns.

1. Scotland did better than expected
2. Scotland did as well as expected
3. Scotland did less than expected

For me I think we did as well as expected!

Why? Well, lets look at results (its a results based system remember). We managed to beat one of the most urine poor italian sides seen in a long time and we managed to hold out against a french team that doesn't know if it is coming or going!

We then got comfortably beaten (in terms of possession and territory) by an under performing ireland team. We were solidly beaten by an average welsh team and we put up a spirited fight against an improving english side!

I can't really say that we've progressed to where we want to be!

Is this a fair assessment? or am I being too harsh? after all, we did manage to win two games!

No, is the short answer I'd say.

For me it's not the fact that we won 2 games, but how we won those 2 games. Also how we played in the games we did not win, England game aside.

Against Wales our attack was patient, accurate and when the time was right after 15 to 20 phases we pulled the trigger and scored. Same again against Italy and again with France and again against Ireland. That for me has been the difference. The fact that we built the play, maintained accuracy and scored the tries when they were on offer.

How many times have you seen Scotland rumbling through the phases and every Scot watching is waiting for the inevitable knock on, forward pass, silly turnover or silly penalty? I have none of those feelings now after that six nations. The more time this team spends together the better they will become.

IMO we have learned that Weir simply cannot cut it at international rugby. He just tries to hard but achieves precious little.

Swinson IMO played well but does underpower our scrum a little bit.

IMO the whole campaign gets a B- from me, had we beaten Ireland it would have been a B+.
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Post by bsando Mon 21 Mar 2016, 12:53 pm

I was away for the weekend so have just watched the Ireland match now.

Bit of a step backwards for Scotland, however, they did show some great ambition at times and they definitely had their chances. Had they been a bit more disciplined and controlled, they may well have asked further questions of Ireland who definitely looked beatable. Ireland love to make a mess at the breakdown and they knew they could smother Scotland into submission by wrecking their fast tempo game plan. Yet Scotland seemed to let this get to them. I think this gave Ireland control and they rarely let go of it. Also, Duncan Weir was the wrong choice at flyhalf. I agree with fellow Scots fans that Jackson should be ahead of him and for this match Horne was the obvious choice to start really. There was a noticeable difference in quality. Also, two restarts out on the full!? Not acceptable for international rugby.

Ireland didn't do anything overly fancy but they did what they do best well, kick chases, rolling mauls, wrap arounds. All of it worked and got them the scores. Their dominance of possession in the 1st half setup a good platform for them in the 2nd half. Although Scotland fought back well, Ireland were able to ride the storm and increase their lead when they had chances.

I wasn't impressed with the refs lack of communication at the breakdown..

The Sexton incident is one such example. Has a ruck been formed? or is it still open play? Let us know please ref!!! All he says is a rather non audible "no" which no one hears as Sexton makes a nuisance of himself below Dunbar. Had he yelled "NO TEN!!" or "ITS A RUCK!!" he is letting Sexton know he is in the wrong. Game continues. Instead we had a yellow card incident.

Barclay pinned for playing ball illegally in ruck for first Irish penalty 3 points. Ref gives no warning at all to Barclay. Had he once again yelled "NO SIX!!" Barclay either lets go and rolls away or he continues to grapple and is penalised.

Barclay yellow card. Once again, the ref says nothing in the lead up to his whistle being blown!! Laidlaw is over the ball legally, but with Barclay its a 50/50. Once again, if the ref says "NO SIX!!" it lets Barclay know he is in the wrong and he can then release or continue at his own risk of a penalty/card.

Barclay getting in the way of the ruck quite clearly illegally, ref says nothing and lets play continue making a rather weak excuse later as play goes on and Ireland clearly look annoyed. It didn't affect run of play but it probably aggravated the Irish players.

International rugby is all about the fine margins and that goes for the refs too. Likes of Nigel Owens and Glen Jackson are some of my favourite refs because they give clear instructions to players when they are in the wrong. In my opinion this usually results in cleaner flowing games, which this game was crying out to be, but was instead a bit of a farce by the end.

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Post by TJ Mon 21 Mar 2016, 1:42 pm

Scotland were not outclassed in any of their defeats and took their wins well. A bit of composure or luck at a couple of critial moments they might have stolen another win. Honourable mentions to both Grays, Nel, Laidlaw, Hogg, Taylor

They played better and scored some tries - and the first win against higher ranked opposition for 3 years is not to be sneezed at. There is more to come from this team tho. B.

Cotter - 9/10. The team played like thy knew what they were supposed to be doing and in a style suitable to the players we have, they looked well prepared and fought every minute of every game. Selection not bad bar one or two calls. B+

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Post by Exiledinborders Mon 21 Mar 2016, 1:50 pm

TJ wrote:Scotland were not outclassed in any of their defeats and took their wins well.  A bit of composure or luck at a couple of critial moments they might have stolen another win.  Honourable mentions to both Grays, Nel, Laidlaw, Hogg, Taylor

They played better and scored some tries - and the first win against higher ranked opposition for 3 years is not to be sneezed at.  There is more to come from this team tho.  B.

Cotter - 9/10.  The team played like thy knew what they were supposed to be doing and in a style suitable to the players we have, they looked well prepared and fought every minute of every game.  Selection not bad bar one or two calls. B+
I agree. This was the best Scottish performance for quite a few years.

Good to see.

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Post by Exiledinborders Mon 21 Mar 2016, 1:54 pm

bsando wrote:I was away for the weekend so have just watched the Ireland match now.

Bit of a step backwards for Scotland, however, they did show some great ambition at times and they definitely had their chances. Had they been a bit more disciplined and controlled, they may well have asked further questions of Ireland who definitely looked beatable. Ireland love to make a mess at the breakdown and they knew they could smother Scotland into submission by wrecking their fast tempo game plan. Yet Scotland seemed to let this get to them. I think this gave Ireland control and they rarely let go of it. Also, Duncan Weir was the wrong choice at flyhalf. I agree with fellow Scots fans that Jackson should be ahead of him and for this match Horne was the obvious choice to start really. There was a noticeable difference in quality. Also, two restarts out on the full!? Not acceptable for international rugby.

Ireland didn't do anything overly fancy but they did what they do best well, kick chases, rolling mauls, wrap arounds. All of it worked and got them the scores. Their dominance of possession in the 1st half setup a good platform for them in the 2nd half. Although Scotland fought back well, Ireland were able to ride the storm and increase their lead when they had chances.

I wasn't impressed with the refs lack of communication at the breakdown..

The Sexton incident is one such example. Has a ruck been formed? or is it still open play? Let us know please ref!!! All he says is a rather non audible "no" which no one hears as Sexton makes a nuisance of himself below Dunbar. Had he yelled "NO TEN!!" or "ITS A RUCK!!" he is letting Sexton know he is in the wrong. Game continues. Instead we had a yellow card incident.

Barclay pinned for playing ball illegally in ruck for first Irish penalty 3 points. Ref gives no warning at all to Barclay. Had he once again yelled "NO SIX!!" Barclay either lets go and rolls away or he continues to grapple and is penalised.

Barclay yellow card. Once again, the ref says nothing in the lead up to his whistle being blown!! Laidlaw is over the ball legally, but with Barclay its a 50/50. Once again, if the ref says "NO SIX!!" it lets Barclay know he is in the wrong and he can then release or continue at his own risk of a penalty/card.

Barclay getting in the way of the ruck quite clearly illegally, ref says nothing and lets play continue making a rather weak excuse later as play goes on and Ireland clearly look annoyed. It didn't affect run of play but it probably aggravated the Irish players.

International rugby is all about the fine margins and that goes for the refs too. Likes of Nigel Owens and Glen Jackson are some of my favourite refs because they give clear instructions to players when they are in the wrong. In my opinion this usually results in cleaner flowing games, which this game was crying out to be, but was instead a bit of a farce by the end.
I too thought the referee was poor. He seemed to suffer from Chris Pollock syndrome in which the attacking team have the right to uncontested ball.

Having said that Scotland were slow on the uptake. It was clear he was not going to allow a fair contest so the best thing is to not commit players to the ruck and just line up outside.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 21 Mar 2016, 1:57 pm

IanBru wrote:My feelings in the lead-up to the championship were thus:

I see the training contract is progressing nicely!

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Post by George Carlin Mon 21 Mar 2016, 4:23 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
IanBru wrote:My feelings in the lead-up to the championship were thus:

I see the training contract is progressing nicely!
Indeed, but Bru - you won't get far in this profession unless you start inserting caveats as wide as the holes in RDW's Forth Bridge repairs. Ideally, they should render everything which follows absolutely meaningless.

As my first seat supervisor (a City partner of 20 years) told me: "Always remember, the key is to never, ever give legal advice".
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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 21 Mar 2016, 4:39 pm

George Carlin wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
IanBru wrote:My feelings in the lead-up to the championship were thus:

I see the training contract is progressing nicely!
Indeed, but Bru - you won't get far in this profession unless you start inserting caveats as wide as the holes in RDW's Forth Bridge repairs. Ideally, they should render everything which follows absolutely meaningless.

As my first seat supervisor (a City partner of 20 years) told me: "Always remember, the key is to never, ever give legal advice".

No doubt a prominent member of your opinions committee! Nothing beats a good legal opinion set of assumptions and qualifiers.....well, quite a few things do but you get my drift!

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 21 Mar 2016, 6:18 pm

Scotland get a B from me.

Swinson actually went and made some powerful hits. Not good enough in the set piece to be anything more than a placeholder on the bench.

Weir does not have the right game to be playing for Scotland and is not using his own talents well by trying to. I want to see Heathcote get a chance in Japan with Jacko. Russell should be sent somewhere to relax with whoever is crowned Miss Scotland this year. Make it part of the prize.

Good, patient attacking play. We can score more than just fluky tries. Breakdown work (when the ref allows) is a big advantage and with a proper boiler room, the scrum is a weapon.

Lineout, restarts, kicking out of hand and maul defense are all areas of work. Restarts and maul defense showed some improvement towards the end. Hopefully a good training tour and some work at the clubs will do the rest.

Depth will always be an issue until there are 3 strong teams and a development (Aberdeen and LS). Certain people need testing this summer in Japan.


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Post by MacKnocked-on Mon 21 Mar 2016, 6:41 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:Scotland get a B from me.

Swinson actually went and made some powerful hits. Not good enough in the set piece to be anything more than a placeholder on the bench.

Weir does not have the right game to be playing for Scotland and is not using his own talents well by trying to. I want to see Heathcote get a chance in Japan with Jacko. Russell should be sent somewhere to relax with whoever is crowned Miss Scotland this year. Make it part of the prize.

Good, patient attacking play. We can score more than just fluky tries. Breakdown work (when the ref allows) is a big advantage and with a proper boiler room, the scrum is a weapon.

Lineout, restarts, kicking out of hand and maul defense are all areas of work. Restarts and maul defense showed some improvement towards the end. Hopefully a good training tour and some work at the clubs will do the rest.

Depth will always be an issue until there are 3 strong teams and a development (Aberdeen and LS). Certain people need testing this summer in Japan.

The tour seems to be only two matches which is a shame and a bit of a lost development opportunity I would say, doesn't really give much scope to experiment with many new players when we obviously will want to win the matches as well. It will be interesting to see if Cotter concentrates on the same core group of players or whether there will be any bolters eg will Scott Steele get a chance as SHC seems to have fallen away currently?

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