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6N 2016: Scotland v France, 13 March

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Post by George Carlin Sat 05 Mar 2016, 8:15 am

First topic message reminder :

 6N 2016: Scotland v France, 13 March - Page 2 Scotla11    6N 2016: Scotland v France, 13 March - Page 2 France10
SCOTLAND v FRANCE
13 March 2016
KO: 15:00 GMT
BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Live on BBC, FR2, RTE, FR2, DMAX / ITV(H)

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Touch judges: [tbc]
Television match official: [tbc]

A. Head to Head

85 Played 85
34 Won 49
2 Drawn 2
49 Lost 34
1,009 Points 1,150

B. Recent Form

5 September 2015: Stade de France, Saint-Denis
19 – 16 to France

7 February 2015 : Stade de France, Saint-Denis
15 – 8 to France

8 March 2014: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
17 – 19 to France

16 March 2013: Stade de France, Saint-Denis
23 – 16 to France

26 February 2012: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
17 – 23 to France

5 February 2011 : Stade de France, Saint-Denis
34 – 21 to France

7 February 2010 : Murrayfield, Edinburgh
9 – 18 to France

C. Teams

SCOTLAND 
 6N 2016: Scotland v France, 13 March - Page 2 Pia_410 
[tbc]

FRANCE
 6N 2016: Scotland v France, 13 March - Page 2 Gaia_210
[tbc]


Last edited by George Carlin on Sat 05 Mar 2016, 5:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by tigertattie Wed 09 Mar 2016, 10:22 am

Watson is a great player but he suffers from being vertically challenged which seems to be an issue with the SRU. A nonsense as Watson is ridiculously strong for his size!
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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 09 Mar 2016, 11:04 am

I am working on the assumption Gilchrist will not make it back to international rugby. Toolis will be 3rd choice lock next year. My preferred

1 Dickinson
2 Ford
3 Nel
4 Gray
5 Gray
6 Du Preez
7 Hardie
8 Denton

16 Sutherland/Reid
17 Brown/McInally (whichever is not crocked)
18 Welsh
19 Toolis
20 Barclay/Strauss

By the way, do people reckon the parents named A and B Toolis based on age so that they could say which came first? Like if there were triplets, the last out would be Christopher.

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Post by Nematode Wed 09 Mar 2016, 11:14 am

I've gone off Watson a bit. He can be reckless at times (like picking and going without support on the Connacht line = turnover) and just isn't making the impact that he had been making.

When you compare him with what Fusaro did for Glasgow vs Cardiff in the first half, there is a clear distinction in form currently.

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Post by IanBru Wed 09 Mar 2016, 11:18 am

Watson is having a classic case of second season syndrome. Don't get me wrong, I like him a lot, and I have no doubt he'll play more for Scotland in a few years, but he simply isn't as good as Barclay, Hardie or Cowan.

If we're making the argument for small, aggressive opensides, you've got to say he has less of a big-game mentality than Fusaro.
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Post by tigertattie Wed 09 Mar 2016, 11:44 am

Hazel Sapling wrote:I am working on the assumption Gilchrist will not make it back to international rugby.

Bit early yet for that! Gilchrist is still quite a young laddie and has plenty time yet to get back up to speed and cement a place in the squad for years to come.

I did say last year though that Gilchrist could struggle at Edinburgh given the partnership that Toolis and Bressler are forming! The good thing for Gilchrist though is that Bressler is a similar player to Jonny Gray so a Ickkle Jonny/Gilchrist second row for Scotland could be quite tasty. So far though, Gray and Gray seem to be working relatively well for Scotland.

Its damn nice though to be able to have a discussion as to who we feel is not quite good enough to be playing as opposed to discussing who is the less poopie option!
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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Wed 09 Mar 2016, 11:49 am

tigertattie wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:I am working on the assumption Gilchrist will not make it back to international rugby.

Bit early yet for that! Gilchrist is still quite a young laddie and has plenty time yet to get back up to speed and cement a place in the squad for years to come.

I did say last year though that Gilchrist could struggle at Edinburgh given the partnership that Toolis and Bressler are forming! The good thing for Gilchrist though is that Bressler is a similar player to Jonny Gray so a Ickkle Jonny/Gilchrist second row for Scotland could be quite tasty. So far though, Gray and Gray seem to be working relatively well for Scotland.

Its damn nice though to be able to have a discussion as to who we feel is not quite good enough to be playing as opposed to discussing who is the less poopie option!

I reckon the Mediterranean climate will do Gilchrist the world of good. However the French league is a bit attritional, and he doesn't possess a great deal of resilience to injury.
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Post by NeilyBroon Wed 09 Mar 2016, 12:09 pm

Good thing he doesn't play in SA, I think he'd shatter if he hit the hard, dry ground
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Post by sensisball Wed 09 Mar 2016, 12:33 pm

If you check the weather stats for the south of France, I think Montpellier averages 300 days annually of sunshine! So from August till November and March till June the pitches are pretty firm in France. However it wont be the pitches that break "Mr Glass", it will be his opposition forwards. IMO Vahaamahina , Maestre, Tekori, Jedrasiak, Van Der Merve (x2), Capo Ortega, Tchale-Watchou, Willemse and Gray to name but a few of the second rows playing their trade in France are all a tad more physical than Gilco.

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Post by demosthenes Wed 09 Mar 2016, 1:07 pm

Matt Scott out, according to BBC.

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Post by George Carlin Wed 09 Mar 2016, 1:13 pm

demosthenes wrote:Matt Scott out, according to BBC.  
Yes, damaged elbow ligaments would you believe.

I am getting tired of the bad luck that a lot of our best players have been having over the years. Thank he lord that Taylor is playing well and Dunbar offers another option at last.
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Post by bsando Wed 09 Mar 2016, 1:54 pm

George Carlin wrote:
demosthenes wrote:Matt Scott out, according to BBC.  
Yes, damaged elbow ligaments would you believe.

I am getting tired of the bad luck that a lot of our best players have been having over the years. Thank he lord that Taylor is playing well and Dunbar offers another option at last.

Yeah I had pretty much assumed Scott was now out for rest of 6 Nations, injury looked bad.

So whats it gonna be?

Dunar/Bennett
Dunbar/Taylor
Taylor/Bennett
Horne/Bennett
Horne/Taylor

I think Taylor has done some good things but perhaps Dunbar will offer a little bit more in attack. Taylor took his try well vs Wales but it was really the pass/awareness from Jackson that sent him over. I think he is a safe pair of hands at 12 now and has potential. However, Dunbar and Bennett both have the "X factor".

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Wed 09 Mar 2016, 2:01 pm

bsando wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
demosthenes wrote:Matt Scott out, according to BBC.  
Yes, damaged elbow ligaments would you believe.

I am getting tired of the bad luck that a lot of our best players have been having over the years. Thank he lord that Taylor is playing well and Dunbar offers another option at last.

Yeah I had pretty much assumed Scott was now out for rest of 6 Nations, injury looked bad.

So whats it gonna be?

Dunar/Bennett
Dunbar/Taylor
Taylor/Bennett
Horne/Bennett
Horne/Taylor

I think Taylor has done some good things but perhaps Dunbar will offer a little bit more in attack. Taylor took his try well vs Wales but it was really the pass/awareness from Jackson that sent him over. I think he is a safe pair of hands at 12 now and has potential. However, Dunbar and Bennett both have the "X factor".

Taylor cannot be dropped. Try Saving tackle against Wales and he still had a lot of work to do to finish the one he scored against them too. IMO Taylor Bennett sticks. If it Doesn't it's Taylor and Horne mixing it up in attack at 12.

Dunbar's addition to the squad although welcome is IMO premature. He should be nowhere near the starting berth.  Bennett although not at his best doesn't deserve to be dropped after a couple of quiet performances and my thoughts on Taylor cannot be clearer. He's the best centre in Scotland by some distance at the moment and thanks to Sarries is playing with confidence. Dropping him for a returning Dunbar would be a huge error.

Dunbar's injury is horrendous. The psychological damage takes even longer to get over than the injury itself and I seriously doubt he'll have the confidence in himself or his knee to offer something more than Taylor.
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Post by bsando Wed 09 Mar 2016, 3:37 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
bsando wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
demosthenes wrote:Matt Scott out, according to BBC.  
Yes, damaged elbow ligaments would you believe.

I am getting tired of the bad luck that a lot of our best players have been having over the years. Thank he lord that Taylor is playing well and Dunbar offers another option at last.

Yeah I had pretty much assumed Scott was now out for rest of 6 Nations, injury looked bad.

So whats it gonna be?

Dunar/Bennett
Dunbar/Taylor
Taylor/Bennett
Horne/Bennett
Horne/Taylor

I think Taylor has done some good things but perhaps Dunbar will offer a little bit more in attack. Taylor took his try well vs Wales but it was really the pass/awareness from Jackson that sent him over. I think he is a safe pair of hands at 12 now and has potential. However, Dunbar and Bennett both have the "X factor".

Taylor cannot be dropped. Try Saving tackle against Wales and he still had a lot of work to do to finish the one he scored against them too. IMO Taylor Bennett sticks. If it Doesn't it's Taylor and Horne mixing it up in attack at 12.

Dunbar's addition to the squad although welcome is IMO premature. He should be nowhere near the starting berth.  Bennett although not at his best doesn't deserve to be dropped after a couple of quiet performances and my thoughts on Taylor cannot be clearer. He's the best centre in Scotland by some distance at the moment and thanks to Sarries is playing with confidence. Dropping him for a returning Dunbar would be a huge error.

Dunbar's injury is horrendous. The psychological damage takes even longer to get over than the injury itself and I seriously doubt he'll have the confidence in himself or his knee to offer something more than Taylor.

From the Scotsman...

Dunbar was taken off at half-time during Glasgow’s 27-20 win over Cardiff at Scotstoun on Sunday and he feels ready to make an impact if called upon by Cotter this weekend.

“Certainly the couple of games I’ve played for Glasgow I’ve done all right,” he said. “There are a few areas I still need to keep working on week to week, but I feel good and I feel fresh, so if I get the chance I’d obviously jump at it.

“It’s good to still be thought of and feel involved. It’s just a case of letting the rugby do the talking and show what I can do, and hopefully help the team get to a victory.”

He seems up for it so I guess it is up to Cotter and how they all do in training. How does that saying go? Fall off the horse, hop back on. I think that applies in this instance. Saying that, Taylor/Bennett is definitely the safe selection and I'd be more than okay with that for Sunday.

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Post by sensisball Wed 09 Mar 2016, 3:44 pm

Agreed that if Dunbar isn't 100 % right mentally he shouldn't be in the squad. However he has made a strong return for Warriors so may deemed to be ready to play.
Taylor should definitely start and for me it would be a choice of Dunbar and Taylor starting with Bennett on the bench or Taylor and Bennett with Dunbar on the bench. Given that Bennett is due a big game sometime soon I would probably choose the latter option with Dunbar coming on later to either partner a back on form Messiah or if he is simply being a very naughty boy then Taylor moves to 13  and Dunbar comes on to offer an even more powerful centre partnership.

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Post by tigertattie Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:07 pm

George Carlin wrote:
demosthenes wrote:Matt Scott out, according to BBC.  
Yes, damaged elbow ligaments would you believe.

I am getting tired of the bad luck that a lot of our best players have been having over the years. Thank he lord that Taylor is playing well and Dunbar offers another option at last.

Jeez, he really is the next Rory Lamont eh!

It looked like he'd done damage to his hand/fingers on Friday! I'd never have thought it was an elbow injury!!!

For France we need to continue with Taylor and Bennett as we'll need a fair bit of defensive toughness in the midfield against Le Blues. Dunbar to come on off the bench at the 60 min mark to either maintain a defensive system or to provide a bit of fresh legs to the attack.

The thought of Horne defending against those French monsters scares the living daylights out of me
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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:08 pm

For all of Horne's lack of size he never seems to come up wanting in defence.
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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:21 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:For all of Horne's lack of size he never seems to come up wanting in defence.

Agreed.

I don't get all this 'monster French' chat.

If the French were all 18 stone+ and the Scots were all less than 12 stone then yeah, I'd be worried. There isn't much of a difference, especially in the backs. The days of Scotland being far smaller than their opponents have long gone. In most cases, Scotland's pack collectively has been bigger than the teams they play against.

So what if there is 6lbs difference. It's technique and timing of the tackle that counts most - as was marvellously demonstrated by Duncan Taylor against Wales 3 weeks ago.

It's about commitment and fronting up. If Scotland match France up front in all areas (which I think they will), our backs are capable of doing more damage than theirs.

Scotland by 10.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:24 pm

Please note that it is also my prerogative to alternate my confidence and prediction back and forth for the next 4-5 days.

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Post by PenfroPete Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:45 pm

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Marius Mitrea (FIR)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
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Post by sensisball Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:45 pm

If Horne (93 kg) plays at 12 against Jonathan Danty (110kg) then I consider giving away around 17kg or just over 2 and a half stone in old money a bit of a physical mismatch or an I missing something?

If its Fofana (93 kg) then there is no weight differential at all, so he should have no problems coping with the French player's bulk but may find his dancing feet more of an issue.
Overall on paper Scotland aren't giving away much weight to their French opponents but it may be power that is more of the issue than the physical stats.

For example, on paper Grant Gilchrist(2.02 m and 120 kg) should be as physical a player as Sebastian Vahaamahina (2.02m and 126 kg). In reality he has nowhere near the same dynamic power or pace of the Clermont man.

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Post by alive555 Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:50 pm

no team announcement ??

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:53 pm

So how do you explain Hardy who is 103kg, pretty much smashing anyone who runs at him?

Or even Finn Russell who's 86kg who I've seen stop much bigger players dead?

As Jimbo's wife keeps telling him.....get the technique right and we can overlook the size.

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Post by George Carlin Wed 09 Mar 2016, 5:03 pm

sensisball wrote:If Horne (93 kg) plays at 12 against Jonathan Danty (110kg) then I consider giving away around 17kg or just over 2 and a half stone in old money a bit of a physical mismatch or an I missing something?

If its Fofana (93 kg) then there is no weight differential at all, so he should have no problems coping with the French player's bulk but may find his dancing feet more of an issue.
Overall on paper Scotland aren't giving away much weight to their French opponents but it may be power that is more of the issue than the physical stats.

For example, on paper Grant Gilchrist(2.02 m and 120 kg) should be as physical a player as Sebastian Vahaamahina (2.02m and 126 kg). In reality he has nowhere near the same dynamic power or pace  of the Clermont man.
Apparently the 10kg I've put on around my waist since I got married "matters". Sheesh.
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Post by alive555 Wed 09 Mar 2016, 5:05 pm

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:So how do you explain Hardy who is 103kg, pretty much smashing anyone who runs at him?

Or even Finn Russell who's 86kg who I've seen stop much bigger players dead?

As Jimbo's wife keeps telling him.....get the technique right and we can overlook the size.

Id ask is Tim Visser 6.5' and 109kg laughing

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Post by tigertattie Wed 09 Mar 2016, 5:21 pm

I've never said "Horne is too small to defend"! Horne is just Visseresque in my opinion when it comes to defending. Most games I've seen him in he's just be a bit of a speed bump.

Also, French monsters is more of a way of describing the physical go forward that France often have.

Size is relative but it's the individuals way of tackling or attacking that is far more important. Look at Hamish Watson, sometimes he just keeps pumping the legs and makes far more meters than he is supposed to. I've also seen the smallest man on the park stopping the biggest man dead in his tracks (I used to hate training when our scrum half was told to show folk how to tackle me)

Irrelevant of size, I've always found Horne to be a weak defender and Daunty, Basteraud, Fickou or Fofana would have a field day against him!
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Post by whocares Wed 09 Mar 2016, 9:03 pm

The following players have been released :
Paul Jedrasiak (Clermont), Jonathan Danty, Djibril Camara, Hugo Bonneval (Stade Français), Rémi Lamerat (Castres) and Kevin Gourdon.
So Vahaamahina will be in the 23 while the backline is going to be
Vakatawa-Mermoz-Fickou-Fofana
spedding/Medart

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed 09 Mar 2016, 9:26 pm

I'm concerned about where this French XV is heading. I've long suggested that room should be made for Fofana and Fickou in the same back division and the rest listed above by whocares can all play.

I still hold out hope that Plisson will remain in place of Trinh-duc, and preferably Spedding over Medard.

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Post by George Carlin Thu 10 Mar 2016, 8:57 am

WhoCares - I'd be very interested in your opinion of the current French pack now that stalwarts like Nicholas Mas are on their way out?

In terms of Scotland, I continue to be at something of a loss as to where the received wisdom comes from that Denton will sail into the Scotland 8 shirt in the future. Why should this be, exactly?

He had a good World Cup but I would ask for an explanation from anyone who claims it was a great one. At Edinburgh he was a 'one note' player that clearly had gaps in his technical tool kit (body position when tackling, height of entering into contact, general inability to offload, no eye for overlaps).

He is currently playing for a Bath side which does not use him well and which has recently signed Wales' first choice no 8, arguably the form player in his position in the NH right now.

6 Strauss
7 Hardie
8 Du Preez

With Barclay benching seems much more likely and with more potential.
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Post by eirebilly Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:00 am

Although I think Scotland will win this match, is anyone else worried about France? To me they seem to be building an excellent team. I can see them being a force again in a year or two.
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Post by jimbopip Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:06 am

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:So how do you explain Hardy who is 103kg, pretty much smashing anyone who runs at him?

Or even Finn Russell who's 86kg who I've seen stop much bigger players dead?

As Jimbo's wife keeps telling him.....[u]get[/u] you've got  the technique right and we can overlook thank the Lord for the abundant size.
 Whistle

Hornee Furra Linee often tops the tackles made column for Glasgow in Pro 12 games; so his technique must more than make up for his size, or lack of. With Fickou and Fofana playing we really need fast thinking, light on their feet defenders. Thankfully we have four of them to choose from. Scotland by 16 if Plisson plays.

p.s. I'm more concerned about Glenda Jackson officiating than anything else.


Last edited by jimbopip on Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:09 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : failure of techniqueX2)

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Post by EWT Spoons Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:24 am

George Carlin wrote:WhoCares - I'd be very interested in your opinion of the current French pack now that stalwarts like Nicholas Mas are on their way out?

In terms of Scotland, I continue to be at something of a loss as to where the received wisdom comes from that Denton will sail into the Scotland 8 shirt in the future. Why should this be, exactly?

He had a good World Cup but I would ask for an explanation from anyone who claims it was a great one. At Edinburgh he was a 'one note' player that clearly had gaps in his technical tool kit (body position when tackling, height of entering into contact, general inability to offload, no eye for overlaps).

He is currently playing for a Bath side which does not use him well and which has recently signed Wales' first choice no 8, arguably the form player in his position in the NH right now.

6 Strauss
7 Hardie
8 Du Preez

With Barclay benching seems much more likely and with more potential.

Whilst I get Denton has his limitations he at least did have a good World cup (cited as the reason why Bath signed him), Strauss on the other hand (in my opinion) did not.  So I'm equally not sure as to why he keeps getting listed in teams as a first choice.  Also Denton is 3 years younger than Strauss (who is 29) so from a potential point of view Denton would have greater scope to improve.

I've nothing against Strauss, last season for Glasgow he was brilliant, but at the World Cup he was very much in Denton's shadow, and he's only regaining the form he had previously shown now.  Strauss has done nothing to suggest he is capable of recreating his club form at the highest level of international rugby, whereas at least with Denton we know he can.  Yes Denton is woefully short of form and there is every possibility that Ashe/Bradbury/Du Preez (although i think he might play 6) will oust him from the side in the future, I just can't see the thinking that Strauss is the man for the job.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not writing Strauss off and would be happy for him to bench as I would love for him to show that he is able to recreate his Glasgow form in a Scotland shirt, but he wouldn't start currently. He also (again in my opinion) probably only has a year or two left to prove that he's capable otherwise he will likely be overtaken in the pecking order by one of the players I've listed above.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:52 am

EWT Spoons wrote:
George Carlin wrote:WhoCares - I'd be very interested in your opinion of the current French pack now that stalwarts like Nicholas Mas are on their way out?

In terms of Scotland, I continue to be at something of a loss as to where the received wisdom comes from that Denton will sail into the Scotland 8 shirt in the future. Why should this be, exactly?

He had a good World Cup but I would ask for an explanation from anyone who claims it was a great one. At Edinburgh he was a 'one note' player that clearly had gaps in his technical tool kit (body position when tackling, height of entering into contact, general inability to offload, no eye for overlaps).

He is currently playing for a Bath side which does not use him well and which has recently signed Wales' first choice no 8, arguably the form player in his position in the NH right now.

6 Strauss
7 Hardie
8 Du Preez

With Barclay benching seems much more likely and with more potential.

Whilst I get Denton has his limitations he at least did have a good World cup (cited as the reason why Bath signed him), Strauss on the other hand (in my opinion) did not.  So I'm equally not sure as to why he keeps getting listed in teams as a first choice.  Also Denton is 3 years younger than Strauss (who is 29) so from a potential point of view Denton would have greater scope to improve.

I've nothing against Strauss, last season for Glasgow he was brilliant, but at the World Cup he was very much in Denton's shadow, and he's only regaining the form he had previously shown now.  Strauss has done nothing to suggest he is capable of recreating his club form at the highest level of international rugby, whereas at least with Denton we know he can.  Yes Denton is woefully short of form and there is every possibility that Ashe/Bradbury/Du Preez (although i think he might play 6) will oust him from the side in the future, I just can't see the thinking that Strauss is the man for the job.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not writing Strauss off and would be happy for him to bench as I would love for him to show that he is able to recreate his Glasgow form in a Scotland shirt, but he wouldn't start currently.  He also (again in my opinion) probably only has a year or two left to prove that he's capable otherwise he will likely be overtaken in the pecking order by one of the players I've listed above.

Exactly this. Apart from his good cameo against Italy, Strauss has never done anything of note for Scotland. I'm not saying he will, but I cannot understand the Strauss love. It seems to be based purely on reputation at the moment.

Jeez Wilson has had as many good performances for Scotland as Strauss and that was in the same game!
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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:55 am

George Carlin wrote:WhoCares - I'd be very interested in your opinion of the current French pack now that stalwarts like Nicholas Mas are on their way out?

In terms of Scotland, I continue to be at something of a loss as to where the received wisdom comes from that Denton will sail into the Scotland 8 shirt in the future. Why should this be, exactly?

He had a good World Cup but I would ask for an explanation from anyone who claims it was a great one. At Edinburgh he was a 'one note' player that clearly had gaps in his technical tool kit (body position when tackling, height of entering into contact, general inability to offload, no eye for overlaps).

He is currently playing for a Bath side which does not use him well and which has recently signed Wales' first choice no 8, arguably the form player in his position in the NH right now.

6 Strauss
7 Hardie
8 Du Preez

With Barclay benching seems much more likely and with more potential.

Agree with my learned friend from the desert. Whilst I don't write off Denton having a big future for Scotland, he's got fierce competition and is by no means a shoe-in. Du Preez is undoubtedly a better footballer, and I do think the time has come to take a proper look at Strauss (starting this weekend).

What I will reiterate is that Ryan Wilson is not an international rugby player. One ok game against Italy does not compensate for the non-events that were his previous caps. He just doesn't have the power to be an international back row player, or the skill at the breakdown to compensate.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Thu 10 Mar 2016, 10:01 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:
George Carlin wrote:WhoCares - I'd be very interested in your opinion of the current French pack now that stalwarts like Nicholas Mas are on their way out?

In terms of Scotland, I continue to be at something of a loss as to where the received wisdom comes from that Denton will sail into the Scotland 8 shirt in the future. Why should this be, exactly?

He had a good World Cup but I would ask for an explanation from anyone who claims it was a great one. At Edinburgh he was a 'one note' player that clearly had gaps in his technical tool kit (body position when tackling, height of entering into contact, general inability to offload, no eye for overlaps).

He is currently playing for a Bath side which does not use him well and which has recently signed Wales' first choice no 8, arguably the form player in his position in the NH right now.

6 Strauss
7 Hardie
8 Du Preez

With Barclay benching seems much more likely and with more potential.

Agree with my learned friend from the desert. Whilst I don't write off Denton having a big future for Scotland, he's got fierce competition and is by no means a shoe-in. Du Preez is undoubtedly a better footballer, and I do think the time has come to take a proper look at Strauss (starting this weekend).

What I will reiterate is that Ryan Wilson is not an international rugby player. One ok game against Italy does not compensate for the non-events that were his previous caps. He just doesn't have the power to be an international back row player, or the skill at the breakdown to compensate.

Trampling all over Zebre, Treviso and Dragons players for the 1872 cup runners up suggests Strauss has these atributes. However when coming up against "real" opposition he looks pretty underwhelming too.

Denton in the World cup and thusfar in the 6N has made a decent chunk of meters through the heaviest traffic. He's still the man in possession IMO.
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Post by sensisball Thu 10 Mar 2016, 10:06 am

FES
Agreed that Plisson starting would be good for Scotland but Spedding
had a great game on Saturday, showing that he can actually pass a ball
quite well.
Check out the highlights below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qiv9mIB41l0

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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 10 Mar 2016, 10:13 am

It's not so much that I don't rate Spedding, I just think Medard is better.

Spedding is a unit and runs very direct and straight lines. He's good under the high ball, physical in contact and difficult to stop. He has massive boot on him, both from the tee and from hand. But, his passing game is pretty average, and his accelaration on the turn is almost Cuthbert-esque. He reminds me of Tim Stimpson.

Medard on the other hand is a genius. He lacks the power and solidity of Spedding but can slither through the best defences plus he has a great eye for space. He's also much quicker over the crucial shorter distances and is a great footballer in creating space for others.

I'd be far more confident that we could handle the more predictable running lines from Spedding than the more mercurial Medard.

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Post by whocares Thu 10 Mar 2016, 10:21 am

George Carlin wrote:WhoCares - I'd be very interested in your opinion of the current French pack now that stalwarts like Nicholas Mas are on their way out?


we got depth / length at loosehead ( ben arous, poirot and few others ), hooker is a bit more difficult with retirements of Swarsceski (and probably Kayzer as well) but we have young ones coming soon to help Guirado. TH is an issue: Slimani is our only decent scrummaging TH prop really and his form is going down at the moment. Behind it's quite a desert (Ducalcon is old and slow, Ric always injured and hasn't confirmed, aldegheri?) , not a big surprise given that most T14 clubs play foreigners In this position.
assuming we start with something like poirot-guirado-slimani-maestri-flanquart-lauret-chouly-camara then we have the lighter pack of the 6N but a quite mobile one which is what Noves wants. really lacks ball carriers (guirado is the only one that can makes yards in this lot) nand the sooner picamoles is back the better.

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Post by EST Thu 10 Mar 2016, 11:43 am

My team for the weekend:

1. Dickinson
2. Ford
3. Nel
4. Gray
5. Gray
6. Barclay
7. Hardie
8. Strauss
9. Laidlaw
10. Russell
11. Seymour
12. Dunbar
13. Taylor
14. Visser
15. Hogg

16. Sutherland
17. McInaly
18. Low
19. Toolis
20. Wilson
21. Pyrgos
22. Jackson
23. Bennett

I was at the Glasgow game on the weekend, and although Bennett had a few runs, he didn't look his confident self, culminating in the dropped ball over the line. I would look to introduce him for Dunbar as the game starts to break up. We really need to stop the horrific run we have going against France, and I have a sneaking suspicion (somebody sound the confidence alarm) that we might just do it this weekend.

We are playing well, however we need to stop the niggly errors that relieve our pressure and stop momentum. If we do that, I am confident that sooner rather than later, these players are going to really click.

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Post by bsando Thu 10 Mar 2016, 12:02 pm

Bookies (bet365) have Scotland as favourites.. Doh

Regarding Bennett, I think he should be starting but if he were dropped for Dunbar then fair enough. I still think he is close to a good performance..

When is the team announcement?

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Thu 10 Mar 2016, 12:09 pm

EST, I still think throwing Dunbar in at this stage is a mistake. Poor Horne too, done nothing to merit being chopped.

I think it's great Dunbar is with the squad but we can't afford for anyone to be off the pace against France.
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Post by EST Thu 10 Mar 2016, 12:26 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:EST, I still think throwing Dunbar in at this stage is a mistake. Poor Horne too, done nothing to merit being chopped.

I think it's great Dunbar is with the squad but we can't afford for anyone to be off the pace against France.

Radge, I totally see what you are saying RE: Dunbar, but Bennett has just not looked himself these past few games. He was walking about Scotstoun with his shoudlers slumped and of course had that howler in the act if scoring a try. A 30 min cameo, against a tiring defence, is what I want to see.

As for Horne, it might be harsh - but I have to admit in thinking that he is not quite of the quality of Dunbar, Bennett, Scott or Taylor (In current form). A very talented ball player, but I would rather have the talents of Bennett to call upon.

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Post by tigertattie Thu 10 Mar 2016, 12:33 pm

Unfortuantly Horne is really only going to be involved in internationals when the other centres are not available

With Dunbar/Bennett/Taylor being available I just cant see Horne getting a squad place. His only saving grace owuld be if he was covering 12 and 10 from the bench!

He's just not the same level of quality as the other centres and he's never looked like he'll be a good international player!

Don't get me wrong, He's better than Andy Henderson or Graeme Morrison ever were but he's not the same level as the other guys.
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Post by bsando Thu 10 Mar 2016, 12:55 pm

Ahem..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7ElPpguPZY

I rate Peter Horne, he is always surprising me with his ability which is testament to the competition at centre for Glasgow and Scotland. I understand why he may not be as valued as Dunbar, Bennett, Scott and now Taylor, especially in defence, but his trump card is he can cover 10, he is always cutting nice lines and he is agile. Damn sight better than De Luca, Morrison etc of few years ago.

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Post by EST Thu 10 Mar 2016, 1:07 pm

bsando wrote:Ahem..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7ElPpguPZY

I rate Peter Horne, he is always surprising me with his ability which is testament to the competition at centre for Glasgow and Scotland. I understand why he may not be as valued as Dunbar, Bennett, Scott and now Taylor, especially in defence, but his trump card is he can cover 10, he is always cutting nice lines and he is agile. Damn sight better than De Luca, Morrison etc of few years ago.

At work, so can't access the vid unfortunately. Don't get me wrong, I like Pete Horne. He is tenacious in defence, creative with ball in hand, runs great supporting lines, and at Pro 12 level he is quality. Scotland are lucky to have him, but for me if he is in there to cover 10/12, I don't think he is as good a 10 as Jackson is right now. If we go down a centre, both Dunbar and Taylor can cover 12, leaving Bennett to move out to 13.

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Post by tigertattie Thu 10 Mar 2016, 1:58 pm

there's also the video of him kicking the ball out on the full costing us a game!

Every player has good times and bad. Even Dan Parks had his good times!
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Post by whocares Thu 10 Mar 2016, 4:44 pm

tigertattie wrote:there's also the video of him kicking the ball out on the full costing us a game!

Every player has good times and bad. Even Dan Parks had his good times!

Ligind!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NdvuYcvk5k

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Post by Prothero Thu 10 Mar 2016, 8:43 pm

The thing about Peter Horne is he has a real rugby brain, when he is playing at 12 who ever is playing outside him usually has a fantastic game imo, all three of Dunbar, Bennett and Vernons best games in a Glasgow shirt have been outside Horne when he got a run at 12.

Rugby is a team game and although he isnt pound for pound the best 12 or 13 available to us he might be the guy that helps the team produce the best result.

As the french would say to get the best mayonnaise the ingredients have to be in perfect balance.

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Post by 123456789 Thu 10 Mar 2016, 11:23 pm

For me, when fit, Dunbar and Bennett are almost the perfect centre combination. Not only are they the archetypal crash ball and pacey partnership they are both good footballers who can play in their own right. If Dunbar can get back to his best form I really do think he's in with a real chance of being the 12 for the Lions in New Zealand, Bennett is also quality. Fortunately for us we have 5 really really good centres who would at least compete for places in almost every European backline; Andy Henderson, Graeme Morrison and Marcus Di Rollo must be incredibly grateful that their parents didn't wait to have children.


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Post by George Carlin Fri 11 Mar 2016, 5:31 am

whocares wrote:
George Carlin wrote:WhoCares - I'd be very interested in your opinion of the current French pack now that stalwarts like Nicholas Mas are on their way out?


we got depth / length at loosehead ( ben arous, poirot and few others ), hooker is a bit more difficult with retirements of Swarsceski (and probably Kayzer as well) but we have young ones coming soon to help Guirado. TH is an issue: Slimani is our only decent scrummaging TH prop really and his form is going down at the moment. Behind it's quite a desert (Ducalcon is old and slow, Ric always injured and hasn't confirmed, aldegheri?) , not a big surprise given that most T14 clubs play foreigners In this position.
assuming we start with something like poirot-guirado-slimani-maestri-flanquart-lauret-chouly-camara then we have the lighter pack of the 6N but a quite mobile one which is what Noves wants. really lacks ball carriers (guirado is the only one that can makes yards in this lot) nand the sooner picamoles is back the better.
Excellent - thanks. OK
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Post by Majestic83 Fri 11 Mar 2016, 10:02 am

From reading the French press it looks like the wings will be Fofana and Vakatawa. If that is the case then yes both are very good in attack but defensively both could be an area for Scotland to target.
Fofana in the centre is very sound in defence but he hasn't played much on the wing and could be caught out of position. Also under the high ball he isn't the best when he has been tested before.
Exact same applies to Vakatawa, already in this 6 nations he has been caught out of position a few times and spilled a couple of high balls. When he is turned on defence and has to track back he seems slow to get into full flight.
Laidlaw, Russell and Hogg need to make sure they test them and test them with high balls and a few little dinks in behind them.

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