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Scotland Autumn series post mortem and 6N look ahead

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Post by RDW Mon 28 Nov 2016, 9:19 am

First topic message reminder :

Results


Scotland 22 Australia 23 Sad

Scotland 19 Argentina 16 Yahoo

Scotland 43 Georgia 16 Very Happy

I think the Scotsman summed up our Autumn Series pretty well:

Scotsman wrote:Two wins, one desperately narrow loss that could have ended differently, ten tries, two ranking places gained and all of the above completed with the absence of a host of players who have proved crucial for Scotland in the past, including the two best props in the country. All in, there was much to admire about Scotland’s autumn series

6N fixtures

Scotland V Ireland
France V Scotland

Scotland V Wales

England V Scotand
Scotland V Italy

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Post by RDW Mon 28 Nov 2016, 10:20 pm

robbo277 wrote:There are some similarities to last year, when Scotland made the quarters only spoiled by another narrow loss against Australia. They followed that up with a home loss to England and struggled to make an impact on the 2016 Six Nations.

I think the Ireland game will be a true test for Scotland. If they win, they can start thinking about competing at the sharp end of the competition for the first time in ages. If they lose their first game at home again, it will feel like "same old" after a good autumn series, and they'll struggle to recover in the tournament.

To be fair there were improvements last 6N - we comfortably beat France (our first time since 2006) and Italy in Rome. We really should have beaten Wales at the MS but shot ourselves in the foot with 15 minutes to go with some key errors - again we were just lacking the final few % to get us over the line, which was as much a mental thing as anything (lapses in concentration at key stages).

England game was bitterly disappointing and we lost to Ireland in a feisty game where our discipline let us down.

The 6N is bloody tough though and it would be a herculean effort for us to get one more win than last year - we've not had 3 wins in 10 years now!

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Post by EST Tue 29 Nov 2016, 8:28 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
robbo277 wrote:There are some similarities to last year, when Scotland made the quarters only spoiled by another narrow loss against Australia. They followed that up with a home loss to England and struggled to make an impact on the 2016 Six Nations.

I think the Ireland game will be a true test for Scotland. If they win, they can start thinking about competing at the sharp end of the competition for the first time in ages. If they lose their first game at home again, it will feel like "same old" after a good autumn series, and they'll struggle to recover in the tournament.

To be fair there were improvements last 6N - we comfortably beat France (our first time since 2006) and Italy in Rome. We really should have beaten Wales at the MS but shot ourselves in the foot with 15 minutes to go with some key errors - again we were just lacking the final few % to get us over the line, which was as much a mental thing as anything (lapses in concentration at key stages).

England game was bitterly disappointing and we lost to Ireland in a feisty game where our discipline let us down.

The 6N is bloody tough though and it would be a herculean effort for us to get one more win than last year - we've not had 3 wins in 10 years now!

If we break the three game barrier, this 6N will have been a huge success. As ever, that task only seems to be getting harder and harder.

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Post by George Carlin Tue 29 Nov 2016, 9:15 am

The simplicity of where we are now is encouraging to me:

- we have the best backline that we have had in 10 years;
- the gap between Scotland and France/Wales/Italy hasn't been so narrow for about the same length of time;
- we have a well established first XV that can compete with and beat anyone in the tournament;
- we are categorically unable to cope with injuries to our first choice XXIII, with a few very limited exceptions;
- we will get no respect whatsoever for good performances - the other home nations have heard it too many times before and the majority of those countries beat SANZAR nations this year;
- we need at least 3 wins for the claim that we are making progress to stand up to any scrutiny;
- we will need to beat at least Italy, France and Wales to stand any chance of more than 2 Scots making the plane to New Zealand.

Did I miss anything out?
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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 29 Nov 2016, 9:20 am

George Carlin wrote:The simplicity of where we are now is encouraging to me:

- we have the best backline that we have had in 10 years;
- the gap between Scotland and France/Wales/Italy hasn't been so narrow for about the same length of time;
- we have a well established first XV that can compete with and beat anyone in the tournament;
- we are categorically unable to cope with injuries to our first choice XXIII, with a few very limited exceptions;
- we will get no respect whatsoever for good performances - the other home nations have heard it too many times before and the majority of those countries beat SANZAR nations this year;
- we need at least 3 wins for the claim that we are making progress to stand up to any scrutiny;
- we will need to beat at least Italy, France and Wales to stand any chance of more than 2 Scots making the plane to New Zealand.

Did I miss anything out?

A picture of Finn Russell's bird?

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Post by IanBru Tue 29 Nov 2016, 9:45 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:
George Carlin wrote:The simplicity of where we are now is encouraging to me:

- we have the best backline that we have had in 10 years;
- the gap between Scotland and France/Wales/Italy hasn't been so narrow for about the same length of time;
- we have a well established first XV that can compete with and beat anyone in the tournament;
- we are categorically unable to cope with injuries to our first choice XXIII, with a few very limited exceptions;
- we will get no respect whatsoever for good performances - the other home nations have heard it too many times before and the majority of those countries beat SANZAR nations this year;
- we need at least 3 wins for the claim that we are making progress to stand up to any scrutiny;
- we will need to beat at least Italy, France and Wales to stand any chance of more than 2 Scots making the plane to New Zealand.

Did I miss anything out?

A picture of Finn Russell's bird?
I'm sure that's available at all good newsagents, FES, and at some of the not-so-good ones too...
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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 29 Nov 2016, 9:47 am

IanBru wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
George Carlin wrote:The simplicity of where we are now is encouraging to me:

- we have the best backline that we have had in 10 years;
- the gap between Scotland and France/Wales/Italy hasn't been so narrow for about the same length of time;
- we have a well established first XV that can compete with and beat anyone in the tournament;
- we are categorically unable to cope with injuries to our first choice XXIII, with a few very limited exceptions;
- we will get no respect whatsoever for good performances - the other home nations have heard it too many times before and the majority of those countries beat SANZAR nations this year;
- we need at least 3 wins for the claim that we are making progress to stand up to any scrutiny;
- we will need to beat at least Italy, France and Wales to stand any chance of more than 2 Scots making the plane to New Zealand.

Did I miss anything out?

A picture of Finn Russell's bird?
I'm sure that's available at all good newsagents, FES, and at some of the not-so-good ones too...

....and when I close my eyes...

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Post by tigertattie Tue 29 Nov 2016, 10:21 am

Whoa there children!

Some folk saying we're close to Ireland because they and us had good games against the convicts?

Afraid that's just pushing things a bit too far!

yes we have improved, but so have Ireland and England. And I'd say they have improved further than we have!

6Ns predictions!
Vs Ireland (home) tough fought game but we'll likely lose this
Vs England (away) I can see a 15+ win for them
Vs Wales (home) We should win but we have a bad habit of losing to Wales, even when they play poorly.
Vs France (Away) We could win this but its france, in France!
Italy (Home) the only game I'm confident of a win!

Realistically I can see us winning two games

We could win three

It is possible to win 4

Winning all 5 is near impossible!

Think it was ultimate rugby who had three scots in their team of the week! Jonny, Hoggy and Ryan Wilson! Seriously, they picked Ryan Wilson!!!

Lions options for us are:
Should go - Hogg and Jonny
Could go - Nel
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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 29 Nov 2016, 11:09 am

Agreed - we've got a tough start and I don't see us beating Ireland and England, but the other fixtures are very much within range provided our key core group of players stay fit (by which I mean WP Nel, Jonny Gray, Ritchie Gray, Greg Laidlaw, Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg).

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Post by tigertattie Tue 29 Nov 2016, 1:16 pm

We're now the only home nation to have never beaten New Zealand!
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Post by GLove39 Tue 29 Nov 2016, 1:21 pm

robbo277 wrote:There are some similarities to last year, when Scotland made the quarters only spoiled by another narrow loss against Australia. They followed that up with a home loss to England and struggled to make an impact on the 2016 Six Nations.

I think the Ireland game will be a true test for Scotland. If they win, they can start thinking about competing at the sharp end of the competition for the first time in ages. If they lose their first game at home again, it will feel like "same old" after a good autumn series, and they'll struggle to recover in the tournament.

Depressing but true that, especially when you consider we've only ever won once on the opening round of the 6 Nations (France 2006). Every other tournament to date has been over before it really begins.

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Post by SecretFly Tue 29 Nov 2016, 1:31 pm

tigertattie wrote:We're now the only home nation to have never beaten New Zealand!

Shocked

I thought we were the last one - thus the bloody overcooked publicity every time we met them? I was sure Scotland had won before. There you go. So why doesn't the fanfare seem the same when the Scots meet the ABs: "This could be the one!"? I don't recall so much of that media induced schidt for those Scottish encounters.

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Post by EST Tue 29 Nov 2016, 1:34 pm

GLove39 wrote:
robbo277 wrote:There are some similarities to last year, when Scotland made the quarters only spoiled by another narrow loss against Australia. They followed that up with a home loss to England and struggled to make an impact on the 2016 Six Nations.

I think the Ireland game will be a true test for Scotland. If they win, they can start thinking about competing at the sharp end of the competition for the first time in ages. If they lose their first game at home again, it will feel like "same old" after a good autumn series, and they'll struggle to recover in the tournament.

Depressing but true that, especially when you consider we've only ever won once on the opening round of the 6 Nations (France 2006). Every other tournament to date has been over before it really begins.

This may sound defeatist, but I would give us very long odds against Ireland. We don't have the brains trust they possess, in Murray and Sexton. I think we are pretty even elsewhere, we maybe have a more potent back three, while their backrow would get the edge, but their play makers are a couple notches above Greig and Finn.

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Post by SecretFly Tue 29 Nov 2016, 1:36 pm

EST wrote:
This may sound defeatist, but I would give us very long odds against Ireland.  We don't have the brains trust they possess, in Murray and Sexton.  I think we are pretty even elsewhere, we maybe have a more potent back three, while their backrow would get the edge, but their play makers are a couple notches above Greig and Finn.

Yes, let's verily talk about a swap..... so, we'll take Hogg....

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Post by EST Tue 29 Nov 2016, 1:39 pm

SecretFly wrote:
EST wrote:
This may sound defeatist, but I would give us very long odds against Ireland.  We don't have the brains trust they possess, in Murray and Sexton.  I think we are pretty even elsewhere, we maybe have a more potent back three, while their backrow would get the edge, but their play makers are a couple notches above Greig and Finn.

Yes, let's verily talk about a swap..... so, we'll take Hogg....

I'm not sure if you have heard, Fly - but there is a young Edinburgh ten tearing up trees...He is called Duncan Weir, you might not have heard of him but he's the boy you want...Hogg is just a flash in the pan anyway.

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Post by SecretFly Tue 29 Nov 2016, 1:42 pm

OK Sounds a good name anyway.... I'll keep an eye on that young chap sans neck .... Wink

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Post by bsando Tue 29 Nov 2016, 2:47 pm

So Huw Jones is staying in SA until his contract is up, I think that is great, it will be a more natural progression rather than hopping onto a plane hastily now and turning out for Edinburgh or Glasgow in a few weeks time one injury free. He is capped to Scotland, has a bright future ahead and there is no rush whatsoever.

For the 6N I am glad we have Italy last (do we ever get them first!?) because it means if we do well it's a great game to finish on when pressure is high and injuries have likely occurred. It doesn't get any easier unfortunately. England and Ireland both right up there with NZ and Aus. France looking much better than when we last played them. Wales still just a solid team who will always be hard to beat despite the fact they'll probably not be fav's for GS or 1st.

On current form I am going to put my neck out and say France, Wales, Italy we will win, England no way, Ireland possibly.

England GS
Ireland
Scotland
France
Wales
Italy

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Post by RDW Tue 29 Nov 2016, 2:52 pm

I don't really buy the whole 'wales are now crap' argument - they still beat Argentina and SA (albeit poor versions of them, as we discovered against Argentina) and have quality players with experience of winning in the 6N. Especially against us!

This wouldn't be the first time we've gone into the 6N with Wales supposedly on the rocks and lost to them.

Last 6N's defeat still annoys me though - we put in a fantastic performance and got in a winning position only to lose all concentration with 15 minutes to go and let the lead slip.  Laidlaw knocking on in our own 22 from a simple lineout pat down was my particular gripe as it led to them scoring a try.

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Post by munkian Tue 29 Nov 2016, 3:33 pm

Can't be worse than 2010 ? Wink laughing Run
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Post by RDW Tue 29 Nov 2016, 3:36 pm

munkian wrote:Can't be worse than 2010 ? Wink laughing Run

I can't believe you went there.

Tom Evans almost died, Mossy's kidney was torn in two on his 100th cap, and we agonizingly lost it late on having had to put a backrow on the wing and playing with 14 men.

Years of therapy wasted now you've brought that back up!!

Sad

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Post by munkian Tue 29 Nov 2016, 3:38 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
munkian wrote:Can't be worse than 2010 ? Wink laughing Run

I can't believe you went there.

Tom Evans almost died, Mossy's kidney was torn in two on his 100th cap, and we agonizingly lost it late on having had to put a backrow on the wing and playing with 14 men.

Years of therapy wasted now you've brought that back up!!  

Sad

If its any condolence I started drinking absinthe at the thought of losing then carried on with scrumpy when we eventually one. I was rather ill that night and the following day.
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Post by IanBru Tue 29 Nov 2016, 3:39 pm

Nothing in my entire experience of watching rugby is as painful as that 2010 loss.

You know the theory that your emotional state can have an impact on your immune system? I don't know how true that is, but I was sick for a solid month after that match. I remember watching it in a pub at uni, absolutely fuming, when my friend leaned over and whispered "It's alright Ian, it's only a game." to which I could only reply "WELL CLEARLY IT'S F*****G NOT, DAN!" It's ok, we're still speaking.
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Post by munkian Tue 29 Nov 2016, 3:45 pm

I only ever really enjoyed beating Scotland when you had Robinson in charge - it was always worth it to see his angry monkey's heed post game Very Happy

I also try and cheer on Scotland against most opposition but end up getting depressed.

On a side note, Im a firm believer in your mood echoing your physical health - when my depression kicks in I usually get ill and vice versa.
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Post by RDW Tue 29 Nov 2016, 3:55 pm

munkian wrote:I only ever really enjoyed beating Scotland when you had Robinson in charge - it was always worth it to see his angry monkey's heed post game Very Happy

I also try and cheer on Scotland against most opposition but end up getting depressed.

On a side note, Im a firm believer in your mood echoing your physical health - when my depression kicks in I usually get ill and vice versa.

Imagine how we feel given that's all we ever have as Scotland supporters - you lot have had regular success for years, a few Grand Slams and numerous players in Lions squads yet you are all still bitching and moaning that you didn't play overly well these AIs and only won 3 out of 4 games! mad

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Post by munkian Tue 29 Nov 2016, 4:07 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
munkian wrote:I only ever really enjoyed beating Scotland when you had Robinson in charge - it was always worth it to see his angry monkey's heed post game Very Happy

I also try and cheer on Scotland against most opposition but end up getting depressed.

On a side note, Im a firm believer in your mood echoing your physical health - when my depression kicks in I usually get ill and vice versa.

Imagine how we feel given that's all we ever have as Scotland supporters - you lot have had regular success for years, a few Grand Slams and numerous players in Lions squads yet you are all still bitching and moaning that you didn't play overly well these AIs and only won 3 out of 4 games! mad

Least you occasionally beat Aus Crying or Very sad
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Post by tigertattie Tue 29 Nov 2016, 4:28 pm

2010

Byrne-gate!

mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad
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Post by munkian Tue 29 Nov 2016, 5:16 pm

tigertattie wrote:2010

Byrne-gate!

mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad

Thats Lee Malleus Scotorum Byrne to you


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Post by R!skysports Tue 29 Nov 2016, 5:17 pm

tigertattie wrote:2010

Byrne-gate!

mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad



Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. I had managed to block that piece of history out........... furious

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Post by R!skysports Tue 29 Nov 2016, 5:32 pm

tigertattie wrote:2010

Byrne-gate!

mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad

Did he ever recover from that gun shot wound?

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Post by Guest Tue 29 Nov 2016, 6:10 pm

Correction we finished that game with 13 players after godman was sent to the bin for a very dubious 'trip' on byrne and penalty was kicked to tie the game.

I was also in uni bar that day and i have to say, unfortunately, the welsh there were at first the whiniest most entitled lot of fans I've ever spent any time with. By the time the second half was over they turned into the least gracious winners ive ever seen. So my therapy is more to do with that - i just cant seem to meet welsh fans ever since that dont rub me up the wrong way, with the exception of one close friend who likes to go watch if halfpenny is playing (in her words "you go for the lads lads lads i go for the legs legs legs".)

I'm sure confirmation bias is basically all it is! But anyway, i dont think ill feel good about scotland v wales again until we just beat them. I dont care if its an 80 minte scrum followed by a hogg penalty on full time. I dont care if we scrape by 50-49 after 10 welsh are sent off in the first 10 minutes. I dont care how nice halfpennys legs are. Just win, FFS.

1 victory over welsh and getting smashed by every other side to me would be a successful 6 nations.

And breathe! Very Happy


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Post by Guest Tue 29 Nov 2016, 6:10 pm

In other news did anyone ever review that trip properly? Was it a legit trip or not??

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Post by cakeordeath Tue 29 Nov 2016, 6:11 pm

I am afraid I can't see us even being competitive against Ireland. They will just steam roller us in the similar manner Munster done to Glasgow

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Post by cakeordeath Tue 29 Nov 2016, 6:12 pm

Ineffable wrote:In other news did anyone ever review that trip properly? Was it a legit trip or not??

Did you look on TripAdvisor..... drumroll

I'll get my coat

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Post by RDW Tue 29 Nov 2016, 8:39 pm

cakeordeath wrote:
Ineffable wrote:In other news did anyone ever review that trip properly? Was it a legit trip or not??

Did you look on TripAdvisor..... drumroll

I'll get my coat

I'm actually tempted to give you a ban for that. picard

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Tue 29 Nov 2016, 9:03 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
cakeordeath wrote:
Ineffable wrote:In other news did anyone ever review that trip properly? Was it a legit trip or not??

Did you look on TripAdvisor..... drumroll

I'll get my coat

I'm actually tempted to give you a ban for that. picard

Who was it that said the power had gone to his head....? Run

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Post by RDW Tue 29 Nov 2016, 9:06 pm

TheMildlyFranticLlama wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:
cakeordeath wrote:
Ineffable wrote:In other news did anyone ever review that trip properly? Was it a legit trip or not??

Did you look on TripAdvisor..... drumroll

I'll get my coat

I'm actually tempted to give you a ban for that. picard

Who was it that said the power had gone to his head....? Run

Damn straight. The rugby section is a full blown dictatorship!

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Post by Guest Wed 30 Nov 2016, 8:11 am

Well it got a laugh out loud from me!

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Post by RDW Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:26 am

So with the Lions coaching setup being announced soon - early next week I think - what are the chances of Townsend being named attack coach as rumored?

It would add even more farce to our coaching situation as it would mean we would be coachless for the summer tour to Australia - Cotter will be back in France by then.

I don't know what that would mean for Townsend at Glasgow too if (somehow) Glasgow made it to the Pro 12 final - the squad meets up pretty much the day after the final so he would be going into Lions training with no prior buildup. Either that or he wouldn't be available for Glasgow!

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:39 am

Rab C as caretaker coach... he knows australia well! picard
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Post by tigertattie Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:45 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Rab C as caretaker coach... he knows australia well! picard

I'd rather have Lee Byrne as caretaker coach!
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Post by IanBru Wed 30 Nov 2016, 10:53 am

tigertattie wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Rab C as caretaker coach... he knows australia well! picard

I'd rather have Lee Byrne as caretaker coach!
I laugh but... seconded.
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Post by RDW Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:15 am


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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:27 am

Well it's a good job we have produced a backline with the ability to cut defenses apart just in time for this change.

This incentive will hopefully encourage the attacking rugby that the 6N often sorely needs.
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Post by EWT Spoons Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:35 am

I'm sure there was some analysis done, that highlighted that if this change came into effect from the start of the 6 nations, we wouldn't have finished bottom of the 6 nations at any point, purely because we tend to keep games tight and would have got a host of losing bonus points.

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Post by Guest Wed 30 Nov 2016, 12:00 pm

I may go and do that analysis and re-write history...

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Post by EWT Spoons Wed 30 Nov 2016, 12:02 pm

I'm sure someone did it here previously, but I can't/don't know how, to find it

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Post by R!skysports Wed 30 Nov 2016, 12:08 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:I'm sure someone did it here previously, but I can't/don't know how, to find it

No point looking, we can just assume that it has been  done, and it put us to the top of the pile

We can now claim a Moral Bonus Point victory

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Post by GLove39 Wed 30 Nov 2016, 3:43 pm

Been looking back at our stats.

Played 85
Won 20
Drawn 2
Lost 63
- 20 of those loses by 7 or less

Scored 4 or more (never more) tries - 3 times.

As for whether it would've saved us from any spoons, hard to say. The whitewashes of 2012 & 2015 would've still have been spoon years for sure deposits lbps. Not sure about earlier years.

Also bonus points can Frak off.

I mean it's already an unfair tournament.
Of our 16 opening matches we've played
France 7 times
England 5 times
Ireland 3 times
Wales twice
Italy once (way back in 2000)

By contrast Ireland have opened against Italy 7 times!!!!
Imagine the difference starting the tournament with a win would make for confidence & momentum.

Also to make things weirder for the first 5 years Italy played each of the other teams one after another. Then suddenly that perfectly fair system changed and Ireland got them all the time.

So in summary, sod bonus points & let us play Italy first for a change.

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Post by SecretFly Wed 30 Nov 2016, 4:09 pm

GLove39 wrote:

By contrast Ireland have opened against Italy 7 times!!!!
Imagine the difference starting the tournament with a win would make for confidence & momentum.


Imagine the difference that makes for all sides.  That's the weirdness of the 6N.  

Let's look at the idea of Ireland opening against Italy 7 times.  Now of course you could say that's a great old start for Ireland.  But why is it a great old start?  Oh because Italy are always habitually one of the weakest sides and therefore winning against them is almost a foregone conclusion.  So in brief, nice easy starter for Ireland.  Advantage declared.

Right.  So firstly, the deal is that Ireland have an easy game because they'd probably have the fire power to beat the Italians anyway - whenever they met them - beginning, middle or end.
You can only have an easy starter game if you're expected to have the ability to beat the side you are facing in the first place.

So why is that starter game set down as an advantage? Well, that's the second bit of the equation.  Ireland are fresher and get a real mood booster in getting a first win under their belt - and that first win IS an important mental booster.

But: Does that not mean that poor Italy are also at their freshest and most enthusiastic?  They haven't lost any games so they are pumped up and ready to fight to the death to attempt to get that 'first game mental booster'.  They are fitter at the beginning than they'll expect to be after being pummelled by the big boys for a few weeks.  They're probably at their most dangerous and, in order to beat them, Ireland will have to do a ton of softening up physical work on them.

So Ireland facing Italy in a first game is considered a virtual guaranteed win anyway in general terms (not much advantage there) but they also have to fight Italy when they'd have their tails up highest + they then help soften up Italy for other sides coming....which will include Scotland, thankful for getting a less enthusiastic Italy with a few absentees, injuries or niggles Wink

Be careful what you wish for.

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Post by tigertattie Wed 30 Nov 2016, 4:18 pm

It's a tough one!

We've beaten France in the opening game before as we've caught them cold! Playing them in the middle could have been a disadvantage!

Also with Italy there's two trains of thought here! Get them first and you get them at full strength. Play them in say the 4th game and you could be playing aginst a side thats depleted with injuries and as they don;t have the same depth as other nations, are more likely to give up the cricket score this week.  You could then get them last and now you're facing an Italian team that is desperate to prevent a whitewash and they throw everything at you, they might not win, but they might make racking up a cricket score very, very hard!

horses for courses!
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Post by RDW Thu 01 Dec 2016, 3:57 pm

SRU has just announced that Townsend has turned down the chance to coach the Lions in order to concentrate on Scotland.

Wow!

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