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Scotland post mortem

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 1:49 pm

First topic message reminder :

So we're oot.

Question is... what now?

Do we think toonie will stay? If he does take the can which seems quite likely then who do we get to replace him?

I think this has to be the end of a few players too. We can't keep picking people on past form.
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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 11:36 am

miaow wrote:6-7 from 11 is respectable? So losing no more than 4-5 games?

When you're playing...

- England
- Ireland
- Wales
- New Zealand
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Africa
- Argentina

I'd call it more than respectable if Scotland manage to beat Wales, Ireland, and/or England...!!!


Have to agree, the only should wins are Japan and Argentina at home an Italy away. All 3 have the potential to go the other way. 
Every other is a could win, but taking half those to be "respectable"? I think any of the 6 nations wouldn't be over deflated in "only" taking 4 of those (ignoring that they'd have to play themselves)

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Post by LordDowlais on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 11:37 am

alive555 wrote:
miaow wrote:6-7 from 11 is respectable? So losing no more than 4-5 games?

When you're playing...

- England
- Ireland
- Wales
- New Zealand
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Africa
- Argentina

I'd call it more than respectable if Scotland manage to beat Wales, Ireland, and/or England...!!!

2020 Guinness Six Nations
Saturday 1 February: Ireland v Scotland; Aviva Stadium (kick-off 4.45pm GMT)
Saturday 8 February: Scotland v England; BT Murrayfield Stadium (kick-off 4.45pm GMT)
Saturday 22 February: Italy v Scotland; Stadio Olimpico (kick-off 2.15pm GMT)
Sunday 8 March: Scotland v France; BT Murrayfield Stadium (kick-off 3pm GMT)
Saturday 14 March: Wales v Scotland; Principality Stadium (kick-off 2.15pm GMT)

of these we need min 3 wins or townsend should go before the summer internationals!!!


What 3 fixtures do you see as achievable wins?

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 11:52 am

The middle three. It's obvious. All winnable.

Put everything into that England game.... full prep and effort. Win that and the tide easily takes them through the other two encounters.

Then.... cling on for the final game to come 2nd Wink

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Post by Guest on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 11:53 am

alive555 wrote:
miaow wrote:6-7 from 11 is respectable? So losing no more than 4-5 games?

When you're playing...

- England
- Ireland
- Wales
- New Zealand
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Africa
- Argentina

I'd call it more than respectable if Scotland manage to beat Wales, Ireland, and/or England...!!!

2020 Guinness Six Nations
Saturday 1 February: Ireland v Scotland; Aviva Stadium (kick-off 4.45pm GMT)
Saturday 8 February: Scotland v England; BT Murrayfield Stadium (kick-off 4.45pm GMT)
Saturday 22 February: Italy v Scotland; Stadio Olimpico (kick-off 2.15pm GMT)
Sunday 8 March: Scotland v France; BT Murrayfield Stadium (kick-off 3pm GMT)
Saturday 14 March: Wales v Scotland; Principality Stadium (kick-off 2.15pm GMT)

of these we need min 3 wins or townsend should go before the summer internationals!!!

Admire the ambition, but 'need' to beat one of England, Wales, and Ireland...in a tournament where you're hoping to beat the French aswell? Scotland 'need' to win 1 game - against the Italians - as they're better than them. Everthing else is fighting at a weight disadvantage. 2 wins in the 6 Nations would be positive, if not exceptional.

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Post by RDW on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 12:00 pm

There's a very remote chance we'll win 3 games in the 6N. It is unlikely we'll win 2 but achievable. Winning one would be disappointing but would represent the most likely case given where we are in the rankings.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 12:00 pm

I guess they are all winnable (as is the national lottery), but considerably less than 20% likely in some cases making 3 wins improbable. Scotlands record against England recently shows they can beat anyone on their day etc. and they took 3 wins in 2017 and 2018. But if they were looking to sack Townsend for not achieving a strong 6 nations showing they would've surely ditched him straight after the world cup flump, which tbh Im surprised they didnt.

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Post by Guest on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 12:10 pm

Also - don't forget how dog awful Scotland were around 8 years or so ago. There were green shoots that are now coming through. The national team is much, much better than they were. Yep, I think they've got the wrong coach, and things are probably not running as good as they could be, but many good things have been put in place and have produced some excellent performances and wins and a far better RWC showing than 2011 or even 2007 in 2015. This year was a write off but there are mitigating circumstances for that - had it been a simple winner takes all game v Japan, on their home turf, I still believe Scotland would have won. The occasion and everything else - including lack of experience of winning games, and what it takes to under pressure - ultimately contributed to knocking them out in the groups. But as I said, I don't think they have the right coach, and that means they don't have the right team either.

But things take time. You can't expect to go from uncompetitive to winning 3 games in the 6Ns as 'expected'. Slow burn, steel focus. Not just a dead cat bounce from a bad RWC. I do believe Scotland have just lost out on Townsend's potential successor leaving to coach Australia, but even so, with a good quality test coach at the helm, this team could be winning 3 games as the norm in 2-3 years time.

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Post by Guest on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 12:12 pm

Basically, you need Townsend to be better, to get better support coaching, and everyone to truly buy in to it...or you need a new coach.

You definitely need a proper captain. Not necessarily a 'type' or your stereotype, but someone who is an actual leader among the loose forwards and/or locks who will be the heartbeat around which you build the flair game - not Laidlaw with Finn f'king Russell as vice captain.

And you need some gnarlier forwards - which probably means getting the current set to gnarl themselves up a bit more!

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 12:24 pm

Just as I played around a bit up there, I found myself thinking more seriously (not that saying Scotland could win three games on the trot is meant to be taken in jest!)

But seriously, I found myself pausing and thinking that Townsend will have learned a lot from the WC.... particularly the losing games against Ireland and Japan.  Different versions of losing, different methods.  I think the daggers being out for him will temper his usual stubbornness and coax him to be more prudent and savvy around the field.  

Nope.  There is a real feeling now that Townsend might finally have learned his lesson about when to play 7s and when not to.  Does he have a shore-up, defensive tempo-damping set of players at his disposal? Because that's the lesson.  Every team needs pace and accuracy in attack - yes - but it also need a tempo dampening game that works when hit by a side with more pace and accuracy.

Townsend went to the WC to prove he was right when many doubted the wisdom of his single minded fixation on dash, cut and speed.
He now knows that he was proven wrong.  A coach that finally can see the light can be a dangerous man

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Post by Guest on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 12:35 pm

I agree with that Fly, but everything about his post-match demeanour after Ireland and then Japan suggested a man utterly befuddled at what, why, and how they'd just been battered and then dumped out of the RWC. I do believe he believes he can 'trick' his way in to wins in test rugby, that his side doesn't have to do the grubby, physical, attritional, meat and potatoes stuff. His disdain at hte question about the 'right to go wide' suggests that. Yes, maybe he's just annoyed some journo is talking tactics as if he knows what Towsend knows. But maybe it also reveals the fundamental weakness to him - he cannot and will not learn that consistent success cannot be built on 7s style rugby.

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Post by bsando on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 12:51 pm

Italy away, Argentina and Japan at home are must wins. They're all good sides so losing against any is not considered a disgrace, just a big disappointment considering how we were progressing up until this year.

France at home is also one we should hope to win with a decent home record against them but they have improved a lot.

England at home will be tough but 2018 was a strong win with home advantage and 2019 we matched them well away in that second half to draw a mad game.

Wales and Ireland away, we have to win one of these games, we can't keep losing to these two sides away from home. Tough tough games though.

SA x 2. Two close losses wouldn't be a disgrace and is what I predict.

NZ away and home. Once again two close losses would be what I'd expect.

So I would hope for at least 6 wins. If I had to predict I'd say, Arg, Jap, Ita, Wal, Fra and a win from one of SA, Eng or Ire.


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Post by RDW on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 12:53 pm

bsando wrote:Italy away, Argentina and Japan at home are must wins. They're all good sides so losing against any is not considered a disgrace, just a big disappointment considering how we were progressing up until this year.

France at home is also one we should hope to win with a decent home record against them but they have improved a lot.

England at home will be tough but 2018 was a strong win with home advantage and 2019 we matched them well away in that second half to draw a mad game.

Wales and Ireland away, we have to win one of these games, we can't keep losing to these two sides away from home. Tough tough games though.

SA x 2. Two close losses wouldn't be a disgrace and is what I predict.

NZ away and home. Once again two close losses would be what I'd expect.

So I would hope for at least 6 wins. If I had to predict I'd say, Arg, Jap, Ita, Wal, Fra and a win from one of SA, Eng or Ire.


If that happened it would probably represents one of our best years in the professional era. That's the size of the challenge ahead of us this year.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 2:39 pm

Yes, let's not get ahead of ourselves in terms of expectations. We've just had a World Cup where we failed to compete against any decent sides, and we don't have an established centre pairing.

Next 6 Nations is brutal, and I think we'll do well to beat Italy (away) and France (home). In all the other games we'll have to beat a better and more established team.

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 2:54 pm

Why do we go years without playing NZ to now suddenly playing them twice in one year?
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 3:30 pm

tigertattie wrote:Why do we go years without playing NZ to now suddenly playing them twice in one year?

After losing to England they need some confidence boosting wins....

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Post by LordDowlais on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 3:33 pm

Playing Wales away, with a new coach, who is not Warren Gatland, who seemed to have the makings of Scotland, might be your best chance of a win in Cardiff since 2002.

It's been 17 years of us sending you homewards tae think again' . Wink Whistle

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 5:07 pm

My concern with the Taffs next year is that Pivac builds some attacking flair on top of the Gatland foundations, much like Toonie did with Cotter's team before he dismantled it. I don't fancy us in Cardiff.

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Post by bsando on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 5:13 pm

2017 was definitely the best year for Scotland so far this century with wins over Wales, Ireland, Italy x2, Australia x2 and Samoa. 7/11

2018 we also did well with France, England, Italy, Canada, Argentina x2, Fiji. 7/11 again

Which is why I think 6 from 11 is definitely a reasonable target considering Scotland's squad has improved since 2017.


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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 6:08 pm

6 from 11 is reasonable for sure. I'd argue the bulk if those should be from the 6Ns. If Toonie is a good coach, and that for me is a big 'if' right now, then we should be looking at last year as an anomaly. More likely than not the wheels have come off the Toonie tram, it's gone below 60 and keanu reeves is gearing up to jump off before it explodes.

Look at gatland, he was very consistent with wales. Their blips were when he wasn't coaching.
Even if you consider Schmidt's record with Ireland. Up until his last year the results were pretty consistent before all the old boys let the side down. Eddie Jones and England, rassie and SA etc. All consistent in their results in tournaments and tier 1 opposition.

Toonies been in too long for it to be blamed on anything else I'd say. His selection and tactics have been dire. His idea of a conservative gameplan is kick it to them and hope they make mistakes and leave gaping holes. Fine if you're playing samoa or russia, or even italy but any other team will just crush you. We don't have the players for a power game but we could achieve quick ball through extensive possession and quick rucking. The problem is our ball handling errors seem to also have exponentially increased under toonie and were also prevalent when he coached our backs 8 years ago (I know our backs were pants anyway but most of them could catch).

In my mind he's not the right coach for sure, as I've said before he'll be gone by the end of 2020. Hopefully as soon as the 6Ns.
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Post by SecretFly on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 8:58 pm

tigertattie wrote:Why do we go years without playing NZ to now suddenly playing them twice in one year?

World Rugby spite?

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Post by 123456789. on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 1:47 pm

This tough season may be more important than we think. The World Cup draw for 2019 was made in May 2017. If we assume the World Cup draw will be made at the same time for this cycle that effectively means we play:

Ireland
Scotland
Italy
France
Wales
South Africa
South Africa
New Zealand
Argentina
Japan
New Zealand
England
Wales
France
Ireland
Italy

We are currently ninth in the rankings and we need to get into the top eight for a chance of avoiding a group of death scenario. Of our next sixteen games we have three games against opposition below us in the rankings, one of which is away from home.

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 2:09 pm

In a way it’s good that we have games against the big fellas.

You don’t lose many points when beaten by a team higher up the rankings, nor do you gain many by beating someone below you.

If we get a couple of wins against England or SA it will give us a good points haul to hopefully break back into the top 8. If they all beat us, its not that big a deal

Conversely, if we lose to Japan and or Argentina then we are in soapy bubbles.
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Post by Guest on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 2:19 pm

Beat Japan and they'll struggle to get back up in to the top 8 as they will get beaten by those above them, and pick up minimal points from those below. Lose to Japan and it makes it interesting.

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Post by Taylorman on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 8:01 pm

Japan are going to get much stronger, they’re now taking the bulk of the imports and have a fully fledged standalone pro league that probably on the Currie cup can match, and even then not for the $. The World Cup will open doors previously they had to stay outside of.

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Post by RDW on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 8:15 pm

Good try Kinghorn - great pace

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 25 Nov 2019, 10:03 am

Taylorman wrote:Japan are going to get much stronger, they’re now taking the bulk of the imports and have a fully fledged standalone pro league that probably on the Currie cup can match, and even then not for the $. The World Cup will open doors previously they had to stay outside of.

All depends on if Japan embrace rugby on a long term basis or if t will be another flash in the pan fashion fad that Japanese modern culture seems to follow.

Look at the football team. They got up to 14th in the world with their surge to get a good team for when the football world cup came to them. In the last few years they've dropped back to floating around in the 50s

Thats comparable to going up to around 4th then dropping back to the high teens in Rugby.

Japan really are masters of thier own destiny here. They can look to solidify being a top 10 team or they will fade off again. I'm yet to be convinced that the Japanese Union has the structure and long term finances to stake a prolonged campaign in the rugby world.
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Post by bsando on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 9:48 am

I have had the morning off and not much to do so I've revisited the last 20 mins of the Wales defeat at Murrayfield!  Shocked My reason for doing so was because it was one result from 2019 that really bugged me for how we somehow didn't win. I remember how much pressure Scotland were applying to Wales in that second half so I wanted to analyse just how Scotland only managed that one (superb) Graham try. Best read with a few minutes to spare fyi.

Here we go: 60 minute mark

Straight after Grahams try, Russell dinks through a superb grubber and Mcguigan has a perfect opportunity to chase his kick, collect it and run clear under the posts. However, he doesn't commit to the ball and trys to kick it awkwardly when he should have been looking to grab it with his hands. Poor decision by him despite the pressure from the Wales FB. https://youtu.be/FDI89MWqdMI?t=4481 (for the replay).

Scotland's pack chase and win a penalty from Wales holding on. At 61 minutes Scotland opt for the corner despite a kickable penalty chance to make it 14-15. The lineout is good but a poor maul and what looked like a knock on but was deemed not to be by the ref leaves Scotland with zilch after Russell boots it over the dead ball line.

Shortly, at 64 mins, P Horne nearly gives away a cheap score for Wales with a rubbish no look pass. https://youtu.be/FDI89MWqdMI?t=4731

At 66 minutes P Horne once agin ruins momentum by going himself instead of feeding the backline after a Watson break https://youtu.be/FDI89MWqdMI?t=4982

At 68 minutes Russell misses a split second chance to offload to Grigg who, had he beaten JD2 to the ball, would have been in for a try https://youtu.be/FDI89MWqdMI?t=5074

Back for penalty advantage, once again to the corner rejecting another kickable chance at goal. The score could now be 17 - 15 in Scotland's favour had Scotland opted for kicks and managed to kick them.

Wales are penalised for the first Scottish driving maul from the penalty lineout. Scotland kick to corner again. Wales obliterate second Scottish maul but Scotland keep possession. They try the short stuff and go no where and it alternates between backs and forwards, no ground made, in fact they go backwards. it is now the 73 minute mark and Wales defence is very organised and they manage to turn it over. https://youtu.be/FDI89MWqdMI?t=5467

That took 4-5 minutes of time off the clock. Kicking for goal is now not an option as only 7-6 minutes remain.

Luckily for Scotland, Wales box kick from the turnover goes out of touch on the full and Scotland get a lineout close to the Wales 22. After a poor lineout, collected by a scrambling Laidlaw, Scotland set a good platform for a move. At 76 minutes P Horne once again goes himself and ruins a good opportunity. If you pause the video as Horne receives the ball you'll see he isn't even looking at his options out wide. He's too worried about the Wales defence. Had he looked, he had not one but three Scottish players to choose from and only one Welsh defender out wide. https://youtu.be/FDI89MWqdMI?t=5620

Continue watching and next phase Russell gives up and dinks a grubber through to chase. Price chases it but decides to tackle Anscombe illegally rather than compete for the ball. Wales penalty.

At 76 minutes Scotland's day is done. From then on it's all Wales and they eventually get a penalty and surprise surprise, they kick for goal and deservedly win 11 - 18.

Takeaways:

First and foremost, why Scotland didn't go for goal at 60 mins was a poor, poor decision in my opinion and not taking the second opportunity to go for goal even stupider.

Peter Horne was not good enough at inside centre. Despite a ferocious Welsh defence he hindered the Scottish attack at times, lacking spacial awareness and he almost gave away a cheap score. Then he was selected ahead of Hutchinson and Jones a few months later for the RWC. I like Horne, he is a hard working player and has done well during his time for Glasgow/Sco, but he can't be in that 2020 6N squad unless there are serious injury issues.

The weird mix of subs and second string players due to injury made it difficult for continuity. Graham was subbed off which I think was a bad decision as that left Price and Laidlaw both on the field. A weird scenario.

Thoughts?

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 11:54 am

If memory serves Graham was injured which is why price went trundling over to the wing.

In other news though, what youve done is highlight that scotland fail to take the chances that are given to them and one of the main culprits for this is Pete, I make others around me play better, Horne.

Hopefully some of the dead wood, Horne, Wilson, anyone playing 9 who isnt George, Strauss, Grigg, wont get another run out in the blue if it can be avoided.

The issue though is I think they still will. Our faster than everyone else, light speed approach would be suited to a backrow of Ritchie, Bradbury and Mish but we're still likely to see the slowness of Wilson ruining things.
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Post by Tramptastic on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 12:52 pm

How old is Wilson now? Surely he's the wrong side of 30?

Townsend clearly doesn't rate Grigg ahead of Harris so if we're going to have one bang average centre it won't be Grigg (thank almighty atheismo)

Our stock of 13s isn't bad - Hutchinson, Shug, Bennett, Harris
Our stock of 12s is a bit shorter- Johnson, Scott, Glass Taylor, George Taylor McDowall(?), Hutchinson (?)

Unfortunately, until McDowall and George Taylor prove themselves at european level or against the likes of Leinster and Munster a bit more, the cupboard at 12 is a bit bare so we might still have to put up with The Grand Enabler over the next couple of years.

Ideally, come the six nations, our 4 centres in the squad will be Scott, Johnson, Hutchinson and Bennett - all playing regularly AND on form

Expect Toonie to pick Horne, Glass Taylor, Harris and Grigg

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Post by BigGee on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 12:12 am

So it sounds like Taylor and Blair will be moving on from the Scotland coaching setup as well as Wilson, that basically means a complete clear out except for the main main holding the reins, Toonie.

Taylor looks like he is being lined up for Australia to join Rennie.

I expect that they will all be in place for the 6n though, a bit to late to make any changes at this stage.

No real pointers yet as to who might be coming in to replace them other than this guy from the Ospreys, Matt Sheratt. This has been hinted at in the press for a little while now and the Telegraph came out and confirmed it this evening. Not a big name, but seems well thought of in Wales.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 6:40 am

Doesnt seem to have much of a CV other than helping coach wales during their rubbish period when Gatland was away and assistant for a poor ospreys side. Not going to lie, struggling to get excited about that one, especially given the disappointment that was danny wilson not to mention jonathan humphreys. We seem to be a recepticle for second rate Welsh coaches. The thing that irritates me is we'd have been as well to hire an young scottish coach and probably still would have the same effect.

I think toonie just wants another yes man, so this guy is "attack" coach but ultimately it's 'fastest tram in the world' rugby.

I'll watch with interest who they decide to hire as a forwards coach and defence coach then.
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Post by Tramptastic on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 8:19 am

I'd be a fan if they could convince Cockerill to work the forwards for Scotland whilst still working as Edinburgh Head coach.

You absolutely know he'd challenge Townsend on selection issues!

He could also steal Hines from Vern Cotter at Montpellier or the SRU could throw all their money at Richie Gray (coach) as he's still one of the best breakdown coaches currently working.

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Post by RDW on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 8:36 am

Yeah teh Matt Sheratt chat is very underwhelming (I think he's Irish btw).

Blair back to Glasgow as head attack coach?

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Post by Tramptastic on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 8:49 am

Like of all the clubs in the world to steal some coaches from, the SRU and Townsend have looked to the Ospreys and declared "aye that situation is looking great, we'll steal their coaches"

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 9:14 am

Tramptastic wrote:I'd be a fan if they could convince Cockerill to work the forwards for Scotland whilst still working as Edinburgh Head coach.

You absolutely know he'd challenge Townsend on selection issues!

He could also steal Hines from Vern Cotter at Montpellier or the SRU could throw all their money at Richie Gray (coach) as he's still one of the best breakdown coaches currently working.

I don't think Toonie and Cockerill would work well together. Cockers, for all his qualities, is a conservative coach. Pyrgos takes 10 minutes for each box kick for a reason. Cockers likes his stats and plays by the numbers. He is a fine coach, and particularly good with forwards, but the two are opposites in terms of character.

Toonie has this organised chaos philosophy, and believes in an unstructured game with lighter and fitter players running the legs off the opposition. It's all he bangs on about. His big problem is that the he neglects basics: line outs, restarts and defensive patterns have all been consistently poor. To address these issues, he has started to muddle his thinking and his selections, picking inherently defensive players like Laidlaw and Harris which then prevents his core philosophy from thriving. This has combined with key players losing form or being injured, compounded by a lack of depth. He has also been too loyal to players like Pete Horne and Ryan Wilson. Wilson in particular is way off the requirements for an international player these days.

If the SRU are going to stick with Toonie, which seems the case, then he needs to find a coaching team that will sing off the same hymn sheet. Attacking "organised chaos" is the core philosophy, and selections must reflect that (G Horne for example), however with a focus on basics such as restarts and line outs, including sacking mauls, which are frankly philosophy agnostic.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 9:38 am

Sounds very similar to a previous coaching regime. Focus on basics with high fitness and counterattack... a certain stern looking chap springs to mind... As I remember he seemed to do it a lot better.
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Post by Tramptastic on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 9:45 am

I think our counterattack has suffered as well, not as a result of Townsend's tactics but because teams refuse to kick loose to us as they know Hogg et al will cause havoc

We can encourage loose kicking from the opposition by working better as a defensive unit and swamping the clearance kicks, which would up our chance of good counter attack

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Post by BigGee on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 9:56 am

One of the Scottish blogging sites saying that the Sherrat deal is by no means done and the Telegraph have now pulled their srticle on it.

Well at least we are good at intrigue, if not actually playing rugby!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 9:56 am

We're also not forcing errors. Our rucking is not aggressive enough in 80 percent of our games.
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Post by bsando on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 12:36 pm

I thought the organised chaos theory came from Cotter and Toonie took that over adding his own style. Good to raise it though because do Scotland need to be a team who does that anymore? Personally I think we need more structure to our team now as likes of Russell, Hogg, Bennett, Scott, Taylor, Maitland, Seymour are experienced players now. While they were young the chaos thing suited their energy and enthusiasm in attack. Now they’re all a bit more street smart perhaps some well planned attacking plays would be a better strategy?

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Post by RDW on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 12:41 pm

It was Toonie that said we would play the fastest brand of rugby in the world. All that appeared to mean was for the next few games we took lineouts quickly, then we stopped even doing that.

Yet to see what that phrase actually means!

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Post by bsando on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 1:06 pm

I loved the fasts lineouts against NZ in 2017, really don’t get why we stopped doing that. That game for me gave me so much encouragement regarding toonies appointment but looking back on this year everything seems slower and patchier.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 2:19 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:We're also not forcing errors. Our rucking is not aggressive enough in 80 percent of our games.

100%. Other than Ritchie, the honourable exception I would say, the pack has not made life difficult enough for the opposition on the floor. Can't blame Toonie for the Watson injury, or indeed the injury to Sam Skinner, who could have been influential, but across the whole team we still have a tendency to defend passively. I certainly agree that the counter attacking sharpness installed by Cotter appears to have been removed, and replaced with aimless and uncontested box kicks.

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 4:12 pm

If you want an example of passive defending then look no further than ickle Jonny.

He never smashes an opponent back on to their backside or back over the gainline. He just smothers them. Almost flops on top of them to tackle them.

Its like his ball carrying. He gets hit and goes right down. How someone of his size cant impose thier physicallity on someone else is beyond me. I can only put it down to he doesnt have the mental bloodlust to throw his weight about. He's a talented player but lacks the aggression of a Victor Matfield.

This seems to be the problem across our whole team. There is no nastyness to Scotland. Excpet where we want to annoy WR when games get canceled due to thypoons.

Everyone thought Vern was an utter bam for Rabbitgate, but actually, there was method behind the madness.
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 28 Nov 2019, 5:36 pm

Two of my favourite Scottish forwards for rucking were Scott Murray and Simon Taylor. The opposition knew about it when those guys hit the ruck, which shows that it isn't all about size and muscle mass. Sometimes you just have to "mean it".

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Post by NeilyBroon on Fri 29 Nov 2019, 6:47 am

Ah simon taylor, the original mr glass.

But yes agree, thats what made players like Jason White so good and Barclay at his peak Hamish Watson, Ritchie etc. The problem is we cant get by with just two turnover guys the whole pack needs to be invested.

I think our recent best was with VC and Richie Gray consulting. The difference is palpable between then and now.
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 29 Nov 2019, 11:03 am

Agreed. Another player who shone brightly during that period but then fell away was John Hardie. He was immense at the World Cup and brought some brutality to collisions and the breakdown. We have to stop wasting talent. We just cannot afford for players like Hardie and Jones to be one season wonders.

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Post by bsando on Fri 29 Nov 2019, 11:09 am

tigertattie wrote:If memory serves Graham was injured which is why price went trundling over to the wing.

In other news though, what youve done is highlight that scotland fail to take the chances that are given to them and one of the main culprits for this is Pete, I make others around me play better, Horne.

Hopefully some of the dead wood, Horne, Wilson, anyone playing 9 who isnt George, Strauss, Grigg, wont get another run out in the blue if it can be avoided.

The issue though is I think they still will. Our faster than everyone else, light speed approach would be suited to a backrow of Ritchie, Bradbury and Mish but we're still likely to see the slowness of Wilson ruining things.

I didn't even think about Horne before rewatching but he stood out as a hindrance to the backline to me in that last 20 minutes. Not playing badly just a bit average for international level really.

Interestingly, have a peak at these two clips. First one 2017 try against Ireland and second one from Wales game 2019. A good example of why the constant side to side stuff can send a team backwards rather than forwards.

Ireland 2017 https://youtu.be/hycFUlu9Uk8?t=8448

Wales 2019 https://youtu.be/FDI89MWqdMI?t=5622

In the Ireland game the Irish defence is up at a similar speed to the Welsh defence in the second clip and the Scottish backs are at a similar distance back from the defence in both clips. The key difference though is Laidlaw feeds Russell deep who then feeds Jones deep who can skip around the Irish rush defence. Two passes and starting from the middle of the pitch. Against Wales Laidlaw starts at the right side of the pitch, feeds Gilchrsit who pops it out to Russell. By this point, the Welsh defence is up and closing down any space out wide. Russell passes to Horne and he has about a split second to decide if he wants to go wide. He doesn't because it is a risk and he doesn't even look actually. So perhaps Scotland need to be playing deeper to get that extra width and time to avoid the rush defence if they want to play east to west rugby?

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Post by RDW on Fri 29 Nov 2019, 11:12 am

bsando wrote:
tigertattie wrote:If memory serves Graham was injured which is why price went trundling over to the wing.

In other news though, what youve done is highlight that scotland fail to take the chances that are given to them and one of the main culprits for this is Pete, I make others around me play better, Horne.

Hopefully some of the dead wood, Horne, Wilson, anyone playing 9 who isnt George, Strauss, Grigg, wont get another run out in the blue if it can be avoided.

The issue though is I think they still will. Our faster than everyone else, light speed approach would be suited to a backrow of Ritchie, Bradbury and Mish but we're still likely to see the slowness of Wilson ruining things.

I didn't even think about Horne before rewatching but he stood out as a hindrance to the backline to me in that last 20 minutes. Not playing badly just a bit average for international level really.

Interestingly, have a peak at these two clips. First one 2017 try against Ireland and second one from Wales game 2019. A good example of why the constant side to side stuff can send a team backwards rather than forwards.

Ireland 2017 https://youtu.be/hycFUlu9Uk8?t=8448

Wales 2019 https://youtu.be/FDI89MWqdMI?t=5622

In the Ireland game the Irish defence is up at a similar speed to the Welsh defence in the second clip and the Scottish backs are at a similar distance back from the defence in both clips. The key difference though is Laidlaw feeds Russell deep who then feeds Jones deep who can skip around the Irish rush defence. Two passes and starting from the middle of the pitch. Against Wales Laidlaw starts at the right side of the pitch, feeds Gilchrsit who pops it out to Russell. By this point, the Welsh defence is up and closing down any space out wide. Russell passes to Horne and he has about a split second to decide if he wants to go wide. He doesn't because it is a risk and he doesn't even look actually. So perhaps Scotland need to be playing deeper to get that extra width and time to avoid the rush defence if they want to play east to west rugby?

I miss the slimline version of Hogg. Could do with that coming back! He's lost his extra bit of acceleration which allowed him to make these big breaks. Can't remember the last time I saw him make a clean break for Scotland.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 29 Nov 2019, 12:20 pm

Agreed. Hogg could use some "conditioning". He makes Jack Nowell look svelte.

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