Scotland 6 Nations Thread

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Post by Highland Shaun on Sun 01 Dec 2019, 11:26 pm

With the 6N fast approaching, I thought I'd be the first to start a thread for it, my team being Scotland because its my nationality lol.

First of all, we know that Danny Wilson won't be coaching as he's off to coach Glasgow plus there are rumours of Matt Taylor the assistant going with Rennie to Australia so that leaves a couple of vacancies available, hopefully after the 6N, the main head coach one will be available too, which I would suspect Richard Cockerill would be the outright fav for, but that's a topic for after the 6N.

So, who would you like to see be in our 6N squad, are there any new caps that are likely, are there any players possibly getting recalls or would we likely see any younger players get a shot.

This is the place to discuss so go ahead 😉.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 9:04 am

I think the same coaching staff will be in place for this 6N, they are all under contract and won't move until after the tournament.

Danny Wilson is definitely off, but won't start transitioning into Glasgow till after the tournament ends. The question might then be, if Glasgow are still playing sh1t, does he take over completely before the end of the season.

Apart from anything else, they won't be able to find any suitable replacements, for Scotland, at such short notice.

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Post by RDW on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 9:10 am

Biggest concerns going into the 6N:

- Toonie's tactics
- Loosehead
- Back row balance
- Centre combo

LH is a huge worry - Dell isn't getting picked for LI just now and both Edinburgh and Glasgow's starting LHs aren't even Scottish. It's a long 6N if you don't have a decent scrum so hopefully someone puts their hand up over the next few weeks...

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 9:34 am

Whats become of thornton? Wasnt he the promising loosehead of the golden u20 generation? Has he had time for glasgow since moving?
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Post by BigGee on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 9:39 am

NeilyBroon wrote:Whats become of thornton? Wasnt he the promising loosehead of the golden u20 generation? Has he had time for glasgow since moving?

One appearance off the bench!

I think with Seuili arriving, he may have to bid his time. Keeble will almost certainly move up and into the Scotland squad next season, which may open up some more space for him, maybe he will get a few more runs during the 6N this year as well.

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Post by bsando on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 10:08 am

According to wiki he scored a try in one appearance for Boroughmuir Bears this season in the Super 6

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Post by RDW on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 10:12 am

I'm sure he'll be grand to start against Ireland then!

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Post by bsando on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 10:14 am

RDW wrote:I'm sure he'll be grand to start against Ireland then!
Laugh

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 10:30 am

Has he saved a man from a burning building? Is he fuelled on Katsu and Irn Bru? If the answer to either is "no" he's not our man.
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Post by tigertattie on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 12:08 pm

Are we dark horses yet?

Backrow is easy to pick for me.

Ritchie
Bradbury
Watson

With Blade on the bench covering 8 with Bradbury sliding to 6 if needed or Ritchie sliding to 7 if needed.

Watson and Ritchie are simply our two best players on current showings so need to both start. I also dont see any balance issues with that 3some.

Toonies selection and tactics on the other hand fill me with dread.

We're short of Looseheads and again this is where the project player route is comingback to haunt the SRU. Buying in SA beef to take club places over Scottish players is now biting us in the Biltong. Marfo had a great time in the Scotland jersey when called on but hes faded into obscurity back in the club game. Sutherland was the next great thing at loosehead but hes fallen away because Edinburgh have a player deemed better in that starting berth who jsut inst SQ (yet anyway)
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Post by Tramptastic on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 12:20 pm

I suppose our looseheads are Dell, Bhatti and Allan with Allan probably getting the most game time out of those three?

Good interview with Dunbar here talking about Rennie's inability to give players a run of games (he doesn't frame it quite as confrontational but that's the gist of it) https://www.rugbypass.com/news/non-selection-thing-was-the-hardest-he-just-said-youre-in-a-competitive-position

If Dunbar is playing regularly and playing quite well you'd hope that Townsend hasn't forgotten about him. I'm a big fan of his and he's defo a point of difference to the rest of Scotlands centre options and provides some reassurance in midfield in defence.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 12:58 pm

I'd be surprised if Dunbar comes back into the squad. He is not going to make the next WC squad and I think we need to move on now and concentrate on younger players.

I hope he has a good run in France and carries on playing for a few more years yet without the pressure of the international games, his body may well stand up a lot better if that is the case. I think he has taken a battering over the years and needs to manage himself a bit better from here on in.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 1:00 pm

RDW wrote:Biggest concerns going into the 6N:

- Toonie's tactics
- Loosehead.

Is that Townsend's loose head? Does that explain the tactics?

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 4:25 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
RDW wrote:Biggest concerns going into the 6N:

- Toonie's tactics
- Loosehead.

Is that Townsend's loose head? Does that explain the tactics?

is it another way of saying "headless"?
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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 8:34 pm

Well headless chickens run around pretty fast...
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Post by tigertattie on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 9:22 am

NeilyBroon wrote:Well headless chickens run around pretty fast...

Such are the joys of a primative brain (the chickens I mean, not Toonie)

It would look rather odd and rather gruesome to see Pete Horne running around Murrayfield decapitated.
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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 9:56 am

NeilyBroon wrote:Well headless chickens run around pretty fast...

We're aiming to be the fastest headless chickens in world rugby.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 12:33 pm

We're certainly very quick at giving up posession, then seem baffled when we get battered!
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Post by BigGee on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 12:56 pm

Another player who is doing very well currently and no-one seems to be talking about is CDP down in Worcester. They are flying high in the premiership at the moment and he seems to be leading the tackle count week on week.

He was an absolute star when he first came to Edinburgh and before injury diminished him, if he is back to anything like his true form, then surely he will get back into the equation.

I forget how old he is now, has he got another WC cycle in him?


To answer my own question, he is 28 so certainly could play on for a good few more years.

He and Duncy are doing very well down there and you do wonder if either of them will get a look in when the next squad gets announced.

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 1:29 pm

A pre-injury CDP would certainly bring some of the horrible barstewardness that we're looking for in the Scotland side. Haven't seen too much of him personally but if he's getting near that level again he should be involved. Like Ryan Wilson but with rugby playing ability.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 1:43 pm

Haining for me leads the outsiders at 8 currently. CdP would be welcome on good form but cant help feeling its relatively easy to look good for worcester.
Still id have weir and cdp over horne and wilson.
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Post by BigGee on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 1:52 pm

I think we need to see a bit more of Hainning in some big games before he might be ready, but he has certainly made a decent impression so far.

Big Bill does not seem to have come back from the WC firing on all cylinders just yet, so he should certainly be getting some.

He seems to have been a surprisingly good signing for Edinburgh, i think most of us had him down as just being a squad player.

Will Cockers pick him on form though, i guess remains the question?

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Post by RDW on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 2:21 pm

Worth remembering CDP was pretty rubbish in his previous appearances for Scotland, but then again he himself admits he really wasn't in good physical condition at the time.

Similar to Dunbar I'd be surprised if he played for Scotland again, but given all his injury issues a few more years as a pro would be a great thing for him to achieve.

I would agree that that I'd rather pick him than Wilson!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 2:46 pm

I'd say haining looks better than M Fagerson at the moment with a similar abrasiveness to G Graham. But yes he needs more gametime, I think Cockers likes him for sure so I reckon he'll feature a fair amount in the pro14 or maybe the challenge cup. Cockers selection weakness always has been the half backs. You get the feeling he picks FH with a dart and just sticks with Pyrgos because he does what he's told.
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Post by Tramptastic on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 3:05 pm

If CDP is only 28 then he could gather some more caps for sure! forwards tend to have a bit more longevity so being an 8 thats 32/33 at the next world cup is not too wierd!

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Post by RDW on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 3:10 pm

I don't mean in terms of age, merely that he's had a pretty awful career injury-wise and that will certainly have taken its toll, especially in a position like number 8. I'm sure he's enjoying his first long run of games just now in what must be 3-4 years - for the longevity of his career I'm not sure getting back into International rugby would be a great idea for him.

For me Bradbury and Thomson are the clear choices at 8 for the 6N, with pretty much all of the other options on much of the same level.

Except Wilson. He can bugger off.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 3:32 pm

Got to agree that CDP is unlikely to be troubling Toonie's thoughts. Big fan when he was at Edinburgh, but he struggled playing internationally (as RDW says he was potentially still injured), but there are better options ahead of him now. If he shows some serious form, then he should be looked at in the training squads, but I don't see him getting more caps

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Post by bsando on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 10:33 pm

Yeah CDP looked incredible when he first came over and I had really hoped he’d have a similar career to Denton in terms of international honours. I’d love to see him force his way back into the Scotland squad. If Strauss can do it then why not Du Preez? But whoever is on form should obviously be who we see lining up against Ireland. 

Ritchie, Watson, Bradbury for me. Thomson bench.

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 11:40 pm

CDP was destructive at Edinburgh before his injury. He then got finally called up for Scotland but was still injured. Then the poor man nearly died on the rugby field. Horrible luck.

He’s back to full fitness and playing well for Worcester. It’s easy to say it’s easy to stand out for the warriors but he’s playing on one of the most attritional leagues on the planet and performing week in and week out.

Bradbury is still our future at 8 but CDP should be in the squad over Wilson by a mile and possibly over Thomson who hasn’t really fired a shot yet. CDP also covers 6 so should barcs be retired it’s another option.

CDP is though suffering from Ally Hogg syndrome where great 8s I’m England are overlooked for utter keech like Wilson or Dave Callam, Kieran Low
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Post by bsando on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 9:01 am

Does Scotland have a scrum coach anymore? Or is Danny Wilson running everything forwards related now?

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Post by RDW on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 9:03 am

A good question, but I don't think we do.
 
Should maybe get Chunk to come show them how its done.

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Post by Tramptastic on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 9:31 am

RDW wrote:A good question, but I don't think we do.
 
Should maybe get Chunk to come show them how its done.

I can imagine he's got a fairly old school attitude to front row play.

1st time I ever played in the front row I was told that If i hadn't had 4 sh*ts before the game started I hadn't eaten enough that morning Erm

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Post by RDW on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 9:39 am

Tramptastic wrote:
RDW wrote:A good question, but I don't think we do.
 
Should maybe get Chunk to come show them how its done.

I can imagine he's got a fairly old school attitude to front row play.

1st time I ever played in the front row I was told that If i hadn't had 4 sh*ts before the game started I hadn't eaten enough that morning Erm
Poor 2nd rows! Definitely the worst position on the pitch. Have to shove your head and hands between sweatty fat props, get thrown up in the air and regularly dropped by your teammates, cauliflower ears etc...

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Post by BigGee on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 10:35 am

Well after a long time in the queue, I got my AI tickets for next year, topping up the SRU coffers well in advance, which might help in a pay off for Toonie or part of the salary of the next coach!

I have actually never seen the All Blacks play at Murrayfield and it is something I wanted to tick off my bucket list, the only way I thought I was likely to get them was to buy the package this time and with Japan and Argentina in it as well, it seemed a decent enough group of games to justify it.

Lets hope we are playing a bit better by then!

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Post by BigGee on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 10:37 am

In other news, it seems that John Barclay has just announced his international retirement.

A great servant to Scotland but his time had passed now and we need to let the young guns take over, as is always the way!

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Post by RDW on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 10:42 am

Probably the right decision. It's a shame his career ended in disappointment as it did, but I'll fondly remember the period after he came back from exile when he put in some standout performances. You mention never being to a NZ game - the last time we played them at Murrayfield he was absolutely epic.

Definitely a Scottish rugby legend who had a rollercoaster ride playing for his country!

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Post by BigGee on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 10:47 am

I have seen them a couple of times, back in the day when they came over and played 20 game tours, once v Cambridge University and once against London Counties at Twickenham. Unsurprisingly they won both, though not by as much as you might imagine.

Never in an international though and never at Murrayfield, you are right about the last one though, my hair was standing up even watching at home and how I was willing Hoggy over the line on that last run.

I would be surprised if it is anything quite as good as that, the Doddie Weir factor was huge as well, but I can but hope!

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Post by RDW on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 10:49 am

I was there and it is definitely the game I'll still remember in 50 years time. The pre-match show and Doddie Weir factor, plus the performance - wow.

The only one that probably surpassed it was THAT Calcutta Cup game, but I wasn't there for that one!

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Post by 123456789. on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 4:07 pm

If that last world cup taught us anything 'World Cup Cycles' mean sweet Felicity Arkwright. South Africa were hopeless for nearly three of the four years and won the lot. We were, in relative terms, equally hopeless from 2011 until 2015 yet produced a much better tournament that we did in 2019. The chances of Scotland winning the World Cup in the next three tournaments is slim. Six Nations are our bread and butter. We have only won three grand slams, we haven't won the tournament in over two decades. Winning the Six Nations is a generation defining result for Scotland.
If Dunbar is our best inside-centre in a couple of months time then he should play inside-centre for Scotland. There is no way to predict the vagaries of form and fitness four years from now. I'd wager that a successful Six Nations helped along with players unlikely to play in four years time will serve us better than an unsuccessful one filled with those that won't. Was our last "cycle" successful irrespective of the World Cup? I'd say undoubtedly. Between 2011 and 2015 we recorded one victory against the traditional Five Nations. Between 2015 and 2019 we beat France, England and Wales breaking decade long streaks. We had our best away result against England in nearly three decades. Our best result in New Zealand in a comparable period of time. We beat Australia away, and pumped them at home. We were unbeaten against Italy where in the preceding four years we had a fifty percent success rate. As a period and as a group of players they should not be judged on four (ultimately two) games in unusual weather conditions on the other side of the world.
John Barclay is perhaps the case in point, his retirement is probably the right decision. In hindsight he probably was not the right player for the 2019 World Cup. Yet without him it's hard to see any of our big wins in the last four years happening. Would I take the victories over Australia alone over a Quarter-Final against New Zealand? Yes. He was a brilliant servant. In a fairer world he would have over 100 caps and a couple of Lions tours under his belt. Instead for much of his time playing he played in a terrible, terrible Scotland team and inexplicably for a period did not even make an even worse one. He should have been captain five years, at least, earlier than he was. He carries the relatively rare distinction, as a Scotsman, of having beaten all but New Zealand of the Tier One Nations and he should have beaten New Zealand.

As for experiences of seeing New Zealand at Murrayfield, for the sake of balance I was at Scotland-New Zealand in 2010. It was the beginning of Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Whitelock's careers. New Zealand were sublime and Scotland were not. The stadium went silent ten minutes in and remained so throughout the rest of the game. I think Barclay was one of the few players to emerge with any credit, the following week he took apart the South African breakdown almost on his own.

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Post by RDW on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 4:13 pm

Excellent post number and something I agree with - I've never understood our focus on a WC cycle (which we'll never, ever win) compared to the 6N where we at least have a (very) remote chance of winning.

At the start of a new cycle though I think a line does need to be drawn on certain players though whose powers are waning.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 4:47 pm

The fans don't necessarily see the WC as the pinnacle but i think the players do and what keeps some of them going or gets them back from injury foe one last heave.

Laidlaw may well have retired from international rugby when he went to France if not for that lure.

Barclay may have admitted that he was not the player he once was, but wsnted another role of the dice. I guess for him it was even more pertinent hsving missed the previous one, when he was maybe at his peak as a player and where we put in our best performance in years.

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Post by 123456789. on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 4:57 pm

I think there's something to be said for some players moving on at appropriate junctures. Greig Laidlaw was still an important player going into the last season. A figure of calm in Finn Russell's chaos. He dug us out of many, many holes. By the world cup it was clear that he was holding us back. Against Japan he looked unbelievably slow. In contrast to their rapid, relentless attack the ball would regularly sit at the back of a ruck for 2-3 seconds waiting for him to arrive. When we did get the ball he more often than not seemed to kick it away just outside of the zone in which our wingers could hope to compete. I'm not, however, sure that we would not have reached the same conclusion had he been so poor last summer or last Autumn. Perhaps it is a symptom of the conditioning that players go through prior to World Cups, especially one in generally warmer climes, that the players getting on in years stand out a tad more.

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Post by bsando on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 7:07 am

Great career for Barclay! I think his cleverest move was going to Scarlets and captaining them to the Pro14 title. That definitely rejuvenated his international career and put him in the picture again. As close to a Kieran Read we'll ever get and I'm glad he's chosen now to step down before the 6N so he can focus on all things Edinburgh.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 8:16 am

I am not sure the move to Scarlets was that clever for JB, but it worked out very well for him.

When he left Glasgow, under a bit of a cloud it has to be said, clubs were not queueing up for him and he had to take what was on offer.

Luckily they appreciated him and got the best out of him down there, but it could havd been very different.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 8:29 am

I'd echo those that suggest loosehead is our major selection issue. The lack of depth is staggering. I almost wonder whether we could convince one of the tight heads to try it. Rory Sutherland and Alex Allan just haven't kicked on. There's a 50 cap career if one of them can step up.

We should try and get Al Dickinson to help. He was a player that really went through the gears relatively late in his career. Great technique in the end, and turned a weakness into a strength.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 8:31 am

I was a huge fan of CDP but I'd like to see him have a longer run before picking him for the 6 Nations. The Edinburgh trio plus Blade could do a job for us, although I'm a wee bit concerned over Bradbury's handling skills at 8.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 8:34 am

I'm not worried about centre options, only Toonie's selection skills. We have some good options and some form players. Not need for the plodding Chris Harris anymore.

My tip would be Hutchinson and D Taylor. I also think Hastings might be an option at 12. Johnson, Scott and Bennett also pretty handy at the moment, and I'm yet to give up on Jones.

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Scotland 6 Nations Thread Empty Re: Scotland 6 Nations Thread

Post by Tramptastic on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 8:57 am

I think this is bad management by the SRU, they should be overseeing recruitment policies at both clubs so that we don't end up with both clubs signing NSQ players in a single position.

There's flexibility with other positions, the back row, back three, centres and maybe even lock but when it comes down to 9, 10, 1, 2 and 3 both clubs shouldnt be importing players to cover in those positions.

9 is grand as we have multiple different scottish scrum halfs getting good game time at both clubs

10 is fine as Glasgow have hastings 1st choice and we've got Russell and Wier outside of Scotland so Edinburgh can have their 2 imports.

at 2 having one import at Edinburgh is fine as the 1st choice is scottish and glasgow have a back log of hookers

3 is fairly healthy, between Fagerson, WP Nel and Berghan (Although he could use more game time) an import or 2 wouldnt make a difference.

1 is an issue. both 1st choicers at both clubs are NSQ and the scottish back ups just arent getting the game time they need, despite prop being incredibly attritional. Thats either bad coaching, bad recruitment or scottish looseheads are just naff.




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Post by BigGee on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 9:06 am

Alternatively, you could argue that we have imported some LHs as none of our current indigenous ones are ever going to make the grade at international level. Bhatti, Allen and Sutherland have all had decent opportunities to state their case but have not set the heather alight.

Del has been found wanting down at LI once he moved out of the safety bubble of Scottish rugby as well.

Keeble and a little further down the road, Cchoeman will buy us some time and space but we really need to be looking at developing some better quality props a lot furher back down the line.

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Post by bsando on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 10:35 am

Bit worried about Dell, he hasn't kicked on as he might have been expected to. Getting called up to the Lions in 2017 looked like he was going to be Scotland's first choice LH for a good while. Now I almost feel like Reid is first choice!!

Marfo, Dell, Sutherland, Bhatti all need to try and steal some game time at club level. For me McCallum is a big prospect at LH and I hope he starts against Wasps this weekend. Scotland at scrum time could be a real concern this 6N.


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