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Scotland 6 Nations Thread

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

First topic message reminder :

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 jimbopip on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 6:10 pm

You know, if I was having doubts about the Scotland set-up, management and hierarchy and decided to sleep on it....would Mr Russell snr's house be the best place to lay my head?

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 8:50 pm

bsando wrote:Vern Cotter is the new head coach of Fiji. Guess he has unfinished business at international level

Don’t worry, Gregor will have that off him in no time

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 9:32 pm

The Times are running a 20 greatest games in Six Nations history currently. We’ve featured three times; Italy 2000, Italy 2007 and most painfully Wales 2010. The latter, I do believe, was a cruel sliding doors moment in Scottish rugby. We had a good team, playing good rugby. But they had the stuffing knocked out of them in that game. In that Six Nations we should have won four from five and I dare say we would have done if Paterson and Evans had still been available. Robinson never really got it again after that. Anyhow, the feature shows how bloody dire the last 20 years have been that we’ve not really featured positively in the first 10. I do think the France game in 2006 and the last two England games should be up there but I am biased.

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Post by Highland Shaun on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 12:04 am

We couldn't complain if Townsend failed and Lancaster got the Scotland job after the 6N. I had no idea about his Scottish connections but that's a positive. Cockerill would be a good choice too and would be the obvious choice really, he's done well with Edinburgh and I like his work ethic and no nonsense attitude.

International coaching wise... Cheika is available I believe but would be a poor choice in my opinion. Someone with links to Scotland like Matt Proudfoot or Dan McFarland could be good choices

I would not say no to Pat Lam but I very much like doubt Matt Proudfoot would leave his England coaching job for a poisoned chalice like us.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 6:48 am

Bit concerned about the lack of footage/pictures from training including Matt Scott. Hopefully mot injured in camp?
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Post by tigertattie on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 9:51 am

NeilyBroon wrote:Bit concerned about the lack of footage/pictures from training including Matt Scott. Hopefully mot injured in camp?

In 2018, a one man crack commando unit was sent to Gloucester by a SRU court for a crime he didn't commit. This man promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Edinburgh underground. Today, still wanted by the establishment, he survives as soldier of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them....maybe you can hire The mAtt-Team

Toonie has brought him in to track down Finn Russell, slap him abou tthe lugs for being an eejit, and take away his hip flask!
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Post by EWT Spoons on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 9:59 am

There is another man in Dubai apparently...on "holiday"....agent Greig.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 10:05 am

If GL has been 'encouraged' to go for a short break in Dubai, that might be one of the first bits of joined up thinking we have seen in this affair

He really aught to be someone FR should listen to. If not he may be dafter than we think!

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Post by EWT Spoons on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 10:34 am

I actually think it's a total coincidence, but hopefully GL will talk some sense into Finn

*cuts to Greig with his tie round his head, shirt ripped open*

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:02 am

EWT Spoons wrote:I actually think it's a total coincidence, but hopefully GL will talk some sense into Finn

*cuts to Greig with his tie round his head, shirt ripped open*

Greeg is hardly the one to sit atop the pedastel lol

It is starting to sound more and more like Finn is having some form of Mid-playing career crisis. Maybe one too many concussions?

It's that or the rest of the camp know not to bite the hand that feeds them and they are towing the party line, saying the things the SRU expect them to say.

Tis all a bit of a clusterfeck
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Post by RDW on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:07 am

There seems to be a few of them in Dubai - Adam Ashe took the photo.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 1:18 pm

RDW wrote:There seems to be a few of them in Dubai - Adam Ashe took the photo.

I dont even buy that they are in Dubai

I think it was a wind up (an unwise one at that) and actually Finn is hiding in Ashe's gaff in Scotland having returned from France
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Post by lostinwales on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 1:35 pm

Maybe 'in Dubai' is a euphemism.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 4:54 pm

I take it our team is out tomorrow lunchtime?

Ireland gavethier yesterday! Why the two day gap? Why is Scotland always so slow to get thiers out? I'd have thought there'd have been a rule that the team had to be announced in a certian time. Surely, as little as it will help us, if a team gets to know thier opposition team before sleecting thier own, they must get some kind of advantage? Even if its jsut an extra couple of days training where they can see who they are up against so the video boys can try to show ways to tackle them???
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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 6:47 pm

Maybe its a handicap agreed by other coaches with toonie, meaning we only get beaten by 15 points as opposed to 20 because everyone thinks "Hutchinson or Jones must surely start" but no-one expects a harris hattrick!
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Post by RDW on Fri 31 Jan 2020, 2:07 pm

Sam Skinner is playing No8 for Cheifs this weekend!

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Post by George Carlin on Fri 31 Jan 2020, 3:01 pm

lostinwales wrote:Maybe 'in Dubai' is a euphemism.
It’s more of a state of mind, really.

Will look out for the eejit in my local watering holes.
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Post by BigGee on Fri 31 Jan 2020, 4:37 pm

RDW wrote:Sam Skinner is playing No8 for Cheifs this weekend!

Do we think he might come into contention for No.8 spot for Scotland, he certainly has the size and the pace?

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Post by RDW on Fri 31 Jan 2020, 4:42 pm

BigGee wrote:
RDW wrote:Sam Skinner is playing No8 for Cheifs this weekend!

Do we think he might come into contention for  No.8 spot for Scotland, he certainly has the size and the pace?

He's not dynamic enough IMO - he's too slow and lumbering. Very much looks like a lock playing backrow!

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Post by sensisball on Fri 31 Jan 2020, 7:31 pm

Is Haining dynamic enough to play 8 for Scotland? I only ask as I havent seen him play.
I find it depressing that the next back rower to get capped is a journey man Aussie who is keeping a Saffer on the bench.

Our lack of top quality players is so easily exposed when we have a few injuries and some retirements. The fact that Ryan Wilson has just shy of 40 caps speaks volumes about our lack of depth at the top level.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 6:15 am

I would say so. Every appearance he's made I've been relatively impressed. He certainly adds aggression and is the same size as bradbury and usually manages to make yards. Most comparable to G Graham in my opinion.
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Post by BigGee on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 8:28 am

He is actually about 5kg hesvier than Brsdbury according to the official Edinburgh stats, which in fairness are not always accurate.

He has got that look of an out of shape player about him that can deceive. Think Dean Richards or Thomas Waldren

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Post by bsando on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 8:37 am

Yeah from what I've seen of him he looks like a good fit for Scotland actually, it's just a question of if he can handle the international level where everything is faster and more aggressive. If he can do the basics well, get a few offloads and make all his tackles then he may well start again next weekend.

I love this part of the 6N (before Scotland inevitably lose and faint GS possibilities go out the window). It's hard not to feel optimistic though, I always think Scotland can win even when it looks like an impossible task.

The one thing I hope we see today is Scotland's defence showing a lot of aggression and discipline. Against Ireland in the RWC Scotland made 163/180 attempted tackles to Irelands 135/143. So that is 17 missed to Ireland's 8 and Ireland made 37 less tackles. If Scotland can swing the odds in this area then I think they'll do well.

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Post by George Carlin on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 11:55 am

I can’t paste it from here but Tom English has written another storming piece for the BBC describing the small margins which decided the 2018 test match. I just hope to fork that it’s not a massacre because then I’ll have to go home and kick the dog. Again.
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Post by George Carlin on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 11:57 am

I have also never seen our test starter no 8 play which is fairly horrendous. Is he really test class? He’s only played during the international window for Edinburgh and presumably looked great against Southern King’s Ladies Under 12s.
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Post by BigGee on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 12:17 pm

George Carlin wrote:I can’t paste it from here but Tom English has written another storming piece for the BBC describing the small margins which decided the 2018 test match. I just hope to fork that it’s not a massacre because then I’ll have to go home and kick the dog. Again.

RDW has put a link to it on the match thread

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Post by jimbopip on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 12:37 pm

George Carlin wrote:I have also never seen our test starter no 8 play which is fairly horrendous. Is he really test class? He’s only played during the international window for Edinburgh and presumably looked great against Southern King’s Ladies Under 12s.

Playing against the Ladies under 12's will be great preparation for the battle against Calling Doris- Day. oh yeah

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Post by BigGee on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 7:41 pm

Disappointing though that loss was today, I am in some ways encouraged.

In Sutherland, have we finally found a LH prop who can cut it at this level. he probably got the better of TF in the scrum battles and certainly showed enough around the park as well. The Irish prop who ran into him came off distinctly second best!

Haining did not look out of place at all and CDP played well when he came on as well. Bradbury and Fagerson are going to have to be playing well to move these two on.

Cummings looks a natural born international player and he and JG make a natural second row partnership.

Hastings had a very composed game faced with a very aggressive Irish Defence, you would hope he will be much better for the experience and will continue to improve with more exposure to this level. What to do about Finn? Will he come back in next week? I am not so sure, I hope so, but only on the bench I would say if he does make his peace. Hastings deserves another chance.

Collectively our defence looked altogether at a different level to recent performances, the players seem to have bought into the new system and it seemed to work.

Our scrum was good all game as was our defensive lineout, though we let a few attacking ones go begging.

Considering none of us thought we had a chance, it was far from the worst Scotland performance of recent times.

We still lost though and it will only be a promising performance if we do manage to build on it, cut out the mistakes and come away with some good results.

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Post by bsando on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 6:02 am

Largely agree with that Gee, we wanted edge, gritty defence and to be in the game until the last whistle. Scotland massively delivered on that front. Once again though, Scotland beat themselves at times. Some of the penalties were comical.

Two biggest issues for me from that game were being unable to secure good ball at ruck time in attack and once again seeing Scotland fail to score and finish chances. It should have been a try for Hogg though and why he went for a one handed placement we’ll never know. If only Tim Visser had been on that wing, he’d have dotted it down old school with two hands out in front of him.

During the first half Scotland looked certain to score at times but got isolated and turned over multiple times. The players need to do better against England. Curry and Underhill will be licking their lips.

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Post by alive555 on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 6:07 am

Yet another game we should have won.

Let's fact the facts we were by a distance the better team. Another loss. Townsend has to go and the faster the better
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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 6:47 am

He wont based off that performance, it was a decent enough result away from home if you ignore the error count. If we get minced by England at home he can start packing. We'll beat Italy, theyre the only team who look worse than us at the moment. I have a horrible feeling Teflon Toonie will be around a while yet. I hope someone sees sense and at least tries to move him into a manager role where he cant do much harm.

On a bright note at least our defence is sorted...
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Post by alive555 on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 7:36 am

Sorry all this plucky loser stuff is well past its sell by date. We should have won that game by a margin yesterday. Time to bring in a coach who knows how to put pressure on defences. That's what's holding us back
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Post by RDW on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 9:43 am

So before the game I said I didn't expect us to win but wanted to be in the fight for 80 minutes and make life as difficult for Ireland as we can. We didn't win, were in the fight for 80 and in a lot of aspects made life bloody awkward for them. We also could - perhaps should - have won the game which was an added bonus. It was a vastly improved performance from the last time we played Ireland, and all you can ask is to show improvement.

As such I'll use Biggee's word - 'encouraged'.

There was a lot of good but plenty still to work on.

The good

- Physicality
A real problem in recent years but we put in a hugely physical performance. If anything we were more physical than a hugely physical Irish team. There were some massive carries and big one on one tackles.

- Scrum
A pleasant surprise against hugely experienced Irish props. Sutherland put in the best Scottish LH display in years - he had Furlong in trouble and put in some big carries.

The bad


- White line fever
A huge problem last 6N and frustrating to see it continue. As soon as we lose momentum in the 22 I can tell we're not going to score. Once the ball slows down we just don't know what to do. For me we need to do absolutely everything we can to keep the momentum going, whether it's quick pick and goes or the first man passing to whoever is nearby to keep the ball alive. When it does slow down we need to work out plays to get over the line - like Ireland's try

- Lineout
What has happened to it?? We're not going to win games in the 6N with such an unreliable lineout.

The ugly

- Stupid penalties

They absolutely killed us yesterday. There's no doubt Ireland absolutely milked them for all they're worth but Brown and Johnson made it easy for the ref to give the penalty. These completely kill all momentum and are pivotal moments in games - I hope the coaches go absolutely through them in the review

- Hogg's touchdown
Doh

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 10:11 am

Morning lads.
I agree with most of what Founder says above. The only qualification is.......
You know last week when I joked about our relationship with Frodo as being a form of Stockholm Syndrome? Well, yesterday we (us lot, not the players, well not necessarily) were slightly like captives blinking in the blinding sun and wanting the comfort of the dark cellar again. I had the feeling deep down that we would all settle for a narrow loss and being competitive for 80 minutes. This was brought home when Not A Pony was replaced by The Hardest Working Man In Show Business Rugby. We all know that in the last quarter, with the game in the balance THWMIR, ever, won't produce that spark which will win the game. He will shore up the defence and carry like his life depends on it, but he is just a little short on X-Factor moments. And yet I was actually pleased to see him replace Shug. I haven't examined hat emotion too closely. I don't want to go there. Not until my nice blue fluffy blanket has been washed and dried.

There is a belief that in almost all matches the team that wants it more usually wins. I think what we (players and fans) wanted yesterday was to be in contention for 80 minutes and to avoid humiliation on the scoreboard.

Toonie can point to the WC match and say we have improved. We can all point to borderline decisions that should have gone our way; Ryan lying all over the ruck and preventing the ball being laid back for Stander's turnover at the death, the Irish prop standing up as they went backwards in the last scrum etc etc etc. Not many sides win away in Dublin: not many sides get within a score either . We didn't do too badly.

Against England we need to want to win not just be in the contest. We need to want it more than they do. We need to stop being captives and break free. Braveheart

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Post by BigGee on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 10:28 am

I can see a few tweaks to the team for the next game.

I would hope some communication takes place this weekend between FR and Toonie. If he was watching that match, maybe now he realises just what he is missing and that Scotland will go on without him, should he wish that.

I would like to see him back in the squad and on the bench next week. Hastings did enough to earn another start but it is asking a lot of him to back that up with anohter 80 min game next weekend. Finn might just be able to provide the spark to get us over if it is another close one.

If he does come back, then that would free up Hutchy to cover the centre spot from the bench, he did not really get much of a chance yesterday to show us what he can do and he deserves it.

Horne maybe deserves a start as well and I am sure he will get one, if not this week, then against Italy.

Hard to make any justifications for any changes in the pack really. Haining did enough to get another start. If Bradbury is fit, maybe he comes on to the bench, same with Skinner, but I am not sure he will make any great changes to the squad until after the England game.

This is of course assuming that there were no injuries from the game.

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Post by RDW on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 11:42 am

Completely forgot one of the most disappointing aspects in my 'bad' section - the breakdown. It came as a surprise to me given who we had on the flanks, maybe the rest of the team weren't contributing as they should?

There were a few instances in the 22 where we didn't commit enough numbers due to people standing in the backline instead - that's criminal. The other turnovers came where it was backs doing the rucking, and not very well. We could do with a Telfer-esque rucking session at training this week.

My otter thought is that we were lacking pace and a spark in the backs, and I think Darcy was a huge loss. Maitland isn't as fast now and neither is Hogg who is carrying too much timber. Kinghorn needs a run up to get going and he wasn't given much of an opportunity. We saw how slow SJ is with the interception!

We've not really got any other options to improve this until Graham comes back though.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 12:58 pm

There is the option to try Hutchy at IC with Jones outside him, which would be a much quicker centre combo.

Can't see that happening as long as Hastings is starting though or till the Italy game, when there might be some chance to experiement a little.

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Post by RDW on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 1:13 pm

SJ did play well to be fair.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 1:16 pm

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/adam-hastings-finn-russell-conversation

Hastings saying that FR gave him a call the night before the match, which he appreciated.

Surely there has to be a reconciliation in there somewhere.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 1:18 pm

RDW wrote:SJ did play well to be fair.

He did and I can't see him not getting picked next week.

Got to give Hutch a chance at some stage though and we know that Toonie likes a Tombola. I think we will see the team changed around a bit over the course of the tournament.

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Post by 123456789. on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 1:52 pm

The stupid penalties were a pain. I do wonder if they went into the game thinking we've got to be streetwise here because the Irish are streetwise. So the ball's up in the air and Fraser Brown (who seems to have Scott Lawson's penchant for silly penalties) and Sam Johnson are running along thinking "a streetwise player would alter their run here ever so slightly making the route to the player longer" so they alter their course a tiny, wee bit. Into an actually streetwise player. And down they go, like they've been shot. Penalty Ireland.

The tactics near the try line were very Exeter esque. When Exeter get fifteen metres from the line. They slow it right down and pick by pick they inexorably move closer and closer to the line. However there's two reasons why it's different for us. Firstly, the Irish defence is better than the ones you get in the Premiership. Secondly, we were not as accurate as them. With Exeter they get three or four players around the ball, and then they go. They get another three or four and then they go. We had players picking it up thinking they were going to run through five or six Irishmen on their own. The tactic was not the problem, it was the execution. If they'd been better as it it was smart, over time you wear down the Irish pack, get a penalty advantage coming (which would have come if we'd been more accurate) and then you can play. If you falter you've got the back-up and one of them will probably be off to the bin.

As fixes the two of them should be fairly straightforward, don't take players out of the ball and go with support are schoolboy level. Add in keeping two hands on the ball as you score and you're looking at a winning team. Even though that's standard with Scotland and nothing of the last 15 years suggests that changing that would be as easy as it should be. However, I'd probably leave Russell out. I thought Hastings was really good. He should certainly start next week, if Russell wants to come back Townsend should let him do the running.

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 2:10 pm

RDW wrote:SJ did play well to be fair.

Sam Johnson is one of those players who I often think looks great between either 22 then anonymous inside either 22.

He runs great lines to get over the gain line but when trying to break down an aggressive defence inside the opposition 22 he just hasn't got the power to offer a threat running off 9 that other 6 Nations sides have in the back line.

Similar in defence. His work rate is excellent and he uses his pace well to pressure inside backs. When things get more physical and direct defending inside the 22 he's not going to make the gain line winning tackles that Henshaw, Aki, Parkes, Manu, etc frequently do.

I can see why Townsend and Rennie like him as the 'glue' in the Scotland back line. I just fear that he lacks the power to be a dangerous carrier against top teams and also lacks the handling or kicking game to be a creative threat putting others into space.

Duhan van der Merwe is by no means the perfect winger but someone with his sheer power ball in hand will help the Scotland attack no end I think.

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Post by RDW on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 2:14 pm

king_carlos wrote:
RDW wrote:SJ did play well to be fair.

Sam Johnson is one of those players who I often think looks great between either 22 then anonymous inside either 22.

He runs great lines to get over the gain line but when trying to break down an aggressive defence inside the opposition 22 he just hasn't got the power to offer a threat running off 9 that other 6 Nations sides have in the back line.

Similar in defence. His work rate is excellent and he uses his pace well to pressure inside backs. When things get more physical and direct defending inside the 22 he's not going to make the gain line winning tackles that Henshaw, Aki, Parkes, Manu, etc frequently do.

I can see why Townsend and Rennie like him as the 'glue' in the Scotland back line. I just fear that he lacks the power to be a dangerous carrier against top teams and also lacks the handling or kicking game to be a creative threat putting others into space.

Duhan van der Merwe is by no means the perfect winger but someone with his sheer power ball in hand will help the Scotland attack no end I think.

Agreed - he'll very much fill the pace void that we currently have! Hugely physical too.

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Post by 123456789. on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 2:36 pm

king_carlos wrote:
RDW wrote:SJ did play well to be fair.

Sam Johnson is one of those players who I often think looks great between either 22 then anonymous inside either 22.

He runs great lines to get over the gain line but when trying to break down an aggressive defence inside the opposition 22 he just hasn't got the power to offer a threat running off 9 that other 6 Nations sides have in the back line.

Similar in defence. His work rate is excellent and he uses his pace well to pressure inside backs. When things get more physical and direct defending inside the 22 he's not going to make the gain line winning tackles that Henshaw, Aki, Parkes, Manu, etc frequently do.

I can see why Townsend and Rennie like him as the 'glue' in the Scotland back line. I just fear that he lacks the power to be a dangerous carrier against top teams and also lacks the handling or kicking game to be a creative threat putting others into space.

Duhan van der Merwe is by no means the perfect winger but someone with his sheer power ball in hand will help the Scotland attack no end I think.

Johnson's interception was one of the most painful moments of the match. I was desperate for him to look right for Maitland. I'd like to see Hutchinson swap in for Johnson next week from an attacking perspective, but Johnson was good against Tuilagi last year so I reckon he'll start again.
I'm not sure where Van Der Merwe fits in for Scotland. Maitland is class. Graham is very good too. I'm not saying Van Der Merwe is not needed. But I don't think he's so much better that he'll make all the difference. We need bigger carriers.

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Post by RDW on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 2:46 pm

123456789. wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
RDW wrote:SJ did play well to be fair.

Sam Johnson is one of those players who I often think looks great between either 22 then anonymous inside either 22.

He runs great lines to get over the gain line but when trying to break down an aggressive defence inside the opposition 22 he just hasn't got the power to offer a threat running off 9 that other 6 Nations sides have in the back line.

Similar in defence. His work rate is excellent and he uses his pace well to pressure inside backs. When things get more physical and direct defending inside the 22 he's not going to make the gain line winning tackles that Henshaw, Aki, Parkes, Manu, etc frequently do.

I can see why Townsend and Rennie like him as the 'glue' in the Scotland back line. I just fear that he lacks the power to be a dangerous carrier against top teams and also lacks the handling or kicking game to be a creative threat putting others into space.

Duhan van der Merwe is by no means the perfect winger but someone with his sheer power ball in hand will help the Scotland attack no end I think.

Johnson's interception was one of the most painful moments of the match. I was desperate for him to look right for Maitland. I'd like to see Hutchinson swap in for Johnson next week from an attacking perspective, but Johnson was good against Tuilagi last year so I reckon he'll start again.
I'm not sure where Van Der Merwe fits in for Scotland. Maitland is class. Graham is very good too. I'm not saying Van Der Merwe is not needed. But I don't think he's so much better that he'll make all the difference. We need bigger carriers.

Headscratch

VDM is am absolute beast who breaks tackles for fun and makes huge ground every game. He is a physical presence we just don't have from anyone else. I suspect he'd win a 100m race in the squad too. Of course we need to see if he can do this at international level.

Being a big winger there will be the usual question marks about his defence and positioning, but it's strange to say he won't help us as a carrier.

Maitland is a classy player but had lost pace, which will only get worse and will fall off a cliff eventually.

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Post by 123456789. on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 2:52 pm

RDW wrote:
123456789. wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
RDW wrote:SJ did play well to be fair.

Sam Johnson is one of those players who I often think looks great between either 22 then anonymous inside either 22.

He runs great lines to get over the gain line but when trying to break down an aggressive defence inside the opposition 22 he just hasn't got the power to offer a threat running off 9 that other 6 Nations sides have in the back line.

Similar in defence. His work rate is excellent and he uses his pace well to pressure inside backs. When things get more physical and direct defending inside the 22 he's not going to make the gain line winning tackles that Henshaw, Aki, Parkes, Manu, etc frequently do.

I can see why Townsend and Rennie like him as the 'glue' in the Scotland back line. I just fear that he lacks the power to be a dangerous carrier against top teams and also lacks the handling or kicking game to be a creative threat putting others into space.

Duhan van der Merwe is by no means the perfect winger but someone with his sheer power ball in hand will help the Scotland attack no end I think.

Johnson's interception was one of the most painful moments of the match. I was desperate for him to look right for Maitland. I'd like to see Hutchinson swap in for Johnson next week from an attacking perspective, but Johnson was good against Tuilagi last year so I reckon he'll start again.
I'm not sure where Van Der Merwe fits in for Scotland. Maitland is class. Graham is very good too. I'm not saying Van Der Merwe is not needed. But I don't think he's so much better that he'll make all the difference. We need bigger carriers.

Headscratch

VDM is am absolute beast who breaks tackles for fun and makes huge ground every game. He is a physical presence we just don't have from anyone else. I suspect he'd win a 100m race in the squad too. Of course we need to see if he can do this at international level.

Being a big winger there will be the usual question marks about his defence and positioning, but it's strange to say he won't help us as a carrier.

Maitland is a classy player but had lost pace, which will only get worse and will fall off a cliff eventually.

Yeah realised that didn't add up, was going to say we needed bigger carriers at 8 and/ or 12 but got distracted. From what I can see the teams with two fetchers at 6 and 7 tend to have carriers at 8 and 12. The teams with playmakers at 12 tend to have carriers at 6 and 8. Currently we have two fetchers at 6 and 7 (although Watson is a strong carrier as well), a relatively small 8 and a distributor at 12. We could certainly do with the option of bigger carriers at 8 and 12 to provide a point of difference, in certain matches. I understand that VDM could provide size in the midfield coming off of his wing but that would be at the expense of Maitland or Graham in team. The flip-side is Maitland probably only has another couple of years with Scotland, so VDM is perfectly placed to replace him long term. Either that or we send VDM on the Sean Lamont Centre Conversion Course. Which I'm not sure would be beneficial to anybody at all.

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 3:09 pm

RDW wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
RDW wrote:SJ did play well to be fair.

Sam Johnson is one of those players who I often think looks great between either 22 then anonymous inside either 22.

He runs great lines to get over the gain line but when trying to break down an aggressive defence inside the opposition 22 he just hasn't got the power to offer a threat running off 9 that other 6 Nations sides have in the back line.

Similar in defence. His work rate is excellent and he uses his pace well to pressure inside backs. When things get more physical and direct defending inside the 22 he's not going to make the gain line winning tackles that Henshaw, Aki, Parkes, Manu, etc frequently do.

I can see why Townsend and Rennie like him as the 'glue' in the Scotland back line. I just fear that he lacks the power to be a dangerous carrier against top teams and also lacks the handling or kicking game to be a creative threat putting others into space.

Duhan van der Merwe is by no means the perfect winger but someone with his sheer power ball in hand will help the Scotland attack no end I think.

Agreed - he'll very much fill the pace void that we currently have! Hugely physical too.

That has struck me I must say. Hogg is world class but a different player now to a few years ago. A less rapid one but with better decision making and uses his huge boot a lot more astutely. He had a fantastic game yesterday up until the obvious shocker.

Injuries catching up with Seymour, age catching up with Maitland and Hoggy packing on a bit of muscle and slowing down seemed to happen all at once.

Graham is rapid so adds some pace when fit. He's also very good at making yards in contact which the Scotland backs need. He can carry off 9 in a similar way to Jack Nowell. Those yards in high pressure situations can be so useful. Nowell is excellent at making those one out carries in his 22 for instance to give his scrum-half a better angle to exit with a box kick.

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Post by RDW on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 5:02 pm

Shame that England learned exactly what not to do at this level in this game. Can't imagine he'll make the same selection mistakes next weekend.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 5:05 pm

We're doomed. I think Toonie needs to be exposed though to the point the SRU cant keep their heads in the sand. Looking at Wales under Pivac and France with their setup makes me feel very short-changed when our CEO earns more than 700k (inc. bonus) a year.
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Post by 123456789. on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 5:41 pm

I actually look more so to France with envy. They've been dreadful for years, and then overnight decided to get their house in order. Rejigged their youth set-up, won two Junior World Championships and brought them into the first team. I have no issue with players qualifying through residency, but now it's five years the cost to bring a player into the Scottish national team will cost between around a million pounds. We have three or four project players on the books now. If, instead, we invested far more money into the youth team I'm sure we'd see more out of it. If the SRU were smart they'd refocus their performance targets on a more distant goal, say the 2031 World Cup, charting a course to that point spread more widely. Focus, firstly on regaining our place at the top table of u20s rugby, with the aim of having won the u20 Six Nations multiple times and the u20s world cup by 2027. On having a pro team regularly reaching the last four of the Champions Cup by 2027. Then, once those aims are achieved, putting ambitious targets in front of the first team. I may have missed it but there's been no obvious alteration of the pathway process since we crashed out of the Junior World Championships. In England each Premiership team has a full time academy, we don't have that. It, surely, would make sense to invest in some cross-border u20 competition with the Irish and Welsh. To have four full time 30 player academies that feed into Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Super 6 would be a far more sensible course than the halfway house we have at the moment.

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