Ireland vs Scotland 6 Nations - Saturday 1st February 2020 - Match Thread

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Post by Tramptastic on Tue 21 Jan 2020, 1:55 pm

First topic message reminder :

IRELAND V SCOTLAND

1st of February 2020 16:45 Kick off

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant 1: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant 2: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Ireland: 15 Jordan Larmour, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Jonathan Sexton (c), 9 Conor Murray, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 CJ Stander, 5 James Ryan, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 John Cooney, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Robbie Henshaw

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg (c), 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Blair Kinghorn, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price, 8 Nick Haining, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Rory Sutherland
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 George Horne, 22 Rory Hutchinson, 23 Chris Harris

Perennial World Cup Quarter Finalists vs A Team With No Clear Strategy That Doesn't Currently Play To It's Strengths, Please Come Back Vern

Historical head to head data is useless as Scotland won for the 1st hundred years but Ireland have been dead good since the year 2000, except in 2010 at Croke Park which tells you Dan Parks is the finest rugby player Scotland has ever poached from Australia.

New head coach for Ireland in Farrell vs Townsend with new back room staff

Captain Sexton vs Captain Hogg - Eurgh, there's going to be so much moaning at the ref.

I'm looking forward to seeing a healthy amount of abuse in the thread below, please enjoy.


Last edited by Tramptastic on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 11:40 am; edited 5 times in total

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Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 3:04 pm

Not sure if it's been discussed, but whilst Hastings is a semi able deputy (not really in the same ballpark but still able to do a job), the ramifications on team morale could be massive. I know they have just over a week to get past this, but surely it's going to be playing on the players minds, to a greater or lesser extent depending on what the story behind it is.

Now you could say I'm getting the excuses in early....that's it, you could say that, would probably be pretty accurate as well.

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Post by RDW on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 3:10 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:Not sure if it's been discussed, but whilst Hastings is a semi able deputy (not really in the same ballpark but still able to do a job), the ramifications on team morale could be massive.  I know they have just over a week to get past this, but surely it's going to be playing on the players minds, to a greater or lesser extent depending on what the story behind it is.

Now you could say I'm getting the excuses in early....that's it, you could say that, would probably be pretty accurate as well.
I've mentioned it a few times - can't imagine Finn was alone in his views, if indeed it was a falling out based on tactics.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 3:16 pm

Only potential positive is that there will be no excuses left for Toonie if we do badly. In that scenario he will now definitely get the sack as Dodsons position would become untenable otherwise and he'd risk only collecting a £300k bonus if he kept Toonie on.

God this is all very house of cards isnt it? The SRU are heading the way of the Samoan RU.
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Post by RDW on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 3:18 pm

This will all be a big anti-climax if it turned out Finn just got drunk and punched a stripper.

This is why the SRU need to come out with more details soon.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 3:21 pm

The fact they're not to me implies the SRU PR machine has had a meltdown in response to a difficult situation with bigger implications than a punch up but not actually breaking any rules or laws.
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Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 3:31 pm

Apologies RDW, the last couple hours have been an emotional rollercoaster, totally lost track of what’s been said.   Smile

New twist, apparently it was a player decision to oust him, rather than a toonie one.  This is the latest chat doing the rounds on twitter.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 3:35 pm

Toonie does have some form for disciplining his star players. Remembef he did it with Hoggy in his younger dsys at Glasgow, who ended up sitting out a Pro 12 final due to petulance. That actually worked well for him and Hoggy evrntaully realised he was being a prat.

Everyone is taking FR side without a clue as to what has hsppened.

No-one is bigger than the team and players also have a responsibility to work with the coach. Hopefully Finn goes back to Racing, which he was always going to do for this weekend, cools off and someone then talks some sense into him.

It is not in anyone's interest for this to csrry on.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 3:39 pm

BigGee wrote:

It is not in anyone's interest for this to csrry on.

Sarries?

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Post by bsando on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 3:46 pm

Agree with Gee, the show must go on and if you want to represent your country you have to abide by the rules. It’s very rare something like this happens in Scottish rugby so I’m sure the team will regroup and prepare well for Dublin.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 4:00 pm

The whole Hogg appointing himself as captain is weird too, I'd like to know when that was in relation to him publicly backing Townsend for the job.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 4:02 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:
BigGee wrote:

It is not in anyone's interest for this to csrry on.

Sarries?

Racings

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Post by RDW on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 4:03 pm

I think the Hogg comments have been taken a bit far - I'm completely fine with what he said. Can imagine it's pretty normal during the changing of the guard for several players to put themselves forward to be captain, and it shows his confident and determination to do well for the team that he wanted to get it.

And let's face it, he didn't have much competition.

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Post by TJ on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 4:13 pm

Oops - this one will run and run and we need to know more.

Hastings i have no time for - I'd rather have Weir and furra linee. He has great potential but runs up blind alleys and throws poor passes to often Hastings is like the bad russell all the time IMO -

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 4:17 pm

More details are required here.

Has Toonie spat the dummy for Finn trying to voice concerns over tactics? Has he gone all Gunnery Sgt Hartman on the squad, singled out Finn and made an example of him but the issue is the players are against Toonie and his despot approach to coaching. Has Toonie adopted the same approach as Putin would if he were the national coach of the Russian Federation of former dopers

Or has Finn gone all Primadonna on us? Does he think he’s too good for a team that can only beat Italy in the 6Ns. Has Toonie rightfully told him to wind his neck in and stop being a spoilt brat.

Its all very much shades of Russell Snr being punted out the SRU. Fingers are waving, but are they being waved at the right person?

Either way, this is bad news for Scotland.

In the last few years, if Russell has played well, the team play well and we win. If Russel plays badly, the team play badly and we lose. If Russel doesn’t play, we play “meh” at best and lose.
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Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 4:23 pm

Being pragmatic, the only thing that's really changed with Finn being left out, is the manner in which we'll lose.

With Finn we'll lose while he tries some obscure miracle plays/passes
Without Finn we'll lose while Hastings tries some slightly less insane passes.

Either way, we're losing.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 4:31 pm

In some ways though, this is not the worse time for this to happen.

It us an odd start to the 6N in that lots of players will be involved with club matches this weekend and won't be available for a full training week. This puts countries like Scotland at a disadvantage already, as it will disrupt our preparations.

There probably was a decent argument for starting Hastings for the Ireland game, as he will be around for the whole of the preparatory phase and will be fresh. Russell could have benched then started the following week against England. We do need to reduce our reliance on Russell and keep bringing Hastings on, we will need him to start for us on occasions and hope that he will develop into a genuine challenger for the starting shirt, he is not far off and will only improve with more exposure.

I don't think it can be as simple as Finn trying to dictate the tactics either. Sure we did not get them right in the WC, but just reverting to complete Finnsanity is not the answer either. Yes we did a brilliant comeback against England last season, but the bigger question from that match was always how we got so far behind in the first place. We are never going to be a decent international side until we learn to balance the Finnsanity with some hard pragmatic rugby, that is what usually wins test matches. Toonie knows that, but has not yet managed to get the balance right, he may never do so.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 4:34 pm

Simon Zebo has been fairly stirring, most recently liked a post saying it’s Townsend’s “my way or the high way”.

In which case I think it’s highly unlikely that the SRU are likely to announce:
“Finn Russell left the camp today because he believes that the coach is f**king mental”

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 4:42 pm

BigGee wrote:In some ways though, this is not the worse time for this to happen.

It us an odd start to the 6N in that lots of players will be involved with club matches this weekend and won't be available for a full training week. This puts countries like Scotland at a disadvantage already, as it will disrupt our preparations.

There probably was a decent argument for starting Hastings for the Ireland game, as he will be around for the whole of the preparatory phase and will be fresh. Russell could have benched then started the following week against England. We do need to reduce our reliance on Russell and keep bringing Hastings on, we will need him to start for us on occasions and hope that he will develop into a genuine challenger for the starting shirt, he is not far off and will only improve with more exposure.

I don't think it can be as simple as Finn trying to dictate the tactics either. Sure we did not get them right in the WC, but just reverting to complete Finnsanity is not the answer either. Yes we did a brilliant comeback against England last season, but the bigger question from that match was always how we got so far behind in the first place. We are never going to be a decent international side until we learn to balance the Finnsanity with some hard pragmatic rugby, that is what usually wins test matches. Toonie knows that, but has not yet managed to get the balance right, he may never do so.

Good post. OK

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Post by RDW on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 4:46 pm

I can see what you're saying Biggee but I think there is a slim chance Hastings would have been starting this game! It's not like Russell is new to the setup. Townsend is under a lot of pressure for this tournament and he'll be picking the strongest available team, not looking towards the next WC / building depth.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 4:55 pm

There are a few cryptic suggestions on twitter that it was a disagreement with the senior player group that caused this, but no-one is really committing themselves just yet. I can't imagine that this is going to keep under wraps and likely some of the more informed journos will be making their inquiries now and we might get some more informed clues later on.

I know the SRU statement is vague, but in all honesty what more could they have said, without throwing someone under the bus, which would probably burn all bridges in any case. They do have a duty to maintain confidentiality in these cases.

Finn was probably due to go back to Racing today anyway, so him leaving under his own steam, may not be the big deal it is being made out to be. Fall outs happen and if something was simmering, then maybe it is better out in the open now and can be properly dealt with.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 5:09 pm

Russell has liked a message from a guy telling him there's nothing wrong with standing up for himself. Becoming more and more likely this is a case of a personal falling out between Townsend and Russell rather than breaking a curfew.
I would suggest that we won't see Russell or Townsend working together at Scotland level again. Townsend has dug in on the kicking tactic. He will live or die by it. Russell won't come back while it's still in place. It would be quite baffling if it were the tactical issue. Surely Russell, as Scotland's linchpin, and Townsend must have discussed plans following the World Cup.
If Townsend is involved in the summer tour it will be because he has overseen a passable or decent Six Nations. Or because Dodson and co have dug in behind him as he has dug in behind the tactic. If Dodson wishes to incite a riot then the way to go about it would be to compound a wooden spoon campaign by blaming Finn Russell.
If Russell is involved it means Dodson has bitten the bullet and given Townsend the boot. Or even better given himself the boot and Townsend with it. Townsend replaced by Scott Robertson in the process.

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Post by TJ on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 5:10 pm

it was a disagreement with the senior player group that caused this,

Who had the disagreement?  Townsend or Russell?
The key thing will be who do the players back?  If they back Russell then bye bye Townsend

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Post by RDW on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 5:12 pm

123456789. wrote:Russell has liked a message from a guy telling him there's nothing wrong with standing up for himself. Becoming more and more likely this is a case of a personal falling out between Townsend and Russell rather than breaking a curfew.
I would suggest that we won't see Russell or Townsend working together at Scotland level again. Townsend has dug in on the kicking tactic. He will live or die by it. Russell won't come back while it's still in place. It would be quite baffling if it were the tactical issue. Surely Russell, as Scotland's linchpin, and Townsend must have discussed plans following the World Cup.
If Townsend is involved in the summer tour it will be because he has overseen a passable or decent Six Nations. Or because Dodson and co have dug in behind him as he has dug in behind the tactic. If Dodson wishes to incite a riot then the way to go about it would be to compound a wooden spoon campaign by blaming Finn Russell.
If Russell is involved it means Dodson has bitten the bullet and given Townsend the boot. Or even better given himself the boot and Townsend with it. Townsend replaced by Scott Robertson in the process.
He's liked several tweets from Zebo and one from a random - not the most mature response from Finn. Given the situation he should be staying quiet for now.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 5:23 pm

John Barclay should maybe give him a ring and have a chat about the perils of inappropriate use of social media in situations like this!

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 5:36 pm

The Thistle Podcast is reporting that he may have fallen out with the senior players. Obviously that means Hogg in there somewhere. Most telling part of all of this is it's difficult to pin who the senior players actually are in terms of Scotland. Although that report hints it all went down on Sunday so why it took for today to spill out I can't work out.

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Post by RDW on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 5:39 pm

123456789. wrote:The Thistle Podcast is reporting that he may have fallen out with the senior players. Obviously that means Hogg in there somewhere. Most telling part of all of this is it's difficult to pin who the senior players actually are in terms of Scotland. Although that report hints it all went down on Sunday so why it took for today to spill out I can't work out.
It was the official press launch of the 6N yesterday - it would have been a PR nightmare if this had happened before that.


Looking through the SRU Twitter he was shown in a video on Sunday but hasn't appeared in any of the training pictures from this week (doesn't mean he wasn't there of course)

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Post by BigGee on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 5:45 pm

I have read a few other suggestions that he actually left the camp on Monday, so it all kicking off when they first meet up may be true. He was playing at Sarries on sunday afternoon, so no idea when he actually got up to Edinburgh and judging by the way Racing threw the game away, he may not have been in the best of humours!

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Post by sensisball on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 5:48 pm

The worst thing is that this all plays into Toonie's hands for finding blame hounds for a poor 6 N's. I lost 3 senior players to retirement ( Laidlaw, Barclay and Seymour) and Russell, probably our most important player, over some disciplinary malarkey.
What else did you expect guv?

Dodson, circling the wagons over the Russell senior employment tribunal ruling and his "somewhat generous" remuneration package decides that he will keep Toonie for a quiet life. He will then hope to milk another year of Wonga out of Scottish rugby before making his excuses and departing for pastures new before the wheels fall off completely. Or an I just being a cynical old goat?

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Post by RDW on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 5:49 pm

BigGee wrote:I have read a few other suggestions that he actually left the camp on Monday, so it all kicking off when they first meet up may be true. He was playing at Sarries on sunday afternoon, so no idea when he actually got up to Edinburgh and judging by the way Racing threw the game away, he may not have been in the best of humours!
Him and Maitland were pictured together heading up north on the Sunday after playing against each other.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 5:51 pm

Scottish Thistle Podcast, normally fairly on the money with this kind of stuff, saying that they have heard from three sources that it was senior players in disagreement with FR that sparked this.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 5:53 pm

sensisball wrote:

Dodson, circling the wagons over the Russell senior employment tribunal ruling and his "somewhat generous" remuneration package decides that he will keep Toonie for a quiet life. He will then hope to milk another year of Wonga out of Scottish rugby before making his excuses and departing for pastures new before the wheels fall off completely. Or an I just being a cynical old goat?

I don't think if we have a howler this 6N and Toonie stays, Dodson will be getting anything that could be remotely described as a quiet life!

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 6:04 pm

Hogg did an interview talking about Russell as our starting fly-half (playing harem scarem stuff) yesterday. There's no way he'd have known about Russell walking out, or it being on the cards, and still talk about it in that respect. There'd be the whole "whoever's at 10" stuff instead. So whatever happened came to a head this morning.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 6:07 pm

STV are reporting that it was booze related apparently

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Post by jimbopip on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 6:21 pm

TJ wrote:
it was a disagreement with the senior player group that caused this,

Who had the disagreement?  Townsend or Russell?
The key thing will be who do the players back?  If they back Russell then bye bye Townsend

I think Toonie has been cute here. If Dancer had attacked him, verbally, then him sanctioning Dancer would make it a "back me or him" issue. Instead he has handed it to "the senior players" and depersonalised it and isolated Dancer. 1-0 the management.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 6:26 pm

According to STV he walked out having been told he wouldn't be picked for the first match after allegedly breaching team rules on drinking alcohol. They were encouraged to have a drink on sunday but he went over the top. Was dropped and then refused to stick about to help the team prepare. Sounds like he's got drunk, got mouthy with the senior players and then decided he wouldn't back down.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 6:40 pm

Well in a way this makes it more believable, Finn got a bit mouthy and acted like a prat whilst a bit pissed. We can probably all relate to that kind of behaviour in some shape or form.

It probably means there is a way back for him as well, if he, in the cold light of day, realises that he was being an idiot. He should be able to come back in, show some contition and be accepted back into the group. Hopefully someone that he trusts and respects will have a word with him and give him the clues as to what he needs to do.

It is also good to know that the other senior players took a line on this and let him know that this behaviour was out of order. No-one is bigger than the team and hopefully Finn and everyone else in the squad should be quite clear about that.

This might actually help to bring the squad together and Finn needs to decide that he wants to be a part of that.

I don't actually have a problem with Hastings starting this one, he has been playing well and we need to see what he can do in a big game.

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Post by bsando on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 6:42 pm

RDW wrote:This will all be a big anti-climax if it turned out Finn just got drunk and punched a stripper.

This is why the SRU need to come out with more details soon.
Well he got drunk, don’t know about the stripper though

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Post by bsando on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 6:44 pm

“The Scotland players were given permission to have a few drinks when the squad met on Sunday, but Russell is believed to have ignored warnings from management and fellow players to stop.
The Racing 92 fly-half missed training on Monday and was subsequently told by head coach Gregor Townsend he would not be considered for selection in Dublin.
The head coach did invite Russell to return join the squad on Thursday to in their preparations for the match, but the player elected to leave the camp.
Russell has declined to comment and it remains unclear whether the 27-year-old will play any part in the campaign.“ - BBC

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Post by jimbopip on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 6:45 pm

bsando wrote:
RDW wrote:This will all be a big anti-climax if it turned out Finn just got drunk and punched a stripper.

This is why the SRU need to come out with more details soon.
Well he got drunk, don’t know about the stripper though

There is video evidence that when he last got drunk with the squad he didn't punch the stripper.
Mind you, the stripper was Frodo.

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 6:50 pm

Punching a stripper is completely unacceptable

Having a swally is just rugby culture.

Feck me this seems to have blown up spectacularly.

Ps, the Irish must think we’re mental. Banning a player for getting a bit pissed. If Ireland did that we’d be playing the Dublin Mormon Society first XV
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Post by bsando on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 6:54 pm

I don’t get why they didn’t just divulge the full details straight away. All afternoon rugby press have been stirring up a possible falling out between Russell and coaches when he was just an eejit and drank too much. He’ll probably be back for the England game.

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Post by RDW on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 7:04 pm

If that's what it was I don't know why they didn't come out with it straight away - missing training is completely unforgivable.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 7:06 pm

Sounds like egos have got in the way of something fairly straightforward. Finn Russell got drunk and mouthy then missed training. Strike against him for disciplinary reasons. Selection then becomes more challenging/ interesting from pragmatic reasons. Russell has missed training and will be away over the weekend missing more sessions. Townsend decides he won't be picking him for the Ireland game. Russell goes off in a huff to Paris/ decides he's better off in Paris for the next two weeks preparing for games he is going to be playing in. Whether he comes back probably depends on what the conversations have been like in tone since then.

I feel a bit guilty mouthing off at Townsend now. There wasn't much he could do here other than take a stand. Russell, equally, is paid enormous amounts of money by Racing and figured he was better off over there. All seems straightforward, and if dealt with sensibly and in an adult manner should all be over post Dublin. A more creative solution could have been found (i.e match fee discreetly passed to a charity of his choice and he's shunted to the bench, Townsend saying that Hastings has been picked on account of his form and prep time which would be in line with Duncan Taylor situation, then slyly leaked during a rest week and Russell apologising and saying he wants to move on and he's learned his lesson). Let's hope Hastings has a stormer against Ireland and we win, the SRU talk like adults with Russell and get him back over in time for the England game and we win that one too.

Knowing the SRU's usual response to crisis situations, this will end with wee Nicola issue a fatwa against Russell and banning him from setting foot in Scotland ever again, five record defeats and a five year mega contract for Gregor Townsend with the stadium renamed GT Murrayfield.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 7:08 pm

RDW wrote:If that's what it was I don't know why they didn't come out with it straight away - missing training is completely unforgivable.

It's not unprecedented either. Manu Tuilagi and Denny Solomona were both sent home from an England training camp after boozing

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Post by RDW on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 7:09 pm

If it is true it also makes it even more childish for him to have liked all of Zebo's tweets.

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 7:11 pm

Apparently Dodson is going to sue mexico for making the cheap lager that Finn drank saying it’s unfair that Scotland have been disadvantaged.

Too soon still?
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Post by TJ on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 7:12 pm

" is believed to" ie some unidentified source that may or may not be true. sounds to me like someone leaking 3rd hand info

something in this does not ring true to me. More to follow I am sure

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 7:16 pm

We’re still missing out on the most important matter.

Will meatball be getting a call?
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Post by 123456789. on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 7:19 pm

If he's missed training, then he's missed training. The statement deliberately left the door open for the rest of the tournament. Spreading lies about him would sort of undermine that.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 7:36 pm

Have there been any suggestions that he carried on boozing because he had already had a disagreement over team tactics?

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