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Scotland v France Sunday 8th March 2020

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Post by BigGee on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 10:24 am

First topic message reminder :

Scotland v France
BT Murrayfield Stadium
Edinburgh

Sunday 8th March 2020
KO 15:00

Live on BBC1


Well assuming it goes ahead and it would be very late to cancel it now, The all conquering French team will arrive in Scotland for this weekends fixture.

This match will go a long way to either propelling France towards a Grand Slam (first for a long time) or giving Scotland a half decent season and guaranteeing that Toonie stays in post.

France have looked good without being totally convincing and have looked vulnerable to second half comebacks in all of their games so far. They are playing some fantastic rugby but maybe their fitness is not quite at the level of some of the other sides yet and it is hard to say that they look unbeatable, especially away from home.

Scotland actually have a pretty good record against France at home and even beat them pretty comfortably in the summer despite a very poor start to the game.

This is a different French side though, especially with the new defensive set up and they are less likely to be carrying past baggage. They will be very clinical and will take scoring chances if Scotland give them to them. They should be favourites for this game and for the GS if they win. The question for them is probably are they ready for that kind of pressure this early in their development as a team?

As for Scotland, well a win last time out removes the spectre of whitewashes and wooden spoon and hopefully that can loosen them up a lot for this game. Defensively they have been very hard to break down in this championship and that might frustrate the French as well. There is no doubt though that to win this game, our attack needs to click and without FR and with Huw Jones still not really firing (he did nothing against Leinster that suggested he would be back in the team this week).

I don't expect many changes to the Scotland set up. Of all the players out last weekend, probably only Kyle Steyn put in a convincing case to get himself into the team. He has been playing well all season and has scored some eye catching tries, so maybe it is his turn now.

I am expecting to see a Scotland team something like this:

1. Sutherland
2. McInally
3. Fagerson Z
4. Cummings
5. Toolis
6. Ritchie
7. Watson
8. Bradbury
9. Price
10. Hastings
11. Maitland
12. Johnson
13. Harris
14. Kinghorn
15. Hogg

Subs:

Dell
Brown
Nel/Berghan - maybe Nel to counter the French scrum later in the game
Carmichael - another youngster worthy of a spot, been playing well for Edinburgh
Fagerson/Haining - The carrying of Haining v the defensive excellence of Fagerson (he made 31 tackles against Leinster!), I think he will so with youth
Horne G
Hutchinson
Steyn



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Post by tigertattie on Mon 09 Mar 2020, 5:33 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:Not how I saw it, I think Haining made contact with his face, but wasn't a punch and it was lower part of his face.

I could be mistaken, but given the length of time the TMO was reviewing the incident I would have assumed that would have been picked up.

Nope I was wrong, just seen an image and it does look like Haining may have made contact with the eye area

Any links?

If true then when the French prop is banned for punching, Haining should be banned for eye gouging.
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Post by BigGee on Mon 09 Mar 2020, 6:31 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Any citings from this one?

Nothing yet, a few from the England game though.

Another 24 hours on this one though, so we will wait and see.

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Post by bsando on Mon 09 Mar 2020, 6:36 pm

tigertattie wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:Not how I saw it, I think Haining made contact with his face, but wasn't a punch and it was lower part of his face.

I could be mistaken, but given the length of time the TMO was reviewing the incident I would have assumed that would have been picked up.

Nope I was wrong, just seen an image and it does look like Haining may have made contact with the eye area

Any links?

If true then when the French prop is banned for punching, Haining should be banned for eye gouging.

I thought it was more of a slipped shove from Haining that went towards his face. Regardless, it doesn't look great when played back in real time. I was thinking earlier how in the past that French punch would have just gone unnoticed and a citing commission would have punished the player after the game and the final result. The tech is still a bit slow and can be annoying for fans but it is really helping to reveal and hopefully stamp out stupidity from players.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 8:40 am

tigertattie wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:Not how I saw it, I think Haining made contact with his face, but wasn't a punch and it was lower part of his face.

I could be mistaken, but given the length of time the TMO was reviewing the incident I would have assumed that would have been picked up.

Nope I was wrong, just seen an image and it does look like Haining may have made contact with the eye area

Any links?

If true then when the French prop is banned for punching, Haining should be banned for eye gouging.

Here you go

https://amp.reddit.com/r/rugbyunion/comments/ffiui5/haining_putting_his_finger_in_the_haouass_eye/

Not saying he intentionally went for his eye, just looked liked he was trying to push him away and went high, but it does look like he makes contact with the eye area.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 10:07 am

On that evidence, the French were right to be annoyed and naturally reacted. The punch? Obviously not the right or legal reaction but there is obvious illegal (eye area contact - intentional) provocation.

On the field the French were adamant that there was more than the punch to look at. That footage proves they weren't just trying to repulse blame.

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 10:58 am

Yup, he'll be up in front of the citing committee now.

We can only speculate as to if he meant it or not but there are fingers at the eye area so he'll be in a bit of bother.

The only mitigating factor is that there is no obvious reaction from Haouass like recoiling in pain. It doesnt look like there was any harm caused, but that's punishing the outcome rather than the act so I'm not sure if that will be taken into consideration. If it is, it opens the doors to potential play acting and befoe you know it we'll have Naymar-esque rolling on the floor.
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 3:27 pm

Just a quick reaction to the game: great stuff. If I were picky, I'd have liked the extra point for 4 tries but I thought it was a very solid performance all round. Hard to think of a poor performance, and Gilchrist, Ritchie and Watson were particularly good.

I will also concede that Chris Harris had a good solid game. We still need more attacking thrust in the backline, in my opinion, but he did a decent job on Sunday and deserves a shot at the Welsh. Maitland is another on borrowed time that had a good game. His tries were straightforward but his kick chase was much better.

I suspect Toonie will feel that it's been a pretty solid tournament from his perspective. Lineout still a complete shambles but the scrum and the defence have both been a big plus.

As for Haining, I don't think that's an intentional "gouge" but there's contact with the face there and he could face a sanction. Pity, as I've been really impressed with him. Tough customer who along with Ritchie seems to have a hard edge and revel in the "niggle". We've needed a bit of that.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 7:41 am

Well it looks like Haining has not been cited.

Have to say, it did not look like anything in real time his hand just slipped upwards after it was deflected. Single still photos never tell the whole story.

Hopefully he plays again on Saturday.

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Post by Tramptastic on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 8:01 am

In terms of the line outs I suspect this is perhaps the fault of the Danny Wilson - not because he's coached poorly but because it seems he's given line out call responsibility to the hookers.

Cast your minds back in time to when Ross Ford was our one and only hooker. He went threw a couple years of the scotland lineout being an utter shambles and he was widely derided for his throwing. Now, as we all know, Hookers are the most important player on the pitch 2nd only to No.6 (no personal bias at all), and when the lineout is going wrong we assume it's the hookers fault. During the Ross Ford bad years it wasn't his fault, what was happening was the lineout calls were coming from the hooker, not one of the jumpers. As such Ross Ford was trying to do mental backflips to figure out what the right call was at the time, panicking when the opposition read it and misthrowing in a panic. Once the locks started calling the lineout his throwing got immeasurably better.

In comparison to the recent two competitions Scotland have played in, Danny Wilson has been forwards coach and it appears the calls are coming from the hooker. In theory this allows the hooker to throw to the jumper he feels most comfortable with rather than the lock demanding the ball, but again, it seems both our hookers are struggling with the mental gymnastics of picking the right throw - thats not a mark against them, Brown and McInally can both well, can both throw straight to the tail/on rushing 12 etc, but if they are knackered, mentally fatigued, having to make a quick call and then concentrate on getting the throw right it can go askew. I don't think hookers are the best people to call the lineout, the jumpers can gauge their opposition and how much pressure they are under from certain defensive jumpers so it should be them that calls it.

Hopefully this is rectified when our new forwards coach comes in.

Hopefully

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Post by RDW on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 9:17 am

I've found a channel on Aussie TV showing a rerun of the game. Looking forward to watching it! They're showing the Wales game too - I'd just need to get up / stay up until 2am to watch it..

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Post by jimbopip on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 9:44 am

RDW wrote:I've found a channel on Aussie TV showing a rerun of the game. Looking forward to watching it! They're showing the Wales game too - I'd just need to get up / stay up until 2am to watch it..

I see the magic of digital recording on the tellybox has not reached the colonies yet.

You may notice that your watching a Scotland game and the team with all the flair backs come up against a resolute defence, get frustrated, start making stupid errors and implode. So far, so normal. Except it's not Scotland who self-destruct. Shocked

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Post by RDW on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 10:02 am

jimbopip wrote:
RDW wrote:I've found a channel on Aussie TV showing a rerun of the game. Looking forward to watching it! They're showing the Wales game too - I'd just need to get up / stay up until 2am to watch it..

I see the magic of digital recording on the tellybox has not reached the colonies yet.

You may notice that your watching a Scotland game and the team with all the flair backs come up against a resolute defence, get frustrated, start making stupid errors and implode. So far, so normal. Except it's not Scotland who self-destruct. Shocked

It has, just not where I'm staying alas.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 5:07 pm

RDW wrote:I've found a channel on Aussie TV showing a rerun of the game. Looking forward to watching it! They're showing the Wales game too - I'd just need to get up / stay up until 2am to watch it..

Jet lag should see to that surely!

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Post by RDW on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 7:45 pm

RDW wrote:I've found a channel on Aussie TV showing a rerun of the game. Looking forward to watching it! They're showing the Wales game too - I'd just need to get up / stay up until 2am to watch it..

I only made it to halftime then fell asleep! Doh

Was a scrappier game than I was expecting but I suppose that was the plan - don't let the French get any momentum.

Scrums were a bore.

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 9:25 am

Haouass banned for three weeks for his whack to Ritchie. Lowered from 6 weeks to 3 for mitigating factors such as "experience of test match rugby" - So ignorance does appear to be an excuse in the eyes of the rugby laws.

No word as yet on Haining.
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Post by jimbopip on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 9:30 am

I'm thinking that if he hasn't been lassooed by the biscuit connoisseurs by now then he's Scot free. Mind you, not in the D'Arcy Rae Fugitive/One Armed Man sense you understand.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 11:07 am

tigertattie wrote:Haouass banned for three weeks for his whack to Ritchie. Lowered from 6 weeks to 3 for mitigating factors such as "experience of test match rugby" - So ignorance does appear to be an excuse in the eyes of the rugby laws.

No word as yet on Haining.

Haining wasn't cited.

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Post by R!skysports on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 11:10 am

EWT Spoons wrote:
tigertattie wrote:Haouass banned for three weeks for his whack to Ritchie. Lowered from 6 weeks to 3 for mitigating factors such as "experience of test match rugby" - So ignorance does appear to be an excuse in the eyes of the rugby laws.

No word as yet on Haining.

Haining wasn't cited.

Which I think he is VERY lucky

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 12:55 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:
tigertattie wrote:Haouass banned for three weeks for his whack to Ritchie. Lowered from 6 weeks to 3 for mitigating factors such as "experience of test match rugby" - So ignorance does appear to be an excuse in the eyes of the rugby laws.

No word as yet on Haining.

Haining wasn't cited.

They have till end of today to cite him (or not) apparently!
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Post by 123456789. on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 4:52 pm

There was a Stephen Jones article out before this game. It said Scotland wouldn't win because rucking was
outlawed in 1992. He then produced a range of stats to prove it:
Stephen Jones wrote:
What happened, and when? We can pin down the point when their game was totally taken away from them. It was in the year 1992. Until 1992 their success rate throughout history against England was nearly 44 per cent — since 1992 it has been just over 17 per cent.

Against Wales until 1992, Scotland stood at 44 per cent and afterwards, just over 29 per cent; against Ireland in 1992, they were in the black at 55 per cent but since then, only 38 per cent. Breathtaking dips. Scotland have not won a grand slam since 1990, nor ever looked likely to. It is a stunning 24 years since they won three home nations games on the trot.

Thing is is 1993 we beat Wales and Ireland, in 1995 we beat Wales and Ireland, in 1996 we beat Wales and Ireland, in 1999 we beat Wales and Ireland. It was eight years after the rule change that we started to lose to Ireland. I normally pay no heed to Stephen Jones, but it's astounding that he is paid to do his job. It's obvious why Scotland aren't as good as we used to be. It's because the SRU spent all it's money doing the stadium up, so when rugby started to cost money we had none. So we couldn't put the money into rugby infrastructure so our players weren't as good. Because our players weren't as good, numbers dwindled. So we we had a smaller playing group to choose from. The Irish system was perfect for professionalism and from it came their golden generation. Who in turn inspired the current lot. We've been playing catch up and sometimes gone in the reverse ever since. If the money situation had been different, maybe our four regions may have stayed going and more players would come through. I suspect that our current group, who are actually quite good, might not win a whole lot of trophies, maybe a Six Nations on a good year or a triple crown if things fall into place. But their long term legacy may be the sellouts at Murrayfield and the stars that emerge from them.

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