Scotland 6 Nations Thread

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 08 Mar 2020, 7:22 pm

First topic message reminder :

As one of his strongest critics on here biggee I agree. He's had a chance to turn the team around, he's recruited well to do that. I will lay off the criticism for now. Still work to do around the rucks and lineouts. A new forwards coach should do that. I also still think we stand too deep at the moment.

I still think we have more electric choices at centre (who arent huw jones) than Harris. He does very little wrong but you dont hold your breath when he comes in in support. I'd really like to see Scott at OC, he made a great partnership with dunbar when he played there. Either that or I'd like to see what one of steyn or hutch can do. Defensively I'd say most of our options are a much of a muchness and think thats just a weak argument for exclusion.

Talking of defence, it was great today bar the second france try. Tandy take a bow. Interesting that the scrum really suffered with the subs but was otherwise excellent. Desperately need Schoe to qualify and another TH to step up. Tries were finished well and Hastings had a good game.

Ritchie well deserved MoM and surely in line for captaincy if he keeps it up.

All in all, decent win and I'll happily take that as progress from the lows of last year and 2018. If we sort our rucking on our ball, the attack will come.
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Post by bsando on Wed 15 Apr 2020, 11:45 am

Yeah I agree with your thoughts everyone, at least lessons have been learned now hopefully. I was pretty shocked that support coaches had just laughed at him when he was having a borderline breakdown. That would be a scandalous thing to happen now. Him and NDL were basically scape goats for a lot of Scotland's poor performances at times because the pack was definitely superior at that time.

Unrelated, but I was scrolling through my old High School's facebook page today and noticed a BBC link for Nick Haining's Scotland debut! I had no idea but he was in the year below me at high School. I played Rugby up until year 10 then swapped to Aussies rules for my last two years (I wanted to play rugby in year 12 but was too old annoyingly, some stupid age rule) which is probably why I don't remember him. I must have seen him around and probably interacted with him at some point during my time at high school though, that made me laugh. Actually we have 15 mutual friends on facebook after checking haha.

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Post by jimbopip on Wed 15 Apr 2020, 12:21 pm

bsando is now the ticket collector for AI's, 6 Nations and the Annual Slaughter Of The Effeminates. Make sure your new BFF gets us good seats.

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Post by bsando on Wed 15 Apr 2020, 4:13 pm

Haha! I wish, god do I wish. If things get desperate I might try my luck!

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Post by jimbopip on Wed 15 Apr 2020, 4:18 pm

You should, bsando...mate of mine kiss

And remember that since it was my idea I get 25% of all tickets. thumbsup

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Post by bsando on Tue 05 May 2020, 9:36 am

Alright, for a bit of fun what is your Scotland XXIII of the 2000's?

Assume each player you select is at the peak of their Scotland career. The only rule is your team must comprise of players who have featured in matches from the 2000 6N onwards. So for instance, Chris Paterson who was capped in 1999 is allowed because he played in lots of games in the 2000's onwards.

Here is a list of Scottish international players for you to rejig your memory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Scotland_national_rugby_union_players

My side would be the following... (I found this tougher than I thought, especially the backrow)

Dickinson
Ford
Nel
R Gray
J Gray
Barclay
Rennie
Denton
Laidlaw
Russell
Visser
Dunbar
Jones
Maitland
Hogg

Replacements: R Grant, McInally, Murray, Hines, Beattie, Horne, Hastings, Seymour

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 05 May 2020, 9:47 am

So not just players who played in a game from 2000 to 2009???

Any player this side of the millennium?
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Post by RDW on Tue 05 May 2020, 10:10 am

Horne over Blair, Cusiter or Lawson?? Also do you mean from the 00s or from 2000 until now? This is why these things are never 'fun'! Laugh

These things as always difficult - are we talking about players who have contributed the most/been the most successful, or selecting based on their peak performance and ability? Johnnie Beattie being a prime example as only falling into one of those camps!

Anyway on the basis of it being peak performance:

1 Dickinson
2 McInally
3 Murray
4 Hines
5 R Gray
6 White
7 Watson
8 Beattie

9 Laidlaw
10 Russell
11 Seymour
12 Dunbar
13 Jones
14 Maitland
15 Hogg

Replacements - Chunk, Ford, Nel, J Gray, Denton, Blair, Parks (peak performance he was a game winner!), Lamont

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Post by bsando on Tue 05 May 2020, 10:41 am

tigertattie wrote:So not just players who played in a game from 2000 to 2009???

Any player this side of the millennium?

Yes exactly!

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Post by bsando on Tue 05 May 2020, 11:19 am

RDW wrote:Horne over Blair, Cusiter or Lawson?? Also do you mean from the 00s or from 2000 until now? This is why these things are never 'fun'! Laugh

These things as always difficult - are we talking about players who have contributed the most/been the most successful, or selecting based on their peak performance and ability? Johnnie Beattie being a prime example as only falling into one of those camps!

Anyway on the basis of it being peak performance:

1 Dickinson
2 McInally
3 Murray
4 Hines
5 R Gray
6 White
7 Watson
8 Beattie

9 Laidlaw
10 Russell
11 Seymour
12 Dunbar
13 Jones
14 Maitland
15 Hogg

Replacements - Chunk, Ford, Nel, J Gray, Denton, Blair, Parks (peak performance he was a game winner!), Lamont

I never really thought of Blair, Cusiter and Lawson as displaying any "excellent" attributes. They each had purple patches during their careers but overall I honestly like the look of Horne a lot more. During his short career so far looks a lot faster and sharper in my opinion. Of the three I liked Cusiter best though.

From the 2000 6N onwards Wink so until the 2020 6N

I think a lot of our backline players will be from 2010 onwards. options before that are basically Paterson or S Lamont. I did consider adding Thom Evans though, he looked very good up until his injury. Ansbro was another player who did well at outside centre but more recent options there are probably better.

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 05 May 2020, 11:28 am

RDW wrote:Horne over Blair, Cusiter or Lawson?? Also do you mean from the 00s or from 2000 until now? This is why these things are never 'fun'! Laugh

These things as always difficult - are we talking about players who have contributed the most/been the most successful, or selecting based on their peak performance and ability? Johnnie Beattie being a prime example as only falling into one of those camps!

Anyway on the basis of it being peak performance:

1 Dickinson
2 McInally
3 Murray
4 Hines
5 R Gray
6 White
7 Watson
8 Beattie

9 Laidlaw
10 Russell
11 Seymour
12 Dunbar
13 Jones
14 Maitland
15 Hogg

Replacements - Chunk, Ford, Nel, J Gray, Denton, Blair, Parks (peak performance he was a game winner!), Lamont

Denton or Beattie over Taylor?
Is your Lamont Rory or Sean? (mind Sean was sintilating when he first came on the scene)
No place for Paterson? Surely one of our greatest players!!!
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Post by RDW on Tue 05 May 2020, 11:29 am

bsando wrote:
RDW wrote:Horne over Blair, Cusiter or Lawson?? Also do you mean from the 00s or from 2000 until now? This is why these things are never 'fun'! Laugh

These things as always difficult - are we talking about players who have contributed the most/been the most successful, or selecting based on their peak performance and ability? Johnnie Beattie being a prime example as only falling into one of those camps!

Anyway on the basis of it being peak performance:

1 Dickinson
2 McInally
3 Murray
4 Hines
5 R Gray
6 White
7 Watson
8 Beattie

9 Laidlaw
10 Russell
11 Seymour
12 Dunbar
13 Jones
14 Maitland
15 Hogg

Replacements - Chunk, Ford, Nel, J Gray, Denton, Blair, Parks (peak performance he was a game winner!), Lamont

I never really thought of Blair, Cusiter and Lawson as displaying any "excellent" attributes. They each had purple patches during their careers but overall I honestly like the look of Horne a lot more. During his short career so far looks a lot faster and sharper in my opinion. Of the three I liked Cusiter best though.

From the 2000 6N onwards Wink so until the 2020 6N

I think a lot of our backline players will be from 2010 onwards. options before that are basically Paterson or S Lamont. I did consider adding Thom Evans though, he looked very good up until his injury. Ansbro was another player who did well at outside centre but more recent options there are probably better.

Woah that's a controversial opinion! We're talking about 85 and 70 times called Blair and Cusiter, Lions tourists and former Scotland captains....against a player who is yet to properly make an impact at test level other than against Tier 2 nations.

Plenty potential but there's no comparison for now.

Blair was a phenomenal player during his prime and Cusiter was fantastic too. Did Blair not get a world player of the year nomination as well? Those nominations aren't giveaways!

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Post by RDW on Tue 05 May 2020, 11:31 am

tigertattie wrote:
RDW wrote:Horne over Blair, Cusiter or Lawson?? Also do you mean from the 00s or from 2000 until now? This is why these things are never 'fun'! Laugh

These things as always difficult - are we talking about players who have contributed the most/been the most successful, or selecting based on their peak performance and ability? Johnnie Beattie being a prime example as only falling into one of those camps!

Anyway on the basis of it being peak performance:

1 Dickinson
2 McInally
3 Murray
4 Hines
5 R Gray
6 White
7 Watson
8 Beattie

9 Laidlaw
10 Russell
11 Seymour
12 Dunbar
13 Jones
14 Maitland
15 Hogg

Replacements - Chunk, Ford, Nel, J Gray, Denton, Blair, Parks (peak performance he was a game winner!), Lamont

Denton or Beattie over Taylor?
Is your Lamont Rory or Sean? (mind Sean was sintilating when he first came on the scene)
No place for Paterson? Surely one of our greatest players!!!

Which Taylor you talking about? 2010 Johnnie Beattie was an absolute world beater.

Good point on Mossy - how could I! It was 2006 Sean Lamont but Mossy should bench for his legendary status. IMO that starting back 3 are better players in their peak though.

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Post by jimbopip on Tue 05 May 2020, 12:52 pm

RDW wrote:
tigertattie wrote:
RDW wrote:Horne over Blair, Cusiter or Lawson?? Also do you mean from the 00s or from 2000 until now? This is why these things are never 'fun'! Laugh

These things as always difficult - are we talking about players who have contributed the most/been the most successful, or selecting based on their peak performance and ability? Johnnie Beattie being a prime example as only falling into one of those camps!

Anyway on the basis of it being peak performance:

1 Dickinson
2 McInally
3 Murray
4 Hines
5 R Gray
6 White
7 Watson
8 Beattie

9 Laidlaw
10 Russell
11 Seymour
12 Dunbar
13 Jones
14 Maitland
15 Hogg

Replacements - Chunk, Ford, Nel, J Gray, Denton, Blair, Parks (peak performance he was a game winner!), Lamont

Denton or Beattie over Taylor?
Is your Lamont Rory or Sean? (mind Sean was sintilating when he first came on the scene)
No place for Paterson? Surely one of our greatest players!!!

Which Taylor you talking about? 2010 Johnnie Beattie was an absolute world beater.

Good point on Mossy - how could I! It was 2006 Sean Lamont but Mossy should bench for his legendary status. IMO that starting back 3 are better players in their peak though.

Hate to sound ungracious about one of our most loyal servants but.... Mossy was not half the full back that Hogg is, Rory Lamont or Hugo Southwell were arguably better 15's than him. At 10 he was a long way behind Dan Parks. In the most brutal analysis Mossy was a backs version of Rob Harley; reliable, committed, a great club player but for some reason not quite (top) international level.
I would suggest that Scott Murray is worth a place in the 23.
Ryan Grant, at his best was worth a Lions' jersey...but I'm not bitter!
John Barclay at his best should be at 7.
Simon Taylor at 8.
Jason White at 6.

Dancer gets the 10 jersey because he is, post Townsend, the most talented 10 we have produced: if we have this thread in 5 years time it'll be very interesting to see what his standing is then.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 05 May 2020, 12:57 pm

The play style has changed so much in the last twenty years it's hard to say!

For what it's worth:

Chunk (just edges it for me because he was such a beast in the scrum)
Bulloch (best set-piece hooker and was a good captain in spite of the crap era)
Nel (close fought with Murray but think Nel had a bit more about him in the loose, Fagerson will surpass both imo, he's some athlete)
R Gray (for his dynamism)
S Murray (again maybe it's because I'm missing having a good set piece, locks were probably the hardest choice)
White (Brown gets an honourable mention as a hugely under-rated player, as does Ritchie for impact in short period of time though I view him as a seven)
Watson (but Barclay was a very close second only because he fell out of favour for so long injuries etc)
Beattie (had to be our most impactful 8 despite rapid fall from form, Taylor was good and a brutal tackler but as a result was just injured all the time, Denton comes close but was too limited)

Blair (our best all-round SH, somewhere between Cusiter and Laidlaw imo)
Russell (again, who else?)

Maitland (arguably the most consistent player of the last 5 years, Visser gets a mention for tries)
Dunbar (his peak felt too short...)
Bennett (I think he's a smarter player than Jones and was hugely important in 2015, honourable mention for Dunc Taylor, as he was outstanding at his peak too)
Graham (purely for the amount of impact he's had in such a short period of time and when Scotland weren't playing their best, honourable mentions for Mossy and Shlong, both excellent players on their day)
Hogg(again honourable mention for mossy)

Subs
Ford, Dickinson, Fagerson, Hines, Barclay, Cusiter, Parks (his tactical kicking was sublime at times), Taylor, Mossy
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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 05 May 2020, 1:04 pm

I completely forgot Seymour.... This is difficult!
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 12 May 2020, 4:35 pm

1.Dickinson 2.McInally 3.Murray 4.Hines 5.Murray 6.White 7.Watson 8.Taylor 9.Blair 10.Russell 11.Lamont 12.Dunbar 13.Jones 14.Seymour 15.Hogg

16.Chunk 17.Bulloch 18.Nel 19.R Gray 20.Barclay 21.Cusiter 22.Paterson 23.Bennett

Fairly straightforward for me. Benching Mossy feels weird but there are just more effective options in each of the positions he covered.

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 12 May 2020, 6:02 pm

Mine is a lot of forwards from 2000-2010 and a lot of backs from 2010-2020. Which pretty much says all you need to know about Scottish Rugby in recent times:

1. Dickinson 2. Bulloch 3. Nel 4. Hines 5. R Gray 6. Barclay 7. Watson 8. Taylor 9. Blair 10. Russell 11. Seymour 12. Dunbar 13. Jones 14. Maitland 15. Hogg
16. Smith 17. McInally 18. Murray 19. White 20. Rennie 21. Cusiter 22. Paterson 23. T Evans


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Post by jimbopip on Tue 12 May 2020, 7:09 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:1.Dickinson 2.McInally 3.Murray 4.Hines 5.Murray 6.White 7.Watson 8.Taylor 9.Blair 10.Russell 11.Lamont 12.Dunbar 13.Jones 14.Seymour 15.Hogg

16.Chunk 17.Bulloch 18.Nel 19.R Gray 20.Barclay 21.Cusiter 22.Paterson 23.Bennett

Fairly straightforward for me. Benching Mossy feels weird but there are just more effective options in each of the positions he covered.

I don't mind pointing out the error of your ways, my Parma Violet scented friend. picard

First up....Desperate Dan was a much better 10 than Mossy ever was. Of course parks had the advantage of actually being a 10 and playing there all the time. I listened to Jiffy being asked, on an old Scotland-Wales match, whether Mossy should be played at 10 or 15: his answer was he had the pace to do damage at 15 but if he wasn't at 10 the ball would never get out that far because there was no-one else to play there. The following match Dan parks made his debut and things improved immeasurably..

Also, No Maits is a better winger than Schlong. No contest. NoMaits can also cover FB much better than either Schlong or Mossy. Mind you, only Schlong could provide the vision for a ball playing second five eighths.

Finally though Dancer is, by a country mile, the most creatively talented 10 we have had since Toonie I am beginning to wonder whether his ability to manage a game for 80 minutes is up there with the best. Some people are beginning to call him Scotland's Cipriani.... By the next World Cup Dancer has either toed the line and become Scotland's best since John Rutherford OR we're talking about Haircut Hastings as being the best rugby player in his family.



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Post by king_carlos on Tue 12 May 2020, 8:09 pm

jimbopip wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:1.Dickinson 2.McInally 3.Murray 4.Hines 5.Murray 6.White 7.Watson 8.Taylor 9.Blair 10.Russell 11.Lamont 12.Dunbar 13.Jones 14.Seymour 15.Hogg

16.Chunk 17.Bulloch 18.Nel 19.R Gray 20.Barclay 21.Cusiter 22.Paterson 23.Bennett

Fairly straightforward for me. Benching Mossy feels weird but there are just more effective options in each of the positions he covered.

I don't mind pointing out the error of your ways, my Parma Violet scented friend. picard

First up....Desperate Dan was a much better 10 than Mossy ever was.  Of course parks had the advantage of actually being a 10 and playing there all the time. I listened to Jiffy being asked, on an old  Scotland-Wales match, whether Mossy should be played at 10 or 15: his answer was he had the pace to do damage at 15 but if he wasn't at 10 the ball would never get out that far because there was no-one else to play there. The following match Dan parks made his debut and things improved immeasurably..

Also, No Maits is a better winger than Schlong. No contest. NoMaits can also cover FB much better than either Schlong or Mossy. Mind you, only Schlong could  provide the vision for a ball playing second five eighths.

Finally though Dancer is, by a country mile, the most creatively talented 10 we have had since Toonie I am beginning to wonder whether his ability to manage a game for 80 minutes is up there with the best. Some people are beginning to call him Scotland's Cipriani.... By the next World Cup Dancer has either toed the line and become Scotland's best since John Rutherford OR we're talking about Haircut Hastings as being the best rugby player in his family.



I love watching Finn play but I've always had queries over his fitness levels. His game management and decision making seems to deteriorate later on in a match. He's hardly regarded as the hardest trainer or the most professional of pro sportsman.

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Post by jimbopip on Tue 12 May 2020, 8:47 pm

Carlos, look again at THAT semi- final against Ulster. Setting up the crucial try in the 80th minute and then kicking the conversion in the last second.


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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 12 May 2020, 9:54 pm

Ah Jimbo my friend, I didn't pick Paterson at 10. I picked him on the bench to provide utility back cover. I would actually agree with you that purely based on contribution to the Scotland cause, Parks contributed more in the 10 jersey than Paterson (who barely played at 10 at all, much to my annoyance).

On the other hand you're smoking something if you think Maitland has contributed more than Lamont. Think back to Hadden's first 6 Nations. Lamont was awesome. Thumping tackler as well. Maitland has just benefitted from being a half decent finisher on the wing during a rare era of Scotland playing attacking rugby. Both pretty sluggish for wingers, but at least Lamont had power.

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Post by jimbopip on Wed 13 May 2020, 12:06 pm

I genuinely believe that Maitland is a much more important player than people give him credit for. The best comparison could be Turnstile Tim. If being a good winger was simply about scoring tries then he is one of the best to have played in the era we're discussing.  The footballing analogy would be Gerd Muller. But while Der Bomber's team mates used to tell him to bugger off if he ever looked for the ball outside the box a finisher in rugby has to contribute as mu0ch in defence as attack. Maitland brought a Kiwi streetsmart attitude to defending at Scotstoun which had a huge impact on everyone at the club. He is a very intelligent player  and a footballing analogy, yes another, might be that Schlong defended like Ronnie McKinnon and NoMaits like Bobby Moore. Iknow youhavea soft spot for GlasgowRangers so you can spend some time checking that out.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed 13 May 2020, 12:23 pm

Maitland has definitely contributed as much if not more than Lamont. Just because one is Mr Angry and makes his opinions known doesn't mean he puts more in on the pitch than the one who is so laid back you could use him as a snooker table.

I couldn't count the amount of times that Maitland is the last ditch tackler, and the difference is he makes them 9/10 times. Lamont was a great player but in a different way. He made first up tackles and was more of a Dunbar, get up quickly character. Sleepy Sean is a very clever player, and to consistently be in the starting lineup of a European cup winning side for 4 years is no mean feat. The work he does opening opportunities too is often missed, he is a great support player and can score the tries if it's on for him.

Schlong, as a result of the era he played in, mostly worked alone and sometimes felt like he was trying to compensate for the rest of the backline. It's a shame he was around when he was because he could definitely have contributed to Scotland's recent successes.
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Post by 123456789. on Wed 13 May 2020, 12:56 pm

Sean Maitland's strike rate is double that of Sean Lamont's. It's comparing apples and oranges really. Maitland has been lucky to largely play in a time when the likes of Russell, Hogg, Jones and Seymour were making things happen elsewhere on the pitch. Lamont, at points, was the only player making things happen for Scotland. He was more visible on the pitch. But this increased activity no doubt impacted on his strike rate. They're very different wingers from very different periods. I think Sean Maitland is overall a better player in all honesty. As has been noted, you don't get into a team like Saracens by accident.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 13 May 2020, 3:50 pm

It's a tricky comparison. Lamont won a number of MOTM awards and was player of the season for Scotland in a 100+ cap career. I can remember several of his performances vividly. It's just a shame his career coincided with Scotland being so dreadful, but maybe he wouldn't have stood out so much in the sides that Maitland played in.

Maitland is a handy player with good running lines and basics. I would argue that he doesn't always run in the tries that he should, and whilst Lamont was no flier, I dont think Maitland is any faster. I know he plays for Sarries, but so did Kelly Brown and Duncan Taylor, and I don't think that in of itself says much about their Scotland careers. If Graham and Kinghorn are both fit, Maitland doesn't make the current Scotland team in my opinion.

Tim Visser and Thom Evans were better finishers than both of them, so I'm not just being swayed by strike rates.

Slightly surprised about the low opinions of Sean Lamont. Great servant and some bone crunching displays for us over a long career.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed 13 May 2020, 4:07 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:It's a tricky comparison. Lamont won a number of MOTM awards and was player of the season for Scotland in a 100+ cap career. I can remember several of his performances vividly. It's just a shame his career coincided with Scotland being so dreadful, but maybe he wouldn't have stood out so much in the sides that Maitland played in.

Maitland is a handy player with good running lines and basics. I would argue that he doesn't always run in the tries that he should, and whilst Lamont was no flier, I dont think Maitland is any faster. I know he plays for Sarries, but so did Kelly Brown and Duncan Taylor, and I don't think that in of itself says much about their Scotland careers. If Graham and Kinghorn are both fit, Maitland doesn't make the current Scotland team in my opinion.

Tim Visser and Thom Evans were better finishers than both of them, so I'm not just being swayed by strike rates.

Slightly surprised about the low opinions of Sean Lamont. Great servant and some bone crunching displays for us over a long career.

Kelly Brown was serially underrated imo, a proper workhorse. He played when Sarries were on the cusp of breaking the top table so hard to compare to playing for them now with performances week in and out.

Duncan Taylor also put in some fantastic appearances, his weakness has always been injury, keeping up the Taylor tradition. He was regularly featured as the player's player at Sarries and one of the fans' favourites. Had he not been so permanently injured he'd have been a fantastic player for Scotland, I feel the world cup tarred everyone's view of him because of a silly coaching decision to involve a player barely back from injury. Unfortunately he joins the class of Alex Dunbar, Matt Scott, Bennett and Joe Ansbro of Scottish centres whos international careers have been ruined by injury.
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Post by jimbopip on Wed 13 May 2020, 4:18 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:It's a tricky comparison. Lamont won a number of MOTM awards and was player of the season for Scotland in a 100+ cap career. I can remember several of his performances vividly. It's just a shame his career coincided with Scotland being so dreadful, but maybe he wouldn't have stood out so much in the sides that Maitland played in.

Maitland is a handy player with good running lines and basics. I would argue that he doesn't always run in the tries that he should, and whilst Lamont was no flier, I dont think Maitland is any faster. I know he plays for Sarries, but so did Kelly Brown and Duncan Taylor, and I don't think that in of itself says much about their Scotland careers. If Graham and Kinghorn are both fit, Maitland doesn't make the current Scotland team in my opinion.

Tim Visser and Thom Evans were better finishers than both of them, so I'm not just being swayed by strike rates.

Slightly surprised about the low opinions of Sean Lamont. Great servant and some bone crunching displays for us over a long career.

Kelly Brown was serially underrated imo, a proper workhorse. He played when Sarries were on the cusp of breaking the top table so hard to compare to playing for them now with performances week in and out.

Duncan Taylor also put in some fantastic appearances, his weakness has always been injury, keeping up the Taylor tradition. He was regularly featured as the player's player at Sarries and one of the fans' favourites. Had he not been so permanently injured he'd have been a fantastic player for Scotland, I feel the world cup tarred everyone's view of him because of a silly coaching decision to involve a player barely back from injury. Unfortunately he joins the class of Alex Dunbar, Matt Scott, Bennett and Joe Ansbro of Scottish centres whos international careers have been ruined by injury.  

As opposed to quite a few whose international careers were ruined by playing for Scotland.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 13 May 2020, 4:26 pm

I wasn't criticising Brown or Taylor, just pointing out that merely playing for Sarries doesn't translate to international performances (the suggestion being that Maitland's contribution to Scotland should be enhanced by virtue of him playing for Sarries).

A fit Duncan Taylor gets into the Scotland side every day of the week and twice on Sundays. He'd have a good shot at the Lions in my view, with centre being a bit of a weakness. However I didn't consider him for the best Scotland group since 2000 because he hasn't had the chance to play regularly enough due to fitness.

Kelly Brown was a very solid flanker. As you say, real workhorse. Messed about a bit by the coaches wanting him at 7 (he was always a 6), but a very reliable player. Had good competition from Strokosch, and also from Barclay (who I always liked at 6 rather than 7). Still, 6 is a no brainer for me. Jason White was immense.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 13 May 2020, 4:27 pm

jimbopip wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:It's a tricky comparison. Lamont won a number of MOTM awards and was player of the season for Scotland in a 100+ cap career. I can remember several of his performances vividly. It's just a shame his career coincided with Scotland being so dreadful, but maybe he wouldn't have stood out so much in the sides that Maitland played in.

Maitland is a handy player with good running lines and basics. I would argue that he doesn't always run in the tries that he should, and whilst Lamont was no flier, I dont think Maitland is any faster. I know he plays for Sarries, but so did Kelly Brown and Duncan Taylor, and I don't think that in of itself says much about their Scotland careers. If Graham and Kinghorn are both fit, Maitland doesn't make the current Scotland team in my opinion.

Tim Visser and Thom Evans were better finishers than both of them, so I'm not just being swayed by strike rates.

Slightly surprised about the low opinions of Sean Lamont. Great servant and some bone crunching displays for us over a long career.

Kelly Brown was serially underrated imo, a proper workhorse. He played when Sarries were on the cusp of breaking the top table so hard to compare to playing for them now with performances week in and out.

Duncan Taylor also put in some fantastic appearances, his weakness has always been injury, keeping up the Taylor tradition. He was regularly featured as the player's player at Sarries and one of the fans' favourites. Had he not been so permanently injured he'd have been a fantastic player for Scotland, I feel the world cup tarred everyone's view of him because of a silly coaching decision to involve a player barely back from injury. Unfortunately he joins the class of Alex Dunbar, Matt Scott, Bennett and Joe Ansbro of Scottish centres whos international careers have been ruined by injury.  

As opposed to quite a few whose international careers were ruined by playing for Scotland.

....and also those whose international careers ruined Scotland....

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Post by RDW on Fri 15 May 2020, 8:07 am

https://www.allblacks.com/news/steinlager-series-officially-postponed

All Blacks game is off. We were originally planning on going to it when we knew we were moving out here but once Corona hit I knew the chances were very slim.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 15 May 2020, 9:11 am

Pity but clearly a good call. Shame we won't get to see Hamish Watson running around with the new All Blacks captain in his pocket for 80 minutes.

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Post by RDW on Fri 15 May 2020, 9:20 am

SA games cancelled too.

Would have been s very tough tour so potentially a good thing! Flying to NZ and playing the ABs within 7 days of playing in SA was crazy.

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Post by bsando on Fri 15 May 2020, 11:11 am

https://www.theoffsideline.com/gregor-townsend-duhan-van-der-merwe-scotland/?v=79cba1185463

Good interview with Toonie here, not just on DVDM but all aspects of Scotland. Looks like Pieter de Villiers could be staying on a longer contract as well which is great news

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 15 May 2020, 11:47 am

Duhan would make a big difference, no question. A proper line breaker.

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Post by RDW on Tue 19 May 2020, 8:25 am

Jaco VDW posting on Instagram saying it's almost 3 years since he moved to Scotland, which means he's almost SQ.

I doubt he'll ever be genuine competition to Russell or Hasting but it's good to have experienced pros as backup - currently we only have Weir then a bunch of kids! (I'm not even humoring the suggestion that Horne is an option). I'm sure Tooney will get him involved in the next window.

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Post by jimbopip on Tue 19 May 2020, 10:20 am

Flounder, how are you ? I hope things are smooth down under.

As for Furra Linee and Scotland selection chin I can't remember any official announcement but I'm fairly convinced that he's joined Seymour and Frodo in the Old Folks Home.

If VDW is SQ that will be good (ish) news as Furra Linee is 2nd option at Glasgow Brandon Thompson is 3rd so there would no back up 10 from the west coast if Dancer or Haircut were injured or in the huff.

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Post by RDW on Tue 19 May 2020, 10:25 am

Well we're allowed to go to a cafe or restaurant with up to 10 people these days. Not that I'm going to rush into that any time soon! Can go outside as much as we like now too. They're talking about the next round of restrictions that will be eased but can't help but think they need to see what effect the current easing has on the number of cases before they get too ahead of themselves...

Other than China going in the huff with us (despite the great orange one saying waaaaay worse things about them) we're looking pretty good just now.

I don't think Horne the senior has retired from Scotland - I couldn't find anything certainly. Quick google even comes up with this article from a few months ago

https://www.theoffsideline.com/peter-horne-scotland-return/?v=6cc98ba2045f

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 19 May 2020, 11:37 am

I think VDW will be a handy addition to the Scotland squad to be honest. Behind Russell and Hastings, but you never know if Russell and Toonie will fall out again and I'd far rather have VDW on the bench than Weir. He adds depth, which can only be a good thing. I also wonder whether we might see VDW play a bit at 12 next season for Edinburgh with Scott gone. I know we have Taylor and Dean, but I'd quite like to see that tried.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 19 May 2020, 11:43 am

Re: Peter Horne, I don't think it matters. He's surely off the radar now for Scotland.

No sign of lockdown ending in Scotland. Wee Jimmy Crankie needs to score political points against Boris to further independence, and she's very keen to be seen as "for the people" with the nasty Westminster bunch letting folk die for the sake of the economy. Nuance and detail best to be avoided at all costs, particularly any mention of the SNPs record on virtually every aspect of Govt.

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Post by RDW on Tue 19 May 2020, 11:45 am

Don't see VDW to 12 happening any time soon, particularly when he'll be number 1 for Edinburgh. Can imagine cockers reaction if he was asked to do it for Scotland purposes too.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 19 May 2020, 11:47 am

Aye VDW is our only viable third option as it stands and still came in when the 3 year window applied if I'm correct?

A solid enough player and I'm sure he could do a job in a Scotland jersey until some of the younger options come of age. I think Toonie would be daft not to cap him. Then we'd have Dancer, Hastings, VDW and Weir.... and when Weir's leg comes off... Horne at 10 (although hopefully by that point our younger options will have some pro experience). I think for the first time in the pro era we're actually reasonably comfortable at fly half. Outside centre is more of a conundrum, although more because Toonie has Harris nailed on there (solid as he is I think we could do better). So what would an autumn side look like now?

My guess:
Sutherland
McInally
Fagerson
Cummings
Gilchrist/Gray
Ritchie
Watson
Bradbury (On merit it's Haining but Toonie thinks differently)

Price (think Horne has long surpassed him but can't see Toonie dropping)
Hastings (Russell will have to fight his way back in)

Maitland (unless he retires)
Johnson
Harris (Hutch may get a few bench appearances, Jones... God knows!)
Graham (presuming he's back to fitness)
Hogg(c)

Bench
Brown, Dell, Nel (Berghan), Gray/Gilchrist, Fagerson Jr, Horne Jr, Russell, Hutchinson

Really not looking too bad, if they can just get the tactics right and execution then we'll be a decent outfit. Particular emphasis on the execution, less focus on moneyball-level strategy more on basics when it comes to try time.
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 19 May 2020, 11:51 am

RDW wrote:Don't see VDW to 12 happening any time soon, particularly when he'll be number 1 for Edinburgh. Can imagine cockers reaction if he was asked to do it for Scotland purposes too.

I was thinking more for Edinburgh at 12 rather than Scotland. I think his skillset would suit the role, and enable us to play Hickey and VDW together. I think first choice next season is VDW at 10 and Taylor at 12, but VDW playing a bit at 12 if Hickey comes off the bench could make us more expansive as a plan B. I'd like to see us become more creative, and rely less on our back 3 creating things from nothing. That's the next step IMO.

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Post by RDW on Tue 19 May 2020, 11:54 am

Hickey has left FES...

We've signed Jonno Lance from Worcester as backup plus a young under 20s player. VDW will very much be first choice 10.

Worth also saying Edinburgh's style much better suits a big running 12 than a 2nd playmaker!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 19 May 2020, 11:59 am

Hi Broon, sadly we are back in a time of having to differentiate what the Scotland coach WILL pick vs what he SHOULD pick. Assuming that there's rugby in the Autumn, and with the usual assumptions over fitness, my Scotland 23 would be this:

1.Sutherland 2.McInally 3.Fagerson 4.J Gray 5.Gilchrist 6.Ritchie 7.Watson 8.Haining 9.Horne 10.Russell 11.Kinghorn 12.Hastings 13.Taylor 14.Graham 15.Hogg

16.Nel 17.Brown 18.Dell 19.Cummings 20.Bradbury 21.Price 22.Hutchinson 23.Maitland

You may note that I'm going through a phase of wanting playmakers at 12.....

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 19 May 2020, 12:02 pm

RDW wrote:Hickey has left FES...

We've signed Jonno Lance from Worcester as backup plus a young under 20s player. VDW will very much be first choice 10.

Worth also saying Edinburgh's style much better suits a big running 12 than a 2nd playmaker!

Ah! I saw Lance had joined (watched the obligatory highlights reel) but didn't see that Hickey had left. Shame, I rated him. Oh well, as you say, VDW nailed on at 10 then.

I hear you on our style, but i do think it's something we need to develop. I've stood at the side of the pitch on too many occasions wondering what the backs have been practising all week.

Still, I think Taylor is a terrific prospect at 12 so hopefully he'll get a chance to develop.

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Post by Highland Shaun on Wed 20 May 2020, 12:20 am

@Neilybroon and @FunnyExiledScot, why have you not picked Van der Merwe in your squad for the autumn tests Sad. The sooner he's capped (once eligible), the better Wink?

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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed 20 May 2020, 9:15 am

Highland Shaun wrote:@Neilybroon and @FunnyExiledScot, why have you not picked Van der Merwe in your squad for the autumn tests Sad. The sooner he's capped (once eligible), the better Wink?

Thats a very good point. I expect he may replace Maitland on the wing, depending on how much more Maitland feels he has in his legs, although we can't underestimate his value as a player if he keeps going. We also need to give VDM a chance starting to see how he performs at international (though all signs so far are good, we never know, he may have weaknesses exposed we didn't think about at club).

The main problem is we need a centre on the bench as we have cover in Harris for the wing and potentially FB cover in Maitland or worst case Graham. We don't have any centre cover other than what's on the pitch unless we live out FES's dream of having Hastings and Russell on the same pitch, although I feel like that would be wasting two very good players when we have quite a few options at centre (sorry FES).
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Post by BigGee on Wed 20 May 2020, 9:30 am

I have to say I think Johnson has got the no.12 shirt nailed down for the moment and more impoertantly, so does Toonie.

Hastings and Russell at 10/12 might happen as a bench option, either through an in match injury or a last role of the dice if we need to pull several rabbits out of the hat all at once but I really can't see them starting together.

Matt Scott is still probably the next cab off the rank at 12 but Hutch might well be the better bench option as he covers both centre positions. I don't necessarily think he is done internationally just yet but he will need to maintain fitness.

I think everyone is agreed that Harris is not our most creative OC but it is hard to argue that he did not have a decent 6N as well. His skills seem to fit well with the new 'hard to beat' Scottish philosophy and again the coaches seem to like what he is offering at present. Age is against him though and he may not go through the whole of the next WC cycle which might make Toonie keener to experiment with some of the others options again. Until any of them put together a compelling case though, it is hard to see him being shifted.

VDM will surely be in the next Scotland squad, he could have toured this summer if they had not been cancelled. He will score tries but many big fast wingers have been found a bit short of nouce defensively when playing at international level and we have yet to find out just how good he is in that regard. He is certainly a good option to have though, he could be better than Visser if he can tackle.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed 20 May 2020, 9:53 am

BigGee wrote:I have to say I think Johnson has got the no.12 shirt nailed down for the moment and more impoertantly, so does Toonie.

Hastings and Russell at 10/12 might happen as a bench option, either through an in match injury or a last role of the dice if we need to pull several rabbits out of the hat all at once but I really can't see them starting together.

Matt Scott is still probably the next cab off the rank at 12 but Hutch might well be the better bench option as he covers both centre positions. I don't necessarily think he is done internationally just yet but he will need to maintain fitness.

I think everyone is agreed that Harris is not our most creative OC but it is hard to argue that he did not have a decent 6N as well. His skills seem to fit well with the new 'hard to beat' Scottish philosophy and again the coaches seem to like what he is offering at present. Age is against him though and he may not go through the whole of the next WC cycle which might make Toonie keener to experiment with some of the others options again. Until any of them put together a compelling case though, it is hard to see him being shifted.

VDM will surely be in the next Scotland squad, he could have toured this summer if they had not been cancelled. He will score tries but many big fast wingers have been found a bit short of nouce defensively when playing at international level and we have yet to find out just how good he is in that regard. He is certainly a good option to have though, he could be better than Visser if he can tackle.

I agree for me Scott is next choice and also covers both positions but Hutchinson is more likely to break the squad as he is going to be around for longer. Throw an improving Taylor, and if McDowall decides to play how we know he can, we're getting a bit crowded at centre again. Bennett may yet feature at OC and has a bit more longevity than Scott but again may slip away (which I would be gutted about). Jones has featured now and again and seems to get unnecessarily harsh criticism but hopefully he can give Toonie some serious food for thought next season.

Scott feels very much like the one that got away, through injuries and lack of chances, he's not well enough established in the squad to see out his Scotland career to retirement, especially in a position with that much attrition. I can't imagine we'll see much of him in a blue shirt over the next few years and expect he'll just take a nice club package until he retires.
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Post by BigGee on Wed 20 May 2020, 10:11 am

There is still a very good player inside Huw Jones somewhere, we have seen him.

Seems to have lost his form and confidence playing under DR though. Maybe DW will trust him more and will get him back playing how he can. He is still probably our best OC when fit and on form.

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