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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 tigertattie on Wed 20 May 2020, 11:00 am

BigGee wrote: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.

Surely

From a weegie point of view, who else would you play at 13 in place of Jones?

You've also got Lord Stafford and a fullback position to think about!
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Post by jimbopip on Wed 20 May 2020, 11:58 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. Spot on Gee. 100% agree. Fes, you've missed the point; if Dancer garees to play to the game plan he is 10:if not he doesn't get a game. So Dancer-Haircut 10-12 won't happen anytime soon.

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 (Scott?) is done internationally just yet but he will need to maintain fitness. I think Matt Scott12's international ship has sailed. tempus fugit

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. Again, insightful and correct. Mind, Toonie loved playing Richie V at centre, there's more than a passing similarity between him and The Hardest Working Man In Rugby

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.
VDM has to be capped. Then we'll find out what he's made of. I think we may actually see him and Seaman on the field together soon.

Your usual insightful analysis Gee. thumbsup Have you voted? Hug

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Post by jimbopip on Wed 20 May 2020, 12:03 pm

tigertattie wrote:
BigGee wrote: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.

Surely

From a weegie point of view, who else would you play at 13 in place of Jones?

You've also got Lord Stafford and a fullback position to think about!

Seaman, Battleship Griggtempkin and Paddy Kelly looks to be a prospect.

I can't understand why anyone would vote for someone who asks such redundant, ill informed questions on such a well informed, knowledgeable board. Whistle

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 20 May 2020, 12:10 pm

I'll give you Seaman (Oooo Matron) but Griggtempkin, no!

Glasgow need to realise that they need to be a feeder club for Scotland and Grigg isnt a long term answer for Scotland while Jones (and Seaman) could be.
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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed 20 May 2020, 12:24 pm

tigertattie wrote:I'll give you Seaman (Oooo Matron) but Griggtempkin, no!

Glasgow need to realise that they need to be a feeder club for Scotland and Grigg isnt a long term answer for Scotland while Jones (and Seaman) could be.

I think Toonie sees seaman (on the sea shore) as more of a wing than an outside centre.

That being said VDM could change that perception as the backline shifts. We could well have over half the backline as kilted boks in the future, especially if this 18 year old lad at Edinburgh turns out to be something special.


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Post by jimbopip on Wed 20 May 2020, 12:25 pm

You are right about being a feeder club but when you are down to third or fourth choice it is very difficult to keep an international player happy with not playing regularly. So; Not A Pony, Seaman, Grigg then Kelly. if the first two are in Scotland squads could we afford to have a third international not playing regularly?

See? That's why you're not officer material. You'd never be Captain Blackadder.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 21 May 2020, 11:17 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?

I didnt think he was eligible in time. Once he's eligible, the left wing slot is his, Kinghorn moves to the bench and Maitland jogs, very slowly, on.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 21 May 2020, 11:22 am

BigGee wrote: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.

No probably about it. When he's on his game he is a terrific player, and his ability to ride tackles and burst through gaps is something we've missed since Alan Tait. It will be a huge shame if we don't see him in Scotland colours again. To be blunt, we absolutely cannot afford to keep wasting top talent and going with ok club players like Harris. I dont care how serviceable and workmanlike his efforts were in the 6 Nations.

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Post by RDW on Thu 21 May 2020, 11:30 am

VDM would have been eligible for the summer tour if it wasn't cancelled.

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 21 May 2020, 11:40 am

I'm not sure if Maitland will be surplus to requirment when big Duhan qualifies.

1. Big Duhan is an excellent player for Edinburgh. But we've not seen him at International level. He could be the next Nick de Luca or Pete Horne and simply not make it. However, his size would indicate he wont have the issues that Horne did. Big Duhan could be the next Tim Visser though. Great with ball in hand but.......

2. Twinkle toes Graham seems to liek getting injured.

3. Kinghorn has a bad habbit of drifting in and out of both form and in games.

For me Maitland and Graham (when back playing) are the current holders of the Jersey and Kinghorn is the back three bench cover.

Its then up to Big Duhan to push them out.

Maitland is still a very classy player. He saved us three tries vs the Azzuri in the 6Ns so surely he cant be written off jsut yet!
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 21 May 2020, 12:18 pm

I'm in agreement Tattie. He'd be my first reserve, definitely, but behind Hogg, VDM, Graham and Kinghorn.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 21 May 2020, 12:19 pm

tigertattie wrote:I'm not sure if Maitland will be surplus to requirment when big Duhan qualifies.

1. Big Duhan is an excellent player for Edinburgh. But we've not seen him at International level. He could be the next Nick de Luca or Pete Horne and simply not make it. However, his size would indicate he wont have the issues that Horne did. Big Duhan could be the next Tim Visser though. Great with ball in hand but.......

2. Twinkle toes Graham seems to liek getting injured.

3. Kinghorn has a bad habbit of drifting in and out of both form and in games.

For me Maitland and Graham (when back playing) are the current holders of the Jersey and Kinghorn is the back three bench cover.

Its then up to Big Duhan to push them out.

Maitland is still a very classy player. He saved us three tries vs the Azzuri in the 6Ns so surely he cant be written off jsut yet!

100% agree tattie. Maitland is one of those players you don't notice until they're gone but unlike Pete Horne (the other team player), very rarely has a bad game. If Duhan is solid defensively then we won't have lost much physically when sleepy Sean retires but we definitely will have lost one of our smartest players.

Finn reads the game like a lunatic, and dictates his play as such to either great or terrible results in about a 60/40 split. Maitland reads our play like a commando, makes quick decisions that have saved our skins on countless occassions and often been the difference between a try being scored or not but isn't obvious or loud about it and gets it right 90% of the time.
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Post by bsando on Thu 21 May 2020, 12:51 pm

tigertattie wrote:I'm not sure if Maitland will be surplus to requirment when big Duhan qualifies.

1. Big Duhan is an excellent player for Edinburgh. But we've not seen him at International level. He could be the next Nick de Luca or Pete Horne and simply not make it. However, his size would indicate he wont have the issues that Horne did. Big Duhan could be the next Tim Visser though. Great with ball in hand but.......

2. Twinkle toes Graham seems to liek getting injured.

3. Kinghorn has a bad habbit of drifting in and out of both form and in games.

For me Maitland and Graham (when back playing) are the current holders of the Jersey and Kinghorn is the back three bench cover.

Its then up to Big Duhan to push them out.

Maitland is still a very classy player. He saved us three tries vs the Azzuri in the 6Ns so surely he cant be written off jsut yet!

Agree with you there, DVDM looks the real deal if you ask me. Tim Visser did really well in terms of attack but his defence was quite iffy and he was a little soft under a high ball. DVDM's physical presence and ability to impose himself on the opposition is what could really make him a star for Scotland. He is essentially a potential George North style of winger for Scotland, or at least that is how I view him. The closest Scotland have had to that in the professional era was Sean Lamont.

I think we'll see Maitland featuring a few more seasons, he's still a great and reliable winger. I'm very glad he made the move from NZ and played for Scotland.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 21 May 2020, 12:59 pm

Just to pick up on Duhan possibly being "the next Visser", firstly they are very different types of player. Duhan is more like Lamont, only much much faster. He likes contact and thrives on physicality. Visser was a finisher who just happened to be big. He was also fast, but rarely looked for contact. Secondly, let's not forget that Visser was actually a very good player for Scotland, at a time when we were starting to play more expansive rugby and needed a finisher. He wasn't a complete player, but he could score tries from nothing which was something we badly needed. His strike rate very much backs that up.

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Post by RDW on Thu 21 May 2020, 1:08 pm

If the autumn tests are on - and that's a huge if - what would be the point of playing Maitland over VDM? Maitland will be 32 by then which is nearing pensioner age for a winger. I get he has real solidity to a back 3 but the AIs are the ideal time to blood a new player in advance of the brutal 6N.

I'm willing to bet tattie's stones that VDM will be a huge asset for Scotland.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 21 May 2020, 1:15 pm

RDW wrote:If the autumn tests are on - and that's a huge if - what would be the point of playing Maitland over VDM? Maitland will be 32 by then which is nearing pensioner age for a winger. I get he has real solidity to a back 3 but the AIs are the ideal time to blood a new player in advance of the brutal 6N.

I'm willing to bet tattie's stones that VDM will be a huge asset for Scotland.

I'll significantly up that wager and bet my stones that Duhan will be a big hit....

I don't mean to suggest that Maitland isn't a good player, I just firmly believe that we have better (and faster) options now.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 21 May 2020, 1:25 pm

Looks like Finngate is officially done and dusted now.

Russell was talking on Will Greenwoods podcast and says they are getting on a lot better now and talking quite openly. He hopes that this will mean that they he and Toonie can have a better relationship going forward than they did before.

He has been reviewing some attacking clips with him for when the squad eventually gets to meet up again.

Lerts hope that this is all water under the bridge now and that the rest of the squad are also happy to bring him back in.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 21 May 2020, 1:36 pm

That is good to hear. Such a talented player.

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Post by bsando on Thu 21 May 2020, 2:44 pm

Just had a listen to that. What was a dry podcast! Amazing how they could make something so interesting so dull to listen to haha. I thought it connected a few dots on Finngate though. 13 games in row and fresh off the plane from a big QF with Saracens, you can imagine Russell was a bit knackered and in need of at least 24 hours to kick back and chill a bit. I'm glad it happened in a way because it's allowed the coaches and players to reevaluate how they're going to work together going forwards and what needed to change. It was almost like a RWC debrief part 2 in a way and Scotland still won 2/4 games in the 6N. We could have been in a situation where Russell had actually played and Scotland only won 1/4 with the Toonie-Russell relationship on a knife edge.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 21 May 2020, 2:59 pm

In the grand scheme of things it isn't important, but had the Six Nations reached its conclusion I think we'd have been left with a lot of 'what ifs'. We very nearly beat Ireland and could have beaten England. It's impossible to tell what the off field impact was, it's probable he would have helped on the field. With him in the side we may well have been heading to Cardiff for a shot at the title. As it is, we'll never know. Although wins against France and Italy and narrow defeats elsewhere if fairly standard.

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Post by RDW on Thu 21 May 2020, 11:34 pm

Talking of podcasts, does anyone listen to the Scottish rugby one? It's also a bit dry and serious given who the guests are, but Mossy and Kellock have some good banter. The host is pretty dull.

The Johnnie Beattie / Greig Laidlaw one is a good listen - they couldn't be more opposite characters! Beattie so laid back, Greig so driven. Was interesting hearing the realities of playing rugby in France. Apparently Clermont and Racing are a step above the rest in terms of professionalism, and are pretty much on a par with the UK and Ireland in that regard. The rest of the French teams not so much - mega millionaires payign lots of money for players but barely anything on support staff and technology. Beattie said by the time he left Castres in 2016 they still didn't wear GPS to track their training - Scotland brought it in in 2005!

I couldn't help but laugh when Beattie kept going on about how much he enjoyed the 2010 season, particularly the 6N. We were awful that tournament, we just have fond memories because of the Ireland game and his try.

I also listened to Jim Mallinder who is the most Northern man ever. He's got a lot of passion for the game though, particularly the amateur side, so will be interesting to see how he gets on (whatever it is he actually does!).

https://www.scottishrugby.org/the-official-scottish-rugby-podcast

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Post by bsando on Fri 22 May 2020, 8:11 am

Yeah I’ve been enjoying the SRU podcast since they launched it. Kellock and Paterson are good hosts. Kellock is always looking to wind up anyone who comes on the show haha.
Beattie did a one on one podcast with the host of the Edinburgh podcast Nashy. It’s worth a listen too in terms of player welfare. It does seem like it depends which club you’re at in France. As we’ve seen with Rhys Webb and others it can be a bit of a culture shock. It seems like the self motivated types do best at the loosely structured clubs. Which was why Beattie did well. He said he made an effort to speak French with the junior academy guys and immerse himself rather than stick with the English speaking players only like some do.

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 22 May 2020, 12:32 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
RDW wrote:If the autumn tests are on - and that's a huge if - what would be the point of playing Maitland over VDM? Maitland will be 32 by then which is nearing pensioner age for a winger. I get he has real solidity to a back 3 but the AIs are the ideal time to blood a new player in advance of the brutal 6N.

I'm willing to bet tattie's stones that VDM will be a huge asset for Scotland.

I'll significantly up that wager and bet my stones that Duhan will be a big hit....

I don't mean to suggest that Maitland isn't a good player, I just firmly believe that we have better (and faster) options now.

Up the wager? You implying your stones are bigger than mine?

They probably are, but thats not the point!!!
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Post by 123456789. on Fri 22 May 2020, 3:27 pm

RDW wrote:Talking of podcasts, does anyone listen to the Scottish rugby one? It's also a bit dry and serious given who the guests are, but Mossy and Kellock have some good banter. The host is pretty dull.

The Johnnie Beattie / Greig Laidlaw one is a good listen - they couldn't be more opposite characters! Beattie so laid back, Greig so driven. Was interesting hearing the realities of playing rugby in France. Apparently Clermont and Racing are a step above the rest in terms of professionalism, and are pretty much on a par with the UK and Ireland in that regard. The rest of the French teams not so much - mega millionaires payign lots of money for players but barely anything on support staff and technology. Beattie said by the time he left Castres in 2016 they still didn't wear GPS to track their training - Scotland brought it in in 2005!

I couldn't help but laugh when Beattie kept going on about how much he enjoyed the 2010 season, particularly the 6N. We were awful that tournament, we just have fond memories because of the Ireland game and his try.

I also listened to Jim Mallinder who is the most Northern man ever. He's got a lot of passion for the game though, particularly the amateur side, so will be interesting to see how he gets on (whatever it is he actually does!).

https://www.scottishrugby.org/the-official-scottish-rugby-podcast

I'd disagree on that if I remember rightly we beat Australia and Fiji in the Autumn of 2009, that was back when Aus were a proper team. Albeit we won thanks to a Matt Giteau horrorshow. We beat Argentina away in the Summer which was an impressive feat at the time. In the Six Nations we were within 7 points of winning every game except France who won the Grand Slam. That included the Wales game were the wheels, in hindsight, possibly started to loosen for Robinson. The sheer numbers and nature  of the injuries we took in that game as well as the fashion of the defeat would have knocked any team. Losing to Italy is always poor but they weren't as bad as they are now. It shouldn't be considered a great season but we weren't as awful as we were in the years immediately before that.

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Post by RDW on Fri 22 May 2020, 10:30 pm

I just think it says it all about that period that his highlight was a tournament where we won a single game and lost to Italy. We drew with England in one of the worst games of the 6N era.

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Post by 123456789. on Fri 22 May 2020, 10:57 pm

Oh yeah absolutely. The Williams-Hadden-Robinson-Johnson years were a veritable race to the bottom. 2006 was the highlight of a terrible bunch, I think 2010 was a distant second as just alright from what I recall. The rest was a shower of poo.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sun 24 May 2020, 5:35 pm

Slightly harsh to lump them all together. Matt Williams was an unmitigated disaster, whereas there were positives in the Hadden and Robinson eras, albeit limited options for both coaches on the playing front. Hadden was a marked improvement on Williams, and Robinson probably a step up from Hadden as a technical coach at least. Robinson got our pack into decent shape. They did all share one thing in common: hopeless selectors.

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Post by 123456789. on Sun 24 May 2020, 6:41 pm

I meant more the time frame. Hadden managed a win over France when they were fancied to be the world's best and two Calcutta Cups. They also all suffered from a lack of talent to pick from. Were not exactly stacked now but under Robinson's tenure he had to invent an inside-centre when Graeme Morrison got injured.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 25 May 2020, 10:03 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:Slightly harsh to lump them all together. Matt Williams was an unmitigated disaster, whereas there were positives in the Hadden and Robinson eras, albeit limited options for both coaches on the playing front. Hadden was a marked improvement on Williams, and Robinson probably a step up from Hadden as a technical coach at least. Robinson got our pack into decent shape. They did all share one thing in common: hopeless selectors.

Who did they have to choose from!? Pretty sure we either lumped it or had to select anyone who had heard of doing a rugby.

The depth really has come a long way even since the end of Robinson's tenure. It's gone from being a pick n' mix with just stale smarties, to a pick n' mix with stale smarties still but also some cherries, strawberry cables and even a couple of those gummy snakes.
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Post by jimbopip on Mon 25 May 2020, 1:10 pm

There's certainly a few soor plums, very nippy sweeties, in the front row! And at least one katsu chicken curry. Although he may be past his sell by date.

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Post by 123456789. on Mon 25 May 2020, 1:57 pm

Two things stick out for me, the first one was when Johnnie Beattie went off of the boil after 2010 and we could barely find a number 8 in time for the world cup. The other was Morrison's injury, when there was literally not another professional inside-centre in Scotland. Lastly, Ruaridh Jackson's arrival on the test scene that came about simply because he was a Scottish fly-half not called Dan Parks. Then we had to convert Laidlaw to fly-half for a while. Now it's hard to think of a position where we don't have at least two players who can do a job if need be. Next season if Russell fancies a beer or two we'll know we have Hastings or Van Der Walt who can step in and do a better job than Godman, Jackson, Parks or (apologies) Weir could.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 25 May 2020, 3:29 pm

The katsu is well padded out with carbs and is always a solid choice, provided there's irn bru to keep the energy levels up beyond half time.

Numbers, this summarises it all really well. We definitely have a lot less to worry about these days and it's more about a positive choice than a damage limitation choice like in previous years. Despite the Jr world cup I think our U20s are actually looking pretty good and better for the experience. I hope the lack of signings for Glasgow is an indicator that a lot of them will get pushed through the system next year.

If we get a good forwards coach then I can see us doing quite well whenever we get back to normal international rugby.
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 27 May 2020, 1:42 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Slightly harsh to lump them all together. Matt Williams was an unmitigated disaster, whereas there were positives in the Hadden and Robinson eras, albeit limited options for both coaches on the playing front. Hadden was a marked improvement on Williams, and Robinson probably a step up from Hadden as a technical coach at least. Robinson got our pack into decent shape. They did all share one thing in common: hopeless selectors.

Who did they have to choose from!? Pretty sure we either lumped it or had to select anyone who had heard of doing a rugby.

The depth really has come a long way even since the end of Robinson's tenure. It's gone from being a pick n' mix with just stale smarties, to a pick n' mix with stale smarties still but also some cherries, strawberry cables and even a couple of those gummy snakes.

They didn't have the same choices Toonie now has, but let's not let Hadden and Robinson totally off the hook. They rarely picked balanced teams, particularly in the forwards. I recall posting many times on here and on the predecessor forum lamenting the shocking team selections from Hadden and Robinson (in particular). The style of rugby was often an issue as well, and I'm not just talking about Dan Parks.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed 27 May 2020, 2:05 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Slightly harsh to lump them all together. Matt Williams was an unmitigated disaster, whereas there were positives in the Hadden and Robinson eras, albeit limited options for both coaches on the playing front. Hadden was a marked improvement on Williams, and Robinson probably a step up from Hadden as a technical coach at least. Robinson got our pack into decent shape. They did all share one thing in common: hopeless selectors.

Who did they have to choose from!? Pretty sure we either lumped it or had to select anyone who had heard of doing a rugby.

The depth really has come a long way even since the end of Robinson's tenure. It's gone from being a pick n' mix with just stale smarties, to a pick n' mix with stale smarties still but also some cherries, strawberry cables and even a couple of those gummy snakes.

They didn't have the same choices Toonie now has, but let's not let Hadden and Robinson totally off the hook. They rarely picked balanced teams, particularly in the forwards. I recall posting many times on here and on the predecessor forum lamenting the shocking team selections from Hadden and Robinson (in particular). The style of rugby was often an issue as well, and I'm not just talking about Dan Parks.

The only thing that sticks out to me during Robinson's era selection-wise is shoving Lamont in at centre (from lack of better choice, maybe De Luca although he managed to drop a lot of passes for a centre) and non selection of Cairns (although he was another injury magnet with the Scotland centre curse), and the persistence with an out-of-form Strokosch when we had better options (weirdly happened under Vern too). When we consider that one of our backs with the best strike rate at the time was Danielli it's hardly surprising the backs play wasn't inspiring. Our scrum halves were probably the only exceptional players behind the forwards, that's definitely not enough to spark a backline.

Hadden tried to bring us back to basics - which kind of worked but the players just didn't have the skills to pull it off. Again, players like Godman were all we had. I recall at the time many of us wanting Godman to play over parks, and were excited about Harry Leonard hitting the pro arena (who now plays for Rosslyn Park in the National league 1 which is the third English division).

It's easy to criticise these coaches selections in the moment (guilty) because you'd like to think the players we had are good enough to compete with anyone (more out of hope than anything) but in retrospect it's easier to see how poor our choice really was. Especially when you compare the other Celtic nations' depth in the same time period.
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 27 May 2020, 5:56 pm

It's worth looking back to the thread from November 2012 called "Robinson Resigns" and reading the comments on there. At the end of his tenure his team selections were all over the place, and players coming through like Rennie and Denton were being ignored in favour of some fairly off form options. There's also a theme of fans being hacked off with the negative style of play, and players being coached to care only about negating the opposition and holding onto the ball, rather than to attack space and take calculated risks. All of these were themes under Hadden as well.

I think I've always been fairly realistic about who we should be beating, and where we stand against other nations. But just looking back at what we had available to us under Hadden and Robinson, you cannot help but draw the conclusions that we were underperforming both in terms of results but particularly in terms of performance.

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Post by RDW on Wed 27 May 2020, 11:13 pm

Worth saying as well that during that period where we had meager resources to choose from, the other 6N teams were going through their own golden generations (except Italy and probably France).

No wonder we barely won a game back in the dark times.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 28 May 2020, 10:48 am

RDW wrote:Worth saying as well that during that period where we had meager resources to choose from, the other 6N teams were going through their own golden generations (except Italy and probably France).

No wonder we barely won a game back in the dark times.

Agree, this definitely highlighted our weaknesses in depth at the time. I'd like to think we're catching up but we're still not quite there. Ireland managed the pro transition far better than we did, and Wales rugby is engrained into the culture, so even if their pro sides aren't particularly inspiring they still manage to produce exceptional individuals.

Scotland needed some pro success to begin to turn things around, which we got with Glasgow. Now Edinburgh are looking strong and Glasgow (although not at their peak) are still a decent side so rugby's attracted a bigger fanbase.

The biggest improvement I've seen following Scottish rugby (unfortunately most of my life in the professional era) is the academies. We have a much better throughput of high quality youngsters through a clever mixture of home academies and making use of partnerships overseas in France and beyond.

See your points FES and it is true both coaches had their limitations, especially Robinson's inflexibility which is ultimately what cost him the England job too. Hadden's problem was his lack of experience at international level as a player I think, he just couldn't get the players past club level. Credit to them both though, under their coaching Scotland were, at least, more consistent. Granted it was consistently average but our defence was superb.

I'm no huge fan of Toonie but he's redeemed himself a bit recently with some savy recruitment. With a good forwards coach and more patient attack Scotland may finally progress beyond inconsistently brilliant to consistently competitive and may put themselves in with a shout of winning a 6 nations (whenever the next one is) because we finally have the players who could win something.
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