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 123456789. on Sun 15 Mar 2020, 4:43 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
BigGee wrote:
123456789. wrote:The SRU has started a 'hardship fund' of £500,000 (or 1.1Dodsons) to help keep clubs ticking over through Coronavirus. I have no idea on the practicalities of this, whether it is an appropriate amount of money or not. However I haven't seen any other Unions do it yet so it is nice to see our lot being proactive for a change.

For once Dodson and the SRU seem to be getting some plaudits for their actions!

We are living in strange times!

Maybe the corona has an as-yet unknown neurological impact. Dodson will be working in a soup kitchen next.

As long as it's not a bat-soup kitchen

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 15 Mar 2020, 6:55 pm

For most clubs the season has ended anyway so no more games and no more crowds.

Just the 7s tournaments which may be binned if things keep going.

Melrose won’t be happy if they don’t get their annual cash injection.
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Post by 123456789. on Sun 15 Mar 2020, 8:09 pm

Suppose we can do a tournament post-mortem now:

1. The Townsend vs Russell Debate
- Overshadowed the tournament to an extent
- Townsend's reaction can probably be defined as good, not great but certainly not bad. Coming out with two wins from four is a good result. Townsend has stuck to his guns, which to be fair to him, he's quite good at as as shown with the Hogg debate in 2014. In the long term standing up to Hogg worked for Glasgow, worked for Hogg and worked for Townsend. If Russell rejoins the squad on Townsend's terms then you have to say that's a net win for Townsend. That has certainly been helped by Hasting's solid performances in the first two games and very good one against France. His own shocker came against Italy and frankly my Mother could play 10 in Rome
-Fair play to Toonie on this. It wasn't what I was expecting and, to be honest, not what I was hoping for

2. Hogg as captain
- On balance a success
- There are very few other candidates for the job but you have to say that Hogg has grown into the role. He demands high standards of himself and the people around him which we need. I think playing at a team at the top of English and European rugby will only help in this cause. I think Hogg will keep the job for some time to come.

3. Performances
- Ireland was good, England doesn't count, Italy was poor but it doesn't really count, France was good. The defence was a massive boon and Tandy should take credit for that.
- The Ireland game was a mixed opportunity but the pack fronted up in a difficult environment which is a big improvement
- England was not really rugby game. We were pretty stupid in the way we tried to play it but it was unprecedented in circumstances. There were some weird substitutions at weird times. However the way England dispatched Wales and Ireland shows we fronted up relatively well in a game of attrition.
- Italy was a really poor performance. We did win but all that showed was frankly how utterly dreadful they are
- France was a good performance. The red card changed the complexion and there's no point over egging it as a result. However, the red card was the result of France losing their head. Which in turn was the result of us getting in their face and being streetwise which is a nice change.

4. Players
- Hastings fronted up
- Price is hanging on by the skin of his teeth
- Sutherland is the find of the tournament, again, begrudgingly, you have to credit Toonie with giving him the chance
- Harris played well against France. I actually thought he was utterly dreadful against Italy, when he got the ball he was so static he afforded the Italian defence a chance to close down some opportunities and his defence was not brilliant either
- Jones and Hutchinson can't seem to win over Townsend. Jones has an asterisk next to his name for one reason or another. Hutchinson hasn't really had a chance. 13 is a position in which we're blessed by good players. For some reason Townsend has settled on the plodder

Overall: B-

I'm still in the anti-Townsend camp but only just. I think there are better coaches out there but he's done enough to warrant another Six Nations, unless we have an utter shocker in the rest of the season (if it happens). Tandy is a smart appointment. Our attack needs work but some of that should come with Russell coming back in and if he lets Jones or Hutchinson have a run with the shirt. Moving forward it would be nice to see Horne starting. Darcy Graham coming back will make a big difference. Moving toward the next world cup we have a more than decent group of about 10 backs for our match day squad. That's a positive because it means the talented players outside of it (McDowall, Scott, Bennett, Hidalgo-Clyne etc.) will have to find a way to raise their game still further if they want to compete. In the pack we have a back-row that's gelling together and, injuries permitting, will see us through to the next world cup. Our second-rows are finally manning up. Gilchrist is shedding his soft image. Jonny Gray is heading south to shed his. Richie Gray is moving back into Glasgow and therefore, potentially, back into the picture. Cummings is solid at international level. Our front row is picking up. Both our hookers should have Lions ambitions; Sutherland and Fagerson won't be far from the argument. There's plenty of cause for optimism. I think we've done well enough for Townsend to relax a tad, but not well enough for him to feel comfortable. We have a core group of 20-25 players that can front up to any team in the world and that's all we can ask for at this stage as Scotland fans, whether Townsend is the man to convert every ounce of potential into tangible results has yet to be seen but for the time being he's doing just about enough to be getting on with in my book.

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Post by bsando on Mon 16 Mar 2020, 7:12 am

Nice wrap up numbers, I pretty much agree with everything you say. I would even go as far as saying this was Scotland's best 6N from a consistency point of view. The inevitable stupid mistakes crept in at times but defence was very good. We just have to hop that Scotlands defence and scrum remains this good going forwards and the attacking game can continue to develop under this new defensive system.

With SA x 2 and NZ to look forward to, the game plan will be severely tested. However, I think Scotland can take some encouragement from England's performance against NZ in the RWC. That was largely due to England wining a lot of turnover ball and attacking off it, which is basically what Scotland are trying to do with their defence and kicking game. I like that the balance they have struck. I think other teams in the 6N kick too much but Scotland have Hogg and he is arguably the best long range try scorer in in rugby. So the new game plan takes takes advantage of his kicking game and his ability to draw in defenders and find gaps when he goes for a run.

Getting Russell and Darcy back is key though. Russell's rugby brain is unique and that combined with the current defensive system could be a real winner for Scotland. Graham is Scotland's version of Kolbe and he adds the same sort of acceleration that Hogg does.

I'm glad Hastings had the opportunity to step up and show he can do a job as well. Prior to this 6N he was still not really trusted. I think it is fair to say he is incredibly trustworthy now.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 16 Mar 2020, 12:27 pm

Agree Toonie has a pass from me. Hard to see who else could do a better job presently. All things considered a good six nations from us, just frustrating regarding the attack. We've looked so blunt, even against 14 men for 50 minutes we struggled to make inroads and didnt get a bonus despite only needing one more try. Broken record here, I know, but Toonie needs to step back and let the players play whats in front of them as opposed to the stats game we're trying to play. Getting an attack assistant coach in I think would help if theyre given freedom to tweak the game. A new forwards coach will also help, provided they are attack-minded, just a shame Richie Gray probably would not be interesting in sacrificing his role as a consultant coach to join the SRU (and who could blame him??). De Villiers needs a permanent contract ASAP. Our scrum is the strongest its been since Nel and Dicko.
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Post by 123456789. on Mon 16 Mar 2020, 3:16 pm

On the attack front, I think losing Finn Russell has been huge on that score, so many of our tries came through him. Hastings is 23, in Russell's first two campaigns he was 22 and 23. In 2015 we scored just six tries, two fewer than any other side. This time around we scored six too across fewer games (although Russell only played four in 2016).
There was a lack of direction and Townsend has to take the blame for that. Especially against Italy. The Ireland game was like the Andy Robinson days; very solid between the 22s, blunt and/ or stupid in the red zone. The England game was rugby in name only. The normal rules were out the window. The France game was an improvement on Italy but not great. We only had one conventional rugby game, and it came in Dublin. We missed Russell but we fronted up. It's a real shame we didn't have the chance to play Wales in Cardiff. That would have been a proper litmus test for Townsend's new team. God knows when we'll see them play next.

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Post by Tramptastic on Mon 16 Mar 2020, 3:46 pm

I think there's a few things changed this season that have had an effect on the attack:

1) Hastings at 10. Undoubtedly a reason, not his fault but he's young and it maybe took him a wee bit to find his groove. Not Toonies fault, Russell left him no choice;
2) Key players missing. No D'arcy, no Russell, raft of experienced internationals having retired, hardly Toonies fault.
3) Players panicking/rushing/fumbling in the 22, I don't think we can blame Toonie for this one. How is it Toonies fault that Hogg dropped the ball over the line in the Ireland game? The England storm wasn't his fault and Italy are maybe better than people give them credit for.
4) Centre selection. This one is Toonies fault. New 10, new centre pairing, Harris not known for his attacking nous.

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Post by jimbopip on Tue 17 Mar 2020, 10:53 am

6 Nations Winners-Losers Braveheart

Front Row:
Winners:
Sutherland, Sutherland and Sutherland. Seriously, we went from wondering whether Shrek would have to play to having one of the best LH's in the tournament. If he backs it up with a solid AI series then we really have come up trumps.
Ragnar had a good tournament too but I think he is now at that stage where everyone expects that from him and so no-one thinks to mention it.
Losers:
Chuckles. I'm beginning to think we've seen the best of him. His darts were consistently poor and he's not quite as good around the field as Rambo. Could find himself in the Dunbar position at Scotstoun next season; Turner is more dynamic around the paddock, DoubleD scores a try every 8 minutes and Grant Stewart is a real prospect.
Rambo was almost on the Losers list when for a second he was two throws-two jumpers missed against France Shocked but then he ran in for that try.

Second Row:

Winner:
Step Forward Grant Gilchrist. clap He finally seemed to live up to the earlier hype. Needs a solid AI series to back it up though. Honourable mention to Scott Cummings whose upward trajectory continues.
Loser:
Ben Toolis. Still seems unable to make the leap (see what I did there?) from being a squad player to regular starter.

Back Row

Winner:
Mbawza. You've got to love Cockers for bringing out the inner headcase in the Luvvies' forwards. His performances wouldn't look out of place alongside Finlay Calder and John Jeffreys. He may not be quite the rugby player that either of them were, although he has time to improve, but he has the nasty streak they both had.
Loser:
Malcolm Bradbury. Mention of Fin and the Great White Shark reminded me of Derek White. He is never mentioned as a great no.8 but he was a hugely important part of one of Scotland's best ever back row units. As someone said earlier we have 2/3rds of an outstanding back row, sadly young Bradbury didn't convince anyone that he is the missing link. Headscratch Haining, Fagerson, Matt Smith? When Toonie solves that puzzle we could be in for a real treat.

Half Backs
Winner:
Haircut. As Dan Parks said, he was in a dream position; guaranteed four starts, allowed to call the shots and didn't fecc it up completely. Toonie has also praised the way he led coaching sessions. haircut is now the Damoclean Sword hanging over Dancer. No longer is the Mercurial One our only choice, we now have a 10 who can control games in a calm, measured manner.
Loser: Dancer....in far too many ways to enumerate. picard

Centres
Winners:
Johnson-Harris. Did exactly what was said on the tin. Solid and reliable.
Losers:
Us. Jones-Hutchieson-Bennet-Scott-Taylor-McDowall. Every one of them can light up a match drumroll with a moment of sublime skill. Not one of them managed to make any impact on the Six Nations. I can understand how Welsh fans who remember Phil Bennet must feel whenever Dan Biggar takes the field.

Back Three
Winners:
NoMaits and Hogg. Defensively, both were superb. Hogg improved offensively game on game.
Loser. King Blarehorn. Loks like a full back playing wing. Player most likely to give up his seat on the bus for wee D'Arcy.

Biggest winner. Toonie. As one American Football coach once said, "The secret to being a great coach is; when they run you out of town make it look like you're leading the parade." Toonie was always leading the parade, regardless of the results.

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Post by bsando on Wed 18 Mar 2020, 9:14 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/51898779

Scathing words from Jim Telfer on England. He rips into Eddie Jones too and I think his words there are very true actually. He is comparable to Trump in many ways.

"Twickenham, I find intimidating, the whole atmosphere is intimidating, there's so many of them, three tiers of them," said Telfer. "If you ever think about wanting separation from England just sit 10 minutes in Twickenham and listen to them.

"They think they're superior and a lot of them will come from the south-east, bags of money and bags of this and bags of that. They don't really appreciate the other team."

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Post by 123456789. on Wed 18 Mar 2020, 12:19 pm

In demographic terms I've always found the Murrayfield crowds and Twickenham crowds to be remarkably similar and not remotely reflective of the wider rugby public. It's a fact that in our country middle-class people tend to be less prone to public shows of emotion. Equally, it's a fact that tickets for the Six Nations become more expensive year on year. The last time I went to Murrayfield for Six Nations game it cost over eighty pounds for my ticket. Travel to and from the stadiums is not cheap, unless you live in London or Edinburgh where it is not cheap to live. Food and drink, especially real drink, is more expensive inside the stadium than outside of it. If you go on your own you're likely to see little change from £200, if you go with a family that number can creep up toward a thousand. Not everyone can afford that. There's no point moaning that fans in Twickenham tend to come from the south-east, that's simply a reflection of the geography.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it on Wed 18 Mar 2020, 12:54 pm

Jeez, if Jim (and/or the Scottish team) are intimidated by us prawn-sandwich munching, swing low singing HQ crowd he might need a serious word with himself. I’ve been at scarier church masses. As for our social status, think I’ll leave my bowler and silver hip-flask at home with the butler next time, doncha know.

And as for Eddie, he's fair game.
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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 18 Mar 2020, 6:11 pm

Sounds like he needs to get out more to be honest

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Post by RDW on Wed 18 Mar 2020, 8:30 pm

As much as Telfer is a rugby legend, he's a bit of a bitter old man now living in his bubble in the borders. He gets trotted out for an interview for quote every so often but I'm not quite sure why.

From my own experience I agree with Barney that the average Twickenham crowd is far from intimidating!

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 19 Mar 2020, 3:02 am

Also, What does he mean by "they don't really appreciate the other team." That statement makes no sense.

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Post by RDW on Thu 19 Mar 2020, 9:38 am


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 19 Mar 2020, 12:56 pm

Is neil Francis or telfer the bigger idiot?

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Post by BigGee on Fri 20 Mar 2020, 2:38 pm

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/barclay-normally-our-days-are-mapped-out-for-us-boys-dont-really-know-what-to-do-with-themselves

A bit of perspective from JB

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 20 Mar 2020, 7:10 pm

Anyone else bored enough to watch the “live” stream of Scotland vs Oz?
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Post by BigGee on Fri 20 Mar 2020, 9:50 pm

tigertattie wrote:Anyone else bored enough to watch the “live” stream of Scotland vs Oz?

As I am in isolation atm, I am rapidly running out of things to do and look at.

Flicking through my hard drive I actually found that game and watched it yesterday. We were there and my wife almost froze to death.

It was one hell of a game and it is funny to think now that we saw Toonie as the messiah and the world seemed to be our oyster at that point. I have almost never been more optimistic about the prospects for Scottish rugby.

That unfortunately all came crashing down in Cardiff a few months later!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Fri 20 Mar 2020, 9:59 pm

*we hoped Toonie would prove us wrong when he prematurely replaced one of our best coaches, he gave an inch and we took a mile
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Post by RDW on Tue 24 Mar 2020, 2:11 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/52010183

Really good interview with hoggy. I suspect there will be a lot of these over the next few months to keep journalists busy!

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Post by Tramptastic on Tue 24 Mar 2020, 8:01 am

Agreed, really good read, interesting to hear he'd noted his weight gains had changed his style of play, he certainly looks back to his rapid best like.

I wonder if our Scotland boys sometimes over indulge in the ole nutrition - there's a few of our backs who are on the chonky side (as a forward I'm firmly of the belief that abs dont belong in rugby and front rowers are the most handsome players regardless of waistline), Hoggy went through a chonky phase, Dunbar used to joke about being a pudding, Russell isn't exactly shredded, Maitland doesn't look as lean as he used to... do they need better nutritionists or is it down to personal responsibility?

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Post by RDW on Tue 24 Mar 2020, 8:45 am

I actually thought he'd been looking a bit tubby this season, particularly when he first joined Exeter. Obviously not!

I suspect he's not got the natural body to ever be a ripped Greek adonis like JJ and Watson, but good to hear he acknowledged he needed to be a bit more trim.

No idea what he was thinking when he was trying to bulk up to 'run over people!'

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Post by BigGee on Tue 24 Mar 2020, 9:32 am

RDW wrote:I actually thought he'd been looking a bit tubby this season, particularly when he first joined Exeter. Obviously not!

I suspect he's not got the natural body to ever be a ripped Greek adonis like JJ and Watson, but good to hear he acknowledged he needed to be a bit more trim.

No idea what he was thinking when he was trying to bulk up to 'run over people!'

Stepping back from his Twitter feed is a good move as well, he was getting way to involved with stuff sometimes.

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Post by jimbopip on Tue 24 Mar 2020, 9:54 am

The comments from Hoggy about the players being very keen on looking for comments about themselves did make me wonder Headscratch Recently on Squidge rugby (an excellent blog on YouTube) I have noticed a few of our nicknames being used. Ditto with Tom English and other BBC posts. We must be real Social Influencers on here Yahoo With the exception of Flounder who is now in exile with the Criminal Element.

On the subject of Squidge Rugby; I was surprised and disappointed by his analysis of the Scotland-France game. It would appear that France lost because they were very French and stopped doing the things that won them their first three games. I think Toonie deserves a lot of credit for working out a game plan that got right under their skin and threw them of balance from the start.

As Jonnie Beaty said of their punchy prop everyone who has watched him knows he is a loose cannon and can be pressured into losing concentration. Take a bow Mbawza clap

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Post by BigGee on Sun 29 Mar 2020, 5:11 pm

https://www.theoffsideline.com/finn-russell-looks-forward-to-having-a-stronger-relationship-with-gregor-townsend/

We have not mentioned #finngate for a while now, as other things seem to have taken our attention but it does look hopefully that the two of them are in the process of kissing and making up!

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 29 Mar 2020, 5:39 pm

BigGee wrote:https://www.theoffsideline.com/finn-russell-looks-forward-to-having-a-stronger-relationship-with-gregor-townsend/

We have not mentioned #finngate for a while now, as other things seem to have taken our attention but it does look hopefully that the two of them are in the process of kissing and making up! mutual co-dependence. Scotland 6 Nations Thread - Page 2 1347041234
fixed hat for you Gee. You haven't been posting for a while, been busy? Whistle

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Post by BigGee on Sun 29 Mar 2020, 6:07 pm

jimbopip wrote:
BigGee wrote:https://www.theoffsideline.com/finn-russell-looks-forward-to-having-a-stronger-relationship-with-gregor-townsend/

We have not mentioned #finngate for a while now, as other things seem to have taken our attention but it does look hopefully that the two of them are in the process of kissing and making up! mutual co-dependence. Scotland 6 Nations Thread - Page 2 1347041234
fixed hat for you Gee. You haven't been posting for a while, been busy? Whistle

Thanks Jim,
yes have been actually. I go back to work tomorrow night and have got a pretty heavy schedule from then onwards. We are still trying to do our house renovation as well. We were meant to be getting rewired which we had to cancel when we went into isolation. We have got it re-scheduled for the week after next assuming nothing else changes. We are going to move out for a week and I needed to finish getting the house ready, it basically needed to be stripped right back to bare walls and floorboards. I know there is pretty much no chance of doing anything when I get back to work, so had a big push these days to get it finished.

Happy to report I am sitting here with Peroni in hand looking at the finished product!

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Post by RDW on Sun 29 Mar 2020, 10:05 pm

I'd recommend watching the full FR interview for those who have the time (not Biggee obviously!). You really get an insight into him.

I think it's fair to say he can't be regarded as one of the games top thinkers, and very much lives in his own bubble. Jim tried to get answers out of him relating to Coronavirus, the impact on club finances, how the season will end etc and his general response to all of it was "um, I don't really know I just do what I'm told by my club and accountant!"

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Post by bsando on Sat 04 Apr 2020, 8:08 am

Well RDW I woke up quite early today and checked Instagram only to find Russell going live wearing a racing top and tie, pint in hand at his apartment I pressume. He'd obviously had a fair few drinks and music blaring on his phone. No doubt someone else who viewed might have recorded it and may well leak the recording to the press.

Even though he's got no games to play just now and can arguably get on it if he likes, his timing is awful. And going live like that on Instagram?! Doh

I'm beginning to think he might actually have a drinking problem.

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Post by jimbopip on Sat 04 Apr 2020, 11:32 am

bsando, after the John Hardie Peruvian Marching Powder stushie someone, somewhere, posted an article about how these top level athletes eventually have their brains hardwired to needing regular endorphin boosts.When they're not playing; injury, suspension and such like then gambling and drugs (from alcohol to...whatever) often fills that gap.
Dancer won't be the only healthy young man who's struggling with staying at home on his own (Jack Grealish?).
However, pissed (if he was) at breakfast...on your own?
W.C Fields would tip his hat to him. picard

For those of you too young to remember his genius; "I must have a glass of breakfast." Or "Prohibition! It was terrible. Once we were trapped in the house for weeks with nothing to live on but food and drink." or "I always carry a bottle of liquor to use as a stimulant in case I am surprised by a snake. Which I also always carry with me."

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 12:00 am

https://www.sporcle.com/games/dvjnaovnao/non-retired-scotland-rugby-players

If Corona boredom is getting to you then this is something to do. I got 68. It's amazing the number of players who have played for Scotland in the last 8 years.

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Post by jimbopip on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 11:08 am

Lads Shocked Shocked Shocked

I have been fighting lockdown ennui (yes tigertattie, it is a word) by using my smart tellybox to watch old 6 Nations matches. Fecc me!
Nathan Hines wouldn'thave been on the pitch for more than 5 minutes today. He did love punching people.
But the paucity in the backs Shocked Shocked Shocked
Scotland-France; a back three of Webster-Lee-Danielli , centres were Henderson-Phillips. They could be out on that pitch still and the French would still have nilled us. Lee gave probably the most inept display at 15 ever in a Scotland jersey. Patterson at 10, whose instructions seem to have been "Chris, if we don't score off first phase we're not going to so kick it back to them"
Then Ireland-Scotland with Henderson-R.Lamont as centres. This was better since Mossy was at 15 and Dan Parks made his debut at 10. What really surprised me was how well Parks passed the ball and tried to get his backline moving.Apart from the tackling malarkey he was a good 10. Better than Mossy.
Then Wales-Scotland Mossy back at 10, Henderson-De Luca at centres, Nikki Walker against Shane Williams on the wing. You can guess how that went.

I was sick of watching us get humped so I jumped forward to the Alex Dunbar lineout try game. Our starting centres were Dunbar-Jones and Bennet came on in the second half. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy The back three was Maitland - Hogg -Seymour. Oh and a chap called Russell at 10.
Night and day. No comparison.
Those of you who didn't live through the dark days don't know you're living.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 2:55 pm

I remember a degree of panic when Graeme Morrison got injured in 2011 because there was literally not another Scottish qualified inside centre playing professional rugby. Today Graeme Morrison would be behind Johnson, Taylor, Hutchinson, Scott, Horne, McDowall, Dunbar and Dean in the pecking order. Having said that if he had never been injured Sean Lamont would perhaps never have paved the way for the modern, creative Second-Five Eighth.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 3:21 pm

123456789. wrote:https://www.sporcle.com/games/dvjnaovnao/non-retired-scotland-rugby-players

If Corona boredom is getting to you then this is something to do. I got 68. It's amazing the number of players who have played for Scotland in the last 8 years.

77. I need to get more of a life

Missed Luke Hamilton (who I could picture), Jack Cuthbert (completely forgot about him) and Damien Hoyland.

Tom Heathcote has only just turned 28 and without a club. Is he a partnership candidate (Super Six with ties to Edinburgh)? Probably got capped too early in his career, but there was a decent player in there somewhere.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 3:27 pm

Centres is ridiculous for Scotland.

12: Johnson, Scott, Dunbar, P Horne, Dean, McDowall, G Taylor, Lang
13: Hutchinson, Harris, Jones, D Taylor, Bennett, Steyn, Grigg, Johnstone

No wonder Fraser Dingwall has gone for England

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 5:42 pm

I was going to suggest that Scottish rugby's strength at centre has come from the greater 7s emphasis. Having played at 12 in England and Scotland, Scottish centres tend to be more skilful and smart players, where in England they tended to have basically a second number 8 at 12. However looking at the 16 players you've got down there only half actually came through in Scotland. Still Dunbar, Bennett and Scott looked to have the shirts nailed down for a decade back in 2014 and now none of them can get a look in.

Thing I found scary doing the quiz was that somewhere in a parallel universe the following team actually finished the Six Nations:
1. Marfo 2. Bryce 3. Rae 4. Harley 5. Swinson 6. Blake 7. Fusaro 8. Cowan 9. Hart 10. Heathcote 11. L. Jones 12. Burleigh 13. Fife 14. Brown 15. Cuthbert
I still think they'd give Italy a game.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 8:20 pm

Has Fusaro ever got fit again? He was a good player before injury. Nothing on internationals like Watson but a good club pro nonetheless. He was coaching at GHK this season I believe. Clearly there's been investment there with them bringing in Kev Bryce and Jack Cuthbert as well.

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Post by BigGee on Fri 10 Apr 2020, 10:03 am

Fusaro has actually pkayed z fair bit for Glasgow this season. Usually off the bench, but he seems higher rated by DR than Matt Smith who was considered a prospect likely to get capped a few seasons ago. He has still got another year of contract left as well, so i expect he will remain our squad filler OS for a while.

As you say, a decent player if akways just short of international class, probably a bit to small without the skills to make up for it.

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Post by 123456789. on Fri 10 Apr 2020, 3:17 pm

I don't think Fusaro is a remotely bad player. I think the standard for his position is potentially the highest of any in international terms and it's difficult to see from a club performance whether or not they'll make the grade at the highest level. Hamish Watson is only two years younger than Fusaro. He made his debut only a year younger than Chris Fusaro. At the beginning of their careers they didn't seem on two radically different trajectories.
Reached a point of absolute boredom the other week and tried to work out what our best XV of the 21st century would be and, if they all played together, whether they would win the Six Nations, this is what I've got so far:

1. Smith 2. Bulloch 3. Murray (c. 2009 version) 4. Hines 5. Gray 6. White 7. Watson 8. Taylor 9. Blair 10. Russell 11. Seymour 12. Dunbar (pre-injury) 13. Jones (2018) 14. Maitland 15. Hogg

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 10 Apr 2020, 4:29 pm

That team would get the slam numbers.

So long as they weren’t coached by Matt Williams, Frank Hadden or Townsend.

Problem we have is we always have a sprinkling of really good players but then they are surrounded by average players.
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Post by king_carlos on Fri 10 Apr 2020, 4:36 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:
Tom Heathcote has only just turned 28 and without a club. Is he a partnership candidate (Super Six with ties to Edinburgh)? Probably got capped too early in his career, but there was a decent player in there somewhere.

Heathcote had concussion issues at Worcester I believe. Not sure if he ever overcame them sadly.

BigGee wrote:Fusaro has actually pkayed z fair bit for Glasgow this season. Usually off the bench, but he seems higher rated by DR than Matt Smith who was considered a prospect likely to get capped a few seasons ago. He has still got another year of contract left as well, so i expect he will remain our squad filler OS for a while.

As you say, a decent player if akways just short of international class, probably a bit to small without the skills to make up for it.

Thanks BigGee. Glad to hear he overcame the injuries and continued his pro career. He's a good player. During one of the comebacks he played a game for Heriots in the old premiership after years being a Pro and he was a lovely bloke.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 10 Apr 2020, 4:40 pm

123456789. wrote:I don't think Fusaro is a remotely bad player. I think the standard for his position is potentially the highest of any in international terms and it's difficult to see from a club performance whether or not they'll make the grade at the highest level. Hamish Watson is only two years younger than Fusaro. He made his debut only a year younger than Chris Fusaro. At the beginning of their careers they didn't seem on two radically different trajectories.
Reached a point of absolute boredom the other week and tried to work out what our best XV of the 21st century would be and, if they all played together, whether they would win the Six Nations, this is what I've got so far:

1. Smith 2. Bulloch 3. Murray (c. 2009 version) 4. Hines 5. Gray 6. White 7. Watson 8. Taylor 9. Blair 10. Russell 11. Seymour 12. Dunbar (pre-injury) 13. Jones (2018) 14. Maitland 15. Hogg

Which Gray brother out of interest numbers? For me it'd be Jonny but Richie at his best was a standout.

Surely Paterson on one wing for his kicking with Finn at 10 and no Laidlaw in the side?

I'd argue that Bennett briefly prior to injury showed as much potential as Jones in 2018. Bennett and Jones looked like a brilliant pairing in the making a couple of years ago.

Splitting hairs a touch but Chris Cusiter arguably had the better attacking game to partner Russell as well. Though Blair was very good in defence, I've never seen a 9 somehow take so many high balls.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Fri 10 Apr 2020, 4:53 pm

Everyone talks of Russell's kicking bwing naff, but he is not bad when given the chance. He is not top class a la Laidlaw or Halfpenny (pre-injury issues) admittedly, probably more a 80 - 85% success rate.

I was reading offside line for the best XV of the Super Six season. The locks coming through sound like the next phase of top talent. The other position that sounded promising was the mention of the young TH's coming through. We may be struggling to produce LH's, but at least if Berghan or Nel move on in a couple of years time, it sounds like there may be some development talent for Du Plessis and Cockerill to work with.

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Post by 123456789. on Fri 10 Apr 2020, 7:31 pm

Originally I meant Richie but figured that given him and Hines played together and crashed out at the group stage so I deliberately left it ambiguous.

I always thought Blair was the better attacker, with Cusiter the more conservative option. Although I always remember it be incredibly frustrating that perhaps our two best players played in the same position. Rory Lawson wasn't a bad player either.

Russell's kicking isn't bad. I'd probably put Paterson at 23, with Townsend at 22 and Cusiter at 21. Maybe John Barclay at 20, the other Gray at 19, then Nel, McInally and Dickinson rounding it out.

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Post by bsando on Mon 13 Apr 2020, 8:30 am

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/scotland-rugby-graeme-morrison

Well I hope he didn’t read anything on here back in his playing days! Shocked

It’s quite shocking to read how many players are affected by negative press and connents online.

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Post by RDW on Mon 13 Apr 2020, 10:03 am

Yeah it's a tough read that. Poor guy to go through all that! Some people don't come out well from it either - no names of course.

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Post by Tramptastic on Mon 13 Apr 2020, 11:37 am

There's been quite a few players from that generation of players have gone on to show poor mental health symptoms - Morrison, Parks, Nick De Luca... not to mention the mental health issues the likes of Thom Evans and Ansbro must have gone through!

You'd hope it would be better now but as its been mentioned briefly and as the article points out, it was only recently that Matt Taylor said the SRU is severely lacking in mental health/sports psychologist specialists

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Post by 123456789. on Mon 13 Apr 2020, 1:21 pm

I do think mental health awareness is an area that, as a society, we have improved tenfold in the last decade. Ideally we'd be in a situation whereby a mental health issue is treated the same as a physical illness or an injury. We're not there yet, but in a wider societal context we are much closer to that than we were ten years ago.
I suppose it's not surprising that the generation in question struggled. They were in the middle of a perfect storm. They played before the Mental Health awareness campaigns. They were there at the breakout of social media before we knew how it would work out. Scotland will always struggle against France and England because of the numbers, but Wales and Ireland both had pretty strong sides at that point, Italy were comparatively good as well. If we are honest they weren't the most talented generation of Scottish players either. Their results reflected that. All that combined, it must have been pretty difficult.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 13 Apr 2020, 4:45 pm

They shouldn’t have to but sportsmen should completely avoid opinion forums at all times. Or realise that these are of course opinions.

We all have opinions on players but some folk take it wayyy too far.

I’ve seen comments from people (not on here thankfully) telling Leigh halfpenny or George north to go shoot themselves or wish they hadn’t been born. Completely harsh to say to any other human being let alone to sportsman who have put their body on the line tome and time again for their country

Calling Nathan Hines a penalty magnate is one thing but if I ever saw the man in real life I’d not hurl abuse at him but rather buy him a pint, and that’s not just because he could kick the shoite out of me, but he’s took quite some punishment for the cause of Scottish rugby.
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