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Scotland 2020 Internationals

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Post by bsando Sun 23 Aug 2020, 4:02 pm

First topic message reminder :

With club rugby in Europe back up and running I thought it might be time to begin a new International thread.

Scotland's Upcoming 2020 International Fixtures

Warm Up

Scotland vs Georgia 23rd October BT Murrayfield (KO TBC)

6 Nations

Wales vs Scotland 31st October 2.15pm KO (venue TBC)

Eight Nations Tournament pool games

Italy vs Scotland November 14th November 12.45pm KO (Venue TBC)

Scotland vs France 22nd November 3pm KO BT Murrayfield

Scotland vs Fiji 28th November 1.45pm KO BT Murrayfield

December 5th Eight Nations play-off matches (1st vs 1st, 2nd vs 2nd, 3rd vs 3rd, 4th vs 4th)


Last edited by bsando on Wed 16 Sep 2020, 7:19 am; edited 4 times in total

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Post by NeilyBroon Tue 17 Nov 2020, 10:33 am

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Post by BigGee Tue 17 Nov 2020, 8:07 pm

Might as well go all in for the French game now. Fiji have had 27 positive cases and the Italy game is now off as well.

Going to be highly unlikely the Fiji game goes ahead now.

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Post by No9 Tue 17 Nov 2020, 8:20 pm

Before a ball was kicked, we all expected this pool to be France and Scotland for 1st and 2nd (either team 1st - before I get shot down).

But now looks like this is the deciding game for definite in this pool, as highly likely Scotland wont play Fiji (due to Covid), and all teams including Italy will get a 28-0 win against the Fijians.

I think its a safe bet that France will beat Italy with a BP win when they play, so this game is going to be the decider. The winner will play England or Ireland for the Autumn Nations Cup, the loser will play for 3rd/4th.

My thoughts is that it will be an England v France final, with Ireland v Scotland for 3rd/4th.

I just hope we beat Georgia or Wales may end up below Italy in this tournament.. steam

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Post by RDW Tue 17 Nov 2020, 9:15 pm

Got to feel for the Fijians. Obviously from a health PoV we all hope they're ok, but from a rugby PoV this was this chance to have a proper slice of the action at the top table and they're not able to take it!

Commercially this will be huge for them too - I wonder if they'll still get the TV money if they didn't play. Not to mention how much has been invisted in getting them over here and staying in hotels for weeks.

If they do play against Scotland they're certainly going to be well motivated! Shocked

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Post by Old Man Wed 18 Nov 2020, 8:47 am

Has the team been named yet? I wanna see if I can start calling the team SA “A”

Wink

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Post by RDW Wed 18 Nov 2020, 8:51 am

I think you'll find Ollie McKebble, Willie Neil and Duncan Vernon Dan Morris are as Scottish as they come!

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Post by Old Man Wed 18 Nov 2020, 8:59 am

Very Happy

Or at least you could call them McSaffers.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 18 Nov 2020, 9:12 am

They were referred to as the Jock Boks on Amazon.

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Post by Gooseberry Wed 18 Nov 2020, 9:44 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:They were referred to as the Jock Boks on Amazon.

Sounds like a brand of underwear

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Post by bsando Tue 24 Nov 2020, 8:50 am

So the Jones conundrum... Kinghorn hasn't been performing nearly as well as Jones this season yet he continually features for Scotland. I get that he is the future, is more established at fullback and will hopefully develop into a very good player. But he isn't backing that up with his performances. Jones has not even been on the bench for any of the games. Now with one game left will he be left out once more? And if so will he have a chance to feature next year in the 6N despite so little international game time?

After that frustrating loss to France I am worried Scotland might be at risk of falling into a bad run of form. The new game plan has had some good results but now other home nations coaching teams understand what Scotland are trying to do. So I am worried that if Scotland's attack doesn't evolve then a 5th or 6th place finish in the 6N is almost inevitable.

Thoughts?

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Post by Tramptastic Tue 24 Nov 2020, 8:58 am

Going by Townsends recent comments post-match he's aware that they need to be more tough to beat i.e. up the ante in attack

Hopefully this means some tweaks/slight change in personnel to put greater emphasis on attack during phase play BUT as has been noted previously across the boards, the best attacking opportunities in the modern game come from contested kicks forcing turnovers and set piece play from lineouts.

There's going to need to be some serious innovation by the coach staff to figure out the next pattern of play in rugby, usually the all blacks lead the charge on this and everybody follows suit but the all blacks are getting beaten at the moment. What im really saying is that if Townsend can innovate, Scotland are better than the All blacks. Thats sound logic right?

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Post by RDW Tue 24 Nov 2020, 9:00 am

Tramptastic wrote:Going by Townsends recent comments post-match he's aware that they need to be more tough to beat i.e. up the ante in attack

Hopefully this means some tweaks/slight change in personnel to put greater emphasis on attack during phase play BUT as has been noted previously across the boards, the best attacking opportunities in the modern game come from contested kicks forcing turnovers and set piece play from lineouts.

There's going to need to be some serious innovation by the coach staff to figure out the next pattern of play in rugby, usually the all blacks lead the charge on this and everybody follows suit but the all blacks are getting beaten at the moment. What im really saying is that if Townsend can innovate, Scotland are better than the All blacks. Thats sound logic right?

Sounds about right.

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Post by Highland Shaun Tue 24 Nov 2020, 6:05 pm

Might be worth keeping an eye on Newcastle this season now that their back in Gallagher Premiership (they look like they'll do well going by highlights I saw on Channel 5 yesterday), they have 5 Scots: Robbie Smith, John Hardie, Tom Marshall and Graham bros (Gary and Guy).

Robbie Smith is a hooker, Guy Graham is a number 8 Flanker; Tom Marshall and Gary Graham play Openside Flanker and John Hardie plays blindside.

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Post by NeilyBroon Tue 24 Nov 2020, 8:53 pm

Highland Shaun wrote:Might be worth keeping an eye on Newcastle this season now that their back in Gallagher Premiership (they look like they'll do well going by highlights I saw on Channel 5 yesterday), they have 5 Scots: Robbie Smith, John Hardie, Tom Marshall and Graham bros (Gary and Guy).

Robbie Smith is a hooker, Guy Graham is a number 8 Flanker; Tom Marshall and Gary Graham play Openside Flanker and John Hardie plays blindside.

John Hardie is probably older than Cowan now!

Gary and Guy would be good additions to the squad, with the former having looked good the last time he played for Scotland. Albeit short lived!

Hadn't heard of Robbie smith, was he a recent u20?
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Post by RDW Tue 24 Nov 2020, 8:55 pm

Hardie is a pure 7 too - very much in the short arse fetcher mould.

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Post by BigGee Tue 24 Nov 2020, 9:03 pm

I think Hardie's time has come and gone, he was incredibly physical and his body is shot.

Gary Graham may get another shout, now he is back playing in the EP

Neither Guy Graham nor Marshall have broken through at Newcsstle yet, so a bit of work to do first prior to international honours.

Robbie Smith was a highly rated hooker who like so many before him got stuck in the Scottish log jam for game time. Rennie sent him down to Bedford I think, so he could get some game time.

It will be interesting to see how he goes at the Falcons.

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Post by RDW Tue 24 Nov 2020, 10:19 pm

Looking to the next few weeks, I think things have fallen quite well for us with a rest weekend then playing Ireland and not England.

It sucks for Fijii that their games have been cancelled but I'd fear for the team we'd be able to put out against Ireland if we were playing another test beforehand, and if we experimented too much against Fiji to rest key player we'd risk losing.

I'm also glad we're playing Ireland - I don't think we'd learn much from England pummeling us into submission like they're doing against everyone just now, espeically without our game breakers at 10 who would give us a chance to break them down.

A test against Ireland will be a great opportunity to show we're making attacking improvements - they're a very strong defensive, stuffy team and we lost in February because we didn't take our opportunities. It's going to be tough but would be a big statement of intent if we beat them.

Anyone know if it will be home or away?

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Post by BigGee Tue 24 Nov 2020, 10:29 pm

https://www.theoffsideline.com/jaco-van-der-walt-scotland-edinburgh/?v=79cba1185463

VDW expected to make his debut in the play off game, probably against Ireland.

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Post by BigGee Tue 24 Nov 2020, 10:30 pm

RDW wrote:Looking to the next few weeks, I think things have fallen quite well for us with a rest weekend then playing Ireland and not England.

It sucks for Fijii that their games have been cancelled but I'd fear for the team we'd be able to put out against Ireland if we were playing another test beforehand, and if we experimented too much against Fiji to rest key player we'd risk losing.

I'm also glad we're playing Ireland - I don't think we'd learn much from England pummeling us into submission like they're doing against everyone just now, espeically without our game breakers at 10 who would give us a chance to break them down.

A test against Ireland will be a great opportunity to show we're making attacking improvements - they're a very strong defensive, stuffy team and we lost in February because we didn't take our opportunities. It's going to be tough but would be a big statement of intent if we beat them.

Anyone know if it will be home or away?

Away

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Post by NeilyBroon Wed 25 Nov 2020, 10:16 am

VdW is a welcome addition to the squad, slightly more comfortable now in halfback cover. On that note I hope that's not Toonies sole plan to power up our attack. The whole midfield axis needs a shake-up, not just fly half!
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Post by 123456789. Wed 25 Nov 2020, 6:46 pm

I'd like to see VDW in at 10 and Jones back in at 13. I'd maybe put Taylor at 12 too. We need more oomph in the midfield it's as simple as that. I think if you're a back row or centre playing Scotland now you're not worried about defending. That needs to change and fast. There's no point in having an rocket fuelled back three when you have a mule drawn midfield supplying them.
I'd drop Kinghorn from the match day 23. I'd be lying if I said I'd seen much of him playing for Edinburgh. However for my money he's at best treaded water in the last couple of years. Going into the 2019 Six Nations I thought he was the form full-back in Scotland. It could simply be that Hogg has regained his mojo at Exeter and added some more facets to his game too. But it seems to be that Kinghorn has dropped off the pace a tad. There's no real shame in that, he is up against some serious quality in Hogg, Graham, Maitland and VDM. Still if the four of them are available they are the four that are going to trouble Ireland.
I'd be tempted to shift Price out and start SHC. He was very good at the end of the Wales game but aside from that he's been very average.

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Post by RDW Wed 25 Nov 2020, 9:21 pm

I'd be surprised if we see massive changes, but with Toonie who knows. We all know who we'd like to see but it will be a surprise if it actually happens! As much as there's nothing to play for technically, he'll really want to win this to show we've learnt our lessons from the 6N.

I would start Maitland as he's probably our best winger in the air. And Ireland kick a lot!

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Post by BigGee Wed 25 Nov 2020, 9:43 pm

Skinner and SHC have gone back to play for Exeter this weekend.

They have not played much and the game is on a Saturday, so won't stop them playing next weekend again i guess

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Post by Anglobraveheart Wed 25 Nov 2020, 9:52 pm

We desperately need Taylor Jones as the centre combination. Regardless of who plays 10.
Johnson is an improvement on Lang, but Taylor is so much more.
Jones is a different dimension to Harris.
If we carry on with this dull style in the backs, we are going back in time. We need to find a happy medium between the fastest in the world and the dullest in the world. There is so much scope inbetween those extremes that we can work on to suit any opposition. But we will get nowhere with a Johnson Harris combination.

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Post by RDW Wed 25 Nov 2020, 9:57 pm

When did we last see Taylor put in a good performance for Scotland? Probably away to Australia in 2017! We definitely view him with rose tinted glasses, which often happens with injured players we don't play very much.

With all the injuries he's had and the age he is now I honestly don't think he can cut it at this level anymore, or at least not offer more than Johnson or Lang.

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Post by NeilyBroon Wed 25 Nov 2020, 9:59 pm

BigGee wrote:Skinner and SHC have gone back to play for Exeter this weekend.

They have not played much and the game is on a Saturday, so won't stop them playing next weekend again i guess

I expect that means wee George is deemed fit enough for next week, although that leaves us with Scott Steele benching if he gets injured during training between now and then!

Shame for SHC. Once again he just hasn't had the chances, even when price wasn't performing.

I don't have faith that minor tweaks will win us the Ireland game. Toonie needs to go bold or it'll be another close defeat. Having the choking strategy works against sides ranked worse than us or in poor form but won't push us forward, something GT did at least acknowledge after France.
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Post by NeilyBroon Wed 25 Nov 2020, 10:08 pm

RDW wrote:When did we last see Taylor put in a good performance for Scotland? Probably away to Australia in 2017! We definitely view him with rose tinted glasses, which often happens with injured players we don't play very much.

With all the injuries he's had and the age he is now I honestly don't think he can cut it at this level anymore, or at least not offer more than Johnson or Lang.

Agree to an extent.

As others have said he's had some excellent recent games in the Heineken for Sarries, and I think for this autumn is probably a good option, given the lack of other options. Johnson just doesn't look himself at the moment. He's where DT was before the WC injury wise. Lang is a bit of an enigma. It'd be interesting to see what he'd be like with an out and out attacking oc like Jones but given Harris can do no wrong and Jones has obviously defecated on Toonie's cornflakes, I expect that's something we'll never see. Otherwise he's just a bit anonymous, even as a battering ram.

For me Matt Scott has to come back in for next 6Ns if he can replicate last year's form. No he won't make 2023 but he is probably our best, experienced option. Hutchinson is a 13 or a club 12, not international 12 imo. Stafford is too busy beating Chuck Norris to be concerned with the affairs at international level.
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Post by Anglobraveheart Wed 25 Nov 2020, 10:51 pm

RDW wrote:When did we last see Taylor put in a good performance for Scotland? Probably away to Australia in 2017! We definitely view him with rose tinted glasses, which often happens with injured players we don't play very much.

With all the injuries he's had and the age he is now I honestly don't think he can cut it at this level anymore, or at least not offer more than Johnson or Lang.
I see your point RDW, but Lang is just uninspiring, and Johnson seems to have lost some spark. And pace.
Taylor has produced the sharpness in the past, and may do again. Johnson and Lang have no hint of it at the moment.
If we had Finn or Adam at 10, we could operate with 1 steady, workmanlike centre, 1 from Johnson, Lang, or Harris, but having 2 of them is too much.
If we have Weir or VDW at 10, then we need 2 centres with a bit of flair. Which isn't Lang or Harris, and at the moment isn't Johnson either.
Outside of those guys we have Hutchison - injured, Bennett, Scott - not in squad, Horne, Grigg - not good enough, McDowell - not quite there yet, Dunbar - discarded.
We need to do something to change the turgid midfield, or look forwards to another uninspiring low try count and dull, slim loss.

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Post by BigGee Wed 25 Nov 2020, 11:44 pm

Taylor must still be in Toonie thoughts or why bring him in last week?

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Post by RDW Wed 25 Nov 2020, 11:48 pm

He's obviously in his thoughts, but that's partly driven by him not having many other options!

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Post by bsando Thu 26 Nov 2020, 9:48 am

He looked a bit more lively in his cameo than he did during the world cup. You never know, he might bounce back to a bit of form. I'd be tempted to give him a start at 12 with Harris and see how that looks. VDW probably going to get a bench spot and maybe we'll see Skinner start alongside Gray with Cummings on the bench. Guessing it will be minor touches and not wholesale change.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 26 Nov 2020, 10:02 am

bsando wrote:He looked a bit more lively in his cameo than he did during the world cup. You never know, he might bounce back to a bit of form. I'd be tempted to give him a start at 12 with Harris and see how that looks. VDW probably going to get a bench spot and maybe we'll see Skinner start alongside Gray with Cummings on the bench. Guessing it will be minor touches and not wholesale change.

Skinners been released to Exeter so pretty unlikely we'll see him now until 6Ns whenever that is.

I'd guess it'll be Fagerson starting again with Kebble, if Sutherland is fit he'll probably bench, Toonie seems optimistic. I'd be tempted to draft Nel in. I've never been convinced by berghan beyond 10 minutes for Scotland and he seems to just be a penalty magnet. Other than that probably not much change. I think Taylor may get a start, that's the most likely unlikely scenario. Also I think VdW will leapfrog Weir. Harsh but Weir's unfortunately been part of a backline that hasn't fired a shot, which isn't really his fault, the selection just wasn't right.
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Post by RDW Thu 26 Nov 2020, 10:05 am

Would be a big ask to start VDW given he's just come out of 2 week quarantine, has just been in SA to get married and hasn't played in several weeks!

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 26 Nov 2020, 10:18 am

RDW wrote:Would be a big ask to start VDW given he's just come out of 2 week quarantine, has just been in SA to get married and hasn't played in several weeks!

Hasn't stopped Toonie before!
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Post by BigGee Thu 26 Nov 2020, 10:31 am

NeilyBroon wrote:

Skinners been released to Exeter so pretty unlikely we'll see him now until 6Ns whenever that is.

Skinner and SHC both needed some proper game time and the game is on saturday. I don't see that stopping them playing for Scotland next week, even though it is more likely to be off the bench. Horne has not played for a good while either, so more likely he will go back to Glasgow if he is fit.

The Glasgow and Edinburgh games this week are on sunday and monday, making it respectively, difficult and near impossible for players to cover them and then come back into contention for the following saturday.

It is the last game for us in this series though, so he may be happier to trim the squad size down with less need for injury cover now.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 26 Nov 2020, 11:12 am

BigGee wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:

Skinners been released to Exeter so pretty unlikely we'll see him now until 6Ns whenever that is.

Skinner and SHC both needed some proper game time and the game is on saturday. I don't see that stopping them playing for Scotland next week, even though it is more likely to be off the bench. Horne has not played for a good while either, so more likely he will go back to Glasgow if he is fit.

The Glasgow and Edinburgh games this week are on sunday and monday, making it respectively, difficult and near impossible for players to cover them and then come back into contention for the following saturday.

It is the last game for us in this series though, so he may be happier to trim the squad size down with less need for injury cover now.

Hm would be a shame not to see Horne again. I don't know whether the same rules apply after return to club because of Covid bubbles? It's all very confusing as is!
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Post by Hazel Sapling Thu 26 Nov 2020, 11:40 am

Bearing in mind this game is in Ireland in December, are we better off with a 6-2 split on the bench?

Not looking for intricate back play if the weather is going to be poor.

Not sure D Taylor is going to do much at 12 that S Johnson won't. With the rush defences, it is going to be on Weir using little chips and our carriers in the pack to be effective and run some dummy lines to keep the Irish honest. Passing to a player who is about to get smacked by two Irish defenders, it won't make much difference who is at 12.

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Post by RDW Thu 26 Nov 2020, 9:48 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:Bearing in mind this game is in Ireland in December, are we better off with a 6-2 split on the bench?

Not looking for intricate back play if the weather is going to be poor.

Not sure D Taylor is going to do much at 12 that S Johnson won't. With the rush defences, it is going to be on Weir using little chips and our carriers in the pack to be effective and run some dummy lines to keep the Irish honest. Passing to a player who is about to get smacked by two Irish defenders, it won't make much difference who is at 12.

This - particularly about needing more variety in attack.

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Post by tigertattie Fri 27 Nov 2020, 11:09 am

BigGee wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:

Skinners been released to Exeter so pretty unlikely we'll see him now until 6Ns whenever that is.

Skinner and SHC both needed some proper game time and the game is on saturday. I don't see that stopping them playing for Scotland next week, even though it is more likely to be off the bench. Horne has not played for a good while either, so more likely he will go back to Glasgow if he is fit.

The Glasgow and Edinburgh games this week are on sunday and monday, making it respectively, difficult and near impossible for players to cover them and then come back into contention for the following saturday.

It is the last game for us in this series though, so he may be happier to trim the squad size down with less need for injury cover now.

I'm not sure but don’t the "bubbles" disallow this? Because they are going back to Exeter then it means they can’t re-join the Scotland camp? Isn’t that why cockers has been upset at the number of games as the Edinburgh players not in the match day squad for Scotland weren’t getting released to him?
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Post by BigGee Fri 27 Nov 2020, 11:19 am

Not really clear is it

The English plsyers are going backwards and forwards. Presumably they are being swabbed prior to joinning the camp.

Maybe they might be relaxing it a bit as it is the last game. I think the players went home for a few dsys as well.

Hard to keep them in camp for 2 weeks without s game. I imagine everyone is reswabbed as they come back into the bubble

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Post by bsando Fri 27 Nov 2020, 12:40 pm

Yeah I think I'm just assuming everyone is available. The Barbarians fiasco was a different scenario. Feel bad for Fiji missing that game then not getting to play any of the other games. Bad run of luck for them!


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Post by Heuer27 Fri 27 Nov 2020, 9:03 pm

Having seen the lack of go forward in the Scottish pack, can anyone explain why Gary Graham is not in the squad.
He ripped up the championship last season and has started in the same fashion in the premiership so far.
Watching the Falcons v Sale game and he appears to be exactly what we are missing in the back row.

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Post by BigGee Fri 27 Nov 2020, 9:18 pm

Am watching it as well

If he keeps up this kind of form, he surely will come back into contention

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Post by Heuer27 Fri 27 Nov 2020, 9:49 pm

Maybe initially plumping for the Auld enemy has left a black spot on his Toonie report card.
I remember him playing in Paris and he was one of the few who fronted up against the French that day.

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Post by RDW Fri 27 Nov 2020, 10:18 pm

Hutchinson is back! Hopefully he can have a good run of games to give us an option in the 6N.

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Post by tigertattie Fri 27 Nov 2020, 11:24 pm

Heuer27 wrote:Maybe initially plumping for the Auld enemy has left a black spot on his Toonie report card.
I remember him playing in Paris and he was one of the few who fronted up against the French that day.

Nah he was selected for Scotland after all that. I think it was more that he was playing in the championship which is a big big step down.

Now he’s back in the prem he should be back in the frame. He’s very much a flanker though and Ritchie and Watson are superb players so he may be looking at a bench spot.

We just really really really need a bloody big bruiser of an 8. Why Willie McMata didn’t plump for Scotland is gutting
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Post by BigGee Fri 27 Nov 2020, 11:39 pm

I see Lang and Steele are back with Quins as well and playing on saturday.

Cowan lining up with LI again as well.

Alex Craig makes his come back from injury for Gloucester as well.

Quite a few players have been released to English clubs, I wonder how many Glasgow and Edinburgh will get back?

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Post by NeilyBroon Sat 28 Nov 2020, 8:43 am

Didn't Toonie say in an interview that returning players to the English clubs was somewhat beyond their control?

I'd be surprised if he releases many, if at all, to the Scottish clubs. It'll probably be Huw Jones and A N Other.

I guess it also really depends on how screening works as you said BigGee. My feeling is because it's such close contact, extra caution is taken and quarantine also put in place, even with screening, could easily become positive after a test.

It's fine for the players to go Christmas shopping of course... with the thousands that will inevitably be out from next week 🙄


Last edited by NeilyBroon on Sat 28 Nov 2020, 12:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by NeilyBroon Sat 28 Nov 2020, 11:55 am

Looking at the Glasgow squad I was right about Jones. That's his chance this autumn down the toilet no doubt!
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Post by BigGee Sat 28 Nov 2020, 3:24 pm

Hutch scores a few moments after coming on for Saints.

Best Scottish player on the pitch so far has been Glen Young, who has been very solid in the row, for Quins

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