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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 Hazel Sapling Sun 06 Dec 2020, 2:42 pm

Looking over the five games as a whole

Should beat:

Italy and Georgia - We did both with Georgia particularly comfortable and Italy a slow burn

In same tier as us and should beat at home, compete away:

Wales - Won away in a drab affair where we lost both our fly halves. Not a particularly inspiring victory but probably on balance deserved the win. The line-out was a disaster, the scrum was good and defence was excellent

France - Lost at home in a game that slowly fell out of our grasp. Our scrum actually got better with the bench which was a nice touch but our line-out work was shoddy and we looked poor going forward. Defence held firm and our attack was blunt with a third/fourth choice fly half

Ireland - Lost away in a game that steadily screwed away from us. The yellow card might not have been with a different ref (50:50 depending on the ref and the better ones would tend to yellow) but our discipline was shocking regardless. The line-out functioned, scrum was 50:50 but our defence floundered as we chased the game after a flukey first try against us

Two away games against opposition at our level and we went 1 - 1 with one fairly disastrous result that was due to a bad second half. We won the games we should have. France are arguably moving a half tier ahead of us and we were in that game until the end. Would tend to say we finished on a bad note but the overall is we fell one game shy of a good Autumn Nations. We score a try against France and get a draw, we would be looking at one bad half of rugby as costing us.

Taking Stock

The performances have been sketchy and several players should be looking over their shoulders. Brown/McInally, Berghan, Thomson, G Horne and Johnson have all had their stock shaken by poor performances in the time they were on the pitch.
Our centre partnerships are still not there
The back-row balance is proving to be painful to sort out without an 8 who can complement Ritchie and Watson
The line-out improved game by game it felt like but had some poor outings

The positives

We have four wings who can realistically start
SH is going to be a tough position with three experienced players and Shiel/Dobie coming through
Fly half has a fourth option who will compete with Weir
Turner is starting to look like a genuine alternative to Brown and McInally, and should force better discipline
Taylor looked decent at inside centre, a problem position
Our props have reinforced the scrummaging potential shown in the Six Nations by and large (except for Berghan)
We no longer talk about restarts and seem to have sorted out that problem in our game
Cummings looks like the real deal

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 06 Dec 2020, 2:53 pm

bsando wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:
TJ wrote:For me?  Townsend is not the coach we need.  We have regressed since he started and even now are not back to the heights of 2017

Hoggs issue is he is trying to win everything on his own and is being marked out of games.  Now with a proper attack structure this would create space elsewhere but no one is attempting to find it.  Not one midfeild move all game, no runarounds no scissors nothing - just shoveling the ball along the line

We are not going to improve under Townsend.

Games against weaker opposition and a new defensive coach have papered over the cracks so the SRU are happy. We've really just shot ourselves in the foot over the last 3/4 years at international and club in spite of generally improving standards because of stupid managerial decisions and a bad case of nepotism, which seems endemic in Scottish rugby.

I guess the positive outlook is Townsend and his team are trying to merry up the defensive game with an attacking game that strikes a healthy balance. Clearly not there yet. I just wonder how many chances you give the coaches? What is the standard now? I like coaches to have the time to make a plan happen but your average Scotland fan will be pretty annoyed if they lose the next three games in the 2021 6N.

Well if you're not mates with the CEO, less than 3 years 😂

In seriousness it really annoys me when we say oh we should give Toonie a chance etc etc. Vern massively improved Scotland and didn't get that chance to carry on, he got dumped because Toonie threatened to leave the SRU's bed unless he got the Scotland job.

I'm not saying it would have been all roses under VC but the fact he got no chance and Toonie seems to get every chance is utterly farcical. It's like throughout Edinburgh's time in the doldrums Hodge has been kept on for, as far as I can see, no other reason than him being Scottish.

We don't make excuses for other coaches, why do we always make excuses for Toonie? There were signs that our attack was becoming less effective when we started trying to play the fastest rugby in the world. I don't think what we see here is a result of defensive cohesiveness blunting our attack but part of a general rot in attack and organisation. We used to play good heads up rugby. Now we're lucky if we push a try over in the corner.
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Post by 123456789. Sun 06 Dec 2020, 4:37 pm

I saw the usual 'making progress' claptrap from Townsend and it really wound me up. I don't think he is a bad coach necessarily however he took over three years ago now. He hasn't really built on what Cotter achieved.
When I was younger my Mum used to buy me clothes a couple of sizes too big for me to grow into. I got so into the habit that when I stopped growing it took me ages to stop buying clothes to grow into. Scotland seem perpetually in that phase. Talking about growth. Chalking defeats down as lessons. A lot of our "young" players are now in their mid - late twenties. They came through under Cotter in 2014 and 2015. They need to stop making stupid mistakes and giving away pointless penalties.

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Post by TJ Sun 06 Dec 2020, 4:42 pm

We will not improve under Townsend. I think that is clear now.

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Post by tigertattie Sun 06 Dec 2020, 6:18 pm

Few points of note

We all know we shouldn’t have chucked Cotter. Toonie should have gone to Fiji or that to experiment in international rugby.

Hazel, what has wee Horne done to incur your wrath? He never got on the pitch despite Ali price being slower than Ben Youngs with a broken leg all year.

We are sorely lacking a ball playing/carrying number 8.

Our attack is based entirely on Finn. If he’s out, our attack is out.

Anyone who doesn’t see we’ve gone backwards this years is delusional. We beat France by them Boiling over (that punch). We’ve beaten a really poor Italy side and a slightly worse Georgia and a wales team that are completely at sea right now.

This year we’ve been winning but we’re a settled team. We’ve been playing teams rebuilding. They won’t stay broken for long.
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Post by Highland Shaun Sun 06 Dec 2020, 7:01 pm

I think most of the GT criticism is harsh and I don't back managers very often lol, if you are a friend of mine on Facebook you'll know that lol.

I actually think Mr Dodson is giving him a new contract because, far to often the SRU sack coaches every 2yrs, we just can't improve if we keep changing coach every 2yrs!! I get that VC was treated badly and we are right to feel aggrieved about that but it doesn't mean we should be Anti Townsend!

Anyway, I was going to ask you peeps (my friends and fellow supporters) whi would make your 6N team?

I'd like to see Callum Hunter-Hill, Gary Graham and Rory Hutchinson get picked, DVDM is probably a shoe in.

Of the other positions, it really depends who stakes a claim on club form.

Finally, going slightly off topic, I see 2 more SQ players have signed for Edinburgh ( Charlie Savala who is a stand-off and Korie Winters who is a winger) which will infuriate Rob Robertson and Craig Chalmers :O.

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Post by Anglobraveheart Sun 06 Dec 2020, 8:41 pm

I think we need a captain in the forwards, and this should be CHH for me.
Taylor and/or Hogg as VC.
As for shoe-ins for positions, RS, ZF, JG, JR (but he needs to cut out the stupid penalties) GH, FR, DT, HJ, SH. Plus those noted above by Highland Shaun.
I also think that OK, WN, AP, AH, should be bench shoe ins. The rest should gain their place on form.
We have a brilliant core of players, we just need to find the right blend.
GT hasn't done this yet.
GG at 8 is a good shout. None of the other pretenders have been anything other than that.

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Post by RDW Sun 06 Dec 2020, 8:55 pm

Anglobraveheart wrote:I think we need a captain in the forwards, and this should be CHH for me.
Taylor and/or Hogg as VC.
As for shoe-ins for positions, RS, ZF, JG, JR (but he needs to cut out the stupid penalties) GH, FR, DT, HJ, SH. Plus those noted above by Highland Shaun.
I also think that OK, WN, AP, AH, should be bench shoe ins. The rest should gain their place on form.
We have a brilliant core of players, we just need to find the right blend.
GT hasn't done this yet.
GG at 8 is a good shout. None of the other pretenders have been anything other than that.

CHH captain?? He's not been capped yet!

Did you mean Cummings?

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Post by 123456789. Sun 06 Dec 2020, 9:09 pm

Going into the Six Nations I’d like to see: Sutherland, McInally, Fagerson, Gray, Cummings, Ritchie, Watson, Fagerson, Horne, Russell, Van Der Merwe, Hutchinson, Jones, Maitland, Hogg - Kebble, Brown, Berghan, Skinner, Bradbury, Hidalgo-Clyne, Van Der Walt, Graham


I think there’s a lot of potential in our players but they need to start playing smart. That means fewer penalties. We have a unique ability to compound errors. We can go from attacking the opponents line to making three unforced errors and giving up 70-90 metres easily.
It also means doing something smarter in the back than passing it laterally and hoping Hogg will do something special. Having Hutchinson at 12 would allow us to get the best from Van Der Merwe. Bringing Jones in at 13 would give us another point of attack. Hopefully freeing up some place for Hogg. We need a number 8. Part of that is the nature of rugby nowadays. Almost every tier 1 team has a South African or a Pacific Islander at number 8. Given we don’t have one at the moment Fagerson will have to do. Bradbury is too hot and cold. Thomson hasn’t really done the business.

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Post by TJ Sun 06 Dec 2020, 9:28 pm

I disagree Highland . since Townsend took over we have gone backwards, dropped right down the rankings and been playing poorly. He has to carry the can. 3 years on things have improved a little maybe but we are nowhere compared to 2017

his selections are now inexplicable. Why wee Horne does not even get 5 mins, why we persist with craetivtity free centres, why are are tactics so dull.

to me its now proven. townsend just does not have it as a coach. this is the best group of players we have had for decades but the results? Pish. when did we last beat a higher ranked team?

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 06 Dec 2020, 9:43 pm

I'd like to see Gary Graham involved, SHC start a game, Horne start a game. It's a shame CHH is in the championship as would have liked to see him. Craig would be good to keep an eye on too.

Centres-wise I'd like to see Scott and Bennett get a shot. I'm not convinced Hutchinson is the answer at IC but would love to see him get a run at OC.

I'd like to see Hogg relieved of the captaincy, many of our fears about his temperament have come to light in the last couple of weeks, and I think he's not matured as much as we'd hoped. Give the armband to Cummings or Watson. Would also be good if we can play another hooker as we've gone from two excellent hookers to two out-of-form hookers very quickly and it's had quite a negative impact. Turner deserves a start based on his appearances, FB needs to spend some time on the naughty step, McInally needs to spend some time out running on the treadmill. Probably should get Stewart involved again too.

Finlay Christie would be nice but this Autumn hardly would have sold playing for Scotland to him. In lieu of that Shiel or Dobie should be called up at least for squad experience.

Finally an attack coach. That would also be nice! I know GT is here to stay but we could at least get a fresh pair of eyes on the attack, preferably a NZender or something. Someone with a good amount of authority. GT can then take a Clive Woodward role, just oversee everything, not interfere, and polish his head for the pre match interviews.

Knowing the SRU they'll announce they're hiring an attack consultant and give Hodge the job!
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Post by RDW Sun 06 Dec 2020, 10:08 pm

I was trying to think what we've learned this tournament. The answer is not very much! All of the conerns that we raised at the beginning came to pass.

I suppose the main positive is the impact VDM has had. We need to bring him into the game more, but he's done pretty well for himself living off scraps! I think we've settled on our front 5 too (hooker aside).

The concerns/negatives have been well discussed by everyone else. Plenty to work on for the 6N.

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Post by tigertattie Mon 07 Dec 2020, 12:10 am

I know we pose questions but does anyone have answers?

The Cotter ship has sailed but could we look at cockers? Even as a forwards coach? Or do we leave him at Edinburgh? Can he be both???

Other options are players simply need to find out they aren’t undroppable. Kinghorn was rightfully binned for a shocking series but other players need canned as well.

Hogg is in last chance saloon. His lack of composure (dropping scores, messing up pens to touch) is costing us games.
Brown simply needs dropped until he learns to stop constantly giving away key penalties.
Ali price is just rotten. Other 9s simply need to get games over him. Wee Horne or Sam HC need a chance
Harris is either working hard or hardly working he’s not making decisive positive differences. Jones or hutch for him.
If anyone can come up with an answer to our 8 issue (and that’s not skinner ffs) please apply for a permanent consult role at the SRU. Graham at Newcastle is a possibility but he spend last year on championship duty and right now he’s playing in a league emptied of its elite players.
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Post by Anglobraveheart Mon 07 Dec 2020, 7:31 am

RDW wrote:
Anglobraveheart wrote:I think we need a captain in the forwards, and this should be CHH for me.
Taylor and/or Hogg as VC.
As for shoe-ins for positions, RS, ZF, JG, JR (but he needs to cut out the stupid penalties) GH, FR, DT, HJ, SH. Plus those noted above by Highland Shaun.
I also think that OK, WN, AP, AH, should be bench shoe ins. The rest should gain their place on form.
We have a brilliant core of players, we just need to find the right blend.
GT hasn't done this yet.
GG at 8 is a good shout. None of the other pretenders have been anything other than that.

CHH captain?? He's not been capped yet!

Did you mean Cummings?
Yes, apologies.
In my head it was Scott Cummings, and the typing came out as CHH. My mistake.

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Post by RDW Mon 07 Dec 2020, 7:42 am

Anglobraveheart wrote:
RDW wrote:
Anglobraveheart wrote:I think we need a captain in the forwards, and this should be CHH for me.
Taylor and/or Hogg as VC.
As for shoe-ins for positions, RS, ZF, JG, JR (but he needs to cut out the stupid penalties) GH, FR, DT, HJ, SH. Plus those noted above by Highland Shaun.
I also think that OK, WN, AP, AH, should be bench shoe ins. The rest should gain their place on form.
We have a brilliant core of players, we just need to find the right blend.
GT hasn't done this yet.
GG at 8 is a good shout. None of the other pretenders have been anything other than that.

CHH captain?? He's not been capped yet!

Did you mean Cummings?
Yes, apologies.
In my head it was Scott Cummings, and the typing came out as CHH. My mistake.

Hug

Fwiw I agree that Cummings looks to be a captain of the future

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Post by bsando Mon 07 Dec 2020, 8:19 am

tigertattie wrote:I know we pose questions but does anyone have answers?

The Cotter ship has sailed but could we look at cockers? Even as a forwards coach? Or do we leave him at Edinburgh? Can he be both???

Other options are players simply need to find out they aren’t undroppable. Kinghorn was rightfully binned for a shocking series but other players need canned as well.

Hogg is in last chance saloon. His lack of composure (dropping scores, messing up pens to touch) is costing us games.
Brown simply needs dropped until he learns to stop constantly giving away key penalties.
Ali price is just rotten. Other 9s simply need to get games over him. Wee Horne or Sam HC need a chance
Harris is either working hard or hardly working he’s not making decisive positive differences. Jones or hutch for him.
If anyone can  come up with an answer to our 8 issue (and that’s not skinner ffs) please apply for a permanent consult role at the SRU. Graham at Newcastle is a possibility but he spend last year on championship duty and right now he’s playing in a league emptied of its elite players.

Brown is an incredibly frustrating player. When not making mistakes he is very effective and his carrying and physicality around the breakdown is never a problem. However, I don't think I have fully forgiven him for shipping that dumb penalty at Twickenham to help England snatch a draw in 2019. So when he then concedes four penalties against Ireland you start to wonder if it is worth it when we have other options who are equally as good. I really like McInally and Stewart, they're my two favourite Scottish hookers. Turner has probably had a positive autumn but he too can be prone to errors of judgement at times. Not to say Stewart and McInally aren't either but I think their all round game is very good

As you say Tattie there is depth enough now to start dropping players. Even Hogg is droppable now if he were to have an absolute howler. He has had some shakey moments but his stats are impressive. He made 83m with 13 carries on Saturday and him and Harris were the only backs to not miss a tackle. Actually I just noticed Gray made 20 tackles for none missed on Saturday, he had a very good game despite the loss. Fagerson had 18 none missed so a good defensive showing from him.

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Post by BigGee Mon 07 Dec 2020, 8:47 am

Just about pass marks for the whole series for me.

Good to get the Welsh monkey off our backs, even though we made hard work of it. I suspect we would have won easier had we played them in the spring and when we were on a bit of a roll but at the end of the day, any win against wales down there is a good one.

We dispatched Georgia and Italy (who are improving no doubt) pretty comfortably in the end and gave the full French team, who have good claim to be the best side in the NH just now, a very close run.

We were disappointing against Ireland and seemed to run out of steam very badly. I think for some of the team, it was maybe a game to many and perhaps we suffered from not being able to rotate the team as much as some of the other sides.

The intriguing game, that of course never happened, would have been the Fiji one. A game we should have won, but likely to be very competitive.

So what did we learn?

We are good defensively but lack spark without a playmaker. We definitely missed Russell and Hastings.

The same players still keep making silly mistakes. Our discipline has been shocking and it has cost us. That has got to be the big work on. It surely can be fixed, just as our defence was, but Toonie has got to be a bit more ruthless with the serial offenders.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 07 Dec 2020, 10:08 am

tigertattie wrote:Few points of note

We all know we shouldn’t have chucked Cotter. Toonie should have gone to Fiji or that to experiment in international rugby.

Hazel, what has wee Horne done to incur your wrath? He never got on the pitch despite Ali price being slower than Ben Youngs with a broken leg all year.

We are sorely lacking a ball playing/carrying number 8.

Our attack is based entirely on Finn. If he’s out, our attack is out.

Anyone who doesn’t see we’ve gone backwards this years is delusional. We beat France by them Boiling over (that punch). We’ve beaten a really poor Italy side and a slightly worse Georgia and a wales team that are completely at sea right now.

This year we’ve been winning but we’re a settled team. We’ve been playing teams rebuilding. They won’t stay broken for long.

I agree with you on Cotter. Townsend should have been told he could go off for two years and learn more. We can't go back to Cotter and the only alternatives I can think of who might be interested would be, in no particular order: Lancaster, Robertson (if he is looking to leave the Crusaders and get international experience), Lam (unlikely to want to leave Billionaire Bristol), McFarland (who probably won't based on how he left), Dai Young (someone I thought about more for Glasgow if Wilson fails) and Ackermann (who fell out with an overbearing CEO in the past)

G Horne has not really done anything (or had many chances to) against bigger sides and is not starting for Glasgow. I think his stock is dropping from the point that SHC seems to have overtaken him for the bench spot and there are two youngsters who have a shot at the summer tour. At one point, he was arguably the starter at Glasgow and Scotland.

CHH has played well for Sarries and is a prospect....but he is playing Championship rugby and Cummings, J Gray, Skinner, Gilchrist and Toolis are all in the mix already. Craig at Gloucester may be back by then as well (won't bank on R Gray). I am not sure lock is where the biggest gains are going to be made anyway. CHH is a summer tour candidate, particularly if Cummings gets a Lions spot and we rest J Gray

Gary Graham, to me, is not going to sort out our no. 8 position but he might sort out the number 20 jersey. M Fagerson, for me, is the best current option at 8 unless Bradbury can play, consistently, at the level he has sometimes got to. Crosbie needs to get fit to give another option for the 20 jersey. To be fair to Cowan, he might steal the back up openside spot after Ritchie's performance against Ireland and could be a short term solution.

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Post by Tramptastic Mon 07 Dec 2020, 10:21 am

It's been an odd series and an odd year. We've gone from being a side that concedes 30+ points a game to one that (the weekend aside) gives away nothing. As noted our attack has suffered quite a lot with this new focus & the loss of our 2 playmaking 10s.

There is a downside to being known as a defensively stuffy side and nowt much else - if it doesnt work and we get hammered then the new question becomes "if we are going to lose why dont we do so in an entertaining way??". It's rubbish watching 80 minutes of dull rugby to then lose, theres no trade off, its a lose-lose for the team and the spectators.

When Townsend took charge of Glasgow the 1st 6 months was some of the most dull rugby possible but they won just about everything in the league. Shortly afterwards they became the most harem scarem high tempo point scoring monster of a team that we all loved and they also continued to win everything. In a wierd reverse Townsend started his scotland tenure with the high tempo plan that started brightly but culminated in WC19. He's now gone back to basics and for the most part it's actually worked. This year included 2 very narrow losses to Ireland and England which, if we'd won, we'd have finished on a grandslam. That's an actual reality and could have easily happened.

Unfortunately whats happened is we've finished the year with 2 losses. A very narrow loss to a very good French team and a big loss to an average Ireland team. This has taken the winds out of our sails and led to a lot of us blaming the dull tactics/poor individual performances. But the tactics won us the Italy, France and Wales games in the six nations, we just missed a spark in midfield, whether thats at 10,12 or 13.

I will holdfire on the "townsend must resign" comments until next six nations. We should have Russell back and hopefully Hutchinson, Scott, Bennett, Johnson and Taylor should have some more form by that point.

On the plus side M. Fagerson has looked a lot better with more exposure, our front row is well stocked and VDM is a proper beast.

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Post by BigGee Mon 07 Dec 2020, 1:17 pm

Townsend is going to be signing a nrw contract through to the next WC very shortly

All the speculation about who is going to replace him is pretty pointless. He is here to stay for now.

It was not a disastrous autumn by any stretch of the imagination and objectively, not one that wojld call for him to be sacked.

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Post by bsando Mon 07 Dec 2020, 2:48 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p090llk8

Good diagnosis from the BBC Scottish Rugby Podcast. Tom English was pretty critical of the direction of the team. They cover everything good and bad from the match and highlight the weakness of the middle five players without Russell, Watson and Haining.

Yeah it seems inevitable Toonie will coach Scotland through to the 2023 RWC. It's a sensible way to go about business and if Toonie does make a hash of it the SRU could still reluctantly replace him if it seemed the best choice. Other unions have made more bonkers decisions a year out from a World Cup.

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Post by BigGee Mon 07 Dec 2020, 2:59 pm

Am not sure that we have missed Haining much either.

He has not shown much form for Scotland or Edinburgh.

No one has at No.8 to be fair, Ali Miller at Edinburgh has looked as good if not better than anyone and he does not even seem to be in the conversation

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Post by RDW Tue 08 Dec 2020, 9:23 am

I had a listen - interestingly they didn't seem to think centre was of much concern. Their conclusions we're basically we need Russell and Hastings, plus number 8 is an issue.

On number 8, for me Haining during the 6N put in performances closest to what we've been missing over the years.  Problem is he's not a regular at Edinburgh, and may struggle to play himself back into contention with Mata now back fit. If Graham carries on his form he's definitely worth looking at.

What's for sure though is Blade Thomson isn't the answer. He's really not done anything of note in any of his caps!

What was interesting was then concluding that we're definitely lacking in physicality to match the current trend in international rugby, and that's not something that's going to be fixed with the players we have available. As such we need to find a way to adapt to make advantage of what we do have, and find a way round how teams are playing the game just now.

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Post by Highland Shaun Wed 09 Dec 2020, 1:23 am

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/sport/18927424.scotland-coach-gregor-townsend-must-keep-improving-side/

This is a very good article which makes valid points Wink.

There's also another one on BBC Sport in which John Barclay is saying that, in order to change perceptions on how many Scots could go on Lions tour, we need a good 6N.

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Post by RDW Wed 09 Dec 2020, 2:25 am

Highland Shaun wrote:https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/sport/18927424.scotland-coach-gregor-townsend-must-keep-improving-side/

This is a very good article which makes valid points Wink.

There's also another one on BBC Sport in which John Barclay is saying that, in order to change perceptions on how many Scots could go on Lions tour, we need a good 6N.

Of that there is no doubt. With England and France away this year we've got to be targeting a full sweep of home wins. Beating England or France away is going to be a huge ask. I can't imagine any team will beat them at home, so it's not a fair stick to beat us with if we don't either IMO.

If we can win 3 games I reckon we could reasonably justify 4 or 5 players, which would be a good number particularly given the smaller squad. That could be 2 front rows, maybe Gray, maybe Watson and Hogg.

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Post by NeilyBroon Wed 09 Dec 2020, 2:37 am

I think this six Nations I just want to feel like if we lose it's from being outplayed by the opposition rather than ourselves. I'd rather see us lose scoring decent tries than just aiming to concede the least of any team. Our defence is for the most part sorted now, we need our attack back! I don't want another 10 years of drudge and brave defeats. Had enough of that during the hadden/Robinson years.
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Post by RDW Wed 09 Dec 2020, 3:02 am

In other news, Scottish Rugby Blog tweeted showing that Wikipedia is saying Scotland will play England in California next summer followed by two tests away to Argentina.

No idea if this is true or not but would be a decent series for the summer, particularly with England likely to be missing 15+ players to the Lions.

That's assuming the world has returned back to some form of normality next summer too!

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Post by Highland Shaun Wed 09 Dec 2020, 5:17 pm

I very much doubt it because June we have Georgia and Romania pencilled in.


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Post by RDW Thu 10 Dec 2020, 12:24 am

Highland Shaun wrote:I very much doubt it because June we have Georgia and Romania pencilled in.


Interesting - where did you see that?

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Post by Highland Shaun Thu 10 Dec 2020, 1:52 am

I can't find it now lol but it was on Twitter sometime last week.

A bit off topic lol but, I've really gotten into rugby this past while, shame I don't understand the rules other than the basics lol. I don't even know when someone is Offside or committing a scrum infringement. I do know what not releasing looks like and have a good idea of a forward pass.

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Post by RDW Thu 10 Dec 2020, 3:58 am

Highland Shaun wrote:I can't find it now lol but it was on Twitter sometime last week.

A bit off topic lol but, I've really gotten into rugby this past while, shame I don't understand the rules other than the basics lol.  I don't even know when someone is Offside or committing a scrum infringement.  I do know what not releasing looks like and have a good idea of a forward pass.

You're not alone there, including most referees!

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Post by George Carlin Thu 10 Dec 2020, 7:39 am

Tramptastic wrote:It's been an odd series and an odd year. We've gone from being a side that concedes 30+ points a game to one that (the weekend aside) gives away nothing. As noted our attack has suffered quite a lot with this new focus & the loss of our 2 playmaking 10s.

There is a downside to being known as a defensively stuffy side and nowt much else - if it doesnt work and we get hammered then the new question becomes "if we are going to lose why dont we do so in an entertaining way??". It's rubbish watching 80 minutes of dull rugby to then lose, theres no trade off, its a lose-lose for the team and the spectators.

When Townsend took charge of Glasgow the 1st 6 months was some of the most dull rugby possible but they won just about everything in the league. Shortly afterwards they became the most harem scarem high tempo point scoring monster of a team that we all loved and they also continued to win everything. In a wierd reverse Townsend started his scotland tenure with the high tempo plan that started brightly but culminated in WC19. He's now gone back to basics and for the most part it's actually worked. This year included 2 very narrow losses to Ireland and England which, if we'd won, we'd have finished on a grandslam. That's an actual reality and could have easily happened.

Unfortunately whats happened is we've finished the year with 2 losses. A very narrow loss to a very good French team and a big loss to an average Ireland team. This has taken the winds out of our sails and led to a lot of us blaming the dull tactics/poor individual performances. But the tactics won us the Italy, France and Wales games in the six nations, we just missed a spark in midfield, whether thats at 10,12 or 13.

I will holdfire on the "townsend must resign" comments until next six nations. We should have Russell back and hopefully Hutchinson, Scott, Bennett, Johnson and Taylor should have some more form by that point.

On the plus side M. Fagerson has looked a lot better with more exposure, our front row is well stocked and VDM is a proper beast.
Basically agree with the mighty Trampy, above.

I go back and forth about Toonie. Every international squad has injuries and key players unavailable at any given time - all coaches need to work within this structure. However, being balanced, Toonie has probably had a worst time than most.

I am willing to give him until this 6 Nations but it has to be worrying that 3 years into his tenure, he apparently still doesn't know what our best choice centre pairing or loose forward combination is. You can't help but shake the feeling that we should look a much more settled squad than we are. I got very excited when I realized what a superb defence we had during the last 6 Nations. Then it all went off the boil in the last 2 games and now I have no idea where we really are.
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Post by BigGee Thu 10 Dec 2020, 9:31 am

https://www.scottishrugby.org/news/townsend-signs-new-scotland-deal-through-to-2023-rwc

Well the Toonie speculation is history now, he is signed up for the rest of this WC cycle, for better or for worse.

What what it is worth, I see no value in coach changing at this point or any subsequent point in this cycle. Toonie is a good coach and he has a decent squad of players at his disposal. Not a WC winning squad, by any stretch of the imagination, but one good enough to give us some ups to go with the inevitable downers that come as part of the package of supporting Scotland.

At least it won't be dull!

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Thu 10 Dec 2020, 10:00 am

Completely expected, but poor decision for me. Was always going to happen, Toonie is Dodson's boy, a company man through and through and never going to rock the boat.

I have very little faith in his ability to improve Scotland as a side. He's had a long time and plenty of opportunities to learn on the job, and is still stuck at talking about trying to address fundamental issues like "We've got to make sure we're better than just being tough to beat"

I don't believe an international coach should be making such radical shifts in philosophy as going from the fastest rugby in the world to whatever porridge he's currently got the side playing. That for me is clear proof that he was promoted too soon. I'm also not seeing much evidence of him actual learning from his various mistakes, but there you go.

2 more years. Massive meh.

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Post by bsando Thu 10 Dec 2020, 10:36 am

Let's see how he does. There is increased depth in the squad now, we just really need to see Glasgow and Edinburgh bouncing back in the Pro14. If they can battle back with the return of their international stars like Mata, Nakarawa etc it could set things up nicely for next season. I imagine we'll see some better investment in signings for next season too depending on how the SRU's books are looking.




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Post by BigGee Thu 10 Dec 2020, 11:40 am

There was a Glasgow Warriors members zoom meeting with DW last night and he seemed to impress the sceptics on the Glasgow Warriors Forum (of whom there are many) with his vision for the club

What, it seems, came over where how so many things were out of his hands.

3 signings apparently fell through because of Covid.

He did not hide his feelings about how he was short changed in the player release stakes from the Scotland Camp this autumn.

The lack of Younger/academy players getting game time, also it seemed had something to do with Covid, but he did not/could not go into details. He did assure fans that promising young players would get their chances.

Without going into names, he did say that Glasgow are actively looking for a FH. which means the Hastings and potentially the Healy rumours may well have legs.

I think this season is going to be what it is and there are a lot of things it is unfair to blame DW and in truth, the SRU for.

We can save that for next season!

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Post by 123456789. Thu 10 Dec 2020, 11:48 am

TheMildlyFranticLlama wrote:Completely expected, but poor decision for me. Was always going to happen, Toonie is Dodson's boy, a company man through and through and never going to rock the boat.

I have very little faith in his ability to improve Scotland as a side. He's had a long time and plenty of opportunities to learn on the job, and is still stuck at talking about trying to address fundamental issues like "We've got to make sure we're better than just being tough to beat"

I don't believe an international coach should be making such radical shifts in philosophy as going from the fastest rugby in the world to whatever porridge he's currently got the side playing. That for me is clear proof that he was promoted too soon. I'm also not seeing much evidence of him actual learning from his various mistakes, but there you go.

2 more years. Massive meh.

Fully agree with this.
I remember reading his autobiography a few years back. He was unbelievably scathing about the SRU. He seems to have pivoted to if you can't beat them, join them.
The timing of the decision is incredibly bizarre, surely it would have made sense to wait until after the Six Nations. That way we could look back halfway through the cycle, and make a decision accordingly. In short, he failed in the first two years. 2018 was very good. 2019 was horrendous. Have we seen enough since the World Cup to suggest he is the right man for the next one? At best we will be up against Japan for a place in the next round. If not we will likely have to beat one South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, England, France, Ireland or Wales. Since the World Cup we have played six matches against those team and won two of them. One of them was against 14 men. The other was against Wales who are in free fall. After the Six Nations we will have played 10 fixtures against those sides, not a great sample admittedly. Feasibly we could be 2 from 10 against the teams we need to put aside to win.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Thu 10 Dec 2020, 11:54 am

BigGee wrote:There was a Glasgow Warriors members zoom meeting with DW last night  and he seemed to impress the sceptics on the Glasgow Warriors Forum (of whom there are many) with his vision for the club

What, it seems, came over where how so many things were out of his hands.

3 signings apparently fell through because of Covid.

He did not hide his feelings about how he was short changed in the player release stakes from the Scotland Camp this autumn.

The lack of Younger/academy players getting game time, also it seemed had something to do with Covid, but he did not/could not go into details. He did assure fans that promising young players would get their chances.

Without going into names, he did say that Glasgow are actively looking for a FH. which means the Hastings and potentially the Healy rumours may well have legs.

I think this season is going to be what it is and there are a lot of things it is unfair to blame DW and in truth, the SRU for.

We can save that for next season!

At least the bolded part was addressed.

What are the rumours about Hastings?

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 10 Dec 2020, 11:56 am

3 home wins is an absolute must in the 6Ns. 3 home wins and an away win is well above par. GrandSlam is practically unimaginable but hey we can dream.

It should be straightforward enough, can Toonie make some more ambitious choices now his contract is secure? Hopefully. There's definitely a few players who are very much off the boil.

The most frustrating thing about Toonie is he acknowledges our attack isnt good enough, yet fails to make any major changes to midfield or SH (given we've been forced to stick to two similar style 10s). He relies purely on Finn having a great game. Tbf he can take Scotland to new levels when he's on hot form but as I've said before we can't just depend on that. It's not like VdW or Weir are incapable of winning with Scotland.

Let's see, but I think we'd be well served to get another coach in to support Toonie, as I'm still not convinced he's actually a particularly good coach, just surrounds himself with good assistants and had the benefit of his Glasgow players also being coached by O'halloran and VC (until he took over the Scotland job).

Once again I hope he proves me wrong.
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Post by BigGee Thu 10 Dec 2020, 12:08 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:
BigGee wrote:There was a Glasgow Warriors members zoom meeting with DW last night  and he seemed to impress the sceptics on the Glasgow Warriors Forum (of whom there are many) with his vision for the club

What, it seems, came over where how so many things were out of his hands.

3 signings apparently fell through because of Covid.

He did not hide his feelings about how he was short changed in the player release stakes from the Scotland Camp this autumn.

The lack of Younger/academy players getting game time, also it seemed had something to do with Covid, but he did not/could not go into details. He did assure fans that promising young players would get their chances.

Without going into names, he did say that Glasgow are actively looking for a FH. which means the Hastings and potentially the Healy rumours may well have legs.

I think this season is going to be what it is and there are a lot of things it is unfair to blame DW and in truth, the SRU for.

We can save that for next season!

At least the bolded part was addressed.

What are the rumours about Hastings?

Going to Gloucester

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Post by Tramptastic Thu 10 Dec 2020, 4:11 pm

I don't know if anyone is a fan of squidge rugby but he's done a review of the scotland ireland game and it's interesting to see the patterns that townsend is putting in place with Scotland in attack https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1vr3cT4Qck&ab_channel=SquidgeRugby

VDW had a bit more subtlety to his game than i thought with picking the right options a lot of the time!

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 10 Dec 2020, 4:47 pm

Tramptastic wrote:I don't know if anyone is a fan of squidge rugby but he's done a review of the scotland ireland game and it's interesting to see the patterns that townsend is putting in place with Scotland in attack https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1vr3cT4Qck&ab_channel=SquidgeRugby

VDW had a bit more subtlety to his game than i thought with picking the right options a lot of the time!

Big fan of squidge but definitely don't share his optimism!

There were definitely good moments but the skill just isn't there at the moment.
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Post by Guest Thu 10 Dec 2020, 6:47 pm

EO'S sticking the boot in to Scotland over the weekend.



Thoughts?

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Post by 123456789. Thu 10 Dec 2020, 9:48 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:EO'S sticking the boot in to Scotland over the weekend.



Thoughts?

I think is some respects he's right in that for years we have been talking a good game and spoken of progress with little to show but the odd win.

That being said I am not sure he is perhaps the guy to be making that point. He's a guy who backstabbed his boss. Accused Nathan Hines of choking O'Gara with literally zero evidence and failed to get out of a world cup group with a squad including O'Connell, O'Gara, O'Driscoll et al. In short it seems a case of the t*sspot calling the kettle black. If he was anything to write home about himself he wouldn't be on the telly at this stage in his career.

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Post by tigertattie Thu 10 Dec 2020, 11:36 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:3 home wins is an absolute must in the 6Ns. 3 home wins and an away win is well above par. GrandSlam is practically unimaginable but hey we can dream.

It should be straightforward enough, can Toonie make some more ambitious choices now his contract is secure? Hopefully. There's definitely a few players who are very much off the boil.

The most frustrating thing about Toonie is he acknowledges our attack isnt good enough, yet fails to make any major changes to midfield or SH (given we've been forced to stick to two similar style 10s). He relies purely on Finn having a great game. Tbf he can take Scotland to new levels when he's on hot form but as I've said before we can't just depend on that. It's not like VdW or Weir are incapable of winning with Scotland.

Let's see, but I think we'd be well served to get another coach in to support Toonie, as I'm still not convinced he's actually a particularly good coach, just surrounds himself with good assistants and had the benefit of his Glasgow players also being coached by O'halloran and VC (until he took over the Scotland job).

Once again I hope he proves me wrong.

3 home wins would be nice nelly but I simply don’t think we’ll get them.

Italy are still a bit behind everyone and wales are really poor right now so we should win those but tactically Ireland still have our number and even when playing pretty dire they managed to beat us.

2 wins will be the expectation. Three is a decent result. 4 wins and Toonie is justified in his contract extension. 5 wins is just plain cuckoo
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Post by TJ Fri 11 Dec 2020, 9:55 am

3 wins is the minimum acceptable. its not acceptable to be happy with losing more than half the games

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Post by Hazel Sapling Fri 11 Dec 2020, 12:03 pm

Agree with TJ, 3 wins should be what we consider to be the acceptable standard. Ignoring Italy, we should be aiming to go at least 2 - 2 against our Tier 1 peers England, France, Ireland and Wales.

Ireland have become the new Wales for us at the minute, however England we have had three years of close games against even though they are a clear half step above us. France we tend to split. Wales are trying to retool as their golden generation is riding into the sunset. Beating Wales and A.N. Other should be the standard we judge on. If we had a three game series against Ireland, France and England we would be aiming to have one win.

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Post by tigertattie Fri 11 Dec 2020, 12:55 pm

I'm not arguing against wanting 3 wins, I just don’t think it is realistic with where we are right now!

We're not that good. Even taking the AI series out of it, our attack has gone backwards.

Right now I have our games as:
Italy - 90% chance of Scotland win
Wales - 60% chance of Scotland win
Ireland - 40% chance of Scotland win
England - 30% chance of Scotland win (only higher because we "raise our game" against them)
France - 15% chance of Scotland win
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Post by NeilyBroon Fri 11 Dec 2020, 1:28 pm

I think what tattie is saying is that it isn't going to happen, which is probably true but we can't accept that as a standard when it's been baseline for so long. Toonie was signed on the back of promising that he'd improve the side, so he needs to deliver and needs to be accountable for how far backwards we've gone, and let's not forget the massive WC failure that never should have happened.
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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Fri 11 Dec 2020, 1:31 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:I think what tattie is saying is that it isn't going to happen, which is probably true but we can't accept that as a standard when it's been baseline for so long. Toonie was signed on the back of promising that he'd improve the side, so he needs to deliver and needs to be accountable for how far backwards we've gone, and let's not forget the massive WC failure that never should have happened.

It's particularly difficult to forget when you travelled all the way over there to witness that, believe me! Great trip though, Scottish rugby aside Very Happy

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