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Scotland 6N 2021 thread

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:00 am

First topic message reminder :

As requested by RDW in the Scotland 2020 thread, I have taken on the job of starting the 2021 6N thread as I want to contribute to the forum as much as I can Smile.

First things first, here are the games and starting times for Scotland 6N 2021 matches :

Game 1: A daunting opener against reigning 6N and ANC champions, England (at a bogey round) on Feb 6th, KO: 1645hrs
Game 2: Our first home game of 6N 2021, against a team in transition or a rebuilding process, Wales on Feb 13th, KO: 1645hrs.
Game 3: Another daunting prospect, this time in the Stade De France, against the very entertaining French team, KO: 1500hrs on Feb 28th.
Game 4: Our second home match, this time against our bogey Celtic cousins Ireland on March 14th, KO: 1500hrs.
Game 5: We end our 2021 campaign at home against Italy, usually seen as a Wooden Spoon decider and one Italy always target as a winnable game, even though its been a few years since they have actually beaten us. This game is on March 20th with a KO time of 1415hrs.

I think most fans would be happy with 3 wins from 5 and Tbh, that is easily achievable if we play to our potential. I know that we have a poor record v Ireland but we know that records are breakable, we are at home so should be aiming for a win in that. I, as most Scotland fans no doubt, would LOVE a win at Twickenham to break the only never ending hoodoo left to beat but I think we all know how tough it will be. It may be good to get them first up but tbh, I don't see it make a difference unless England totally underestimate us or get massively hit by Covid etc.

I also think Gregor Townsend has to deliver positive results etc in order to win over the doubters (I am not one by the way, I am probably the only one on this forum that backs his new contract) once and for all, he will have a tough job picking his squad for the 6N, some players are and will, over the next few weeks, be putting up their hands regarding selection (Rory Hutchinson and Huw Jones fall into this category) and some will be hoping to retain their places on the back of good ANC performances (van der Walt and Duncy Weir for example).

So now comes the bit where you guys can contribute to the thread, who would you pick as the pool of players (is it 26 names?) for the 6N, have you got any left field choices that nobody would expect to see in it, Finlay Christie (as an example because I know a lot would love to see him in the Scotland blue) perhaps?

Hopefully this thread satisfies RDW Wink.

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Post by RDW Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:44 pm

picard

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Post by Highland Shaun Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:55 pm

As a Highlander (I'm from Thurso, which is way up in the North of Scotland for anyone that doesn't know lol), I'm delighted to see a Highlander (Dobie is from Inverness), in the squad Very Happy.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:14 am

Blimy, Thurso makes Inverness look like the south of France!

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Post by RDW Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:48 am

Well it's looking increasingly likely that this game will go ahead, barring anymore cases in the French camp.

Their preparation will no doubt have been impacted by all this, but they should still have more than enough to be heavy favourites.

I just hope we can really get into them and test their mettle without their peerless general at 9. More so than any team in the 6N you can't give them any easy outs when playing away from home. Our set piece needs to be flawless, discipline good and mistake count very low. They've shown if they get a bit of momentum or behind the defence there's not a lot you can do about it, so we've got to limit the chances they have to do so.

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Post by TJ Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:14 am

mikey_dragon wrote:I should add... that's if Hogg was unavailable. I don't know if either Russell or Hastings have featured at 12. They have all the skills but you'd need to be a rock in defence too.

I am sure toonie has played part games with hastings 10 Russell 12 but they actually interchanged

I thought dobie played very well and looked a real talent if raw in the glasgow game

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Post by EST Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:27 am

Anybody watch Bath regularly and can comment on Bayliss?  Have to be honest, I had to search for his name to figure out who he was - the old Tombola never fails.

Also, I presumed GG was given the hook - but the press release says he's injured.

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Post by BigGee Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:23 am


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Post by flyhalffactory Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:33 am

Morning Shipmates.
Josh Bayliss at 6' 3" 16.3 st and Sam Skinner 6' 5" 17.8 st.

What's happened to Sam Skinner?, he can play lock and BSF equally well, seems to be playing well at Exeter and to me is a better fit to Scotland

Anyone know?

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Post by BigGee Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:41 am

flyhalffactory wrote:Morning Shipmates.
Josh Bayliss at 6' 3" 16.3 st and Sam Skinner 6' 5" 17.8 st.

What's happened to Sam Skinner?, he can play lock and BSF equally well, seems to be playing well at Exeter and to me is a better fit to Scotland

Anyone know?    

Skinner definitely seen more as a second row than a backrow in the Scotland set up but I am surprised he is not in the squad ahead of Gilchrist or Craig to be honest.

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Post by EST Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:45 am

flyhalffactory wrote:Morning Shipmates.
Josh Bayliss at 6' 3" 16.3 st and Sam Skinner 6' 5" 17.8 st.

What's happened to Sam Skinner?, he can play lock and BSF equally well, seems to be playing well at Exeter and to me is a better fit to Scotland

Anyone know?    

It's an odd one - not just Bayliss, but Harley and Craig have been chosen ahead of him, both of whom can play in the row and at 6.  

I know he hasn't been starting for the Chiefs, but he's been a very good player for Scotland.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:36 pm

Skinner did not make much impact during the Nations Cup off the bench and lack of game time at Exeter has probably hampered his form.

My reading of the tea leaves is that Skinner wants to get some real game time under his belt rather than fight for 10 minutes off the bench with R Gray. Maybe he could have taken the 20 spot, but if M Fagerson comes off, is Skinner an international 8 and do we want to find out against France or Ireland?

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Post by EST Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:19 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:Skinner did not make much impact during the Nations Cup off the bench and lack of game time at Exeter has probably hampered his form.

My reading of the tea leaves is that Skinner wants to get some real game time under his belt rather than fight for 10 minutes off the bench with R Gray. Maybe he could have taken the 20 spot, but if M Fagerson comes off, is Skinner an international 8 and do we want to find out against France or Ireland?

You could well be right Hazel. Probably also worth noting that Cummings has moved to six in both games so far, so maybe Toonie doesn't need that flexibility off the bench that Skinner brings.

Still, somebody would have to really go some to persuade me that Grant Gilchrist is a better player than Skinner just now.

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Post by BigGee Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:26 pm

Toonie said that he would view the squad in three blocks at the start of the tournament and this you would imagine is block 2. He will reshape it again prior to the last two games.

Hopefully Skinner, who has been playing a lot more for Exeter recently may come into contention for the last two games.

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Post by tigertattie Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:03 pm

EST wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:Skinner did not make much impact during the Nations Cup off the bench and lack of game time at Exeter has probably hampered his form.

My reading of the tea leaves is that Skinner wants to get some real game time under his belt rather than fight for 10 minutes off the bench with R Gray. Maybe he could have taken the 20 spot, but if M Fagerson comes off, is Skinner an international 8 and do we want to find out against France or Ireland?

You could well be right Hazel.  Probably also worth noting that Cummings has moved to six in both games so far, so maybe Toonie doesn't need that flexibility off the bench that Skinner brings.

Still, somebody would have to really go some to persuade me that Grant Gilchrist is a better player than Skinner just now.

Say what you want about GG, he's playing regular first team rugby.

There's a right romantic view on here about Skinner after his debut. He's not let anyone down but he's not really done much of note either in his other games since then. If he's not playig week in week out then it makes it difficult to put yourslef in the shop window but also he jsut wont be as sharp in training as the boys who are playing each week.

It's not like there's a massive difference in quality as there is between Taylor and Lang so GG over Skinner is fag paper differences at best (other than as mentioned GG is playing each week)
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Post by RDW Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:16 am

Just had a thought - doesn't say much for Bradbury and Haining's standing just now that a random bloke from Bath and Rob Harley were called up ahead of them.

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Post by BigGee Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:15 pm

RDW wrote:Just had a thought - doesn't say much for Bradbury and Haining's standing just now that a random bloke from Bath and Rob Harley were called up ahead of them.

On form though, that is entirely reasonable. The two of them really have shown b*gger all this year so far.

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Post by jimbopip Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:49 pm

According to Bath's website the random bloke is very good, any better and he could buy a house in Ayr.
Big Bad put in a mightily impressive shift against Ulster. Mightily impressive without the ball but not so with ball in hand. However if we have Hamish and Matt F carrying then BBB could be an adequate back up to Mbawza. He would probably concede fewer penalties than Graham did and would prove more durable than Thompson.

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Post by tigertattie Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:04 pm

Random Bath boy was apparently the England U20s captain so he's got a bit of promise/expectation about him
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Post by NeilyBroon Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:33 pm

Random bath boy is the new messiah, even if his nickname sounds a bit dubious. I expect he'll score a hattrick against France as a single-man driving maul while GG walks behind him with his hand on his shoulder guarding dutifully.

On the note of the game. I would be very surprised if either Union considers it prudent to continue. This has echoes of Wales last year with the 5 minutes until kickoff cancellation.
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Post by EST Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:26 am

tigertattie wrote:
EST wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:Skinner did not make much impact during the Nations Cup off the bench and lack of game time at Exeter has probably hampered his form.

My reading of the tea leaves is that Skinner wants to get some real game time under his belt rather than fight for 10 minutes off the bench with R Gray. Maybe he could have taken the 20 spot, but if M Fagerson comes off, is Skinner an international 8 and do we want to find out against France or Ireland?

You could well be right Hazel.  Probably also worth noting that Cummings has moved to six in both games so far, so maybe Toonie doesn't need that flexibility off the bench that Skinner brings.

Still, somebody would have to really go some to persuade me that Grant Gilchrist is a better player than Skinner just now.

Say what you want about GG, he's playing regular first team rugby.

There's a right romantic view on here about Skinner after his debut. He's not let anyone down but he's not really done much of note either in his other games since then. If he's not playig week in week out then it makes it difficult to put yourslef in the shop window but also he jsut wont be as sharp in training as the boys who are playing each week.

It's not like there's a massive difference in quality as there is between Taylor and Lang so GG over Skinner is fag paper differences at best (other than as mentioned GG is playing each week)

I know what you mean Tattie, but GG was totally anonymous against Munster - he hasn't been playing well. At least Skinner is being kept out of the team on virtue of being behind Gray and Hill - not bad company really.

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Post by NeilyBroon Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:23 pm

On a non6N note, WC schedule is out. Doesn't look too bad, some nice gaps between matches and the two hardest fixtures bookending it. Think we have a great chance to top the pool, form dependent obviously!
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Post by RDW Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:10 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:On a non6N note, WC schedule is out. Doesn't look too bad, some nice gaps between matches and the two hardest fixtures bookending it. Think we have a great chance to top the pool, form dependent obviously!

Top a pool with South Africa and Ireland in it??

On the plus side this is the first WC I can remember where we have a decent break between all games.

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Post by NeilyBroon Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:18 pm

RDW wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:On a non6N note, WC schedule is out. Doesn't look too bad, some nice gaps between matches and the two hardest fixtures bookending it. Think we have a great chance to top the pool, form dependent obviously!

Top a pool with South Africa and Ireland in it??

On the plus side this is the first WC I can remember where we have a decent break between all games.

The duck has got to break with Ireland, like Wales we just seem to choke against them rather than them being particularly good at the moment.

South Africa are beatable and unlike NZ we've beaten them before so it's not an insurmountable challenge, especially as it's the first game it's the best chance to catch them cold.

Come on RDW I'm usually the pessimist here! I actually think all things considered we still have a good chance to top the pool (if we take it of course). The games are pretty much perfectly lined up for us to stay fresh throughout.
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Post by Highland Shaun Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:50 pm

Come on guys, getting SA first is a positive, nobody expected Japan to beat them the year they did Wink.

Anyway, back on to Scotland 6N, we could have Schoeman eligible for the rearranged game (you guys can debate as to whether that's good lol) plus Cole Forbes could have caught the eye of Gregor if he's playing well at Warriors.

Oh and McGuigan scored tonight v Exeter (what's happening to them BTW) so could be worthy of a place in matchday squad for Ireland or Italy games.

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:19 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:Think we have a great chance to top the pool, form dependent obviously!

Good lord I’ve heard it all now! I sometimes wish I had a few bottles of whatever some of my fellow Scotland fans seem to be on in my cellar!

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Post by NeilyBroon Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:00 pm

TheMildlyFranticLlama wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:Think we have a great chance to top the pool, form dependent obviously!

Good lord I’ve heard it all now! I sometimes wish I had a few bottles of whatever some of my fellow Scotland fans seem to be on in my cellar!

I should clarify all things considered we have a great shot. The best we could hope for given the draw.
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Post by Hazel Sapling Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:44 pm

We will be lucky to beat either Ireland or South Africa. The saving grace is that we should hopefully develop a bit more of a clinical edge by that point to go along with the new steeliness in the forwards. Should have beaten England and Wales comfortably based on every stat except the one that matters.

SA are also going to look much different having not played international rugby for nearly 2 years. It was a fairly young squad they had in Japan but there will need to be a refresh and not being able to blood new players will delay that.

Skinner committed several penalties but was otherwise solid against Sale. McGuigan scored a try in a generally mixed performance from him. Ashman did not get on/was not on long as Langdon was popping up everywhere. Don't think any of them will be troubling the side for Ireland, maybe Ashman gets a shot against Italy.

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Post by tigertattie Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:58 pm

Anyone else worried we’ll be seriously undercooked going up against Ireland?

4 weeks between games is a bit of a kicker.

I think nearly every player in our squad will need to play for their clubs next week just to get a run around
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Post by bsando Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:33 am

I just really wish we had beaten Wales two weeks ago now to be honest. That would have left us right in the mix at the top of the table with France and Wales. Now we face the possibility of being in 5th heading towards the final weekend.

I read that the France sports minister threatened to withdraw France from six nations if she didn't get a satisfactory response about how the covid infections took place. Apparently she mentioned that some players were out in Rome eating waffles after their game Laugh

I am disappointed that France get away with no punishment if they have basically allowed infection to occur through poor team protocol. It's one thing if it was an unavoidable infection but if players were actually out and in their bubble while playing away that is really, really stupid. The Six Nations organisers should be grilled over that, they look like a bunch of amateurs. The BBC pundits had no news from them yesterday about the fixture being rearranged. Really poor organisation considering games were likely to be postponed.

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Post by BigGee Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:13 pm

So Hastings to miss at least the next round you would imagine. It was a slightly bizarre incident that had nothing malicious about it, he might get away with 2 weeks if he brings good quality biscuits and says sorry.

Jones was electric, really back to his best. Problem for him (and Toonie) is that Harris also playing really well, he also had a cracking game for Glaws on friday night.

Sam Johnson looks right back on form and for me, stats the next round.

Dobie was also really good, no eye catching breaks this time, but provided a really good SH service under considerable from Leinster, surely he comes onto the bench next time out.


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Post by RDW Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:26 pm

Another weekly 'fun' fact for everyone - Italy's last 6N win was 6 years ago, against us. It was the one where Pete Horne failed to find touch at the death and Italy rumbled their way across the line. I was behind the posts when it happened - was all so predictable once Horne had missed touch.

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Post by tigertattie Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:28 pm

Finn ain’t getting subbed unless he’s gubbed so I see no value in VDW on the bench so for me Jones takes that bench spot covering centre and 15.

Hogg can cover 10 in emergency
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Post by Highland Shaun Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:26 pm

The BBC guys clearly don't have Twitter then bsando because I saw a Tweet at about half 2 from Gav Harper stating that he heard, from Jonny Beattie on some French podcast, say March 26 is being muted.

https://twitter.com/Gav_S_Harper/status/1365691739101626368?s=19

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Post by tigertattie Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:10 am

Could become redundant as there’s some serious finger pointing going on about careless bubble breeches.

The 6ns organisers or the french government could be looking at pulling France from this years tournament. Makes a total farce of the entire operation but what can you do? Allowing France to continue could risk other teams participation along with the obvious health risks.

Governments have sport a free pass to continue where 1000s of other jobs can’t. Strict guidelines needed to be stuck to as a result of this benefit of a free pass and some in the french team have blown that.
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Post by George Carlin Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:48 pm

You can bet your petoot that Dodson is whining like a Weegie with a salad as I write this.

It does seem ridiculous that a side can engineer a disadvantageous situation for their opponents by not adhering to their own rules. What's the point of having any rules at all if sticking to them doesn't matter?
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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:09 pm

If Galthie has broken protocols, which is looking clear that he has...then surely they sacrifice the game...and the points go to Scotland?

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Post by tigertattie Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:10 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:If Galthie has broken protocols, which is looking clear that he has...then surely they sacrifice the game...and the points go to Scotland?

Makes a mockery of it all though Geordie. If they hand out a 28-0 win to Scotland it has hee haw impact on us at the end of the day but will have a massive impact on Wales and the outcome of the tournamnet.

I said last week that if they handed Scotland a 28-0 win (this was prior to Wales beating England) it could have resulted in Scotland winning our first ever 6Ns title having only beaten 3 teams (assuming we beat Ireland and Italy of course) and that just would not have sat well with me at all.

It's all a bit bonkers.
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Post by LordDowlais Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:16 pm

He is being backed by his union:-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/56238207

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Post by Highland Shaun Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:00 am

Imho, all the quality young players signing for Glasgow is good for them and for fans of the Rainbow Cup but imho, I don't think Cole Forbes should play for Scotland because we have good depth in the wing position.

I'm torn on the young Australian though because you guys (over on the Glasgow and Edinburgh thread in the club rugby section) seem to think he's a good signing so he could become a good option for Gregor in the Centre position. The problem is, we are well covered in that position too, I'd maybe like GT to have a look at him for the Autumn Internationals to see if he could be useful.

What do you peeps think :-P?

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Post by RDW Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:07 am

It's very early days for all these recent signings. I'm guessing most of them won't actually move to Glasgow this season either. We're also not in a rush to cover wing or centre right now - gone are the days (hopefully) of parachuting someone straight into the Scotland team after they step off the plane.

Good options for the future but lets see how they get on at Glasgow first. I suspect they've been signed more to fill the gap at Glasgow than immediately be on Townsend's radar. It might be different if the SQ signings had come from current Super Rugby level but these guys are a level or two below that. The Kiwi bloke who played in the Super Rugby Aerotoa comp and made a great impact (no mean feat) isn't SQ alas!

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Post by whatahitson Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:02 am

bsando wrote:I just really wish we had beaten Wales two weeks ago now to be honest. That would have left us right in the mix at the top of the table with France and Wales. Now we face the possibility of being in 5th heading towards the final weekend.

I read that the France sports minister threatened to withdraw France from six nations if she didn't get a satisfactory response about how the covid infections took place. Apparently she mentioned that some players were out in Rome eating waffles after their game Laugh

I am disappointed that France get away with no punishment if they have basically allowed infection to occur through poor team protocol. It's one thing if it was an unavoidable infection but if players were actually out and in their bubble while playing away that is really, really stupid. The Six Nations organisers should be grilled over that, they look like a bunch of amateurs. The BBC pundits had no news from them yesterday about the fixture being rearranged. Really poor organisation considering games were likely to be postponed.

Disgraceful! Italian waffles? If it had at least been tiramisu...

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Post by whatahitson Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:08 am

Highland Shaun wrote:Imho, all the quality young players signing for Glasgow is good for them and for fans of the Rainbow Cup but imho, I don't think Cole Forbes should play for Scotland because we have good depth in the wing position.

It moves Scotland one player closer to being able to take to the field as the 'McAll Blacks'. They'd be quids in with the golden arches sponsorship!


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Post by bsando Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:18 am

whatahitson wrote:
bsando wrote:I just really wish we had beaten Wales two weeks ago now to be honest. That would have left us right in the mix at the top of the table with France and Wales. Now we face the possibility of being in 5th heading towards the final weekend.

I read that the France sports minister threatened to withdraw France from six nations if she didn't get a satisfactory response about how the covid infections took place. Apparently she mentioned that some players were out in Rome eating waffles after their game Laugh

I am disappointed that France get away with no punishment if they have basically allowed infection to occur through poor team protocol. It's one thing if it was an unavoidable infection but if players were actually out and in their bubble while playing away that is really, really stupid. The Six Nations organisers should be grilled over that, they look like a bunch of amateurs. The BBC pundits had no news from them yesterday about the fixture being rearranged. Really poor organisation considering games were likely to be postponed.

Disgraceful! Italian waffles? If it had at least been tiramisu...

Guess they just really needed their Italian waffle fix!

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Post by RiscaGame Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:45 pm

Talk of March 26 now, for France v Scotland. I did think an out of window game would have to be an option. It’s obvious where compensation will be coming from.

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Post by RDW Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:13 am

Yeah apparently the English and French clubs have agreed to release players.

Hope France have paid the bill! The competition will lose a lot of integrity if they can break the rules and not have any form of punishment.

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Post by tigertattie Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:40 pm

Ah well, at least we’ll be able to rest players the week before against Italy.
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Post by RDW Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:43 pm

I wonder if part of the reason the Prem clubs have accepted it is because it means they can select everyone this weekend, instead of deciding to let players have a rest week following a brutal France game which was meant to have happened this weekend.

It does just kick the can down the road however as they will be coming back to their clubs following 3 weeks in a row of 6N rugby.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:38 am

RDW wrote:I wonder if part of the reason the Prem clubs have accepted it is because it means they can select everyone this weekend, instead of deciding to let players have a rest week following a brutal France game which was meant to have happened this weekend.

It does just kick the can down the road however as they will be coming back to their clubs following 3 weeks in a row of 6N rugby.
Don't know the reason the Premiership was amenable. Doesn't exactly seem in character, does it? But maybe Covid has helped them achieve a new level of enlightenment. They do, after all, allow the great unwashed from Her Majesty's current and former domains to play in their league....

Wait. Nah, it's about the dosh: The old American mafia saying: 'They don't do nuthin for nobody for nuthin'.

In this case, I think it's better for Scotland and I hope You guys rip off two more 'W's.


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Post by bsando Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:49 am

Three would be better Wink

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Post by tigertattie Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:43 pm

RDW wrote:I wonder if part of the reason the Prem clubs have accepted it is because it means they can select everyone this weekend, instead of deciding to let players have a rest week following a brutal France game which was meant to have happened this weekend.

It does just kick the can down the road however as they will be coming back to their clubs following 3 weeks in a row of 6N rugby.

Maybe they have joined us in "being in this together" with the current pandemic

But as the Doc said, someone probably paid them to release the players so that's the reason. Clubs will be desperate for cash right now and as there is no relegation in the English Prem this year then there's no need to flog the star players
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