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Scotland 6N 2021 thread

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 21 Dec 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 BigGee Mon 08 Mar 2021, 7:51 pm

Highland Shaun wrote:I take it Bayliss hasn't dropped out completely, it only says who has come in, not the players released back to their clubs?

Bayliiss only failed a HIA last week so could likely still be in contention for tge final 2 games, if he passes the HIA eventually?

A picture tweet of the squad went up earlier and he was not in it. Unfortunate for him but he will surely get another chance, especially if we pick up a few more knocks.

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 08 Mar 2021, 11:12 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:No third TH is a risk though McCallum and Rae are not setting the heather alight. In a way, Z Fagerson indicating that he is heading abroad in a year or two and Nel getting closer to 40 might force us to blood some young academy props benefitting Scotland.

S Johnson has to be the man at 12 as he is a solid constant next to Russell (even Harris is looking better with Russell as the playmaker). Not sure on why Hutchinson is not in there instead of D Taylor or Lang but can only hope we see him get opportunities during the summer tour when more opportunities should be available along with Redpath, S Johnson, H Jones, Bennett, Lang, D Taylor, Scott....how long is the summer tour again?

Has it been confirmed who we'll play in the summer, I did see a Tweet a few months ago mentioning Georgia and Romania clashes in June but the SRU etc haven't confirmed it.

If there is a tour (probably likely), I'd like to see a more experimental squad with players like Dobie, Vellacott, Bayliss, McLean and possibly Hunter-Hill in it. So basically some uncapped/younger players in the squad alongside others that aren't getting a look in on match days or ones that have been overlooked, such as Hutchinson.

Oh crap, I think I may have stolen Toonie's tombola thing lol, I wonder if he fancies a new addition to the coaching staff.

As you can see, I have a comedy like sense of humour lol, hopefully that doesn't put you peeps off interacting with me ahahaha.

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Post by NeilyBroon Tue 09 Mar 2021, 6:46 am

Highland Shaun wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:No third TH is a risk though McCallum and Rae are not setting the heather alight. In a way, Z Fagerson indicating that he is heading abroad in a year or two and Nel getting closer to 40 might force us to blood some young academy props benefitting Scotland.

S Johnson has to be the man at 12 as he is a solid constant next to Russell (even Harris is looking better with Russell as the playmaker). Not sure on why Hutchinson is not in there instead of D Taylor or Lang but can only hope we see him get opportunities during the summer tour when more opportunities should be available along with Redpath, S Johnson, H Jones, Bennett, Lang, D Taylor, Scott....how long is the summer tour again?

Has it been confirmed who we'll play in the summer, I did see a Tweet a few months ago mentioning Georgia and Romania clashes in June but the SRU etc haven't confirmed it.

If there is a tour (probably likely), I'd like to see a more experimental squad with players like Dobie, Vellacott, Bayliss, McLean and possibly Hunter-Hill in it. So basically some uncapped/younger players in the squad alongside others that aren't getting a look in on match days or ones that have been overlooked, such as Hutchinson.

Oh crap, I think I may have stolen Toonie's tombola thing lol, I wonder if he fancies a new addition to the coaching staff.

As you can see, I have a comedy like sense of humour lol, hopefully that doesn't put you peeps off interacting with me ahahaha.

I expect Dobie will get his shot earlier than summer tour but would be nice to see him and Horne take the lead as price is not the 2023 SH for me. Dunno about Hunter-Hill, he would have had even less gametime than Maitland in a position where gametime is important. If Skinner can get a chance to re stake his spot that'd be good, maybe a chance for Bain to get a squad spot.

Hard to look further than this weekend at the moment though!
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Post by BigGee Tue 09 Mar 2021, 8:49 am


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Post by BigGee Sun 14 Mar 2021, 1:12 pm

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/when-i-told-him-that-gregor-townsend-had-called-me-my-dad-was-a-bit-quiet-and-taken-aback/

Nice background article about Josh Bayliss

Had to drop out of the squad with concussion, but hopefully we will see him again. We certainly have room for another dynamic back row player.

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Post by tigertattie Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:10 pm

Well as they say it’s shoite being Scottish eh.

Our pack today was pretty poor with only Watson playing well really.

Sutherland - pass marks, couple of knock ons but little else good or bad
Turner - poor. Lineout (not all his fault granted) was terrible today
WP- poor. Won some scrums, lost some scrums. Looks well short of international pace these days
Cummings - pass marks but that’s it. Also poor in the lineout.
Gray - poor. Passive. Poor lineout. No aggression. Perhaps knackered?
Ritchie - poor. Not much action. Lack of match practise perhaps.
Watson - immense. We need to make sure he gets put out to stud when he retires
Fagerson - poor. Why is he even there? I’ll tell you why, total lack of alternatives. He’s just not international standard

Price - woeful. Italy and then France need to be when we see what Steele does and also blood dobie.
Russell. Poor. Shows that without an armchair ride he still doesn’t pick the options to play in the right areas. He tries to force the magic rather than taking the simple pragmatic option. Won’t be a lion now.
Johnson - poor. Maybe it was a lack of ball but we hardly seen him
Harris - poor. See above. At least popped up at times going forward
Duhan - poor. His first meh performance in blue.
Sean - pass marks. Wasn’t too sharp in attack but did some good defensive work.
Hogg - pass marks. Him and Watson were the only ones to give us go forward. Needed to twig earlier that the lineout needed to not be an option.

So yeah. Italy next week. We’ll win that but likely make hard work of it. This will be another year where it’s a complete false dawn and the much hyped win over England will ultimately mean hee haw in the grand scheme of things.
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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:17 pm

Bit depressing really but true.

If redpath can recover before the end of the 6Ns that'd be great. Get Sam HC in the squad and start him. It is lunacy not to have him in our squad considering he has both international experience and is playing well.

Start Jones to give the opposition another player to think about. I think Toonie undervalues not only his attack but the aura an attacking player like that brings, which in itself creates space. Look at Hogg for instance, he's a marked man which allows others space.

Hard to swallow but I think this year was our best chance and we've lost it ourselves. Wales were there for the taking, we gave Ireland another relatively simple win that they just had to hang on to. I would be far happier to see us consistently win against Ireland and Wales because they just always know our game and call it every time. We've won far fewer times against both of them than England and France, at least it feels like it.
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Post by LordDowlais Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:19 pm

It must be very frustrating being a Scottish rugby fan. From the highs of beating England away to losing two on the bounce and staring down a playoff against Italy for bottom place, that is of course unless you beat France.

But luckily enough Italy are woeful, you will beat them with ease.

All of Scotlands games have been close affairs though, 1 point in it against Wales, 3 points today, 5 points against England.

But I cannot fathom it out, some really good players, but results not coming. Is it a mentality thing ? Is it the coaches ? Is it the players ?

Well at least it's always interesting for you guys. OK

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:22 pm

LordDowlais wrote:It must be very frustrating being a Scottish rugby fan. From the highs of beating England away to losing two on the bounce and staring down a playoff against Italy for bottom place, that is of course unless you beat France.

But luckily enough Italy are woeful, you will beat them with ease.

All of Scotlands games have been close affairs though, 1 point in it against Wales, 3 points today, 5 points against England.

But I cannot fathom it out, some really good players, but results not coming. Is it a mentality thing ? Is it the coaches ? Is it the players ?

Well at least it's always interesting for you guys. OK

If what you call interesting is consistently disappointing then yes it's definitely interesting!
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Post by George Carlin Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:24 pm

LordDowlais wrote:It must be very frustrating being a Scottish rugby fan. From the highs of beating England away to losing two on the bounce and staring down a playoff against Italy for bottom place, that is of course unless you beat France.

But luckily enough Italy are woeful, you will beat them with ease.

All of Scotlands games have been close affairs though, 1 point in it against Wales, 3 points today, 5 points against England.

But I cannot fathom it out, some really good players, but results not coming. Is it a mentality thing ? Is it the coaches ? Is it the players ?

Well at least it's always interesting for you guys. OK
And you wonder why we've all got a drink problem, LD...
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Post by LordDowlais Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:24 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:If what you call interesting is consistently disappointing then yes it's definitely interesting!

Were you disappointed after the England game ?

You also had a pretty decent autumn series.

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Post by whatahitson Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:26 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
If redpath can recover before the end of the 6Ns that'd be great. Get Sam HC in the squad and start him. It is lunacy not to have him in our squad considering he has both international experience and is playing well.

Agree with that. There are some very talented players that are not in the squad. IMO Scotland cannot afford to overlook them. It's the Barclay situation all over again. I also think Scotlad missed Hastings as an alternative half back option, he's underrated for some reason but he adds a nice balance of control and attacking intent which Russell (for all his qualities) doesn't provide.

The problem Scotland still have, as they have had for the last 20 years, is physical power when it comes to playing the Irelands of this world. Playing with two opensides isn't a bad answer to being on the back foot but Ritchie showed he's not really at the required level to be a good pairing with Watson. Given the other flanking options maybe it would be better going for a more physical, powerful 6. I don't understand why Townsend regularly overlooks Sam Skinner. He seems like an ideal option for blindside. Particularly when you consider they were coming up against a team they knew would be powerful and they knew would be a challenge at the lineout. Having that third lock-flanker like Skinner, as Ireland do with Beirne and England do with Lawes, is a really useful option for Scotland yet Townsend doesn't seem to want him.

After the excellent performance against England, it's been back to 7s style rugby for Scotland. There were some very fortuitous tries v Wales (Halfpenny drops the ball, defensive misread on a set piece play for Hogg's try), and again today Russell's try was 'flukey'. Fair enough, playing at a high tempo creates these chances and luck can go your way, but the sheer inability (or lack of desire) to mix it up until they're 13 points down with 10-15 minutes to go is incredibly hard to understand. If Scotland were able/willing to do what they did in the lead up to their final try before the game is effectively lost i.e. if they're able to control possession in the opposition 22, go through the phases, force pressure and defensive mistakes, and win penalties, they'd be a much better team. But they try to play at 100mph every time they get the ball. It's very strange, particularly considering this competition. It seems better suited to a summer tour than a six nations tournament.


Last edited by whatahitson on Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by LordDowlais Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:27 pm

George Carlin wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:It must be very frustrating being a Scottish rugby fan. From the highs of beating England away to losing two on the bounce and staring down a playoff against Italy for bottom place, that is of course unless you beat France.

But luckily enough Italy are woeful, you will beat them with ease.

All of Scotlands games have been close affairs though, 1 point in it against Wales, 3 points today, 5 points against England.

But I cannot fathom it out, some really good players, but results not coming. Is it a mentality thing ? Is it the coaches ? Is it the players ?

Well at least it's always interesting for you guys. OK
And you wonder why we've all got a drink problem, LD...

Laugh

To quote Homer Simpson

“Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:30 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:If what you call interesting is consistently disappointing then yes it's definitely interesting!

Were you disappointed after the England game ?

You also had a pretty decent autumn series.

Delighted, but that's the problem, we see this every time without fail. We play a fantastic game then don't back it up. That's where the consistent disappointment stems from. Would you not be constantly disappointed if your team has players you know are capable of winning big games but don't do it more than once a tournament?

I thought that might have changed in the first 20 minutes against wales where we were up 17 points and sitting relatively comfortably. Then we managed to balls it up as we seem to specialise in and lose by a point at 80 minutes.

Today was different, we failed the basics from the start and essentially gifted Ireland the game in the first 60 minutes. At least we made it uncomfortable in the last 20 but they never looked like losing after the first half.

Wouldn't you be frustrated if all that followed a huge win?
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Post by LordDowlais Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:35 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:If what you call interesting is consistently disappointing then yes it's definitely interesting!

Were you disappointed after the England game ?

You also had a pretty decent autumn series.

Delighted, but that's the problem, we see this every time without fail. We play a fantastic game then don't back it up. That's where the consistent disappointment stems from. Would you not be constantly disappointed if your team has players you know are capable of winning big games but don't do it more than once a tournament?

I thought that might have changed in the first 20 minutes against wales where we were up 17 points and sitting relatively comfortably. Then we managed to balls it up as we seem to specialise in and lose by a point at 80 minutes.

Today was different, we failed the basics from the start and essentially gifted Ireland the game in the first 60 minutes. At least we made it uncomfortable in the last 20 but they never looked like losing after the first half.

Wouldn't you be frustrated if that followed a huge win?

Yes I would be frustrated, that's why I said it must be frustrating being a Scotland rugby supporter.

The problem is, and this is just my opinion, is that the Scotland players need to 100% all the time, and I only ever see that with players like Hogg and Watson, as the rest are not good enough to get through games at 75/80% performances, as we often see with Finn Russell.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 14 Mar 2021, 5:47 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:If what you call interesting is consistently disappointing then yes it's definitely interesting!

Were you disappointed after the England game ?

You also had a pretty decent autumn series.

Delighted, but that's the problem, we see this every time without fail. We play a fantastic game then don't back it up. That's where the consistent disappointment stems from. Would you not be constantly disappointed if your team has players you know are capable of winning big games but don't do it more than once a tournament?

I thought that might have changed in the first 20 minutes against wales where we were up 17 points and sitting relatively comfortably. Then we managed to balls it up as we seem to specialise in and lose by a point at 80 minutes.

Today was different, we failed the basics from the start and essentially gifted Ireland the game in the first 60 minutes. At least we made it uncomfortable in the last 20 but they never looked like losing after the first half.

Wouldn't you be frustrated if that followed a huge win?

Yes I would be frustrated, that's why I said it must be frustrating being a Scotland rugby supporter.

The problem is, and this is just my opinion, is that the Scotland players need to 100% all the time, and I only ever see that with players like Hogg and Watson, as the rest are not good enough to get through games at 75/80% performances, as we often see with Finn Russell.

Hard to disagree with that. Also our players aren't used to grinding out wins like other 6ns teams so have to do it by outplaying rather than just being solid and consistent. Hence why I thought it'd changed as we'd started to see Scotland grinding out wins.

Oh well, back to the drawing board for the umpteenth time! picard
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Post by tigertattie Sun 14 Mar 2021, 6:27 pm

No need for a drawing board mr brown.

Let me break it down for you.

Bin price
Find a decent number 8

That’s about all we need to do.

Ritchie was just missing match minutes today I think. Johnny gray May just need a rest. I’d have rested him entirely against Italy but I think Cummings championship is over so he may be needed.

I have noooooo idea what went wrong at the lineout today. It’s been much improved this season but today it completely imploded. No lineout meant no platform so we started forcing things and trying to keep it open. No team can win games with such a poor base to work from.

But yeah, bin price.
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Post by BigGee Sun 14 Mar 2021, 6:36 pm

Price deserves to stand down, no doubt, he did some good stuff keeping the ball open, but you can't just give away penalties like that with impunity.

Problem is who takes over?

Steele, probably deserves a start though all his caps so far seem to have come in the back row or back three, so we don't really have a clue if he is up to international standard or not as a SH

SHC, currently warming the pine for Exeter on alternate weekends. Not really kicked on down there either after a promising start.

Dobie, undoubtedly the future, but still green as hell.


If Horne was fit, it would be a much easier choice, though with italy, I guess we can afford to roll the dice a little.

It would be a brave call to start Steele with Dobie on the bench and i don't think he would even consider it if it was not Italy. Maybe we have got nothing to lose though

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Post by Anglobraveheart Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:07 pm

I think we need to start Steele or SHC against Italy. Dobie would be too soon. Price on the bench for the boot up the rear that he needs.
We also need to review who is crocked. Russell, Cummings, Gray? - why did he come off?
Have we lost our starting second rows?
If Russell is gone, who plays 10? - Hogg, VDW, Chamberlain, Thompson??
It could be Gilchrist, Simmonds and Craig as the 2 second row choices and sub.
Centres we should be ok, and I think that we should go for all out attack with Johnson/Jones as the starters.
Commenting on the old 606 in 2009, I felt that we needed a sports psychologist for the squad.
12 years on, I think we still do. And, if we have one, then we need a replacement. The current one isn't working.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:08 pm

BigGee wrote:Price deserves to stand down, no doubt, he did some good stuff keeping the ball open, but you can't just give away penalties like that with impunity.

Problem is who takes over?

Steele, probably deserves a start though all his caps so far seem to have come in the back row or back three, so we don't really have a clue if he is up to international standard or not as a SH

SHC, currently warming the pine for Exeter on alternate weekends. Not really kicked on down there either after a promising start.

Dobie, undoubtedly the future, but still green as hell.


If Horne was fit, it would be a much easier choice, though with italy, I guess we can afford to roll the dice a little.

It would be a brave call to start Steele with Dobie on the bench and i don't think he would even consider it if it was not Italy. Maybe we have got nothing to lose though

Whats the betting that Toonie will call up Vellacott?

Have to disagree RE SHC. He may be on the bench for Exe but he does a good job when he comes on and is quite a respected player there! I think he'd really add to the squad and would be a much better option than Price or Steele.

Dobie's time on the bench must come surely. Price just isn't that good, and hasn't been for a long time. There was a time long ago when he looked like he was going to surpass wee greig and end up as a Mike Blair-esque player. That time has surely passed now and we need to look to the future. Horne should be first choice this summer and rotate with Dobie.

I expect LoonyToons views it differently and will go conservative, knowing he needs another win at least, especially against Italy. Price is there to stay sadly.
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Post by tigertattie Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:16 pm

The 6ns is gone. It’s time to look at next year and the world
Cup.

We either start Steele and put dobie on the bench for impact vs Italy (who are truly awful just now) or we start Steele and have Sam HC come on to steady things.

We’ve rolled the dice on picking Steele on the bench. He needs a run to show what he can do. If things go utterly pear shaped vs Italy then you can bring price back after his kick up the bum. My hope though is that Steele and dobie or Sam HC show that price isn’t needed and he can never darken our doorstep again.
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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:19 pm

tigertattie wrote:The 6ns is gone. It’s time to look at next year and the world
Cup.

We either start Steele and put dobie on the bench for impact vs Italy (who are truly awful just now) or we start Steele and have Sam HC come on to steady things.

We’ve rolled the dice on picking Steele on the bench. He needs a run to show what he can do. If things go utterly pear shaped vs Italy then you can bring price back after his kick up the bum. My hope though is that Steele and dobie or Sam HC show that price isn’t needed and he can never darken our doorstep again.

You really don't like Price! Laugh

I get he's not a great player and isn't on form but I wouldn't go as far as to say he's darkening my doorstep!
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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:22 pm

Unfortunately at the moment the only time Ali Price deserves to be in the same sentence as Mike Blair is if that sentence is ‘God I wish Ali Price was a fraction of the player Mike Blair was!’

Same old same old under Toonie, one big result to buy himself some goodwill followed by mediocrity as our tournament falls off a cliff. Can’t wait for several more years of this under his newly extended contract Rolling Eyes

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Post by tigertattie Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:25 pm

He’s terrible. And worse than that he’s keeping a perfectly good 9 in Horne from playing regular rugby.

His decision making is rotten. His passing is rotten. His box kicking, well we’ve seen again today what that’s like.

I don’t blame price for playing though, I blame Toonie for picking him and not replacing him when you can see he’s having a mare
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Post by BigGee Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:27 pm

I would not say Price is a bad player but he is giving away way to many needless penalties which he needs to be held to account for. It is unacceptable at international level and he needs to learn that.

Cut them out, or you are not playing for Scotland any more. Keeping on making the same mistakes and getting away with it is just unforgivable

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Post by BigGee Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:30 pm

tigertattie wrote:He’s terrible. And worse than that he’s keeping a perfectly good 9 in Horne from playing regular rugby.

His decision making is rotten. His passing is rotten. His box kicking, well we’ve seen again today what that’s like.  

I don’t blame price for playing though, I blame Toonie for picking him and not replacing him when you can see he’s having a mare

Horne is injured Tattie to be fair and has been all season. At the moment, Price is the only experienced SH we have, which is why Toonie keeps picking him.

That may have to change though.

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Post by Anglobraveheart Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:53 pm

We've lost 2 close games by 1 point and 3 points.
Ladt 6N we were very good defensively. This 6N we are better defensively again. We won the try count 3 to 2 today. Our last however many games against Ireland, we have conceded 3 tries minimum.
We are making progress.
3 games in, we have a positive points aggregate, and we still have Italy to play.
As has been pointed out, we are operating with 3rd and 4th choice hookers (albeit, until today, Turner had been pretty good)
Our lineout today was marmalised. If I woke up tomorrow to the headline that Turner had been paid to throw to the Irish jumpers, I wouldn't be surprised. It was just crap today.
I appreciate that Richie Gray is unavailable due to concussion protocols, but why is he not engaged with the squad to work on lineouts? We were terrible today in that area.
4 years ago we had Alex Dunbar taking the P out of Ireland in the lineout, today, we took the P out of ourselves.
Discipline and lineouts did for us today.
Get Richie Gray and a sports Psychologist on board and we solve it.
Oh, and while I'm at it, the other Richie Gray would be useful to tighten up our breakdown.
What would it cost for a short term consultancy to get him in? It's a no-brainer.
As for the Ali Price witch hunt, the comments are bordering on embarrassing/hysterical.
Horne is crocked. Dobie isn't ready yet - he's 19 FGS. Steele is a steady Eddy, and SHC would do a great job, but Toony seems to disagree. There is no-one else.
We need to reward Steele with a start in his real position, with flare guys outside him, and have Price on the bench as a Pee'd off back up.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:55 pm

Well this is why I think it's mad Toonie didn't call up SHC because he is experienced. He has something like 10 caps for Scotland I think and has played in the RWC as well as the 6Ns and been in and out and around the squad for the last 6 years. For me he's a natural alternative to price in the absence of Horne.
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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 14 Mar 2021, 8:00 pm

Anglobraveheart wrote:We've lost 2 close games by 1 point and 3 points.
Ladt 6N we were very good defensively. This 6N we are better defensively again. We won the try count 3 to 2 today. Our last however many games against Ireland, we have conceded 3 tries minimum.
We are making progress.
3 games in, we have a positive points aggregate, and we still have Italy to play.
As has been pointed out, we are operating with 3rd and 4th choice hookers (albeit, until today, Turner had been pretty good)
Our lineout today was marmalised. If I woke up tomorrow to the headline that Turner had been paid to throw to the Irish jumpers, I wouldn't be surprised. It was just crap today.
I appreciate that Richie Gray is unavailable due to concussion protocols, but why is he not engaged with the squad to work on lineouts? We were terrible today in that area.
4 years ago we had Alex Dunbar taking the P out of Ireland in the lineout, today, we took the P out of ourselves.
Discipline and lineouts did for us today.
Get Richie Gray and a sports Psychologist on board and we solve it.
Oh, and while I'm at it, the other Richie Gray would be useful to tighten up our breakdown.
What would it cost for a short term consultancy to get him in? It's a no-brainer.
As for the Ali Price witch hunt, the comments are bordering on embarrassing/hysterical.
Horne is crocked. Dobie isn't ready yet - he's 19 FGS. Steele is a steady Eddy, and SHC would do a great job, but Toony seems to disagree. There is no-one else.
We need to reward Steele with a start in his real position, with flare guys outside him, and have Price on the bench as a Pee'd off back up.

Definitely appreciate the optimism right now Anglo although sadly I don't feel the same!

I do think however, that the scoreline was flattering (at least today) because Ireland didn't really play that well! They beat us in about third gear. 3 years ago that would have ripped us a new one! Wales at least had to go hell for leather to beat us. Ireland (last 10 minutes aside) had a bit of an armchair ride.

The psychologist point is an interesting one and I know in the past we've had a lot of guys come in from football and the like to talk to our players but it doesn't seem to make much difference. Until we can start consistently grinding out wins and winning titles for our clubs we won't be able to deal with the pressure that comes with these crunch games.

Admittedly this generation is better than the last at least at staying in the fight, so it is possible that by the next generation of players that psychological block will be less. Certainly Hogg has a belligerence and willingness to fight to the death that many previous generations didn't. I think more players going to clubs that win silverware will help too.
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Post by Anglobraveheart Sun 14 Mar 2021, 8:02 pm

Agreed. We need something else in the absence of Horne, but maybe Toony is stuck in the "not picking players outside the bubble" concept.
Skinner and SHC in the starting line up next week would not be detrimental.


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Post by BigGee Sun 14 Mar 2021, 8:07 pm

If SHC was truly an international SH, he would not be third choice for Exeter, which he is unfortunately, behind two other SHs, neither of which are troubling international selectors.

If he was truly an international SH, it would have been very doubtful that Cockers would have let him leave Edinburgh in the fashion that he did.

Unfortunately, I do think we need to look past SHC, which Toonie appears to have done. I am happy to give SS his chance against Italy and having seen the energy Dobie brought to Glasgow on friday night and allowed them to beat the Hairsprays, I would say he is ready for a run off the bench against Italy.

Price will still likely start against France, but Toonie needs to have a serious heart to heart with him about the careless mistakes he is making.

No-one should be un-dropable.

I say this as a Glasgow fan who also feels our best chance of beating the Drags next sunday and likely securing European Champions Cup rugby next season would be if Dobie was lining up for Glasgow.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 14 Mar 2021, 8:07 pm

Skinner was back in the squad leading into this match I thought? I've felt his form had picked up a bit for Exeter the last month or so through getting a run of starts. Some players do just need lots of minutes under their belt to find form and getting that in Exeter's pack can be tough with Hill and Gray the starting locks plus all the competition in the back row.

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Post by Anglobraveheart Sun 14 Mar 2021, 8:15 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
Anglobraveheart wrote:We've lost 2 close games by 1 point and 3 points.
Ladt 6N we were very good defensively. This 6N we are better defensively again. We won the try count 3 to 2 today. Our last however many games against Ireland, we have conceded 3 tries minimum.
We are making progress.
3 games in, we have a positive points aggregate, and we still have Italy to play.
As has been pointed out, we are operating with 3rd and 4th choice hookers (albeit, until today, Turner had been pretty good)
Our lineout today was marmalised. If I woke up tomorrow to the headline that Turner had been paid to throw to the Irish jumpers, I wouldn't be surprised. It was just crap today.
I appreciate that Richie Gray is unavailable due to concussion protocols, but why is he not engaged with the squad to work on lineouts? We were terrible today in that area.
4 years ago we had Alex Dunbar taking the P out of Ireland in the lineout, today, we took the P out of ourselves.
Discipline and lineouts did for us today.
Get Richie Gray and a sports Psychologist on board and we solve it.
Oh, and while I'm at it, the other Richie Gray would be useful to tighten up our breakdown.
What would it cost for a short term consultancy to get him in? It's a no-brainer.
As for the Ali Price witch hunt, the comments are bordering on embarrassing/hysterical.
Horne is crocked. Dobie isn't ready yet - he's 19 FGS. Steele is a steady Eddy, and SHC would do a great job, but Toony seems to disagree. There is no-one else.
We need to reward Steele with a start in his real position, with flare guys outside him, and have Price on the bench as a Pee'd off back up.

Definitely appreciate the optimism right now Anglo although sadly I don't feel the same!

I do think however, that the scoreline was flattering (at least today) because Ireland didn't really play that well! They beat us in about third gear. 3 years ago that would have ripped us a new one! Wales at least had to go hell for leather to beat us. Ireland (last 10 minutes aside) had a bit of an armchair ride.

The psychologist point is an interesting one and I know in the past we've had a lot of guys come in from football and the like to talk to our players but it doesn't seem to make much difference. Until we can start consistently grinding out wins and winning titles for our clubs we won't be able to deal with the pressure that comes with these crunch games.

Admittedly this generation is better than the last at least at staying in the fight, so it is possible that by the next generation of players that psychological block will be less. Certainly Hogg has a belligerence and willingness to fight to the death that many previous generations didn't. I think more players going to clubs that win silverware will help too.
There are positives.
It isn't all Private Fraser.
I'm not talking about Pep Guardiola or Roberto Mancini giving positives from their successes, but an independent, non-managerial proper sports psychologist to iron out the basic errors that we keep making.
I was on a work thing many years ago when Clive Woodward did the team building and improvement talk (putting aside me going "Yessssss!!" When he should the disappointment of loss - Calcutta Cup 2000) he explained about the mindset of the team, and analysis of "what they do".
They found that they were very effective in the opening 20 - 25 mins of the first half, but poor in the opening 20 - 25mins of the second half.
So, they set up for the plyers to get new kit on for the second half.
That was 2000. I am sure it wasn't the only suggestion from their sports psychologist, but they certainly delivered over the next 4 years.
We need a non-connected neutral to review "what we do".

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Post by RDW Sun 14 Mar 2021, 9:52 pm

Being a Monday morning here I've not seen the match, but sounds like set piece really let us down.

This tournament has shown just how important set piece and discipline is - we nailed both against England and won comfortably. Our discipline was terrible against Wales and we lost. Our set piece was terrible against Ireland and we lost.

Scotland, more.so than any 6N team I think, need to be near flawless in these areas if we're going to win.

I know we've been here before but I'm not actually too disheartened. We really should have beaten Wales - the team going for a GS - and we're literally millimeters from doing so following Duhan's break. By all accounts we were poor against Ireland and they played well, yet it took a 76th minute penalty for them to beat us.

The 6N is so incredibly close with marginal instances making a huge difference, with Wales being a prime example. What would have happened to them if Duhan had scored, or if there was no red card against Ireland? The difference between and championship and a 3rd/4th finish is marginal. What would have happened to us if Duhan scored?

Through our own issues and a little bit of bad luck we've been on the receiving end recently, but we're still in the fight. That for me is progress given for years against Wales and Ireland we never looked like winning.

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Post by TightHEAD Sun 14 Mar 2021, 9:54 pm

Tough game, was willing the Scots to see it through. When will Redpath be back?
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Post by BigGee Sun 14 Mar 2021, 10:09 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Tough game, was willing the Scots to see it through. When will Redpath be back?

Probably not this 6N according to Toonie

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 15 Mar 2021, 12:00 am

I like the style of Rugby we're trying to play under Gregor but am getting fed up with all the praise and clichés such as "Scotland fought well", "valiant losers" etc, its about time we start consistently put in great performances against the big teams that could get us wins.

Ireland are not great and imho were there for the taking today but, as usual, stupid individual errors /ildiscipline cost us, it's not acceptable to be given so many away.

I will put the line out down to the Paul O'Connell effect though.

We did score 3 tries which is good, especially Huw Jones scoring for first time in a few years, I'd actually start him next Saturday.

No Finn, Cummings or Gray by sounds of it so probably expect a couple of additions to the squad.

I've seen enough the past 3 matches to suggest we will probably beat Italy no matter who plays but we do need to start looking at finishing higher than 5th.


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Post by monty junior Mon 15 Mar 2021, 1:34 am

I think the whole finishing 5th thing isn’t really a problem we’ve only finished there once since 2015 when most of the squad seemed to be injured. We’ve also won 3 games out of 5 3 times in that period and there still is a chance of that again this season. Like has been mentioned already it comes down to mentality and it’s obvious we don’t have it under Townsend, we start poorly too often and our exits are appalling especially when we are in a decent position. We had a good opportunity this season as good as we ever have in the 6 nations, we’ve not really been outplayed just had the same mind numbing stupidity which has riddled us for years especially under pressure. Hope we can really focus for next week no reason for the backs not to have a field day.

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Post by George Carlin Mon 15 Mar 2021, 4:25 am

Anglobraveheart wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:
Anglobraveheart wrote:We've lost 2 close games by 1 point and 3 points.
Ladt 6N we were very good defensively. This 6N we are better defensively again. We won the try count 3 to 2 today. Our last however many games against Ireland, we have conceded 3 tries minimum.
We are making progress.
3 games in, we have a positive points aggregate, and we still have Italy to play.
As has been pointed out, we are operating with 3rd and 4th choice hookers (albeit, until today, Turner had been pretty good)
Our lineout today was marmalised. If I woke up tomorrow to the headline that Turner had been paid to throw to the Irish jumpers, I wouldn't be surprised. It was just crap today.
I appreciate that Richie Gray is unavailable due to concussion protocols, but why is he not engaged with the squad to work on lineouts? We were terrible today in that area.
4 years ago we had Alex Dunbar taking the P out of Ireland in the lineout, today, we took the P out of ourselves.
Discipline and lineouts did for us today.
Get Richie Gray and a sports Psychologist on board and we solve it.
Oh, and while I'm at it, the other Richie Gray would be useful to tighten up our breakdown.
What would it cost for a short term consultancy to get him in? It's a no-brainer.
As for the Ali Price witch hunt, the comments are bordering on embarrassing/hysterical.
Horne is crocked. Dobie isn't ready yet - he's 19 FGS. Steele is a steady Eddy, and SHC would do a great job, but Toony seems to disagree. There is no-one else.
We need to reward Steele with a start in his real position, with flare guys outside him, and have Price on the bench as a Pee'd off back up.

Definitely appreciate the optimism right now Anglo although sadly I don't feel the same!

I do think however, that the scoreline was flattering (at least today) because Ireland didn't really play that well! They beat us in about third gear. 3 years ago that would have ripped us a new one! Wales at least had to go hell for leather to beat us. Ireland (last 10 minutes aside) had a bit of an armchair ride.

The psychologist point is an interesting one and I know in the past we've had a lot of guys come in from football and the like to talk to our players but it doesn't seem to make much difference. Until we can start consistently grinding out wins and winning titles for our clubs we won't be able to deal with the pressure that comes with these crunch games.

Admittedly this generation is better than the last at least at staying in the fight, so it is possible that by the next generation of players that psychological block will be less. Certainly Hogg has a belligerence and willingness to fight to the death that many previous generations didn't. I think more players going to clubs that win silverware will help too.
There are positives.
It isn't all Private Fraser.
I'm not talking about Pep Guardiola or Roberto Mancini giving positives from their successes, but an independent, non-managerial proper sports psychologist to iron out the basic errors that we keep making.
I was on a work thing many years ago when Clive Woodward did the team building and improvement talk (putting aside me going "Yessssss!!" When he should the disappointment of loss - Calcutta Cup 2000) he explained about the mindset of the team, and analysis of "what they do".
They found that they were very effective in the opening 20 - 25 mins of the first half, but poor in the opening 20 - 25mins of the second half.
So, they set up for the plyers to get new kit on for the second half.
That was 2000. I am sure it wasn't the only suggestion from their sports psychologist, but they certainly delivered over the next 4 years.
We need a non-connected neutral to review "what we do".
Agree with absolutely everything you've said in these 2 posts, Anglo.
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Post by bsando Mon 15 Mar 2021, 8:11 am

TightHEAD wrote:Tough game, was willing the Scots to see it through. When will Redpath be back?

Not sure he'll be back this 6N, a shame because he did very well against England and seems to be a better footballer than our other inside centre options.

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Post by bsando Mon 15 Mar 2021, 8:49 am

Well after three games against Scotland's NH Lions competition I think our best performing Forward has easily been Hamish Watson.  Scotland 6N 2021 thread  - Page 15 1f64f

Watson has strung together three consistent games against England, Wales and Ireland. His level of performance was very high in each of those. His turnover was the last play against England to seal the game, his try yesterday helped kick start a comeback. His ball carrying has improved from last year and I would argue he is in the best form of his career at the moment.

Stats after three games: 1 try, 156 metres, 35 carries, 4 turnovers, 8 broken tackles, 0 knock on's or missed tackles

After that I would probably say Johnny Gray. He made a few mistakes yesterday and wasn't as effective as he was against England and Wales but he has been a big part of that improved Scottish pack. I also liked the moment where he shoved James Ryan after Scotland were awarded a scrum. He's got a lot more bite about him now compared to his Glasgow days and some of his carrying against England and Wales was excellent.

Stats after three games:  111 metres, 28 carries, 2 turnovers, 3 broken tackles, 39 tackles, 0 missed tackles

In the backs I would say Hogg is the pretty obvious one and he is also an outside chance of being the Lions captain if AWJ misses the tour. Doing what he does best and even playing at fly half when needed.

Stats after three games: 2 trys, 305 metres, 16 broken tackles, 1 missed tackle

Those three players for me are absolute Lions certainties for Scotland.

The rest I think will be up against some close calls. I would select Russell but there is also a case not to select him. Having Townsend as attack coach should secure his place in the team though. Sutherland has been solid at loosehead but there are a lot of good loosehead props. Redpath may have been a bolter to tour but he has only played one game (albeit a very good performance). Duhan Van Der Merwe always looks dangerous in attack with ball in hand but I think he has a bit to learn to become a better all round winger like George North was. I would probably have Watson, May or Adams ahead of him. Jones lacks international game time. He did very well yesterday when he came on and I can't wait to see him lineup alongside Redpath. At the moment I would say no, but after Italy and France you never know, he might be in the frame if he can start both matches. Z Fagerson may miss out after his red card against Wales but he will definitely be close to the top of the list for injury call ups if he does.

50-50's who have now probably lost out: Price, M Fagerson, Ritchie, Cummings, Turner

I think 3-5 Lions is likely with possible injury call ups afterwards.

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Post by cakeordeath Mon 15 Mar 2021, 11:04 am

Been having a bit of a break away from the board, decided to check back in, the absolute state of the match thread for Ireland.

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Post by RDW Mon 15 Mar 2021, 11:16 am

cakeordeath wrote:Been having a bit of a break away from the board, decided to check back in, the absolute state of the match thread for Ireland.

Welcome back cakeordeath! You've always had one of the best usernames on here.

Fancy sticking around?

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Post by George Carlin Mon 15 Mar 2021, 2:43 pm

RDW wrote:
cakeordeath wrote:Been having a bit of a break away from the board, decided to check back in, the absolute state of the match thread for Ireland.

Welcome back cakeordeath! You've always had one of the best usernames on here.

Fancy sticking around?
Cake!  cake  How is it going?
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Post by tigertattie Mon 15 Mar 2021, 4:32 pm

Price was never a 50/50 lions call but I'm not going to go on about that

Cummings is rated but not established and not as good a Ryan, Itoje, AWJ, so he'd have been a bit of a surprise selection even before yesterday's line out shambles.

I also think that Johnny Gray would not tour because there are just other options out there that catch the eye. Gray's tackle/missed tackle stats are great but his tackling is still really passive. He doesnt knock folk back, he tends to flop on top of them to bring them down. He could have been in contention and perhaps still could be but it will be a bit of a long shot.

Watson and Hogg are the only certinaties for me. With Russell the other possible if Gats does want a game changer on the bench but thats highly unlikely.

Also welcome back Cake, I'll choose the cake please! And dont worry about the state of that thread, it got a bit derailed
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Post by cakeordeath Mon 15 Mar 2021, 7:35 pm

It's nice to be back, I feel this is a safe space for those recovering SRU fans.

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Post by R!skysports Wed 17 Mar 2021, 9:28 am

Sadly our players have no credit in the bank and even one poor game gets them ruled out (J Gray has actually played really well and been much more aggressive in his tackle, but one poor game, when he got injured and he is out of contentions)< Russel has played really well and was not actually that bad against Ireland - with a pack giving no front foot ball (one kick out on the full was bad...but every other 10 has doen that or more - the restart kick off was trying something different and nearly worked...so I liked the ambition - but is now being called another mistake....? )

Itoji has has 2 shockers and is a penalty machine, and still walks on water

This is why I am staying away from the Lions thread...just annoys me

(Although I expect I will be drawn in at some point and regret it)

Price was never and should never be a lion contender..... :-)

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Post by NeilyBroon Wed 17 Mar 2021, 10:34 am

R!skysports wrote:Sadly our players have no credit in the bank and even one poor game gets them ruled out (J Gray has actually played really well and been much more aggressive in his tackle, but one poor game, when he got injured and he is out of contentions)< Russel has played really well and was not actually that bad against Ireland - with a pack giving no front foot ball (one kick out on the full was bad...but every other 10 has doen that or more - the restart kick off was trying something different and nearly worked...so I liked the ambition - but is now being called another mistake....? )

Itoji has has 2 shockers and is a penalty machine, and still walks on water

This is why I am staying away from the Lions thread...just annoys me

(Although I expect I will be drawn in at some point and regret it)

Price was never and should never be a lion contender..... :-)

Tbf I don't know anyone, certainly among us who even thought Price should be close!

I think get dobbie on for a half against Italy. If he tears it up and creates a hattrick of tries then Toonie has to take a chance on him against France. If he can manage the game well enough that we don't concede then he's our starter. As soon as Horne gets back those two should become our go to guys, unless Christie fancies coming home.
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Scotland 6N 2021 thread  - Page 15 Empty Re: Scotland 6N 2021 thread

Post by EST Wed 17 Mar 2021, 11:15 am

RDW wrote:Being a Monday morning here I've not seen the match, but sounds like set piece really let us down.

This tournament has shown just how important set piece and discipline is - we nailed both against England and won comfortably. Our discipline was terrible against Wales and we lost. Our set piece was terrible against Ireland and we lost.

Scotland, more.so than any 6N team I think, need to be near flawless in these areas if we're going to win.

I know we've been here before but I'm not actually too disheartened. We really should have beaten Wales - the team going for a GS - and we're literally millimeters from doing so following Duhan's break. By all accounts we were poor against Ireland and they played well, yet it took a 76th minute penalty for them to beat us.

The 6N is so incredibly close with marginal instances making a huge difference, with Wales being a prime example. What would have happened to them if Duhan had scored, or if there was no red card against Ireland? The difference between and championship and a 3rd/4th finish is marginal. What would have happened to us if Duhan scored?

Through our own issues and a little bit of bad luck we've been on the receiving end recently, but we're still in the fight. That for me is progress given for years against Wales and Ireland we never looked like winning.

Not sure if I agree on this one RDW - yes, the 6N is brutally hard and we certainly shouldn't expect to be competing every year - but after that England game everything was pulling in out favour. Two teams in Ireland and Wales who even their own fans would admit were not playing particularly well, 3 remaining home games, our top players all showing up well.

From that position I don't think it's unrealistic to have hoped we would still be in the competition by the last round.

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Scotland 6N 2021 thread  - Page 15 Empty Re: Scotland 6N 2021 thread

Post by bsando Wed 17 Mar 2021, 2:40 pm

EST wrote:
RDW wrote:Being a Monday morning here I've not seen the match, but sounds like set piece really let us down.

This tournament has shown just how important set piece and discipline is - we nailed both against England and won comfortably. Our discipline was terrible against Wales and we lost. Our set piece was terrible against Ireland and we lost.

Scotland, more.so than any 6N team I think, need to be near flawless in these areas if we're going to win.

I know we've been here before but I'm not actually too disheartened. We really should have beaten Wales - the team going for a GS - and we're literally millimeters from doing so following Duhan's break. By all accounts we were poor against Ireland and they played well, yet it took a 76th minute penalty for them to beat us.

The 6N is so incredibly close with marginal instances making a huge difference, with Wales being a prime example. What would have happened to them if Duhan had scored, or if there was no red card against Ireland? The difference between and championship and a 3rd/4th finish is marginal. What would have happened to us if Duhan scored?

Through our own issues and a little bit of bad luck we've been on the receiving end recently, but we're still in the fight. That for me is progress given for years against Wales and Ireland we never looked like winning.

Not sure if I agree on this one RDW - yes, the 6N is brutally hard and we certainly shouldn't expect to be competing every year - but after that England game everything was pulling in out favour.  Two teams in Ireland and Wales who even their own fans would admit were not playing particularly well, 3 remaining home games, our top players all showing up well.

From that position I don't think it's unrealistic to have hoped we would still be in the competition by the last round.

Losing Redpath (who I didn't even think should start against England) turned out to be a pretty big loss in the end. He seems like a very important player for us after only one game. We have an improved pack, but it will never be able to dominate the other home nations. Wales, Ireland and England have all won recent GS's with strong, reliable packs who can pull their team through when things don't go to plan. Scotland nearly have that, the forwards managed to finally score a try through pick and go's on the Irish line after so many games where this was pretty much impossible. I agree with RDW, if you add a Finlay Christie at 9, get Fagerson, Hastings and Redpath back in the side, that is not far away from a side who can win a 6N championship.

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