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England v Scotland The Calcutta Cup Saturday 6th February 2021

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Post by BigGee Sun 31 Jan 2021, 9:04 am

First topic message reminder :

England v Scotland
The Calcutta Cup

Twickenham Stadium
London

Saturday 6th February 2021
KO 16.45


Well here we go for a 6n opener.

It is going to be a slightly odd one no doubt, playing this game in an empty stadium. It has been said in the past that Twickenham lacks atmosphere a bit, but we won't have seen anything on this scale.

As usual, it will be England's game to lose. Twickenham has been a graveyard for Scottish sides for a long long time. In terms of hope though for us Scots, the last few games have been a lot closer than usual and who can forget the madness of the last time out, the ultimate game of two halves.

England are missing a few players and there has to be some questions about the match prep of some of the Saracens players, who have not played since the autumn. How they get on in this game will be the great question mark hanging over this game and may set the tone for England over the entire championship. I would imagine Scotland will be pleased to be playing them first up in all honesty.

On the other hand, do Scotland, who with Finn Russell back and pulling the strings and looking a stronger proposition than in the autumn, really believe that they can win in London. They are also largely injury free. It would be a massive step forward for them as a team if they could do that. It remains unclear though and the smart money is still going to be on an England win, albeit likely a scrappy one.


Here is my stab at the Scotland team:

1. Sutherland
2. Turner
3. Fagerson Z
4. Cummings
5. Gray J
6. Ritchie - If fit, but Toonie making promising noises on that front
7. Watson
8. Fagerson M
9. Price
10. Russell
11. Maitland
12. Redpath - I think Toonie will roll the dice
13. Harris
14. VDM
15. Hogg

Subs

Keeble
Cherry
Nel
Gray R
Graham -might have been in the side if not playing this sunday
Steele
VDW
Jones H


The big calls for Toonie are at 12 and No.8

Redpath looks ready and I think he should play him. Graham might have to wait a week, as i think playing today might well count against him, so let Matt Fagerson have the first bite of the cherry.

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Post by bsando Sat 06 Feb 2021, 7:48 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:At least we dont have to put up with the Russel vs farrell debate. Awful england performance and Farrell still outshone russell.

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Post by profitius Sat 06 Feb 2021, 7:49 pm

Well done Scotland. I missed it but great result for the competition.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 06 Feb 2021, 7:50 pm

bsando wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:At least we dont have to put up with the Russel vs farrell debate. Awful england performance and Farrell still outshone russell.

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Wow. What a terrible point badly made.

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Post by Scottrf Sat 06 Feb 2021, 7:51 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
hugehandoff wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
Brendan wrote:What is the take on the Sarries players. Itoje was a stand out player but not sure if the others were better or worse
Itoje - excellent, as usual.
George - meh
Farrell - sub meh
Billy V. - mega sub meh
Ford - not enough game time to be meh

Itoje was a penalty machine - hardly excellent
He had no help whatsoever. Trying to do too much. Because he had to.

Not an excuse. He doesn’t know when not to compete or how to compete on the right side of the ref.

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Post by Cumbrian Sat 06 Feb 2021, 7:52 pm

I think some sort of semblance of sanity needs to come from England fans here. I've read messages on FB, saying 'Eddie out'. I mean we lost a game for crying out loud, calm down! Eddie's win percentage last year was what 90%?

This was very poor, but you get poor performances, it happens. Hopefully Eddie will learn from it and it will be a (painful) lesson.
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Post by bsando Sat 06 Feb 2021, 7:53 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
bsando wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:At least we dont have to put up with the Russel vs farrell debate. Awful england performance and Farrell still outshone russell.

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Wow. What a terrible point badly made.

Just having a laugh no offence intended. I disagree with your statement, but that's just me. I get why people don't like Russell but he played well today and i hope he has a wonderful evening with his team mates Hug

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 06 Feb 2021, 7:56 pm

Sorry Bsando for short replies. I'm too used to the bbc recently. I obviously disagree he played well. Given the platform as I said he was sadly lacking for me. The build up of magician vs machine I felt the need to set out it didnt happen. He Farrell been yellow carded for such a cynical trip and been quite as wasteful he would have been nailed up on wall!

I'm sure you'll watch the game back. You'll note how bad he actually was despite the win.

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Post by George Carlin Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:01 pm

Cyril wrote:Seriously, are Scotland fans thinking this was good by either side?
The part where we won at a venue we have been ritually spanked at for nearly 40 years was quite good.
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Post by NeilyBroon Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:01 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Sorry Bsando for short replies. I'm too used to the bbc recently. I obviously disagree he played well. Given the platform as I said he was sadly lacking for me. The build up of magician vs machine I felt the need to set out it didnt happen. He Farrell been yellow carded for such a cynical trip and been quite as wasteful he would have been nailed up on wall!

The best rugby players always are on the edge of what's allowed. Farrell is no exception and has had his daft moments in games that England have still gone on to win, with him playing very well.

Personally I think that the whole pragmatism thing about Farrell is overplayed, definitely agree with you there that robot is a very poor analogy. Farrell is at his best outside ford in my opinion and had to shoulder a lot of responsibility for the attack today.

Finn is a very high risk player and we know and accept that as Scots fans. His bad moments do not necessarily mean he's had a bad game, but if he's consistently making rash decisions as he has in the past I'd agree. Today he didn't though, and yellow card aside had a decent game. Not his best but still very good.
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Post by BigGee Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:04 pm

Cyril wrote:Seriously, are Scotland fans thinking this was good by either side? It was an awful advert for NH rugby. Rusty, no attacking flair and a game that was as flat as a pancake (understandable given the terrible circumstances). Still, greed will out. Anything to get these games played.

Always an asterisk against these fixtures.

Cyril, when you have not won at Twickenham for 38 years, you will take a fluky one point win in the 10th minute of extra time!

This was far from that.

The first rounds of the 6N are always a little cagey and often low scoring, it was raining as well. NH rugby in February is what it is and no fans in the stadium was never going to provide an atmosphere.

By any standards though, this was a very dominant victory for Scotland, all my English rugby friends have already texted me to say that. We should have won by more, but I could not give a jot that we did not!

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:06 pm

Frankly, I'm not sure it would have mattered whether Russell received a red card or a yellow. Scotland dominated the collisions and the territory. England looked like a poor copy of the 2019 team and were likely to get beat regardless. I am actually surprised the scoreline was that tight.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:07 pm

He best outside an attacking 9 in my view (Farrell at 10). Its about balance after all.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:08 pm

I didn't see the post match interviews. Was Eddie entertaining?

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Post by BigGee Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:11 pm

doctor_grey wrote:I didn't see the post match interviews.  Was Eddie entertaining?

He went out of his way to protect his players, as you would expect. Said he took responsibility for not preparing them properly.

In truth I actually felt a bit sorry for him, the Sarries players situation was always going to be more difficult to manage than any of the England coaches would ever be prepared to admit on record.

It came back to haunt them today.

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Post by Brendan Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:15 pm

Cyril not sure what was wrong with the game. It was entertaining through out and the win was in the balance the whole game. It doesn't have to be all free flowing for it to be edge of the seat.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:20 pm

Well done Scotland! Totally took me by surprise. Poor miaow the down voter, he’s not going to like the result given how much he hates Scotland Laugh.

Fair play to Tandy. He could have wallowed in self pity but he choose to move on by relocating down under, gaining experience and expertise. Now he’s in Scotland doing well. If it continues we’ll take him back...

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:21 pm

Brendan wrote:Cyril not sure what was wrong with the game.

His team lost.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:29 pm

Eddie needs to change the tactics now. Not sure what on earth hes playing at. Thats the biggest issue...

However also...

You have the likes of Marcus Smith pulling up trees for Quins and not even considered. Why not??!!

Slade..woeful at 13. Hes not a strike runner.
Youngs a million miles behind Spencer.

Billy V. - Simmonds might be much smaller but hed still be far more explosive at the moment. Dombrandt also.

Willis should be in the squad now...no question.

Lawrence didnt get the ball till the 60th minute!! Really!!??

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Post by TJ Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:54 pm

Some very gracious comments by real England fans on here.

That was a team performance, it was a tactical masterclass and no one bar Russell made any glaring errors Wink( Itoje really did a number on Price) Scott Cummings had a great game including two lineout steals. Jonny Gray took some difficult lineouts under huge pressure. Scrum held up well.

Rob Baxter said he would make better players out of Ickle Jonny and Hogg and so far he seems to be right. best game for a while from both of them

I don't know how many of you watch the top 14 and Racing to see Russell. Bar the trip we saw the player today he has developed into at Racing. A true world class ten.

Redpath had a great into and Duhan and Maitland both did what they do and did it well.

best win in many a year - 38 to be precise

As For England - seems to me both selection and preparation are wrong. Once again - where is plan B? However this was a very good performance by Scotland - do not lose sight of that. That performance would have troubled most top teams. It was just your luck to come up against us when it all goes right.


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Post by TJ Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:56 pm



mikey_dragon wrote: Fair play to Tandy. He could have wallowed in self pity but he choose to move on by relocating down under, gaining experience and expertise. Now he’s in Scotland doing well. If it continues we’ll take him back...

yer not 'aving him :-)

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Post by Gooseberry Sat 06 Feb 2021, 8:59 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Hang on Jamie George said England were going to dominate teams upfront??????

What happened.

Pretty sure its because Jones picked him on the bench 11 time behind Hartley


Sorry thought I was logged in as Beshocked

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Post by tigertattie Sat 06 Feb 2021, 9:02 pm

For me TJ Hogg had a great game because he didn’t try to win it himself. His two biggest contributions were two huge kicks to pin England back.

In years gone by he’d have gotten frustrated that he wasn’t getting to go on mazy runs and would end up running down blind allys trying to make something from nothing. He didn’t do that today.

Scotland actually did what other teams normally do to us, play the right rugby in the right parts of the field
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Post by TightHEAD Sat 06 Feb 2021, 9:19 pm

Redpath played well. Yet another Eddie mistake imho. Should have capped him in the Autumn Cup.
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Post by BigGee Sat 06 Feb 2021, 9:26 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Redpath played well. Yet another Eddie mistake imho. Should have capped him in the Autumn Cup.

You can forgive us for Redpath - he has some pedigree for being capped by Scotland!

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Post by funnyExiledScot Sat 06 Feb 2021, 10:02 pm

OK, that was bloody brilliant.

I've seen a fair few scrappy Murrayfield blizzard wins, but to win at the Barbour jacket Range Rover Evoque HQ of rugby, and to dominate the game from start to finish, is pretty special for us.

I thought the scrum went very well, massive hats off to Turner and Matt Fagerson, two average Weegies who grew a bunch of inches today, and huge credit to backs, all but Price and Harris were very strong. Price needs to work on the box strategy, and Harris kicking it out on the full and gifting an obstruction penalty were his only notable contributions.

Top notch all round though. Itoje and Curry were the only England forwards to show up (until Cowan-Dickie came on), and I thought Youngs and Farrell were pretty rancid. May was dreadful, Daly pretty average, and impossible to comment on Slade and Watson, as I dont remember them doing anything.

Comprehensive. So proud of Toonie and his boys. Wales next...

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Post by Gooseberry Sat 06 Feb 2021, 10:13 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Redpath played well. Yet another Eddie mistake imho. Should have capped him in the Autumn Cup.

Wasnt even good enough to get in the scotland training squad then

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Post by RDW Sat 06 Feb 2021, 10:17 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Redpath played well. Yet another Eddie mistake imho. Should have capped him in the Autumn Cup.

Wasnt even good enough to get in the scotland training squad then

Eh?

We've been pursuing him the last year but he turned down the opportunity to join the ANC squad as he didn't think he was ready yet.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Sat 06 Feb 2021, 10:27 pm

Let's not gloat about Redpath. England have the mighty Ollie Lawrence, who was truly terrifying today...

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Post by Hazel Sapling Sat 06 Feb 2021, 10:34 pm

Gripping game as a Scottish fan to see when were we going to find a way to lose. Excellent result.

J Gray was my MOTM, I thought he was immense. Our forwards got on top and all bar Ritchie were prominent in my memory. They put themselves about, won the set piece battle, conceded far fewer penalties and carried hard.

Redpath looked assured and it was a great finish by DVDM. Russell was average today, I felt he was not particularly effective and the trip was a complete brain fart. As it worked out, Price managed the game well outside of the box kicking and the subsequent yips (particularly during the yellow).

England did not play to their strengths and losing the penalty count 15 - 6 is pretty brutal. Using ESPN stats, England had 35% possession for the game and that is criminal in a side with heavy carriers like BV, Lawrence, George, Genge and Wilson (combined for 10 carries/13m). The England back row as a whole (including Lawes and Earl) carried 16 times for 21m and beat 3 defenders over a combined 240 minutes. Matt Fagerson alone carried 16 times for 26m and beat 2 defenders in 60 minutes.

England were not out of this game and we need to do better about taking opportunities. The penalty kick and conversion by Russell were close but no cigar. That is the difference between a fairly comfortable-ish win and a nailbiter. We need to turn that dominance into points.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 06 Feb 2021, 10:48 pm

I don’t think many LH’s have been putting their names into the draw for the Lions, but what I will say is that Sutherland was very good today. I know he was touted as having the potential to do it before, but I didn’t really notice until now. Hogg and Russell were always going to be Lions (for me at least). I also picked VDM as a probable before Scotland capped him, absolute weapon (the good kind).

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Post by RDW Sat 06 Feb 2021, 11:03 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I don’t think many LH’s have been putting their names into the draw for the Lions, but what I will say is that Sutherland was very good today. I know he was touted as having the potential to do it before, but I didn’t really notice until now. Hogg and Russell were always going to be Lions (for me at least). I also picked VDM as a probable before Scotland capped him, absolute weapon (the good kind).

Sutherland has been consistently excellent in the last year. He was on track for being in the team of the tournament in the first three 6N games of 2020 and carried on his form when the games resumed late last year. He's been appearing in most pundits Lions teams/squads over the last year. He's definitely  been a huge influence on our scrum being so good now, combined with Fagerson growing into a top class international TH.

Both have certainly layed down a marker to the other Lions potential props this tournament!

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Post by funnyExiledScot Sat 06 Feb 2021, 11:24 pm

I previously had Vunipola and Genge as certs for the Lions with Healy, Jones and Sutherland battling it out for 3rd. Genge was very average today. It's early days, but a good day for Sutherland.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 06 Feb 2021, 11:45 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Let's not gloat about Redpath. England have the mighty Ollie Lawrence, who was truly terrifying today...

Lawrence got the ball for the first time on 60 mins. Im his 3 games hes barely touched the ball...and in one...he was one of the top tacklers. Hardly ideal for a player brought in to be a key ball carrier....

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Post by tigertattie Sun 07 Feb 2021, 12:40 am

mikey_dragon wrote:I don’t think many LH’s have been putting their names into the draw for the Lions, but what I will say is that Sutherland was very good today. I know he was touted as having the potential to do it before, but I didn’t really notice until now. Hogg and Russell were always going to be Lions (for me at least). I also picked VDM as a probable before Scotland capped him, absolute weapon (the good kind).

Most who watch pro 14 would know about VDMmk2 and know how good he is. England I feel didn’t do their homework on him.

He needs more ball and he’ll score more tries. It’s that simple. When youngs passed the ball to the turf Redpath scooped it up and then did what most backs do, kicked it away. Had he looked left he’d have seen Duhan in space and had he passed him the ball, it was try time.

I still think if we can get Jones playing 13 for Glasgow and he can get Harris off that 13 shirt then Scotland could have the most attacking back line we’ve had ever.
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Post by RDW Sun 07 Feb 2021, 1:58 am

Finally watched the game - very strange to see Scotland completely in control and dominating possession and territory. We basically did to England what I said they'd be doing to us.

England weren't actually that bad in the first half they just couldn't get any momentum due to penalties. And there were some real stupid penalties in there. Things improved slightly after halftime but then it was more of the same. I've never seen an England team so devoid of inspiration, creativity and in particular leadership. Body language was terrible at times and there was no one taking it on to try and change things.

Scotland had a plan in mind and stuck to it. We had a strong set piece and convincingly won the kicking game - Hogg in particular was superb. We even left a few points out there.

For me the difference was summed up in microcosm between Redpath and Lawrence. Redpath was heavily involved and a key driver of the team. Lawrence must have wondered what he was doing on the pitch for the first 60 minutes. Did EJ not trust him...? Itoje and Stuart were the only players to come out with any credit - the rest were pretty anonymous. That was probably the worst display of May's career.

For Scotland the entire pack was excellent with Gray the standout - he was collosal and my MOTM. Russell had a mixed bag - some really nice kicks but also some wayward stuff.

When the fixtures weee announced most Scotland fans weren't overly enthusiastic about England away first up. It actually looks to have been a good stroke of luck - England surely can't be as bad as that for the rest of the tournament!

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Post by king_carlos Sun 07 Feb 2021, 2:12 am

Giving away that many stupid penalties in a half certainly constitutes poor in my book RDW. Hill sliding into a ruck on his knees after Itoje's charge down (could have been a try), Curry blatantly changing his bind at the maul and not rolling away at the ruck in the space of minutes whilst under little pressure at that point. Infuriating.

I thought Hogg had one of his most rounded games whilst Gray and the Mullet were fantastic. Matt Fagerson, Turner and Redpath also had the best games I've seen from each in senior rugby.

I thought Itoje was poor to be honest. I can understand him pushing the limits to try to turn things in a poor performance but some of the penalties were just dumb rather than calculated gambles. Grabbing a jumpers inside arm then falling on him to stop a maul being set properly almost always gets pinged now due to it being dangerous but he went for it anyway for instance.

Seeing England execute a limited game plan and win can be frustrating but it gets the job done. Seeing a simple game plan be executed so poorly is just utter rubbish.

Earl, Malins and Ford not being used off the bench until after Robson and Williams was frustrating too.


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Post by king_carlos Sun 07 Feb 2021, 2:24 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Youngs a million miles behind Spencer.
I've said a few times that I'd wager something behind the scenes happened with Spencer. Training incident, fallout or similar that hasn't hit the press.

He was dropped by England suddenly despite promising performances and his strengths suiting the game plan. Then he was the only high profile Sarries academy graduate who moved away on a full time deal when they were relegated. All the others either signed 1 season loans (which Singleton has since extended) or stayed put.

I thought Youngs was mixed today. A poor pass across Genge and the box kick heading straight out that Watson almost saves in the bad column. Then some decent kicking and England's only sharp bit of play ball in hand in the good.

Whilst mixed isn't good enough, after watching Robson's 25 minutes I was praying to go back to a mixed showing from 9. Just consistently glacial to ruck, poor box kicking and relying on Farrell for decision making so we can only play of 10. I do worry with Robson that he simply lacks length on his kicking game. Clearances with a good angle barely making 20 metres so the opposition get a lineout a fraction past the 22. His sniping and support running for Wasps can be fantastic but international defences are a different proposition and he's yet to show anything against them. I hope he proves me wrong but yet to see anything there.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 07 Feb 2021, 7:27 am

This is a performance and result that has been coming for a while from England.

The odd selections and lack of direction in attack has been apparent for a while now but the pack and the odd moment of magic has been getting us through.

This has to be a wakeup call or we're going to really struggle going forward, we just seem to have regressed slowly since the excellent world cup showing.

Scrum half - issue for a long time. For every 1 good game we get 5 bad games from Youngs....Robson isn't exactly fighting for the jersey either.

Fly half - Farrell hinders the attack at 10. Get Ford at 10 and Smith at backup.

Centres - Who knows?

FB - Daly, not a FB, not a FB.

Well done Scotland who actually turned up and tried to play some rugby.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 07 Feb 2021, 7:29 am

I've watched Spencer for Bath a few times this season and he has not impressed at all. Scrum half is a real issue.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 07 Feb 2021, 7:38 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Eddie needs to change the tactics now. Not sure what on earth hes playing at. Thats the biggest issue...

However also...

You have the likes of Marcus Smith pulling up trees for Quins and not even considered.  Why not??!!

Slade..woeful at 13. Hes not a strike runner.
Youngs a million miles behind Spencer.

Billy V.  - Simmonds might be much smaller but hed still be far more explosive at the moment.  Dombrandt also.

Willis should be in the squad now...no question.  

Lawrence didnt get the ball till the 60th minute!! Really!!??

1 carry for 3m just before he got subbed. Farrell has a lot to answer for.

The back three were abysmal. Three favourites for Lions selection struggled to catch and kicked the ball aimlessly away instead of running. All three might be lucky to play next time out in a normal 6N, with smaller squads and call up opportunities they might be saved.

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Post by eirebilly Sun 07 Feb 2021, 7:41 am

I actually enjoyed the game yesterday. The boot of Hogg cannot be underestimated, some of his kicks were sublime and just deflated England.

Itoje was a penalty machine again but he was not getting a lot of assistance so some slack can be cut there. The sooner he is made Captain the better for England, just think the burden of Captaincy affects Farrell's game too much.

Massive congrats to Scotland, that was some defensive performance clap
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Post by George Carlin Sun 07 Feb 2021, 8:08 am

To be fair to everyone, the tournament has just started.

I will wait until at least round 3 is over before we start talking about who is in form and who isn't.

England will spank Italy next week in a cricket score and Scotland will have to replicate this again to beat Wales, who could just as easily beat Scotland. It's early days and the press swing violently from one extreme to the other from week to week.


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Post by eirebilly Sun 07 Feb 2021, 8:11 am

I also thought that Redpath had an outstanding game, constantly looking for work and made ground nearly every run. A very good debut.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 07 Feb 2021, 8:39 am

eirebilly wrote:

Massive congrats to Scotland, that was some defensive performance clap

England had 30% possession....Scotland had nothing to defend....

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Post by Collapse2005 Sun 07 Feb 2021, 8:41 am

England were a one trick pony for the last 12 months, kick everything and fish for penalties. Scotland fielded the ball too well for it to have any impact and they also bossed the England pack for most of the game. If anything it should have been a bigger win.

Enjoyed Hamish Watson's performance, hes a real dynamo.

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Post by Collapse2005 Sun 07 Feb 2021, 8:44 am

Worth remembering that England also lost their first game last year too and won the comp. Also was 2017 Englands last win v Scotland in Twickenham? Defo their bogey team. 1 win from 4. Ouch!

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 07 Feb 2021, 9:04 am

Its the tactics that are the biggest problem Collapse.

Good players are looking clueless and blunt.

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Post by RDW Sun 07 Feb 2021, 9:07 am

There's a fairly damming picture circulating on social media of England with a 7 on 2 overlap on halfway....and they kick.

It looked like a performance by numbers with no room to change from the gameplan. As an Edinburgh fan I've been watching the same for years!

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Post by Collapse2005 Sun 07 Feb 2021, 9:08 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Its the tactics that are the biggest problem Collapse.

Good players are looking clueless and blunt.  

Yeah same tactics for a year or so but I sure England will turn it around.

Id pick Ford every time at out half, class player.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 07 Feb 2021, 9:10 am

Ford is a must over Farrell but ill repeat why is Marcus Smith not in the equation. The lad is fantastic.


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