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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 tigertattie Tue 02 Feb 2021, 11:26 pm

Teams out in the afternoon???

My excitement usually turns to fear when I see what team we’re putting out.

Need some die hard England fans to say they are going to walk it so we can start our underdog journey please.
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Post by RDW Tue 02 Feb 2021, 11:29 pm

I think the most likely outcome is England's power and control win them the game. We'll have a few flashes of promise and chances but ultimately will get suffocated out of the game, and have our usual conversations after about a missed opportunity.

Of course we had the same conversation 2 years ago and look what happened!

So, really, feck knows.


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Post by Cyril Wed 03 Feb 2021, 12:12 am

RDW, why is there this assumption among Scottish fans that England may win just by ‘power’ and ‘control’? All the talk seems to be that England don’t want to play rugby when Scotland have play little of that recently.

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Post by RDW Wed 03 Feb 2021, 12:24 am

Cyril wrote:RDW, why is there this assumption among Scottish fans that England may win just by ‘power’ and ‘control’? All the talk seems to be that England don’t want to play rugby when Scotland have play little of that recently.

Because that's what the base of EJ's gameplan has been based on for years, and how teams typically set themselves up to beat Scotland....

I didn't say in my comment England can't attack or claim that Scotand's attack has been good lately. You've made that link on your own!

The 'negative tactics' debate has been a hot topic since the end of the last 6N and ANC that has affected all teams, including England. EJ has been talking a lot about it in the media with the media focussing heavily on this with England. Will much have changed since then leading to more open games in the 6N? I'd be surprised if there is a huge difference but most teams will be looking to improve their attack success, none more so than Scotland.

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Post by Cyril Wed 03 Feb 2021, 12:37 am

Not sure that teams play that way vs Scotland really. I’d counter that the poor conditions at Murrayfield last time out were favourable to Scotland ensuring a close score.

This idea that Scotland ‘avoid an arm wrestle and win’ are pretty naive and insulting to the firepower that England have in the backs.

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Post by RDW Wed 03 Feb 2021, 1:34 am

It's exactly how teams set up to play against Scotland, and have done for years. If anyone knows why Scotland have lost lots of games it's Scotland fans!

Over the years teams have known that if they don't let us get parity up front, keep mistakes and discipline in check and play in the right parts of the field we don't have an answer, and will inevitably try forcing the game which then opens up opportunities. Ireland and Wales have been particularly successful in this regard. Our big wins came when everything worked out perfectly and all the passes stuck - our worst defeats came when they didn't. It was not a sustainable gameplan. To try and address this in 2020 we reigned things in a lot but went too far the other way to the point that we've offered very little attacking threat, such that spurned chances cost us dearly (Hogg's fumble against Ireland, having so much time in England's 22 but doing nothing last 6N).

Saying England's plan will be for dominance and control doesn't mean that for Scotland to win we need to make it a free for all. You're pretty out of date if you think that's how we try and play - Townsend's "fastest brand of rugby in the world" philosophy ceased spectacularly at the world cup.  I'm fairly confident our gameplan will be similar to what we did in the ANC but with a bit more variety in our attack, spearheaded by Russell. The France win last year is very much the blueprint for how Townsend wants us to play.

There is no doubting England has plenty talent in the backs but it certainly hasn't been firing on all cylinders. As I said, all of the talk during the ANC and pre-6N has been focused on the lack of attacking intent in NH rugby just now, and EJ has had to field a lot of questions in the media on the way his team is playing.

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Post by Cyril Wed 03 Feb 2021, 7:31 am

I never said that Scotland would try to make it a free-for-all. My point is the opposite of that if anything. Scotland play a fairly stodgy style (they’ve never been a particularly potent side in attack and don’t score a lot of points) and tend to do better against England in drab affairs especially in poor conditions.

Even though England are much stronger in the forwards they won’t want to be involved in an error-strewn arm wrestle.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 03 Feb 2021, 8:26 am

tigertattie wrote:Teams out in the afternoon???

My excitement usually turns to fear when I see what team we’re putting out.

Need some die hard England fans to say they are going to walk it so we can start our underdog journey please.

In not going to say we're going to walk it because I think Scotland have a great chance to win this.

However, if it makes you feel better

https://youtu.be/VapH_ArkIrU

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Post by tigertattie Wed 03 Feb 2021, 8:38 am

Cyril wrote:I never said that Scotland would try to make it a free-for-all. My point is the opposite of that if anything. Scotland play a fairly stodgy style (they’ve never been a particularly potent side in attack and don’t score a lot of points) and tend to do better against England in drab affairs especially in poor conditions.

Even though England are much stronger in the forwards they won’t want to be involved in an error-strewn arm wrestle.

I believe the antipodean one is saying that England can play their game and win. To beat us you just need to frustrate us into trying to win the game with one pass and we’ll shoot ourselves in the foot.

Most nations can rely on tactics or phase play. Sustained pressure and build up can have other nations scoring tries.

Not Scotland. We rely on two or three bits of brilliance to score. We’re not too good at patient build up.

We’re in a horrible position where we almost need teams to give us the opportunity to win rather than us earning that opportunity. If England stuck to a Jones game plan of error free rugby (simple or complicated, just error free) then Scotland won’t have an answer
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Post by Poorfour Wed 03 Feb 2021, 9:13 am

Squidge Rugby's piece on George Ford is very enlightening and sheds a new light on England's attack. His argument is that Ford is generally thinking several phases ahead and dictating what England need to do to tie up key defenders, and is prepared to play a lot of patient and apparently stodgy rugby until he's created an opportunity.

That has to be coupled with Eddie's general philosophy that it's better to play without the ball unless you're in the right part of the field, and we can probably expect England to kick the ball away a lot and crash the ball up most of the time when they've got it, but only go wide when something's really on.

The weak spots are likely to be having an unfamiliar tight five, who are capable but may not be as well grooved as their predecessors in attack or defence (Marler had a huge amount of impact on the France game in his short time on the field), and the back row might be unbalanced. There's also the question of how fit the Saracens players are and whether that can be exploited - Eddie has had them in camp but won't have been able to assess them in person, so it's possible that his selection radar might be a bit wobbly.

I've not been Scotland-watching in as much detail, but the manner of their win over France says that they can play a controlled game but also contain teams with a strong mix of power and flair. I am expecting that they will go toe-to-toe with England for much of the game, but the big question will be whether they can hold their shape and structure in the face of Ford's manipulation of their defence.

That said, Toonie was the coach who spotted England's vulnerabilities in 2017 and exploited them (though that in turn prompted Eddie to change the personnel and dramatically increase speed to the breakdown to close that door, paving the way to the RWC final) - it will be interesting to see if he's spotted any deficiency this time. The obvious one is to pressure Daly under the high ball, but England are now well versed in having a group of players form a protective ring around him on any contestable ball, which makes it a more challenging tactic to exploit.
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Post by lostinwales Wed 03 Feb 2021, 10:31 am

I always bang on about how when something is on for England they tend to move the ball very quickly. This means that there are brief moments of brilliance and a whole lot of stodge.

Targetting Daly does carry a risk as he is a very impressive runner in his own right.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 03 Feb 2021, 10:40 am

I think this is going to be a tough day at the office for England.

Scotland will be powerful, pacy and very aggressive.

England wont have the fans, some players might not quite be match fit (for this level of intensity)
Some debates of who should be selected in the backs etc...

Scotland might just fancy their chances.

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Post by NeilyBroon Wed 03 Feb 2021, 10:55 am

I expect it'll be quite scrappy. Ball and turf will be slippy after a week of on-off rain. I don't think it'll be as hard for England as you suggest though Geordie! Whilst the Sarries contingent may not have had much gametime I expect they've been kept on strict fitness regimes and still trained, albeit limited.

You're right that this is probably Scotlands best chance (how many times have us Scottish posters said that!) But I still can't see past an English victory given that a large proportion of the side will not be from Sarries too. If Toonie goes with a bold plan it will be tight, probably a scoreline like 23-20 or something. If Toonie opts for more of the same, it'll probably look like Scotland's opener against Ireland in the RWC, England will simply have to do the basics right and bully Scotland out of the game. More like 20-6 in that scenario.
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Post by hugehandoff Wed 03 Feb 2021, 10:57 am

I always worry when England talk themselves up in the media. It immediately adds to the opposition team talk and helps to fire them up. Absolutely no issue with setting high objectives internally, but I don't like setting yourselves up for failure. Last year Eddie talked about brutality prior to the France game and yes they smashed us up. Now we have this..."We are up there with the best in the world, but we want to able to take teams apart with our attack." from Jamie George. Now there will be many of you who will point out that of course he and England can make statements like this - that is their right. But I would love for this to internal only. Aim high and go for this, but keep it quiet to the press. Don't help motivate Scotland.

We have a lot to prove in terms of attack and just having some attack would be good for starters before wanting to take teams apart.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 03 Feb 2021, 11:30 am

I dont mind that. Heap the pressure on yourself with the confidence that you'll go out and do it. Nothing ever goes exactly to plan be adaptable. From George's comments he is talking about using the backline better but also the forwards. Pick and goes are as much attacking as May running from his own try line.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 03 Feb 2021, 12:53 pm

I think it's funny to hear England players and coaches talking about taking other teams apart with their attack when England kicked possession away so frequently. In the Autumn, it was almost as if England were taking teams apart with sheer boredom.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 03 Feb 2021, 2:04 pm

They played well below their best in the AIs. You'd hope they can't play that badly again! focusing on the backs of course.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 03 Feb 2021, 2:35 pm

doctor_grey wrote:I think it's funny to hear England players and coaches talking about taking other teams apart with their attack when England kicked possession away so frequently.  In the Autumn, it was almost as if England were taking teams apart with sheer boredom.

Depends what you mean by 'taking apart'. The French game was interesting in that, over time, they did. There was so much promise about the French display but they were slowly and completely ground down over the course of the game.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 11:01 am

ENGLAND rfu twitter

15. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 47 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 46 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 34 caps)
12. Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, 3 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 61 caps)
10. Owen Farrell (C) (Saracens, 88 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 104 caps)

1. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 23 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 54 caps)
3. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 8 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 43 caps)
5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps)
6. Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 19 caps)
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 28 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 56 caps)

FINISHERS

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 26 caps)
17. Beno Obano (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
18. Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 85 caps)
20. Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 8 caps)
21. Dan Robson (Wasps, 7 caps)
22. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 72 caps)
23. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 3 caps)



Last edited by No 7&1/2 on Thu 04 Feb 2021, 11:04 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 11:03 am

Gotta say it's not that inspiring. Slow back row in the whole let's hope scotland dont do to us at the breakdown what they did 2 years ago. Lawrence there to help generate front foot ball hopefully. Think we'll need to bludgeon scotland in the setpiece which is do able.

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Post by RDW Thu 04 Feb 2021, 11:07 am

Incredibly strong pack, plenty strike runners out wide and big impact off the bench.

As 7.5 says the only potential chink in the armour is the back row ain't the quickest whereas ours is likely to be smaller but more athletic, but really that's a hell of a team more then capable of winning the championship. That's the challenge Scotland faces

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Post by bsando Thu 04 Feb 2021, 11:09 am

We’re gonna get rolled! Very powerful looking England side. Tough test ahead.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 04 Feb 2021, 11:28 am

That is a good looking England team. There will be a question over Wilson vs Willis at 6 but Wilson will do a good job and will be smiling all game.

Hope we don't have to depend on Ford coming off the bench and doing the 'best 10 in the world' thing again. Always a concern about how well Farrell will be able to release those backs.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 11:31 am

Very strong-looking England team. Hopefully there will be more spirit and ambition exhibited than in the tedious Autumn Nations Cup games, otherwise we'll all be sent to sleep.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 11:43 am

lostinwales wrote:That is a good looking England team. There will be a question over Wilson vs Willis at 6 but Wilson will do a good job and will be smiling all game.

Hope we don't have to depend on Ford coming off the bench and doing the 'best 10 in the world' thing again. Always a concern about how well Farrell will be able to release those backs.

If farrell is getting quick accurate ball as he should at home with that pack it'll be a concern. Count how long scotland will have to realign and the quality of ball he is passed.

I think youngs really has to deliver here. Hes been great in the past at mixing his game ie the breaks, accurate kicking and decent delivery. It's been a long time since hes done that over more than 5 mins.

I still think Care was jettisoned for going the other way, I think his penultimate game came against NZ where he looked for speed only and pretty much butchered our chance of beating them in the last minute. It's not about headless play but youngs really needs to speed the game up.and pick better options than he did during the wc and last year.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 11:46 am

That England bench looks key to me, a very physical looking bunch of forwards. Surprised EJ didn't go 6/2 split but once Ford was on the bench, an orthodox bench of backs was inevitable.
The Lawrence Slade combination will interesting to watch with very experienced half backs and back three, either side of them.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 04 Feb 2021, 11:57 am

Just worked out that Lawrence is only 3 months older than Redpath.

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Post by demosthenes Thu 04 Feb 2021, 12:06 pm

Scotland team:

Scotland team to play England at Twickenham Stadium, 2021 Guinness Six Nations
Saturday 6 February (kick-off 4.45pm) – live on ITV Sport

15. Stuart Hogg CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) – 80 caps

14. Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 50 caps
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 23 caps
12. Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) – 0 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 5 caps

10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 51 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 37 caps

1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 11 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 12 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 34 caps
4. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
5. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) – 61 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie VICE CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 23 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh – 36 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps

Substitutes:
16. David Cherry (Edinburgh) – 0 caps
17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 5 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh) – 40 caps
19. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 65 caps
20. Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – 2 caps
21. Scott Steele (Harlequins) – 1 cap
22. Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh) – 1 cap
23. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 26 caps

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 12:08 pm

Lovely lineup to see the comparison at 12.

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Post by BigGee Thu 04 Feb 2021, 12:13 pm

That's the team I would have picked.

Great to see Toonie have faith in Redpath from the off and a decent amount of impact of the bench with Graham, Gray and Jones going forward and Nel and Keeble won't give anything away in the scrum.

Can't wait for saturday.

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Post by jimbopip Thu 04 Feb 2021, 12:22 pm

Scotland pretty much as expected.
Sutherland
Turner
Ragnar
Ickle Jonny
Mbawza
Fagerson
Hamish Fae The Glen
Aldi Price
Dancer
VDM
Son Of Basil
James McBrown (the hardest working man in rugby)
No Maits
Hogg
Replacements
Kebble
Cherry
Nel
Old Gray
Graham
Steel
VDW
Not A Pony
Mildly disappointed not to see Dobie in there, but he may well feature later in the tournament.
This looks like having lots of " game within the game" confrontations.
Sutherland-Ragnar could really put themselves in the Lions reckoning and Genge could go backwards in the race: or vice versa.
Exeter second rows going head to head!
Cummings v Itoji to see who is the most dynamic, athletic lock in the northern hemisphere.
Daddy's Boy v Dancer! Differing styles. Will Dancer continue his amazing form against England? Will Farrell get a yellow or straight red?
Will England's BIG back row bulldoze Scotland's more mobile jackals? Will Mbawza prove really irritating?

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Post by EST Thu 04 Feb 2021, 12:28 pm

lostinwales wrote:Just worked out that Lawrence is only 3 months older than Redpath.

I think they played together at 12 & 13 at U20 level - interesting match up!

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Post by EST Thu 04 Feb 2021, 12:32 pm

demosthenes wrote:Scotland team:

Scotland team to play England at Twickenham Stadium, 2021 Guinness Six Nations
Saturday 6 February (kick-off 4.45pm) – live on ITV Sport

15. Stuart Hogg CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) – 80 caps

14. Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 50 caps
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 23 caps
12. Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) – 0 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 5 caps

10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 51 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 37 caps

1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 11 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 12 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 34 caps
4. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
5. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) – 61 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie VICE CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 23 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh – 36 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps

Substitutes:
16. David Cherry (Edinburgh) – 0 caps
17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 5 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh) – 40 caps
19. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 65 caps
20. Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – 2 caps
21. Scott Steele (Harlequins) – 1 cap
22. Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh) – 1 cap
23. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 26 caps

That's a really solid looking outfit, delighted he's gone with Redpath and Jones over Kinghorn.

For once our bench front-row looks like it might make an impact and good to see Richie Gray back.

Will be a huge ask, that England team is massive and we might just struggle too much in the tight - still, can't wait for the game now.

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Post by tigertattie Thu 04 Feb 2021, 12:46 pm

It’s like living in the twilight zone.

Huw Jones wearing the dark blue again. Unless Hogg gets injured he won’t come off so Jones likely to take over from Harris if we’re needing to get a score to win?

It’s weird agreeing with a Toonie selection.

I know folk would like to see Dobie but let’s ease him in. Deploy him from the bench vs Italy or wales. Don’t go chucking him into a Calcutta cup match where he may be asked to closed out or try to impact such a massive game.
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Post by nlpnlp Thu 04 Feb 2021, 1:32 pm

That is the best front row we have taking into account injury, unavailability and suspensions.

Second row is again the strongest we have, Hill just needs to be careful as he has had a couple of iffy moments at the end of last season.  Scotland will no doubt target him for a reaction (as Sinkler isn’t there to antagonise) and jump up and down in front of the referee for the slightest infringement.  Hopefully the referee won’t be swayed.

Wilson has been in form for the Falcons and will scrap at the breakdown, which is always a requirement with Scotland.  It will be interesting to see Wilson, Curry and Itoje up against Watson, Ritchie and Fagerson.
I don’t see England overpowering the Scottish pack at the scrum, although it can be totally dependent on the referee’s interpretation as virtually every scrum will go down, come up or wheel around.  If we are going to get an edge it will be at the lineout if Turner struggles in the conditions.

I like the look of the Scotland backline, although I think Russell is too much of a 50:50 merchant – you know he will throw out a couple of passes which you have a good chance of intercepting (Exeter v Racing 92 in the Champions Cup final, etc).  If England can apply pressure and get our centres up, I would be hopeful of getting some joy.

England were poor in the ANC despite winning it and Scotland were a bit up and down.  So I am expecting a tight competitive game.  It does worry me though when England players start talking about “taking teams apart”.  Cue Jim Telfer “England are too arrogant, too pretentious, blah, blah, blah.”

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Post by bsando Thu 04 Feb 2021, 1:44 pm

Big game for Redpath, good luck to him. If he can distribute well, defend well and take any chances that'll do just fine.

Some good Lions match ups as well. Gatland will be at the game obviously.

Russell vs Farrell is a big one, Curry vs Watson, Youngs vs Price even (3rd choice Lions SH), Watson vs DVDM, Genge vs Sutherland, Itoje vs Gray, Wilson vs Ritchie. Hopefully we'll get a high quality game!

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Post by 123456789. Thu 04 Feb 2021, 1:45 pm

I like that Scotland team, I'd have preferred Jones in instead of Harris but I've watched enough Scottish rugby over the last couple of years to know that Harris evidently has pictures of Toonie engaging in some sort of orgie or imbibing some of Matt Stevens' marching powder.

I'm really not sure that Twickenham is the game to introduce Dobie to international rugby. Scott Steele might not be the most experienced international but he has played a lot of Premiership rugby and against, one would imagine, most of the England team.


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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 04 Feb 2021, 1:45 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
lostinwales wrote:That is a good looking England team. There will be a question over Wilson vs Willis at 6 but Wilson will do a good job and will be smiling all game.

Hope we don't have to depend on Ford coming off the bench and doing the 'best 10 in the world' thing again. Always a concern about how well Farrell will be able to release those backs.

If farrell is getting quick accurate ball as he should at home with that pack it'll be a concern. Count how long scotland will have to realign and the quality of ball he is passed.

Doesn't matter how quick it is Farrell is not an attacking flyhalf. The team may score. Lot of points with him at 10 because he's a good flyhalf but his attritional style isn't instinctive and momentum based. Expect lots of inside passes to forwards and Lawrence on various angles of crash ball.

I'm hoping Farrell has a little pull of his hammy in the warm up and we get to see Ford with a backline with options. Otherwise it'll be Ford in for Lawrence and a backline with no penetration for our most creative player.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 1:52 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
lostinwales wrote:That is a good looking England team. There will be a question over Wilson vs Willis at 6 but Wilson will do a good job and will be smiling all game.

Hope we don't have to depend on Ford coming off the bench and doing the 'best 10 in the world' thing again. Always a concern about how well Farrell will be able to release those backs.

If farrell is getting quick accurate ball as he should at home with that pack it'll be a concern. Count how long scotland will have to realign and the quality of ball he is passed.

Doesn't matter how quick it is Farrell is not an attacking flyhalf. The team may score. Lot of points with him at 10 because he's a good flyhalf but his attritional style isn't instinctive and momentum based. Expect lots of inside passes to forwards and Lawrence on various angles of crash ball.

I'm hoping Farrell has a little pull of his hammy in the warm up and we get to see Ford with a backline with options. Otherwise it'll be Ford in for Lawrence and a backline with no penetration for our most creative player.

More than 1 way to skins cats and Saracens score plenty with him. Completely take your point he's not an attacking fly half in a traditional sense. Ford I'm sure will flourish when he's on with Robson.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 1:54 pm

Reading quite a lot of comments re the scrums and Scotland getting parity or even the upper hand...I can't see this. Barring a bit of a 50 50 on George vs LCD and the loss of Sinckler I think we have our strongest scrummaging front 5 out on the pitch. I'd be surprised should we not have a really good platform off it.

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 1:56 pm

As a neutral this is more than a little mouth-watering.
Some of you Scots are playing your chances down a little I feel, England are a hard side to beat because they're....well they're England but that Scotland side has a number of game changers, Finn, Hoggy, Duhan to name but a few.

C'Mon Scotland!!

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Post by EST Thu 04 Feb 2021, 2:02 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:As a neutral this is more than a little mouth-watering.
Some of you Scots are playing your chances down a little I feel, England are a hard side to beat because they're....well they're England but that Scotland side has a number of game changers, Finn, Hoggy, Duhan to name but a few.

C'Mon Scotland!!

It's a big if considering they haven't played together, but could be very special if Finn, Hoggy, Redpath and DHVDM click - serious x-factor.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Feb 2021, 2:05 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:As a neutral this is more than a little mouth-watering.
Some of you Scots are playing your chances down a little I feel, England are a hard side to beat because they're....well they're England but that Scotland side has a number of game changers, Finn, Hoggy, Duhan to name but a few.

C'Mon Scotland!!

Agree totally, was going to comment similar.

Come on the draw, for a bit of bookie bashing Wink

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Post by 123456789. Thu 04 Feb 2021, 2:16 pm

I have actually put £10 on Scotland to win this, not out of expectation but out of well educated hope nonetheless. I do think the pattern of the game will be determined in the first 20 minutes. A third of England's team have played no rugby since the Autumn, of them Daly has never quite convinced at full-back and Farrell was slightly off the boil last time out.

Still England have a very very good pack. They are more than capable of exerting a grip on the game and if they do they will win. Our pack is stronger than it has been; Richie Gray, Nel, Kebble and Graham coming off of the bench is not half bad. However England's is better. If we gain parity in the pack, which we probably won't, then we will win. Maybe with some to spare. I'd say that is pretty unlikely though.

A joint team at this point, I suspect would be:

1. Genge
2. George
3. Fagerson
4. Itoje
5. Gray
6. Curry
7. Watson
8. Vunipola
9. Youngs
10. Russell
11. Van Der Merwe
12. Redpath
13. Slade
14. May
15. Hogg

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 04 Feb 2021, 2:20 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Reading quite a lot of comments re the scrums and Scotland getting parity or even the upper hand...I can't see this. Barring a bit of a 50 50 on George vs LCD and the loss of Sinckler I think we have our strongest scrummaging front 5 out on the pitch. I'd be surprised should we not have a really good platform off it.

If Stuart starts at TH...he is a huge powerful guy.

1 Genge
2 George / LCD
3 Stuart

Wont be a weak front row....

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Post by sensisball Thu 04 Feb 2021, 2:23 pm

if we are still in contention with 20 to go bring on Jones at 13.
A midfield of Russell, Redpath and Jones would be the most potent attacking triumvirate that Scotland have been able to put on the pitch in the pro era.
I have been watching a highlights reel of Redpath when we still at Sedburgh, looked like a pro player in an excellent school team.
I know it's a huge step up but when he's playing for a stuttering Bath team he still looks like a pro player playing in a not quite so good school boy team! He seems to have so much time when he's got the ball, and looks really composed in attack and defense.
Cannot wait.

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Post by EST Thu 04 Feb 2021, 2:44 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Reading quite a lot of comments re the scrums and Scotland getting parity or even the upper hand...I can't see this. Barring a bit of a 50 50 on George vs LCD and the loss of Sinckler I think we have our strongest scrummaging front 5 out on the pitch. I'd be surprised should we not have a really good platform off it.

If Stuart starts at TH...he is a huge powerful guy.

1 Genge
2 George / LCD
3 Stuart

Wont be a weak front row....

From this Scotland fans perspective, I doubt very much that Scotland will have the better hand - it's a very strong England front 5. What I would say though is that for the first time in a very long while we have 4 props who are of a good international standard - we usually have a starter injured and Gordie Reid, Allan Dell or Jamie Bhatti starting or on the bench. The re-emergence of Sutherland and Kebble qualifying has made a massive difference.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 2:49 pm

Stuart is listed on the Bath website at 132kg, a shade under 21 st in old money. I reckon he is at least that weight and he makes Sinkler look relatively small, although he has now lost a bit of tonnage losing that mullet....
Bhatti made no impression and hasn't lasted long at Bath.
Redpath takes after Russell as he loves the high risk offload. He has tried it a few times for Bath, most of which haven't worked.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 04 Feb 2021, 3:09 pm

Big powerful pack from England as usual, and a vastly experienced duo at half back. I expect some nice stuff from Russell/Redpath but I think England win this by 10-15 points in the end. We have some impact off the bench, but we will struggle if England stick to the Jones gameplan.

The big unknown is how sharp some of these players will be, and whether we can exploit rustiness. We have the creativity, but I do question whether Harris/Maitland can finish those half chances. Fingers crossed!

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 04 Feb 2021, 3:16 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:Stuart is listed on the Bath website at 132kg, a shade under 21 st in old money
Bring back the old money!  Stone and pounds; yards, feet and inches; shilling and sixpence:  Hard yards v. mushy metres; inches away v. 2.54 cm per inch away; and so on.  If nothing else, better for the play calling.  

Sorry, back to the Rugby.  Best Scotland team we have seen in quite a while - good pack.  Nice looking back line too. Interesting England team selection benching Ford and trying an actual 12-13 midfield combo.  Is Billy V. in game shape?  He better be or England will struggle.  I think this will be close.


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