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Scotland vs Wales (13th Feb, 4.45pm KO)

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Post by bsando Mon 08 Feb 2021, 8:47 am

First topic message reminder :

Scotland vs Wales

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant Referee 1: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
TMO: Karl Dickson (England)

Teams

Scotland Scotland vs Wales (13th Feb, 4.45pm KO) - Page 3 Outlan10

1 Rory Sutherland
2 George Turner
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Scott Cummings
5 Jonny Gray (Vice Captain)
6 Blade Thomson
7 Hamish Watson
8 Matt Fagerson
9 Ali Price
10 Finn Russell (Vice Captain)
11 Duhan van der Merwe
12 James Lang
13 Chris Harris
14 Darcy Graham
15 Stuart Hogg (Captain)

16 David Cherry
17 Oli Kebble
18 WP Nel
19 Richie Gray
20 Gary Graham
21 Scott Steele
22 Jaco van der Walt
23 Huw Jones

WalesScotland vs Wales (13th Feb, 4.45pm KO) - Page 3 Tom_jo10

1 Wyn Jones
2 Ken Owens
3 Tomas Francis
4 Adam Beard
5 Alun Wyn Jones (Captain)
6 Aaron Wainwright
7 Justin Tipuric
8 Taulupe Faletau
9 Gareth Davies
10 Dan Biggar
11 Liam Williams
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Owen Watkin
14 Louis Rees-Zammit
15 Leigh Halfpenny

16 Elliot Dee
17 Rhodri Jones
18 Leon Brown
19 Will Rowlands
20 James Botham
21 Kieran Hardy
22 Callum Sheedy
23 Uilisi Halaholo

Recent Results

2017: SCO 29 - WAL 13
2018: WAL 34 - SCO 7 & WAL 21 - SCO 10
2019: SCO 11 - WAL 18
2020: WAL 10 - SCO 14

Overall
Scotland vs Wales (13th Feb, 4.45pm KO) - Page 3 Screen26


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Post by RiscaGame Thu 11 Feb 2021, 12:07 pm

Macleod is also ruled out, so I guess Wales had little choice.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 11 Feb 2021, 12:12 pm

WALES TEAM TO PLAY SCOTLAND (SATURDAY FEBRUARY 13, KO 16.45)

1. Wyn Jones (31 Caps)
2. Ken Owens (78 Caps)
3. Tomas Francis (53 Caps)
4. Adam Beard (22 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (CAPT) (144 Caps)
6. Aaron Wainwright (27 Caps)
7. Justin Tipuric (81 Caps)
8. Taulupe Faletau (82 Caps)

9. Gareth Davies (58 Caps)
10. Dan Biggar (88 Caps)
11. Liam Williams (67 Caps)
12. Nick Tompkins (9 Caps)
13. Owen Watkin (26 Caps)
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (5 Caps)
15. Leigh Halfpenny (94 Caps)

Replacements:

16. Elliot Dee (33 Caps)
17. Rhodri Jones (18 Caps)
18. Leon Brown (13 Caps)
19. Will Rowlands (6 Caps)
20. James Botham (3 Caps)
21. Kieran Hardy (2 Caps)
22. Callum Sheedy (5 Caps)
23. Uilisi Halaholo (*Uncapped)

Players unavailable for selection:

Dan Lydiate (released), Josh Navidi, Josh Macleod, Tomos Williams, Johnny Williams, George North, Jonathan Davies, Hallam Amos, Josh Adams.

More on the WRU Site here


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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 11 Feb 2021, 12:13 pm

So the Wales Squad is out
No Navidi is a massive blow

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Louis Rees-Zammit, Nick Tompkins, Owen Watkin, Liam Williams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies, Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhodri Jones, Leon Brown, Will Rowlands, James Botham, Kieran Hardy, Callum Sheedy, Willis Halaholo.

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Post by BigGee Thu 11 Feb 2021, 12:20 pm

Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has made three changes, one in the pack and two in the backline following the opening weekend victory over England at Twickenham.

Flanker, Jamie Ritchie, centre, Cameron Redpath and winger, Sean Maitland are unavailable through injury.

Scarlets back-row Blade Thomson and Harlequins centre James Lang come into the starting XV, as does Edinburgh winger Darcy Graham. All three played in the last meeting between the two nations, when Scotland beat Wales in Llanelli in October in the concluding round of the 2020 Six Nations competition.

Captain Stuart Hogg continues at full-back following his ‘Man of the Match’ performance in the Calcutta Cup win and he is joined in the back-three by Edinburgh pair Duhan van der Merwe and Darcy Graham.

James Lang partners Gloucester’s Chris Harris in the midfield, with Ali Price and Finn Russell completing the back division. Russell takes on vice-captain duties with Jonny Gray.

Head Coach Townsend is able to select the same pack, with the inclusion of Thomson, that played in the opening round.

Rory Sutherland, George Turner and Zander Fagerson pack down in the front row, with Jonny Gray and Scott Cummings continuing their lock partnership.


Thomson comes onto the blindside flank, alongside Hamish Watson and Matt Fagerson in the back-row.

All the replacements who travelled to Twickenham are selected again as the matchday 23.

Edinburgh hooker David Cherry, who won his first cap against England, is joined by Oli Kebble and WP Nel as front row cover.

Richie Gray and Gary Graham provide the forward options, with scrum-half Scott Steele, Jaco van der Walt and Huw Jones available to cover the backs.

Head Coach Gregor Townsend said: “We have an opportunity this weekend against Wales to continue the positive start to the Guinness Six Nations we made last week against England.

“It was a very encouraging performance at Twickenham and the squad performed to a level which has to be the benchmark throughout the tournament. Wales are also coming into this game after a win and will have the same objective, so it will be a tough challenge as always.

“Both teams were involved in physical contests last weekend, and that is evidenced by the injuries Wales and we ourselves have picked up. For us, we are able to bring in three quality players in Blade, James and Darcy. They have been training well and are highly motivated to make the most of this opportunity.”

Scotland team to play Wales at BT Murrayfield, 2021 Guinness Six Nations

Saturday 13 February (kick-off 4.45pm) – live on BBC Sport

15. Stuart Hogg CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) – 81 caps

14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 15 caps
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 24 caps
12. James Lang (Harlequins) – 5 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 6 caps

10. Finn Russell VICE CAPTAIN (Racing 92) – 52 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 38 caps

1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 12 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 35 caps
4. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
5. Jonny Gray VICE CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) – 62 caps
6. Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – 9 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh – 37 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 10 caps

Substitutes:
16. David Cherry (Edinburgh) – 1 cap
17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh) – 41 caps
19. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 66 caps
20. Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – 3 caps
21. Scott Steele (Harlequins) – 2 caps
22. Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh) – 1 cap
23. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 27 caps

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Post by BigGee Thu 11 Feb 2021, 12:22 pm

So we lose a few as well, Ritchie, Redpath and Maitland all miss out.

Thompson starts, on the assumption that he can read the Welsh lineout due to his familiarity with Owens throwing!

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 11 Feb 2021, 12:22 pm

Oooof. Both sides feeling the injuries then. Makes the backrow and centre battles a little more even. Still not very confident though.

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Post by chris_501 Thu 11 Feb 2021, 12:24 pm

The team effectively picked itself. A shame for Macleod that he's injured otherwise, with Navidi out, I'm sure he would have seen his debut. That 1st XV looks fine, but the bench doesn't look particularly strong!

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Post by EST Thu 11 Feb 2021, 12:28 pm

That's a real blow to have lost Redpath and Maitland, who were both brilliant on the weekend.

Graham is a decent replacement, although not in good form, but Lang is not in the same league as the man he's replacing - I wonder where Taylor is?

Blade has never really stood out at international level, guessing they have kept Graham on the bench as he covers across the BR.  Having Thomson at 6 does give us a really good line-out operator there, so perhaps an opportunity to get at the malfunctioning Welsh line out.

Speaking of Wales, it's a very solid team - expecting a close game, with perhaps Wales as slight favourites given our injuries.

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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 11 Feb 2021, 12:44 pm

EST wrote:That's a real blow to have lost Redpath and Maitland, who were both brilliant on the weekend.

Graham is a decent replacement, although not in good form, but Lang is not in the same league as the man he's replacing.

Blade has never really stood out at international level, guessing they have kept Graham on the bench as he covers across the BR.  Having Thomson at 6 does give us a really good line-out operator there, so perhaps an opportunity to get at the malfunctioning Welsh line out.

Speaking of Wales, it's a very solid team - expecting a close game, with perhaps Wales as slight favourites given our injuries.  

I agree with you it's a huge blow but I think you are not giving Blade and Lang the credit they deserve. Like you I have been disappointed with Blade and he needs to crank it up on Saturday, but he covers 6/7/8 so I think he has been picked on merit over Graham at BS. Lang hasn't nailed down a centre spot at Quins but he has a surprising bust of speed and can play 10 comfortably.

My worry is Darcy's form


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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 11 Feb 2021, 12:45 pm

2 big losses to injury in Redpath and Ritchie.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 11 Feb 2021, 12:55 pm

Josh Macleod getting named at 6 for his first start and then rupturing his achilles' tendon in training almost immediately after, is horrendous luck.

Hope he heals fast and gets the chance again too, as he was unlucky in the Autumn.

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Post by EST Thu 11 Feb 2021, 1:00 pm

flyhalffactory wrote:
EST wrote:That's a real blow to have lost Redpath and Maitland, who were both brilliant on the weekend.

Graham is a decent replacement, although not in good form, but Lang is not in the same league as the man he's replacing.

Blade has never really stood out at international level, guessing they have kept Graham on the bench as he covers across the BR.  Having Thomson at 6 does give us a really good line-out operator there, so perhaps an opportunity to get at the malfunctioning Welsh line out.

Speaking of Wales, it's a very solid team - expecting a close game, with perhaps Wales as slight favourites given our injuries.  

I agree with you it's a huge blow but I think you are not giving Blade and Lang the credit they deserve. Like you I have been disappointed with Blade and he needs to crank it up on Saturday, but he covers 6/7/8 so I think he has been picked on merit over Graham at BS. Lang hasn't nailed down a centre spot at Quins but he has a surprising bust of speed and can play 10 comfortably.

My worry is Darcy's form


Yeah, i'm not too fussed about Blade starting - he and Graham are much of a muchness.  Agree that Darcy is a worry too, his form has been pretty poor - at least we know he has the quality though, hopefully he can turn it on for this game.

From what I have seen Lang is a big lump, defends well, decent distributor but i've never seen him offer much of a threat at this level.  It might be enough for this game to be very solid and let the creative/power players around him do their stuff, but I'd have much preferred Taylor at 12 or Hutch if he was selected.  The other issue is that Lang and Harris are very similar - the balance doesn't feel quite right to me and I can't imagine that the Welsh defence are going to be particularly worried about either.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 11 Feb 2021, 1:08 pm

That's a big blow to lose Redpath. Lang/Harris is a very uninspiring combination.

The other two changes I'm less fussed about. Ritchie a wee bit short of form and fitness, and whilst Maitland played really well against England I thought, Graham has the edge in attack.

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Post by bsando Thu 11 Feb 2021, 1:40 pm

Bummer I thought our injury list was okay. Oh well, good to rotate the squad a little bit.

Big games for Thomson, Lang and Graham. I think they can all go well but just need to see it! Wales will likely target Graham a bit in the areal battle. He got found out a bit vs Glasgow recently but he is not a softy. Thomson should do well at six as he's been playing there regularly for Scarlets and Lang looked good in his recent matches so he's on a good run of form.

Wales have picked pretty handy side and I had totally forgotten about Wainwright! He's a very good player adding a lot to that backrow. Could be a pretty exciting match.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 11 Feb 2021, 1:55 pm

If there's a time to come good with Lang, now is it. He's had a few games to settle now, he needs to bring his quins form to Scotland. I'd be tempted to stick Jones on for the second half if things aren't going our way.
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Post by TightHEAD Thu 11 Feb 2021, 1:58 pm

What an opportunity Scotland have, really hope they take it.

They deserve a decent run and shot at 6 nations glory.
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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 11 Feb 2021, 5:00 pm

So, Tompkins can’t tackle and Watkin isn’t a 13. Why do teams persist on playing Watkin at 13 when he’s a much better 12? I don’t think he has really done anything (in either position) to warrant selection anyway, not for a few years. I probably would started Halaholo, and I don’t doubt he has the expertise to play 13, which could have enabled Roberts to come in at 12...

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Thu 11 Feb 2021, 5:05 pm

Great, back to the Lang-Harris midfield which is so utterly bland. That’s a big blow to lose Redpath, even if it would’ve been a huge ask for him to back up such an impressive debut. We need Darcy to find some form and to get Duhan more involved because we won’t be seeing any threat from our midfield

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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 11 Feb 2021, 5:09 pm

We should have had Hutchinson in the squad. Would have been a perfect replacement for Redpath.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 11 Feb 2021, 6:10 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:We should have had Hutchinson in the squad. Would have been a perfect replacement for Redpath.

But would our rolling mail be as good?
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Post by Hazel Sapling Thu 11 Feb 2021, 6:22 pm

On Wales picking Tompkins and Watkin, it sounds like their roles should be reversed. It should not matter much defensively as our centres don't have much attacking threat unless H Jones comes in at 13 around the hour mark.

It is the frustrating thing about being a Scotland fan. Got a similar, young 12 to Redpath in Hutchinson who is versatile (can play at 10,12,13 and I think 15) and in strong form for Northampton but he does not get a look in over a rusty Taylor or a less accomplished at club level Lang. Fingers crossed we get to see Redpath - Hutch as a centre combination during the summer though it may be weak defensively.

At least with Russell, DVDM and Hogg, there is no pressure on Lang to generate an attacking threat. If he can make his tackles and carries hard at Tompkins, that will be fine. Even better if he can move the ball on quickly when it is on out wide.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 11 Feb 2021, 7:25 pm

I think we can still win this, we won with a similar team in the autumn. I'm going to say there will be a try in it. Tying until the last 10. 15-10 to Scotland. The condition is that the back row functions well. Hopefully blade at 6 will be better than blade at 8.
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Post by Duty281 Thu 11 Feb 2021, 7:46 pm

TightHEAD wrote:What an opportunity Scotland have, really hope they take it.

They deserve a decent run and shot at 6 nations glory.

Scotland fans seems a bit pessimistic, perhaps because of past misery, but this is probably their best ever chance of taking the Six Nations title. They should take this Welsh side by a couple of scores. Be cheerful, Scottish fans.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 11 Feb 2021, 8:10 pm

Duty281 wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:What an opportunity Scotland have, really hope they take it.

They deserve a decent run and shot at 6 nations glory.

Scotland fans seems a bit pessimistic, perhaps because of past misery, but this is probably their best ever chance of taking the Six Nations title. They should take this Welsh side by a couple of scores. Be cheerful, Scottish fans.

We're very happy about last weekend but given the amount of false dawns we've had I think we're naturally cautious! I still think we're more likely to win, then the belief will come!
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Post by RiscaGame Thu 11 Feb 2021, 8:17 pm

I expect Watkin and Tompkins to interchange, to be honest.

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Post by RDW Thu 11 Feb 2021, 9:29 pm

I know we won't get much sympathy from the Wales fans but that's a blow for Scotland. Feeling less confident now!

Thompson for Ritchie is a step down - the former has never done much of note in a Scotland shirt. He will offer another lineout presence as has been mentioned.

Lang for Redpath is an uninspiring swap - Lang is perfectly solid and dependable but so is Harris, making very stodgy midfield.

Maitland is the kind of cool headed customer we need against a savvy Welsh kicking game, and is excellent in the air. Graham has lost all form unfortunately. Now would be a good time to get it back!


I fear this is going to be a complete war of attrition.

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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 11 Feb 2021, 9:33 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:What an opportunity Scotland have, really hope they take it.

They deserve a decent run and shot at 6 nations glory.

Scotland fans seems a bit pessimistic, perhaps because of past misery, but this is probably their best ever chance of taking the Six Nations title. They should take this Welsh side by a couple of scores. Be cheerful, Scottish fans.

We're very happy about last weekend but given the amount of false dawns we've had I think we're naturally cautious! I still think we're more likely to win, then the belief will come!

Last week the bookies gave us no hope against England and looked what happened!. We had a great result last week but now it rewound back to the start 0-0 with a wounded animal with the experience, class & skills of WC-semi finalists and Lions 1/2p, Sanjay, Biggar, Ken Owens, AWJ, Tipuric, Faletau and the raw talent of Zammit, then it's best to be no more than cautiously optimistic.

We need to be on the money from the whistle

I was more confident before the England match than going into this one:shock:

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 11 Feb 2021, 10:51 pm

Duty281 wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:What an opportunity Scotland have, really hope they take it.

They deserve a decent run and shot at 6 nations glory.

Scotland fans seems a bit pessimistic, perhaps because of past misery, but this is probably their best ever chance of taking the Six Nations title. They should take this Welsh side by a couple of scores. Be cheerful, Scottish fans.

Two English posters in dreamland. How’s that ‘2 Nations’ going again? Wink

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Post by chris_501 Fri 12 Feb 2021, 8:43 am

NeilyBroon wrote:I think we can still win this, we won with a similar team in the autumn. I'm going to say there will be a try in it. Tying until the last 10. 15-10 to Scotland. The condition is that the back row functions well. Hopefully blade at 6 will be better than blade at 8.

I hadn't realised quite how similar the teams from the autumn had been. We are definitely strengthened by Wyn Jones, Owens and Tipuric starting in the pack, but Watkin, Harris and Lang all started in midfield.

My guess is that this will be a tight game as both sets of forwards look pretty well balanced (Scotland do look to have a bit of a headstart in the lineout however), it could well be decided by a bit of magic by the likes of Russell, Hogg or DVDM for Scotland or LRZ or Williams for Wales.

I'm really looking forward to it, but maybe that's because there is nothing else to do!

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Post by EST Fri 12 Feb 2021, 8:50 am

Hazel Sapling wrote:On Wales picking Tompkins and Watkin, it sounds like their roles should be reversed. It should not matter much defensively as our centres don't have much attacking threat unless H Jones comes in at 13 around the hour mark.

It is the frustrating thing about being a Scotland fan. Got a similar, young 12 to Redpath in Hutchinson who is versatile (can play at 10,12,13 and I think 15) and in strong form for Northampton but he does not get a look in over a rusty Taylor or a less accomplished at club level Lang. Fingers crossed we get to see Redpath - Hutch as a centre combination during the summer though it may be weak defensively.

At least with Russell, DVDM and Hogg, there is no pressure on Lang to generate an attacking threat. If he can make his tackles and carries hard at Tompkins, that will be fine. Even better if he can move the ball on quickly when it is on out wide.

Such a shame that Hutch isn't involved - obviously Gregor is placing more value on defence these days, but Hutchison is a ready made replacement and Lang/Harris is very 6/10 across the board.

Your later point is the reason i'm not more annoyed by it - with Finn, Hoggy, Graham and DHVDM he hopefully doesn't need to do a great deal other than distribute effectively, make his tackles and run hard.

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Post by BigGee Fri 12 Feb 2021, 8:55 am

If Redpath injury does not clear up quickly, i would imagine Hutch will be called into the squad for the next round.

By the sounds of things his injury was not immediately apparent after the game plus he has to show some loyalty to the players who have been training with the squad.

I am sure Hutch will get his chance, just not in this round.

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Post by NeilyBroon Fri 12 Feb 2021, 8:59 am

EST wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:On Wales picking Tompkins and Watkin, it sounds like their roles should be reversed. It should not matter much defensively as our centres don't have much attacking threat unless H Jones comes in at 13 around the hour mark.

It is the frustrating thing about being a Scotland fan. Got a similar, young 12 to Redpath in Hutchinson who is versatile (can play at 10,12,13 and I think 15) and in strong form for Northampton but he does not get a look in over a rusty Taylor or a less accomplished at club level Lang. Fingers crossed we get to see Redpath - Hutch as a centre combination during the summer though it may be weak defensively.

At least with Russell, DVDM and Hogg, there is no pressure on Lang to generate an attacking threat. If he can make his tackles and carries hard at Tompkins, that will be fine. Even better if he can move the ball on quickly when it is on out wide.

Such a shame that Hutch isn't involved - obviously Gregor is placing more value on defence these days, but Hutchison is a ready made replacement and Lang/Harris is very 6/10 across the board.

Your later point is the reason i'm not more annoyed by it - with Finn, Hoggy, Graham and DHVDM he hopefully doesn't need to do a great deal other than distribute effectively, make his tackles and run hard.

Further to that point, he normally plays outside Marcus Smith who is a russell-esque player, which I think works in his favour. He looks a lot better outside him, hopefully he looks better outside Russell. I expect we may see the best of Lang tomorrow, he's settled in now, he has Russell inside him, I reckon he'll surprise us with how well he plays (at least I hope so).
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Post by EST Fri 12 Feb 2021, 9:20 am

NeilyBroon wrote:
EST wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:On Wales picking Tompkins and Watkin, it sounds like their roles should be reversed. It should not matter much defensively as our centres don't have much attacking threat unless H Jones comes in at 13 around the hour mark.

It is the frustrating thing about being a Scotland fan. Got a similar, young 12 to Redpath in Hutchinson who is versatile (can play at 10,12,13 and I think 15) and in strong form for Northampton but he does not get a look in over a rusty Taylor or a less accomplished at club level Lang. Fingers crossed we get to see Redpath - Hutch as a centre combination during the summer though it may be weak defensively.

At least with Russell, DVDM and Hogg, there is no pressure on Lang to generate an attacking threat. If he can make his tackles and carries hard at Tompkins, that will be fine. Even better if he can move the ball on quickly when it is on out wide.

Such a shame that Hutch isn't involved - obviously Gregor is placing more value on defence these days, but Hutchison is a ready made replacement and Lang/Harris is very 6/10 across the board.

Your later point is the reason i'm not more annoyed by it - with Finn, Hoggy, Graham and DHVDM he hopefully doesn't need to do a great deal other than distribute effectively, make his tackles and run hard.

Further to that point, he normally plays outside Marcus Smith who is a russell-esque player, which I think works in his favour. He looks a lot better outside him, hopefully he looks better outside Russell. I expect we may see the best of Lang tomorrow, he's settled in now, he has Russell inside him, I reckon he'll surprise us with how well he plays (at least I hope so).

I hope so Neilly, and the point about Russell is a good one. He definitely isn't a bad player, just a bit meh to me.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 12 Feb 2021, 10:00 am

I'm actually glad we're not playing against Redpath, he looked like a star last weekend. I think he could have created things against us and I'm not all that confident in our defence. Our spark is likely to come from Gareth Davies or LRZ. Possibly Halaholo if Pivac gives him more than 5 minutes...

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Post by The Oracle Fri 12 Feb 2021, 3:15 pm

Looking forward to seeing Halaholo. I think that sort of a jinking centre is what we could need. He's like a slippery eel. Just hope the rest of the team are on his wavelength. Sometimes when a team is quite structured and formulaic, a jinking player like that can often run off on his own and the rest are late to follow and support and he could get isolated and turned over/penalised. So we need to have players on his shoulder, which any good team should anyway I guess. In the past I've always admired the way the All Blacks are able to break from deep and the runner always has about 3 or more offload options on his inside, outside, behind him, etc. And then one of those gets the ball and he has a swarm of his own players insides, outside and behind. A thing of beauty when it gets moving. The way Wales have often player is to be strung out across the pitch and then when the centre (for example) is caught in possession and tackled it's a struggle to change course, get to the ruck and support him and the whole thing just slows down into an arm wrestle. I do believe structure is needed at times but needs to be balanced with a good looser offload game too. Would love to see Wales play a bit more like that and I think there were signs last week that Wales were looking to offload rather than take contact. We just didn't seem to too adept at it and often just swatted the ball on! But early signs of a change of style under Pivac perhaps.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri 12 Feb 2021, 4:19 pm

Halaholo's a good player, and to be honest we're lucky to have him. We're not blessed with centres at the moment. Tompkins seems to have stalled, Watkin flatters to deceive, JD2 isn't the player he was, and personally I'm not sold on Johnny Williams either. It's a bit of a weak area for us.

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Post by George Carlin Fri 12 Feb 2021, 5:34 pm

That's absolutely desperate for Josh Macleod - you have to feel for him. Hope he comes back strongly - he's very good and will get his chance.

From a Scotland perspective, the only 3 words which promise less excitement than 'Lang and Harris' are 'gluten free crackers' (or possible also 'Michael Gove monologue'). It's such a shame that Redpath and Hutch aren't fit because neither Lang nor Harris the future. We have good attacking centres now, we shouldn't have to put up with mediocrity. I slip into unconsciousness the very second I hear 'solid defensively' or 'won't let anyone down'. Is that really what we're striving for? Centres who face the right way and don't poo their shorts in the midfield?

Deflating for Scotland fans. The packs are balanced and this is going to be very close.
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Post by George Carlin Fri 12 Feb 2021, 5:35 pm

I also want to give bsando a shout out for putting a proper thread together.
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Post by jimbopip Fri 12 Feb 2021, 5:51 pm

Evening amigos thumbsup

My inbox has been inundated this week with demands from the Scottish posters that I post the latest instalment of Funtime With Jimbo And His Happy Pips. (as opposed to Gladys' Pips who were a right miserable bunch..tuneful but very miserable).
So, Princess daughter's two month old baby is a beautiful girl, but she has only mastered two facial expressions so far; the one where her eyes light up and her smiles make your heart sing, and the one where she lowers her brows and looks at the world with a mixture of bafflement and belligerence. After Scotland's long overdue victory on Saturday Eddie Jones glowered at us from the tellybox,
"Oi Pipetto! The round face, the black hair that's almost there but not quite. The face that looks like it wants to take the world outside for a barney. Who does he remind you of?"
"I've got to say...Princess Daughter's daughter." was his reply.

I related this to Princess Daughter the other day, expecting her to see the funny side... censored

She went all quiet and whipped out her phone.
There was a blur of swiping and typing and then a long silence. I could feel the cold sweat trickling down the small of my back.

"Ah! Eddie Jones! OK. I'll give you that one. But at least her hair will grow in."

I would like to go on record here as saying that Princess daughter's two year old son does not resemble any rugby coaches or players. Mind you he's two years old and in the grip of the Terrible Two's. If he doesn't get the decision he wants he cries, whinges, strops and throws himself on the floor in a huff.
He's only little but he's getting Biggar everyday.

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Post by NeilyBroon Fri 12 Feb 2021, 6:05 pm

At least it wasn't stern Vern. Although sounds like she has a Stern gurn.
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Post by doctor_grey Fri 12 Feb 2021, 7:27 pm

jimbopip wrote:
I would like to go on record here as saying that Princess daughter's two year old son does not resemble any rugby coaches or players. Mind you he's two years old and in the grip of the Terrible Two's. If he doesn't get the decision he wants he cries, whinges, strops and throws himself on the floor in a huff.
He's only little but he's getting Biggar everyday.
Ahh. He's a back.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Fri 12 Feb 2021, 7:30 pm

George Carlin wrote:That's absolutely desperate for Josh Macleod - you have to feel for him. Hope he comes back strongly - he's very good and will get his chance.

From a Scotland perspective, the only 3 words which promise less excitement than 'Lang and Harris' are 'gluten free crackers' (or possible also 'Michael Gove monologue'). It's such a shame that Redpath and Hutch aren't fit because neither Lang nor Harris the future. We have good attacking centres now, we shouldn't have to put up with mediocrity.  I slip into unconsciousness the very second I hear 'solid defensively' or 'won't let anyone down'. Is that really what we're striving for? Centres who face the right way and don't poo their shorts in the midfield?

Deflating for Scotland fans. The packs are balanced and this is going to be very close.

This. Agree with all of it.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 12 Feb 2021, 7:35 pm

I think your centres will do ok against ours. I’m still expecting international teams to target Tompkins defensively and Scotland will be no different. I really am not looking forward to tomorrow. The only thing I can hope for, is that Wales will want a reaction from their no show in Llanelli. If we are close, then maybe players like Halaholo and Sheedy could make a big difference off the bench.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Fri 12 Feb 2021, 7:42 pm

Russell will certainly target any positional weaknesses in the Welsh centres, but the question is whether Lang/Harris can capitalise if there's a half break opportunity on offer. Not much pace or dynamism there. Last weekend Harris' only note worthy contributions were losing composure and kicking out on the full, and giving away a penalty obstructing a player running back. That all said, our back three is very handy ball in hand and if those three see space we'll be fine.

I predict a Scotland win, but a Welsh losing bonus.

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Post by jimbopip Fri 12 Feb 2021, 7:47 pm

GC, the packs are balanced Headscratch
Not so sure actually.
Scotland's front row has the better scrummagers, and when the benches come on after 60 minutes Kebble and Nel will actually increase the disparity when faced with Jones and Brown.
AWJ has been a great leader for Wales but he is on the reverse slope and Ickle Jonny and Cummings will go into the match knowing that they can play themselves into the Lions reckoning. Warrior that he is, AWJ may just rouse himself to one more battle winning effort. I wouldn't bet against it but form says Scotland have the edge here.
Moriarty doesn't weaken the Wales back row too much: Blade has yet to fully convince in dark blue. Faletau may be too smart for young Fagerson. Tips v Hamish Scotland vs Wales (13th Feb, 4.45pm KO) - Page 3 1347041234 may well decide the match.

As for Toonie picking two defensively sound centres...how about this statistic from the BBC

They had the top five tacklers across the opening weekend - led by Justin Tipuric's 29.

Playing against 14 men they had the top 5 tacklers of the weekend!!!

My simplistic understanding of that is they kept kicking the ball to the Irish and defended for all they were worth. Toonie obviously intends to kick the ball back to them and hope to bore them into submission.

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Post by tigertattie Fri 12 Feb 2021, 8:07 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I think your centres will do ok against ours. I’m still expecting international teams to target Tompkins defensively and Scotland will be no different. I really am not looking forward to tomorrow. The only thing I can hope for, is that Wales will want a reaction from their no show in Llanelli. If we are close, then maybe players like Halaholo and Sheedy could make a big difference off the bench.

I want to see Toonie using DTH VDMk2 far more than forward coach cockers does at Edinburgh.

If we can get DTH hitting some lines in midfield against Watkins and Russell can pick out a pass to DTH we could really see some magic

I said last week that Scotland need to pin England back into their corners and that’s exactly what they did. Hopefully Toonie reads this post too and chucks DTH into midfield with Russell throwing some of his majestic passes
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Post by RiscaGame Sat 13 Feb 2021, 7:15 am

Yeah, I imagine that’ll happen a lot. He genuinely worries me having my teams face him, either for Edinburgh or Scotland. It makes perfect sense to get VDM running at Tompkins, knowing he likes to try and tackle high. VDM is hard to stop anyway, so our defence needs to be bang on today. Hopefully Melon Head has got them working on it, as I didn’t think it was overly great v Ireland with them making easy yards quite a few times.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sat 13 Feb 2021, 8:54 am

Game Day, looking forward to this one. Hope it's not like the last time we faced a "struggling" Wales!

Tight but I have to back the boys in blue to do this one. I think this is our year! Dark horses for life not just for autumn internationals!
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Post by The Oracle Sat 13 Feb 2021, 8:56 am

jimbopip wrote:GC, the packs are balanced Headscratch
Not so sure actually.
Scotland's front row has the better scrummagers, and when the benches come on after 60 minutes Kebble and Nel will actually increase the disparity when faced with Jones and Brown.
AWJ has been a great leader for Wales but he is on the reverse slope and Ickle Jonny and Cummings will go into the match knowing that they can play themselves into the Lions reckoning. Warrior that he is, AWJ may just rouse himself to one more battle winning effort. I wouldn't bet against it but form says Scotland have the edge here.
Moriarty doesn't weaken the Wales back row too much: Blade has yet to fully convince in dark blue. Faletau may be too smart for young Fagerson. Tips v Hamish Scotland vs Wales (13th Feb, 4.45pm KO) - Page 3 1347041234 may well decide the match.

As for Toonie picking two defensively sound centres...how about this statistic from the BBC

They had the top five tacklers across the opening weekend - led by Justin Tipuric's 29.

Playing against 14 men they had the top 5 tacklers of the weekend!!!

My simplistic understanding of that is they kept kicking the ball to the Irish and defended for all they were worth. Toonie obviously intends to kick the ball back to them and hope to bore them into submission.

On the face of the stats you would be forgiven for thinking that. But actually we didn’t kick too much from memory. We just turned over possession like I’ve never seen before! Seriously, it was a comedy of errors. I’ve genuinely never seen Wales make so many unforced errors. Knock ons, forward passes, stripped in the tackle a bazillion times, lost ball at the rucks, etc. (Edit: lost lineouts too. How could I forget the lost lineouts?! We’d get into the oppo half, get a lineout and get picked off. Every. Damn. Time). So we defended so much because we kept giving the the ball back to Ireland. Your back row could have a field day if we don’t sort that out! I’m hoping it was a sign of us coming to terms with a new style of play and being not quite up to speed. Certainly the offload game that we seemed to be trying led to a number of turnovers where we shipped on poor ball and either passed it forward or knocked it on as we weren’t used to doing those things at that pace. That’s my reading of it anyway. Hoping it will just take a bit of time to get us proficient at doing it international-level speed. At this level they’ve been used to more structure, taking contact, securing the ball, setting up the play, grinding away and then kicking long and infield when it’s no on, chase and defends, etc: (I.e. Gatlandball/Warrenball). Boring but relatively effective. But not the Pivac way as far as I can tell.


Last edited by The Oracle on Sat 13 Feb 2021, 9:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by The Oracle Sat 13 Feb 2021, 8:59 am

Reading the posts it sounds like this will be a battle of the least worst centres! Very Happy Maybe we can have a word with both coaches and suggest our respective teams just miss out the centres in any moves we do Smile They can just jog around the pitch generally keeping out of the game.
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