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Scotland v Tonga Saturday 30th October 2021

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thefinalthistle
George Carlin
funnyExiledScot
bsando
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Highland Shaun
Anglobraveheart
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RDW
Hazel Sapling
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Scotland v Tonga Saturday 30th October 2021 - Page 3 Empty Scotland v Tonga Saturday 30th October 2021

Post by BigGee Sun 24 Oct 2021, 10:46 am

First topic message reminder :

Scotland v Tonga
Saturday 30th October 2021

BT Murrayfield Stadium
Edinburgh

KO 14.30
Live on Amazon Prime



Well an international for Scotland to make up for the cancelled matches this summer. We will be without our English and French based players, this match falling outside the window so it will be the opportunity to blood a few new guys and see if they look up to the pace of international rugby. It will also be the chance for the SRU to put a few quid back into its coffers after the lean times of the past few years. I am not normally in favour of playing four games in the autumn, but this time round, for the reasons mentioned, it is probably justifiable.


Tonga are unlikely to be at full strength either but those of us with medium term memories won't forget what Tonga did to Scotland in 2012, possibly the low point of a generally very low period for Scottish rugby and an event that cost Andy Robinson his job!

There is always the hint of a banana skin about a match like this with everything to lose and little to gain for Scotland. Tonga will no doubt turn up proud to represent their country and will be skillful and physical as always if probably more than a little bit under prepared.

Still our players need to be professional about this and especially those that have ambitions to develop their Scotland careers, this is their opportunity to show what they can do.

A decent win for Scotland is probably the only acceptable result for us here, so would expect a team with youngsters and uncapped players mixed with a few old hands to give it some steel. Maybe something like this:


1. Schoeman
2. Turner
3. Keeble
4. Gilchrist
5. Sykes
6. Ritchie
7. Darge
8. Fagerson M
9. Horne G - Probably should be Dobie as Georgie not playing well atm!
10. Thompson
11. Mclean
12. Johnson
13. Bennett
14. Steyn
15. Graham/Hoyland - I can't decide!

Subs

Bhatti
McInally
McCallam
Hodgson
Richardon
Dobie
Kinghorn
Tuipolotu

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Post by bsando Sat 30 Oct 2021, 7:47 pm

Wow that went well. Young Maclean certainly did well with his chances and seems to have a lot of energy and pace. Steyn is a classy player, injuries have prevented him getting more caps sooner but he seems to be making up for that lost time.

Big test next weekend against Aus, that’ll be a big step up. Can’t wait to see how the players get on and who will be starting on the wings.

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Post by BigGee Sat 30 Oct 2021, 7:58 pm

Steyn seems the heir apparent to Maitland, just does the basic stuff so well.

Yes he scored some tries in that match but watch his defence and kick chase. Mclean, who is no slouch in defence may have the flashier highlights reel but was given a lesson in what international coaches are looking for.

I can see Steyn and VDM starting next weekend on the wings. Graham showed no lack of guts or willingness but the big Glasgow winger went straight over him twice, which is a bit of a worry at this level.

Mclean is a rare talent though and he will certainly challenge for his place.

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Post by RDW Sat 30 Oct 2021, 9:39 pm

Good win! Looking forward to the highlights.

Btw Sutherland failed a late fitness test for Worcester.

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Post by quinsforever Sun 31 Oct 2021, 12:18 am

steyn and maclean v impressive. the win never in doubt.

will scotland (or any team this AI and 6N) be brave enough to give that much ball to their wings as opposed to kick bish bosh bash

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Post by RDW Sun 31 Oct 2021, 12:20 am

quinsforever wrote:steyn and maclean v impressive. the win never in doubt.

will scotland (or any team this AI and 6N) be brave enough to give that much ball to their wings as opposed to kick bish bosh bash

If any team will do it it's Scotland!

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Post by Hazel Sapling Sun 31 Oct 2021, 12:36 am

Like RDW, looking forward to seeing this on catch-up.

It is nice to be missing Sutherland, Berghan, J Gray/Cummings/Skinner/R Gray, Russell/Hastings, H Jones/Harris/Scott/Bennett, VDM and Hogg...and still put Tonga to the sword.

Fingers crossed for Sutherland next week as Australia and South Africa are going to be different propositions. Outside of perhaps Steyn or McLean, did anyone unexpected push for a place?


Last edited by Hazel Sapling on Sun 31 Oct 2021, 10:28 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RDW Sun 31 Oct 2021, 12:43 am

Well it's hard to learn too much from these kind of games - it was a real scratch Tonga side (putting it mildly!). As the old cliche goes though you can only play what's against you and it was a good runout for a lot of new players. That was the nucleus of the squad who were meant to be playing in the summer and they did well.

Player ratings

Schoeman - 7.5
Offered himself for carries, dominated the few scrums he had and scored a try. Good debut!

Turner - 7
Dynamic around the park as always

Fagerson - 6.5
Didn't overly stand out but part of a dominant scrum

Hodgeson - 8
Put in a huge Poopie. Will be interesting to see how he copes against the bigger boys and how much he fills out in the next few years.

Harley - 6.5
Not as standout as his other lock TBH plus got a yellow (which was harsh!)

Ritchie - 7.5
Good captains performance and a nice little offload too!

Watson - 6
Very much felt like an 'ease him back in gently' type 40 minutes!

Fagerson - 7
Willing carrier as always but again you're just left thinking he needs to offer more! IMO Haining offered much more.

Price - 7
Another solid captains performance, again easing back into regular gametime

Kinghorn - 8
He won't find many easier rides than he did here but he did well, with one bad pass. Made good decisions and his restarts were a huge weapon - it's almost worth having him in the team for those alone!

McLean - 9
Outstanding debut and light up the Murrayfield turf whenever he had the ball. VDM has competition!

Johnson - 6.5
Solid and dependable as always

Tuipolotu - 7
Another solid debut and straightened up the line well for Steyn's first

Steyn - 9
I think Biggee called him the heir apparent to Maitland and I think that's a pretty accurate conclusion after his display. Big, strong and fast plus knows how to score.

Graham - 6.5
Had his usual spark in attack but a couple of missed tackles make him very vulnerable as a last line of defence option.

Pick of the subs - Crosbie and Haining. Dobie didn't fine but Thompson struggled to get into the game. Nice inside pass for the last try though.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Sun 31 Oct 2021, 4:34 am

Hard to read too much into it, given how (understandably) poor Tonga were, but that will have ticked most boxes for Toonie I reckon.

Some very nice attacks of first phase ball for a few tries, and a good opportunity to look at the squad depth a bit.

McLean was obviously a big plus. He just looks electric whenever he gets the ball, and pretty much carried his club showings into the game here. Bigger tests await, but that's an exciting prospect right there. I was also really impressed with Steyn. Didn't have to do a huge amount for his tries (other than run and, for one of them, hand off a very weak/tired attempted tackle), but he was really busy around the park. His defence was solid, and his chasing from kicks excellent. There were at least two penalties won that I remember from him chasing hard and nailing the first-up tackle. With those two + VDM and Graham, Scotland have some really exciting quality and depth on the wings.

Elsewhere, Schoeman looked fine. I don't think many of us doubted that he's international quality, but it was good to see him in Scotland colours nonetheless. Kinghorn had a bit of a mixed bag, with the good outweighing the bad. I reckon there's the makings of a decent ten there, but still very much a work in progress. Place kicking also needs work. Thomsom did ok when he came on: solid if unspectacular. I thought Price quietly had a very good game. His box-kicking was very good, and he marshalled the team well. Seems to have really grown from the Lions tour.

Finally, shout-out to Ritchie, who seemed to be everywhere. Tackles, carries, turnovers, and even a wonderful back-of-the-hand pass that led to Haining's score. Seems a very natural leader, and I do wonder if he's Hoggy's natural successor as captain. Would like to see him given the Edinburgh captaincy sooner rather than later.

Tougher tests await, with the return of the English and French-based players. Will be interesting to see if any of the fringe players yesterday impressed Toonie enough to force their way into the reckoning.

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Post by Highland Shaun Sun 31 Oct 2021, 5:53 am

Looks like some tough sele decisions for Gregor next week, especially the wingers.

I also thought Blair played well at 10, but I'd expect Finn Russell or Adam Hastings to take the jersey next week.

Darcy was also good, he was looking to run from his full back position, which I was happy with as it meant no boring kick tennis, he took some hard hits but imho he wasn't afraid of these hits. I expect Hoggy to replace him next week, hopefully DG gets on the wing.

I presume the squad will be cut at the start of the week, I'm not sure who'll drop out though, one player it won't be is Pierre Schoeman.


I'm really excited about the future of our team Smile Smile Smile

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 01 Nov 2021, 10:15 am

Agree with RDW on the standout players. Both wingers were superb, and Hodgson at lock really impressed me as well.

Great to see us growing depth in some positions.

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