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Scotland v Japan Saturday 20th November 2021

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TheMildlyFranticLlama
demosthenes
Old Man
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George Carlin
Highland Shaun
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Post by BigGee Mon 15 Nov 2021, 1:07 am

First topic message reminder :

Scotland v Japan
Saturday 20th November 2021

BT Murrayfield Stadium
Edinburgh

KO 13.00

Live on Amazon Prime


Well Scotland came back down to earth with a bit of a bump following our lesson from the Boks on saturday! Not much time to feel sorry for ourselves though and we quickly move on to the last game in the series against Japan, who in case anyone has forgotten, knocked us out of the world cup the last time we meet!

So lets not pretend that this one is going to be a gimme, despite the fact that the Japensese got well beaten by the Irish (who they also beat in Japan at the WC). The Japanese will be better for having had a tough game and will definitely see this as a scalp they can take.

So what kind of team do we put out for this game? Twist or stick?

I think personally that he has to mix it up a bit this week. A few players are three games in now, Price and Ritchie amongst them and a few in the squad are putting in a good case for some more game time. It would have been an easier call had we won the game against the Boks, but there is now a lot more imperative to win this game and we can't chuck to callow a team out there. It may be a question of trying some new starting combos and having our version of the bomb squad on the bench to be brought on later.

So maybe something like this:

1. Schoeman - I think he will start again as they will want him to build up his international experience prior to the 6N
2. McInally
3. Fagerson
4. Cummings - assuming he is fit and ready to go
5. Gilchrist
6. Bayliss - He deserves a start and Ritchie deserves a rest
7. Richardson - We need to try other understudies to Mish, who is maybe not completely fit himself
8. Haining
9. Price - a tricky one as he probably needs a rest as well, but not sure GH is really a starting option
10. Hastings - has not been called on to do much so far and deserves his chance
11. DVDM
12. Johnson - Scott did not make a compelling case to take over
13.Jones - would really like to see him have a start
14. Steyn - deserves his chance
15. Hogg


Subs:

Bhatti - though Hislop might be worth a shout
Turner - assuming he is fit, Ashman if not
Keeble - needs more time in the saddle at TH
Skinner - though I would like another look at Sykes
Crosbie
Dobie - needs a decent chunk of the second half this time.
Russell
Graham




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Post by jimbopip Thu 18 Nov 2021, 8:15 pm

One of the things that exercised my over wrought brain after Saturday's loss was who could we bring in to improve that side.
Sutherland, Cummings, Gray (Jonny), Sam Johnson, ADHD Kid. Possibly Redpath, but he's still 95% potential-5% performance.

Looking at the backs in this week's team that is, arguably a first team selection. In the pack; LH, one Lock, no 8 are all debatable but again it's very close to our strongest side.

If we don't thump a ring rusty Japan with that side then "proper soul searching" wont come close.

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Post by RDW Thu 18 Nov 2021, 9:43 pm

Bit of a shame to not see more rotation but he's clearly eyeing up the 6N.

It does make me feel a bit nervous about backup to some positions though, if you class 15+ caps as when players start to really find their feet.

Front row - we've got pretty good depth now, partoculaly at LH. TH not so much - will be interesting to see how Sebastian gets on as he's not exactly come with a glowing endorsement from those who have sseen him play.

Hooker - probably our strongest position with 3 players who could start and not see much difference. Ashman and Cherry are pretty good 4th and 5th choices too.

Lock - similarly good depth when everyone is fit.

Blindside - a problem position for me, as Ritchie has played the vast majority of games there. Haining has been given a run-out but we don't have an established alternative to Ritchie.

Openside - Ditto with Watson. Plenty options but all of them are very inexperienced

Number 8 - Fagerson has played most game this season, with Haining also getting a few. We do have other options but none of them have been regulars for Scotland

scrumhalf - lots of talent waiting in the wings but Price has played a huge % of the games in the last year. It doesn't seem like others are trusted just now

Stand off - Hastings' development at this level really needs taken up a notch but he's just not getting gametime. If Finn gets a longterm injury hastings is the man taking us through the 6N, but he's not getting a proper crack at it. Kinghorn's move to 10 hasn't helped the situation.

12 - another problem position as past Johnson we've not really seen anyone else get much of a crack

13 - Ditto Harris

11/14 - plenty depth here and a really exicting crop of players. Outside Dhuan and Darcy however we are a bit green.

15 - If Hogg is fit he will play every game, but that means we don't have an established backup, more just playes who can do a job.


Looking at that it's a shame we didn't see a bit of change on the flanks, and 9-13 really. Good to see Richardson and Bayliss involved but our backlin isn't going to see much in the way of new players getting time.

Hopefully the subs all come on early!

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Post by Old Man Thu 18 Nov 2021, 9:51 pm

It is a hard challenge to rotate players whilst retaining continuity in selection, I suspect most coaches attempt to rotate with a specific goal in mind of having the core as solid as possible and rotate around that.

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Post by BigGee Thu 18 Nov 2021, 10:00 pm

Well Toonie not holding back at all.

Just about our strongest avsilable team!

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Post by Highland Shaun Fri 19 Nov 2021, 12:23 am

I think the next couple to get debuts (either during 6N or possibly 2022 Summer Tour, am I right in saying we play USA in one?) will be Cammy Henderson and Rory Darge.

It's so good to have so much strength in depth and not need to worry about Mr Jones stealing the turncoat Bevan Rodd :P (please forgive my sarcasm, hence the tongue smiley, though it doesn't come up as the smiley, just the abbreviation).

I'm coming home from work at 1pm on Saturday so will watch the match as live late on lol (the beauty of Prime is that it stays up for ages).

My weekend would be excellent if: ICT beat Queen of the South, Cameron Norrie beats Djokovic (both tomorrow night) and we beat Japan Smile

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Post by Anglobraveheart Fri 19 Nov 2021, 9:47 am

Shaun, I love your optimism.
I have no idea about football, and despite wanting Norrie to be victorious, I think that he has little chance against Djokovic.
We should beat Japan, and should beat them by some margin. Fingers Crossed

WRT Henderson, he is a good prospect, and one of a many in the second row that we have coming through, but it is great to have so many developing.
I think Darge has a big future, and has the potential to be the next dynamic openside that we need. I just hope that his recent injury issue does not cause his career to stall.
Away from the forwards, I also hope that Redpath returns to fitness and form, and that HJ rediscovers his magic. Any perceived defensive failings of HJ could be ably helped by having Redpath as his centre partner, and for me would be the dream ticket centre partnership.
The unconventional side of me also thinks that there would be merit in some career positional changes, and I would love us to develop Scott Cummings as a No8, and Matt Fagerson at hooker. But I doubt that will ever happen.
It has worked for our previous hookers, but I think their positional changes (apart from McInally) were carried out much earlier in their careers.

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Post by jimbopip Fri 19 Nov 2021, 11:41 am

Anglo! We know Shaun is a novice on here but your gaslighting of him borders on the cruel.
Matt Fagerson hooker???
Cummings to 8!!
Whatever next? Blarehorn to 10?

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Post by Tramptastic Fri 19 Nov 2021, 12:25 pm

jimbopip wrote:Anglo! We know Shaun is a novice on here but your gaslighting of him borders on the cruel.
Matt Fagerson hooker???
Cummings to 8!!
Whatever next? Blarehorn to 10?

I always thought Bergamasco would make a great scrum half...

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Post by jimbopip Fri 19 Nov 2021, 1:05 pm

🤣
Matt Williams would have played him at 10. The Rev Murray at9

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Post by Tramptastic Fri 19 Nov 2021, 1:13 pm

jimbopip wrote:🤣
Matt Williams would have played him at 10. The Rev Murray at9

Retrospective time - Matt Williams had an appalling coaching record with Scotland BUT was he trying to drag Scotland in to professionalism and met resistance or was he just...awful?

(this was my early days of watching Scotland play rugby, between 12 and 14 years of age so my memory is incredibly hazy)

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Post by Anglobraveheart Fri 19 Nov 2021, 2:33 pm

Tramptastic, or was it the 2 litre bottles of white cider that caused the haziness?
Let's just be gentle with Shaun!, he's a newbie.
I do honestly think that MF could convert to hooker! If McInally can fo it, and he is a lot taller, and of a more slim build. I am sure MF could.
And Cummings has the hands and a bit of dog about him that we need at No8. He is no less mobile than Denton was.
It'll never happen, but I think it could work.

Matt Williams was dreadful.

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Post by jimbopip Fri 19 Nov 2021, 2:34 pm

Bit of both Trampas. His big plan was to create Fortress Murrayfield by only playing home based players. So if our first and second choice 7's, for example, were both first choice at Glasgow and the Luvvies then our back up would be the second choice at one of those clubs. So a player who wasn't getting a lot of gametime for his club but was good enough to feature for Scotland.
Hmm, King Blarehorn springs to mind.

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Post by RDW Fri 19 Nov 2021, 9:22 pm

Matt Williams is the devil

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Post by Anglobraveheart Fri 19 Nov 2021, 9:43 pm

RDW wrote:Matt Williams is the devil
clap clap clap
Brilliant. That's given me the best laugh this week.
Thank you RDW OK

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Post by RDW Fri 19 Nov 2021, 9:45 pm

I thought about a lengthy post but I think that got my point across far more succinctly!

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Post by majesticimperialman Fri 19 Nov 2021, 10:19 pm

Scotland v Japan,,, you would think that Scotland on paper would be favourites fort this game. But if you are a honest person who would of thought that Japan of beaten SouAfririca when they did.

In other words japan are the dark horeese in this game.

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Post by Old Man Fri 19 Nov 2021, 10:40 pm

Nah, Japan is struggling

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Post by tigertattie Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:57 am

Japan are dark horses in the same way as Scotland were dark horses in the 2000s

Japan are at best just above the PI teams. Capable of an upset (a La that win over SA) but no consistency (a La we beat them soon after)

They had their national team together playing as a club side for 12 months leading up to their World Cup. That kinda of prep is unheard of and caught teams out. Obviously this included us which was utterly fair play to them for putting in the effort. They won’t get anywhere near that level or organisation ever again unless they host another World Cup. While the World Cup undoubtedly gave Japanese rugby a boost this will either be short lived or take a good few years to fully bed in and give tangible benefits to their national team.

We should, with the team we’re putting out, win this game comfortably
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Post by BigGee Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:32 am

Just having a coffee in Edinburgh, can't wait for the match!

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Post by jimbopip Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:51 am

tigertattie wrote:Japan are dark horses in the same way as Scotland were dark horses in the 2000s

Japan are at best just above the PI teams. Capable of an upset (a La that win over SA) but no consistency (a La we beat them soon after)

They had their national team together playing as a club side for 12 months leading up to their World Cup. That kinda of prep is unheard of and caught teams out. Obviously this included us which was utterly fair play to them for putting in the effort. They won’t get anywhere near that level or organisation ever again unless they host another World Cup. While the World Cup undoubtedly gave Japanese rugby a boost this will either be short lived or take a good few years to fully bed in and give tangible benefits to their national team.  

We should, with the team we’re putting out, win this game comfortably

We're doomed. Doomed ah say. picard

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Post by tigertattie Sat 20 Nov 2021, 12:58 pm

Doomed indeed jimbo.

It’s all on Finn in my opinion. If he has another mare then he’ll be hooked pronto and we’ll manage to win.

If he’s on song then Japan could be looking at a 40 point loss

They deserve to get humped for their horrendous anthem alone. And yes, I’m aware that ours is a dirge
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Post by Old Man Sat 20 Nov 2021, 12:59 pm

Good luck boys

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Post by jimbopip Sat 20 Nov 2021, 1:06 pm

tigertattie wrote:Doomed indeed jimbo.

It’s all on Finn in my opinion. If he has another mare then he’ll be hooked pronto and we’ll manage to win.

If he’s on song then Japan could be looking at a 40 point loss

They deserve to get humped for their horrendous anthem alone. And yes, I’m aware that ours is a dirge

The NZ anthem is the worst in world rugby for me; the musical equivalent of Theresa May intoning her wildest erotic fantasies.

My nightmare today is Dancer and Johnson get injured early;

Blarehorn to 10 a monumental drop in qualiy
Harris to 12 the defence loses all shape
Hogg to 13 not half the player he is at 15
Hornito to 14 I can't begin to say what a waste that is, like Max Wall conducting the LSO.
ADHD Kid to 15 Not half as good as he is on the wing.

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Post by tigertattie Sat 20 Nov 2021, 1:09 pm

Sorry but as a former forward Duhan has no right to stand at the back of the rucks and pinch the try

Let us fatties get the close quarters glory
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Post by Old Man Sat 20 Nov 2021, 1:12 pm

Geez, so now tou use our backline players for forwards as well. Toonie must read the instructions on VDM.

"instructions manual: Use in open spaces.

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Post by tigertattie Sat 20 Nov 2021, 1:15 pm

Did Matt fagerson have a wee snooze there? Was just lying there for absolute no reason at all
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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Sat 20 Nov 2021, 1:24 pm

Harris is emptying people today!

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Post by tigertattie Sat 20 Nov 2021, 1:24 pm

So. This is a bit pish all on all …….
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Post by Old Man Sat 20 Nov 2021, 1:29 pm

excellent try by Hogg

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Post by The Oracle Sat 20 Nov 2021, 1:30 pm

Congrats to Hoggy clap
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Post by tigertattie Sat 20 Nov 2021, 2:06 pm

Russell really is the most inconsistent 10 in world rugby
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Post by tigertattie Sat 20 Nov 2021, 2:40 pm

Real lack of intensity from us.

We’ve played well for about 5 mins this game. Importantly those 5 mins resulted in scores for us but that’s it

Really really poor
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Post by tigertattie Sat 20 Nov 2021, 2:42 pm

Great captaincy from Hogg. Put Russell in his box and take the three points
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Post by jimbopip Sat 20 Nov 2021, 3:00 pm

tigertattie wrote:So. This is a bit pish all on all …….
Thanks Tigertattie, I had forgotten that communal urinary showering was an acceptable icebreaker at Morningside soirees.
As to the match..
Russell still not firing on all cylinders. His pass for ADHD's try was behind him forced him to check. A better defence might have nailed him.
Blarehorn contributed absolutely nothing. 
Harris put in some mighty hits but created very little. 
Still a win is a win.

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Post by BigGee Sat 20 Nov 2021, 4:19 pm

Just on train back to Glasgow, it was a bit of a muted game where we never really got going yet never looked like losing either.

4 games in 4 weeks is maybe a lot if the coach is not doing a lot of rotation, which Toonie wanted.

I still feel it may have been better to have mixed up the selection a bit morr than he did, a few others probably dederved their chance today.

Still Baylis has another decent game and Richardson looked pretty robust when he came on as well.

Cummings had a decent game and i was happy with Harris as MoM, i felt those tackles in the stand!

Not quite clicking though yet and the 6N team still likely needs a few tweaks

Enjoyable dsy in Edinburgh but happy to be heading back to Glasgow!

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Post by George Carlin Sat 20 Nov 2021, 5:12 pm

Didn’t manage to watch it - how did we play?

We still seem to be very sloppy which is not encouraging for the 6 Nations. England just beat the Boring Boks which will give them a real boost. Am getting fed to the teeth with the masturbatory hyperbole about Marcus Smith though. Yes, he looks decent but let’s give him a full international season before we hand over a knighthood.
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Post by Anglobraveheart Sat 20 Nov 2021, 5:53 pm

Have only seen the second half, and we were toothless in attack in the backs and penalty discipline was poor.
We need some creativity in the centres, either Steyn or McLean in the backs and Hastings as back up. Kinghorn is off form and needs to go back to club rugby and improve.
Up front we need Sutherland, Gray and Kebble. Sebastian looks too small, Ghilchrist was anonymous.
Too passive and lacking in line speed. We need some urgency, incisiveness and speed.
Apart from that, we were brilliant! Very Happy

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Post by Hazel Sapling Sat 20 Nov 2021, 11:07 pm

Watched the game this evening after France vs NZ. Bit of a let down really. Japan have fallen backwards and Scotland were fairly comfortable on the scoreboard playing poorly/in 2nd gear/thought they could just show up (I lack Jimbo's thesaurus for saying people took the game for granted).

Generally felt like players were not willing to take a hard carry and straighten the line, constantly trying to fling out wide too quickly. Overall I was really disappointed by Russell. I felt Russell was trying to do too much instead of controlling the play (7 phases was the longest attack). We have been successful by being better at holding the ball and we seemed to forget that lesson.

The back 5 of the pack was anonymous but special shout out to Gilchrist who I thought had a good AI's before that game. Maybe the stats will tell a different tale.

Will have to think about what has come out of the AI's for us. It was such a flat performance today, it is hard to be happy.

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Post by tigertattie Sat 20 Nov 2021, 11:36 pm

Dark horses you say?

Ok

Really though, next 6ns if we keep playing as we are the. We’ll be fighting it out with wales for the 5th spot (with Italy further back in 6th).

England will employ the “keep it in the fatties” tactic, or at least they should do, and will suffocate us to death.
Ireland will employ the intensity tactic and blow us off the park
France will employ the “which France will turn up” tactic and will turn up and sweep us aside.

France this week and Ireland last week were streets ahead of anything Scotland has produced recently. I don’t want to sound all private Fraser but unless Toonie has been keeping a whole lot back then we’re friar tucked come 6ns time
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Post by sensisball Sat 20 Nov 2021, 11:56 pm

Don't worry for our 6 N's opener Blairhorn will be starting at 13 before switching to lock and finishing off at 9.
Our bench tight head today is a chubby lad from the valleys, France have Demba Bamba.
Kind of sums up our lack of depth compared to Ireland, France and England.
It's going to be a very tough tournament for us this year.

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Post by RDW Sun 21 Nov 2021, 12:13 am

I actually think we played a bit better than has been suggested here but definitely was a flat performance. A big part of that was how Japan played - their ball retention without actually doing anything sucked the life out of the game a bit. Our defence was rarely tested however and held up well, with some great hits by Harris.

Hogg had a good game and Graham took his try very well - that was a scenario where his diminutive stature actually helped him compared to a bigger wing!

Pack was fine but the lineout is still not where it should be. That'll really cost us in the 6N if it doesn't improve. Bayliss was solid enough without really standing out. I'm not sure Sebastian is even close to being international class but fair play to him for missing the birth of his new baby for this game.

Backs were similarly flat but executed well a few times. Finn continues to be a frustration - I'd like him to be a bit less hail Mary when we have penalty advantages. Those plays are always high risk, but he plays 1%ers that'll never come off when a bit more organisation and thought could increase that to 10-20%.

3 out of 4 is a good return however and gives us something to build on. Our 6N rivals have massively stepped up their game again however, and we need to do the same!

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Post by Highland Shaun Sun 21 Nov 2021, 12:19 am

Winning when not at our best is a good thing imho, under previous coaches we would have lost to France (6N), Australia and Japan (AIs). I think the reason we are grinding out wins is on one man: Mr Steve Tandy.

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Post by bsando Sun 21 Nov 2021, 7:46 am

Good thoughts on the autumn series everyone, not much else to say really!

That was probably the flattest game of rugby I’ve watched at Murrayfield. Some of the penalties for not rolling away seemed to be timing issues by the players. It set a poor tone with the ref though and helped Japan remain in the game.

I really like how solid Harris and Johnson are as a centre partnership. However, that partnership clearly has limitations that a Redpath Harris combination will hopefully be able to improve on. Just a shame redpath has suffered so many injury setbacks since his wonder debut.

6N looks like it’ll be an especially tough tournament for Scotland. France will be out for blood, as will England. Beating Ireland away? And Wales at a packed millennium stadium? It’s feeling a lot less likely than it was at the start of the year.

If Scotland make it 3 wins or more that’ll be pretty impressive once again. I’m gearing up for a disappointing campaign though.

We need to see Russell firing at Racing 92 when he comes back into Scotland camp. His form has such an influence on how Scotland play and at some point in the coming years the coaches will need to start seriously considering Hastings as the go to player at fly half. Hastings is such a similar player to Ntamack. Very similar build and that characteristic slippery style. Hastings did a fine job in 2020 while Russell wasn’t involved. He should be getting more game time and sharing a bigger role than merely being a replacement most of the time. Scotland’s new attack coach worked with Ntamack at Toulouse and personally, if Russell isn’t playing well come January and Hastings is performing at Gloucester, I’d prefer to see Hastings starting with Russell on the bench.

As for some of the débutants, if they can go back to their respective clubs and lift their game it’ll create a selection headache for the coaches come January. Getting Gray and Sutherland back will be incredibly helpful in bolstering the pack. But it was good to see Gilco and Skinner perform well without Gray and Cummings, that was a big positive in terms of depth.

Big congrats to Hogg for his record try tally. I’m glad I was there to witness it and I was actually at the Millennium stadium for his debut where he DID score his first try (sadly disallowed due to lack of TMO like it is now). So there you go Very Happy

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Post by RDW Sun 21 Nov 2021, 8:48 am

Time for a 6N lookahead thread if someone wants to set it up!

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 21 Nov 2021, 8:53 am

George Carlin wrote:Didn’t manage to watch it - how did we play?

We still seem to be very sloppy which is not encouraging for the 6 Nations. England just beat the Boring Boks which will give them a real boost. Am getting fed to the teeth with the masturbatory hyperbole about Marcus Smith though. Yes, he looks decent but let’s give him a full international season before we hand over a knighthood.

Eh! How dare you knock the messiah! To be fair, Smith is making us a threat in attack again which deserves a heap of praise, we've been toothless for a while now.

Be careful on calling out the Boks for being boring (even though they are), they're a bit touchy on the matter....

Decent series if not spectacular for you guys. A win over Aus is impressive and I thought you held up well against the SA machine. You do seem to have marked time somewhat though.

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Post by RDW Sun 21 Nov 2021, 9:23 am

Oh a key point I forgot to make - our goal kicking stats were awful this series. That needs to improve significantly - our 6N rivals all have works class place kickers. With Russell we do not!

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Post by Hazel Sapling Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:43 am


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Post by George Carlin Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:47 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Didn’t manage to watch it - how did we play?

We still seem to be very sloppy which is not encouraging for the 6 Nations. England just beat the Boring Boks which will give them a real boost. Am getting fed to the teeth with the masturbatory hyperbole about Marcus Smith though. Yes, he looks decent but let’s give him a full international season before we hand over a knighthood.

Eh! How dare you knock the messiah! To be fair, Smith is making us a threat in attack again which deserves a heap of praise, we've been toothless for a while now.

Be careful on calling out the Boks for being boring (even though they are), they're a bit touchy on the matter....

Decent series if not spectacular for you guys. A win over Aus is impressive and I thought you held up well against the SA machine. You do seem to have marked time somewhat though.
It's been more scrappy doo and less controlled than we would have liked Pooly.

The old story remains true - we can beat anyone apart from NZ/SA on our day - the problem is that until we keep the levels of rabbit/headlamps down, we will keep forcing the game and hand the opposition points. True, we did try a number of different forward combinations but we will only really be a threat in this Six Nations if pretty much our entire first choice 23 remains uninjured.
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Post by jimbopip Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:50 am

George Carlin wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Didn’t manage to watch it - how did we play?

We still seem to be very sloppy which is not encouraging for the 6 Nations. England just beat the Boring Boks which will give them a real boost. Am getting fed to the teeth with the masturbatory hyperbole about Marcus Smith though. Yes, he looks decent but let’s give him a full international season before we hand over a knighthood.

Eh! How dare you knock the messiah! To be fair, Smith is making us a threat in attack again which deserves a heap of praise, we've been toothless for a while now.

Be careful on calling out the Boks for being boring (even though they are), they're a bit touchy on the matter....

Decent series if not spectacular for you guys. A win over Aus is impressive and I thought you held up well against the SA machine. You do seem to have marked time somewhat though.
It's been more scrappy doo and less controlled than we would have liked Pooly.

The old story remains true - we can beat anyone apart from NZ/SA on our day - the problem is that until we keep the levels of rabbit/headlamps down, we will keep forcing the game and hand the opposition points. True, we did try a number of different forward combinations but we will only really be a threat in this Six Nations if pretty much our entire first choice 23 remains uninjured.

The problem is Blare Kinghorn now seems to be 14 of that 23 Shocked at least in Toonie's mind.

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