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The Calcutta Cup Saturday 5 Feb 2022

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Post by bsando Wed 19 Jan 2022, 7:10 pm

First topic message reminder :

Scotland vs England

BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Saturday 5th of February 2022
Kick Off 4:45pm

What the Coaches are saying

Gregor Townsend - "The players have been in outstanding form for their respective clubs.. and that is outstanding!" *tongue click*

Eddie Jones - "There are some young players getting an opportunity. They just need to make sure they don't get distracted or else they might not do so well."

Scotland Team

1. Sutherland 2. Turner 3. Z Fagerson
4. J Gray 5. Gilchrist
6. Ritchie 7. Watson 8. M Fagerson.
9. Price 10. Russell
12. Johnson 13. Harris
11. Van der Merwe 14. Graham
15. Hogg

Replacements: McInally, Schoeman, Nel, Skinner, M Bradbury, White, Kinghorn, Tuipulotu.

England Team

1. Genge 2. Cowan-Dickie 3. Sinckler
4. Itoje 5. Isiekwe
6. Ludlam 7. Curry (c) 8. Simmonds.
9. Youngs 10. Smith
12. Slade 13. Daly
11. Marchant 14. Malins
15. Steward

Replacements: George, Marler, Stuart, Ewels, Dombrandt, Randall, Ford, Nowell.


Last edited by bsando on Thu 03 Feb 2022, 3:12 pm; edited 5 times in total

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Post by lostinwales Thu 03 Feb 2022, 2:40 pm

Difficult to get a feeling that there are any significant size differences. England bench replacements are bigger than the Scottish bench. Of the starting front rows Fagerson is the biggest but the two English props are not far behind if you believe the starting weights from Wikipedia

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 03 Feb 2022, 2:59 pm

With Daly at 13, what are the betting odds Chris Harris is licking his chops running down the 13 channel?

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Post by king_carlos Thu 03 Feb 2022, 3:13 pm

Chris Harris can run?!

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 03 Feb 2022, 3:32 pm

doctor_grey wrote:With Daly at 13, what are the betting odds Chris Harris is licking his chops running down the 13 channel?  

Harris isn't a great runner...used to be good when he broke through at Falcons....but we sharp trained that out of him.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Thu 03 Feb 2022, 3:41 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:With Daly at 13, what are the betting odds Chris Harris is licking his chops running down the 13 channel?  

Harris isn't a great runner...used to be good when he broke through at Falcons....but we sharp trained that out of him.
I should imagine Daly is already giving his chocolate bar ration to someone else to cover that, but equally, as good as Harris is defensively, I doubt he is looking forward to Smith giving Daly the space to do his thing. If he comes up too quick and goes for man and ball, both Smith and Slade are experts at sliding through the gap or dribbling one in behind him.

As or course is Russell if Daly goes early
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Post by lostinwales Thu 03 Feb 2022, 3:56 pm

Average age and caps (15 starters only)
Scotland 27.7 37.5
England 26 30.1

England stats skewed because of old man Youngs

Bench stats
Scotland 27.3 18.5
England 27.1 36.6

Full squad
Scotland 27.5 30.9
England 26.4 32.4

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Post by Poorfour Thu 03 Feb 2022, 4:09 pm

lostinwales wrote:Average age and caps (15 starters only)
Scotland 27.7 37.5
England 26 30.1

England stats skewed because of old man Youngs

Bench stats
Scotland 27.3 18.5
England 27.1 36.6

Full squad
Scotland 27.5 30.9
England 26.4 32.4

Interesting. England's handful of old men make quite a big difference in what's otherwise a young squad. But Eddie clearly has eyes on this as his RWC group - if a similar group carries through to autumn 23, then they'll be about 28 and with around 40-50 caps on average, which is historically the right blend.
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Post by BamBam Thu 03 Feb 2022, 4:14 pm

Surely Eddie will thwart that by captaining another 20 players before then

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Post by Mcsweens Thu 03 Feb 2022, 4:17 pm

Feel a bit for Maitland, and Rowe, who I feel are unlucky not to get a wing berth ahead of Darcy.
Looking forward to seeing what White can do.
Bradbury unlucky not to start.

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Post by Mcsweens Thu 03 Feb 2022, 4:18 pm

Can't to see Tuipulotu unleashed in last the 20

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Post by hugehandoff Thu 03 Feb 2022, 4:19 pm

England topped the charts last year for penalties which completely undermined them in so many games. This will be key in the wet weather. So many offended especially our new captain. Fingers crossed they will improve in that area.

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Post by Gooseberry Thu 03 Feb 2022, 4:23 pm

Yeah that penalties issue seemed inexplicable and cant have escaped the leadership as a key thing to sort out. If things continue in the same vein then its really will put Scotland in the driving seat. On the plus side it might be harder to kick them in the rain, but the field position/possession given away hurts every bit as much as the points.

Thanks for the stats Lost, really noticeable how much of Englands experience is sat on the bench.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Thu 03 Feb 2022, 4:41 pm

Last years 6N brought a new generation of refs onto the scene. England's style from the previous year had not changed but they did get hammered on penalties where there seemed to be a different emphasis or interpretation applied by these refs.
England always get a SH ref for their away games and their general win/loss ratio is dire.

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Post by Sharkey06 Thu 03 Feb 2022, 4:49 pm

With a wet and windy evening likely, having a strong set piece will be important.  I expect the Scottish scrum to get the upper hand.  Both Genge and Sinckler have form for getting on the wrong side of the referee and giving away penalties - they are both more adept at carrying than scrummaging.

I also think England are a bit lightweight in the lineout. Although I am a big Simmonds fan, I think Dombrandt would have given the pack better balance.  He has multiple caps for Wales u20 as a second row and does do quite a lot of lineout work for Harlequins.  With Lood de Jager and 3 Du Preezs, Curry does little to no jumping for Sale.  In Ritchie, Scotland have one of the best backrow jumpers in the game (up there with Woki and O’Mahony).  There is a lot more to lineout jumping than just getting someone in the air.

At least playing for Sale, I don’t expect Curry to be giving away penalties….

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 03 Feb 2022, 5:04 pm

Scotland's game to lose I reckon, they look the better side on paper.

Can see the set piece being key with both England props iffy scrummagers and not many great jumpers in the line out. Simmonds should be nowhere near an International game...he's so underpowered in that pack.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 03 Feb 2022, 5:53 pm

It's a bit of a dogs breakfast that England side. On paper I'd say we probably edge this, and the bookies seem to agree. All of that, obviously, adds up to a resounding England win!!

Backrows and centres are very interesting. Not what I expected England to go with at all.

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Post by majesticimperialman Thu 03 Feb 2022, 6:05 pm

Giving the injuries England have at the moment i am pretty pleased with the England team for this game.

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Post by bsando Thu 03 Feb 2022, 6:24 pm

Simmonds at 8 may be a lighter option than Vunipola was, but Simmonds is a prolific try scorer. If England can get into the Scottish 22 regularly on Saturday it could be pretty brutal. I think it is a good England side and that they'll not be hanging around at scrum time much. I'll be expecting them to shift it quickly and put a lot of focus on finding gaps around the rucks rather than going wide into Chris Harris and Sam Johnson.

Scotland have a very settled selection. I'd like to think they can cause England some problems but they'll need to win the territory battle to do that. Discipline and a strong set piece will be key. England may have Simmonds but DVDM at close contact is equally effective. I'm hoping Scotland can improve their conversion rate this tournament after being fairly wasteful at times last year.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 03 Feb 2022, 6:26 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:It's a bit of a dogs breakfast that England side. On paper I'd say we probably edge this, and the bookies seem to agree. All of that, obviously, adds up to a resounding England win!!

Backrows and centres are very interesting. Not what I expected England to go with at all.

I think that speaks more to your unfamiliarity with the English squad than the quality of the team. Daly and Simmonds are a bit of a surprise, and Isiekwe is almost an enforced choice, but the rest of the squad is what Eddie has been building towards since the summer. I think most England fans are pretty happy with the selection. There's an element of the unknown, but there's also a coherent pattern and a lot of potential - sandwiched between the solidity of Youngs and Steward you've got five of the most exciting players in the Premiership.

The pack would be better with Lawes, but of the 13 players in the squad 11 are who we had been hoping to see.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 03 Feb 2022, 7:37 pm

I see, this is the team Eddie has been building towards is it?! Let me know when you sober up.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 03 Feb 2022, 7:46 pm

I'm sitting here much more satisfied with the backrow that when we were going with Lawes and Vunipola and A N Other. When Scotland have caused us issues it's the breakdown where we've constantly been second to the ball. These guys plus Isiekwe and Itoje should be great there. More confident of a positive result tbh.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 03 Feb 2022, 7:49 pm

bsando wrote:Simmonds at 8 may be a lighter option than Vunipola was, but Simmonds is a prolific try scorer. If England can get into the Scottish 22 regularly on Saturday it could be pretty brutal. I think it is a good England side and that they'll not be hanging around at scrum time much. I'll be expecting them to shift it quickly and put a lot of focus on finding gaps around the rucks rather than going wide into Chris Harris and Sam Johnson.
With try scoring records for forwards it's very important to consider their sides tactics I think. Thomas Waldrom also topped the try scorer lists a couple of seasons playing for Chiefs. Jonny Hill equaled Simmonds haul of 10 tries in 2019/20 to be equal 2nd on highest try scorers for the Premiership season as well.

So there definitely is a tactical element there. Chiefs pick and go a lot close to the line. It doesn't negate Simmonds being absolute fantastic in that pick and go game but is important to note I think.

Fringe defences as a whole tend to be a lot stronger at international level than club level too.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 03 Feb 2022, 8:02 pm

As a Scot, my big worry is Smith at 10 and the England back three, which does concern me. Our back three is superb in attack but in defence they will be challenged. Malins in particular is a terrific player, and clever, and whilst I see Marchant as a 13 (which is where I'd have picked him), he's a very good allround player. The England midfield are all footballers with a good kicking game, which given the conditions, could really work out. Last time England came here and won, in a storm, and Ford's kick was probably the decisive factor.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 03 Feb 2022, 8:12 pm

king_carlos wrote:
bsando wrote:Simmonds at 8 may be a lighter option than Vunipola was, but Simmonds is a prolific try scorer. If England can get into the Scottish 22 regularly on Saturday it could be pretty brutal. I think it is a good England side and that they'll not be hanging around at scrum time much. I'll be expecting them to shift it quickly and put a lot of focus on finding gaps around the rucks rather than going wide into Chris Harris and Sam Johnson.
With try scoring records for forwards it's very important to consider their sides tactics I think. Thomas Waldrom also topped the try scorer lists a couple of seasons playing for Chiefs. Jonny Hill equaled Simmonds haul of 10 tries in 2019/20 to be equal 2nd on highest try scorers for the Premiership season as well.

So there definitely is a tactical element there. Chiefs pick and go a lot close to the line. It doesn't negate Simmonds being absolute fantastic in that pick and go game but is important to note I think.

Fringe defences as a whole tend to be a lot stronger at international level than club level too.

Exactly KC, Simmonds has bagged a stack of tries of Exeter's dominant rolling maul. He does score in the wider channels too using his pace, but you tend to see less space in these areas in Int rugby.

I don't think he he adds a lot in the tight. He doesn't carry much in traffic and isn't dominant in defence.....

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Post by jimbopip Thu 03 Feb 2022, 8:12 pm

My big fear is Dancer gets injured early and the game becomes a shootout between Smith and Blarehorn.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 03 Feb 2022, 8:15 pm

Great to see Curry at captain though, will be a steep learning curve for him.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 03 Feb 2022, 8:22 pm

A lot of ball players in that England backline, enough to turn the game ugly for the opposition. I’m not sold on the centre partnership, but I could be wrong.

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Post by Armchairexpert Thu 03 Feb 2022, 8:35 pm

Slightly surprised to see Daly in there (and frankly a bit skeptical, but have not seen him play for a while), would rather have seen Marchant at 13 and Nowell on the wing.

Simmonds over Dombrandt is the other surprise for me. Clearly Jones is going for all out speed in the back row, can remember such a mobile back row, ever I think. So happy with that. Do hope Dombrandt gets on the field while Smith is still there though.

Finally very happy to see Isiekwe back, he is a big, athletic lump and could easily usurp Hill in my opinion. Could be just what we need, hope he goes well.

Bring it on

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Post by Poorfour Thu 03 Feb 2022, 8:41 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:I see, this is the team Eddie has been building towards is it?! Let me know when you sober up.

Charming.

In what way is it a dog’s breakfast, then?

I’ll concede that I’m not hugely keen on Ewels, and Isiekwe and Ludlam are there because of injuries, but the rest of the pack (and replacements) comprises 6 RWC Finalists, Will Stuart (who’s been a fixture since the RWC) and the two best 8s in the Premiership over the last 2 years.

Six of the back line were in the victory over SA in the autumn; I was expecting all of them to play if fit (and only Marchant isn’t in the position I’d prefer, but I’m biased). Daly’s in there because of the injury to Farrell but is a 50 cap international playing in a position he’s played for the Lions (and which is way better than having him at 15). Randall combined well with Smith over the summer. Ford is a better backup 10 than most country’s starters.

It’s an unfamiliar lineup, but that doesn’t make it a bad one.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 03 Feb 2022, 9:04 pm

Ludlam would have got a lot more caps if not for Underhill. Isiekwe was the latest big thing 4 years ago when only 18/19. He's still a baby at 23 but he's a big guy with a lot of miles for Saracens and Saints.

Agree that Simmonds won't smash over the line like Vunipola (or even Johnny Hill) does, but he's got that speed and low centre of gravity which means even if he's scoring from 2m he may have to do it by going around rather than through players. Going through players gets harder at international so he may do very well.

Scotland (rightly) have a love affair with Watson, and he's the same size.

I am very optimistic. Scotland don't have a size advantage at all. What they do have is a much more settled and experienced team, and they are at home. Quite understandable why that makes them favorites, but that England team is very pacy and looks built to attack.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 03 Feb 2022, 9:28 pm

Poorfour wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:I see, this is the team Eddie has been building towards is it?! Let me know when you sober up.

Charming.

In what way is it a dog’s breakfast, then?

2nd row lacks a proper lineout go to jumper. New back row combination, which is untested, partly because Jones has been doing silly things like playing Curry at 8 and ignoring Simmons and Dombrandt (who'd be a better starter in my view). Slade is rarely used at 12, and Eddie has ignored Daly at 13 consistently over the years. Now I personally think Daly is a 13, but I wouldn't pair him with Slade, and certainly not with an international rookie at 10 who is used to having giants at 8 and 12 to play off him. Marchant for me is a 13.

Don't get me wrong, all fine and exciting players individually, and I'm genuinely excited to see what Marcus Smith can do at this level, but I don't think the balance is right at all in this team in terms of skill sets.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 03 Feb 2022, 9:37 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:With Daly at 13, what are the betting odds Chris Harris is licking his chops running down the 13 channel?  

Harris isn't a great runner...used to be good when he broke through at Falcons....but we sharp trained that out of him.

Ha! Edinburgh spent years coaching attacking skills out of players!

I'm a late convert to Harris. I called for Huw Jones at 13 for yonks (still think hes he's great attacking player) but I have to admit that Harris balances out the backline nicely, and performs a key role in defence. We have decent attacking runners around him, and if Redpath keeps progressing at Bath we'll have a pretty handy option at 12 as well (Johnson is no slouch mind).

The big unknown is how all the new combinations in the England side gel against such a settled home side.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 03 Feb 2022, 9:50 pm

The way Harris fits absolutely perfectly in Tandy's defensive systems is a really interesting example of how much a teams tactics can influence our views of an individual player.

That's not meant to be a veiled criticism either. For his weaknesses in attack I really rate Harris. Prior to Tandy taking over he wasn't nearly as highly rated a player even amongst most Scotland fans though.

That very passive blitz Tandy has created which gives teams metres but very few clean breaks combined with good tactical kicking forcing sides to play in the areas Scotland want can be so effective when it's clicked though and Harris has been absolutely essential to it.

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Post by tigertattie Thu 03 Feb 2022, 10:22 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:With Daly at 13, what are the betting odds Chris Harris is licking his chops running down the 13 channel?  

Harris isn't a great runner...used to be good when he broke through at Falcons....but we sharp trained that out of him.

Ha! Edinburgh spent years coaching attacking skills out of players!

I'm a late convert to Harris. I called for Huw Jones at 13 for yonks (still think hes he's great attacking player) but I have to admit that Harris balances out the backline nicely, and performs a key role in defence. We have decent attacking runners around him, and if Redpath keeps progressing at Bath we'll have a pretty handy option at 12 as well (Johnson is no slouch mind).

The big unknown is how all the new combinations in the England side gel against such a settled home side.

Oh yes he is. When he does manage to make a break he looks like he’s running in treacle and get reeled back in pretty quickly.

Hopefully Redpath is our answer at 12 long term. I’m still a believer that Redpath and Harris or Johnson and Bennet/Hutchinson/Jones is a balanced centre pairing. Johnson and Harris combined is too blunt for me and we end up relying on dancer getting the ball out to our wings or Hogg
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Post by Mr Bounce Thu 03 Feb 2022, 10:39 pm

For all the talk about preferring Marchant at 13 and Daly on the wing, I fully expect that Jones will have instructed the pair of them to rotate positions regularly. He gave us the clue in the autumn when Tuilagi wore 14 but didn't play like a 14 and the little snippet about shirt numbers not mattering. Expecting Daly and getting Marchant and vice versa will keep the opponents guessing in theory.

There's probably method to Jones' madness...

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Post by NeilyBroon Fri 04 Feb 2022, 6:28 am

Maybe it's the typical sense of doom but I have a feeling England will sneak this one, as injuries may have been the shot of medicine EJs selection needed. Let's not forget how they performed in the autumn too, whereas we had a bit more of a mixed bag.

That's not to say we couldn't win but that's definitely an England team who could cause a lot of problems. It'll come down to the battle of the back 5s I think. Loose/second rows will decide this one. We may be more settled but that is an England pack that can cause us a lot of issues in the loose and at the breakdown.

Another thing that Jimbo mentioned which I think could really bite us is kinghorn as substitute 10. This is a line of Toonies thinking I cannot for the life of me understand, especially given how well Hastings has been going at Gloucester. Kinghorn has yet to make a truly consistent positive impact at international imo, and is definitely not an international 10. If I was EJ I'd be saying "they've only got one fly half boys, smash him off the park". Then we'll end up with a scenario like when we had Pete Horne playing there as an emergency.

Heart says Scotland will grind out a result, head says pressure is on us and that England squad looks pretty handy...

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Post by EST Fri 04 Feb 2022, 8:47 am

tigertattie wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:With Daly at 13, what are the betting odds Chris Harris is licking his chops running down the 13 channel?  

Harris isn't a great runner...used to be good when he broke through at Falcons....but we sharp trained that out of him.

Ha! Edinburgh spent years coaching attacking skills out of players!

I'm a late convert to Harris. I called for Huw Jones at 13 for yonks (still think hes he's great attacking player) but I have to admit that Harris balances out the backline nicely, and performs a key role in defence. We have decent attacking runners around him, and if Redpath keeps progressing at Bath we'll have a pretty handy option at 12 as well (Johnson is no slouch mind).

The big unknown is how all the new combinations in the England side gel against such a settled home side.

Oh yes he is. When he does manage to make a break he looks like he’s running in treacle and get reeled back in pretty quickly.

Hopefully Redpath is our answer at 12 long term. I’m still a believer that Redpath and Harris or Johnson and Bennet/Hutchinson/Jones is a balanced centre pairing. Johnson and Harris combined is too blunt for me and we end up relying on dancer getting the ball out to our wings or Hogg

I tend to agree with this Tattie, they're both very solid, workmanlike players - I don't think together they offer enough of a threat going forward.  I would rather we played a pure ball player at 12 (Redpath) with Harris, who could help bring our back three into the game, or Johnson/Redpath with Steyn, Bennett or Jones outside.  Given the importance of Harris to the defensive shape, the former seems the best mix.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 04 Feb 2022, 9:44 am

I'm a little shocked Sutherland, Turner, Fagerson & Harris are starting for them. Tuipulotu has been in great form recently. Also would have started with Bradbury, McInally & Schoeman as for me those are the form players at the moment.

That said he's got all of those guys on the bench so no doubt will make a big impact off the bench.

England's front 5 look good on paper. Backline is very young and inexperienced at this level. Granted they do have pace. Backlines look a little unmatched though. If Scotland get front foot ball I question if England can actually defend against those big ball carriers in the backline.

If England are going to stay in this the first 20 mins are key. If Scotland get ahead in the early exchanges I don't see England winning this. Even if they can get ahead or keep it close in scoreline I think Scotland will win this. What I will say it's going to be an excellent game to watch.

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Post by Poorfour Fri 04 Feb 2022, 9:58 am

For those with access to RugbyPass+, Ben Smith has done an interesting article on how England missed opportunities in the Boks game because they didn't understand Smith's game well enough. Slade tries to run down the same channel as Smith, not appreciating that Smith is going to step in and create space in the next channel along. Youngs passes to Hill when there's a walk in gap if the ball just goes to a back.

That's a danger for England, but as they start to learn his game better, England will exploit more of those chances. For the Scotland game, it may get very interesting in the last quarter, as Smith could well have Marchant, Dombrandt and Marler around him, plus Randall (who I thought combined really well with him over the summer).
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Post by jimbopip Fri 04 Feb 2022, 10:19 am

There's been a lot of analysis and comment here about the strengths and weaknesses of each side... oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah

It's the Six Nations Hug warning Run furious Anything can, and probably will, happen.

That England squad just might rip Scotland apart.

Toonie's 23 might play as sensibly and pragmatically as he wants them to.

What do we know? I think Scotland will go into this feeling confident and looking the most likely winners. warning We're doomed. Doomed I say.

One possible scenario is that with 15 to go Scotland are 10 points up and empty the bench. The replacement forwards bring lots of bulk and aggression, Shona goes to 13 nd runs through the English midfield repeatedly and King Blarehorn fills his boots.

There are other, more likely, scenarios but they just make me sad.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 04 Feb 2022, 11:48 am

Poorfour wrote:For those with access to RugbyPass+, Ben Smith has done an interesting article on how England missed opportunities in the Boks game because they didn't understand Smith's game well enough. Slade tries to run down the same channel as Smith, not appreciating that Smith is going to step in and create space in the next channel along. Youngs passes to Hill when there's a walk in gap if the ball just goes to a back.

That's a danger for England, but as they start to learn his game better, England will exploit more of those chances. For the Scotland game, it may get very interesting in the last quarter, as Smith could well have Marchant, Dombrandt and Marler around him, plus Randall (who I thought combined really well with him over the summer).

Part of that is learning how Smith plays but also Smith stamping his authority on the side. If you've got a better vision of the defence than the 9 (very likely at 10) then you've got to be screaming instructions at him. Quins don't tend to play like that with an awful lot going through Care, Youngs is more flexible in that he'll play to what his 10 wants.

Slade at 12 might also be a tough one because that's not his normal position so positionally he might need direction.

Smith certainly can do it and with some more confidence and experience from the AIs it's an area where I'm looking forward to him really developing into.

He certainly going to need to be in control when Randall comes on because Randall does run the game that well. He's an attacking firecracker but his kicking and control elements aren't great. Bristol use Uren for that style of game plan.

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Post by bsando Fri 04 Feb 2022, 12:28 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
bsando wrote:Simmonds at 8 may be a lighter option than Vunipola was, but Simmonds is a prolific try scorer. If England can get into the Scottish 22 regularly on Saturday it could be pretty brutal. I think it is a good England side and that they'll not be hanging around at scrum time much. I'll be expecting them to shift it quickly and put a lot of focus on finding gaps around the rucks rather than going wide into Chris Harris and Sam Johnson.
With try scoring records for forwards it's very important to consider their sides tactics I think. Thomas Waldrom also topped the try scorer lists a couple of seasons playing for Chiefs. Jonny Hill equaled Simmonds haul of 10 tries in 2019/20 to be equal 2nd on highest try scorers for the Premiership season as well.

So there definitely is a tactical element there. Chiefs pick and go a lot close to the line. It doesn't negate Simmonds being absolute fantastic in that pick and go game but is important to note I think.

Fringe defences as a whole tend to be a lot stronger at international level than club level too.

Exactly KC, Simmonds has bagged a stack of tries of Exeter's dominant rolling maul. He does score in the wider channels too using his pace, but you tend to see less space in these areas in Int rugby.

I don't think he he adds a lot in the tight. He doesn't carry much in traffic and isn't dominant in defence.....

Well I hope you’re both right The Calcutta Cup Saturday 5 Feb 2022 - Page 5 1f606

My point was if England are able to be 5m from Scotland’s line on numerous occasions tomorrow
I’m certain Simmonds will score. He poses a bigger threat than B Vunipola in my opinion. The weather will probably force England’s tactics tomorrow so my eye is on both packs in terms of trys being scored.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 04 Feb 2022, 12:40 pm

From close range Simmonds is undeniably lethal. That low centre of gravity, acceleration and if we're honest the strict tackle laws make him incredibly difficult to stop legally.

The long overdue clamp down on latchers binding to carrying forwards before contact has limited the effectiveness of some Exeter forwards in their pick and go game compared to usual. Simmonds remains just as effective though.

I just think it's important to note when solely taking tries scored as a metric that Exeter have built their tactics around using their lineout to get to the opposition 22, then using lots of pick and gos in quick succession to score. In international rugby penalty counts are usually lower, lineout and maul defence better, fringe defence stronger and flankers much better at punishing sides that pick and go lots as each one presents a breakdown to be targeted.

England's side looks built for a very high ball in play time. As such we may well see a wide range of tactics. Even with the weather up here in Edinburgh being so changeable the last couple of days I reckon it'll be fun game for the spectator.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Fri 04 Feb 2022, 1:33 pm

I look at England's backs, centres in particular, and think where's the beef? That's a backline crying out for a Manu (or has Tindall finally retired?).

Mind you, I look at the back row and think the same thing.

I guess England's speed might keep them away from any Scottish bully boys - play nicely lads.
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Post by lostinwales Fri 04 Feb 2022, 2:00 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:I look at England's backs, centres in particular, and think where's the beef? That's a backline crying out for a Manu (or has Tindall finally retired?).

Mind you, I look at the back row and think the same thing.

I guess England's speed might keep them away from any Scottish bully boys - play nicely lads.

Biggest back on the pitch will be Steward (no surprises there) Next biggest VDM - but other than him the Scottish back line and back row are not especially big

Weights from wiki so who knows - anyway
Johnson and Harris - 102 and 104kgs
Slade and Daly both 98kg

Graham and VDM 84 and 105kg
Malins and Marchant 88 and 89 kg

Hogg 93kg
Steward 107kg

Backrow
Ritchie Watson Fagerson 108 102 110 kg
Ludlam Curry Simmonds 111 110 103 kg

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 04 Feb 2022, 2:05 pm

I think people are looking at Simmonds and ignoring that Ludlam and Curry are both pretty big flankers, Curry playing at 7 is rarely going to be outweighed by his opposite number.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 04 Feb 2022, 2:16 pm

yes

Overall pack weights 903kg Scotland 913kg England

Of the starting 30 players Fagerson is heaviest, listed as 125kg. Of the 46 in total Stuart weighs in heaviest at 133kg

Lightest starting player is Smith at 82kg, of the total 46 Randall at 79kg

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 04 Feb 2022, 2:24 pm

lostinwales wrote:
Barney McGrew did it wrote:I look at England's backs, centres in particular, and think where's the beef? That's a backline crying out for a Manu (or has Tindall finally retired?).

Mind you, I look at the back row and think the same thing.

I guess England's speed might keep them away from any Scottish bully boys - play nicely lads.

Biggest back on the pitch will be Steward (no surprises there) Next biggest VDM - but other than him the Scottish back line and back row are not especially big

Weights from wiki so who knows - anyway
Johnson and Harris - 102 and 104kgs
Slade and Daly both 98kg

Graham and VDM 84 and 105kg
Malins and Marchant 88 and 89 kg

Hogg 93kg
Steward 107kg

Backrow
Ritchie Watson Fagerson 108 102 110 kg
Ludlam Curry Simmonds 111 110 103 kg

I know hes fairly tall but amazed Steward is average weight for a backrow in this game!

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Post by lostinwales Fri 04 Feb 2022, 2:29 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Barney McGrew did it wrote:I look at England's backs, centres in particular, and think where's the beef? That's a backline crying out for a Manu (or has Tindall finally retired?).

Mind you, I look at the back row and think the same thing.

I guess England's speed might keep them away from any Scottish bully boys - play nicely lads.

Biggest back on the pitch will be Steward (no surprises there) Next biggest VDM - but other than him the Scottish back line and back row are not especially big

Weights from wiki so who knows - anyway
Johnson and Harris - 102 and 104kgs
Slade and Daly both 98kg

Graham and VDM 84 and 105kg
Malins and Marchant 88 and 89 kg

Hogg 93kg
Steward 107kg

Backrow
Ritchie Watson Fagerson 108 102 110 kg
Ludlam Curry Simmonds 111 110 103 kg

I know hes fairly tall but amazed Steward is average weight for a backrow in this game!

Again down to Wiki but heights
Gilchrist and Isiekwe both 6'7'' (2.01m, I loves mixing up metric and imperial me)
Gray 6'61/2''
Itoje and Steward 6'5''

Back rows
Ludlam, Ritchie 6'4''
Fagerson, Watson and Curry all 6'1''
Simmonds 6'0''

VDM also listed as 6'4''

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 04 Feb 2022, 2:42 pm

I think one thing we can take to that is that weight alone doesnt directly equate to how physical and powerful into contact a player is. Build and actual straight up levels of aggression just as important. Conversely weight alone doesnt equate to how athletic and mobile a player is.

Think we can all agree though that the Scotlandish backs outpower the English ones as a unit.

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