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Ireland v Scotland: Saturday 19th March @ 1645.

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 14 Mar 2022, 3:34 am

First topic message reminder :

I thought I'd be the one to start the match thread this week seeing as I haven't started one in a while and I'm trying to contribute to the forum more I'm future Wink.

Before this test, there is a massive Scottish Derby in the URC which I'm definitely going to watch, let's hope these pesky train drivers aren't causing mischief again lol.

Regarding Saturday, everyone knows we will need to be MUCH BETTER than we have been this tournament to have any chance so hopefully Stuart and Gregor are rallying the troops all week in training etc.

I keep saying this as its true but, our rough record HAS to come to an end one day so why can't this weekend be that day just as last year were the days our rotten record was finally broken at Twickenham and Stade Francais.

As for the team I'd go:

Schoeman
Turner
Z. Fagerson
Gray
Gilchrist
Darge
Watson
M. Fagerson
Price
Hastings
Graham
Johnson (though GT won't drop Harris as he's our best defender)
Bennett
Kinghorn
Hogg

I am struggling to pick the bench so I'll let you guys help me out there, I would put Harris there but that means dropping Steyn completely and expecting BK to go the full 80mins. The other thing I'm struggling with is, do I put in Nel or Dell and Christie or Bayliss because my plan was to go with the 5:3 split.

Anyway, I'm expecting a good, tight and open game , hopefully with less errors from both than we saw from the round 4 matches.

My prediction: Ever the optimist and bearing in mind my original point regarding hoodoos eventually being broken, I say Scotland by 2, coming from behind Very Happy.

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Post by tigertattie Thu 17 Mar 2022, 12:51 pm

Was worried that was going to happen lol.

Hopefully it gives Russell the kick he needs to get his game back on. Blairhorn though just doesn’t look like a 10 to me. But I’m a forward, what do I know.

Steyn is bloody lucky to still be there. He was rotten vs Italy.

Hastings must be livid though. 3 minute cameo is all he’s had this 6ns. You wouldn’t blame him if he went down the maitland route and told Gregor to naff off if he comes calling again.

Happy to see bayliss on the bench but fagerson better do some carrying this weekend. I want an 8 that’s and 8, not a 6 playing at 8 that only doesn’t tackle and ruck work on defence.
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Post by Mcsweens Thu 17 Mar 2022, 1:27 pm

Bloody Hell.

Kinghorn leaks 14-21 points a game at URC level, and has been carefully shielded by Blair to keep those numbers low. He's also going to have vdFlier in his coupon all day, which will be a novel experience for him.

At least it's a clear message to Finn, and Price and Sam J are on form. Thinking speculatively, Townsend may be trying to target Sexton's defence with Kinghorn's running game. Any other positives, or method, I can't see.


Last edited by Mcsweens on Thu 17 Mar 2022, 1:30 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Mcsweens Thu 17 Mar 2022, 1:29 pm

C'est magnifique, Monsieur Ville-Fin, mais ce n'est pas la guerre

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Post by Maine man Thu 17 Mar 2022, 1:56 pm

Ireland team named: Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD); Mack Hansen (Connacht), Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD), Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians), James Lowe (Leinster); Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College, capt), Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster); Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf), Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf); Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne), Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy); Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College, Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD),

Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere).

Replacements: Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch), Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians, Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers), Kieran Treadwell (Ulster/Ballymena), Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution), Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen), Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers).

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 17 Mar 2022, 2:46 pm

To me another tournament goes by when we fails to give adequate game time to players beyond the first 20 or so.
That may seem churlish but it is the Irish way to do well the year before a World Cup and disappoint at the World Cup.
You are bound to get injuries and you need cover that is both good enough and experienced enough.

Prop and 10 apart the cover in Ireland is good enough, however in most cases the cover is not experienced enough, at this level.
Missed opportunity

Until we realise that to do well in a World Cup you have to comprise in other internationals we will continue to come up short.

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Post by EWT Spoons Thu 17 Mar 2022, 2:52 pm

BigGee wrote:So our spy in the camp was correct, Kinghorn to start at FH, JG comes straight back into the row.

Bennett, White, Bayliss and Brown onto the bench, which will certainly improve it from last week.


Dropping Russell to the bench is of course the big call and one that could be career defining for Toonie. He clearly sees something that most fans don't with BK at 10, but pretty much everyone is also in agreement that Finn is not playing well atm and we are not even very sure if he is particularly bothered or even fit atm.

I guess it has got to be tried, if nothing else, Finn will now know he is not undroppable.

If it comes off, then Toonie is a coaching genius!

Never in doubt.  My old source unfortunately has dropped out of the squad, but my new source...is also out the squad, but is slightly involved.

I might be in a minority, but I watch Kinghorn every other week and I genuinely believe he has the skills to play 10.  I think he suffers from some bad press as he was inconsistent under Cockers, probably in part to the game plan Cockers played, and I think that colours some folks opinion of him.

Blair and Toonie (arguably two of our best halfbacks in the last couple of decades) both rate him highly in that position and with the greatest of respect to folk on social media/random fans I'm going to assume between them, they can spot a player better than I or your average fan can.  Kinghorn obviously is learning the role, but I don't recall him having a particularly poor performance at 10 at any time he's played there, for club or country, at least since he officially moved there.  More importantly perhaps is that he is brings something very different compared to our other options.

My only real criticism of his play is his love of a miss-pass, he tries them far too often.  It seems like someone has told him to do it once and he now tries it 2-3x at least per game.  Sometimes it works (which is probably exasperating the issue), sometimes it doesn’t.  Other than that, and his kicking from tee, which still needs work, he seems a more than capable 10

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Post by EWT Spoons Thu 17 Mar 2022, 2:53 pm

Mcsweens wrote:Bloody Hell.

Kinghorn leaks 14-21 points a game at URC level, and has been carefully shielded by Blair to keep those numbers low. He's also going to have vdFlier in his coupon all day, which will be a novel experience for him.

At least it's a clear message to Finn, and Price and Sam J are on form. Thinking speculatively, Townsend may be trying to target Sexton's defence with Kinghorn's running game. Any other positives, or method, I can't see.

I mean that's not even remotely true

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Post by BigGee Thu 17 Mar 2022, 3:06 pm

I am kind of eith EWT on this one

They hsve invested in BK so i think we got to try him in a real game, not Tonga nor 10 mins off the bench when the game has gone.

It is not as if Finn has been making himself undroppable, he has not been playing well and does indeed deserve to be benched. Kinghorn, i feel would almost certainly have started last week had it not been for his 'personal issue'

The only real mystery here is why Hastings, who has not done a lot wrong in a blue shirt, seems to have been discarded in the way he has?

Can we rely on Finn for the future? Is this just a Lions hsngover?

Either way we need some alternatives and more than one.

Let's judge Blairhorn fairly on his first proper start in the position, this performance is going to be more about potential than anything else.

We will see on saturday

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Post by Tramptastic Thu 17 Mar 2022, 3:07 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:
BigGee wrote:So our spy in the camp was correct, Kinghorn to start at FH, JG comes straight back into the row.

Bennett, White, Bayliss and Brown onto the bench, which will certainly improve it from last week.


Dropping Russell to the bench is of course the big call and one that could be career defining for Toonie. He clearly sees something that most fans don't with BK at 10, but pretty much everyone is also in agreement that Finn is not playing well atm and we are not even very sure if he is particularly bothered or even fit atm.

I guess it has got to be tried, if nothing else, Finn will now know he is not undroppable.

If it comes off, then Toonie is a coaching genius!

Never in doubt.  My old source unfortunately has dropped out of the squad, but my new source...is also out the squad, but is slightly involved.

I might be in a minority, but I watch Kinghorn every other week and I genuinely believe he has the skills to play 10.  I think he suffers from some bad press as he was inconsistent under Cockers, probably in part to the game plan Cockers played, and I think that colours some folks opinion of him.

Blair and Toonie (arguably two of our best halfbacks in the last couple of decades) both rate him highly in that position and with the greatest of respect to folk on social media/random fans I'm going to assume between them, they can spot a player better than I or your average fan can.  Kinghorn obviously is learning the role, but I don't recall him having a particularly poor performance at 10 at any time he's played there, for club or country, at least since he officially moved there.  More importantly perhaps is that he is brings something very different compared to our other options.

My only real criticism of his play is his love of a miss-pass, he tries them far too often.  It seems like someone has told him to do it once and he now tries it 2-3x at least per game.  Sometimes it works (which is probably exasperating the issue), sometimes it doesn’t.  Other than that, and his kicking from tee, which still needs work, he seems a more than capable 10

Can i guess your sources?

Bradbury for the dropped player... Hastings for the player who is still around the squad but not directly involved?

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Post by RDW Thu 17 Mar 2022, 3:17 pm

Ooft no pressure Blair. Of all the teams to try out Blair, Ireland ain't it - they'll be licking their lips at this.

I'm suspecting we'll be going all out attack nothing to lose here!

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Post by tigertattie Thu 17 Mar 2022, 3:18 pm

nahhhhhh

Was Col. Mustard in the study with the lead pipe!
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Post by RDW Thu 17 Mar 2022, 3:30 pm

Tramptastic wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:
BigGee wrote:So our spy in the camp was correct, Kinghorn to start at FH, JG comes straight back into the row.

Bennett, White, Bayliss and Brown onto the bench, which will certainly improve it from last week.


Dropping Russell to the bench is of course the big call and one that could be career defining for Toonie. He clearly sees something that most fans don't with BK at 10, but pretty much everyone is also in agreement that Finn is not playing well atm and we are not even very sure if he is particularly bothered or even fit atm.

I guess it has got to be tried, if nothing else, Finn will now know he is not undroppable.

If it comes off, then Toonie is a coaching genius!

Never in doubt.  My old source unfortunately has dropped out of the squad, but my new source...is also out the squad, but is slightly involved.

I might be in a minority, but I watch Kinghorn every other week and I genuinely believe he has the skills to play 10.  I think he suffers from some bad press as he was inconsistent under Cockers, probably in part to the game plan Cockers played, and I think that colours some folks opinion of him.

Blair and Toonie (arguably two of our best halfbacks in the last couple of decades) both rate him highly in that position and with the greatest of respect to folk on social media/random fans I'm going to assume between them, they can spot a player better than I or your average fan can.  Kinghorn obviously is learning the role, but I don't recall him having a particularly poor performance at 10 at any time he's played there, for club or country, at least since he officially moved there.  More importantly perhaps is that he is brings something very different compared to our other options.

My only real criticism of his play is his love of a miss-pass, he tries them far too often.  It seems like someone has told him to do it once and he now tries it 2-3x at least per game.  Sometimes it works (which is probably exasperating the issue), sometimes it doesn’t.  Other than that, and his kicking from tee, which still needs work, he seems a more than capable 10

Can i guess your sources?

Bradbury for the dropped player... Hastings for the player who is still around the squad but not directly involved?

I reckon Dave Cherry....or Mcinally

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 17 Mar 2022, 3:38 pm

Cant blame Scotland for dropping Russell. Dont think he has had a great campaign. He isnt the player I thought he would be by now. Way too casual in big games.

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Post by jimbopip Thu 17 Mar 2022, 4:12 pm

I reckon all this hunting for the mole is a fine example of displacement activity.
Here's the reality; either a new star will be lighting up the Dublin sky tomorrow evening or there will be a weeping a wailing just like the last time Long Shot kick de bucket. Oh the weeping and the wailing!

One thing I really like about recent Ireland sides is their ability to find and play fast, dynamic, athletic big laddies like; Ryan, Byrne and Doris. Speed and size, like a Volvo XC 90, or some other FESmobile (paid for and nominally owned by the domestic staff's pension fund). Toonie has decided to go with GG and Ickle Jonny. Both have the acceleration and cornering speed of a third hand Ford Transit which no-one will admit to owning lest they have to pay to have the clamp removed.

In order to win Scotland need to; front up to the Irish pack both at the set piece and in the loose, slow down Irish ball at the break down, stop Ringrose creating space for their back three, SCORE whenever we get the chance.
Our front five have a bit of "see you, ya bam" about them and shouldn't get bullied, they should be competitive at scrum time, but that may well depend on which side of bed the ref gets out of on Saturday morning.
Our back row is very mobile and has the potential to mess up the Irish breakdown bigtime. Again though, the ref's interpretation of the Laws may matter more than anything the players actually do. On current form they could win eight or nine turnovers between the three of them. On current form that is about four less than the penalties Scotland will concede.
If Scotland do get turnover ball then Blarehorn has real pace and can attack a gap. I am hoping that Toonie will have tweaked the gameplan to allow the halfbacks to run at the Irish defence occasionally.
Johnson and The Undroppable should be secure enough defensively. If Aki and Johnson have one of their matches where they just keep running into each other ad nauseum then possibly Damish could tilt the balance in Scotland's favour.
I'm talking us up here because we're doomed. Doomed i say. Doomed.

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Post by EST Thu 17 Mar 2022, 4:38 pm

Toonie has put the Tombola into overdrive for this one. I suspected we would see Kinghorn at 10, but I just don't buy the idea that it's a good idea. Like others, i'm not averse to Finn being dropped, but can't for the life of me understand what Hastings has done to merit the treatment he's getting. On Kinghorn, I understand there is a drive by Blair and Toonie to convert him to 10 - fair enough, given time I'm sure he can make it a success, but he will have never experienced anything close to the pressure he's going to face on Saturday - it smacks of desperation.

There is a general theme of knee-jerk reactions by Toonie over this 6N - Tuipuloto, Johnson, Vellacott, Bradbury, Hastings. McInally all in, out or back in again after one or two appearances - perhaps it's not the players, but the system and atmosphere they are operating in. Now that i'm in full private Fraser mode, I really do think we're going to find ourselves on the end of a hiding on Saturday.

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Post by EWT Spoons Thu 17 Mar 2022, 4:44 pm

I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but personally I think one of the biggest issues we have faced this year is losing Blair (Mike). Blair has been Toonie’s right hand man for a number of years, helping him with attack coaching, skills etc.

Losing Blair to Edinburgh, has been brilliant for Edinburgh, but has robbed Scotland of a key coach and I’m not sure the new attack coach has filled the void, yet.

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Post by RDW Thu 17 Mar 2022, 4:45 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but personally I think one of the biggest issues we have faced this year is losing Blair (Mike).  Blair has been Toonie’s right hand man for a number of years, helping him with attack coaching, skills etc.

Losing Blair to Edinburgh, has been brilliant for Edinburgh, but has robbed Scotland of a key coach and I’m not sure the new attack coach has filled the void, yet.

A fair point - our attack certainly hasn't been what it was last season.

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Post by EST Thu 17 Mar 2022, 4:55 pm

RDW wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but personally I think one of the biggest issues we have faced this year is losing Blair (Mike).  Blair has been Toonie’s right hand man for a number of years, helping him with attack coaching, skills etc.

Losing Blair to Edinburgh, has been brilliant for Edinburgh, but has robbed Scotland of a key coach and I’m not sure the new attack coach has filled the void, yet.

A fair point - our attack certainly hasn't been what it was last season.

Good point, AB Zondagh came with a glowing reputation, but whatever he is trying to implement certainly isn't working.

On a lighter note, I'm heading over to Dublin for this one - Paddy's day bank holiday, Ireland going for the Championship, lads reunion after two years apart....what could go wrong!

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Post by jimbopip Thu 17 Mar 2022, 4:58 pm

EST wrote:
RDW wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but personally I think one of the biggest issues we have faced this year is losing Blair (Mike).  Blair has been Toonie’s right hand man for a number of years, helping him with attack coaching, skills etc.

Losing Blair to Edinburgh, has been brilliant for Edinburgh, but has robbed Scotland of a key coach and I’m not sure the new attack coach has filled the void, yet.

A fair point - our attack certainly hasn't been what it was last season.

Good point, AB Zondagh came with a glowing reputation, but whatever he is trying to implement certainly isn't working.

On a lighter note, I'm heading over to Dublin for this one - Paddy's day bank holiday, Ireland going for the Championship, lads reunion after two years apart....what could go wrong!
Ask Gee. Don't get on a tram full of Italian pickpockets and don't pee in the Trevi fountain. Oh and if you catch a socially transmitted infection it's Covid. Got it?

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Post by EST Thu 17 Mar 2022, 5:03 pm

jimbopip wrote:
EST wrote:
RDW wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but personally I think one of the biggest issues we have faced this year is losing Blair (Mike).  Blair has been Toonie’s right hand man for a number of years, helping him with attack coaching, skills etc.

Losing Blair to Edinburgh, has been brilliant for Edinburgh, but has robbed Scotland of a key coach and I’m not sure the new attack coach has filled the void, yet.

A fair point - our attack certainly hasn't been what it was last season.

Good point, AB Zondagh came with a glowing reputation, but whatever he is trying to implement certainly isn't working.

On a lighter note, I'm heading over to Dublin for this one - Paddy's day bank holiday, Ireland going for the Championship, lads reunion after two years apart....what could go wrong!
Ask Gee. Don't get on a tram full of Italian pickpockets and don't pee in the Trevi fountain. Oh and if you catch a socially transmitted infection it's Covid. Got it?

Roger that......Thats the party line, and i'm sticking to it Jim.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 17 Mar 2022, 5:32 pm

Russell deserves to be dropped.

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Post by Unclear Thu 17 Mar 2022, 6:27 pm

Initially I thought Eddie Jones must have stolen the tombola, but appears unlikely or at least it was replaced pretty rapidly.

I've never seen whatever a series of Scottish coaches and lots of Scottish fans see in Kinghorn, in any position. Decent at club level, but not an international. Obviously I have as much experience as a rugby coach as Jimbo has in diplomatic service.

I agree with Geoff and feel we have a missed another opportunity in widening the experience of the Irish squad members. Timoney, or Pendergast, or Coombes to comer into the back row. Carberry starting with Sexton closing out the game. Henshaw and Hume in the centres (or Frawley/Osborne and Ringrose). Lowry starting at FB again, or at least on the bench. I know this amount of change was never going to happen but we are danger of going into a RWC with a great 23, but very inexperienced cover outside that.

Not wishing to spoil the overall gloom, doom and despondency on the Scottish side I'll say Ireland by 20:boxing:kiss

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 17 Mar 2022, 6:33 pm

Lowry should have been given more game time.
Baloucoune getting no game time is a joke

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Post by bsando Thu 17 Mar 2022, 6:52 pm

This will be a great test for Kinghorn under extreme pressure. He's had a couple of go's from the bench and created a very nice try against France (albiet the game was well and truly gone). He does attack very well and he is a similar height and frame to LRZ, being slightly taller and heavier actually according to wiki. Sexton is much more experienced and has the full force of the Irish pack in front of him, but he's got (wait for this..) 11 more years on earth over Kinghorn!

It feels a bit mad from a Scottish point of view, but Kinghorn isn't a rookie like Marcus Smith. He's got more international experience, he's played in a variety of positions for Edinburgh and Scotland. Scotland are not blessed with the players that France, England and NZ can choose from. So I see the merit in allowing more mistakes, than other more well stocked rugby nations would deem acceptable for a player to make, to potentially bring on a rare, talented Scottish player. And looking ahead to the RWC it is really now or never for Kinghorn as a fly half.

So despite my initial disgust I am starting to feel more at home with this selection from Toonie, even if we do lose. The level of performance has to be good though. Not just from Kinghorn but from the whole team. Scotland need to be right in it come the final ten minutes and not chasing an impossible scoreline.

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Post by Heuer27 Thu 17 Mar 2022, 7:33 pm

he is a similar height and frame to LRZ, being slightly taller and heavier actually according to wiki.

I know Kinghorn’s dad. He was telling me that Blair under states his height and weight. Officially he is about 6’4 -5 not sure what his weight is. In reality he’s around 6’6 and was over 17st last season. He’s lost some weight but he’s a big old unit. He is a bit self conscious about his stats hence the under reporting. For such a big guy though his defence is not good enough. He should be smashing folk but rarely does. Shame as it’s the only thing that stops him being a top drawer international.

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Post by TJ Thu 17 Mar 2022, 7:35 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:
I might be in a minority, but I watch Kinghorn every other week and I genuinely believe he has the skills to play 10.  

I'm with you. I think him a far better player than Hastings. Hastings hesitates, runs up blind alleys and gets turned over far too often. who else?

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Post by TJ Thu 17 Mar 2022, 7:37 pm

WTF is going on with Finn tho? He has not been good this series at all but was playing really well for Racing. Something is badly off in the camp

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Post by tigertattie Thu 17 Mar 2022, 9:24 pm

TJ wrote:WTF is going on with Finn tho?  He has not been good this series at all but was playing really well for Racing.  Something is badly off in the camp

I don’t think he’s buying into the tactics.

Toonie has gone with a tactical kicking plan to play territory and rely on defence to pressure mistakes from the opposition. Dancer isn’t a defensive player and wants to run and pass the ball.

She. We’ve been playing well and winning our tactical kicking was on point and we were kicking a lot. Recently we’ve hardly kicked much and against France Finn put in two very bad kicks early on, one leading to a try. I think he’s then taken the decision not to kick the rest of the game but the rest of the team wasn’t prepared for this.

This is why I think he’s been dropped. He needs to get back on the same page or he’ll be in the wilderness while Toonie is in play.

The spat they had last time round looks like it hasn’t quite been resolved.
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Post by BigGee Thu 17 Mar 2022, 10:32 pm

https://www.theoffsideline.com/ireland-v-scotland-townsend-gambles-on-the-blair-switch-project/


The Blair Switch Project - Got to love their script writer!

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Post by bsando Thu 17 Mar 2022, 10:52 pm

Spoiler! That film didn’t have a happy ending

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Post by tigertattie Thu 17 Mar 2022, 11:49 pm

bsando wrote:Spoiler! That film didn’t have a happy ending

Don’t. I went to the cinema to watch that and it was one of the worst things I’ve every seen in my puff
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Post by Highland Shaun Fri 18 Mar 2022, 12:19 am

I saw a comment on the Facebook thread put up by Scottish Rugby with the team picture/announcement saying they hope we lose heavily just so GT gets sacked. What a ridiculous statement because in no way is he getting sacked before the world cup, unless Mr Dodson is an idiot or sees a better alternative.

I'm still optimistic about Saturday lol Very Happy

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 18 Mar 2022, 1:25 am

tigertattie wrote:
TJ wrote:WTF is going on with Finn tho?  He has not been good this series at all but was playing really well for Racing.  Something is badly off in the camp

I don’t think he’s buying into the tactics.

Toonie has gone with a tactical kicking plan to play territory and rely on defence to pressure mistakes from the opposition. Dancer isn’t a defensive player and wants to run and pass the ball.

She. We’ve been playing well and winning our tactical kicking was on point and we were kicking a lot. Recently we’ve hardly kicked much and against France Finn put in two very bad kicks early on, one leading to a try. I think he’s then taken the decision not to kick the rest of the game but the rest of the team wasn’t prepared for this.

This is why I think he’s been dropped. He needs to get back on the same page or he’ll be in the wilderness while Toonie is in play.

The spat they had last time round looks like it hasn’t quite been resolved.

If you dont play to the game plan you shouldnt be in the squad.

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Post by TJ Fri 18 Mar 2022, 6:15 am

Collapse2005 wrote:

If you dont play to the game plan you shouldnt be in the squad.

You could also put that as " If you cannot build a game plan to suit the players we have then you should not be the coach"

Scotland do not have a lot of real depth tho better than it used to be but we certainly do not have the luxury of picking a game plan then picking the players to suit. the game plan should reflect the players we have and be designed to get the best out of them. I hold townsend responsible for wasting the last 4 years of the best group of players we have ever had. We are playing well below our potential and the blame for that stops with the coaching team.

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Post by Tramptastic Fri 18 Mar 2022, 8:48 am

Nobody should be undroppable - evidenced by our lack of depth at 10 and Townsends disregard for Hastings. If you think Russell is bad for forcing a game when its not on, Hastings is on a whole different level of insanity - the difference being Russells desperate plays can sometimes work, Hastings rarely do.

If Russell has been dropped to the bench it's because something isn't working. Possibly the forwards haven't been up to scratch this tournament (They do seem a bit lacklustre and stodgy) but Russell has, post-england match, imploded a bit more and ditched the kicking game. What we do know is Scotlands kicking game is actually incredibly good, over the past 2-3 seasons Russell, Hogg and Price have played such a varied kicking game that the defending backline is all bent out of shape and tries are easy to come by (this is where Russell gets reaaaaal flashy). What is maddening is Russell is clearly smart enough to realise this gameplan works, talented enough to implement it and casual enough to crack on to the next job when it doesn't work the first time.

So why has it all gone so wrong this season?

Several reasons why talented players suddenly change tac/lose form may include (but not limited to):

1) personal issues off field - we don't know about any family, relationship or mental health issues that Russell may be dealing with

2) relationship with the coaching staff - Russells relationship with townsend has officially been mended but they may still grate on occasion. Also, as mentioned, new skills/attack coach bedding in.

3) fitness issues - Russell is in his late 20s. I have kept myself fit since my mid 20s but after a decade of amateur rugby I started to feel my body creek a bit in my later 20s. As a result i've had to do a lot of extras to keep going. We all know russell is VERY laid back w.r.t diet/fitness so maybe his body is finally saying "this isn't on, i can't keep eating 5 guys and not doing any proper warm ups/fitness work/physio work/all the boring stuff we hate". Due to Russell not having the body of a golden god the media seem focused on this. May be true, may not be true but in comparison, Sexton is 37 and somehow is going to be playing at the 2023 world cup. That man clearly does all the extra boring physical stuff.

For the record, i don't think its all Russells fault. Scotland have been terrible since the autumn and this has carried through. England were abject and all we had to do was turn up. Wales were awful and we got beat. France were genuinely fantastic and we looked up for the game until we imploded just before half time.

We play a territorial, kicking based game which is hidden behind some outstanding tries when the defence inevitably breaks down. It's actually very all blackish from the last decade (they always manipulate defenses through a kicking game before scoring beaut tries) but the difference is we haven't held on to the kicking game long enough to break teams down before trying to play through them which results in an incredibly boring and frustrating game to watch.

Lack of form from key personnel, different attacking coaching staff and some key injuries have resulted in this six nations being an absolute flop. Big questions to be asked, we've got a summer tour, an autumn series and one more six nations before the world cup. I wouldnt sack townsend now unless he's lost the changing room. If the players are on side then he's got quite a few games to work on alternatives to Russell.


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Post by tigertattie Fri 18 Mar 2022, 8:48 am

Highland Shaun wrote:I saw a comment on the Facebook thread put up by Scottish Rugby with the team picture/announcement saying they hope we lose heavily just so GT gets sacked. What a ridiculous statement because in no way is he getting sacked before the world cup,  unless Mr Dodson is an idiot or sees a better alternative.

I'm still optimistic about Saturday lol Very Happy

Crikey. It’s the 6ns. You want the team so win every game. Wanting your team to lose to suit and agenda is monstrous and someone wanting that isn’t a fan but, as auntie Jean would have said “a blaw”
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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 18 Mar 2022, 9:23 am

I don’t know he could be in good? company

Wayne Pivac and Eddie Jones have made a Horlick of their campaigns as well
They could go arm in arm to the dole office Very Happy

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Post by NeilyBroon Fri 18 Mar 2022, 9:56 am

Think you're a touch harsh on Hastings tramptastic, he did a great job filling in for Russell when him and Toonie had a lovers quarrel. Even if not Hastings, we should be looking to develop Thompson, who looks very composed for a young FH.

Kinghorn should be there in a pinch, not as a second choice. I'd say even Hogg does a better job covering FH. The kicking game for BK is just not up to scratch for international rugby. It would surely be more beneficial to us to look at our out and out flyhalves.

It reminds me of when our only adequate cover for fly half was Pete Horne, a very intelligent and underrated player but just not quite good enough at FH. We now have decent options who are fly halves so it seems foolhardy not to have given them a chance this tournament. Remember when cotter picked strokosch and left out big Jim and the uproar that caused? This is essentially the same except in the backs.

As for what's gone wrong for Scotland as a whole, could be bedding in of attack coach but no team just collapses at the introduction of a new coach. I personally think Toonie has lost a lot of player buy-in because he has fallen into the favourites trap that a lot of coaches do for the sake of "consistency". Unfortunately for Scotland that has meant criminal underutilisation of the bench. What's the point of having 23 players if you won't bring the spare 8 on even if we're playing poorly? They go on about BK becoming Scotland's world class fly half yet have given him maybe 15 minutes time out of 4 games? Now they're starting him in one of the toughest away fixtures that Scotland have had over the last 20 years. That is mental. When we were 23 points ahead in Rome that was a good opportunity to freshen things up. Nope. 5 minutes from the end when Italy had us on the ropes. Vellacott looked very sharp in that 5 minutes but of course didn't have his opportunity to nail the bench spot, which is ridiculous as imagine that play for 20 minutes and how Hastings was supposed to look anything other than average in that time I don't know. Any momentum Italy managed to get from our tired players might have been nullified by an invigorated Scotland attack if we had got the bench on earlier.

I think yes our player form is poor, but the tactical decisions and baffling selections have been the real killer.

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Post by RDW Fri 18 Mar 2022, 10:20 am

I actually reckon Scotland will surprise us and put in a decent performance. Remember the cycle of Scottish rugby mediocrity - we're in the 'nothing to play for so actually play well and therefore think we're developing' stage.

I can see us trying to disrupt Ireland and not let them settle - clever line out plays, chips over the top and grubbers, quick taps etc. It will prove fruitless in the end. Can see it being a pretty high scoring game - 35-20 or something like that.

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Post by NeilyBroon Fri 18 Mar 2022, 10:27 am

I reckon Ireland have our number. 40-10

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Post by Tramptastic Fri 18 Mar 2022, 10:28 am

NeilyBroon wrote:Think you're a touch harsh on Hastings tramptastic, he did a great job filling in for Russell when him and Toonie had a lovers quarrel. Even if not Hastings, we should be looking to develop Thompson, who looks very composed for a young FH.

Kinghorn should be there in a pinch, not as a second choice. I'd say even Hogg does a better job covering FH. The kicking game for BK is just not up to scratch for international rugby. It would surely be more beneficial to us to look at our out and out flyhalves.

It reminds me of when our only adequate cover for fly half was Pete Horne, a very intelligent and underrated player but just not quite good enough at FH. We now have decent options who are fly halves so it seems foolhardy not to have given them a chance this tournament. Remember when cotter picked strokosch and left out big Jim and the uproar that caused? This is essentially the same except in the backs.

As for what's gone wrong for Scotland as a whole, could be bedding in of attack coach but no team just collapses at the introduction of a new coach. I personally think Toonie has lost a lot of player buy-in because he has fallen into the favourites trap that a lot of coaches do for the sake of "consistency". Unfortunately for Scotland that has meant criminal underutilisation of the bench. What's the point of having 23 players if you won't bring the spare 8 on even if we're playing poorly? They go on about BK becoming Scotland's world class fly half yet have given him maybe 15 minutes time out of 4 games? Now they're starting him in one of the toughest away fixtures that Scotland have had over the last 20 years. That is mental. When we were 23 points ahead in Rome that was a good opportunity to freshen things up. Nope. 5 minutes from the end when Italy had us on the ropes. Vellacott looked very sharp in that 5 minutes but of course didn't have his opportunity to nail the bench spot, which is ridiculous as imagine that play for 20 minutes and how Hastings was supposed to look anything other than average in that time I don't know. Any momentum Italy managed to get from our tired players might have been nullified by an invigorated Scotland attack if we had got the bench on earlier.

I think yes our player form is poor, but the tactical decisions and baffling selections have been the real killer.

Ach it was watching the saffer game and he came on, tried to change things all by himself and we just kept getting marched back again and again and again. Townsend was looking for a statement from him and got nothin but panic.

to be fair to townsend, the championship was only lost after the french game so he's had minimal experimentation time. He set out to win the trophy and lost it after round 3. Kinghorn couldnt play against italy so not much to be done!

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Post by RDW Fri 18 Mar 2022, 10:35 am

Wonder if Kinghorn's alleged booster hesitancy will affect his availability for the France world cup if they still have rules in place by then!

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Post by BigGee Fri 18 Mar 2022, 10:40 am

I am sure that Kinghorn would have started against Italy, that was probably always the intention.

That he did not has complicated things but this was likely the scenario being annec at the start of the tournament

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Post by BigGee Fri 18 Mar 2022, 10:42 am

RDW wrote:Wonder if Kinghorn's alleged booster hesitancy will affect his availability for the France world cup if they still have rules in place by then!

France are dropping their rules now, as we have.

Djockovic is going to be able to play in the French Open coming up.

It would be a brave person to bet where we might be come WC time though.

Spesking from personal experience, Covid has not gone away!

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Post by tigertattie Fri 18 Mar 2022, 11:11 am

RDW wrote:Wonder if Kinghorn's alleged booster hesitancy will affect his availability for the France world cup if they still have rules in place by then!

I’m not sure if it was hesitancy as such and more he simply hadn’t had it yet given that they won’t give you the booster until 12 after dose 2

Also most places seem to be opening up again now but who knows what will happen when autumn comes around.
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Post by Unclear Fri 18 Mar 2022, 12:08 pm

I know history is no guarantor of future performance but I think RDW has it spot on. Nothing to play for other than pride, you Scottish guys will give it a real lash. It won't be good enough to win (hopefully) but will allow the arguments about trajectory and development to begin all over again.

It does seem that Scottish performances are heavily dependent on the unpredictable form of Russell. Hastings isn't in the same league when Russell plays even half decently, but I don't think he is any worse than Russell is at the moment. And I don't think Kinghorn is the answer but I would admit to an irrationally poor view him (sometimes I just don't get it with some players).

The injuries across the board haven't helped Scotland, and like players it does take some time for most coaches to bed into the international arena. Hopefully things will be better next year (just not too much better at the RWC).

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Post by George Carlin Fri 18 Mar 2022, 12:29 pm

Lads. Calm the feic down. We aren't playing for the tin cup, so let's have a bit of fun.

Blarehorn is a talented young man - let's give him a chance to disappoint us. What is interesting is how comprehensive the buy-in from the Scottish pro coaches is that he can play fly half to a decent standard. I know that we're all rugby geniuses on these pages, but there has to be something to that. I think he'll be fine, throw a bad intercept pass leading to a try and score one of his own.

For what it's worth, I like the look of our pack a lot - we just need Zander the Younger to have a day off from his customary gift of 12 points to the opposition and Zander the Elder to switch beast mode on. Neither is impossible. It's just that on current form, it doesn't seem all that likely.
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Post by bsando Fri 18 Mar 2022, 12:33 pm

To add to the score predictions above I think it’ll be Ireland 34 - 15 Scotland.

Agree GC we all want Kinghorn to have a good game I feel. I won’t even be mad if he throws an intercept pass or two as long as he plays well and puts Scotland into the right areas to challenge Ireland.

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Post by jimbopip Fri 18 Mar 2022, 1:08 pm

On the Blarehorn- Haircut debate....

I still can't forgive Haircut for feccin up a 2 on 1 five metres from the Leinster line in the Pro-14 final at Parkhead. Secondly, when he left Scotstoun the reaction from the fans was very muted, to say the least.
In short, he hadn't won a place in our heats like others who left.
Blarehorn? Surely he should serve his time at club level? It is a rare player who arrives on the international stage a master of his trade with practically no experience.
Just so you don't think me deliberately unclear....I'm trying to be diplomatic.

Ireland 3 Scotland 42. oh yeah

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 18 Mar 2022, 1:32 pm

jimbopip wrote:On the Blarehorn- Haircut debate....

I still can't forgive Haircut for feccin up a 2 on 1 five metres from the Leinster line in the Pro-14 final at Parkhead. Secondly, when he left Scotstoun the reaction from the fans was very muted, to say the least.
In short, he hadn't won a place in our heats like others who left.
Blarehorn? Surely he should serve his time at club level? It is a rare player who arrives on the international stage a master of his trade with practically no experience.
Just so you don't think me deliberately unclear....I'm trying to be diplomatic.

Ireland 3 Scotland 42. oh yeah
I presume you have Ireland scoring first?

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