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Scotland AI thread

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Post by Highland Shaun Wed 28 Sep 2022, 10:54 pm

Results in aggregate this year for the national team were:

5 February 2022 - Scotland 20–17 England
12 February 2022 - Wales 20–17 Scotland
26 February 2022 - Scotland 17–36 France
12 March 2022 - Italy 22–33 Scotland
19 March 2022 - Ireland 26–5 Scotland
2 July 2022 - Argentina 26–18 Scotland
9 July 2022 - Argentina 6–29 Scotland
16 July 2022 - Argentina 34–31 Scotland
29 October 2022 - Scotland 15–16 Australia
5 November 2022 - Scotland 28–12 Fiji
13 November 2022 - Scotland 23–31 New Zealand
19 November 2022 - Scotland 52–29 Argentina

P 12 W 5 L 7
Erm

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Post by George Carlin Thu 29 Sep 2022, 6:09 pm

Good job Shaun - I have updated your OP to put the match times in there.

The usual thing with the AIs is that there's always usually at least one good team performance in there.

I really hope it's against the Wallabies.

Check out how close it's been those past few times:

18 October 2015
Twickenham Stadium, London (England)
35–34 to Australia
2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter-final

12 November 2016
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
22–23 to Australia
2016 Autumn International

17 June 2017
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
19–24 to Scotland
2017 Summer International

25 November 2017
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
53–24 to Scotland
2017 Autumn International

6 November 2021
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
15–13 to Scotland
2021 Autumn International
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Post by BigGee Thu 29 Sep 2022, 10:57 pm

Well I am going to the Australia and NZ games this time around.

I was actually at the 2017 thrashing of Australia, which is probably pretty much a high point for this generation of Scottish players. It was also one of the coldest days I can ever remember and it may be that the Australians were mentally on the plane home before a ball had been kicked.

Not expecting such highs against an improved but still inconsistent Australian side, who we will play with a weaken team in any case.

As for the All Blacks, well we live in hope!

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Post by bsando Fri 30 Sep 2022, 12:57 pm

I was tempted to see Argentina as I’ve never seen them play before but wow, hôtels are expensive in Edinburgh these days. Any tips on affordable accommodation (£150 or less pn) would be gladly welcome.

Aus and NZ will be great games to be at Gee, hope we get a good performance as you say. If some of the star players can stay fit and we have a few of the new gen hitting some good form it might be a positive autumn series. Not great having Sutherland and Duhan off the pitch but that also gives others a chance.

3 from 4 would be a pass for me.

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Post by BigGee Fri 30 Sep 2022, 1:51 pm

bsando wrote:I was tempted to see Argentina as I’ve never seen them play before but wow, hôtels are expensive in Edinburgh these days. Any tips on affordable accommodation (£150 or less pn) would be gladly welcome.

Aus and NZ will be great games to be at Gee, hope we get a good performance as you say. If some of the star players can stay fit and we have a few of the new gen hitting some good form it might be a positive autumn series. Not great having Sutherland and Duhan off the pitch but that also gives others a chance.

3 from 4 would be a pass for me.

2 from 4 would be a pass for me, would be delighted with 3 from 4

4 from 4 is sadly just a wet dream!

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 30 Sep 2022, 9:25 pm

There is talk of John Cooney declaring for Scotland. Would he make the squad?

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Post by BigGee Fri 30 Sep 2022, 9:44 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:There is talk of John Cooney declaring for Scotland. Would he make the squad?

I really hope not.

I think he was first approached many years ago and turned us down for Ireland, which is fair enough.

He is 32 years old now and no better than the SHs we have, some of whom are young and have lots of potential. To bring him in now for one WC rumble would give all the wrong messages and acheive nothing.

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Fri 30 Sep 2022, 10:29 pm

BigGee wrote:He is 32 years old now and no better than the SHs we have, some of whom are young and have lots of potential. To bring him in now for one WC rumble would give all the wrong messages and acheive nothing.

So expect Toonie to go all in on it as a massive gamble. He’s got form for making howling World Cup squad selections after all *cough* Peter Horne *cough*

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Post by BigGee Fri 30 Sep 2022, 10:49 pm

Ali Price is definitely our starting SH now.

Toonie seems to have settled on Ben White as our second option and he has also done well and needs to be given more game time and experience to vontinue hus development.

Then we have Hornito, who has been inconsistent but can be brilliant on his day.

Dobie, who would probably have more caps now but for injury and cancelled games, but loojs to have the complete package going forward.

Then you have Chapman at Gloucester and Ben Vellacott, both exciting breaking SHs who are putting themselves in the conversation.

I just can't see where Cooney fits in. I don't think i would pick him over any of the above!

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Post by Highland Shaun Fri 30 Sep 2022, 11:20 pm

It's a no from me too and that's based on a) bis age, what would Brown and McInally think of that both got overlooked for the world cup yet a new eligible player around the same age got in ahead of them potentially just for ONE world cup!!?, and b) we have better younger players that deserve a shot such as Chapman, Vellacott (not sure his age) etc.

Fwiw, Tom English tweeted that John is keen but I'm not sure I buy that. Oh and our friends at Scottish Thistle Rugby podcast are still saying that the SRU are talking to Jack Singleton of Glos but again, I'm not sure I buy that either.

Its going to be an interesting next squad announcement that's for sure :P.

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Post by George Carlin Sun 02 Oct 2022, 1:27 pm

Gee said it - nothing against Cooney at all but we have 6 players who are simply better than he is (or who are worth investing in now because they're certainly become better than he is and have their best days ahead of them).
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Post by BigGee Sun 02 Oct 2022, 1:43 pm

Dylan Richardson was MoM for the Sharks v the Drags on saturday night.

With Darge injury, you would imagine he will be coming back into the picture.

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Post by bsando Mon 03 Oct 2022, 10:15 am

Saw highlights from that match and it seemed like a pretty poor game from both sides. I’d forgotten about Richardson, but it’s great to have more options available to cover the first choice players. He does seem like a player who could add value.

I wonder what Toonie and the coaches are planning for autumn? Will we see form rewarded? Or will it be more testing depth/player development? My guess is a balance of both.

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 03 Oct 2022, 10:22 pm

When is the squad announced, I presume either next week or the week commencing 17th October?

I'd agree @bsando, I reckon it'll be a mixture of experience and youth with a surprise or two thrown in for good measure lol.

My prediction is that Jack Dempsey, John Cooney and Fin Smith will be the ones that surprise us??

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Post by BigGee Mon 03 Oct 2022, 10:41 pm

Highland Shaun wrote:When is the squad announced, I presume either next week or the week commencing 17th October?

I'd agree @bsando, I reckon it'll be a mixture of experience and youth with a surprise or two thrown in for good measure lol.

My prediction is that Jack Dempsey, John Cooney and Fin Smith will be the ones that surprise us??

Well it won't be Finn Smith, who has not even played this season yet, I am assuming he is injured.

Cooney would not be a great choice in my opinion, but he does have his fans.

Dempsey would be the obvious pick on form, he would walk into the squad if he commits. That remains the 60 million dolar question. He has been playing his cards close to his chest and we will likely have to wait for the squad announcement. He also got injured on Saturday and won't be playing this week. Only bent ribs hopefully, so hopefully not out to long.

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Post by BigGee Tue 04 Oct 2022, 12:26 pm

I watched the Drags - Sharks game last night and Richardson did have a good game. He looks very powerful both sides of the ball.

I am pretty sure that a run of games will get him back into the squad.

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Post by neilthom7 Tue 04 Oct 2022, 7:17 pm

Cooney would be an excellent get for Scotland, he is quite possibly the best scrumhalf in Ireland.

However he won't actually be eligible until next year as he last played for Ireland February 2020 so would be 6 Nations 2023 before he would be eligible.

As good as he is Scotland are probably better investing in their own younger scrumhalves for the future though. At 32 he would be a short term investment so probably better to think in the long term.

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Post by Highland Shaun Tue 04 Oct 2022, 9:34 pm

neilthom7 wrote:Cooney would be an excellent get for Scotland, he is quite possibly the best scrumhalf in Ireland.  

However he won't actually be eligible until next year as he last played for Ireland February 2020 so would be 6 Nations 2023 before he would be eligible.

As good as he is Scotland are probably better investing in their own younger scrumhalves for the future though.  At 32 he would be a short term investment so probably better to think in the long term.

I've a funny feeling Gregor may call JC up for 6N as he's experienced in terms of age etc.

For Autumn, I'd like to see more of Ben White and perhaps a debut for Charlie Chapman though I feel Gregor will have Ali in the team.

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Post by jimbopip Sat 08 Oct 2022, 9:02 am

bsando wrote:I was tempted to see Argentina as I’ve never seen them play before but wow, hôtels are expensive in Edinburgh these days. Any tips on affordable accommodation (£150 or less pn) would be gladly welcome.

Aus and NZ will be great games to be at Gee, hope we get a good performance as you say. If some of the star players can stay fit and we have a few of the new gen hitting some good form it might be a positive autumn series. Not great having Sutherland and Duhan off the pitch but that also gives others a chance.

3 from 4 would be a pass for me.
bsando, yes hotels in Edinburgh can be eye wateringly expensive at AI times. Last time I was up for Scotalnd v Saarf Effrika I stayed in an airbnb just off Leith Walk. I split the cost with Bru and Baz the nippy ex scrum half. It worked out very well tbh.

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Post by BigGee Sat 08 Oct 2022, 11:17 am

jimbopip wrote:
bsando wrote:I was tempted to see Argentina as I’ve never seen them play before but wow, hôtels are expensive in Edinburgh these days. Any tips on affordable accommodation (£150 or less pn) would be gladly welcome.

Aus and NZ will be great games to be at Gee, hope we get a good performance as you say. If some of the star players can stay fit and we have a few of the new gen hitting some good form it might be a positive autumn series. Not great having Sutherland and Duhan off the pitch but that also gives others a chance.

3 from 4 would be a pass for me.
bsando, yes hotels in Edinburgh can be eye wateringly expensive at AI times. Last time I was up for Scotalnd v Saarf Effrika I stayed in an airbnb just off Leith Walk. I split the cost with Bru and Baz the nippy ex scrum half. It worked out very well tbh.

My advice would be to stay in Glasgow and get the train over Run

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Post by tigertattie Sat 08 Oct 2022, 1:23 pm

Wow. Folk complain about “foreign” players playing for Scotland in rugby but I’ve just accidentally seen 5 mins of “Italy” vs “Germany” in the European cricket (it came on after the Ayrshire bs Stirling game)

Every single player on both sides bar one fella on the German side is from somewhere in India/Pakistan/Bangladesh
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Post by RDW Sun 09 Oct 2022, 9:47 am

I'd say we should be a favourites against Australia, even without our non Scottish based players. Full strength I genuine believe the Wallabies could beat anyone, but they will be waaaaaay below full strength for this tour. They have a ridiculous number of injuries and will also be without their Japan based players (not sure how that works given it's international windows, but never mind).

3 wins and a good go against NZ really should be the benchmark here.

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Post by jimbopip Mon 10 Oct 2022, 11:43 am

It's worth mentioning that The Once And Future Champions play in Bokkieland the week before the first AI. This means that players won't get back until the Monday. So either Glasgow rest quite a few players or Scotland put out a B side.

Discuss. Scotland AI thread 1347041234

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Post by BigGee Mon 10 Oct 2022, 11:51 am

I think Glasgow will be 'resting' a few for the second game down in SA.

To be fair, some of them have pretty much played every game so far, ZF and SC in particular so are probably due to sit one out in any case.

I think some of the Glasgow players will fly home after the first game and have a weekend off before the squad convenes. We are going to have to play with a reduced team in any case, so no way they will want it to be even weaker.

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Post by RDW Mon 10 Oct 2022, 11:56 am

I have noticed that every team in the league has been playing full choice very early on given how the fixtures are falling this year. Look at Sexton actually playing a domestic league game...!

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Post by bsando Mon 10 Oct 2022, 9:34 pm

BigGee wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
bsando wrote:I was tempted to see Argentina as I’ve never seen them play before but wow, hôtels are expensive in Edinburgh these days. Any tips on affordable accommodation (£150 or less pn) would be gladly welcome.

Aus and NZ will be great games to be at Gee, hope we get a good performance as you say. If some of the star players can stay fit and we have a few of the new gen hitting some good form it might be a positive autumn series. Not great having Sutherland and Duhan off the pitch but that also gives others a chance.

3 from 4 would be a pass for me.
bsando, yes hotels in Edinburgh can be eye wateringly expensive at AI times. Last time I was up for Scotalnd v Saarf Effrika I stayed in an airbnb just off Leith Walk. I split the cost with Bru and Baz the nippy ex scrum half. It worked out very well tbh.

My advice would be to stay in Glasgow and get the train over Run

I had considered doing that actually!

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Post by BigGee Mon 10 Oct 2022, 9:49 pm

bsando wrote:
BigGee wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
bsando wrote:I was tempted to see Argentina as I’ve never seen them play before but wow, hôtels are expensive in Edinburgh these days. Any tips on affordable accommodation (£150 or less pn) would be gladly welcome.

Aus and NZ will be great games to be at Gee, hope we get a good performance as you say. If some of the star players can stay fit and we have a few of the new gen hitting some good form it might be a positive autumn series. Not great having Sutherland and Duhan off the pitch but that also gives others a chance.

3 from 4 would be a pass for me.
bsando, yes hotels in Edinburgh can be eye wateringly expensive at AI times. Last time I was up for Scotalnd v Saarf Effrika I stayed in an airbnb just off Leith Walk. I split the cost with Bru and Baz the nippy ex scrum half. It worked out very well tbh.

My advice would be to stay in Glasgow and get the train over Run

I had considered doing that actually!


It's what we'll be doing for our 2 games. I am really looking forward to them now.

Hope springs eternal!


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Post by RDW Mon 10 Oct 2022, 9:51 pm

Problem with coming through from Glasgow is having to put your day in the hands of ScotRail and their inevitable reduced service with 3 car trains instead of 6!

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 11 Oct 2022, 12:40 am

RDW wrote:Problem with coming through from Glasgow is having to put your day in the hands of ScotRail and their inevitable reduced service with 3 car trains instead of 6!

....and the rail strikes. Scottish rail workers remind me of Chunk getting off the ground to make the next tackle.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 11 Oct 2022, 12:42 am

I'm hoping to make the Aussie game. Feel like we have a genuine shot at this but it's the hope that kills you. Hoping Agent Rennie does us a favour....

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Post by BigGee Fri 14 Oct 2022, 9:46 pm

You got to imagine that Toonie is looking very closely at Tom Roebuck down at Sale for a place in the AI squad.

Just watched Sale v London Irish and he scored 2 tries and was unlucky no to be MoM in my opinion. Ewan Ashman also scored one in a good sale win. Logan Trotter made his Irish debut but was struggling to make an impression in a losing cause.

Outside of Darcy and VDM it is hard to see any other wingers who are playing any better.

Mclean unfortunately can't seem to stay fit enough to really press his claim and Kyle Rowe is unfortunately going to miss a chunk of the season with his ACL injury. Hoyland's time has probably come and gone.

With McGuigan and Sleepy Sean now heading into the twilight zone, maybe it is time to bring a new young winger, playing in a successful side and scoring tries for fun into the fold.

He could easily be the Toonie bolter for this squad.

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Post by Highland Shaun Fri 14 Oct 2022, 11:04 pm

I was just going to say the same after his double today Smile, I very much doubt he'll be considered by England on Monday as I see most of the players they took on their training session in their squad on Monday plus players like Radwan, Hassell-Collins etc will be way ahead of him in the pecking order so he'd be wise to consider us as an International option.

I also note that Cam Henderson is on the bench tomorrow though I do think AIs come too quick for him to be considered. I also see Magnus Bradbury has been dropped completely by Bears so hopefully that's not due to injury as he's been playing well for them.

I take it squad announcement is Tuesday?

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Post by BigGee Mon 17 Oct 2022, 10:23 am

So squad out on Wednesday apparently

Thistle Rugby Podcast doing the usual search for the Toonie bolters for this squad.

Dempsey and Richardson featuring along with Hastings and Redpath, though it is probably a bit harsh to count them as bolters.

Tom Roebuck, they understand has been approached and will be in the squad if he decides to pick Scotland.


As ever with Toonie, it will be an interesting squad announcement.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 17 Oct 2022, 11:53 am

Bradbury has started five times so far for Bristol this season so don't think he was necessarily dropped. I am not sure how he is getting on but would hope he does not get the call-up. Blown so many opportunities that would rather he spent more time with Pat Lam establishing himself.

If Dempsey decides not to go for us, Christie and Bayliss seem similar moulds to M Fagerson as undersized hard-working 8's.

Roebuck would have a good opportunity to rotate with Graham and DVDM. We will see if he goes for it.

Jordan might get an observation role as he is doing well at Glasgow.

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Post by BigGee Mon 17 Oct 2022, 12:07 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:Bradbury has started five times so far for Bristol this season so don't think he was necessarily dropped. I am not sure how he is getting on but would hope he does not get the call-up. Blown so many opportunities that would rather he spent more time with Pat Lam establishing himself.

If Dempsey decides not to go for us, Christie and Bayliss seem similar moulds to M Fagerson as undersized hard-working 8's.

Roebuck would have a good opportunity to rotate with Graham and DVDM. We will see if he goes for it.

Jordan might get an observation role as he is doing well at Glasgow.


Tom Jordan is not SQ unfortunately, I don't think he is ready yet either. He is young and improving though, so maybe one for the future if he does stay in Scotland.


I am kind of with you on Bradbury as well, he has been playing well for Bristol, but he has rarely, if ever turned up for Scotland and he has had many opportunities.


Crosbie, Bayliss and Christie all fill a similar position of generic back row to me, without having a starting claim for any one position. I suspect there may only be room for one of them in the squad and probably not a lot to choose between them.

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 17 Oct 2022, 1:02 pm

It looks like Mr Edward Jones hasn't learnt lessons from the Cam Redpath situation because Fraser Dingwall has been snubbed YET AGAIN, if Eddie rated him then he'd be in just like happened with Henry Arundell and Dan Kelly so I'm getting the impression/thought that Fraser himself is getting p***ed off at continually getting overlooked and may do a,Cam and switch to us especially if he is not in by the world cup warm up time.

Also regarding Dempsey, it's gone all quiet on that front but we may get an indication tomorrow night on Twitter as is usually the case a night before a squad announcement.

I would be over the moon if Jack Dempsey and Tom Roebuck got first call ups Smile.

As has been said, it's going to be an interesting squad because Gregor certainly likes a filter or two, or several 😂.

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Post by jimbopip Mon 17 Oct 2022, 2:46 pm

Highland Shaun wrote:It looks like Mr Edward Jones hasn't learnt lessons from the Cam Redpath situation because Fraser Dingwall has been snubbed YET AGAIN, if Eddie rated him then he'd be in just like happened with Henry Arundell and Dan Kelly so I'm getting the impression/thought that Fraser himself is getting p***ed off at continually getting overlooked and may do a,Cam and switch to us especially if he is not in by the world cup warm up time.

Also regarding Dempsey, it's gone all quiet on that front but we may get an indication tomorrow night on Twitter as is usually the case a night before a squad announcement.

I would be over the moon if Jack Dempsey and Tom Roebuck got first call ups Smile.

As has been said, it's going to be an interesting squad because Gregor has plenty of practice spinning his Tombola. Shocked certainly likes a filter or two, or several 😂.

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 17 Oct 2022, 4:35 pm

Maybe I should have waited to post because here's the latest tweet from above mentioned Twitter account and let's just say, there's our first bolter Very Happy.

https://twitter.com/thistlerugbypod/status/1582023675846414336?s=19

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Post by BigGee Mon 17 Oct 2022, 5:40 pm

So no Tom Gordon, out till December with a calf injury and probably no Sam Johnson, who has had an operation on a facial injury.

That puts the smart money on Richardson for me.

Who is likely to come in as an IC for Sam Johnson?

Redpath for sure, Tuipolotu does play 12 but has been played exclusively at 13 by Glasgow this season and has looked a better player for it.

Lang has been playing well for Edinburgh and we know Toonie like him.

Is Matt Scott worthy of another call up?

Fraser Dingwall? I have to say I think he has likely had his conversations and turned them down, so likely a long shot for me.

Hutchinson has not looked in such great form to me this season and I think he got injured at the weekend as well.


Or maybe we just go for a bit of Russell/Hastings Finsanity Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

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Post by demosthenes Mon 17 Oct 2022, 5:43 pm

Highland Shaun wrote:Maybe I should have waited to post because here's the latest tweet from above mentioned Twitter account and let's just say, there's our first bolter Very Happy.

https://twitter.com/thistlerugbypod/status/1582023675846414336?s=19

Interesting that the GW squad update indicates that Dempsey will be reintegrating with the squad this week after his rib injury. Although its possible that he is expected to be fit and available for Scotland selection but not against Aus.

Pity.

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Post by BigGee Mon 17 Oct 2022, 5:50 pm

In truth it may not be the best thing to debut him against Oz.

Fortunately it may come as a match to soon for him fitness wise in any case.

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Post by BigGee Tue 18 Oct 2022, 10:05 am

So you would probably imagine that Toonie has a pretty good idea of the team he is going to be playing against Oz already and that will have firmed up a lot more now with the injuries from the weekend. It will probably be even clearer by the weeknd when we see who is not playing for the club sides.

Maybe something like this:

1. Schoeman
2. Cherry
3. Fargerson Z
4. Cummings
5. Gilchrist
6. Ritchie
7. Crosbie
8. Fagerson M
9. Price
10. Kinghorn
11. DVDM
12. Lang
13. Tuipolotu
14. Graham
15. Smith

Subs

Bhatti
McBurney - Turner and Brown potential HIs
Nel
Skinner
Haining - assuming Dempsey still not fit
Horne
Thompson
Bennett

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Post by RDW Tue 18 Oct 2022, 10:08 am

If we're picking a Kinghorn -Lang midfield with Edinburgh wingers it would make much more sense to include Bennett too!

5/7 backs from Edinburgh - changed days eh

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Post by BigGee Tue 18 Oct 2022, 10:13 am

RDW wrote:If we're picking a Kinghorn -Lang midfield with Edinburgh wingers it would make much more sense to include Bennett too!

5/7 backs from Edinburgh - changed days eh


When does sense and a Toonie selection ever come into it Headscratch

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Post by RDW Tue 18 Oct 2022, 11:11 am

Just watched extended highlight of the Quins v Leicester game. Matt Scott really was outstanding, both in attack and defence. He's had a good spell at Leicester the last few seasons, who have been one of the top English clubs.

Thing is, whilst the likes of Scott, Hutchinson etc have shown good form at club level it never seems to follow through to Scotland. That could be because they're not internationally class players, but it's really not been helped by Toonie picking Johnson -Harris and no-one else for so long, with these other guys living off scraps. It also doesn't help that these players are then asked to play similar roles as those two, as opposed to adapting the gameplan for their strengths.

Its going to be a hard ask for these types of players to make the shirt their own now, and at best are probably playing for squad places. Johnson's injury certainly opens the door for someone.

I hope to be proven wrong as the Johnson -Harris has become incredibly stodgy, and the midfield in general hasn't fully functioned since Redpath's debut.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 18 Oct 2022, 1:30 pm

Bit unfair on Hutchinson there RDW. Seven caps (and a total of 270 minutes) including his two most recent ones against Argentina at 15 (and include almost half his playing time as an international). He never really got a shot and is soon to be 27 which means he may never get a real go of it.

Bennett, Scott and Taylor had several shots and just could not stay healthy at the right times. Whatever the thoughts on Johnson and Harris are, they have been available more often than not and you know what you are going to get out of him.

Don't know what happened around the Huw Jones situation and whether it was mismanagement from Rennie and Townsend and/or his own fault for why he fell so badly out of form.

I would not mind seeing how a Hastings - Hutchinson - Scott/Dingwall/Tuipulotu backline functions, however I think one of Toonie's learnings from playing so open in the run up to 2017 was that defense is what wins consistently. Russell - Johnson - Harris is our best defensive backline and I struggle to see him moving past that unless one of the challengers can offer a consistent defensive performance at a similar level to the incumbants.

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Post by Tramptastic Tue 18 Oct 2022, 2:38 pm

The thing is Bennett does an excellent job in defense, not as good as Harris does but no-one else comes close, but Bennett can carve up a defense on a regular basis, something which Harris does not do.

I think the trade off is sufficient to start Bennett!

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Post by RDW Tue 18 Oct 2022, 9:24 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:Bit unfair on Hutchinson there RDW. Seven caps (and a total of 270 minutes) including his two most recent ones against Argentina at 15 (and include almost half his playing time as an international). He never really got a shot and is soon to be 27 which means he may never get a real go of it.

Bennett, Scott and Taylor had several shots and just could not stay healthy at the right times. Whatever the thoughts on Johnson and Harris are, they have been available more often than not and you know what you are going to get out of him.

Don't know what happened around the Huw Jones situation and whether it was mismanagement from Rennie and Townsend and/or his own fault for why he fell so badly out of form.

I would not mind seeing how a Hastings - Hutchinson - Scott/Dingwall/Tuipulotu backline functions, however I think one of Toonie's learnings from playing so open in the run up to 2017 was that defense is what wins consistently. Russell - Johnson - Harris is our best defensive backline and I struggle to see him moving past that unless one of the challengers can offer a consistent defensive performance at a similar level to the incumbants.

Your opening paragraph is pretty much reiterating what I said!

These players have lived off scraps over the last 3-4 years, or have been asked to play unfamiliar roles / roles not to their strengths.

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Post by BigGee Tue 18 Oct 2022, 9:52 pm

Our problem is. Going into a WC season. We want a consistent and experienced centre psrtnership. Allowing for injuries and rotation, ideally a couple who csn slot in and out.

Harris has been our only centre who has been consistent and has amassed the experience over the oast few years, none of the others have managed it.

Bennett has been unlucky, in another scenario, he would have 50 caps by now. But that did not happen.

Can you play off his potential against what we know Harris brings week in week out?

You have also got the potential of Tuipolotu. A younger, less experienced version of both of them, who bring a power game that neither have.

We have 3 good and very different options at OC.

And i am not even counting Hutchy unfortunately.

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Post by Highland Shaun Tue 18 Oct 2022, 10:21 pm

So our goal for this autumn is to strengthen our IC numbers BigGee or am I misinterpreting your post :P?

I'd also like to see us increase our wing options too, perhaps Tom Roebuck and another and also our 10 options as at the moment we only have Finn, Adam and Blair so it would be good to see if Ben Healy (if that rumour is indeed correct) and Fib Smith before the world cup but I suspect it will be the 3 mentioned 10s that will be announced tomorrow with Blair at 10 for Oz game.

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