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Scotland's 6N Build Up, Then Inevitable Fall: Dark Horses of the Year 10 years running

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Post by NeilyBroon Wed 04 Jan 2023, 3:39 pm

It's the hope that kills ya!

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Post by BigGee Wed 04 Jan 2023, 4:35 pm

So I reckon the big intrigues for the squad will be:

1. Cooney - Unlikely, we have some decent 9s and Ulsters form has dropped off a cliff recently

2. Healy - Gotta say likely now, Hastings still struggling for form post injury and a bit short of game time, he could easily be the third man!

3. Finn Smith - Well anyone call Finn is always going to be in the equation! Less likely though, he was training with England (without any fanfare or announcement though) and still looks pretty green. Quite a few English pundits have him as their third man though, especially with Marcus Smith injured and Ford coming back from long term injury. In truth he has great potential but probably does not look ready for international rugby yet and rushing him may not be to his long term benefit. Toonie has talked him up though, which is an unusual thing to do with a player you are pursuing, so he may be forced to make a decision earlier than is good for him. Maybe Healy coming into the squad will take that pressure away from him until after the WC, but that may depend on England as well.#


Finn (the other one) does not seem to have anyone challenging him for the starting shirt atm and you would imagine BK (with his coat of many colours) will still bench. Hastings/Healy/Smith will provide the back up.

All in all though, especially with Hastings and Thompson also around, we are in a better position for FHs than we have been in a long long time!

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Post by TJ Wed 04 Jan 2023, 4:48 pm

I watched most of an Gloucester / Exeter game.  Game of the week apparently but it was tedious as anything.  Hastings was good kicking from hand and restarts and one nice hack thru for a try other than that he kicked away good ball and did very little else but didn't get much ball either.  

Nothing in that to change my mind.  In the same ballpark as Blairhorn and Meatball

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Post by bsando Wed 04 Jan 2023, 5:03 pm

In terms of Smith I think Healy coming over means he’s out of the equation now. He’ll be up against a few players as he will in England. He’s better placed at Saints to play for England and as mentioned has played for their U20’s and was on their camp. He’d be a great player to have linking up with Scotland after the World Cup but as a few of us have mentioned dual national players have to make big choices sooner these days.

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Post by TJ Wed 04 Jan 2023, 5:08 pm

I really hope Healy is not included in the Scotland squad. It would be an utter farce. I hope the idea of a Scotland place was to tempt him to play for a scottish club.

totally wrong to parachute a 32 year old journeyman into the scotland camp

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Post by BigGee Wed 04 Jan 2023, 5:17 pm

TJ wrote:I really hope Healy is not included in the Scotland squad. It would be an utter farce. I hope the idea of a Scotland place was to tempt him to play for a scottish club.

totally wrong to parachute a 32 year old journeyman into the scotland camp

He is 23!

Journeyman a bit strong as well, he is generally held in high esteem as a very good player. Read the comments on the Munster twitter feed about him leaving.

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Post by TJ Wed 04 Jan 2023, 5:27 pm

Doh!

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Post by NeilyBroon Wed 04 Jan 2023, 6:03 pm

Would Healy be our first Irish born international? I'd be surprised given the many historical links between Scotland and Ireland.

I think it's a good thing we're looking at our options beyond Glasgow and Edinburgh. Our other SQ options like vdw and Savala just don't cut the mustard. Thompson seems to have regressed. I honestly think we made a big mistake dropping chamberlain as to me he always looked like a more complete player than Thompson, but I guess we'll never know!

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Post by TJ Wed 04 Jan 2023, 6:30 pm

Tennessee Tam qualified for ireland first but they didn't want him

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Post by NeilyBroon Wed 04 Jan 2023, 6:44 pm

TJ wrote:Tennessee Tam qualified for ireland first but they didn't want him

What a player. I think we underestimate how well rounded our wings were with him and nomaits on either side.

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Post by George Carlin Wed 04 Jan 2023, 9:13 pm

I find it very hard to gee up my outrage levels over Healy, but then again, I suppose that's why I don't have a Twitter account, angina or a large chip on my shoulder. I can't be arsed.

If someone is eligible, they're eligible, Healy's mum's Celtic vajayjay popped him out, so he's every bit as worthy as anyone else. Then the position is simple, you pick the best players on form who can execute your game plan. Unless you're Gregor Townsend of course. Then you just pick players who are nice to you.
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Post by Mcsweens Wed 04 Jan 2023, 9:50 pm

George Carlin wrote:I find it very hard to gee up my outrage levels over Healy, but then again, I suppose that's why I don't have a Twitter account, angina or a large chip on my shoulder. I can't be arsed.

If someone is eligible, they're eligible, Healy's mum's Celtic vajayjay popped him out, so he's every bit as worthy as anyone else. Then the position is simple, you pick the best players on form who can execute your game plan. Unless you're Gregor Townsend of course. Then you just pick players who are nice to you.

I was told Healys mum had a cute angina. Which isn't bad for a farmers wife from Tipperary.
I'd just rather than we had a decent production line rather than buy them off the shelf. And I don't think the carrot of international rugby should be a bargaining chip in contract negotiations. Fair enough if we do it to annoy Munster, or any of our other rivals - that's the kind of sh1thousery I can get behind, but the commentators I've been listening have been disappointingly level headed about the whole thing. And if we are to do that I'd at least like to see some results on the pitch. We've been doing it for about 10 years now with very little return.


Last edited by Mcsweens on Wed 04 Jan 2023, 10:25 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : brevity)

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Post by BigGee Wed 04 Jan 2023, 10:04 pm

Yes the Shingler affair, not one of the SRU (or WRU for that matter) finer moments. The sad thing is that he was never good enough to play for Wales and his selection was more a case of how poor we were at the time in the era of Parks and Godman.

Some people may not like the rules as they stand now, but at least they are a bit clearer than they were then. Shingler (who also had a Scottish mother and was only ever capped at u20) would now be eligible.

I wonder what he thinks about that now?

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Post by Mcsweens Wed 04 Jan 2023, 10:39 pm

TJ wrote:I really hope Healy is not included in the Scotland squad.  It would be an utter farce.  I hope the idea of a Scotland place was to tempt him to play for a scottish club.

totally wrong to parachute a 32 year old journeyman into the scotland camp

You're thinking of John Cooney. Excellent player.

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Post by TJ Wed 04 Jan 2023, 10:43 pm

Probably McSweens

What I don't get here is why we are taking these guys. Cooney if that happens is even worse as we have plenty of 9s and he is not one for the future

I don't want either to play for scotland. These are not top rated players. Its not like it positions where we have no real options like prop where we don't seem to be able to develop our own and I don't like players thinking. I can't get a game for my home country I'll try another

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Post by RDW Wed 04 Jan 2023, 10:46 pm

I agree with TJ on the Cooney front. Scotland have historically never had issues producing 9s and I don't think we're desperately needing to parachute him in for a WC blitz only.

Would be nice if Ali Price showed some semblance of his pre-Lions form though...

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Post by Mcsweens Wed 04 Jan 2023, 10:50 pm

George Carlin wrote:I find it very hard to gee up my outrage levels over Healy, but then again, I suppose that's why I don't have a Twitter account, angina or a large chip on my shoulder. I can't be arsed.

If someone is eligible, they're eligible, Healy's mum's Celtic vajayjay popped him out, so he's every bit as worthy as anyone else. Then the position is simple, you pick the best players on form who can execute your game plan. Unless you're Gregor Townsend of course. Then you just pick players who are nice to you.

I get that you want to utilize all the resources at your disposal to get the win. But isn't there some intangible difference between international rugby and the club game? Is it just the size of the crowd that makes the difference during the 6 nations? I'm not sure if anyone is outraged; I'm genuinely asking. As Scotland fans we're expected to maintain our allegiances, more or less. It would be a bit weird if I declared that I had signed a GRC (Georgian Recognition Certificate) and started avidly identifying as following the Lelos. Is it too much to ask for players and national associations to do the same?

I know this happens all the time, but it just feels weird when we poach players from Wales or Ireland. NZ, SA, Eng, I kind of understand given the size of their playing populations and our diaspora.


Last edited by Mcsweens on Wed 04 Jan 2023, 11:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammar)

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 05 Jan 2023, 6:37 am

RDW wrote:I agree with TJ on the Cooney front. Scotland have historically never had issues producing 9s and I don't think we're desperately needing to parachute him in for a WC blitz only.

Would be nice if Ali Price showed some semblance of his pre-Lions form though...

To be honest I think it's time to start Ben White, not that Toonie will until Price has an absolute howler.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 05 Jan 2023, 6:59 am

Mcsweens wrote:
George Carlin wrote:I find it very hard to gee up my outrage levels over Healy, but then again, I suppose that's why I don't have a Twitter account, angina or a large chip on my shoulder. I can't be arsed.

If someone is eligible, they're eligible, Healy's mum's Celtic vajayjay popped him out, so he's every bit as worthy as anyone else. Then the position is simple, you pick the best players on form who can execute your game plan. Unless you're Gregor Townsend of course. Then you just pick players who are nice to you.

I get that you want to utilize all the resources at your disposal to get the win. But isn't there some intangible difference between international rugby and the club game? Is it just the size of the crowd that makes the difference during the 6 nations? I'm not sure if anyone is outraged; I'm genuinely asking. As Scotland fans we're expected to maintain our allegiances, more or less. It would be a bit weird if I declared that I had signed a GRC (Georgian Recognition Certificate) and started avidly identifying as following the Lelos. Is it too much to ask for players and national associations to do the same?

I know this happens all the time, but it just feels weird when we poach players from Wales or Ireland. NZ, SA, Eng, I kind of understand given the size of their playing populations and our diaspora.

To be honest he's at least got a close link to Scotland, it's not like his cousin twice removed visited Aberdeen once, his mum is Scottish.

That being said I do get the feeling that we are second choice and can understand why it rubs people up the wrong way. Shingler especially was an atrocious affair and an embarrassment all around.

I think we are bordering the second tier, and have been since the dawn of professionalism so we've always had to make use of unpopular rules that benefit us. Italy did it with Tommy Allan for us and we have even less rugby players registered than them, but it's hard to argue that he didn't have a tangible link to Italy, it's just all relative to how many players you produce how often it happens.

This would be the first player who has been through the Irish system up to the cusp of international callup we've actually taken away from Ireland (I'm not counting Tommy Seymour appearing for the U19 side in 2007).

Although absolutely agree with everyone else on Cooney, that'd be a waste of a squad space given how many scrum halves we have.


Last edited by NeilyBroon on Thu 05 Jan 2023, 10:23 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by jimbopip Thu 05 Jan 2023, 9:02 am

On our new number 10

https://th.bing.com/th/id/R.06ca6a77a2cb86111243614958fc3104?rik=S8YOKNk6Nvj6vQ&riu=http%3a%2f%2fi246.photobucket.com%2falbums%2fgg100%2fDexterStClair%2fHenryHealy.jpg&ehk=j0z8cRLVuLVZtK1rUVjArCSawpaJDm1fZ7QDX%2bQouxQ%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw&r=0

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Post by Tramptastic Thu 05 Jan 2023, 9:13 am

It's difficult isn't it, having family from different parts of the world, having an emotional investment in multiple different countries (the country in question for cooney and healy can actually be seen from the mull of galloway on a clear day. In fact, you can see it from the top of the Merrick which is in further inland closer to newton stewart! So it's not like we're importing more players who've never even been in the country and dropping straight in to the national side).

Initially i was going to scribble in a negative fashion about Cooney joining up with the scotland team (we're his 2nd choice, we have decen scrum halfs etc) but then i realised that its not these players fault if they are in the discussion of starting for scotland. It's really not their fault, if they are good enough to start and they qualify for scotland then they should start. End of.

What we are projecting on to these players is our frustration that our development pathways aren't spitting out really good players who also happen to have the right accent. It lays bare the mismanagement of our systems since the dawn of professionalism. 30 years we've had to sort it out and we still rely on like 4 or 5 private schools to produce good players. Thats utter horsesh*t and shows up how inept the governing body is at providing for the grassroots.

We can waffle on about "ah its the scottish diaspora that allows us to pick these players" but the Irish are also famous for having spread across the globe but Leinster isn't importing irish descendants from Boston, Munster aren't capturing players from fiji. They have world class academies that are tied to the schooling system. Irish sport is amazing, diverse, competitive - rugby is up against it but they've created a system where Ireland are no1 in the world.

So i say pick Healy for Scotland if he's good enough. Another, better, rugby country has schooled him and his mum is Scottish so who are we to turn our nose up at him?

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Post by RDW Thu 05 Jan 2023, 9:18 am

A good post Tramp and I agree with a lot of that, but it's the last bit that's key for me.

Has Healy done anything to show he's ready for an international callup?

That's a commen gripe of mine - there's a long list of good pros in Scotland who get overlooked when a 'foreign' player comes in, even though there's not much difference in quality.

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Post by Tramptastic Thu 05 Jan 2023, 9:55 am

Aye agreed RDW but who's he replacing? Chamberlain was let go during the cockerill years and he's not floated back on the SRU, Toonie or Blair's radar. VDW is a bit crud. He's not going to be taking gametime from Kinghorn but the 2 of them might spur each other on and Savala is a bit hit and miss from reports

So if theres any scottish development players at Edinburgh who want to play 10 that he is taking gametime away from who are also being chatted up by Blair or Toonie as the next big thing then fair play, i'd be annoyed. But i dont think that is the case, so its difficult to be annoyed!

If he'd gone to glasgow then i'd be a bit annoyed as he'd be taking gametime from Thompson.

And for the record, i don't think he'll get a call up to Scotland yet - maybe in the wider world cup training squad for experience but he wont get in for the six nations. If anyone does it'll be Fin Smith (oddly enough a player most of us aren't quibbling about despite him flirting with England/being brought up there/in their U20 squad - very odd)

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Post by jimbopip Thu 05 Jan 2023, 10:06 am

Well, just to muddy the Healy waters a little bit more.... Headscratch

A key part of a good 10's game is his decision making.

Henry Healy was , seemingly, offered the choice between being a real rugby player at the Home Of The Once And Future Champions or a quiet life at the library with no risk of lower back injuries incurred while lifting trophies.

With decision making like that should he ever play for Scotland?

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Post by tigertattie Thu 05 Jan 2023, 11:30 am

Live in Glasgow or live in Edinburgh.

That’s a no brainier right there!
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Post by jimbopip Thu 05 Jan 2023, 12:17 pm

tigertattie wrote:Live in Glasgow or live in Edinburgh.

That’s a no brainier right there!

You are no brainier than the average bear, Booboo. Whistle

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Post by tigertattie Thu 05 Jan 2023, 12:54 pm

[quote="jimbopip"]
tigertattie wrote:Live in Glasgow or live in Edinburgh.

That’s a no brainier right there!

You are no brainier than the average bear, Booboo. Whistle

Ooooooo the irony.

I blame autocorrect and my advancing years.

Next I’ll be cocking up the quote function (sic)
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Post by tigertattie Thu 05 Jan 2023, 12:55 pm

Ps I know sic means you have purposely used incorrect spelling but feck knows what else to use there!
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Post by bsando Thu 05 Jan 2023, 12:58 pm

jimbopip wrote:Well, just to muddy the Healy waters a little bit more.... Headscratch

A key part of a good 10's game is his decision making.

Henry Healy was , seemingly, offered the choice between being a real rugby player at the Home Of The Once And Future Champions or a quiet life at the library with no risk of lower back injuries incurred while lifting trophies.

With decision making like that should he ever play for Scotland?

It’s a long season Jimbo.. think he’s timed it well as he’ll be fit and ready to lift that 1872 cup (after some vigorous cleaning) next season once order has been restored. Given most of the province of Munster hate Glasgow and Ryan Wilson with a passion he was never going to end up there in any case. Sensible decision if you ask me although not a particularly difficult one.

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Post by jimbopip Thu 05 Jan 2023, 1:06 pm

Ah Wink I had forgotten just how much Batman had endeared himself to the Munstermen.
Now Healy will hate him more everytime he runs out to a deafening silence at the Library.

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Post by RDW Thu 05 Jan 2023, 4:54 pm

Hastings has been ruled out of the 6N apparently

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Post by TJ Thu 05 Jan 2023, 4:58 pm

Whats the score with Thompson? He has looked pretty handy. Bring on the Meatball I say!

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Post by BigGee Thu 05 Jan 2023, 5:11 pm

Well it's definitely Healy or Finn Smith then.

Smart money on Healy

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 05 Jan 2023, 5:15 pm

TJ wrote:Whats the score with Thompson?  He has looked pretty handy.  Bring on the Meatball I say!

He just hasn't had much gametime. Any momentum he had was quickly stifled by injury then he's fallen down the pecking order under the general.

It doesn't help that Jordan has proven to be a very handy option.

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Post by RDW Thu 05 Jan 2023, 5:17 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
TJ wrote:Whats the score with Thompson?  He has looked pretty handy.  Bring on the Meatball I say!

He just hasn't had much gametime. Any momentum he had was quickly stifled by injury then he's fallen down the pecking order under the general.

It doesn't help that Jordan has proven to be a very handy option.

He's also recovering from a broken ankle!

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 05 Jan 2023, 5:31 pm

RDW wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:
TJ wrote:Whats the score with Thompson?  He has looked pretty handy.  Bring on the Meatball I say!

He just hasn't had much gametime. Any momentum he had was quickly stifled by injury then he's fallen down the pecking order under the general.

It doesn't help that Jordan has proven to be a very handy option.

He's also recovering from a broken ankle!

That throws a spanner in the works too. Still a better option than VdW mind.

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Post by jimbopip Thu 05 Jan 2023, 5:47 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
RDW wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:
TJ wrote:Whats the score with Thompson?  He has looked pretty handy.  Bring on the Meatball I say!

He just hasn't had much gametime. Any momentum he had was quickly stifled by injury then he's fallen down the pecking order under the general.

It doesn't help that Jordan has proven to be a very handy option.

He's also recovering from a broken ankle!

That throws a spanner in the works too. Still a better option than VdW mind.

Or Blarehorn come to that.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 05 Jan 2023, 7:58 pm

jimbopip wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:
RDW wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:
TJ wrote:Whats the score with Thompson?  He has looked pretty handy.  Bring on the Meatball I say!

He just hasn't had much gametime. Any momentum he had was quickly stifled by injury then he's fallen down the pecking order under the general.

It doesn't help that Jordan has proven to be a very handy option.

He's also recovering from a broken ankle!

That throws a spanner in the works too. Still a better option than VdW mind.

Or Blarehorn come to that.

Do you think it's the moustache that Toonie likes? Would our other options get a look in if they had handle bars?

Mine you, nothing beats the Parks sideburns.

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Post by bsando Thu 05 Jan 2023, 8:05 pm

What a shame for Hastings. I still think he is a great player and he'll be missed this 6N. His form before the Autumn was really good for Gloucester and throwing him in against Fiji was probably the wrong test match for a reintroduction to the national side.

That leaves Russell, Kinghorn and surely Healy. I like that balance to be honest. Thompson really needs game time to be in the mix.

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Post by TJ Thu 05 Jan 2023, 8:13 pm

Bring on the meatball

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Post by jimbopip Thu 05 Jan 2023, 8:50 pm

If Meatball had kept the 1970s Carebear hair Toonie would be so smitten that Dancer would be getting skelfs sitting on the bench.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 06 Jan 2023, 9:48 am

BigGee wrote:
TJ wrote:I really hope Healy is not included in the Scotland squad.  It would be an utter farce.  I hope the idea of a Scotland place was to tempt him to play for a scottish club.

totally wrong to parachute a 32 year old journeyman into the scotland camp

He is 23!

Journeyman a bit strong as well, he is generally held in high esteem as a very good player. Read the comments on the Munster twitter feed about him leaving.

Ben Healy is outrageously talented. Im sad that he has chosen to leave Ireland to play for Scotland but I wish him well I bet he will be a success.

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Post by BigGee Fri 06 Jan 2023, 2:58 pm

Hoggy seems to be struggling with a knee issue at the moment, the patellar tendonitis that he had the surgery for in the summer has flared up again. Explains why he has sat a few games out recently.

Maybe less of an issue now, with the form that Ollie Smith is showing for Glasgow atm, it will be good to see how he goes against the Stormers this weekend. There is always Shuggy as an option at FB as well, he showed what he could do playing there for Quins last season.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 06 Jan 2023, 3:36 pm

BigGee wrote:Hoggy seems to be struggling with a knee issue at the moment, the patellar tendonitis that he had the surgery for in the summer has flared up again. Explains why he has sat a few games out recently.

Maybe less of an issue now, with the form that Ollie Smith is showing for Glasgow atm, it will be good to see how he goes against the Stormers this weekend. There is always Shuggy as an option at FB as well, he showed what he could do playing there for Quins last season.
Hogg has a done lot of hard miles over the years. He's going to slow down or show some wear and tear sometime. He has a pretty good health record, doesn't he?

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Post by BigGee Sat 07 Jan 2023, 9:31 am

Scotland attack coach, AB Zondagh is apparently leaving this summer before the WC and heading back to France, to Lyon.

Not the greatest time to lose a coach, but also true to say he has not really sparked our attack into life.

I wonder what Toonie will do as a replacement?

As it is short notice, maybe someone in house like Pete Horne?

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Post by tigertattie Sat 07 Jan 2023, 9:56 am

Is this toonie realising that he’s on a cliff edge?

He’s looked around to see what he can do to try and save himself from the chop if we fail to get out the group stage again at the World Cup?

So he’s chucked the attack coach who, to be honest, isnt getting the team attacking very well.

Or has Zondagh thought “feck this, I’m not being tarred with this crap at the World Cup” and jumped ship?

All reeks of desperation either way.
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Post by BigGee Sat 07 Jan 2023, 10:31 am

The general consensus seems to be that Toonie is done after this WC anyway, however Scotland do. The SRU are already putting out feelers to see who might be interested.

2 WCs is a decent haul for any coach and it will be good for both team and coach to move on at that point.

The problem will be attracting a coaching assistant to a team they know will only be around for a short while.

I do believe that there is a Mr Edward Jones available currently, he has quite a good WC record, I wonder if he might be interested Run

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 07 Jan 2023, 11:23 am

BigGee wrote:The general consensus seems to be that Toonie is done after this WC anyway, however Scotland do. The SRU are already putting out feelers to see who might be interested.

2 WCs is a decent haul for any coach and it will be good for both team and coach to move on at that point.

The problem will be attracting a coaching assistant to a team they know will only be around for a short while.

I do believe that there is a Mr Edward Jones available currently, he has quite a good WC record, I wonder if he might be interested Run
I think the newspapers would love the EJ signing! Great for business.

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Post by sensisball Sat 07 Jan 2023, 12:19 pm

Can you imagine Jones bossing Toonie about during coaching sessions?

Would certainly give Toonie a good excuse for the wheels falling off: it was the wee baldy old man that did it, it wasne me!!

Elevating Pete Horne after less than a season with Glasgow would be a massive gamble but again would have the benefit of providing a suitable blamehound.

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Post by BigGee Sat 07 Jan 2023, 12:50 pm

Problem is, you are not going to get anyone to commit long term, knowing that Toonie almost certainly walking post WC.

Not likely to be any immediately available siutable candidates either.

Well see, but an existing SRU emplyee may be the only option. Horne knows Toonie and the players and seems to be an ambitious coach. He could be a reasonable option, am struggling to think of any other in house alternatives.

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