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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

First topic message reminder :

It's the hope that kills ya!

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Post by RDW Sat 07 Jan 2023, 2:05 pm

BigGee wrote: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.

Duncan Hodge is free...

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Post by BigGee Sat 07 Jan 2023, 2:34 pm

RDW wrote:
BigGee wrote: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.

Duncan Hodge is free...

Think I'd prefer EJ Very Happy

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Post by jimbopip Sat 07 Jan 2023, 3:21 pm

RDW wrote:
BigGee wrote: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.

Duncan Hodge is free...

Still massively over-valued.

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Post by tigertattie Sat 07 Jan 2023, 5:53 pm

Shoulder boy looking at a ban for being, well, his usual self!

Not gonna lie, terrible news for Scotland as quite frankly he’s knickers in the England setup.

This is likely to mean that Borthwick will do a Redpath on us and cap Fin Smith against us
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Post by bsando Sat 07 Jan 2023, 8:56 pm

AB Zondaugh tapping out before the World Cup.. well Toonie was the attack coach before anyway so a few pennies are saved. He’s not really made a big impact since joining but the attack did look better recently in the autumn. Just hope we find a short term solution for the RWC, I’m team Jones all the way! He’d be great to have.

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Post by bsando Sat 07 Jan 2023, 9:23 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/jan/06/eddie-jones-mistakes-with-england-why-i-got-the-sack-rugby-union

Good interview with Jones, he alludes to the fact he has some offers which will be moving to the contract stage soon. Doesn’t want assistant roles, only head coach. Seems keener than ever to keep coaching.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 08 Jan 2023, 8:33 am

I'd be surprised if Jones plumped for Scotland but tbh he might be the medicine we need.

Not been overly impressed with Zondaughs contribution, though how much influence he really had I don't know. Our attack still looks headless and dependent on individuals rather than team play. It's times like this I really miss o'halloran in the set up.

Perhaps Ben cairns may be a good temp?

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Post by BigGee Sun 08 Jan 2023, 8:42 am

I have to confess the Jones idea was made in jest and in truth I would not want him anywhere near the Scotland set up.

We are not a big enough fish for him these days and he would do more damage than good I am afraid.

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Post by RDW Sun 08 Jan 2023, 8:55 am

NeilyBroon wrote:I'd be surprised if Jones plumped for Scotland but tbh he might be the medicine we need.

Not been overly impressed with Zondaughs contribution, though how much influence he really had I don't know. Our attack still looks headless and dependent on individuals rather than team play. It's times like this I really miss o'halloran in the set up.

Perhaps Ben cairns may be a good temp?

He's not even coached pro yet!

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 08 Jan 2023, 9:29 am

RDW wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:I'd be surprised if Jones plumped for Scotland but tbh he might be the medicine we need.

Not been overly impressed with Zondaughs contribution, though how much influence he really had I don't know. Our attack still looks headless and dependent on individuals rather than team play. It's times like this I really miss o'halloran in the set up.

Perhaps Ben cairns may be a good temp?

He's not even coached pro yet!

I know but given the temp nature of the position may be a good stepping stone to a pro role? He's a more experienced coach than Horne!

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Post by BigGee Sun 08 Jan 2023, 7:14 pm

A few Glasgow players strongly putting their hands up for Scotland selection.

George Turner had a good game today, very physical and no stupidity, FB got injured as well, which may help his case.

Sione Tuipolotu is surely a shoe in, the only question being does he play 12 or 13.

Shuggy looks keen to get back into the team as well and has surely moved in front of Bennett on todays showing. Could we see a centre partnership of DST and HJ, it does not seem as outrageous as it once would have.

Jamie Bhatti keeps his strong form going. He will surely be the third LH in the squad and may now be pushing Sutherland (not sure what kind of form he is in.

Kyle Steyn is looking like the next cab off the rank if either or both of Graham/VDM are not fit. You would think after that BK will be playing on the wing again, as he did for Edinburgh this weekend.

Finally George Horne. Hard to see that he won't be the third SH in the squad now. Franco is consistently picking him over price to start for Glasgow. Does Toonie want to play from all obver the place though, or does he want more control? ben White, who seems a bit of a hybrid of the two Glasgow SHs, might of course be the answer but Horne may still be the better bench option.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 08 Jan 2023, 7:26 pm

Have to say berghan did a good job when he came on in the scrum too.

I expect shug will be the bench option but if he starts with sione for the run up to the 6Ns it'd be daft of Toonie to not even consider that combination. The issue is Harris is in decent form for Glaws and Toonie just needs the slightest excuse to start him even if the combination doesn't work for Scotland.

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Post by BigGee Sun 08 Jan 2023, 7:43 pm

Yes, i missed Berghan, he will surely be in the mix for a TH spot, even more so if Zander not fit

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Post by bsando Mon 09 Jan 2023, 12:24 pm

Know little to nothing about McBeth but the Glasgow scrum was very good in the final part of the match. Considering our lack of depth could he be in the wider squad?

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Post by BigGee Mon 09 Jan 2023, 12:41 pm

bsando wrote:Know little to nothing about McBeth but the Glasgow scrum was very good in the final part of the match. Considering our lack of depth could he be in the wider squad?

He is a LH and we are not so badly off on that side, so I doubt he will be in the squad. I would like to see him get more Glasgow game time though and with Bhatti likely to be in the squad, that seems likely.


On another note, A B Zonagh seems to have left the Scotland coaching setup as of now, for family reasons. Someone else likely to be coming in for the 6N and WC you would imagine. This has only become public in the past few days, but they are likely to have been working on this for a while.

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Post by NeilyBroon Mon 09 Jan 2023, 1:02 pm

As I said before not been too impressed with AB's impact anyway. Looked like the headless stuff of old. Good chance to develop another Scottish coach for the next 12 months under a temp contract.

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Post by cakeordeath Mon 09 Jan 2023, 6:59 pm

BigGee wrote:
On another note, A B Zonagh seems to have left the Scotland coaching setup as of now, for family reasons. Someone else likely to be coming in for the 6N and WC you would imagine. This has only become public in the past few days, but they are likely to have been working on this for a while.

Given how Glasgow are starting to play maybe they will shuffle Carolan over for the WC

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Post by takethelongroad Mon 09 Jan 2023, 9:00 pm

With AB’s departure announced today and townsend’s rumoured shot at the French assistant coach in mind it does feel like the rumours of getting scott robertson after the WC are a little more credible than before. Typically we would then win the 6n this year with GTs exit already set in stone.

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Post by NeilyBroon Mon 09 Jan 2023, 9:15 pm

takethelongroad wrote:With AB’s departure announced today and townsend’s rumoured shot at the French assistant coach in mind it does feel like the rumours of getting scott robertson after the WC are a little more credible than before. Typically we would then win the 6n this year with GTs exit already set in stone.

Or are we getting a Shaun Edwards swap...?

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Post by RDW Mon 09 Jan 2023, 10:29 pm

Townsend to become a French assistant coach is a strange one indeed. I'd have thought he would take on a French club head coach job if anything.

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Post by TJ Mon 09 Jan 2023, 10:56 pm

RDW wrote:Townsend to become a French assistant coach is a strange one indeed. I'd have thought he would take on a French club head coach job if anything.

IMO thats what he needs to develop into a decent coach

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Post by BigGee Mon 09 Jan 2023, 10:57 pm

Well he has played in France, he speaks good French and maybe he fancies coaching a team that wins a few things.

He has done the grind of being a head coach, maybe he does not fancy that anymore.

It could of course, all just be rumour as well!


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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 09 Jan 2023, 10:58 pm

So it's now official, by this time next year we'll have a new coach so I really hope that the SRU are beginning the search or at least sounding out names that could be in contention; perhaps some coaches will be stating their availability too though I doubt Scott Robertson will be one.

I am a big fan of Gregor so am disappointed at this news but understand that he maybe thinks he's served his time but I'm surprised he's plumping for an assistant job instead of Head Coach or DoR rol.

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Post by takethelongroad Mon 09 Jan 2023, 11:41 pm

I wouldn’t say that it’s official shaun, just interesting timing of all these updates coming out.

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 09 Jan 2023, 11:45 pm

Rather worrying I'd say Sad, I can understand AB leaving as its for personal reasons and a crack at a coaching job in a top league. I also understand Gregor's stance too but not the timing, though that's not his fault, it's that French journalist trying to unsettle our squad etc.


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Post by BigGee Tue 10 Jan 2023, 9:46 am

https://www.theoffsideline.com/glasgow-warriors-return-puts-huw-jones-in-frame-for-scotland-recall/


Huw Jones thoughts about a possible Scotland recall and how he is playing at the moment.

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Post by BigGee Tue 10 Jan 2023, 9:51 am

https://twitter.com/topofthemoonGW/status/1612726771904040960


Kevin Millar, the unofficial Glasgow Stats man, shows how the two centres made a mockery of the 12/13 labels and mixed it up throughout the game. It seems that ST generally lines up at 12 in defence but attacking wise it is 50:50

I am actually a Harris fan and can see what he brings to the party, but these two look like some combination as well and can light up the attack. The Stormers are no mugs defensively, but they ran them ragged.

It is going to be a hell of a choice at centre if they all stay fit.

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Post by bsando Tue 10 Jan 2023, 10:15 am

Yes I also read the Jones article and his move to Quins was a great career move given his situation at the time. It’s really helped him comeback to Glasgow fit and ready to give it another go for Scotland.

Townsend moving to an assistant coach role seems like a good move for him. He’s not really looked comfortable being scotland head coach at times. Having a break from the overall management of a team and specialising in attack for arguably the best rugby team in the world on form is a pretty decent notch on the CV. Given Farrell or another home nations coach is likely to get the next Lions gig, I’m certain he would be well positioned to get the attack coach role again if he is successful with France.

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Post by Tramptastic Tue 10 Jan 2023, 3:00 pm

Fabian Galthie, Shaun Edwards and Gregor Townsend as your coaching ticket is fairly spicy

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Post by BigGee Tue 10 Jan 2023, 3:10 pm

Pre WC games announced today

Three at Murrayfield, Italy aat end of July, then France and finally Georgia in August. Also playing France away, venue TBC, somewhere in between.

Seems a reasonable combination of games to get us ready.

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Post by tigertattie Tue 10 Jan 2023, 11:30 pm

I’m hoping things change nearer the time but currently this World Cup doesn’t have me enthused at all. I’m in full private Fraser mode at this moment in time.

Sadly I can see us having a scrappy win vs Ireland in the 6ns to leave us sitting 4th but that win will give us hope of doing it again in the World Cup only to be badly, sadly, painfully wrong

Maybe in a few months……..
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Post by BigGee Wed 11 Jan 2023, 8:20 am

Toonie to Leicester now in the mix as well.

Seems like he is getting linked to any vacant job now!

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Post by TJ Wed 11 Jan 2023, 8:51 am

tigertattie wrote:I’m hoping things change nearer the time but currently this World Cup doesn’t have me enthused at all. I’m in full private Fraser mode at this moment in time.

Sadly I can see us having a scrappy win vs Ireland in the 6ns to leave us sitting 4th but that win will give us hope of doing it again in the World Cup only to be badly, sadly, painfully wrong

Maybe in a few months……..

I feel very pessimistic as well. Injuries have weakened the team badly and we still have a poor coach in Townsend who seems unable to get the best out of the players

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 11 Jan 2023, 12:21 pm

tigertattie wrote:I’m hoping things change nearer the time but currently this World Cup doesn’t have me enthused at all. I’m in full private Fraser mode at this moment in time.

Sadly I can see us having a scrappy win vs Ireland in the 6ns to leave us sitting 4th but that win will give us hope of doing it again in the World Cup only to be badly, sadly, painfully wrong

Maybe in a few months……..

God I hope not. Not impossible though.

Scotland are a bit of an enigma to me.

They are capable of playing some of the best attacking rugby on the planet and seem to have lots of high quality players but never seem to go on a run of good results. If there was a Lions tour tomorrow for example Id say there would be more Scottish players at least in the conversation for selection than in the last 20 years.

I found the NZ v Scotland game infurating to watch. They had the talent to win that game but seemed so lacking in belief that it never seemed likely.

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Post by bsando Wed 11 Jan 2023, 12:40 pm

The confidence is much better than it used to be but Scotland do love to let teams back into games when they are ahead. I think that’s why Healy is really exciting me because despite his age he seems like a player who will find a way to win and not lose his doodoo.

Hastings came on and threw a match winning pass to VDM against France in 2021 so there is some growing confidence in the international side. Just need to see the error count reduced this 6N. Easiest way to lose.

Scotland can win their first two matches away and at home. Do that and then beat one of France or Ireland and they may be in with a shoot come the final weekend if results work in their favour.


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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 11 Jan 2023, 2:27 pm

The big test is discipline. Our discipline has become atrocious in the last 18 months after it seemed like we had got it in control. Penalties for dumb things like contact in the air, getting caught offside when the opposition is doing nothing, not rolling.

Our other habit, that I see in the club sides, is allowing ourselves to get pushed back in an attempt to isolate and get a turnover. I would like to see us front up better physically with more dominant hits to keep the gainline static and rely less on the ref rewarding us.

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Post by sensisball Wed 11 Jan 2023, 8:07 pm

Hazel
That is one of our many problems. Where is the current version of Jason White to scare the hell out of opponents on the receiving end of his tackling?

He certainly doesn't reside in the body of Jamie Ritchie.

One of our other issues is that Toonie has named Ritchie as his captain, which means he plays regardless of form.

Fagerson should be the starting 6 with Dempsey at 8. That just leaves us a match fit quality 7 to find, again that's not Ritchie.

Discipline will continue to be an issue as long as we are largely dominated physically by most of our opponents.


Last edited by sensisball on Wed 11 Jan 2023, 9:25 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RDW Wed 11 Jan 2023, 8:16 pm

sensisball wrote:Hazel
That is one of our many problems. Where is the current version of Jason White to scare the hell out of opponents on the receiving end of his tackling?

He certainly doesn't reside in the body of Jamie Ritchie.

One of our other issues is that Toonie has named Ritchie as his captain, which means he plays regardless of form.

Fagerson should be the starting 6 with Dempsey at 8. That just leaves us a match fit quality 7 to find, again that's not Ritchie.

Discipline will continue to be an issue as long as we are largely dominated physically by mist of our opponents.

Woah what's wrong with Ritchie's form?

He's been part of Edinburgh's general malaise lately but he's one of the first names on the teamsheet for Scotland - he always turns up at international level

We shouldn't get too carried away at Glasgow's recent form - it wil likely influence some close selection calls but he's not going to suddenly pick most the Glasgow team because they've won a few games in a row - there's a big difference between winning in the URC and winning in the 6N

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Post by TJ Wed 11 Jan 2023, 9:04 pm

IMO its down to Towsend.  The team are not mentally prepared well and are not always given a gameplan that they believe in. Some of his selections are inexplicable as well

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Post by Highland Shaun Wed 11 Jan 2023, 10:44 pm

BigGee wrote:Toonie to Leicester now in the mix as well.

Seems like he is getting linked to any vacant job now!

I noticed that too so it certainly seems like "we are beginning to see the end of Gregor's Scotland reign" as was a quote (maybe worded differently to how I put it) in a newspaper article I saw on Twitter yesterday night.

Fwiw, there's 2/3 good articles in the Mail plus website, one headlined "its time the SRU forked out for an A list coach" and another which atates that the SRU have fumbled in terms of the timing of the Townsend news.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 12 Jan 2023, 7:45 am

So basically we're now under a caretaker coaching team in all but name, I think it's going to be a rough year. Why Toonie didn't take the fall 12 months ago is beyond me.

I can't imagine the players wanting to send him out with a bang, they don't seem inspired to play at the best of times. Seeing the effect Franco has had on Glasgow and how good he's been for the squad in the short time he's been in charge, I think we need to be seeking a hard nosed coach with clear values. Good as Robertson is I'm not convinced that's him. Vern worked because he got the players buy in and respect with his no nonsense approach but also allowed them to play with enough freedom that it didn't grate like cockers at Edinburgh.


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Post by Tramptastic Thu 12 Jan 2023, 8:30 am

I feel like im missing something but aren't all these job offers/applications for post-world cup? Hardly makes Toonie a caretaker coach, thats just when his contract ends!

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Post by RDW Thu 12 Jan 2023, 8:39 am

I think what he's getting at is it's not a good look if it's known that the whole coaching team is leaving, so there's no long-term buy in or need to form long-term relationships with the players.

I'm not sure this will be an issue as this will be a common occurrence in pro sport, and sport is very much a 'living in the present' profession where I cant imagine any player or coach is looking further than the WC anyway.

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Post by Tramptastic Thu 12 Jan 2023, 8:44 am

Yeh, Toonie has had 8 years to build long term relationships (with mixed results).

He has 2 jobs now - win the six nations and the world cup.

On the side he's got to secure his career, post-world cup. This shouldn't be seen as strange and i doubt the players are phased by it, they are all probably focused on the next two tournaments and the impact they can make.

As a comparison, nobody blinks when players go looking for new contracts

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Post by BigGee Thu 12 Jan 2023, 10:14 am

Tramptastic wrote:Yeh, Toonie has had 8 years to build long term relationships (with mixed results).

He has 2 jobs now - win the six nations and the world cup.

On the side he's got to secure his career, post-world cup. This shouldn't be seen as strange and i doubt the players are phased by it, they are all probably focused on the next two tournaments and the impact they can make.

As a comparison, nobody blinks when players go looking for new contracts


Exactly, I don't think it's a big deal at all, coaching teams change after the WC, everyone knows that.

For a good few of the players, Gilchrist, Brown, McInally, Hogg(maybe) etc and likely a few others, this will also be their likely swansong as well and they will fancy going out with a bang.

This is just the nature of professional sport.

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Post by bsando Thu 12 Jan 2023, 10:15 am

To be fair to Townsend he has blooded a lot of players and given older heads a second go like Bennett, Scott and R Gray. Plenty of personal motivation for his remaining time as head coach. Going out with a bang should be the goal.

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Post by BigGee Thu 12 Jan 2023, 10:34 am

Anyway, the squad is announced for the 6N next tuesday apparently.

Bearing in mind the current injuries, I suspect we might see something like this:

TH - Nel, Berghan, Javan (assuming Walker and Fagerson currently not fit)

Hooker - Cherry, Ashman, Turner (Brown might come into the equation if he is fit)

LH - Schoeman, Sutherland, Bhatti

Second Row - Gray R, Gray J, Gilchrist, Skinner, Young/Hodgson (Cummings to come back in once fit and apparently he is close)

Flankers - Watson, Ritchie, Crosbie, Christie, Bayliss

No.8 - Dempsey, Fagerson M

SH - Price, Horne, White (Cooney being the big if)

FH - Russell, Kinghorn, Healy

Wing - Steyn, DVDM (not sure about fitness), Mclaren, Hoyland (looking light here, BK likely to end up playing here and Maitland also an option)

Centre - Redpath, Tuipolotu, Jones, Harris, Bennett

FB - Hogg, Smit (BK also an option if Hogg not fit)



That's a 38 man squad, which would be about right. There is of course the usual Toonie curveball to consider, could it be Finn Smith?

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 12 Jan 2023, 10:49 am

Fin Smith seems unlikely but you never know!

All things considered looks to be a half decent squad. Only other bolter I can think of is Chapman maybe?

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Post by BigGee Thu 12 Jan 2023, 10:59 am

I think he should take Dobbie or Vellacott over Chapman, who is no doubt a good player in a position of some strength for us.

Maybe re-visit Tom Roebuck, who had a brief entry into the England squad, but never capped. We are certainly a bit short of wingers atm

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Post by RDW Thu 12 Jan 2023, 8:21 pm

Good squad Biggee and looks about right. TH and Wing definitely the problem position. I like the idea of bringing Maitland in for a Calcutta swansong if VDM or Graham aren't fit.

One other point is the flankers are all of the same mould - good athletic ball players but none of them big by international terms. Combine that with a lightweight couple of 8s in the squad. Rugby keeps ratcheting up in physicality every year, plus we have Ireland and SA in the world cup.

I can't help but feel this is a weak spot too. We don't really have anyone to fill that other than someone like Haining at 6.

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