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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 mikey_dragon Tue 28 Feb 2023, 2:26 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:The Gatland move was an attempt to paper over the cracks. He recognised the golden generation in Wales were hitting their 30's and decided to head home. He did okay at the Chiefs after a terrible Covid season but it did not seem like they were that sad to see him go.

Townsend to be fair has proven that he can adapt his approach but some of his stubborness has proven costly over his tenure. His on-and-off relationship with Russell, love affair with Kinghorn at 10 and exiling of Huw Jones come to mind.

Aside from one season, Gatland didn't do well at Chiefs, who you'll note started this current SR season quite well. I think Retallick coming back has helped somewhat. There seemed to be mixed views on Gats among the fan base.

The Wales players in or approaching their 30's still had many years of top level rugby left, and we unearthed some new players too. Wales went downhill and continued from the moment Pivac came in (his first game was against the Barbarians). Since then, we're pretty much like we are now. I think we are worse now but there's more reasons for that.

I'm not going to defend Gatland as I don't agree with some of what he's being doing with regards to selection, far from it. Him coming in was better for us than keeping what we had, and hopefully now all the off-field issues will be resolved.

I wouldn't recommend hiring a coach a second time, we'll have to wait and see if Eddie Jones to Australia works out.

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Post by Maine man Tue 28 Feb 2023, 6:11 pm

Think I read somewhere his only victory after leaving the Wales job was the lions test. And he didn't win any with the chiefs. I might be mistaken

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 01 Mar 2023, 1:41 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:The Gatland move was an attempt to paper over the cracks. He recognised the golden generation in Wales were hitting their 30's and decided to head home. He did okay at the Chiefs after a terrible Covid season but it did not seem like they were that sad to see him go.

Townsend to be fair has proven that he can adapt his approach but some of his stubborness has proven costly over his tenure. His on-and-off relationship with Russell, love affair with Kinghorn at 10 and exiling of Huw Jones come to mind.

Aside from one season, Gatland didn't do well at Chiefs, who you'll note started this current SR season quite well. I think Retallick coming back has helped somewhat. There seemed to be mixed views on Gats among the fan base.

The Wales players in or approaching their 30's still had many years of top level rugby left, and we unearthed some new players too. Wales went downhill and continued from the moment Pivac came in (his first game was against the Barbarians). Since then, we're pretty much like we are now. I think we are worse now but there's more reasons for that.

I'm not going to defend Gatland as I don't agree with some of what he's being doing with regards to selection, far from it. Him coming in was better for us than keeping what we had, and hopefully now all the off-field issues will be resolved.

I wouldn't recommend hiring a coach a second time, we'll have to wait and see if Eddie Jones to Australia works out.

Gatland had no record with the Chiefs, apart from 0/7 or something? Chiefs did better when he came back, but he basically wasn’t the lead man from what I’ve read? I’m happy to be corrected there.

The off field issues are not going to be resolved any time soon. I don’t think Gatland is exactly covering himself in glory with most of them either.

Anyway, no point taking over another thread about it. Scotland are in a pretty good place. The next game is very intriguing. Will be good to see a shoot out for the triple crown, especially with Scotland at home. Really, they should look at a second place minimum now, given France go to Twickenham and England go to Dublin.


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Post by RDW Wed 01 Mar 2023, 1:43 am

I know this is a Scotland thread but I've been meaning to say for a while - i'm amazed Gatland came back to Wales. He must have known that all of these issues were on the horizon. Given that he left a hero, why would he come back?

And yes he's not exactly had overwhelming success since leaving Wales the first time!

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Post by EWT Spoons Wed 01 Mar 2023, 9:24 am

RDW wrote:I know this is a Scotland thread but I've been meaning to say for a while - i'm amazed Gatland came back to Wales. He must have known that all of these issues were on the horizon. Given that he left a hero, why would he come back?

And yes he's not exactly had overwhelming success since leaving Wales the first time!

At a guess as to why he went back

Money – Not saying he’s driven by cash or that is the sole influence on his decisions, but like all/most of us we need money to live.  No idea on how much he’s on, but there are a lot of rumours (some of them may be fact I’ve not followed his remuneration that closely) that he’s absolutely coining it in.

Believing he can fix the situation – He must feel like he's an expert on Welsh rugby after spending the time he did with the national team and the success he had with them.  He probably thought he could get the team back to winning ways, repairing Welsh rugby and his own failing reputation whilst he was at it.

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Post by bsando Wed 01 Mar 2023, 10:15 am

Foster will step down as ABs coach after the World Cup. That opens the door for Robertson and others. Would Toonie apply for that one?

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Post by BigGee Wed 01 Mar 2023, 10:49 am

bsando wrote:Foster will step down as ABs coach after the World Cup. That opens the door for Robertson and others. Would Toonie apply for that one?

I don't think they would allow a non NZ coach

It's pretty much a shoot out between Joseph and Robertson

Smart money on Razor!

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Post by George Carlin Wed 01 Mar 2023, 11:00 am

There would be an outcry if it wasn't Robertson.

He's been flavour of the month for about 24 consecutive months now.

The public have already chosen him.

The only thing stopping it would be a personal relationship issue at management level which isn't completely outwith the realms of possibility...
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Post by RDW Wed 01 Mar 2023, 11:16 am

The runner up to get the Scotland job?

Strangely, it's probably the most high profile job after the ABs that is (potentially) available.

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Post by BigGee Wed 01 Mar 2023, 11:31 am

Yes, that is true

If Toonie walks or is pushed, i am pretty sure we will pick up another very decent coach.

McDonald or Joseph, plenty to like about either of them, though i do wonder if JJ should have pushed on for another role after the last WC. The Japan job is an odd one, with only real prominence and public scrutiny around WC time. It may not prepare you for the white heat of 6N expectations.


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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 01 Mar 2023, 11:34 am

Scotland is not a bad job to get considering that Russell probably has one more cycle in him with Healy, Thompson and Hastings all entering/in their primes. Zander will also be there in the second most important spot. For a smaller nation, there is plenty of talent.

Joseph would be an excellent hire. Used to working with limited domestic resources and importing the occasional foreigner with Japan. Progressed the national team into a clear Tier 1b nation (not far off entering the full Tier 1). Whether he would leave Japan for Scotland rather than NZ is where I think we might struggle but like Toonie, it will be his second RWC and it may be time for a fresh voice

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Post by Highland Shaun Wed 01 Mar 2023, 3:19 pm

I would be happy with either Leon MacDonald or Jamie Joseph if, as I expect, Gregor is off after the world cup but I'm sure there will be loads of others candidates too.

Hopefully by the end of the 6N we have an idea of what Gregor is planning because you can be rest assured that after the Italy game either the interviewer post match or in the press conference will ask whether that was his last 6N game as Scotland head coach.

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Post by George Carlin Wed 01 Mar 2023, 5:03 pm

For all that we love taking the pee out of the Scotland team (because they're ours), we have to remember that they are ranked 5th in the world at the moment and have a highly educated and aesthetically beautiful fan base (that's us). It would be an attractive coaching job.
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Post by tigertattie Wed 01 Mar 2023, 6:13 pm

George Carlin wrote:For all that we love taking the pee out of the Scotland team (because they're ours), we have to remember that they are ranked 5th in the world at the moment and have a highly educated and aesthetically beautiful fan base (that's us). It would be an attractive coaching job.

Speak for yersel
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Post by bsando Fri 03 Mar 2023, 7:49 am

Remember a few years back when a list of Union CEO salaries was revealed? Dodson was widely criticised for his pay packet of close to £1m, a staggering amount. Fast forward to today and do you think that was actually money well spent when considering the state of some of the other unions?

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Post by Tramptastic Fri 03 Mar 2023, 8:42 am

bsando wrote:Remember a few years back when a list of Union CEO salaries was revealed? Dodson was widely criticised for his pay packet of close to £1m, a staggering amount. Fast forward to today and do you think that was actually money well spent when considering the state of some of the other unions?

It depends on your measure of success. The pro game has come on leaps and bounds under Dodson with huge investment in both pro teams (infrastructure, staff, players) with the commercial side of Murrayfield having developed as well (advertising revenues are up, ticket sales have dramatically increased over his tenure etc).

However, player numbers at grassroots are down in recent years with the SRU data showing 11,000 registered male players and our U20s have hardly been setting the world alight which is potentially a ticking time bomb for the pro game if all our pro players end up being crud. That being said, Dodson has shown the ability to recognise a problem (when its clearly spelt out to him) and takes steps to address it with the appointment of Jim Mallinder as performance director.

I think his pay packet is too high and i think there are going to be problems in the future regarding player numbers but i'd say overall he's being a success.

We are living in Interesting Times and to think that we are isolated from the problems that plague the welsh and english game would be arrogant to say the least. Next 5 years are going to be even more Interesting Times.

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Post by EST Fri 03 Mar 2023, 9:28 am

Did anyone else hear the comments from Andy Dunne on the Irish Off The Ball program yesterday? That he thinks Ireland are going to put Scotland 'back in their box' and that we are constantly talking about how good we are?

These lines seem to be trotted out every year by the Irish media, but I genuinely can't recall a member of the Scotland team ever saying anything of the sort, and certainly not this year - it's all been quite friendly, acknowledging how good this Irish team have become. The fake grievance shtick is really boring, and comes across as really arrogant - which isn't the impression I get of the Irish team itself.

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Post by Tramptastic Fri 03 Mar 2023, 11:23 am

Does it not stem from the years that Glasgow were hammering the irish sides (and everyone else too) in the Pro12/14?

Munster seemed to take exception to this and i think the Irish media followed suit. That combined with Sexton not going on the SA lions tour in favour of Russell...

Its clickbait but its probably a result of Ireland being so good for so long that the media gets insulted at the idea of Scotland being able to play with the expectation that they could beat Ireland at home.

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Post by NeilyBroon Fri 03 Mar 2023, 12:29 pm

To be fair I think the Irish are taking Scotland more seriously given the scare they got from Italy due to complacency. Shows they can't just bully everyone off the park. I think Scotland stood well enough up to France who are a physical side.

The key is just focusing on finding ways of getting our game going against a suffocating side. I think seeing Scotland beat Ireland would easily surpass any recent big wins we've had even if we'd beaten the ABs in the autumn. Given the strength of this Ireland side and years of losing we are very much the David to this Goliath, but we at least now have a few more stones to throw!

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Post by NeilyBroon Fri 03 Mar 2023, 12:36 pm

On the flipside lose, and I struggle to see that much tournament progress has been made in practical terms other than beating the Welsh.

Nothing to lose and a triple crown to gain! Would be nice just to see some silverware other than the Calcutta cup! Got to break the duck at some point and given our player numbers something has to inspire Scottish rugby otherwise it'll be dead in 10 years.


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Post by bsando Fri 03 Mar 2023, 12:36 pm

That sort of chat is basically tall poppy syndrome. That makes me very happy actually because it means Scotland must be doing quite well at the moment.

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Post by bsando Fri 03 Mar 2023, 12:53 pm

And Huw Jones voted player of the round for week 3. So that’s VDM Rd 1 and Russell Rd 2 and now Jones for Rd 3. That pretty much sums up how enjoyable Scotland’s attack has been this six nations. Hope we get more of the same against Ireland.

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Post by EST Fri 03 Mar 2023, 5:06 pm

Tramptastic wrote:Does it not stem from the years that Glasgow were hammering the irish sides (and everyone else too) in the Pro12/14?

Munster seemed to take exception to this and i think the Irish media followed suit. That combined with Sexton not going on the SA lions tour in favour of Russell...

Its clickbait but its probably a result of Ireland being so good for so long that the media gets insulted at the idea of Scotland being able to play with the expectation that they could beat Ireland at home.

I'm not really sure of the origins really, I know that Munster and Glasgow don't get on particularly well, but strange that it would translate to the national press. It seems to be a recurring theme every year too. I do find it strange, the criticism always seems quite personal and isn't replicated anywhere else - it wouldn't annoy me so much if it wasn't such blatant nonsense, the Scottish rugby supporter and team psyche have got so use to constantly losing that any overt Hubris is well concealed.

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Post by Highland Shaun Fri 03 Mar 2023, 5:14 pm

These comments from the Irish Muppet are making this quote from Kevin Keegan become more appropriate "I would LOVE it if we beat them, LOVE IT" as it would shut them idiots up once and for all (especially Matt Williams who has a nerve being so critical after the disastrous reign he had with us!!)!!

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Post by bsando Fri 03 Mar 2023, 6:16 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001jrjn/ulster-rugby-the-ulster-rugby-show-02032023

Good discussion on Ireland’s prospects for Scotland and England. Best makes a good point about how Scotland’s defence will be properly tested against Ireland. France was obviously a big step up from Wales but Ireland will be another huge challenge.

The Irish power game vs the Scottish attack. A familiar matchup in recent years, but do Scotland have the balance just about right now? I can’t wait for this one to see how Scotland have truly progressed.

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Post by tigertattie Fri 03 Mar 2023, 10:02 pm

Anyone heard if Gilchrist has a ban following his high tackle last week???
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Post by NeilyBroon Sat 04 Mar 2023, 6:27 am

tigertattie wrote:Anyone heard if Gilchrist has a ban following his high tackle last week???

I'd be surprised if he didn't at least have a 1 game ban. Not much mitigation in that tackle other than he's a very silly boy.

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Post by RDW Sat 04 Mar 2023, 11:27 pm

tigertattie wrote:Anyone heard if Gilchrist has a ban following his high tackle last week???

It's very weird - his hearing was.on Tuesday but still no word. He was also training at the open training session!

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Post by George Carlin Sun 05 Mar 2023, 5:26 am

The Irish press reaction to any team which is not SANZAR is pretty ugly.

They're effectively placing Ireland as the shy kid in class with thick glasses and a peanut allergy who found the gym, protein shakes and a career as a hedge fund manager. Now they're taking out their childhood frustrations on everyone else. Boastfulness and a lack of grace is ugly in any walk of life and I don't think that a lot of these crowing muppets who 'write' for the Irish Times and Independent quite realise how awful they sound.
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Post by bsando Sun 05 Mar 2023, 1:27 pm

Would be strange if he were not banned. But that gives Henderson an opportunity and he looks more than ready for international honours.

This is very much Power vs Attack. Although we’ve narrowed the gap a little up front I think the coaches will once more feel that it is necessary to counter some of the Irish power game with a 6:2 split. But I’d prefer it if we didn’t. I’d actually be very tempted to give Healy his first cap with Price and Kinghorn making up the final spots on the bench.

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Post by BigGee Sun 05 Mar 2023, 1:42 pm

I would imagine Gray x 2 will start the Ireland game in the row.

Bench, likely to be Skinner, but Cummings could come in (though Franco did say post friday that he did not think either he, nor Darge was quite ready for full international duty yet)

If that is the case, or hexwants to go 6:2 again, then Henderson could be in the equation.

I still did not see a great performance from HW yesterday afternoon, albeit was hard to stand out in the second half collapse.

Dempsey was held back this week and did have a good game off the bench against France, so maybe a Dempsey-Ritchie-Fagerson is being considered.

I will also be interested to see how Andy Christie plays for Sarries this afternoon. He has been consistently good for them and must be very close to getting picked now.

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Post by RDW Sun 05 Mar 2023, 8:19 pm

Finn currently playing for Racing against Toulouse 😬

Not ideal it's a Sunday night game either

Ben White played 78 minutes on Sunday too.

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Post by BigGee Sun 05 Mar 2023, 8:29 pm

I guess our game not till next Sunday which gives us a little more leeway

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Post by George Carlin Mon 06 Mar 2023, 8:29 am

RDW wrote:Finn currently playing for Racing against Toulouse 😬

Not ideal it's a Sunday night game either

Ben White played 78 minutes on Sunday too.
Finn played the full 80 and apparently came through unscathed.

Quite a game too - Racing scored 5 tries and still managed to lose by 4 points.
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Post by RiscaGame Mon 06 Mar 2023, 4:37 pm

RDW wrote:
tigertattie wrote:Anyone heard if Gilchrist has a ban following his high tackle last week???

It's very weird - his hearing was.on Tuesday but still no word. He was also training at the open training session!

Three game ban.

Apologies if it has been discussed. I didn't see it.

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 06 Mar 2023, 5:31 pm

I see that a certain Mr Rob Robertson is having another pop at Mark Dodson in today's Mail plus basically saying that he will be provided with a dilemma regarding Gregor if we beat Ireland and that it would be hard to stick with his original plan of sacking/not offering a new contract to him. It sounds from the article that it was the plan since before the 6N to stick to the original plan.

I'm not making myself sound right lol so I'll try and post the press reader link and that should open via your Google or Facebook settings because I got in using my email details Wink.

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Post by bsando Mon 06 Mar 2023, 9:52 pm

https://twitter.com/aaronwalshnz/status/1631690553636052996?s=20

Hmm..

How long is he contracted again?

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Sat 11 Mar 2023, 1:37 pm

Kenny Logan’s boy just signed a pro contract with Northampton, and he looks like a big lad in the back row! One for the future! https://twitter.com/thistlerugbypod/status/1634528402303533056?s=46&t=a2cWdqAwPgP6o89FZFU59g

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Post by NeilyBroon Sat 11 Mar 2023, 4:37 pm

Well I was just at Italy Wales on a stag do. What an atmosphere, definitely coming for Scotland next year!!
Have a horrible feeling we're going to play like Italy tomorrow!

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Post by BigGee Sat 11 Mar 2023, 4:49 pm

It's maybe the best away 6N trip for the whole weekend away.

I know I am bias, but Rome just the most amazing city to visit.

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Post by tigertattie Sun 12 Mar 2023, 5:26 pm

So. What did we make of that?

Firstly, Ireland at the no 1 ranked team so let’s remember that.

This being said. We’ve only beaten a really awful England and and even worse wales team.

In the cold light of day we’re not good enough to beat the top teams and realistically we’re not getting out of the group stage at the world
Cup. The reason for this is we’re absolutely brilliant in patches but we’re not an 80 minute team. Ireland got hammered with early injuries in key positions and we couldn’t capitalise. The whole taking 25 mins to realise we need to put a front jumper up at their lineout when VDF was throwing in was nothing short of incompetence. Perhaps if big Ritchie or Gilchrist were there, something may have been done.

The World Cup will see 3 of the top 6 teams in the world in one group. Sadly we’re the bottom of those 3 so are likely to be bumped out.
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Post by R!skysports Sun 12 Mar 2023, 5:43 pm

Well that was frustrating.

Firstly well done to Ireland. Deserved winners and the second half control and ability to strangle us out the game, was class.

Scotland, Scotland, Scotland......why?

I really don't think we have progressed at all this tournement. We have only play 1 half of rugby in each match and are still plagued by school boy basic errors

Line out
Not competing to catch balls
Running up blind alleys and getting bundled out
Forcing it
Not supporting our runners

Ah well. If we can put together a 80 min performance, we should beat Italy and could end up 3rd, which will be good 0 but I am not at all confident

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Post by Highland Shaun Sun 12 Mar 2023, 5:49 pm

Unfortunately I think this does it for Gregor and a new contract unless we somehow get out of the group Sad.

I really hope we see a change in the bench hooker wise because Brown is poor and probably past it now, Ashman deserves a chance imho.

I suspect we'll see a few more changes too.

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Post by sensisball Sun 12 Mar 2023, 5:52 pm

Good first 30 but you can't  beat Ireland if you don't play a genuine 7 to at least slow down some of their ball
Eventually we were overwhelmed even though the tackling in first 50 was immense.
Not sussing that VDF would always be throwing to 2, apart from his long overthrows, was dull in the extreme.
If Ireland hadn't lost both hookers it would have been a lot messier.

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Post by BigGee Sun 12 Mar 2023, 7:19 pm

What did we learn today?

Well, Ireland are better than us, but we probably knew that already.

Fact is, France and Ireland are the best 2 sides in the workd atm and we were competive with both of them.

Can we make the next step? That is not clear yet but to say we have not progressed is nonsense.

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Post by TJ Sun 12 Mar 2023, 7:32 pm

TJ wrote:There are no excuses now.  Scotland have to beat at least one of France and Ireland.  We are coming off two wins, Settled squad and coach.  Are they good enough?  Dare I hope?

Well that aged well. The answer is we re not good enough to challenge at the top. We could have beaten France but never looked like beating Ireland

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Post by Collapse2005 Sun 12 Mar 2023, 7:40 pm

TJ wrote:
TJ wrote:There are no excuses now.  Scotland have to beat at least one of France and Ireland.  We are coming off two wins, Settled squad and coach.  Are they good enough?  Dare I hope?

Well that aged well.  The answer is we re not good enough to challenge at the top.  We could have beaten France but never looked like beating Ireland

Scotland gave both Ireland and France a serious run for their money so Id say you are actually not far off. Scotland also did look good for a win for the first 50 minutes today. Id be nervous for the RWC group match.

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Post by TJ Sun 12 Mar 2023, 7:47 pm

"Not far off" and "gave them a run" is not good enough. We needed to beat one of them at least

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Post by RDW Sun 12 Mar 2023, 8:26 pm

Sounds like a barnstorming proper test match first half, then big drop off in the 2nd. Lineout continues to be a major issues for Scotland, particularly against Ireland. Fraser Brown needs to lose his bench spot I've watched the highlights and VDM was caught out too narrow for all the tries.

Shame we didn't score a point after 17 minutes!

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