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Scotland World Cup buildup

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 20 Mar 2023, 11:00 pm

First topic message reminder :

Scotland v Italy
Saturday 29 July

Scotland v France
Saturday 5 August

France v Scotland
Saturday 12 August

Scotland v Georgia
Saturday 26 August

I think it's only fair to start another thread for this topic because I can see it being a popular topic in terms of discussion Smile.

First things first is that 3 wins from 5 and a 3rd place finish probably exceeded expectations because most would have said 2 wins and the 4th place win, the one that most would have called was England to beat us as they were at home so imho we certainly deserve enormous credit for that one because we played very well against an England team that also had their moments, in fact I could already see improvements from the Eddie Jones era during that game and until DVDM clinched it at the death, I was still pretty worried we wouldn't win so was understandably over the moon that we did win.

The Wales and Italy matches were mixed bags tbh but we did get 5pts from both which was crucial, the Welsh game we didn't really perform first half and were in fact fortunate to go in at half time ahead but second half we were excellent and deserved the bonus point win.  The Italy game was a mixed bag in terms of; we had patches where we did well and others where we were hanging on, such as the last 2mins, I also felt that in that game our top centre pairing of Huwipulotu were quiet in attack though DVDM was a bit more involved that he had been in the previous few weeks before.

The France game was bloody frustrating because we showed glimpses of how well we can play especially in the second half for large parts but we were guilty of missing key opportunities and indiscipline from the captain of all people was our undoing which is where the frustration comes because as fans, we expect our captain to know what the ref will tolerate in terms of backchat!

The Ireland game was a game of 2 halfs, in the first half we were going toe to toe with them, it was probably the best we've played against them in a very long time; second half was a completely different story, we basically just capitalutated and handed the game to them with basic errors and more stupid indiscipline.

In terms of the coach, I have made my feelings known and really hope that the situation is resolved by at least mid to late April as we really need clarity on the situation!

Finally, for the summer warm up matches I'd like to see fringe players like Cameron Henderson, Ben Healy, Stafford McDowall, Kyle Rowe and Ollie Smith get some game time to see what they can offer either at the world cup (unlikely) or next 6N in 2024 Smile.

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Post by TJ Tue 08 Aug 2023, 11:15 pm

Fagerson must have had the special biscuits with lots of chocolate. thats a pretty light sanction

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Post by RDW Tue 08 Aug 2023, 11:19 pm

Mcsweens wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
Tramptastic wrote:So what I've heard is that Toonie is actually going full bhuna again for this match - he knows is starting 15, maybe wants to tinker with the bench a bit.

T

Against Les Coq Au Vin? Goodness gracious me! drumroll

I'll get my coat.

Coq au vin? Is that an offshoot of Fake Taxi?


Btw this joke deserved a lot more reaction  Laugh

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 09 Aug 2023, 7:22 am

I'm quite surprised that Fagerson has got away with only a 2 match ban.

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Post by Tramptastic Wed 09 Aug 2023, 8:33 am

I understand the ban but im sympathetic to Fagersons plight as he does adjust his feet, he doesnt fly in, he binds on to the player who is attempting to jackal and pops his head up, fagerson clocks him under the chin.

Its a fair card but also unfortunate compared to his red card against Wyn Jones (that really was horrendous).

3 match ban is about right, tackle school (for a ruck incident??) is nonsense but heyho - did Jonny Sexton have to go to verbal abuse school?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 09 Aug 2023, 9:15 am

Wasn't so much the incident by itself, though I felt that last view where you could see how far he came from was pretty bad, but the previous he's had.

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Post by nlpnlp Wed 09 Aug 2023, 9:39 am

At least we aren't going to get the vitriol that we had with the Johnny Sexton case - "Saint Johnny did nothing wrong", "Sexton should be banned for life", "the disciplinary panel are biased", etc, etc.

Nobody wants to see a player miss a world cup and Fagerson doesn't generally seem to be a malicious player, but it did seem a pretty straight forward red that could easily have ended Bourgarit's chance of going to the world cup.  I was surprised that the ref ducked the decision and gave an orange.  I know the point of the orange card is to speed up the decision on 50:50 cases and wait for the home TV companies to supply all the angles, but this didn't look like a 50:50 case - the only question seemed to be was it a heat of the moment show of frustration because the ref was allowing an opponent to use his hands to slow down ruck ball, or was iy a malicious act to cause an opponent serious damage which deserved a serious ban.

Likewise I was surprised that no card was given to Bielle-Biarrey for the head shot on Ben White.  It was pretty obvious that White was going to drop to gather the ball and the 'tackle' by Bielle-Biarrey was at best reckless - I have seen players carded for what to me seem much lesser head shots.  I just hope there are no issues with White being fit for the world cup.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 09 Aug 2023, 10:33 am

Nah the one on White was a penalty and nothing more. He's committed before White drops, it's an attempted legal tackle and he pulls out as soon as he makes contact. Very little force to the head area. That was good officiating.

I doubt we'll see any red cards now, they'll all be sent upstairs for review. Why make a decision there and then when it can be made at leisure upstairs to mitigate any possible error.

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Post by RDW Wed 09 Aug 2023, 10:46 am

I may be wrong but I thought the process was anything that warrants at least a yellow gets referred for review. I.e. even clear reds will get a yellow and referred?

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Post by RDW Wed 09 Aug 2023, 10:56 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:Nah the one on White was a penalty and nothing more. He's committed before White drops, it's an attempted legal tackle and he pulls out as soon as he makes contact. Very little force to the head area. That was good officiating.

I doubt we'll see any red cards now, they'll all be sent upstairs for review. Why make a decision there and then when it can be made at leisure upstairs to mitigate any possible error.


Nah that was a yellow. Regards of deliberate or not he still made contact with the head/neck with a swinging arm, so yellow. The fact that both players were dropping and it all happened very quickly is the mitigation for it not being a red.

With all these things I like to think would it have been controversial if a card had been given - I don't think many would have argued if he was given a yellow.

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Post by TJ Wed 09 Aug 2023, 11:34 am

RDW wrote:I may be wrong but I thought the process was anything that warrants at least a yellow gets referred for review. I.e. even clear reds will get a yellow and referred?

correct

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Post by TJ Wed 09 Aug 2023, 11:39 am

The one on White for me was worthy of a TMO review and potentially yellow. Pen only or yellow - neither would have been controversial as I think it was right on the edge

The TMO did look at it and decided pen only was enough without a formal review. IIRC TMO was Joy Adamson - who is generally pretty strict and who I rate as a ref so I am happy enough with that

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Post by sensisball Wed 09 Aug 2023, 11:43 am

Oh dear Neinaber thinks that Pollard and Am might have a shot at being fit for the Scotland game.
https://www.rugbypass.com/news/springboks-explain-why-pollard-am-and-de-jager-have-all-missed-out/?fbclid=IwAR229PZFhGXPI9S0otnS-Tv0-_qYmWIw7yUp-oveaMG-WFMfCZXWNj90EyY

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 09 Aug 2023, 11:44 am

RDW wrote:I may be wrong but I thought the process was anything that warrants at least a yellow gets referred for review. I.e. even clear reds will get a yellow and referred?

No, still optional. If the ref thinks it's clearly a red he'll still show it, rather than review. It comes in if they think there's any debate, so as to speed up the game. Personally I think it detracts a little in terms of understanding at the time as you don't hear the reasoning. I can understand from the pov of stadia viewing though.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 09 Aug 2023, 12:00 pm

nlpnlp wrote:At least we aren't going to get the vitriol that we had with the Johnny Sexton case - "Saint Johnny did nothing wrong", "Sexton should be banned for life", "the disciplinary panel are biased", etc, etc.

Nobody wants to see a player miss a world cup and Fagerson doesn't generally seem to be a malicious player, but it did seem a pretty straight forward red that could easily have ended Bourgarit's chance of going to the world cup.  I was surprised that the ref ducked the decision and gave an orange.  I know the point of the orange card is to speed up the decision on 50:50 cases and wait for the home TV companies to supply all the angles, but this didn't look like a 50:50 case - the only question seemed to be was it a heat of the moment show of frustration because the ref was allowing an opponent to use his hands to slow down ruck ball, or was iy a malicious act to cause an opponent serious damage which deserved a serious ban.

Likewise I was surprised that no card was given to Bielle-Biarrey for the head shot on Ben White.  It was pretty obvious that White was going to drop to gather the ball and the 'tackle' by Bielle-Biarrey was at best reckless - I have seen players carded for what to me seem much lesser head shots.  I just hope there are no issues with White being fit for the world cup.

Dont think anyone said Saint Jonny did nothing wrong. He deserved a ban, however, some of the reaction was over board based on who he is and because there was a RWC coming up. His ban was really in line with plenty of similarish cases. As for going to abuse school, given he has had one ban in his 20 year career and no one has had to do this before it would be a bit silly.

There have also been worse incidents than Sextons that have not had a ban too, for example in 2015 prior to the RWC Cheika burst into the refs room at half time in a super rugby match to argue scrum calls with ref Jaco Peyper. Under SANZAR rules it was understandably prohibited to enter the refs room. Cheika had just served a ban for abusing a camera man and any kind of ban would have seen him miss some or all RWC games. He didnt get a ban at all and Australia got to the final.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/australia-coach-michael-cheika-escapes-9007850

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Post by Tramptastic Wed 09 Aug 2023, 12:24 pm

Thats the worst thing that isn't just creeping into rugby, its already here, is abuse towards the ref - on the field and offline. I don't know what the result was of chieka but that should have been a lengthy ban, Erasmus got punished but i cant remember the full extent of it, Sexton has been punished HOWEVER, despite these sanctions refs are constantly feeling under the cosh from fans and now players/coaches. World rugby needs to make an example of the next person who does this because at the moment online trolls feel emboldened when they see pros spouting vitriol towards refs and theres no real consequences.

If refs continue to recieve abuse the refereering talent is going to drain away as they go "sod this, why should i take this abuse? why should i bother any more?". You only have to look at the harrowing stories Wayne Barnes tells about his wife receiving death threats.

Make the punishment over the top. Next player or coach who approaches a ref in an inappropriate setting and delivers verbal abuse of any kind should be banned for a year. Minimum. If refs need criticising then do it through the appropriate channels. If rugby wants to be open, inclusive and the players want to be role models then world rugby needs to stamp this stuff out. #rugbyvalues

p.s. the phrase "well they are just the ultimate competitor" is quite frankly a toddler level of excuse to justify sh1tebag behaviour on and off the pitch.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 09 Aug 2023, 12:32 pm

I agree refs should be respected. Sexton didnt do it via the right channels but he also didn't do it publicly though in so far he didnt criticise the ref online for public consumption ala Rassie, he approached the ref after the game on the pitch which was caught on a fans camera, without any audible commentary. You can argue he should know better but he cant be accused of emboldening online trolls, certainly not remotely to the same as Rassie who was absolutely guilty of that.

Thankfully respect towards refs in rugby is generally good though in my view, certainly compared to football where is can be absolutely awful. I spend part of the year every year in Argentina and how they treat refs in football there at all levels is shocking.

I also think that the amount of time it took to assess Sexton's case didnt help at all, it just added to all the noise around the incident.


Last edited by Collapse2005 on Wed 09 Aug 2023, 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 09 Aug 2023, 12:44 pm

sensisball wrote:Oh dear Neinaber thinks that Pollard and Am might have a shot at being fit for the Scotland game.
https://www.rugbypass.com/news/springboks-explain-why-pollard-am-and-de-jager-have-all-missed-out/?fbclid=IwAR229PZFhGXPI9S0otnS-Tv0-_qYmWIw7yUp-oveaMG-WFMfCZXWNj90EyY

They will only be called in if a squad player is injured though, which is fairly unlikely given SA's first game is v Scotland. SA do have a warm up game v NZ though in which an injury is possible I suppose but still a bit unlikely.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 09 Aug 2023, 12:58 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
sensisball wrote:Oh dear Neinaber thinks that Pollard and Am might have a shot at being fit for the Scotland game.
https://www.rugbypass.com/news/springboks-explain-why-pollard-am-and-de-jager-have-all-missed-out/?fbclid=IwAR229PZFhGXPI9S0otnS-Tv0-_qYmWIw7yUp-oveaMG-WFMfCZXWNj90EyY

They will only be called in if a squad player is injured though, which is fairly unlikely given SA's first game is v Scotland. SA do have a warm up game v NZ though in which an injury is possible I suppose but still a bit unlikely.

Given most rugby players are nursing an injury at some point it isn't a difficult thing to game in any way though. If you've got a squad player that isn't likely to be needed but has a slight strain then he gets punted and Pollard or Am come in.

There's a possibility that Cowan-Dickie might be fit later in the tournament for instance. Given England's hooker options below Jamie George have the experience of a foetus LCD would almost certainly be parachuted into the squad if he does get fit. That would be at the expense of any position with players surplus to requirement at that point.

The group stages being more spread out and the 33-man squads does lend itself to coaches being able to do this more. No short turnarounds to midweek games and the extra 2 players in the squad reduce the risk in being light of a utility back or versatile flanker in order to shoehorn a recently injured specialist such as Pollard or LCD back in.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 09 Aug 2023, 2:24 pm

Depends who gets injured Id say. for example SA only have two hookers in their squad. If one gets injured Id say they will definitely call up a hooker. They also only have three centers one of whom is a utility back. Not sure that they would call up Pollard if one of them went down but maybe. Even if he is called up, would they really start Pollard v Scotland with no game time and very little training, I would doubt it.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 09 Aug 2023, 2:35 pm

RDW wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Nah the one on White was a penalty and nothing more. He's committed before White drops, it's an attempted legal tackle and he pulls out as soon as he makes contact. Very little force to the head area. That was good officiating.

I doubt we'll see any red cards now, they'll all be sent upstairs for review. Why make a decision there and then when it can be made at leisure upstairs to mitigate any possible error.


Nah that was a yellow. Regards of deliberate or not he still made contact with the head/neck with a swinging arm, so yellow. The fact that both players were dropping and it all happened very quickly is the mitigation for it not being a red.

With all these things I like to think would it have been controversial if a card had been given - I don't think many would have argued if he was given a yellow.

Low force means it's starting point yellow as it's a legal attempt at a tackle and not foul play. Once at yellow there's clear mitigation so it drops to penalty only.

Couple of seasons ago it would have been a definite card of some colour.

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Post by BigGee Wed 09 Aug 2023, 2:47 pm

Low force is always a bit of a moot point

There did not seem to be a massive amount of force in Fagerson's either, but the French hooker let everyone know about it.

I guess it will never be an exact science.

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Post by TJ Wed 09 Aug 2023, 3:21 pm

BigGee wrote:Low force is always a bit of a moot point

There did not seem to be a massive amount of force in Fagerson's either, but the French hooker let everyone know about it.

I guess it will never be an exact science.

Of course not - its full of subjective assessments - hence the process to work thru to try to give some objectivity but at each step its a judgement call

The White incident could be seen as " not allowing the player to get up before the tackle" so its foul play ie not an attempt at a legal tackle or as a swinging arm so no attempt at a legal tackle. thus no mitigation thus red card

Or it could be seen as an attempt at a legal tackle - not a swinging arm but an attempt at a wrap. white sudden drop in height, start at yellow mitigate to pen only

Then you add in the subjectivity of high or low force / high or low degree of danger

In this case for me its on the borderline of yellow or pen only. I don't think anyone sensible could argue with either outcome

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Post by king_carlos Wed 09 Aug 2023, 3:25 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Depends who gets injured Id say. for example SA only have two hookers in their squad. If one gets injured Id say they will definitely call up a hooker. They also only have three centers one of whom is a utility back. Not sure that they would call up Pollard if one of them went down but maybe. Even if he is called up, would they really start Pollard v Scotland with no game time and very little training, I would doubt it.
Deon Fourie is presumably covering hooker in Dweba's absence. Dweba has travelled to the UK for their training camps though.

You lose players from the areas of the squad that are overloaded. Their current squad has an excess of back rows and a 19-14 forwards backs split. So if Pollard or Am got fit they could very feasibly lose a back row for a back. Likewise they have 4 SHs. So you can very easily lose one if a starting XV level player gets fit.

Ireland are going to be starting Sexton with no game time!

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 09 Aug 2023, 3:33 pm

Fourie is the cover for hooker but he isn't really a specialist hooker. I doubt the Boks would want to go into a match week with just him plus 1 covering hooker. Maybe Im wrong.

Sexton hasn't been injured for a while now, he has been training and Ireland have a "match" behind closed doors with Portugal. Very Happy Dont tell anyone.

Also Sexton more than any other player I have ever witnessed is able to come in with zero game time and hit the ground running.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 09 Aug 2023, 3:39 pm

I think if they were to bring Am and Pollard back, they would do it before the 1 September deadline so as not to take out someone and not have access to them in case of a proper injury.

SA are carrying four scrum halves so would assume it will be the fourth choice who gets binned for Pollard or Am if one is able to prove their fitness in the next three weeks.

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Post by BigGee Wed 09 Aug 2023, 3:48 pm

4 SHs is really a bit odd, can't see any logic in that unless they know one of the is carrying an injury.

Grant, who got clattered and was out cold in the Argentina game, could be still be not recovered from it I guess.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 09 Aug 2023, 3:57 pm

BigGee wrote:4 SHs is really a bit odd, can't see any logic in that unless they know one of the is carrying an injury.

Grant, who got clattered and was out cold in the Argentina game, could be still be not recovered from it I guess.
Potentially looking at Faf covering 10 as France do with Dupont at times later in a game? Having a SH play the whole game is tough given the sheer metres they cover. France get round that by shifting Dupont to keep him on the pitch. Nienabar might be thinking along the same lines.

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Post by BigGee Wed 09 Aug 2023, 4:10 pm

Has Faf ever played FH?

You could still play that strategy without having a 4th SH in the squad, he certainly is not going to put 2 of them on the bench

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Post by king_carlos Wed 09 Aug 2023, 4:19 pm

https://rugby365.com/countries/south-africa/faf-on-being-a-flyhalf/

He was being considered there last year and the man himself says he played there for the Lions and Sale.

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Post by Tramptastic Wed 09 Aug 2023, 7:06 pm

So

Steyn in for darcy
Price in for white

The pack is schoe, turner, nel, gray, gilchrist, ritchie, darge, dempsey

Subs

Mcinally
Surherland
Sebasse
Cummings
Skinmer
Bayliss
Horne
Smith


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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 09 Aug 2023, 7:11 pm

Faf was taking penalty kicks v Ireland in November too

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 09 Aug 2023, 8:15 pm

BigGee wrote:4 SHs is really a bit odd, can't see any logic in that unless they know one of the is carrying an injury.

Grant, who got clattered and was out cold in the Argentina game, could be still be not recovered from it I guess.

Or one will pick up a minor injury and be replaced by Am or Pollard should be return to fitness.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 09 Aug 2023, 8:34 pm

Tramptastic wrote:So

Steyn in for darcy
Price in for white

The pack is schoe, turner, nel, gray, gilchrist, ritchie, darge, dempsey

Subs

Mcinally
Surherland
Sebasse
Cummings
Skinmer
Bayliss
Horne
Smith


If that is the case, why is Nel starting? Sebastian and Walker need minutes to prove themselves and we know what 50-year old Nel is able to do. If Townsend wants him to get a few minutes to keep him moving, stick him on the bench. Same with R Gray vs starting Cummings or Skinner.

The backs are younger and less likely to break so can understand it more with a month to go (though I would like to see a Redpath - Harris combination).

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Post by BigGee Thu 10 Aug 2023, 6:59 am

I would say on that team, Sebastian has won the battle over Walker, who is likely to be dropped from the squad now that Fagerson will be free to play.

Same with Baylis over Crosbie and McInally is possibly a good game away from going as well.

Looks like Dobie may miss out as well.

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Post by BigGee Thu 10 Aug 2023, 9:03 am

Official team out now, nice and early this time.

As predicted by our spy in the camp!

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Post by Mcsweens Thu 10 Aug 2023, 9:05 am

Bang on the money Tramptastic. A strong team.

I think Bayliss is on the plane, now, barring injury. Watson may yet lose out.

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Post by BigGee Thu 10 Aug 2023, 9:11 am

Mcsweens wrote:Bang on the money Tramptastic. A strong team.

I think Bayliss is on the plane, now, barring injury. Watson may yet lose out.

I'd be amazed if Watson does not go, surely Bayliss and Crosbie are competing for the one spot and as you say, the smart money will be on Bayliss now, a decent game on saturday will seal the deal.

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Post by BigGee Thu 10 Aug 2023, 9:30 am

Toonie confirms Fagerson M and Graham not injured but rested for this game.

Injury to ben White not as bad as feared and he will hopefully play in the last warm up game against Georgia.

So far so good on the injury and suspension front.

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Post by Tramptastic Thu 10 Aug 2023, 9:38 am

Thats good news to hear about white, hes been quietly excellent at 9 for a couple seasons now

Probably means dobie will be back in Glasgow for the start of the season which is no bad thing considering he'll get all the starts without price and horne there!

Crosbie is probably going back to Edinburgh too, the selection of darge ahead of watson for this is interesting though! Watson was good last week but still not hitting the heights of 2016-2021

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Post by bsando Thu 10 Aug 2023, 10:15 am

Scotland World Cup buildup  - Page 10 5681c410

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Post by jimbopip Thu 10 Aug 2023, 10:25 am

Well done Tramptastic, keep feeding us the snippets please.

I know it's an old cliche that generals are always fighting the last war rather than the next....but in Brighton Japan beat the Boks, to a greater extent, by accepting that they couldn't compete in terms of size or grunt and in Newcastle four years later we took them on up front and lost every collision...and the match.
Looking back at ADHD's try against France we started that move from deep, went through multiple phases, went from side to side, stretched the defence until there was a gap and scored.
The French lad on the commentary team said on more than one occasion that Scotland attack from deep and this meams they are lacking in energy when they get close to the try line: France prefer to kick into the last third and attack from there, thus conserving energy. However, I think Toonie is looking from the other end of the telescope. If your opponents have a big pack (Boks, Ireland) make them defend every inch of grass. Move them from back to front and side to side as much as possible.
Fagerson, Dempsey, Mbawza, Darge, Bayliss, Watson and Crosbie. We can all spot the outlier in that group.
Old Gray, Cummings and Skinner are similarly mobile and dynamic second rows.
Toonie seems to have his gameplan sorted and knows the players he wants.My only concern is what happens when the opposition are allowed to kill the breakdown and stop us creating the tempo we need?

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Post by demosthenes Thu 10 Aug 2023, 10:27 am

France :

15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Gabin Villiere, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont (c), 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 Paul Boudehent, 5 Thibaud Flament, 4 Cameron Woki, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Florian Verhaeghe, 20 Bastien Chalureau, 21 Sekou Macalou, 22 Maxime Lucu, 23 Louis Bielle-Biarrey

Pretty full-on side this week.

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Post by Mcsweens Thu 10 Aug 2023, 10:54 am

Did anyone else see Cyrille Baille doing some kicking on the socials?
https://twitter.com/catourneovale/status/1689240007595204608

Don't know what I love more, the great kick, or the nonchalance from Woki afterwards.

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Post by 123456789. Thu 10 Aug 2023, 11:32 am

I heard Warburton once mention the attack from deep line. I do concede that there is an infinitesimal chance that the two time Lions Captain and multiple Six Nations winner may know ever so slightly more about Test rugby than I do BUT is the old adage not that defence is more tiring than attack? The only reason that attacking from deeper takes longer is because the other teams rather immaturely insist on getting in the way (apart from England around around the 28th minute of the Calcutta Cup) and, one would imagine, tire themselves out in the process. When you attack off set piece presumably the other team has a chance to set its defensive system and get a breather. When you come from deep, such as in the case of Duhan Van Der Merwe's second try against England or Darcy Graham's try against France the defence is all hickledy pickledy. I'm sure there's call for both in the game and Scotland certainly need to improve their percentages attacking from close range against the top teams but there's simply no way you get Luke Cowan Dickie defending a cross field kick on the wing if the defence has had time to set.

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Post by jimbopip Fri 11 Aug 2023, 9:45 am

We've now reached the stage where 37 become 33. So which four unlucky souls will get to be UK based standby players?

Easy peasy? Murphy Walker and The House Elf. Both will have to wait until they are paying full fare on public transport before playing in a World Cup. Barring injuries or suspensions.

Close but no cigar? Crosbie has looked really barnstorming for the Luvvies but quite anonymous for Scotland. I think he doesn't quite fit in with the high tempo game Toonie wants. There is an outside chance of him being the back up 6 behind Matt F, slim chance.Even slimmer if Mbawza is seen as a 6.

Shock Horror!!!! Two Lions could miss out, probably one will deffo miss out. Hamish is currently third choice 7 behind Darge and Mbawza. Harris isn't in the 23 for St Étienne and it looks like Shona, Shug and Redpath are certainties with Seaman all over the place as back up wing/13. Do we need another back up 13?

In one sense it really doesn't matter: the stand byes can be in Nice in a few hours. Our games are well spread out so rest days will be plentiful. In another sense, training at home isn't the same as being at the World Cup so motivation could be a problem for some.

My prediction? Walker, Dobie, Crosbie and Hamish miss the plane.

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Post by BigGee Fri 11 Aug 2023, 10:13 am

You have left 4 hookers in the squad Jim, if you will excuse the pun, one of them is likely to get hooked!

That is probably likely to be the only really contentious call of the lot really.

Dobie, Walker and Crosbie are probably already on standby. Watson is so valuable to the whole squad and OS is such an injury prone position, that it is hard to see him missing out.

Hooker though, all 4 have a decent case and it is not at all clear who won't go. The smart money would have been on Cherry at the begining of the series but he played really well last week. I think, but am not sure that McInally might be playing for his spot this week and needs to do well when he comes on, it is a high bar though!

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Post by BigGee Fri 11 Aug 2023, 10:16 am

The ones that miss out, should not give up hope though.

History tells us that there will be injuries, in the next two games and in the tournament itself. The squad, as it is in Tonnies mind is likely to change a few times before this all plays out.


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Post by BigGee Fri 11 Aug 2023, 10:30 am

30 degrees at 10.00 this morning for the captains run this morning in St Etienne

This is going to be a grueling game in more ways than one.

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Post by jimbopip Fri 11 Aug 2023, 11:19 am

Mea culpa lads mea maxima culpa.
Four hookers!!!
It's either Cherry or Rambo.
I have a sneaky suspicion It's Rambo.
Which would mean that Harris and Hamish both travel.

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Post by jimbopip Fri 11 Aug 2023, 5:55 pm

Apparently the team who have been fifth in the world rankings going into previous World Cups have always made the final. Shocked

Who is sitting fifth in the world rankings today? Braveheart

Actually, just for a moment imagine we made the final and lost. That would be an immense achievement but can you imagine how anyone who told the media that "We're not going there to finish second" would feel?

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