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Scotland - The Generic Moaning Thread 2024

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Post by George Carlin Wed Sep 13, 2023 8:22 pm

Scotland v Tonga
Sunday, September 24
Stade de Nice - 4.45pm kick-off.

Scotland v Romania
Saturday, September 30
Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille - 8pm kick-off

Scotland v Paddy Cousins
Saturday, October 7
Stade de France - 8pm kick-off

***

The 20 teams are divided into four groups as follows:

Pool A – New Zealand, France, Italy, Uruguay, Namibia

Pool B – South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Romania

Pool C – Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Portugal

Pool D – England, Japan, Argentina, Samoa, Chile

The top two teams from each pool advance to the quarter-finals. The teams who finish third secure automatic qualification for the 2027 World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Australia in 2027.

The quarter-final draw is as follows:

QF1 – Pool C winner v Pool D runner-up

QF 2 – Pool B winner v Pool A runner-up

QF 3 – Pool D winner v Pool C runner-up

QF 4 – Pool A winner v Pool B runner-up

That means if Scotland manage to progress from the group stages they would be likely to face New Zealand or France in the quarter-finals if results go as expected.

The semi-final draw is as follows:

Winner of QF 1 v Winner of QF2

Winner of QF 3 v Winner of QF 4

The 2023 Rugby World Cup final takes place on Saturday, October 28, at the Stade de France, kick-off 8pm.


Last edited by George Carlin on Tue Jan 30, 2024 10:46 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by George Carlin Wed Sep 13, 2023 8:25 pm

Right then. As Gee went 'all John Wick' on the previous thread, here's another one. Very Happy
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Post by BigGee Wed Sep 13, 2023 9:50 pm

I actually watched the match on the ITV player this evening.

No-one really noticed the Kriel high hit at the ground that night, it was very quick and pretty much everyone, including the ref missed it and it got no replay coverage on the ground screens. Blimey, it surely was a stone cold RC though. A head on head to not even get a review today is almost unbelievable.

The one thing we did all see at the ground and looked even worse on tv was Darcy's white line fever. You do almost feel he deserves a week on the naughty step for that. I am pretty sure Steyn would have put the ball through the hands.

Anyway, it is what it is now and it looks like we need SA and ourselves to beat the Irish and not suffer any banana skins.

In terms of the match, I thought we suffered from our poor set piece but defensively we wewre actually pretty solid.

Dempsey my MoM for us and I also though Finn played pretty well, despite a couple of errors. His tackling in particular needs to ne commended.

Redpath I also though showed a bit when he came on and and maybe has a case to start next time out. He just seems to have that bit more time on the ball.

I don't imagine that there will be many changes for Tonga though, a match we simply must turn up for.

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Post by jimbopip Wed Sep 13, 2023 9:57 pm

John Wick! Is he distantly related to John O'Groats?
Anyhoo, as long as the Boks break the Bank Of Ireland works team then our final match should be a knock out all or nothing two holds or a submission decider.
I'll disagree with Trampas here:we need to make changes for Rumania. If we start with our best XV and then play the same against Tonga there is a real chance that we end up playing people against Ireland who are making their tournament debut. So give the fringe players a run out against Rumania, pick on form for Tonga and then the Tombola earns it's keep by picking a 23 to gun the potato farmers.
Hornito, Healey, Redpath, Harris, Steyn, Smith, ADHD all start.
Sutherland, Ashman, Sebastian, Principal, Cummings Hamish, Crosbie and Fagerson. That's your starting pack.
If we don't thrash Rumania we can concede the last two matches and knock off early.

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Post by RDW Wed Sep 13, 2023 10:26 pm

Btw can't see it mentioned yet but Kreil hasn't got a ban, and I don't think he was even cited.

Madness.

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Post by BigGee Wed Sep 13, 2023 10:33 pm

RDW wrote:Btw can't see it mentioned yet but Kreil hasn't got a ban, and I don't think he was even cited.

Madness.


Nope no citing confirmed 72 hour window now past

Madness Indeed!

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Post by RDW Thu Sep 14, 2023 4:10 am

What will be interesting to see is what will a ref do if this type of incident comes up again in round 2.

You'd like to think as a reffing body they will have spent a lot of time clarifying that as a group this week!

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Post by bsando Thu Sep 14, 2023 10:14 am

Regardless of wether it was a red or should have been cited I think John Barclay was wrong to start lecturing ITV viewers post incident. They’re there to discuss these matters of course, but he came across as a bit arrogant in drawing up a definitive conclusion on the matter. I think his language was wrong and he should have been a bit more tactful, especially now that it has been totally ignored by world rugby.

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Post by 123456789. Thu Sep 14, 2023 10:20 am

Dave Cherry has left the squad after slipping down the stairs and banging his head on a day off. Were they perhaps enjoying the Marseille night life?

It certainly was not the most salubrious city. Although the atmosphere was certainly buzzing over the weekend with the Argies, English and South Africans there. My capacity to speak French was rather cruelly exposed when I thought I'd agreed to hire a taxi back to my group's accommodation and I had in fact agreed to purchase ecstasy from an Algerian fellow. Fortunately, the chap was rather jolly and seemed more understanding than I'd imagine most aspiring drug dealers would be in such situations.

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Post by BigGee Thu Sep 14, 2023 10:22 am

I am not sure World Rugby pay a huge amount of attention to tv pundits!

I actuslly thought it was quite refreshing for a pundit to nail his colours to the mast rather than skirt around it.

Geech and Habana did agree with him but being the old pundit hands they are, were a lot more diplomatic!

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Post by George Carlin Thu Sep 14, 2023 11:13 am

123456789. wrote:Dave Cherry has left the squad after slipping down the stairs and banging his head on a day off. Were they perhaps enjoying the Marseille night life?

It certainly was not the most salubrious city. Although the atmosphere was certainly buzzing over the weekend with the Argies, English and South Africans there. My capacity to speak French was rather cruelly exposed when I thought I'd agreed to hire a taxi back to my group's accommodation and I had in fact agreed to purchase ecstasy from an Algerian fellow. Fortunately, the chap was rather jolly and seemed more understanding than I'd imagine most aspiring drug dealers would be in such situations.
Let me be less diplomatic, Numbers - Marseilles is as rough as a badger's rectum. My missus used to live there and said that there's serious street violence and the like. Like Glasgow, but with better weather and food.
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Post by sensisball Thu Sep 14, 2023 12:45 pm

Apparently Marx is out of the tournament with a knee injury. That leaves the Boks with only 1 genuine hooker in their squad with a couple of back rowers as backup.

Nienaber has, allegedly, said he will not be calling up a replacement hooker.

That must be advantage to Ireland?

if the Irish beat the Boks will that give us an edge in our final match?

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Post by RDW Thu Sep 14, 2023 12:46 pm

I'm guessing one of their 4 scrumhalfs will be covering hooker...!

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Post by George Carlin Thu Sep 14, 2023 12:54 pm

RDW wrote:I'm guessing one of their 4 scrumhalfs will be covering hooker...!
That's quite the mental picture. George Horne would be thrown around like a dog's chew toy.
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Post by Tramptastic Thu Sep 14, 2023 1:30 pm

jimbopip wrote:John Wick! Is he distantly related to John O'Groats?
Anyhoo, as long as the Boks break the Bank Of Ireland works team then our final match should be a knock out all or nothing two holds or a submission decider.
I'll disagree with Trampas here:we need to make changes for Rumania. If we start with our best XV and then play the same against Tonga there is a real chance that we end up playing people against Ireland who are making their tournament debut. So give the fringe players a run out against Rumania, pick on form for Tonga and then the Tombola earns it's keep by picking a 23 to gun the potato farmers.
Hornito, Healey, Redpath, Harris, Steyn, Smith, ADHD all start.
Sutherland, Ashman, Sebastian, Principal, Cummings Hamish, Crosbie and Fagerson. That's your starting pack.
If we don't thrash Rumania we can concede the last two matches and knock off early.

Nah you've got the match order wrong there! Its Tonga first up on the 24th, so go full bhuna (this is a banana skin) then Romania on the 30th followed by Ireland on the 7th of October.

So we have to play our 1st team against Tonga to avoid a slip up and the question is do we rotate for Romania. If we do that then our 1st choice team selection is disrupted with 2 weeks in between games. I'd much rather they played together in all 3 games than chop and change week to week. If we changed it up as you suggested it would be:

1st choice and against south africa
2 week break
1st choice against Tonga
mass changes for Romania
mass changes for Ireland

Too much disruption, lets back the players fitness + S&C to get them through this. Romania wont be anywhere near as physical as Tonga or Ireland so the 1st team will be less at risk from fatigue.

Ireland on the other hand have 2 weeks in a row of 1st team selection against Tonga and then South Africa before a two week rest then us.

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Post by jimbopip Thu Sep 14, 2023 2:05 pm

Tramp, mea culpa mea maximum culpa. Fecc knows how I got that wrong. Too much cider and scones with cream for breakfast.
However I am batting 100% as a clairvoyant: Rambo to replace Cherry.
Mind you, if Ashman gets another head knock we could be seeing Jonny Matthews yet.

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Post by 123456789. Thu Sep 14, 2023 2:47 pm

George Carlin wrote:
123456789. wrote:Dave Cherry has left the squad after slipping down the stairs and banging his head on a day off. Were they perhaps enjoying the Marseille night life?

It certainly was not the most salubrious city. Although the atmosphere was certainly buzzing over the weekend with the Argies, English and South Africans there. My capacity to speak French was rather cruelly exposed when I thought I'd agreed to hire a taxi back to my group's accommodation and I had in fact agreed to purchase ecstasy from an Algerian fellow. Fortunately, the chap was rather jolly and seemed more understanding than I'd imagine most aspiring drug dealers would be in such situations.
Let me be less diplomatic, Numbers - Marseilles is as rough as a badger's rectum. My missus used to live there and said that there's serious street violence and the like. Like Glasgow, but with better weather and food.

Well quite - I nipped into a cafe for lunch on the Monday not quite feeling a hundred percent. I nipped into their facilities where there was no loo roll. I managed to nip out rather gingerly having made the fatal error of not pre-checking. Again, in my poor French I requested loo roll. The waiter said he understood and emerged with three pieces of kitchen roll. I sat back down for lunch when a mouse (or maybe one of its larger cousins - not a capybara mind) scampered across the floor. I do think that perhaps any cafe with more rodents that loo paper segments will struggle for Michelin Stars.

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Post by tigertattie Thu Sep 14, 2023 11:36 pm

sensisball wrote:Apparently Marx is out of the tournament with a knee injury. That leaves the Boks with only 1 genuine hooker in their squad with a couple of back rowers as backup.

Nienaber has, allegedly, said he will not be calling up a replacement hooker.

That must be advantage to Ireland?

if the Irish beat the Boks will that give us an edge in our final match?

If the Irish beat the boks we’re effectively out.

We got no BP (try or losing) vs SA and Ireland put 80 on Romania. We’d need a TBP win over Ireland and need to stop them getting a LBP to stand a chance and that’s assuming we get max points from Tonga and Romania
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Post by CaptainHaddock Fri Sep 15, 2023 3:55 am

tigertattie wrote:
sensisball wrote:Apparently Marx is out of the tournament with a knee injury. That leaves the Boks with only 1 genuine hooker in their squad with a couple of back rowers as backup.

Nienaber has, allegedly, said he will not be calling up a replacement hooker.

That must be advantage to Ireland?

if the Irish beat the Boks will that give us an edge in our final match?

If the Irish beat the boks we’re effectively out.

We got no BP (try or losing) vs SA and Ireland put 80 on Romania. We’d need a TBP win over Ireland and need to stop them getting a LBP to stand a chance and that’s assuming we get max points from Tonga and Romania

Not quite - If Ireland beat SA and prevent them gaining a BP and we smash Romania and Tonga more than SA it all comes down to some arcane and obscure calculations related to trys scored/conceded then points differnce then random other Poopie... whereupon we'll go out on "penalties conceded" or something like that. It's the Sottish way :-(

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Post by CaptainHaddock Fri Sep 15, 2023 3:58 am

BigGee wrote:I actually watched the match on the ITV player this evening.

No-one really noticed the Kriel high hit at the ground that night, it was very quick and pretty much everyone, including the ref missed it and it got no replay coverage on the ground screens. Blimey, it surely was a stone cold RC though. A head on head to not even get a review today is almost unbelievable.

The one thing we did all see at the ground and looked even worse on tv was Darcy's white line fever. You do almost feel he deserves a week on the naughty step for that. I am pretty sure Steyn would have put the ball through the hands.

Anyway, it is what it is now and it looks like we need SA and ourselves to beat the Irish and not suffer any banana skins.

In terms of the match, I thought we suffered from our poor set piece but defensively we wewre actually pretty solid.

Dempsey my MoM for us and I also though Finn played pretty well, despite a couple of errors. His tackling in particular needs to ne commended.

Redpath I also though showed a bit when he came on and and maybe has a case to start next time out. He just seems to have that bit more time on the ball.

I don't imagine that there will be many changes for Tonga though, a match we simply must turn up for.

Agree - Dempsey played well and Finn, despite the slamming he got in some quarters, played very well given what he was being dealt. I'd challenge any other FH to do better.

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Post by CaptainHaddock Fri Sep 15, 2023 4:04 am

Slightly random observation following this morning's France / Uruguay game. The damage caused by a knock-on can have a very distorting effect on the game. IF a team has ascendancy in the scrum then knock-ons almost become a vehicle to securing a penalty and gaining field position. Equally if a team is dominating in the scrum then they can play faster and looser as the effect of a knock-on is minimised. Indeed, they could almost justify knocking it on to get a scrum from which they can get a penalty and then get field position.

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Post by Tramptastic Fri Sep 15, 2023 8:46 am

Tonga and Ireland to beat South Africa thereby paving a way for us to get to the quarter final until we muck it up by losing to Romania

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Post by tigertattie Fri Sep 15, 2023 3:44 pm

CaptainHaddock wrote:
tigertattie wrote:
sensisball wrote:Apparently Marx is out of the tournament with a knee injury. That leaves the Boks with only 1 genuine hooker in their squad with a couple of back rowers as backup.

Nienaber has, allegedly, said he will not be calling up a replacement hooker.

That must be advantage to Ireland?

if the Irish beat the Boks will that give us an edge in our final match?

If the Irish beat the boks we’re effectively out.

We got no BP (try or losing) vs SA and Ireland put 80 on Romania. We’d need a TBP win over Ireland and need to stop them getting a LBP to stand a chance and that’s assuming we get max points from Tonga and Romania

Not quite - If Ireland beat SA and prevent them gaining a BP and we smash Romania and Tonga more than SA it all comes down to some arcane and obscure calculations related to trys scored/conceded then points differnce then random other Poopie... whereupon we'll go out on "penalties conceded" or something like that. It's the Sottish way :-(  

Sadly not. Head to head comes into it and as SA best is, advantage them
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Post by jimbopip Sun Sep 17, 2023 10:04 am

I'm back, lads, back. Very Happy
I survived a whole week of fresh air, good food, sunshine, seagulls screaming to welcome the first rays of dawn every godforsaken morning without fail, MrsPip's unceasing loveliness and no talk of rugby. And I'm back.

So...Portugal Shocked played all the rugby but lost to Wales. Crying or Very sad
Uruguay.. Shocked Gave the hosts a game.

I would be happy to halt the tournament here and now and have a Uruguay v Portugal final.

Ireland? Fecc me. We won't beat them. No way. Not unless they break half a dozen players losing to the Boks. The Boks will hump Tonga. Whichever way you slice it we don't qualify.

So; we thump Tonga on Saturday, then trounce Romania ... then lose yet again to Ireland. Or maybes squeeze a remarkable win but Ireland have beaten the Boks and we go out because the Boks beat us in the opener.

We're doomed.

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Post by BigGee Sun Sep 17, 2023 10:09 am

Ireland looked very composed and clinical

Tonga less so, but still can improve.

A good win against Tonga next weekend could set us for a good run at Ireland but our progress may well depend on the SA v Ireland match.

I am just hoping for some good performances in the last 3 games and the rest will take care of itself.


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Post by bsando Sun Sep 17, 2023 12:59 pm

My thoughts exactly BG, Tonga look physical and dangerous out wide but their lack of composure in Irelands half hurt them. Seeing Aki burst through gaps in their defence gave me a lot of confidence that Scotland can do well playing their normal game.

How Scotland can beat Ireland seems a difficult question to answer at the moment. One area I thought Tonga exposed was the breakdown. When they were defending well they won turnovers regularly as Irish forwards got isolated.

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Post by jimbopip Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:25 pm

bsando wrote:

How Scotland can beat Ireland seems a difficult question to answer at the moment.

The WC has , so far, thrown up a couple of things for me; the gap between the top four and the rest, and the difference between losing and not turning up.

I believed before the tournament began that the top four were well ahead of everyone else and that Scotland were the best of the rest. Results so far have done nothing to suggest that I may have been mistaken. The only quibble here might be the Blackness, but to be fair they have lost to two of the top four sides: it's more the manner of the defeats that would worry me if I ran a steamroller over every vowel before it left my mouth and had a massive superiority complex.
We all knew that to advance in the tournament Toonie had to find a way of defeating one of the top four. Doh I never want, or hope that, opponents get injured or red carded....but a really titanic, bad tempered slugfest between Ireland and the Boks may be our best hope of getting out of the group. I said to an English friend that I expected England to get out of their group and possibly make the semis. She looked as if I was patronising her but I explained that it is in their nature to be bloody minded and grind out a result regardless of form or world rankings. M'lud, I call the Argentina game as my first witness! Wales are showing that same mixture of tenacity and stubborn refusal to accept that they are not good enough. Scotland don't seem to have that attitude: we seem to win because we're on form and a really good team. Until we play the top four and then we don't perform. Yes, if Tonga had had won a line out, or if their scrum had been competitive in anything other than a token presence, or if they had a 10 who had once read a pamphlet about game management... they might actually have won last night. We are far superior to Tonga in all of those aspects, and a few others, but I don't think it'll make any difference.

Which brings us to my second point; good losing and bad losing.
Fiji, Uruguay and Portugal all lost this week. I would happily stop the tournament now and have a Portugal v Uruguay final Scotland - The Generic Moaning Thread 2024 1347041234 I shall be watching Fiji v The Criminal Element and getting all excited if Fiji look like winning. By the end of the tournament every team bar one will be losers; but some teams will go home knowing they played out of their skins and can hold their heads up. Scotland don't even lose well. I think Wee Shona is a smashing rugby player but if he was injured in training tomorrow what has his World Cup amounted to? We need to put our next two opponents to the sword, ruthlessly, and then go full Bannockburn, Stirling Bridge and the Arlington Bar on Fair Friday against Ireland.

Let's not worry ourselves with playing for a quarter final place, let's focus on showing the world what we're made of, both in terms of skill and self respect.


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Post by tigertattie Sun Sep 17, 2023 6:11 pm

Scotland can beat Ireland. I can see SA (coz they are a bit rough) chewing up sexton and spitting him out. If he’s half crocked and he plays vs us or if he’s totally crocked and doesn’t, Ireland won’t be the same team.
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Post by BigGee Sun Sep 17, 2023 6:17 pm

SA will want to beat Ireland as the runner up in the group almost certainly playing France in the quarters

They will definitely be up for that one.

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Post by CaptainHaddock Sun Sep 17, 2023 11:06 pm

tigertattie wrote:
CaptainHaddock wrote:
tigertattie wrote:
sensisball wrote:Apparently Marx is out of the tournament with a knee injury. That leaves the Boks with only 1 genuine hooker in their squad with a couple of back rowers as backup.

Nienaber has, allegedly, said he will not be calling up a replacement hooker.

That must be advantage to Ireland?

if the Irish beat the Boks will that give us an edge in our final match?

If the Irish beat the boks we’re effectively out.

We got no BP (try or losing) vs SA and Ireland put 80 on Romania. We’d need a TBP win over Ireland and need to stop them getting a LBP to stand a chance and that’s assuming we get max points from Tonga and Romania

Not quite - If Ireland beat SA and prevent them gaining a BP and we smash Romania and Tonga more than SA it all comes down to some arcane and obscure calculations related to trys scored/conceded then points difference then random other Poopie... whereupon we'll go out on "penalties conceded" or something like that. It's the Sottish way :-(  

Sadly not. Head to head comes into it and as SA best is, advantage them

But if we've beaten the Irish and we've secured the same points as them then we place higher. So in, the admittedly unlikely, scenario that Ireland beat SA and we beat Ireland and we're all on the same the points then the head to head rule is deadlocked and it moves on points difference and then tries difference.

In short, all we need to do to qualify is get bonus point wins in our remaining games and prevent Ireland from getting a bonus point against us. Even just a win against the Irish (and no losing bonus point for them) will do if they don't get a bonus point win against SA. For example, Ireland beat SA (no bonus points) puts them on 14 points. We beat Ireland (no bonus points) and we've got our bonus point wins, against Tonga and Romania, we are also on 14 points. At that point we have the better head to head and unless SA are on 14 points we go through. If SA are also on 14 points then it's all decided on points difference. Hence it's really really important that we win big against Tonga and Romania.

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Post by tigertattie Mon Sep 18, 2023 12:09 am

Two weeks in and SA have conceded just 3 points

Only one team have failed to score a try. Yup, us!

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Post by NeilyBroon Mon Sep 18, 2023 7:50 am

At this point I'm just hoping we do ourselves proud in the last matches. Too many variables have to be in our favour. Had we scored against SA we may have found ourselves in a better position with a LBP or even a win.

We're not though, so I'm just trying to imagine these are just one off autumn internationals to make myself feel better about the whole thing, especially when I see the other groups play.

Let's see if we can get a clean sweep to the end, that in itself would be an achievement!

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Post by bsando Tue Sep 19, 2023 10:10 am

Yes even if we don’t qualify but beat Ireland that would be a great step forward. The six nations isn’t super far away and having some positives to take into that tournament would be brilliant.

Getting drubbed by the Irish and scraping past Tonga would leave a lot of annoying question marks lingering over the direction of the team. Particularly in regards to overcoming physical sides. England and Wales have bottomed out but are both on the rise once more. Maintaining an advantage over those two sides is an achievable goal.

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue Sep 19, 2023 10:16 am

BigGee wrote:SA will want to beat Ireland as the runner up in the group almost certainly playing France in the quarters

They will definitely be up for that one.

A lot of talk amongst SA fans that they would rather play France, this match us more important to Ireland I feel as SA have almoat certainly qualified whereas Ireland have not. I sense an Ireland win.

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Post by Old Man Tue Sep 19, 2023 11:06 am

Collapse2005 wrote:
BigGee wrote:SA will want to beat Ireland as the runner up in the group almost certainly playing France in the quarters

They will definitely be up for that one.

A lot of talk amongst SA fans that they would rather play France, this match us more important to Ireland I feel as SA have almoat certainly qualified whereas Ireland have not. I sense an Ireland win.

I would like SA to win the pool, just for bragging rights, but think France will be a better QF fit for us. We haven't beaten NZ twice in a row since 2009. They might not be at their best, but has been our major rival since forever.

France has in allhonesty not looked that polished so far.

So its a conundrum.

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue Sep 19, 2023 11:18 am

Old Man wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
BigGee wrote:SA will want to beat Ireland as the runner up in the group almost certainly playing France in the quarters

They will definitely be up for that one.

A lot of talk amongst SA fans that they would rather play France, this match us more important to Ireland I feel as SA have almoat certainly qualified whereas Ireland have not. I sense an Ireland win.

I would like SA to win the pool, just for bragging rights, but think France will be a better QF fit for us. We haven't beaten NZ twice in a row since 2009. They might not be at their best, but has been our major rival since forever.

France has in allhonesty not looked that polished so far.

So its a conundrum.

Well if Ireland win and therefore meet NZ in a quarter we will have to do three in a row v NZ to progress. Where does that leave us? Funked?

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Post by BigGee Tue Sep 19, 2023 11:24 am

I thought France were pretty clinical against NZ, they absorbed their pressure well and then moved away from them quite comfortably. Considering they were opening their WC campaign at home, against such vaunted opposition and under the magnifying glass of a nation that is expecting them to win this tournament, that was very impressive.

They were nothing like as good in their next game v Uruguay but what I take from that is that there is a big drop off from their A team.

Lets be honest, playing France (especially at home) or NZ (who have lost a bit if their aura of late) will be tough and if you had the choice you would likely choose neither!

I suspect the best tactics for both teams will be to keep on winning and not yhink to much about who they may be playing next.

These are the best two teams in the world at the moment and you would imagine they will treat this game like a cup final.

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue Sep 19, 2023 11:27 am

BigGee wrote:I thought France were pretty clinical against NZ, they absorbed their pressure well and then moved away from them quite comfortably. Considering they were opening their WC campaign at home, against such vaunted opposition and under the magnifying glass of a nation that is expecting them to win this tournament, that was very impressive.

They were nothing like as good in their next game v Uruguay but what I take from that is that there is a big drop off from their A team.

Lets be honest, playing France (especially at home) or NZ (who have lost a bit if their aura of late) will be tough and if you had the choice  you would likely choose neither!

I suspect the best tactics for both teams will be to keep on winning and not yhink to much about who they may be playing next.

These are the best two teams in the world at the moment and you would imagine they will treat this game like a cup final.

Yeah agree, I reckon France are at a much higher level to NZ now, especially at home.

Almost all teams B team will not look as good and for France that's not because they lack talent its more because B teams rarely play together and therefore are usually not very cohesive.

Yeah its a real Sophie's choice picking between France and NZ really.

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Post by BigGee Tue Sep 19, 2023 12:17 pm

Getting back to the Scotland v Tonga game this weekend, Cam Redpath was doing media yesterday, often a good sign that they are going to be involved in the match.

It may be that he is just the bench option again, but I though he looked in decent shape when he came on against SA and seemed to get the ball moving better than Huwipolotu did.

That may of course just be because SA has won the game by then and were happy to sit back and absorb the Scottish pressure.

Nevertheless there is a case for him to start at 12, where he has been very effective for Scotland in the past and he might just give us that little bit more creativity than Sione, who could also move out to 13.

Probably a decent case for Steyn to start over Graham as well, probably a better defender and maybe a safer pair of hands, if a slightly less dynamic player.

Not expecting major changes though, just maybe a few tweaks, something like this maybe:

1. Schoeman
2. Turner
3. Fagerson Z
4. Gray
5. Gilchrist
6. Ritchie
7. Darge
8. Dempsey
9. White
10. Russell
11. DVDM
12. Redpath
13. Tuipolotu
14. Steyn
15. Kinghorn

Subs

Sutherland
Ashman
Nel
Cummings
Fagerson M
Horne
Healy
Jones

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Post by jimbopip Tue Sep 19, 2023 4:06 pm

Well we are now officially in excrete or bust territory.

Theoretically we can reach 15 points and a QF. We might make 14 points and a QF, or miss out. Shocked Realistically, going out with three wins and a defeat to an extremely good Boks side would be a good tournament. Two wins, against the minnows, and two defeats would be the equivalent of polling third place behind Cruella Braverman and Jacob Reece Gobshite in a Humanitarian Of The Year contest.

As far as selection? Our first XXIII more or less pick themselves barring one or two "tweaks" depending on how Toonie views the opposition. Do we need to make changes to accommodate Tonga's strengths? The answer there is an emphatic no. Tonga have some very, very talented backs and from 1 to 15 they will run at you hard and straight then get up and do it again. Against Ireland their line out was desperately poor, their scrum almost reached mediocre and their game management was non existent. If we can't exploit those weaknesses we shouldn't be talking about "the best Scotland side ever". Which raises the interesting question, "Is Toonie a great coach because he developed this squad and brought it to the stellar level it is currently enjoying, or is he rugby's Boris Johnson: about to squander a glorious opportunity through his inability to manage properly?"

The front five should be unchanged. Ragnar and Shooey are our best props and there is no reason not to start them. Their lineout is one area where we can really get into them: Big Richie must have thought he was hallucinating watching them against Ireland. The current trend is to kick deep but keep the ball in play: against Tonga I would kick deep to touch and then attack their lineout. Even if they win it they will most likely try to run it out. Against Ireland they tried to run the ball back from their in goal area and were very fortunate to get a penalty when they were turned over in their Red Zone as a result. As for the back row; the four from the Boks match should be there again: I really don't care who starts on the bench. Against Ireland Tonga seldom put together any long phases of play: they ran straight at the nearest defender, recycled slow ball, ran straight, committed more men to the breakdown, ran straight, got isolated then either turned it over or box kicked. They also never really put any pressure on the receiver when box kicking.
So, a good pressing defence, Darge and Mbawza (or Matt F) messing up the breakdown, Dnacer and Blarehorn kicking to the corners, Big Richie attacking their lineout...that's half the job done.

Tonga's first up defence looks brutal, but if we get reasonably quick ball and go through five or six phases they will lose their shape and then they are very vulnerable. Make them play out from deep. Make them defend multiple phases. They will tire and then we can take them to the cleaners.

The only "tweaks" we might see are;
Hornito to bench: he can wreak havoc against a big, tired pack
Healey to come on for Dancer as soon as we're safely ahead, keep pinning them deep in their half
Redpath at 12...Shona hasn't created too much at 12 recently. Shona to bench though.

We should go into this expecting 5 points. Big Shona is featured in TOL saying this is the game Tonga are targeting for their big win...
if I was Toonie that would be pinned up on the dressing room wall.



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Post by Tramptastic Tue Sep 19, 2023 6:12 pm

I havent heard anything yet but im still expecting an unchanged side

Aye, shona didnt create much but neither did anyone in the backline against saffa because it was impossible to shift the ball past 10

Nae tinkering. We know our 1st choice, give a chance for redemption.

All going well, take shona and finn off on 50, put redpath and healy on - both games

Should ensure that if shona is off form for ireland then redpath has enough minutes under his belt to step in if needs be. But in all reality id expect townsend to stick to his guns and shona to produce the goods with a bit more space afforded to him.

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Post by tigertattie Tue Sep 19, 2023 9:24 pm

Two points

1. SA will want to beat Ireland. If anything, France are more dangerous than NZ right now but more importantly momentum is massive in a cup competition. You don’t want to not win a match and lose all the momentum you’ve gathered this far.

2. I’ve said it before. Shona has been poor through the warmup games. I fear he’s not getting back to the top form he was in last season.
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Post by jimbopip Tue Sep 19, 2023 10:13 pm

You know, I'm really not bothered who starts. For instance if Toonie decides that Shona-Harris in the centres and a back three of Smith-Jones-Steyn was the way to stop their big runners and launch lightning counter attacks...that would be fine by me.
As long as it is a positive selection, as long as it is selected to take them apart and make them wish they were out shopping with their other halves.
Pick your best, have an aggressive game plan, cry havoc and let slip the dogs of War. Ya bam.

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Post by George Carlin Wed Sep 20, 2023 9:13 am

I think I just had my 94th birthday.

Is it time for another Scotland pool match yet?
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Post by Tramptastic Wed Sep 20, 2023 10:41 am

So

Changes to the 15:

Harris for jones
Sutherland for schoooooe
Cummings for gilchrist
Steyn for darcy

Havent heard the full bench yet but horne in for price

If our aim is to get a massive PD i think harris is the wrong way to go about it... but otherwise those changes are grand

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Post by BigGee Wed Sep 20, 2023 11:13 am

I don't think PD will come into it, but we will need a BP.

If we are level with Ireland then it is on head to head, rather than PD.

Maybe he sees Harris as a good option to close down the big Tongan runners.

Steyn is also a better defensive player than Darcy, so that also makes sense.

I don't mind a tweak in the centres, i don't think we have been firing brilliantly there yet.

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Post by jimbopip Wed Sep 20, 2023 12:41 pm

So we have two Lions coming on: can't complain about that.
GG has a a lot of positives to his game but dynamic pace and incisive lines of running aren't among them.
Steyn is more reliable defensively and can move up to 13 so we can have a back three player on the bench. Assuming ADHD has had his spell on the naughty step.
It looks fairly positive to me, but the bench will be the acid test.

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Post by bsando Thu Sep 21, 2023 12:25 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/66861033

Good round up by Johnnie Beattie. I agree with him about Tonga being better prepared for this weekend than they would have been for Ireland who arguably have had the best fixture list in Pool B. Ireland had Romania to get going followed by Tonga who are a bit more physical. Now SA (the big one) and then Scotland last. Tonga having a bye week one is not ideal, then thrown straight into Ireland week 2. Having us up next is probably providing a lot of motivation for their squad. They'll be eager to show that they're not just here to make up the numbers.

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Post by jimbopip Thu Sep 21, 2023 3:39 pm

JBjnr's article is all good and well, and fine as far as it goes. But he kind of blows his credibility when he starts all that, "the Tongan lineout was mince but don't fool yourself into thinking it'll be anywhere near as bad against us".
Is he having a go at us?
Do we really want these ex international, ex pro, ex expat played in France experts coming round here and talking sense?

OK, so he played with the Killer Bees; I hung around with the Plastic Flies.*

The Plastic Flies 1980's punk beat combo from Glasgow

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Post by jimbopip Thu Sep 21, 2023 6:12 pm

Going by the media social media guff it would seem that Ashman and Principal will be benching.
Whether Principal is there as a lock of bs would be the question.

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