…to the Scotland team ahead of the game against Wales on Saturday? Al made a comment as we watched the game that God was not a Scotsman, due to the bad luck that compounded our errors into the troubling performance we saw last Sunday. Worryingly after Saturday’s matches, it appears he may be actually be a Welshman, or at least a close friend of St David… Religious ravings aside, is wholesale change to the team the answer to salvaging some sort of campaign? Although Parks upped his game considerably in the World Cup, I think it’s time to give Mossy or World Class Phil (kicked 5 out of 7 for the A team in their romp over Italy A) a run at 10. Paterson may not be getting the game time at Gloucester, but something down there must be working, as he’s looked sharper and faster than I’ve seen him in a while even in the limited outings he gets. Consider the solo try he scored in the mud for Gloucester – where has that zip been for Scotland? In his kicking boot perhaps…
Parks should not be dropped because he played poorly (we’d have to drop most of them then), but because he is not offering the options to the back division that they need to score tries. Nikki Walker played pretty well with what he got in his best performance yet, but with Scotland he is working in a one metre-wide channel along the touchline. Perhaps it’s an idea to rest Jason White too. Everyone raves about him as a captain, but his play seems to be suffering a bit. Callam was not terrible, but Hogg must be in the team, and not just because he spoke to Al and I when we were fairly drunk. Having said that, I would leave De Luca in the team and not “Tait” him – he will, I suspect, have learnt a lot from Sunday’s trial by fire. Most of them can only get better from here. With that in mind, here is the XV I would field next week:
Murray, Ford, Jacobsen, Hines, Macleod, Strokosch, Barclay, Hogg
Notes: You could bring back Scott Murray instead of Macleod, or Al Kellock. Chunk was our best attacking back on Sunday! If it was complete reshuffle time you could look at Ross Rennie, but I thought Barclay showed up well in defence. Or you could move Big Jason into the second row alongside Hines, which is crazy talk mid-tournament but in the abstract, not such a terrible idea.
Blair, Paterson, Webster, Henderson, De Luca, Walker, Southwell
Notes: an other alternative is 10. Godman, 11. Paterson with Webster on the Bench. If Webster can’t hold on to the ball, Thom Evan’s hour may be fast approaching.
Bench: Thomson, Kerr, Hamilton, White, Cusiter, Parks, AN Other (maybe Danielli or Evans but more likely to be Macrae)
And the captain? Blair or Hines, but assuming Frank was crazy/ballsy enough to pick this team he’d give the armband to Paterson. Blair would keep the pace up, Hines the attitude. Which would you prefer from your Scotland team?