Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Fragments from the Weekend

Rather than trying to piece together my frazzled thoughts on the game, I thought I’d see what others had to say that reflects on the weekend, and on the match in two weeks time, and beyond…

But in reality… the better team won. The Italians were very cute at the breakdown and slowed down Scottish ball very effectively. I’m sure that most Scottish fans would consider some of their methods illegal and that Josh Sole deserved a 10 minute rest around half-time but you have to play the referee and, as with the match in Cardiff two weeks ago, it was how Scottish players reacted to the game as it unfolded that was so disappointing. David Sole, Telegraph

Here’s what I thought, though. Disappointing, problems in contact, good scrum, could have won it as we had pressure that wasn’t converted, started off too risky and made some early mistake that got the nerves going, and it’s now played seven in Rome, and won just two. John Beattie (Snr), BBC Sport

The players are good players, but basic skills and rugby intelligence is lacking at key moments. It is wrong to be overly critical because most are products of the Scottish game and Scottish sport blighted in the past 20 years by a shocking under-investment in facilities, and still-poor levels of coaching and competition at crucial teen years in certain areas. David Ferguson, The Scotsman

The European Nations Cup table-toppers, likely to be decided by the Georgia v Russia match on 20 March, will face England, Scotland and Argentina in Pool B in New Zealand. BBC Sport

1 Allan Jacobsen – Tucked into the Italian scrum and helped himself to a slice of Martin Castrogiovanni in one of the few areas Scotland performed with any credit
7 John Barclay – Scotland’s best player by the length of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile; he and Ferris could be the next Lions Test combination. Stuart Barnes, Team of the Weekend (The Sunday Times)

Scarcely once could England work a ball-carrying forward into space during a match in which they dominated possession and territory and the one area of Scotland’s side that has functioned well of late has been the back row. David Hands, The Times

Bringing in either Nick De Luca or Alex Grove instead of Morrison must surely be considered. Morrison hasn’t played badly, but a team that poses no real threat at either 10 or 12 is easy to defend against. If both [Morrison and Parks] are retained, then Chris Cusiter or Mike Blair – whichever starts – should be told to try more himself. Allan Massie, The Scotsman

I think we saw the best of Scotland against Wales and the worst against Italy. They proved against Wales they could create scoring opportunities and finish, but against Italy they couldn’t find the solution. Don’t give up on Scotland just yet – it could all be sorted against England. Jeremy Guscott, BBC Sport

Yup, I used Jeremy Guscott to sum up. This article might warm the cockles of your hearts also. Feel free to add your own snippets below!

Hint Scotland players: Geech has posted a series of skills coaching videos on the Times Online. This week: support play.

PS one more thing we have a Facebook page now – tell all your friends! (link fixed now).

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1 Response

  1. I really believe David Ferguson to be on to something there, I feel the same way- sport in Scotland is generally in a bad way and there is no overnight cure- lack of investment amongst other things has caused us to fall behind and its becoming more and more evident, in Football Scotland haven’t qualified for a championship in over 10 year and that’s our number one sport!?
    As for rugby I think we haven’t coped very well with the whole professional era. Two Scottish professional teams means plus a few Scottish players who play abroad in Ireland, England, Wales or France, doesn’t really give us much to work with. I’m not saying that we don’t have good players but depth of the squads aren’t great- look at Glasgow and Edinburgh’s defeats the previous weekend when our Internationals were being rested. But SRU couldn’t support 3 teams so fair enough, but Murrayfield is rarely a sell-out stadium and with Scottish rugby not selling tickets on match days it doesn’t help much.
    I don’t blame anyone for the loss to Italy, Wales or France, in the end those teams scored more tries- that’s what it’s about and it doesn’t matter if you have Andy Robinson or Rab the local butcher in charge, the problem we have is deeper than that…
    Sport Scotland needs to get together top dogs from SRU, SFA and other Scottish sporting institutions to come up with a solution, making sport more accessible, getting kids out of their armchairs or out of mischief to burn off some energy have fun and develop the basics in a variety of sports, given the chance they will surely take up one or more sports.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion