A quick post on last night’s bore-fest against Japan.
Free entry, a free programme, minimal queues to grab a beer and a sunny evening. The perfect recipe then to see a strong Scotland side warm up with a convincing victory over a Japan select? Well not really, as despite all the potential it was really a bit boring. Scotland played well enough in spells, Grove in particular made some really good breaks but the ability to transform this into anything substantial was limited. Scotland appeared to have a policy of keeping the ball in hand and spend some game time attacking the Japanese. I can only think of one occasion when the Scots put foot to ball. It was fairly evident that the Scots have been working on the lines they run with lots of cut-arounds being run and some fairly clever lines but as always the final pass to the wide men was far too slow coming or of such a poor quality that it might as well have not come at all.
Worryingly the forward unit appeared to struggle, losing a lineout to the smallest side I’ve ever seen is alarming (considering the strength against the Irish). The scrum never really dominated as much as it should, other than a spell before half time where they drew several penalties at the scrum 5 meters out, and you feel on another, more competitive day the ref may have been moved to award a penalty try. Scotland also appeared to lose the ball several times when going into contact and will need to improve substantially in the games against Argentina.
All in all a Scotland performance with some of the usual problems. No one other than Grove really stood out and I doubt Robinson will be using this to inform the team for the first test in Argentina in a couple of weeks.
On a final note well done to the SRU for making this a free entry – looked about 8-10,000 folk attended. Could have been better advertised though.