Month: November 2010

World Cup Groups Finalised

Romania sealed the deal with a 39-12 win over Uruguay, and made their way as the final qualifier into Group B along with Georgia, Scotland, Argentina and England. As the event draws near, we will of course delve more deeply into the issues surrounding Scotland’s requirements for continuing the record of qualification from the group stages. And by delve, I mean make jokes about England and the All Blacks.

Factoid du jour: Georgia are coached by Scotsman and formal Scottish national coach Richie Dixon. Andy Robinson of course has also previously coached group opposition in the form of England.

Walker In A Winter Wonderland

Scotland 19-16 Samoa

Scotland brought their Autumn International series to a close with a narrow win over a determined bunch of Samoans, who seem to have replaced their free-wheeling and high-tackling style with something far more difficult to overcome. Consistent access to this group of players and a bit of work on the set piece will make them very tricky opponents for Wales, Fiji and South Africa in next year’s Rugby World Cup. Luckily, we only have the new Champions of the World (ie England) to contend with in our group so we can continue to be wildly inconsistent.

Scotland A Highlights

Courtesy of the folks at ScottishRugbyTV, you can check out a wee selection of highlights from Scotland A’s match at Netherdale last Friday where they successfully beat Eddie O’Sullivan’s USA Eagles 25-0. Great to see Alex Grove and Ben Cairns going well in the centre, which coupled with Ansbro’s good showing against the Boks and Max Evans’ anticipated return gives Robbo a few selection headaches ahead of Samoa. If you are wondering who the spare giant second row is, that is full back Jack Cuthbert…

(Video requires Quicktime)

Ansbro in for Evans

TEAM UPDATE: Max Evans has not fully recovered from the stinger he picked up last weekend against New Zealand that brought the game to a close. Hotly tipped Saints utility man Joe Ansbro has been brought straight into the side to earn his first cap. His now vacant wing place in the A Team results in giant Jack Cuthbert coming in at full back and Thompson swapping in for Ansbro. Congratulations to Joe and we wish him all the best for Saturday.

Analysing the Springboks

This coming Saturday it won’t be wave after wave of clinical attack, but it will be a display of blunt force trauma.

S.A. have lost experience in their backline and have a 9 who has little experience at test level (perhaps the reason why Lawson was picked ahead of Laidlaw). Looks like this one is going to be teed up for the Ogres in green. Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis; Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield (capt); Juan Smith, Ryan Kankowski. Some big boys there.

And the A-Team Too

Scotland A: 15 Jim Thompson (Edinburgh) 14 Joe Ansbro (Northampton Saints) 13 Ben Cairns (Edinburgh) 12 Alex Grove (Edinburgh) 11 Lee Jones (Edinburgh) 10 David Blair (Edinburgh) 9 Mark McMillan (Bath) 1 Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors) 2 Scott Lawson (Gloucester) 3 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh) 4 Fraser McKenzie (Edinburgh) 5 Al Kellock (Glasgow Warriors, CAPTAIN) 6 Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) 7 Roddy Grant (Edinburgh) 8 Stuart McInally (Edinburgh)
Replacements: 16 Steven Lawrie (Doncaster Knights) 17 Kyle Traynor (Edinburgh) 18 Tom Ryder (Saracens) 19 David Denton (Edinburgh) 20 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) 21 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors) 22 Jack Cuthbert (Bath)

Several of these guys should be worth a run against Samoa if they step up and put the USA Eagles away at Netherdale on Friday 19th, 7.30pm, FREE admission. Yes, free. The captain’s run tomorrow (Thurs) is also open to the public.

Teams for Scotland vs South Africa

Here is the team to face South Africa at Murrayfield on Saturday, k.o 2.230pm GMT, as best I can make out:

Scotland Team: Hugo Southwell, Nikki Walker, Max Evans Joe Ansbro, Graeme Morrison, Sean Lamont, Dan Parks, Rory Lawson (capt), Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Scott Macleod, Richie Gray, Nathan Hines, John Barclay, Kelly Brown
Replacements: Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Richie Vernon, Ross Rennie, Greg Laidlaw, Ruaridh Jackson, Chris Paterson

South Africa: Zane Kirchner; Gio Aplon, Francois Steyn, Jean de Villiers, Lwazi Mvovo; Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard; Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis; Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield (capt); Deon Stegmann, Juan Smith, Ryan Kankowski.
Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, CJ van der Linde, Flip van der Merwe, Willem Alberts, Ruan Pienaar, Patrick Lambie, Adrian Jacobs.