Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Scotland Team To Face Wales

Wales vs Scotland

Looks like Andy didn’t take my advice about the big wingers but otherwise the team is largely as expected.

Scotland Team to face Wales in Cardiff: Rory Lamont, Lee Jones, Nick De Luca, Sean Lamont, Max Evans, Greig Laidlaw, Chris Cusiter, Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford (c), Geoff Cross, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton, Al Strokosch, Ross Rennie, David Denton
Replacements: Scott Lawson, Ed Kalman, Alistair Kellock, John Barclay, Mike Blair, Duncan Weir, Stuart Hogg

I’m not saying I am clairvoyant or anything but aside from the centres and Evans I was pretty much accurate.

Will the midfield continue to be a creative downfall now we have Laidlaw to run the show? Can this team stand up to the pace, power and precision of Wales? We have pace, we have power and no small amount of game awareness. Precision has eluded us for years…

Wales Team: Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); Alex Cuthbert (Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Blues), George North (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne); Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), Sam Warburton (Blues, capt), Toby Faletau (Dragons).
Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Paul James (Ospreys), Lou Reed (Scarlets), Andy Powell (Sale Sharks), Lloyd Williams (Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Scott Williams (Scarlets).

15 Responses

  1. Whilst I am pleased to see Hoggy and Weir on the bench, and really hope that they get their chance on Sunday. I am not so happy about Lamont and Nick De Luca still being there. De Luca, plays well for his club, but for some reason this doesn’t translate into the national squad and Sean Lamont needs to learn how to pass a ball.

  2. I’m starting to have my doubts about Robinsons abilities. With both changes enforced we can’t even say that he would have changed anything. But most obvious of all is that Blair and Laidlaw have been working well together and Blairs distribution is quicker and more accurate than Cuister, so you pick Blair, well no, not if you are Robinson……..

  3. As sad and disappointed as I was to see the treatment of Dan Parks over the last few days I am delighted to see Laidlaw given his chance at the weekend. It should have been against England and Andy Robinson should have to answer to that as well as the fact that Parks took the majority of both the media and the fans’ abuse when in reality it should have been directed solely in the coach’s direction. He talked Parks into coming back for the 6 nations and effectively left him like a lamb to the slaughter. Shocking coaching.

    Has he given Laidlaw the best opportunity to impress at the weekend? Definitely not. Laidlaw and Edinburgh have functioned best with Blair at 9 who provides a much sharper service than Cusiter. Scotland have to give Laidlaw quick ball to work with otherwise Sunday may be a complete let down for everyone calling for his inclusion. He gets his back line moving best when the breakdown is wiped out clearly and effectively, something that Wales do fantastically well and something that we regularly struggle with. Lets hope he gets that service from his pack.

    Delighted to see Cross, or ‘Gurth’ as he may be known given his shot even if it is due to Murray’s beliefs. Looking forward to seeing him get his hands on the ball as he has been fantastic all season.

  4. This guarentees Robinson wont be around much longer. Selecting Lamont at 12 is senseless, couldn’t pass his water not to mention zero footballing ability. Why Custer and Laidlaw? Then Blair Weir, as previously mentioned madness. This bunch are turning into serial losers, new blood neaded and soon.

    1. I hear John Kirwan is looking for a job…I think we will do well this weekend, really. Hope that the table stands at 2 points for every team come Sunday evening. That would be fun!

    2. Rory’s team is looking better than Robbo’s. I can’t get passed the feeling that Robbo’s taken Scotland as far as he can. Otherwise, Sean Lineen?

  5. I really hope this team wins on Sunday but I feel it’s another poor selection showing little attacking ambition in the backs. Laidlaw will make a difference but would surely be helped with his clubmate Blair alongside him. We saw Cusiter generally delivering slow ball on Saturday, will it be any different this week? Evans and S Lamont are still being played out of position and Hogg would have given us another attacking option from the back. It’s good to see Hogg and Weir on the bench, let’s hope they’re given some game time.
    I wish the team well.

  6. I have to echo the Pigeons comments here. The treatment of Dan Parks has been shocking. Robinson saying it was the right decision for him to leave makes no sense one game into a tournament especially if it is true that it was Robinson that convinced him to come back for one more season. For all the people hating Dan Parks, you might find a sweet side burned ass slapping hole in our squad come Saturday when it comes to tactical kicking and the ability to close out games but lets hope not. He should be remembered for the good performances. Although we lost, who can forget the drop goal celebration against Wales two years ago. Magic stuff!!

    I can not help but feel Laidlaw has now been dealt a tough hand by Robinson. The fact he has not been paired with Blair makes no sense as that is the combo that have been performing so well for Edinburgh and surely any fan or coach can see that, should Duncan Weir be called upon, it makes sense to bring him on with his clubmate Cusiter if nothing but to settle the nerves.

    All this drama has taken the focus of the real problem of the Scotland team. The 12! we need someone that can run off of 10 and pass the ball, keep the moves going. The back three are not getting any ball in space as our first option is the crash ball. Stick Lamont on the wing to counter the size of North and lets have two rugby playing centres in the midfield please. Will still be watching on Sunday. C’mon Scotland!!

  7. I would love to hear AR’s reasoning for mixing up the half backs ????? It makes no sense to me. Surely if you are giving yourself “best possible” chance, then play the guys who are familiar with each other, therefore taking unfamiliarity out of the equation as a possible means of failure ???
    Baffled !!
    NDL wouldnt be my first pick but will be interesting to see how he performs with his wee buddy inside him !
    Deilighted Cross is getting the shout, however, we now have the full Edinburgh front row in place. In most of the Edinburgh games I have been to this season the scrum has been there weakest factor. Outside the scrum cross has been ace !!

    1. Cross seems to scrummage well with Hamilton behind him.

      As for NDL, maybe he hasn’t translated him Edinburgh form to Scotland, but on rewatching last week’s game, he did very little wrong. Ran well, passed well, tackled well but saw almost no ball.

      Why oh why AR wouldn’t play Blair and Laidlaw together, I’ll never know

  8. I’m not a fan of Lamont at 12 (thought he was a success at 13 against Wales 2 years ago).

    However, if he is going to play there, let’s use him. At the first lineout on Saturday, the ball went straight from Cusiter to Lamont who piled into Hodgson and set up quick ball and a good attack. I can’t remember us using that move again for the rest of the match – instead we continually passed it behind Lamont’s back about 10 yards behind the gain line.

    It’s almost as baffling as the move from the kick off which led to the charge down try.

  9. Pigeon – readers of this blog can often be heard to comment over a pint or two in the evening on a “good point, well made” by you: not tonight.

    IMO the Scotlands’ team treatment of DP wasnt shocking: the opposite is true. Parks slapped his P45 on Andy’s desk mid tournament with a force seldom seen applied to anything other the south end of a north bound team-mate. He may well have been dropped – but thats the coaches prerogative and the player shouldnt spit the dummy.

    Parks, Parksy, Dan: why you look so sad? The tears are in your eyes . . . I’ll stand by you

    If only you’d stood by us


  10. There are many having a pop at Lamont at centre and his alleged inability to pass a ball but when I was playing (many years ago) the centres were there to hit the line at speed with the size and weight to break tackles, make ground and get the winger into clear air. Lamont can break tackles OK the problem is there rarely seems to be anyone in the clear to take a pass so he does what he should, go to ground (Lamont is rarely held up) and set the ball up for the next phase. Besides, when you are up against the best teams in the world, these days scoring opportunities come more from opposition defensive blunders rather than sublime attacking play.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion