Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


RBS 6 Nations: Wales 27 – 13 Scotland

Wales vs Scotland

In a packed out Millenium Stadium with the roof shut, this match-up threatened the sort of noisy drama last seen here in 2010. And in the end, there was something horribly familiar about it, as a fifteen minute period of madness left Scotland down in defence and the game put clinically out of reach by the Welsh.

Up until then though it had been anything but clinical. During a breathless opening 15 minutes, Wales showed clear attacking intent and Scotland looked like they were willing – if possibly less able – to play the same game.

Laidlaw on his first start had a chance to settle nerves with an early penalty kick but it was pushing the edge of his range and he skewed it. Otherwise though he looked settled and brought his backs into the game nicely.

Although Gray was dominating the lineout, Scotland were under a lot of pressure in the loose. They held onto the ball well but were pushed back by incredibly aggressive – often to the point of offside – defence from the Welsh every time they tried to go forward, and they were very alert to any telegraphed Scottish attempts to move the ball wide.

The breakdown was a dogfight, with the Scottish back row doing their best to make the rucks a mess with the fewest men possible and the Welsh slowing up ball wherever they could.

Big wings Cuthbert and North looked to get into the game as much as possible but North’s initial attempt to stamp his mark on the game led to Jim Hamilton stamping his mark on George North with a huge hit that had the Welshman reeling.

An early injury to Max Evans meant Stuart Hogg looking at a baptism of dragonfire with only 15 minutes of the game elapsed, but he was given nothing to do for the next 15 minutes. By the time he started to see ball, he knew no fear and looked right at home. Despite previous misgivings, it would be hard to argue against him starting when Scotland take the field against France.

After a rare occasion when Poite punished the Welsh for their infringing and Laidlaw got Scotland on the board, Halfpenny struck back on the half hour and it was hard to believe it was only 3-3 with half an hour gone

Nick De Luca and Rory Lamont grew in confidence with the ball in hand and Scotland put together 20 phases to attack the Welsh line only for Chunk to knock on a foot from the line, and the scoreline remained at half time.

The two players named above were to leave their mark on the game but sadly not in the way they had initially suggested.

Just after half time a silly error on the restart allowed Wales early attacking ball. The Welsh big wing policy finally paid off as the ball went wide and Cuthbert barged over Laidlaw who was marking him to score the try, Halfpenny converting.

The silliness continued with Nick De Luca tackling rumbustious centre Davies off the ball during a kick chase, putting Scotland down to 14 men. It was unnecessary and rash, but the remaining Scots battled manfully and Laidlaw grabbed a penalty, while Blair came on to try make the game so fast Wales wouldn’t notice they had a man advantage.

Wales did have the numbers though, and the next time they were in the Scottish 22 they went wide Hogg and Jones could do nothing to prevent the try. There was nothing anyone could do to prevent Rory Lamont from giving another yellow card away with a despairing tackle from an offside position, save Rory Lamont. Again rash, again the Scots battled manfully. And again Wales scored.

Scotland survived the minute or so that they were down to 13 men, but the numbers again made it easy for Halfpenny to grab his second try. Call it the Halfpenny half: 19 points in 14 minutes. It was 27-6.

Scotland hadn’t even really done anything in the half and the game was practically over. Andy Robinson said after the game, “When you are under pressure, you have to be prepared to absorb that pressure.” Those Scots left on the pitch had tried hard to do so, but the Welsh backs are too well drilled, too talented to let you off the hook that easily; they know what can happen when you have a player carded.

Of course, this is the point where Scotland usually start to play and this Scotland team were no disappointment in that regard. Sean Lamont, seemingly fuelled by anger made some more inroads and a great break went through the hands to De Luca who fired off a quick but inaccurate pass.

Hogg collected it deftly considering the pass was at Flymo height and scored the try but Poite disallowed it for a knock on. As he said to Kellock, “it’s my call”. It was, and it was the wrong one.

Spurred on by the injustice, Hogg went looking for work behind the tireless pack and charged Scotland back to the line. This time Laidlaw sneaked the ball on to the line, Scotland crossing the whitewash for the first time since the 4 tries in the World Cup against Romania.

With Lamont restored, Hogg made a great run and De Luca tried to make amends for his mistake with some good half breaks and the Scots were looking good with ball in hand rather than the hot-potato of last week, but the Welsh defence though tired was up to it.

Blair and Lamont tried to up the pace even further on tap and go penalties but were thwarted by Poite’s nitpicking, when he was quite happy to let the Welsh not go back the required 10 and continue to slow ball in the rucks. Sean slammed the ball into the turf to the jeers of the home fans, but you understood his extreme frustration. Robinson said afterwards “The guys have played very well and they are hurting. And rightly so.”

Chasing the game had been a requirement since just before the first sin bin; but it shouldn’t have been that way.

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North, Rhys Priestland, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Huw Bennett, Adam Jones, Ryan Jones, Ian Evans, Dan Lydiate, Aaron Shingler, Toby Faletau.
Replacements: Ken Owens, Paul James, Lou Reed, Andy Powell, Lloyd Williams, James Hook, Scott Williams.

Scotland: Rory Lamont, Lee Jones, Nick De Luca, Sean Lamont, Max Evans, Greig Laidlaw, Chris Cusiter; Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, Geoff Cross, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton, Alasdair Strokosch, Ross Rennie, David Denton.
Replacements: Scott Lawson, Ed Kalman, Alastair Kellock, John Barclay, Mike Blair, Duncan Weir, Stuart Hogg.

Ref: Romaine Poite (France)
Touch judges: Peter Fitzgibbon, Simon McDowelll (Ireland)
TMO: Giulio de Santis (Italy)

50 Responses

  1. Much better performance from Scotland. The Cusiter mistake was critical, it gave the Welsh momentum and confidence,we were on top at the end of the first half. The two silly penalties compounded things; game over.
    On the positive side the packed played well, no changes needed. Laidlaw looked the part and should be partnered by Blair in the next game. Hogg had a great debut and must retain his place. Jones looked an established international and is a good prospect. We need changes at centre, let’s try Evans and Ansbro (if they’re fit) next time, if not give Matt Scott a chance. We have every chance in the last three games if we play the way we did for most of this match.

  2. Well, still a loss, but we played the style I thought we needed to. Kept the ball really well in the first half. I can’t recall ever going to 21 phases before and actually going somewhere. Better composure and we score there.

    Cusiter wasn’t great. His service was good, but the Welsh had it timed to perfection and were 5 yards upfield before anyone ever saw the ball. Blair varied the attack much better, but who knows if he’d been able to do that from the off.

    Ross Rennie ran himself to a stand still and was the pick of a good forward effort, I thought. DeLuca, aside from his horrible foul, had a very positive game, but that will be forgotten. Rory Lamont was 2 seconds early with his tackle, and maybe it’s a different game.

    Hogg looks right at home playing international rugby.

  3. 3rd big game in 4 where a lapse of concentration at kick reception has b en the turning point.

    I don’t see Rory Lamont as offside for yellow as it was open play. That may be more to do with tartan tinted glasses than fact mind you.

    Lamont to the wing, Hogg to replace DeLuca, and anyone but Morrison at 12.

    Blair for Cusiter, Murray for Cross and maybe Bsrxlay for Stroker

  4. Morrison at 12 is a tough one. He played well for Glasgow and Robinson is more likely to put him in than Scott. I’d keep Hogg at FB and hope Evans is fit to play 13 again. We do miss Joe Ansbro I think.

  5. I myself am Welsh so am happy with the match today, but Scotland sure showed that they can play! I think Hogg will be one for the future as he played excellently today, broke many lines and was unlucky not to be awarded the try, which on another day he would have be given. P.S Rory I emailed you yesterday as I am the creator of RugbyUnionBlog, regarding a post which if possible I would like you to contribute in, I have already got replies from other blogs including Welsh Rugby Blog who said he knew you! Anyway thanks for reading and good luck to Scotlamd in the remainder of your matches!

  6. Scotland never really got the breaks again ! A referee who seemed against us all the way gave Wales the impetus to stretch a lead not to mention our disallowed try by Hogg. I thought we played our hearts out and it makes you feel good to see the team perform with such endeavour. There were so many positives though in our team today Laidlaw, Hogg, Denton, Rennie, and Jones. There was lot of good possesion which we need to start turning in to tries and go for the jugular though. I often feel that the backs look a bit too flat to give them a chance to get into their stride. Hogg looks a real handful and with his change of pace and direction he must be a certain starter in the next match. Laidlaw should become captain a great match from him. The future is getting brighter all the time and there is a lot more to come from Scotland, that, I am sure. Keep up the good work lads. Scotland the Brave!

  7. About these box kicks/up and unders by the half back that are part of the game plan every week and have been for over a year

    A) if I have time watching the game on tv to explain to all around me that one is about to happen is it not likely the opposition will expect the same?

    B) who are they for? I couldnt even see a blue jersey on the screen when each one is easily fielded with no pressure

    C) in living memory does anyone recall a Scottish player recovering a kick such as this cleanly in the air?

    Doing so is a skill that has to be taught and if there is an Aussie rules or league player anywhere in Scotland he should b immediately signed by the SRU to do so

    The definition of stupidity is to continually repeat the same action for the same unfavourable outcome and handing the ball back to the opposition on a plate qualifies

    Although not the 9 on this occasion, the last 5 minutes game plan v England in Auckland dictated a heave and hope by Parks and was another perfect example of just what happens when a coaching team visualise being down in the last 5 and have no expectation of being able to construct a try

    The aimless inaccurate kicking away of good ball v Wales was just another example of something a coaching team have seen other sides have success with but have not ensured their side has the skills to execute before making it part of the game plan

    1. I am soooo with you on this one – what ios the point – it inevitably ends up with the opposition back to where you kicked from but they have ball ???? when i was a lad it was supposed to be a purely defensive move used only inside the 22 !! Lets stop doing it !!

    2. Don’t get me wrong I think the box kick is a valid attacking option and is needed to keep the blind wing and full back with an eye on the short side if you want to spin the ball wide the next time or just have

      My point is that while taking a ball in the air is a skill that is taught and mastered here in Aus it does not appear to be getting a look in there

      The other side of the coin is that the kick has to be of an appropriate distance and have a sufficient hang time for a chaser to be in a position to compete when it comes down

  8. Can’t blame referees, when will people learn this? So many positives though.

    Rennie world class, again. Is the Pigeon anywhere to be seen? Who says you have to play week in week out to justify your place in the Scotland team. Hello? Are you there? Pigeon…?

    Suggesting Laidlaw as captain is ridiculous…if there wasn’t a bordered as captain already I’d suggest that you had ulterior motives, Borderer! Laidlaw did pass well, though.

    Blair must start next week.

    1. Oh id forgot about the pidgeons comments, he must be eating some humble pie right now after two world class link play performances in two weeks from Rossco.

    2. Not wishing to get dragged into this argument, but Ross Rennie has had 2 “world class” INDIVIDUAL performances in the last two weeks. (as has Denton)

      The lack of a cohesive unit in the back row is an area for improvement.

  9. My point at the time Fraser was entirely along the lines that the initial squad selection was not based around form but on reputation and that he was being rewarded for his form 6 months prior to that. He had not played regularly for Edinburgh and upon that basis I felt he was fortunate to get picked. He has had 2 fantastic performances and today I thought he was our best player. If not for Cusitor he may well have been on the winning team. I’m pretty sure that if you read what I said in the previous post I said he was a very good player but was being kept out the Edinburgh team at the time of the squad selection and on that basis alone was lucky to be there as what kind of message does that send out? Personally I thought that that argument was buried prior to the England game and to be honest did not expect someone who objectively blogs on this site like yourself to leave a petty post like the one above. You would also note that I said he was a stand out against England other than failing to get his pass away. Did he have a point to prove from that error? Yes he definitely did as it would have won us the match but he certainly responded and came up trumps today. As a Scotland fan I’m delighted he has played so well and am happy to say that. I am hugely disappointed with Robinson and his inability to select a winning team. It was there for all to see that Blair should play with laidlaw and the difference he made when he came on was evident. The pack was superb but the problem position is clearly 12 as lamont offers very little there and we are crying out for someone creative there. Problem is we don’t have too many options…

    1. No it wasn’t based around form, I agree with you, and so what? Rennie’s performances have proven that some players do not have to be picked on form – he was picked on class, and rightly so. Clearly he was not ‘fortunate to be picked’.

      You suggested that Rennie shouldn’t have been picked because he wasn’t playing for Edinburgh. This argument has been shown to be flawed.

      Also, there is nothing to stop me objectively writing for this site and picking flaws in your arguments.

    2. That’s a non-sense. Did you see him in the Racing game? Or the first game against London Irish? Rennie has been in outstanding form for Edinburgh. The fact that he is competing with two other excellent 7s for his club spot and isn’t picked every week doesn’t mean he’s not in great form.

      He does have knee issues that need to be managed

    3. This is an argument that was dealt with prior to the England game and was something that was relevant then and only then. The point is irrelevant now as he has been superb and taken his chance like I wish all Scotland players would. Class is something that you either have or you don’t, form is something that is in the here and now. I am a strong believer in form as if you are playing well regularly then you should be due a shot. You can be a class player but not be playing well. We are fortunate that we have class players across the back row 3 times over and on that basis my point was that form should be taken into consideration and play a big factor. Rennie is a class player but wasnt doing it regularly for Edinburgh, I certainly havent seen him put in 80 minutes like England and Wales for Edinburgh. If he had done that this season then I wouldnt have made my first statement. This is a blog about Scotland’s performance on Saturday, not about something dealt with a couple of weeks ago.

  10. I am a scot that has lived and played rugby in NZ for the past 20years. I have also watched Scotland play for those 20years and nothing has changed. Laidlaw should have been in that position from the start of the tournament. Dan Parks should not have come to the World Cup, he has a huge list of mistakes which have cost Scotland close matches. Jacobsen os another player that continues to make ridiculous mistakes. Surely the must be anothyer prop of better quality in Scotland.
    The Wales game showed hope as per usual. Maybe its time to let the old gaurds go. Get a kiwi coach in there and things would change.

  11. Am I the only person that see s the huge knock on before the de Luca sin bin to say you can’t blame officials is wrong because as they say rugby s a game of inches and decisions going against you was the difference if we keep playing like that the wins will.come

  12. Family time yesterday so I can’t comment on the game, but once again I’m totally frustrated by the final result. What I can comment upon are the messages left on this blog and how they relate to my comments after the English game.
    “Critical mistake by Cusiter + lapses in concentration” – my previous point “TCUP = thinking critically under pressure” and how Scotland as a team always manage to allow a lapse in their game plan. Simply not an option and borne out by your comments.
    “Chunk drops the ball + De Luca and Lamont tackle the man without the ball” – elementary mistakes and should not occur with professional players.
    “21 phases and going nowhere = a better performance = every chance” these assessments typify our tinted glasses approach to the Scottish XV – we need to have a winning mentality.
    “Blame the referee + blame Robinson for not picking a winning XV + let’s have a Kiwi coach” – perhaps the last comment represents the best option? However we should blame the Scottish set-up and have a root and branch examination of how we develop players as I’m not convinced we have a blueprint for success.
    “Bring on France” – they have nothing to fear about Scotland and will only not succeed if they travel badly.
    Sorry guys I try to remain realistic but roll on the Vodacom Super Rugby!!

  13. Just goes to show how myopic the Scotiish rugby public have been re Dan Parks when everyone is getting excited about Laidlaw yesterday.

    Gregg Laidlaw was marginally better than Parks yesterday and no more. He missed a shot at goal that Parks wouldnt have, he missed a vital touch from a penalty which Parks wouldnt have and even the contact averse Aussie 10 would have at least slowed Cuthbert down a bit befor his try.

    Fair enough there wasnt as many aimless kicks to nothing, but for all the pretty passes from Laidlaw yesterday I think you’ll find we were behind the gain line on many occassions.

    Laidlaw or Weir are certainly the way forward, but by no means the saviours of Scottish rugby.

    1. Parks missed a kick to touch in exactly the same circumstances last week, and he missed plenty of kicks for scotland over his career so dont even start with that.

    2. i’m sorry but that is a brave statement saying Parks wouldn’t have missed that kick. He was shocking against England – twice he couldnt even make touch out of hand. It was the same in the Cardiff Blues game against Edinburgh. His kicking (really the only part of his game ) was rubbish. Park for me was alway one dimensional and very very hot and cold. i do think Laidlaw is one for the future. he is inspirational at edinburgh !! hopefully … watch this space ! Oh and Laidlaw was in contact more in the first five minutes of the welsh game ( where he played crash ball twice as there was nothing else on ) than I have seen parks in during his whole career !! Which in my mind has been Parks biggest issue.

  14. Having finally caught my breath, wow what a game. We said before the match that as long as Scotland put in a performance and looked dangerous on the ball we would be happy. It easy to point to 15 minutes of madness as classic Scotland, and to some extent it is. Those 15 minutes were a direct result of chasing a game after Cusiter’s mare at the kick off. How do you practice live kick offs is a problem being faced by my own club at the moment and its seems to be the same problem at an international level.

    I actually thought NDL had one of his better games in a blue jersey and calls for him to be dropped are a bit short sighted. His defence was excellent and pace off the line stopped a few Welsh attacks. Good to see the young boys doing well when they came on also. Hogg was outstanding especially his break past Roberts and Davies.

    A frustrating day for the Scottish forwards as they truly were world class and must be getting annoyed about the lack of composure outside of them. The back row were outstanding.

    Yes Fraser, Ross Rennie was excellent but your comment above come across as arrogant and petty. Are you not the same contributor who wanted this site to be a centre for objective debate and took issue with people not using their real names? To then come out and mock someone’s opinion in a such a childish manner does not support your previous views. Your love of Rennie is admirable. I assume you must be a former Rodney yourself?

    Anyway back on point, Laidlaw had a good debut and is encouraging for the future. I for one would like to see NDL moove to 12 with either Ansbro or Evans outside him and R Lamont moved to the wing with Hogg at fullback. Bring in Visser in the summer and you have a real atttacking threat!

    Final point I think we can all agree Parksy won the battle of the pundits! What a man. Much better that Martin Williams anyway. Was he drunk?

    1. It may be arrogant and petty, but it is important to draw attention to commenters like the Pigeon. I have no idea what a Rodney is.

  15. Good afternoon bloggers. I am new to this site however having had a conversation ‘offline’ with Heatzillionairre I have a few points that I feel pertininet to raise in this forum on his and my behalf.

    1. As you all know his comments regarding Morrison have been taken out of context. He does not feel Morrison is the answer to our midfield problem. Granted, he will put in a shift, however our concern is that he is perhaps too one dimensional and lacks pace and vision which have in the past left him wanting at international level. Rather, Heatzilla, and myself would prefer to see a combination of De Luca at 12 and Evans and 13 for the upcoming summer tour. That would leave us with a lethal back 3 of Visser and Hogg with the 14 shirt still up for grabs. Phoenix, I am not sure that Lamont is our answer here. An athelete yes, but an intelligent footballer, alas no. Lee Jones has been looking sharp for club and he has shown signs that he is now ready to convert these performances to the international stage.

    2. I would like to reinforece his views regarding Geoff ‘Girth’ Cross. Despite conceeding a couple of early penalties he worked his way into the game, dominating at scrum time, working tirelessly in the loose, and offering a constant threat with ball in hand. As you all know he has been putting in first class performances akin to this for Edinburgh on a weekly basis.

    3. Great debut on the sidelines from Dan Parks. His insightful comments remind me of many a conversation I have shared with the Prizebull over a pint of Guinness or ten. The guy is both insightful and charesmatic. I wonder with the rumours in mind that attack coach Townsend is soon to be out the door, would parks not be the ideal candidate to fill his boots?

  16. Fraser, again you seem to be failing to realise what my point was. It was NOT that Ross Rennie was a bad player, but that he was being kept out the Edinburgh team with the underlying statement being that Andy Robinson does not pick the players that play well for their clubs on a consistent basis. Why it is important to draw attention to that is to be honest baffling as if you read the previous blogs I stated he was a stand out against England and recognised he was a good rugby player in my initial statement that you chastised without objectively ackowledging the facts from this season that I stated. The fact that you have drawn further attention to this makes you seem even more arrogant and even more petty. I had read a couple of your articles for this site and your own blog and actually thought you talked a bit of sense. However you have totally lost any credibility with your comments above and your inability to recognise my point in an objective manner. I can clear up the Phoenix’s comment regarding a ‘Rodney’. A ‘Rodney’ is an Edinburgh Academical, which I believe that you are, are you not?

    1. I fully understand your point. I know that you respect Rennie as a player etc etc.

      Will you accept that Andy Robinson was fully justified in not picking a player who was playing for his club on a regular basis? And also that playing for your club on a regular basis should not be a prerequisite for selection?

      You seem to prioritise form over class, that is my only issue.

    2. When we have the abundance of back row players who are stand outs for their clubs each week then form should undoubtedly be a priority as you want players playing for Scotland who are high on confidence and performing at a high level. We have several class players who are playing poorly or have been injured so are out of form. Should they automatically get picked in the squad or the team for what they have done previously? Definitely not. On the back of his performances of course I can accept his inclusion, you would need to be delusional not to. As above, this was a relevant argument 2 weeks ago when he had played a limited amount of rugby. On the back of 2 superb performances it is not an argument worth raising.

  17. This is a contest to rival eubank v Benn…

    Rennie was outstanding, as were Hamilton and Gray.
    Cusiter was selected because he was Scotland’s best box-kicker and Laidlaw demonstrated that he does not have the greatest range when clearing, HOWEVER, despite this Blair should and probably will start inside Laidlaw next time out. Hogg should be 15 and I suspect one or both Lamont(s) will be on the wing. Our issues are at centre.
    Also, re: Chunk,it is him and Ford for the whole tournament. No use fighting it.

    1. Best box kicker….. harrumph please see my earlier post

      Being able to kick the ball up in the air and have it return to ground within the field of play is not in itself any kind of viable strategy or tactic.

      Furthermore having said ball return to ground with ne’er a blue shirt to be seen in the vicinity is definitely not a positive selection criteria for me

  18. So, assuming health and wellness:

    15.Hogg 14.Evans 13.Ansbro- if healthy
    12.Scott 11.Slamont 10.Laidlaw 9.Blair
    8.Denton 7.Rennie 6.Barclay
    5.Kellock 4.Gray
    3.Kalman 2.Ford 1.Chunk

    1. Your having a laugh there mate. Girth will be clearly starting against the French. See my post above if this needs any justification.

    2. Completely agree with The Sheik here. Girth should be in the 3 jersey. Reckon Robinson will bring Murray back in tho

  19. It might not be a popular view, but surely it was Denton at fault for the kick off blunder rather than Cusiter – looked to me as though he initially moved to go for the ball but then backed off, surprising Cusiter and leaving him wrong footed. 9 times out of ten, No 8 catches, takes the ball into contact and scrum half is there to box kick, pass, whatever – made no sense to leave catch to Cusiter.

    Re Laidlaw – first of all, he isn’t an international standard goal kicker – if you can’t make it to the posts from 40m, you will pass up far too many opportunities to keep the scoreboard ticking over (for me, Jackson suffers the same way, but for 40m read 30m….infront of the posts…with the wind behind). He did look sharp at times, but seemed a bit lost and without a powerful boot seemed to be a bit one dimensional – if I’m being absolutely honest, he looked like a scrum half playing at stand-off and don’t even get me started on his ‘tackle’ on Cuthbert.

    Blair/Laidlaw partnership looked better than the Cusiter/Laidlaw one, but I think that may have more to do with Mike Blair adding a bit more go forward when he came on – agree with most that for this reason he’s probably a better bet for a starting spot in a fortnight.

    AR missed a real opportunity to blood Weir for the last 20 mins – Laidlaw is not going to be a long term solution to the 10 shirt so the sooner we allow young players the international experience, the sooner they will be making an impact. If it wasn’t for injury to Evans, I wonder how much gametime AR had anticipated for Hogg. I hope Weir gets to hold position on Bench for France. Would be a national disgrace if Jackson gets brought in over his head

    1. Jackson’s still only (just) 24. Given that we’ve been reliant on Patterson’s kicking I don’t really think he’s had a chance to show what he can do at International level. He certainly seems calm on the ball and he’s slotted over a couple of neat drop goals for us too.

      Laidlaw’s lack of range on Sunday was concerning and France will know they can afford to give away penalties around the half way line that would have been within Parks and Patterson’s range before. On the otherhand all this competition at number 10 has to be a good thing right? I can’t remember the last time we had 2 let alone 3 good options at 10.

    2. Laidlaw misses one kick and suddenly hes not good enough for international goal kicking? Distance was the issue, it just lipped wide, had it not it wouldve gone over.

      And besides, our legendary goal kicker himself wasnt known for distance, but accuracy, just like Laidlaw.

      It feels like some people have already marked the next scapegoat out.

    3. I’m not writing Laidlaw off at all. I may be misremembering but I was sure the first penalty attempt was short (and a wee bit wide) and it’s just a bit concerning that’s all as there are plenty of International kickers that would have had the distance. I thought he had an excellent game otherwise and it’s great to see competition for places.

    4. Andy – “9 times out of ten, No 8 catches, takes the ball into contact and scrum half is there to box kick, pass, whatever – made no sense to leave catch to Cusiter. ”

      More pressing question is – What was a 9 doing on the touchline in front of the 8 in the first place?

    5. how about Laidlaw at 9 and Weir at 10 – get the young boys blooded – they do this at edinburgh regularly. Blair comes on 2nd half and Laidlaw moves to 10. Just a thought ?? ps – Laidlaw isnt a bad kicker although I agree with the distance issue – Weir definqtely doesnt have a distance issue !!! Laidlaw kicked 100% in the racing Metro game at Murrayfield.

  20. I would like to see Nick Di Saster moved out of the 22 altogether. He is just not an international standard player.
    Admittedly I switched off after Halfpenny’s second try and went on with my day so can’t comment on the whole game.
    Matt Scott will not start at 12 vs France as Robinson refuses(?) to play a first cap from the start, prefering to introduce them gradually, which is a shame.
    Based on our performances, can anyone tell me why Steadman’s contract is not being renewed yet Townsend seem irreplacable?
    I have tickets for the France game and I am not particularly looking forward to it.

  21. Perhaps AR has been too loyal to some players . Jacobson was none too clever at times yesterday, Strokosch looked well off the pace. Harley looks the real deal and should be blooded as soon as possible. Matt Scott should come in at centre he has all the potential of a great player. De Luca has had a good run but his indiscipline cost us dearly and maybe a fresh face is need there too. Hogg must be a certain starter he gives a buzz the minute he touches the ball and is just what we have been needing for a very long time. Mike Blair deserves a start too he combines well with Laidlaw. Maybe we should throw caution to the wind, as caution has got us no where recently although the performances have been better its results that count. I would recommend promotion for more of the recently successful Scotland A team it has to be the way forward. Their pack destroyed the England Saxons at Netherdale . Scotland the Brave !

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