Having finished the wordsearch in our Beano Summer Special we at Scottish Rugby Blog towers have found ourselves at a bit of a loose end with the new season still a few weeks away. So to fill in some time, and for a bit of fun, we sat down at our ledgers to take a closer look at how Scotland have done under Scott Johnson.
Johnson is only keeping the seat warm until Vern Cotter arrives but with the World Cup approaching it’s hard to see any seismic shift in Scotland’s approach once Cotter takes up the reigns full time. So are we any better off post-Robinson? Most fans would probably answer positively with Scotland scoring tries galore and asking more questions of opposition defences. Of course there have been low moments too but overall there seems to be a spring in Scotland’s step that hasn’t been seen for some time.
But is all this hope and promise warranted? With the Summer Tour a distant memory and Autumn Internationals still some way off now is as good a time as any to take a closer look at Scotland’s progress since Robinson bowed out.
This isn’t an exact science but we’ve looked at Scotland’s performances across the past two Six Nations and Summer tours and pulled out some key stats. Most ask more questions than they answer but it still makes for interesting reading.
|% Scrums won on own feed||88.5%||77.5%|
|% Lineouts won on own feed||76.5%||88.5%|
|% Time ball passed rather than kicked||87%||79%|
|Metres run with ball||2762||2406|
|Clean line breaks||40||41|
Looking at cold hard stats Scotland appear to have gone backwards under Johnson. The scrum is weaker, the tackle success rate worrying and number of points conceded woeful. On the plus side the lineout seems to be improving.
The stats also give us a little glimpse into the style of rugby Johnson wants Scotland to play. The ball is kicked from hand more often and players are taking it into contact rather than looking for an offload.
They also shine a rather unflattering light on the myth that Scotland have become a more attacking and free scoring side under Johnson compared with Robinson’s tenure. Similar number of line breaks, similar number of turnovers won and lost and only three more tries under Johnson than Robinson achieved in the same period. Of course Johnson would have us believe it’s only the “W’s” that matter. We deliberately omitted them to try for an objective look at how Scotland are performing but while we’re here let’s just compare overall performance.
Johnson – P 8 W 3 L 5 (Feb ’13 – June ’13)
Robinson – P 8 W 3 L5 (Feb ’12 – June ’12)
So… where are we now?