Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Canada 17-19 Scotland

Scotland Logo © SRU - used with permission

I’m out of the country this weekend, we hope to have a match report in this space soon but for now you can let us know what you thought of the game in Toronto.


Having watched the game finally, here are a few thoughts ahead of the Argentina game.

I thought the back three combined pretty well. The lack of distribution from the centres was eased a bit by Horne, but he had a nervy game, and there were still at least three occasions where Maitland was put into space but had the pass been better timed or aimed he would have been in.

Blair Cowan had a much better time of it coming on after the injury to Strokosch, putting in a solid shift in the breakdown. We Scots seem to like an openside who spends plenty of time ferreting about in rucks and tackling things and he certainly did that. He might not be everybody’s cup of tea but if he keeps playing like that we may warm to him. Of course, he’ll be off home to London Irish now meaning we can’t see him really tested. Colleague Kieran Low was less impressive at Number 8 and with Denton and Wilson not travelling and Beattie away home too suddenly Scotland’s natural back row depth looks wide and thin.

Finn Russell was due an off game at professional level and he probably had that against Canada, with a few hospital passes and several ineffectual kicks. I have no doubt he’ll bounce back, and along with Hogg and Maitland should be part of a younger more confident Scotland under Cotter.

The scrum was good with Cross and Reid on, and okay with Low on. For me Reid and Cross should be first choice for the bigger games. Cross has already doing more than could be expected in light of his bereavement but he is stepping up against Argentina alongside Ford and Dickinson who offers a more mobile option than Reid perhaps.

The lineout was wobbly but Scott Lawson did quite well in the loose. Ford, now given another chance, has a lot to live up to if he wants to keep the hooker shirt when Cotter has all his players available in November.

20 Responses

  1. Oh dear! The referee robbed Canada of a well deserved win by red carding a player for running over Jackson who tackled with poor body position. Another step backwards i feel unless it wakes Cotter up to how poor and uninterested certain players are. Laidlaw, rubbish! Gray, be prepared to be replaced by your younger, better brother. Lawson, go home now! Lamont, time to retire! Gilchrist, a try does not excuse your shambolic lineout work! Clear out the coaches under Cotter, they are not doing their job!

    Dont give me this “a win is a win” bollocks! I cant begin to put in words how angry i am and I will not be surprised if we ship 50 points to the boks!

    1. I wouldn’t be so critical of Lamont, his work from the set piece by making the hard yards was very good, but I do agree that it was a terrible decision by the ref and a poor game overall by Scotland. We’re going to need to make some real improvements for Argentina and South Africa in the coming weeks…

    2. I haven’t seen the game but weren’t Scotland already ahead when your man was sent off. Why did that final incident cost canada the game?

      Anyway sounds like another dreadful Scotland performance with probably 60-70% of our best team on the field. Not sure what has gone so badly wrong or whether the return of our midfield will make that much of a difference. Our back row has been horribly out of balance for ages, our breakdown work is poor, our set piece is vulnerable. Cotter has how work cut out but at least he’ll be under no illusions as to how far behind our 6N rivals we are now.

    3. Because Canada had a pen on the 22 right in front that was reversed.

      Anger has subsided now and i should really have slated the entire team, not just Lamont and co. Grrrr!

  2. Listened to the game on the bbc web site and it sounded if all the attacking
    Play was from canada with last ditch tackles saving the day the few attempts
    We had were always botched.

    2 wins from 2 for vern but to be honest i am not really sure what he has
    Really done to change the way we play.

    But what i was shocked at was to hear the man coaching the backs this
    Week was scott johnson why? This time of year shouldnt he be sorting
    Out the mess that is the scottish game cant believe our teams
    Have dropped out of british and ireland cup

    1. Cotter has only had the squad for two weeks and the first week he said he was observing and getting to know their systems etc. you can’t reinvent the wheel 6 days before a test. I think it is a bit early to be damning the new coach, the squads frailties are very much a hangover from not having a decent coach for 2 years.

      I’m not sure we’ll know much about how Cotter sees the squad and gameplan developing until the AIs. He’ll have very little latitude to choose a team in his image for the next two games and he’s unlikely to ask for big changes until they have time back at camp.

    2. SJ was coaching the backs because Hodge and Humphries returned to Scotland after the USA game to prepare the next squad for Argentina

  3. Watched it on bt sport. Utter farce tbh! Canada played with passion and skill, and didn’t deserve the late red card. Scotland at best seemed disinterested, disorganised and lacked basic skills.

    Where to go now? Would rather try solving world hunger than sort our shambolic team out.

    Ps the best part of the game was the old bloke singing the flower of Scotland at the start of the game….. Sure some of the lads were laughing!

  4. Whoever let Laidlaw on the pitch should be slapped! What a piss-poor performance from the captain. He was slow, threw dreadful passes and kept f@#*ing kicking the ball back to the Canadians every time we got into their half.
    Lawson, Gray and Low were particularly unimpressive also.

    Very few positives to take away but I thought Cowan stepped up very well from last week and Lamont was a good battering ram in attack.

    However much credit to the Canadians who were excellent and deserved to win.

  5. For how bad a performance it was, a small positive was seeing Blair Cowan put in a brilliant shift when he came on. Arguably the guy saved us from losing the game with several crucial steals..not to mention his passing was far better this week too.

  6. Worst Scottish performance for a while; and we’ve been treated to some really abysmal matches recently. Hope Big Al is okay, and hope to f— I never have to watch Murray Low again. Fingers crossed for the final two tests, although something tells me we’re going to capitulate and concede >> 100 points.

  7. Terrible performance all round. A total shambles in so many areas. Canada must be in shock, they were well and truely robbed. How did we end up with what was probably glasgow’s third choice centre partnership? Scotland repeated gt’s error in putting Horne in at inside centre. Lament gets a pass from me for his effort and passion but he’s no centre. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel as far as I can see. I think vern must be a worried man.

  8. I can’t wait to see Pyrgos/Hart against Argentina and the Boks, I found myself screaming at the TV everytime we had a good period of phase play because Laidlaw would kick the ball away. One loose box kick led to the Canada 9 making a line break and subsequently a Canadian penalty. Pyrgos box kicks well and only when the option of a kick will pay off like he did against Japan. Laidlaw surrenders possession when Scotland are in need of it and his service is dreadful, Cusiter being injured for this tour was a travesty after the season he had. It was painful watching the amount of mistakes Scott Lawson made, he was passed for Jeff Hassler’s try and dropped the ball when there was a try on straight after delaying his poor pass to Maitland. He undoubtedly saw his winger coming up at full speed, why stand there waiting for him and then pass the ball to mid air? MacArthur would have been a better option to start. Good to see Lamont still line breaking and pumping his legs in the tackle even after all these years.

  9. Personally I think the ref made the right decision with the red card, the Canadian flanker switched the ball from one hand to the other and very deliberately used his elbow while running past Jackson

    1. I just watched the incident again and when you say he switched the ball to the other hand, implying he was deliberately trying to use his elbow, he is actually just doing a common move where you catch the ball and then try and get it away from the position where the defender is going to tackle you to stop the ball getting caught up in the ruck. I don’t think the action with the elbow is that deliberate – the action was still worth a yellow because the incident caused harm, but was definitely not so deliberate that it deserved a red. Anyway, it is now up to the IRB to decide how long he should be banned for or if he will even get one…

  10. Very poor performance , Canada deserved to win.
    I agree with Scot95 , there was more intent in what Sinclair did than with Hogg Vs Wales or Payne Vs Sarries in the HC.
    Positives , Cowan played well when he came on.
    Negatives , the line out was again a shambles (maybe its not all Fords fault!!)
    Laidlaw , nuff said.
    the centres , Lamont should not be used in the centre unless for emergency cover and Horne has not shown the form he had b4 he was injured should not have played here or for Glasgow ahead of Bennett.

  11. If this was the development leg of the tour and the games to come being the survival leg, the simple questions to be asked are;

    What did we see that we already knew before and, more importantly, what didn’t we know……and still don’t?

  12. Poor performance from pretty much the whole team. There was no real cohesion in the team….they played like a load of individuals thrown together at the last minute. Doesn’t bode well for the rest of the tour, unless the new guys can bring something new and pull the team together!

    1. Hi Andy, we do what we can when we can. As the site is written and run by volunteers we can’t always get round to covering everything, much as we would like to in an ideal world.

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