Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Scotland – South Africa

Scotland v South Africa

Due to the importance of this game, I shall be studying from the pub. As usual, leave your comments below until such time as we get something written up.

93 Responses

  1. Very much second best. Tried to fight muscle v muscle and it failed. Coaching team must take some resposibilty for that. SA are a dirty team but were too cute and experienced plus far far to many errors from us. Poor display im afraid.

      1. Yes, the dive was disappointing – he seems to have split-second lapses in judgement/character – and he clearly needs to practice thousands and thousands (literally!) of passes at top speed and under pressure, but I still think he’s a key player for us. His break-making has been magnificent and he’ll find space in amongst the Samoans.

        We scored the best try of the game! Again, we upped our game in the second half. Once we started playing with more freedom we looked quite dangerous. Optimistic for the Samoa game…

      2. Totally agree, Hogg is as ever a great talent, fantastic whilst running onto passes and a good kicker too. Its pretty frustrating though that he simultaneously manages to be our best and worst player in half our matched. He needs to lose some of that arrogance and stop pissing about diving and such. Please Cotter give him next weekend off to think about his attitude and practise his left handed passes.

    1. Hogg is a maverick, full of potential, but he will have off spells with the mojo where it just doesn’t happen. We should bear with him. Didn’t like the dive though. He had a bad spell from the end of the Lions up to the red card, where there were a lot of trailing knees and the like, and I thought he was well mentored beyond that and really matured, putting his belief, confidence and ability into performances rather than incidents. I back him that this is only a blip. He got a telling off from Nigel and I think(hope) that that will be enough to do the job.

  2. Agreed. Assuming we get through dropping Hogg for the Samoa game could give him a kick where he needs it. He has been sloppy in each match.

  3. Hogg does have petulant moments which I thought he’d grown out of. I think he really got The ref going against us a bit. We really have no street smarts at all. Denton got a bollocking as well for trying to milk a penalty too obviously.

    We had an outside chance during the 2nd half, but as has been our habit for a long time now, we drop the kick off or give away cheap penalties straight after we score. It was much better in 2nd half overall, just a few too many mistakes (under immense pressure).

    SA clearly have stepped up a gear and this ended up being a huge step up from Japan and USA, so hopefully we have learned from the battering we took at times.

    Does anyone understand why we kicked into touch from a penalty in the first half when it was in Hoggs range? Tough kick, but I’m not sure we had won a lineout at that point. Hopefully they’ve got their bad day out of way!

    1. aye, didn’t understand why laidlaw who only had his kick just creep over then took the following kick from the same position,… let hogg have a go

  4. Yeugh, that was tough to watch. We got absolutely schooled up front despite the best efforts of our forwards. That South African pack will do that to better teams than us before the tournament is over.
    Positives: the Grays were good. Cowan and Strauss showed up well. Weir stepped up.
    Negatives: Laidlaw’s stupid no-ball tackle on Habana, and Hogg’s antics as discussed above. I’m not sure I agree with the calls for him to be dropped against Samoa but I do hope Cotter gives him a roasting.
    Samoa looked like an absolute gang against Japan (three yellow cards) so assuming we have Russell, Bennett and Hardie back we should get the job done and put them away. Onwards and upwards.

    1. Wasn’t really expecting a win but I wanted a good performance and give SA a real good game to reap back some of the respectability that Scot have lost since professionalism. As it happens we turned in one of our usual inconsistent and error ridden games. We gave them an armchair ride and made a one dimensional (but highly effective) Saffer team look a lot better than they are.

  5. Yes most of what needs to be said is already said. It was ugly and when the game was beyond us in the second half we really showed a lot of flair. I hope they hold on to that feeling of empowerment.

    Other players that impressed me are Tim Swinston who has carried well in both his games. Gordon Reid was involved in everything 1st half, 2nd man into every breakdown, off loaded as well as could be expected. Not what we expect of a bulky prop. That said a different game when Dicko came on ,but for me , our 2nd loosehead, ahead of Grant who has done nothing.

  6. In what world did the scots think we were gonna lose to another minow team. Lucky you guys did not get another 50 points. Your so called 2nd stringers…….

      1. Thanks just giving as good as we get…. Maybe you should read some of the comments of your country men before you comment on my post. Why stoop to the level of calling us dirty players….. You lost deal with it… Don’t label the boks dirty players and so sorry how many times has Scotland won the World Cup???? Come pass comments after you guys have actually won a World Cup. Hopefully I am still alive.

      2. Fair enough. Apologies. That was said in the heat of losing. SA did play well. Just we could have been better.

      3. Thanks appreciate that…. Good luck in the rest of the tournament. I really do hope that Scotland make the semis. They have played some awesome rugby….

    1. Your team played very well and deserved their win, congratulations. I’m sure none of the Japanese fans went on your forums and trolled when they beat you, so maybe you could take a leaf out of their book and win with a bit of class.

      1. Maybe if you want to beat NZ this time around you should take a leaf out of their book and practise humility?

        South Africa were awesome today and half the people commenting on Facebook and such are idiots, but come on, is there really any need to come on and do this?

      2. Also sorry Will this is a reply to Saffer not you of course. Completely agree with your sentiment.

      3. Ross – I did say inappropriate comments, Saffer has conducted himself well. I wish I was on Facebook. Some of the comments made by other fans about Scotland make my blood boil!

      4. I think everything was cleared up with Saffer. Glad people can generally discuss things civilly on here, there are some complete tosspots on other parts of the web devoted to rugby.

      5. MK fair play for taking responsibility to it but why is Saffer on Scottish Rugby blogs looking to pick a fight? Calling Scotland a minnow is clearly inflammatory.

      6. Must admit I like to look at other teams/countries websites too see what people think of us….99% of the time its not easy reading!!!

      7. Sorry if I offended any of you guys. MK is right sometimes you can lose it in the heat of the moment. Good luck guys with the rest of the tournament. Hope Scotland make you guys proud……love seeing the passionate comments.

      8. Nothing to apologise for, good luck to you too. Your team have a real chance of winning the whole thing, your pack is scary.

    2. MK. What are you doing apologising to this Saffer troll?
      There is nothing friendly about his banter.
      Suggest you grow a pair.

      1. MK.My turn for an apology . I re-read this after a few days away and it’s ‘out of order’. Sorry.

      1. Perhaps the best policy is just to completely ignore posts from the trolling types. Easier said than done I suppose. I wonder what drives them to enter other countries’ fan forums and post insulting comments. Weird…

  7. Disappointing. Admittedly SA played very well but again basic mistakes cost us. We really need to sort out the error count or we’re never going to compete with the big boys. I know we picked a team to physically match the Boks, but as said above we might have been better just playing more to our own strengths. Still it was plain to see that we look much less of an attacking force without Russell and Bennett, and we’ll be a better team for their return. Thought Reid, Brown and R Gray all played very well. Not so much Visser, Laidlaw and Denton who all had brain fart moments at different times. As long as we learn from the game and move forward by beating Samoa, we’ll be alright.

      1. I genuinely believe when the game goes on and the play starts to break up, it suits our style of play more, hence we always tend to play better in the second half. A structured game doesn’t suit us as we’re just not good at some of the basic aspects of the game, collecting restarts, the lineout and the ability to actually get a maul moving forward. We therefore always give ourselves a mountain to climb. I think Humphries contract is up after the WC and I hope a new forwards coach may help. At the moment it tends to be our backs bailing out our forwards, when for years our strengths were the other way round.

  8. Slow rugby from Scotland will not beat Samoa. Also need someone who can seal off the ball at the breakdown; sadly lacking today.

  9. An absolute masterclass in physicality by the boks. Can’t be too disheartened to be honest. Fagerson, Cummings etc. That’s what you need to become.

  10. I don’t think SA played that well at all. They just played a one-dimensional game of admittedly very powerful pack work in loose and tight, and we just couldn’t live with it. There were some better signs for us when we tried to open up in the second half, but whenever it got down and dirty (and I don’t literally mean dirty, Saffer) we were second best. If as I sincerely hope we get past Samoa and move to the QFs we really have to be better equipped to counter this type of opponent game plan. We showed against France few weeks ago that we could match a full on heavyweight assault, so it was disappointing we couldn’t repeat that today.

    1. Linespeed needs to be better. We were right up in Frances face, today we let two 19stone locks a 3 meter run up before they smash into us, when our ball carriers were given the ball at a standing start.

      1. Agreed, MK. And we still have to work out how to defend against a driving maul from an oppo line out.
        Even so, we’re still in this, and if we can win in Newcastle next week ( the one game I’ve got a ticket for) we’ll be a QF team and then let’s see what happens.

  11. Sat at the gallow gate end today decent seats. Brilliant atmosphere from the get go especially with the posthumous induction of Mandela into the hall of fame. SA out of the block very quickly but very much on the fringes of legality
    Terrible first half soft kicking from weir and laidlaw gifted them attacking ball. Second half performance a bit better but there is precious little running off the shoulder of 12-13 in the mid field. The video highlights will not be pleasant. Plus points despite not being at the races int he first half I thought the boys generally fronted up pretty well and when we decide to ship it wide we can attack . The Bokke fans around me were very complimentary about scotland and also felt the ref had a bad game
    Nigel Owens gifted them the first try . Consistently inconsistent and positively criminal in some of his decisions . Loads of hands in ruck, offside blocking , forward passing he just waved away . I was under the impression a tip tackle was an automatic yellow no matter what.
    Not that he lost us the game..our first half performance was very poor and we were lacking in options in the second half. Plan to watch it on the box to see if my opinion changes!

    1. Agree that he hardly lost us the game but some of Owens’ decisions were bizarre! Like tackling around the neck and above appeared to be totally fine with him. It was driving me crazy!

  12. Thought Springboks schooled us in the first half – no dirtiness involved … Sheer power and continuity blew us away. 2nd half was better but as with many posters above we looked better when things are messy and stretched. Kicking to touch in the 1st half was poor in the main so we handed them the ball to run straight back. Two SA locks were unreal … Huge huge guys so hard to stop … Not a criticism but that’s what we need more of from Big Richie. We made a lot of “typical Scotland” dumbass mistakes but being fair we were under huge pressure in the 1st half. Fraser Brown had some good moments in the first half and Strauss showed flashes of last season’s form. Have to say springboks looked like a cut above and I guess that’s cold reality. Saying all that we are still in the competition and have it in us to keep progressing.

    1. I agree with your point about Richie Gray. For such a huge unit he seems infuriatingly lightweight and ineffectual. I actually thought he was pretty good today in terms of making lots of tackles but Etzebeth and De Jager were something else. Just brutal.

      1. Richie never seems to blast through/into the tackle, tends to charge a few steps and then braces for the hit. Needs to be braver.

  13. Positives: scrum did better with Dickinson on; Fraser Brown grew into the game; Visser caught some ball in the air; Strauss carried; Russell, Hardie, Bennett; Maitland to return (when will we hear about Russell’s injury? Boks have it right, he is the gel). And I’ll grudgingly even admit Weir took the interception well and kicked OK… But

    Negatives: Weir and Laidlaw combination was awful, individually and collectively, zero creativity, regardless of the ball they are both so slow and predictable and small and invite the opposition to crunch forward; I still think Laidlaw is second rate, that he previously played OK in the second half in comparison to Pyrgos’ first half did not prove anything given the pattern of the game; how do we learn to counter maul?

    Highlights: Inverdale saying SA way too strong for Scotland before Emgland got smashed with he same points difference; Cotter’s post match interview where he pretty much said he was focussed on the Samoa game.

    Finally I quite fancy our xv to give Australia or Wales a scare!

  14. P.s. Leave Hogg alone. He is absolute quality. Both forward passes were a matter of inches and both could have led to tries from nothing. Petty reaction, but no worse than skullduggery at the breakdown or scrum.

    1. Well said- you cant blame Hogg for showing a little invention and getting it wrong on a couple of occassions. If the other players, particularly the forwards, played with his level of intensity and determination then we woould have stood a chance. I was very dissapointed in the forwards. believe it or not the two packs weighed about the same so why were our guys so weak and useless. They made Jim Hamilton look like a good player. As for Cowan- he was useless. He did so little that we could have taken him off the field and It wouldnt have made a difference. If we accept that our forwards cannot compete then we need to play like Japan. Quick ball, invention in the backs, rush defence etc. There was some evidence of that in the second half but the game was miles away from us at that stage. We need to get out of the blocks much quicker in future games.

      1. So we need to model ourselves on Japan do we? Make your mind up would you? It seems to change by the day? I think you are really the chairman of the ABS suppoters club. ABS= Anyone but Scotland.

      2. Its obvious Bulldog that if we had a decent set of forwards we could play like SA. We have big guys who are not physically strong and that is where the problem lies. I honestly think as a moderately fit overweight guy in my 40s I could probably play in the forward pack. They get pushed around by every team. The long term view is that we need to improve our forwards, get a new forwards coach etc.

        That will take time, hence the reason I feel we should be playing like Japan. Just accept that our forwards a useless and that we need to get quick ball from rucks, scrums lineouts etc.Our talented backs will at least try to score.

        Bulldog- you don’t even live in Scotland and havent for years. Are you really in touch with rugby matters in our great nation or even reality? I wonder. There are so many expats who seem to think they know it all and become more Scottish with every passing day. The only thing they fail to do is to spend time there.

      3. The forwards didn’t have a great game yesterday and in general, hooking seems to be a problem, particularly for Ford. However there have been a few games since the pre-World Cup campaign started that our scrum and lineout have dominated so to say our forwards are useless seems bizarre. Yesterday they looked poor in that they struggled to win their own scrum and stood no chance of contesting SA’s when the ball was being fed straight to their second row.

        There seems to be an awful lot of concerns about our defence of the driving maul as well. As I recall, that was part of Jim Hamilton’s skill set. Evidently he wasn’t useless either.

      4. Big Jim Hamilton was/is a typical Scottish forward. Big in size but that’s where the good points end. Easily pushed around the park by players half his size including scrum halves. Lacking in skill, speed and strength to the extreme and to the point of embarassment. Most seriously, does not really care if we lose- just happy to turn up and take the pay cheque. As I say, just a typical Scottish forward. We can’t blame him too much as they are all the same- useless. They have infected each other with the idleness disease.
        It must be really annoying if you are one of our backs- hardly any ball to work with and, even when you do get service from ‘Calamity Jane’ Laidlaw, the ball is so slow that you cant do anything with it except for going to ground and into a ruck only to find that the forwards are nowhere to be seen- they’ve gone to the pub. I really feel for Hogg, Russel and some fo the other backs. If they were not so handicapped but he forwards they would be World class.

    2. A matter of inches? Yeah, maybe 72 inches! They were terrible passes and worthy of criticism as they were made with plenty of room to get right. Hogg played a pretty ordinary game with some very poor moments. Just like the majority of them, come to think of it. Accept it.

    3. Ho Ho Ho I live in Scotland as you well know and you are the expat according to your pervious posts.

      If you want to pass the medical to play rugby you need to be able to see , hear and have mental agility as well. It is not as simple as subbuteo or the X BOX you know.

      No doubting the fitness credentials of your fingers. Make sure you warm up properly, I would hate to think of you having a repetative strain injury, that could really impact your lifestyle .

      1. Bulldog- are you really sure you are Scottish or are you a pseudo Scot. Only Kidding- you know how much I like a wined-up from time to time. I think we both know that Scotland will finish in 2nd spot in the group and then be thumped by 40 points by OZ in the QF. Its just too predictable. I wish we could do a ‘Japan’ on OZ but I don’t think there is enough self belief in the squad. The way they have approached games so far is that they are like rabbits in the headlights in the first half of every game. They need 40 mins just to realise that they can match the opposition if only they try. Unfortunately, you cant get way with playing like that against the better teams.

  15. Another positve : It looks like we have no (known) injury’s going into a Samoa game then the Knockout stages , that is a good place to be. (assumes that Russel and Hardie are being rested)

  16. I watched the game with a couple of Kiwi’s who didn’t fancy taking on the Boks in that form. They played a fairly one dimensional game, as mentioned, but they play that one dimension better than any other team when they get it right. We are improving, but at the moment we can’t deal with top sides that play with relentless physical intensity. We just go backwards in the tackle. We put out close to our most physical team but the Boks were stronger. Anything about the bash, they won. I hioed that Gray Gray, Strauss and Denton may ameliorate that, but it didn’t really happen. The Bok’s second row were awesome. When things broke up a bit in the second half, things were more equal. As things stand, there is a top table occupied by the ABs, Boks, Aussies and maybe Ireland or France, but the latter two remain untested in this comp. Credit to Wales too, though you have to ask how far they can go with their injuries. Saying that, they seem to be able to maintain performances if they can retain a spine of their core players. England have fluffed it on an epic scale.
    So far I’ve not been that impressed by Samoa, I thought they would have brought more. Our greatest risk now is complacency, but I don’t think that is part of BVC’s vocabulary. Good week of training, a bit of luck on player health and a good performance should hopefully see us through.

  17. Good article by Tom English over on the BBC website, highlighted our pretty decent discipline and the fact that we are just not at the top table yet. Losing to SA is not an unexpected disaster for the vast majority of sides. Our job now is to be better than the best of the rest, and to be challenging our six nations buddies on every game. I don’t want a repeat of the last six nations tournament and this time want to turn over France at Murrayfield anf take a solid away win in Italy. Wales and Ireland are tough prospects away and I’ll have to see some evidence of reversal of momentum with England to have any hope there, wherever the fixture. That’s a step away though and in the mean time an excellent performance, securing a win against Samoa, will do.

  18. So what do I think of this. The first half was pants. I felt that the Boks forwards dominated the game and our forwards were not at the races. Balls from set pices, scrums, lose rucks etc were far too slow. The backs fwere too flat and showed little invention. 17 points down at half time but that was a true reflection of the game. The second half was much better with quicker baall, more invention shown by our backs etc. Unfortunately it was too little too late. I think we will progress to the semis but cant see us beating either OZ or Wales. It looks like we will face OZ so I wouold predict a 30 point+ defeat. Its depressing but until out team find a way to play for 85 mins, not just 45, we will never stand a chance againnst the better teams.

  19. In the scrum we were over powered until Dickinson came on, when all of a sudden we held firm. But this shouldn’t be a shock to anyone – our first choice props can compete with most teams, our next best options just aren’t good enough to compete with top sides. At the lineout we had a bit of an off day, apart from Richie’s perfect steal near our line. Some poor throws, a couple of poor catches and one failing to seal the line and protecting the ball all added up to a disappointment in an area where we’re normally pretty strong. Sure it’s just a blip and we’ll be back firing next week. Despite losing the set piece battle the biggest difference between the packs was in the loose; Denton (who was about as poor as I’ve seen him play), Strauss and the Grey’s (and maybe Reid) should have been our guys to break their line, but continually were put down by the first tackler. In comparison the Boks ball carriers made yards almost every contact. We’d improved recently in not missing tackles (one of our old problems), but it came flooding back yesterday. Cowen is limited in what he offers, but, he did win a couple of balls in the rucks and does get through a fair amount of work. Alongside Nel and Richie and maybe Strauss he probably comes out on a positive, but when half of your pack hasn’t turned up against a very physical side your always going to struggle.

    Laidlaw.. Well what can you say? Just when he’d put together a little run of performances that offered hope, he slips back to his old habits. Slow service from the breakdown – throughout the game but highlighted by being caught by Habana which lead directly to their second try. We desperately need Russell, Hogg (or maybe HC) or someone to become a decent goal kicker, because at the moment that’s probably the only thing keeping Laidlaw in.

    Weir gets top marks for his interception leading to the try, other than that he did exactly what I expected. He’s a solid back up but against the very top teams we need our first choice. With Russell injured Weir tried his best and you can’t moan about someone not being good enough if they try their hardest.

    Hogg was pretty poor (forward passes again, and not even going to getting that dive). Unlike Weir, where he’s maybe just not good enough, Hogg can be amazing but needs to cut out the errors.

    Seymour again with a try, Visser did OK, but in general as had been said by others we were too slow getting up in defence and whereas against France we rushed, yesterday we let 19st guys get a run up and then wondered why they broke tackles/pushed us back.

    All in all a poor day, but, we played badly against a team that seems to be clicking into gear at the right time and could go all the way. If that performance from us was a blip and the last 3 or 4 matches are an indication of where we are progressing things are still on the up.

  20. S.Africa had to win yesterday or they were leaving on a jet plane. We didn’t. The differing mindsets were there for all to see as were the relative performances.
    Next Saturday we have to win. That simple and the mindset will be there together with the strongest first XV and bench we can muster.
    Quarter final will be achieved without doubt in Newcastle. Then we are playing knockout rugby. Come on Scotland. We can still dare to dream. The hosts can’t !

    1. Agrew with that. Motivation is so important, and if only one team has it, the results can be horrendous. Cast your mind back to Scotland v Irland in the 6N! ( not for too long though)

  21. We need to be mindful of a few lessons learnt by other teams in recent RWCs. Wales versus Fiji 2007. Wales had one eye on the quarters and fluffed it. I hope Vern will have the players completely focussed and in the right mindset for Samoa.IF we get through that, then we can take a look at England in 2007. Beaten by 30 something – 0 by the Boks in the group stages, complete underdogs against the Aussies in the quarters and managed to edge it. One game at a time, but it’s nice to dream!

  22. I think Greg Laidlaw has shown his better side lately behind a good solid pack but lost his cool head on the yellow. He was frustrated and lost it . I think his raport with Nigel Owens was not good, in fact dreadfull would be an acceptable word. There is a way to communicate with NO and the Pro 12 Players are used to him and vice versa. perhaps GL was not the best captain on the day. NO could and should have been an benefit. Laidlaws ‘crabbit , huffy old man’ thing just turned NO off completely. NO must have felt he was being spoken to by a wee scottish terrier dug behind that moustache.

    BTW , I loved it when NO told Burger to ‘get away, this has got nothing to do with you’. This is a guy who should have IMO been banned for life after the eye gouging incident in the 2009 lions tour.

    Denton: was active defending and I need to give him the benefit of the doubt as it was a hard day to standout in attack. He has set himself high standards of late, and this was a game where he could have set himself apart. Next week perhaps, or pehaps not, not sure if he may be asked to step aside.

    Duncan Weir while unfashionable has pulled us (and Glasgow) through many games, kicked well and a run that would make any fan proud. I think he had what Bill McLaren would have called ‘ a good workman like performance’.

  23. Just absolutely lost the physical battle last night. I’m no expert but I’ve been really impressed by Japan’s approach against Samoa and South Africa.

    People have already mentioned their quick channel one hooked scrum ball but I really noticed their ball carrying yesterday. Samoa and South Africa both look for big high hits and last night we had so little joy getting over the gain line. However, Japan players went into contact so low they avoided the main point of impact behind the tackle, always seemed to make some ground and didn’t expose their torso to the kind of punishment our guys did. Apart from Gray Jnr, I felt all our main carriers went into contact far too upright and got stopped in their tracks.

  24. In the end we were well beaten although for spells we held our own. SA played the basics well and are near unbeatable driving with line out ball. Scotland now need to think carefully about samoa game. I agree to drop hogg for maitland 1 for the dive 2 for his impact against a tiring Samoan defence. Bennett also needs to be on pitch. Scotland have played well so far and we are where we should be let’s beat samoa and get to the qf

  25. So what have we learned.
    Hogg’s hoping for a contract with Miami Dolphins as a quarterback followed up with an acting career such was his theatrical fall yesterday.
    Laidlaw work with the sports psychologist to help control his emotions on the pitch has been such a success, I hope SRU were refunded Sat 7pm.
    Denton lost us 9pts and his carries forward were similar to a WW2 Italian tank.
    Weir. He may not possess the talent and stature of a world class 10 but Braveheart personified.
    Pack were bullied, no chance for the backs who lived on scraps, we were on the back foot most of the game.

    We will reach the QF, need Wales to take out either Pocock or Hooper, preferably both to give us a chance.
    Southern Hemisphere teams look better than I expected but with the hosts out, hoping for a glut of tickets to come onto the market.

  26. We got schooled in physicality and aggressiveness. The Spring Boks did what they do best, brutal and not pretty but they do it well. Think it’s all been said already, our line speed in both attack and defense was slow, we were letting them get a head of steam up before they hit us, and we were static and continually got knocked back in the tackle. Think a few of our guys can hold their heads high though. I thought Reid and Brown had good games, Dickinson did shore up the scrum when he came on though. Gray brothers did fine in the loose but they have to take responsibility for the misfiring line out, hopefully Richie picked up some tips on power and ball carrying from his opposite numbers, he played ok but still annoys me with his lack of go forward. Swinson who I regularly berate had another good game when he came on, I’ll have to reassess my opinion of him. Strauss played well and was probably one of our stand out players, Cowan performed exactly as I expected, did a lot of good work but got smashed continually and bullied off the ball. Denton had a bit of a mare, think Owens had it in for him, thought a couple of the penalties against him were a bit harsh.

    Laidlaw was back to his ineffective worst, slow, hesitant, predictable. His brain fart on Habana was unneccesary and not like him at all. Weir did fine I thought, ran a bit more than expected but just lacks the creativity of Russell. Did brilliantly for the try, timed the offload perfectly. Scott and Vernon were pretty quiet, I expected some more big carries from Vernon but it would be unfair to single him out, the whole team was found wanting there. Thought visser and Seymour did ok with limited resources, thought Seymour butchered the try crossing behind weir but Visser bailed him out. Hogg, oh hoggy hoggy hoggy, another mare of a match he hasn’t had the best of world cups nothing is working for him and as for that dive, disgusting and not something that we like seeing in rugby. I’m surprised Owens didn’t bin him I would have. I agree with the calls for Maitland to start at 15 for Samoa, maybe put Hogg on the bench he’ll find spaces in the Samoans later in the match.

    Lot of people moaning about Owens, apart from giving IMO soft penalties against Denton I thought he got most of the decisions right. Laidlaw getting himself binned probably didn’t do our relationship with him much good. The Boks were getting away with stuff they maybe shouldn’t have but that’s up to us to adapt as much as it is down to the ref. as for the Pietersen tip tackle I agree with what they said in the commentary it was the common sense decision but at the expense of consistency. It wasn’t malicious and it was more how Swinson fell than Pietersen dumping him but Pietersen should have gone to the bin.

    1. Nigel Owens is not a great ref and rarely does us any favors but I certainly don’t blame him for us losing the game. We were second best in so many ways.

  27. About the driving maul. As far as I can see there is no legal way to defend this , or are Scotland just particularly poor at doing so? Suggestions please to VC.

    1. I’m no expert, so others might have a better answer, but for me there’s 3 ways to counter…
      1. Break their line and make the tackle BEFORE the maul is set up. Depending on the situation that can be difficult to do legally,
      2. Similar, get a man inside their wedge early (or very rarely as the maul moves) to disrupt.
      3. Get as low as possible and push the hell out of it, hopefully into touch. This is last chance saloon and rarely succeeds.

      1. Wow…. Why are you not the forwards coach for Scotland(or any other International team) when you have figured it all out? I am sending this post to the SRU just to make them aware of how much of a coaching legend we have in our midst….

    1. Yes but they have proper forwards who want to play for the team- not just turn up and take a pay cheque. They are the same size s our forwards but they play with intensity, are much fitter and much stronger. Do our forwards play down the pub??? In the words of Alan Sugar- they need to be FIRED.

      1. Neil, that was needlessly provocative and unfair. Do you really think our forwards are turning out for the money? Of course they’re not.

        As I’ve said on an earlier post, SA after the Japan humiliation were only ever going to play like berserkers in every subsequent Test simply to stay in the competition. That’s what they did yesterday and we weren’t able to cope with it on the day.

        Hypothetical I know, but I rather think if we like SA had been playing simply to stay in the RWC, we would have seen a similar sh*t or bust approach from us yesterday.

        We need to have a controlled game plan well executed next Saturday, before giving serious thought – if we get past Samoa – to how we play whomever we face in the QF. There will be no way at that stage of the tournament and against either Wales or Australia that we can possibly recover from a less than 100% first half performance that sees us 10 or more points down.

        So onward to St James’s Park and hopefully to a QF after that!

  28. Seriously guys was anyone really surprised at yesterday’s result and our performance. Weir has been around a while now and finally proved he is NOT a test match 10. As for pairing Weir and Laidlaw – well the writing was on the wall with that combo and a quick return to the old days was duly restored.

  29. Stop the press. Neil in over reaction and talking tosh shocker. Fire our forwards…very constructive and obviously completely feasible. Never mind that they played well in other games. Never mind that they were up against the most physical team on the planet. As usual your expert opinion is that our players just don’t care and are just turning up for a pay cheque. Nice support there, its good to see that you’re behind them all the way.

    Did you always talk out your sphincter or was it a skill you picked up when you moved abroad? Do you have the ability to look at things objectively or do you just like to bypass the brain when you are communicating with others? The vast majority of people on here are Scotland fans so come with a hefty dose of pessimism and frustration but you take it to a whole new level! If you’re so passionate as you claim how about you stop taking extreme viewpoints on everything? Forwards outmuscled? “They’re rubbish – fire the lot of them!” No analysis of other factors, no taking into consideration skills and other performances. Just negativity.

    You’re the embodiment of the story that talks about how a scotsman invented television and then complained bitterly that there was nothing on.

  30. We do have to question the tactics for this game. Why we tried to out-Bok the Boks I don’t know. Trying to get into an arm wrestle with SA is daft – they will always out-muscle the opposition – playing them at their own game only goes in their favour.

    The way to beat the Boks is to stretch their defence, play quick ball rugby, and avoid the ball getting sucked in at all costs.

    Vernon and Scott didn’t do anything wrong – in fact they did everything asked of them (tackle, tackle, and tackle). But we should have picked a team to attack attack attack – this was a game for the far more creative Horne and Bennett combo – especially considering we had Weir at 10 (who FWIW, I do think had a solid if ‘uncreative’ game).

    A Weir/ Scott/ Vernon midfield just has nothing going forward.

    That aside, Dickinson & Reid both had good games. Loosehead is in safe hands. Fraser Brown proved his worth again. R Gray continues to frustrate, Strauss hasn’t quite taken to international rugby yet & Denton needs to sort out his stupid brainfarts.

    Laidlaw – oh dear. You expect better from your captain. The off-the-ball tackle was immature from someone you expect to lead the team. Especially when we were beginning to play catchup and playing well. That’s when you need your captain to be the clearest and calmest head on the pitch – not making silly mistakes.

    Visser was poor. Made too many defensive errors and looks timid in the air. He’s our Alex Cuthbert – very good at running very fast in a very straight line. Not very good at doing anything else. (Although I must concede he kept the Seymour try alive).

    Hogg was hot and cold. I imagine he probably will be rested (or punished?) for the Samoa game. He’ll be regretting that dive – not his finest moment.

    Looking forward to Samoa. It’s do or die, and the squad we put out should be the squad we SHOULD have put out for SA.

    We need quick ball – so Pyrgos in, Laidlaw out. Creativity is key so Russell and Horne should play. A team to win and secure ball – Wilson and Hardie in. I think Hogg will be rested, but in truth I want Maitland to start anyway (I’m a bit annoyed at Hogg).

    If all fit, I’ll go with:

    Dickinson, Brown, Nel, J Gray, R Gray, Wilson, Hardie, Denton

    Pyrgos, Russell, Seymour, Horne, Bennett, Lamont, Maitland

    Bench: Ford, Reid, Welsh, Swinson, Strauss, SHC, Weir, Hogg

    1. Think you’re right about Lamont. Up against Tuilagi and getting his 100th cap at the same time. Can think of easier games for the 100th cap. ( Certainly not Visser or Seymour v Tuilagi)

  31. First post here (though I have followed all the posts here).

    Hi, all.

    I was a little disappointed by Scotland’s performance. However, we were out played by a top tier 1 side that had everything to lose and very much everything to prove.

    High point: Scotland stuck at it for the full 80.

    Low point: Hogg’s dive – really just don’t want to see that ever coming into rugby.

    Main points worth remembering for Scotland:

    – Didn’t need this victory to qualify.
    – Extremely unlikely to meet RSA again in RWC (what are the odds!?)
    – If Scotland did have to play this team again they may have learnt something and will be better prepared by BVC.
    – Outcome of the match was not entirely unexpected, but we did come away without serious injuries.

    Arguably, this game might well have turned out how BVC expected and planned for (bit a mighty assumption for someone who really has no idea what he thinks)…

    1. If you turn out to have an English IP address I think maybe we should be the ones saying ‘lol’ to you.

    2. Bridgend, Wales… Suspect it’s the Welsh troll I banned during the 6 Nations. Trolling is probably all that’s keeping him going given Wales will be trawling the Caerphilly minis if injuries continue

  32. Have to say that the forwards did front up on Saturday. Not sure what it was like on TV but I was at the game and was luck enough to have a good seat close to the action. The SA forwards were immense! Not just in size but in ferocity and have been playing together for some time. Our guys tackled like demons but could not stop them getting over the gainline. Not sure whether any side (even the ABs) would have stopped this juggernaut.
    Agree we shouldn’t have tried to out-muscle them but with Russell and Hardie out we picked the best team available (barring Bennett who I don’t believe would have made the difference).
    Very disappointed, like many others, with Laidlaw’s yellow, Hogg’s dive, Denton’s stupid comments/actions, and lack of nous when it comes to taking the restarts. But overall, was proud of the way the boys dug in against a wounded Springbok side determined to make up for the Japan game.
    Before the tournament, we would have all taken a quarter-final place as a successful result, and we are only 80 minutes away from that. BRING IT ON!

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion