Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Scotland Team For Ireland

Scotland's backs celebrate victory over Ireland - © Alastair Ross
Scotland's backs celebrate victory over Ireland - © Alastair Ross

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. With the aim of spoiling the party at a very unsuccessful hunting ground for Scotland since the turn of the century, here is the Scotland team to face Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

Glasgow Warriors stand-off Duncan Weir has been handed his first start of the championship in place of Finn Russell, who has been ruled out of the fixture with concussion, despite his continued progression through the graduated return-to-play protocol but a six day turnaround was always going to be a test for him. While not offering quite the snap of Russell or Horne, Weir has been in great form for Glasgow – try-scoring included – and will be keen to step up to the plate.

In the pack Wilson and Strauss swap again in what is presumably a “horses for courses” move while John Barclay is set for a long overdue 50th cap. It’s a pretty settled side at this point.

On the bench there is no place for a Toolis with Rob Harley covering the second row, meaning that we’re back to offering pace off the bench rather than heft, but Henry Pyrgos does come in for Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.

Scotland team to play Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Saturday 19 March (kick-off 5pm) – live on ITV.

15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Tommy Seymour, 13. Duncan Taylor, 12. Alex Dunbar, 11. Tim Visser , 10. Duncan Weir, 9. Greig Laidlaw; 1. Al Dickinson, 2. Ross Ford, 3.WP Nel, 4. Richie Gray, 5. Tim Swinson , 6. John Barclay, 7. John Hardie, 8. Ryan Wilson

Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally 17 Rory Sutherland 18 Moray Low 19 Rob Harley 20 Josh Strauss 21 Henry Pyrgos 22 Peter Horne 23 Sean Lamont

67 Responses

  1. Squad’s out. Weir in at 10, with Swinson and Wilson also starting. Strauss on the bench with Harley and Pyrgos also featuring there. I wonder what it is that Toolis is missing that Vern is looking for. Anyway, it could never be as strong a team in the absence of Jonny. Will be interesting to see the Ireland line up.

  2. No Bennet, nor Russell or J Gray obviously. Delighted for Swinson, Weir and Harley. Weir is in top form. All underrated in my opinion. Neither Toolis is a surprise for most and SHC is unlucky. When games are done either won or all but lost, empty the bench and give folks a run out.

  3. Agree with Wilson inclusion as it will provide more line out options which with the loss of J Gray will help and also with Ireland’s strength in the choke tackle I think they would target Strauss given his body position going into contact.

    1. Agree with that. Some options on the bench to up the zip in the last 20 if required in Pyrgos, Horne and Strauss.

    2. Wilson will be crucial in the line out especially if they want to make the most Weir’s tactical kicking. Would have liked to have seen a Toolis on the bench but Harley offers utility and high work rate which will be useful in the final 20.

    3. I guess when Strauss comes on for Wilson so can Harley for Swinson to keep line out options available.

      Bit of an acid test for Weir. His form at Glasgow is improved but Scotland have more FH options than for a long time and competition will increase as the u-20s enter the senior ranks. He needs to show he is serious competition for Russell or he’ll struggle to add many more caps.

  4. The FH place was always going to one to ponder. Looks like we will be going to put the Irish on their back feet and making them play in their own half. That said, Weirs last couple of Warriors performances have seen him mix up his play, including an excellent individual try against Munster. If the territory game is not working then Horne can come on and repeat his last effort, so options there. Swinson or Toolis to fill JGs spot? Familiarity has won the day there. As for the bench, it seems flexibility has been the order of the day with Horne, Lamont and Harley all capable of filling more than two different positions. I would also guess that Pyrgos has shown, in training, that he has the march on SHC. I know some of the Edinburgh punters may not agree but I think it’s the right call.

    Given our enforced absentees, I think it’s a side that can do the job. Here’s hoping.

  5. For God’s sake, how depressing. Back to the same old selection errors when we thought they’d stopped. Is this a bad joke?

    Jackson??? Horne??? Why not give Dan Parks a call and see if he fancies a game. In fact it is worse, we really have Laidlaw (3’1) and Weir (3’3) as our creative half-backs. Really!!! In Ireland. On Paddy’s day weekend. Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray are laughing at us.

    Where is Bennett? Where is Scott? Where is Jackson (again). But most of all where is Bennett? FFS Lamont!

    Wilson for Strauss???

    Harley onto the bench as cover for Swinson??? Could have blooded a Toolis.

    Arghh, weekend is ruined. Way to shoot yourself in the foot.

    1. NRS. Calm down dear! Let’s take your points sequentially. Horne is not a natural FH and he plays most of his rugby in the centre. He was on the bench last Sunday as cover across 10, 12, 13, and at a push could have covered wing and FB. So happens he came on at 10 early and put in a good performance. It was not all that long ago that he was the de’il himself when he made a bad error against Italy. Jackson is playing well for club but we fans have not seen him within the camp so don’t know what he is showing, or not, which merits him being excluded. Weir has also been playing well and has obviously shown he can deliver against the game plan. As I said earlier, I guess we are going to be pushing them back into their own 22 at every opportunity.

      Laidlaw put in a defensive shift, despite his size against France, and Weir is also a strong tackler, in fact I don’t think there is much to choose, bulk wise, between Weir, Jackson, Horne or Russell.
      Where is Bennet? Obviously back at Glasgow. Given the Dunbar/Taylor display on Sunday, you wouldn’t split them up. So Bennet would be on the bench to cover centre. Lamont on the other hand can cover 12-14 (15 if there is a dire set of circumstances). Scott is injured and unavailable. Jackson? Cover for 10, 12 and 15 granted but Horne and Lamont give adequate cover, and, as I’ve said before, Lamont will give 120% and adds bulk to the backs.

      Wilson for Strauss. The team announcement stated this was a ‘freshness’ decision, i.e. Strauss put in a long shift on Sunday and Wilson didn’t. I also suspect they are looking at Wilson nullifying Heaslip, as he did Parrise, and that he is an additional line out option.

      Finally Harley or Toolis. Harley can actually cover the back 5 whereas Toolis (both of them) is an out and out 2nd row. I also think that given this is an opportunity to win three 6N games in a row, it is not the time to ‘blood’ someone new. Summer tour and Autumn internationals will give that opportunity.

      I really do hope your weekend is not ruined. Me I fancy a Scottish treble over Irish opposition this weekend (Warriors, U20s and, of course the biggy…. ) maybe the club 15 will add a win, and I would like to see the ladies get something out of their game but…..

      1. Well said Deflated. I’m sure a resounding victory on Saturday will improve NRS’s mood.

      2. I’m slowly cooling to that familiar feeling of pre-game optimism, soured by a deep but honest certainty that the team is not good enough to win. As known to all Scottish sports fans.

        I do hear your nice reasons, they sound nice, but all that obscures the basic point that there is zero class in the half-backs and a complete lack of creativity and flair. Unless Hogg come to the fore.

        Who in the backline will provide the dreamy pass, the show and inside step, the fluid reading of the line, the lightening break, the flat pass?

        In fact it is worse: diminutive stature aside, we now have two error prone players who play a slow game with a tendency to hoof aimlessly or cough up ball. Of course I forget how much success we always have in the air! Goodbye organised chaos!

        As Mrak says, it should have been simple: Horne (on last week’s display) or Jackson (as a proven international standard fly-half over years, on form for club this year, and with a cracker under his belt against England at full-back).

        Instead we get Weir: the converted prop who can put in a shift at home against non-international standard opposition, even if he has been shunted on by his club.

        No 8: Sure, Wilson had a decent game. I favoured him to start at home, but are we are going out of our way to take away any aura of strength from the spine of this team?? Whatever you think of Strauss he has presence (a barbarian lumberjack from the veld in my mind). Especially with JG out that is important.

        I think you’d find plenty of others in favour of a Toolis over a Harley, honest a player as he is.

        Even if we win now it does not make these silly decisions right.

    2. Jackson has played well for Wasps when he’s played, but I don’t think he’s played that much. He’s second choice to Gopperth and is generally only starting when Gopperth is injured or being rested, which, as far as I’ve noticed, hasn’t been that often. Weir on the other hand has been playing a fair bit recently and, as has been mentioned elsewhere, has played well, with man of the match awards, as well as bagging a couple of tries. Saying that, I would agree with FF – this is Weir’s chance to establish himself as a test level 10. If he makes an @rse of this opportunity his next cap could be a loooong time coming.

    3. Firstly to Jackson, some peoples memory is a bit selective, I think if you look back you’d be able to count his decent games for Glasgow or Scotland on one hand – he had umpteen chances and was a complete bombscare in my opinion. I was gobsmacked when he broke back into the squad, which I assume must have been on the back of a few decent showings for Wasps, but now that Gopperth is fit again, Jackson seems to have had very little game time, so I’ve obviously got no issues with his ommission.

      I like Weir a lot, as he was coming through age grade rugby he was arguably one of the best 10’s I’d seen for many years – i watched him boss games, completely dominate them. Under Lineen at Glasgow, he flourished, winning a number of MOTM awards with his confidence soaring. Then Townsend comes in, and suddenly the Toonie tombola sees Weir get less game time, and asked to play a style of rugby that simply didn’t suit him, and we see him start to dip in form. At that same time, a young upstart is coming through the lower age grades, a different style of player, and one that Townsend identifies very early – he knows no other way to play the game, and sees his natural style encouraged and nurtured. Meanwhile, Weir is cut down with some horrible injuries, and Finn gets his chance to shine – makes plenty of mistakes initially, but even in those early days you could see shades of the player he would become – but as with all highly technical positions on the pitch, you need regular game time to really kick on – perhaps 3 or 4 starts before you really hit form. That’s a run of games that’s rare in the current Glasgow set up, but Finn was fortunate that he was right place, at the right time to make the most of his opportunity – and it’s no surprise that after a run of games for Glasgow, Weir has seen a similar upturn in form. If both are fit and on form, I prefer Finn – but I have no doubts about Weirs ability.

      1. Excellent points here.

        I always thought that Weir looked slightly out of place and uncomfortable for Glasgow, especially when sitting outside Matawalu. Never doubted his ability but the style of play at Scotstoun was far more in Finn’s wheelhouse than his.

        Looking forward to seeing him play for Edinburgh as I think he’ll be an brilliant fit there. SHC is great but completely lacking direction and a fairly inexperienced and uninspiring backline combined with one of the most dominant forward packs in the Pro12 lends itself perfectly to Weir’s abilities. Can only think that with few other options at 10 he’ll have ample opportunity to refine and perfect his game in an environment that suits it.

  6. Put Horne at 10 and then move Bennett to the bench. Should be simple.

    Laidlaw and Duncs as a half-back pairing is a joke and makes the match far harder than it could otherwise be. Duncs is very likeable but shouldn’t be playing at international level, neither should Laidlaw.

    I do not understand why Wilson is being picked above Strauss also.

    1. Horne at 10, Bennett on the bench? You’re a genius my friend. And I’m assuming that if Horne gets injured, it’s Hogg to standoff? Or Laidlaw?

      You should write to Vern and tell him. He’s going to feel so stupid that he didn’t think of it.

      Sorry to be a sarky bint Mrak, I just don’t see why you wouldn’t give the management the benefit of the doubt right now. With the feelgood factor around Scottish rugby for the first time since the Clinton administration, it blows my mind that there’s such hostility the first time they make a decision you don’t like.

      I would have gone Jackson at 10 – thought he hit the line really well against Wales – but BVC doesn’t fancy him and Weir’s been playing well. And Vern knows better than I do. And he demonstrably knows better than you do.

      Anyway. If we beat Ireland, there’s an argument that this will be our most successful Six Nations ever. And I’m gonnae get smashed and hug every Irish person I see. Mon Scotland!

      1. In defence of Mrak. I would think he means: Horne at 10, Bennett to the bench instead of Lamont, Weir out and Jackson onto the bench.

        I get that Glasgow need to win too. But resource wise, I would have given them a Pyrgos and Weir rather than a Bennett! Now SHC, has to go home and read comics.

      2. Angerine – the reason for this deep well of hostility is simple. Scotland have been so rank rotten for so long, the only people left as Scotland fans are blind optimists and people who actively get off on being outraged.

      3. Had a 5 minute chuckle to that comment, thank you FF. But in all seriousness, you are probably right. Myself and the majority of people on this site and others like it are blind optimists (or finally being proven right about the potential this group has), whilst the others seem to be very angry, jumping on any kind of negativity (or perhaps making things more negative than they actually are).
        Myself, I wouldn’t have had Horne on the bench last week and wow am I glad I was wrong. Likewise with this week, I would have had Jackson before Weir and one of the Toolis’ at least on the bench, but for the first time in as long as I can remember, I have full trust in the selection of the team and the tactics laid out by Smiley Vern and I won’t complain about tactics or selection as long as he is at the helm!

      4. No worries Angerine, don’t see the point of a comment blog if you only feel compelled to say “I support the management’s decisions”, rather than giving your own opinions.

        I’d prefer Bennett and Jackson on the bench as per Not rocket science.

        I’m not actually that big a fan of Vern, though he’s clearly competent, but I think Scottish rugby’s resurgence is down to Gregor T in the main. So not a true believer in Vern yet and think Weir is a bad choice.


  7. Agree with Deflated

    BVC simply doesn’t fancy Jackson & give Weir his due he has been playing well for Glasgow.

    I reckon its a 50/50 game on Saturday, Ireland are not the same team without Sean O’Brien.

    Slightly concerned about the relative sluggishness of the Scottish 1/2 backs, however if Weir can get the ball into the Irish 22 with Hogg on fire it (hopefully) won’t matter.

    1. Watch Ireland target them with runners too :(

      Correction to my post above: Jackson of course played the Welsh not English game.

      1. Nothing wrong with the tackling of either boy, Laidlaw is small but that is part of the advantage of playing 2 very mobile 7s.

        BVC is a brilliant coach & he knows who gives us the best chance of success.

        Gray will be a miss but Swinson won’t let us down.

        Henshaw v Dunbar……………

  8. I have read the reasons for bringing in Weir and Wilson over Horne and Strauss but don’t agree with either of them. Horne brought pace, control and fluidity to the backline and looked and acted like he’d been playing there for years. An opportunity missed to develop another option at 10. Strauss, along with Nel and Hardie has added strength and a steely edge to the Scottish pack and as he only played 60 minutes last Sunday why does he need a rest? Both Weir and Wilson are good players and I hope they play well in a winning Scottish performance but I think we’ve made a mistake.

  9. Have to say I would probably have stuck with Horne on the basis of the extra dimension he brought on Sunday.

    Having said that the selections so far have been very much horses for courses in order to suit the day’s game plan

    Horne can certainly attack the line but what is his tactical kicking like? I expect we will look to turn the Irish around by poking the ball into the corners. We will be looking to avoid lineouts where the Irish are strong so the ball will have to stay in play

    If that is the plan then Weir is the obvious choice to execute it. Having Horne on the bench allows us the option to change the style of play completely during the game if required

    Wilson v Strauss – We were all surprised at Strauss getting the nod last weekend after Wilson’s performance v Italy but it showed itself to be the right decision. Wilson now gets the chance to step up again. I have no problems there

    BVC has shown he doesn’t make replacements for the sake of it so the bench selections are there, not necessarily to replace like for like, but to offer new dimensions to our play if and when required

    Second guessing selection is something new to Scottish fans and is a great thing but I think that over the last few weeks the results and play have been testament to the Coaching group’s ability to make the right selection decisions to suit the opposition and the game they want played and we have been pretty happy with how that has gone……

    1. That is an excellent summing up Angus. In the past I have been suspicious of the coaching team and their plans – or rather lack of. Cotter clearly knows what he is about, or at least a lot more clearly than his immediate predecessors, we should trust him to have Plan A, and if that’s not working, Plan B. Weir at FH says what plan A is, likewise Horne on bench for Plan B. I would have been interested to see his call if Jonny had been fit!

    2. Thanks Mike. On other thing. I don’t believe it is a coincidence that Scotland’s attack has changed gear since Jason O’Halloran arrived

      BTW even if Jonny was fit I still think Weir or Horne would have started :P

    3. Yeah, spot on Angus. Ireland have a winger at full back and I guess BVC wants to test Zebo’s tactical kicking, knowing we’ve got a back three who’ll punish any errors.

      For that to work, our chase and lineout will have to be buzzing. Another reason for Wilson – no accident that our best lineout performance was against Italy.

      I love your last point as well. It feels so good to be having arguments about selection! How many years have we responded to team news with a grim shrug, because of course Marcus di Rollo or Nick de Luca or Phil Godman were playing, because who else was there? The fact that we have proven international quality that won’t even be in the 23 is a brand new feeling!

      Let’s not forget: we should lose to Ireland. The bookies had them as heavy favourites even before we lost Russell and Gray. But when was the last time we went to Dublin with even a sliver of hope? Feels good, man. Feels real good.

  10. This thread is a great read. It’s now a nailed on Scotland victory by 1 or 2 via a drop goal from the boot of Weir! The very thought makes me grin from ear to ear.

  11. Agree with BVC for the most part on the selection. Horne has hardly started at 10 at all this season for Glasgow and Toolis is not long back from injury.

    Only change I’d like to have seen would be Horne starting at 12 and Bennett on the bench instead of Lamont. Huge Dunbar fan but think with both Laidlaw and Weir not being the quickest of half-backs, it would be more efficient to have a second distributor at 12 instead of a more crashball type.

    Minor issues though. Bring on Saturday!

  12. My tuppence worth…Teams within teams are key, whether it’s front row, engine room, back row, halfbacks etc – some combinations end up being greater than the sum of their parts….and I guess that’s where I’m a wee bit worried for Saturday – with the injury to JG and FR we’ve lost two ‘teams’ that were working well. I think JG has been pushing his older brother to better and better performances – I get that they are professionals, and should be giving their all every match, but the sibling thing is a powerful motivator and I suppose i worry that RG’s workrate will drop to match Swinson, rather than push on and keep trying to keep up with the standards set in previous games.

    Laidlaw has become greater as a result of his partnership with Finn – Laidlaw is a steadying influence on Finn, constantly barking instructions, pointing out the next play and generally taking probably more than his fair share of the playmaking. This in turn enables Finn to work with a more limited set of prescribed set plays (as many as he can fit on his hand) and frees up the maverick in him. Finns speed of thought and aggressive attacking lines also negate to a great extend the slower service from Laidlaw. Weir is a completely different player – he likes to be the general, calling the plays and bossing the line. Generally he sits deeper, but demands faster ball from scrum half – and I guess that worries me – ideally, you’d have Weir and Pyrgos together, but there was no way Laidlaw was going to be dropped, so we’re taking two similar players and mashing them together hoping that the combination works…..and if I’m being honest, if past performance is any indicator of what might transpire on Saturday, the omens are not brilliant.

    1. Agreed, a successful team is always greater than the sum of its parts. Partnerships in any team sport is a very important thing. Knowing what the other guy is thinking and doing is very important. I just hope Wee Duncs recent form translates to a good showing tomorrow. I can’t decide if a more kicking based game is a good thing or a bad thing against Ireland. They are strong in the lineout whereas we have been weak recently so we should want to keep the ball in play. Their breakdown play is also strong, cough cough illegal cough so we don’t want to be caught in our own 22 too much either.

      Should be an entertaining day though, nice warm up then us then we’ll see if a wounded France at home can ram it up England!

  13. Zebo @ FB is a great attacking threat but what’s he like under a GarryOwen with Dunbar, Hardie & Barclay looking to turn him over.

    Horne is not a natural 10 & his kicking isn’t great.

    I still think that Ireland with/without Sean O’Brien are different propositions.

    Great point Angus re Jason O’Halloran

    1. Another thing re JasO he is a kicking coach as well so I expect he has been having some input there

    2. Totally agree about O’Halloran. Look at the number of tries we have scored against ‘set defences’. This is a colossal improvement on the previous white line fever.

  14. We’re playing well enough now to have fascinating debates on the blog about how best to win a Test that we know we can win rather than how we can make the best fist of what we’ve got and not lose one. Like others, I’m enjoying the to and fro here.

    For my part, I have real worries about Chunky’s ability to execute a game plan (and there clearly is a game plan here) consistently, because he is sadly prone to the odd brainf*rt at critical moments and, despite all his early promise and good club performances, he just doesn’t strike me as a proper Test class 10. I hope he shoves those words back down my throat tomorrow. And he’s got a great chance to do that because we are playing with confidence and some style and maybe that will lift him tomorrow.

    Even allowing for Ireland’s dropping off from the peaks of the last few seasons (injuries have plagued them), they remain a formidable opponent in Dublin, and if we can win this one tomorrow it would be the best and most satisfying of a three win 6N campaign. Come on, Scotland!

  15. Kind of see what BVC has been quoted as saying re Weir “Scotland coach Vern Cotter believes Duncan Weir has moved up to a new level over the past year” Weir looks to have worked really hard on the physical side & V Cardiff was as good as I’ve seem Weir.

    However John Mc is maybe right

    Weir doesn’t really suit either Glasgow’s or Scotland’s style but like John Mc I hope he shoves this down my armchair dwelling throat

  16. Well a great day of rugby ahead. Just sad there’s none in Scotland. This time next year… Scotland will be going for the grand slam at home against Italy after revenge against the aussies in Nov.

    Pitty it’s on Itv. Looked at the Tv guide and the blurb says that both teams are looking to get something from a disappointing campaign. Shows exactly what Itv know about 6 nations… Very little. This is the tougher game between France and this so great to have the two wins in the bag. Come on Scotland.!!!

  17. Am I wearing my blue tinted glasses or is the referee being blind to the Irish blatantly taking out defenders beyond rucks?

    1. The referee is having a big impact on this game and not a good one from Scotland’s perspective. 8 penalties against us in the first half for persistent infringement at the breakdown ? Strange when that hasn’t been a problem in any of our other 6N games this year which have featured basically the same back row players. The refereeing is having an impact on team confidence and Laidlaw is clearly frustrated. Uphill struggle in the second half :-(

      1. Frustrated , the referee is a problem and Barclay , with regret , is not one to adapt. As I write Ireland have just blocked their runner with not a tweet from the referee, American football style block . Duncan Weir was bad call IMO . As i write its late tackles galore. Very Frustrating day. We want there to play rugby. It is time for a yellow on Ireland for thugery.

      2. A 10 point referee. The Irish had him on toast in the first half. Someone obviously had a word with him at half time as the game was more even due to him calling correctly.

  18. Pretty fed up with other teams being more street-wise than us, in hindsight Bennett, J.Gray, Russell being missing was huge, alas Weir (as mentioned above) may well not be international class & certainly is unsuited to the style Scotland want to play (however Weir will be Edinburgh’s regular 10 next season so………..)

    McInally adds so much more in the loose.

    The ref was very pernickety but Dunbar was plain daft.

    Du Preez well definitely add something to this team

  19. Dunbar should be disciplined by being dropped for a couple of games or fined. His tackle was reckless and unnecessary. From the ensuing penalty, with Scotland now 14, Sexton kicked Ireland into a position from which a 15 man team would have found it difficult not to score. So, 35 -20 and game over. Before the centre’s rather brainless intervention, Scotland had momentum and could have gone on to win the game. Forget the referee.

    1. Don’t be daft. It was a mistake, you don’t cut your nose off to spite your face. Should Barclay be dropped too, or Hogg for missing that kick? No, of course not!

  20. So tedious.Once again Scotland have to deal with a ref hell bent on ensuring they lose.

  21. That was infuriating. Gauzère was terrible – he more or less lost control of the game in the second half – and stopped us competing for the ball in the first half. However, we can’t keep blaming the referee, we were right back in the game after Richie’s try and shot ourselves in the foot with the second yellow card. Sexton arguably can’t complain about being roughed up when cheating at the breakdown and his play-acting was pathetic but Dunbar didn’t need to do that.

    Positives: when we did have the ball we looked dangerous, we came away with points from most of our infrequent visits to the Irish half. Hogg, obviously. Taylor was great. The lineout didn’t malfunction. I thought Sutherland and McInally looked excellent off the bench.

    Negatives: Cotter definitely made the wrong choice going with Weir, we should have stuck with Horne and had Jackson on the bench. Stupid mistakes. I now hate Sexton. Onwards and upwards.

    1. I think Weir will find his chances limited from now on. Way under the class of performance required. Lots of positives but we need to develop the proficiency in cheating that the Irish have.

    2. Sexton is a cry baby. Weir has just put himself down the pecking order. I couldn’t put my finger on Msr Gauzere before but now I remember. We were brainless in failing to adapt to what he wanted, Barclay couldn’t help himself. Gauzere seemed quite happy to let the Irish take out players off the ball. Grrrr – I would rathe have had Clancy in charge, at least he put up a decent show of neutrality last night.
      Still I would have taken two wins before we started.

      Onwards and preferably upwards.

  22. Sexton should be manshamed and banned for his play acting the cheating filth.

  23. Stop blaming the ref. Cotter picked the wrong fly half and failed to adapt the tactics, so that Ireland were able to deal with Scotland’s predictability in the first half. And Laidlaw is hopeless as a captain. Even then, the game could have been more competitive if Dunbar hadn’t chucked all the hard work away.

  24. Scots got rolled by a streetsmart Irish team..they played the ref very well…and we didn’t.

    Behold now the great dilemma….deserved 4th vs 5th place or no grand slam 4 England…

    err cmon England?

    Hurts my throat.

  25. Yep, Weir had a rotten game. I can see why he was picked with some excellent recent performances for Glasgow but he’s just too predictable and today actually made a load of errors as well. I think the refs decisions in the first half were poor often favouring Ireland. Barclay being penalised (not yellow card offence) near the start after he tackled player, got to his feet and legally went for the ball was a mistake.

    1. Barclay wasn’t binned for his individual offence, he was just next in line after 2 team warnings.

    2. It was a terrible decision. Barclay did the right thing and got pinged. Odd considering ref used to play as an 8.

  26. As I stated above the Laidlaw/Weir 1/2 back partnership is sluggish & in reality can Scotland afford this?

    Every other team has a real attacking threat @ 1/2 back.

    1. Laidlaw’s passing was awful in last 20. He was knackered and Pyrgos should have come on. Cotter must learn from these things and be more ruthless with selection from now on.

  27. Judas. Understandable emotions, but this is not the place for such language. I agree he play acted, he had time to appeal before realising he had a sore head. But the Irish are very good at playing the margins.
    At the end of the day I suspect I will accept Ireland were better on the day. But being ‘helped’ just makes it harder to accept.

    Ah well I will keep my ‘deflated’ tag for another year.

  28. First thoughts before watching it again. We should have played the ref better than we did first half. That and Dunbar’s red mist cost us dearly. WP Nel was outstanding throughout. No need for me to mention my views on Chunky – oh, I just have! – but he did not cost us the game today.

  29. Well with the frustratuiion out; Lets look at it again. We only had 20% possession in the first half , had a man off for 10 minutes but only 21 – 13 at half time.

    Says more about Ireland than Scotland, they should have been out of sight.

    We came back into it after conceding soft tries , usually we would sink back and lose by a record score. A moment of daftness cost us a second yellow at a key time, oor tea wiz finally oot.

    We finished 4th (mid table) which was the goal for this season.

    Quite a few emerging talents have surfaced, Horne once again showed his versatility, Sutherland and McInally got stuck in from the minute they stepped on the pitch.

    Time to get stuck in at to the Pro 12 now.

    1. On the positives side looking over the season – scrum is now a source of points not a source of fear. Stuart Hogg is realising his potential not showing petulance. We are scoring tries of all sorts. And the team should only get better with age and experience including this one.

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Craig is joined by Rory and Iain to look at the latest news including Scotland's win over Canada and the upcoming test against the USA.
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Gregor Townsend has named his team to face Canada in the first match of the Skyscanner Americas Tour with 10 players given the opportunity to make their Scotland debut.
Craig is joined by Iain, Jonny and Rory to discuss Glasgow's momentous win in the final of the 2024 URC

Scottish Rugby News and Opinion