Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Now Strauss is out too

Josh Strauss - pic © Al Ross/Novantae Photography
Josh Strauss - pic © Al Ross/Novantae Photography

Josh Strauss will take no further part in the RBS 6 Nations Championship after sustaining an injury to his kidney. Previously described as a “blow to the flank” suffered during the France game, it was one of those vague things that sounded like internal damage and it turned out to be so.

After completing the match in Paris he received a medical scan. Both the scan and the player were reviewed at Spire Murrayfield Hospital back in Scotland, where the full extent of the injury was confirmed.

Strauss will now return to his club Glasgow Warriors for further care and a review of the injury will be scheduled in approximately six weeks’ time.

With that news, attention turns to potential replacements. Magnus Bradbury and David Denton could both be potentially in line for a call-up as we wait for word on John Hardie and John Barclay. Denton had a start for Bath last week, and Bradbury has been in fine form for Edinburgh. Along with Adam Ashe, both are in action this weekend – as is Cornell du Preez who is already in the squad but awaiting his first cap.

Denton is packing down at 6 for Bath – the Number 8 spot is taken by Taulupe Faletau who he could yet face next weekend in international colours.

137 Responses

  1. Big loss based on Sunday’s performance. You could see him repeatedly wincing after each phase of play, these guys put their health on the line! Hope he recovers quickly.

    1. Strauss finally stepped up at test level and looked like the player we all hoped he be. Hopefully, he’ll return for Glasgow’s ECC QF fit and raring to go. He really is a hard b*****d.

      As for replacements, Denton must be out of the picture as he’s been out far too long. Ashe and CdP will at least be properly match fit but not in great form? Bradbury would be the biggest risk but maybe biggest pay off? He looks like potentially a great player but won’t have as many old heads around him.

  2. Time to give Bradbury a start. This lad is going to be a very good player and he will have team mate Watson beside him.
    Not at all happy if Denton gets a start. Harley or Ashe on the bench for me.

    1. Denton is inconsisent (my new word for unreliable, does not instill confidence) even at his best. Thanks but no thanks. Rob Harley will give his best and can step into the second row. CDP is worth a punt , however I think we need the win against Wales and perhaps , right man, wrong game.

      It would send a very poor message to other hopefulls if Denton was accelerated in – No way IMO.

      1. Denton for me is a one trick pony who has passed once in his international career and is prone to dropping balls both under pressure and not. There is zero variety in his game. Strauss can carry well but an offload is an option so keeps the defence honest. Never rated Denton and in his apparent motm performance against Australia was the one to drop the ball in the crucial lineout. I’m sorry but I’m not a fan.

  3. Damn.

    If there is any consolation its that if there was two games we needed him for most against the bigger sides it was Ireland and France. That said, Ross Moriarty, Nathan Hughes and Parisse aren’t exactly small.

  4. Project player? Really committed to the shirt?

    That man gave EVERYTHING he had to Scotland’s cause last week.

    An internal injury is serious, especially as a player might keep going not knowing what damage has been done. Do we know when he got this injury? Unless it was in the last play of the game, he kept going while internally injured, which is equal parts astounding and scary. Flashbacks of Evans and Paterson’s life-threatening injuries (Paterson’s a serious kidney injury) against Wales in Cardiff.

    We don’t know details, so perhaps I’m over-reacting, but I’m just grateful he’s okay.

    1. Aye, there was no way that injury was sustained in the last few minutes. Strauss played on for quite some time after that blow. Wise? No. Admirable? Absolutely.

  5. Gives even more perspective to the courage and bravery of his performance on Sunday. Could be a major problem for Glasgow for the Pro 12 and the Champions Cup.

  6. Big loss – Josh had a stormer last week but I’m not surprised he’s injured after all that!! If Barclay’s fit then he’ll be at 8 with Harley at 6. That’s my hope anyway. Calls for CdP or Denton are waaayyyy to early. Both have yet to perform consistently at club level this season.

  7. Strauss’s performance V France was colossal, the will, the physicality were top notch. Hope Hardie, Barclay & especially Dunbar are ok.

  8. Strauss had a great game last week but if we can afford injuries in one area of the team, the back row is that place. Still plenty of options there and it seems everyone has forgotten about Ryan Wilson who had an excellent game against Ireland and if fit should definitely be starting at no 8. However if Barclay is out then he may play 6 and then your looking at CDP at 8, he needs a big game tonight to stake his claim. I’d bring Bradbury into the squad as cover with a view to him maybe making his 6 nations debut off the bench during the rest of the campaign.

    1. Agreed that we have more cover in the back row, but not that much cover. We can’t afford injuries to four of our five best players.

  9. A bit of a left field option, but how about Swinson at 8?
    A big ball carrier that we don’t really have in the back row.
    Shame about Strauss. I really want us to beat Wales more than any
    other team, so no experiments please.

  10. Swinson too slow for the back row, Harley is also too slow IMO.

    pragmatic optmist I agree re the Welsh, we need front foot ball – my back row would be Du Preez Watson Barclay/Wilson with Wilson/Hardie on the bench (dependent on injuries)

  11. As a Scot living in Wales I am desperately trying to figure out how we can beat them now! After losing our captain, and now our major ball carrier I am starting to worry.

    Don’t know who we have that can replicate the physicality that Strauss has shown? Denton WAS a fine ball carrier but hasn’t shown much form recently.

    Sort of agree with pragmatic optimist about Swinson, as he has made an impact when he has came on.

    We need a back row to keep the welsh on the back foot. I do think it is one position where we have lots of strength but no matter what we will miss Strauss’s ball carrying.

    I wish Strauss, Barclay, Laidlaw, and Hardie a speedy recovery!

    And PLEASE, for the first time since I moved to Wales can we beat them :)

  12. Ach, what a shame for the big man. He had his best game in a Scotland shirt last weekend as well.

    It just highlights how brutal Test rugby is when a player can injure internal organs so badly that they are out for a minimum of 6 weeks. As others have already pointed out Strauss looked like he did this sometime before the end of the game – fair play to him for keeping it going to the end and I hope he has a speedy and full recovery.

  13. Another blow for the chances losing Strauss. Hopefully Barclay and Hardie are fit.

    Watching CDP for Edinburgh v Leinster …can’t see what he is going to bring to Scotland at the moment.

    Denton has played little rugby since getting back from injury.

    Bradbury isn’t quite ready for the international level..he needs some game time during a tour this year where he would be in a far better position for the 6 nations next year.

    A lot depends on the fitness of Barclay and Hardie.
    Im not a Rob Harley fan.. but I can see him coming in at No6. Wilson at No8…Watson at No7.

    Swinson is a better option off the bench.

    1. Was du Preez playing tonight? Granted it was a woeful performance all round, but I caught the second half and never noticed him. He is not good enough for a Scotland jersey.

    1. It’s a second half perforomance that should mean that any slim chance Hodge might have had if getting the job is over. He should actually be told not to bother coming back on Monday. Absolutely shameful

  14. It’s a shame that Strauss is out, I feel for the guy.
    But if we look at the impact of this, it shows the lack of depth in Scottish rugby.
    We have two pro teams on par with Italy! Wales and Ireland have four. Now, there lies our dilemma. Not enough players in Scotland playing at the highest level. Not enough players coming through the academies into the pro teams getting regular game time at the highest level.
    Scottish rugby is being constrained by only two pro teams.
    Instead of Edinburgh, why not Lothian? Reinstate the Borders and have a Highland team. Glasgow could be Clydesdale. It’s a suggestion but we need more players playing rugby at the highest level. Highland team could play Perth? Dundee?
    Anyway, unless SRU sort this out, any injuries to our national team will leave the team exposed. Just a thought..

    1. That’s just a change of names frankly. The finance simply isn’t there for three Pro sides far less four. Not on the cards.

      Yes two teams only is an issue, but money is in short supply.

      1. I disagree on the finance. The Borders folded because of infighting. The Borders clubs are too insular. They can’t accept a pro club representing the Borders. The Irish have a Provence model. Scotland would do well taking a leaf out of their book. There is money in Scottish rugby, but it’s being squandered and not channelled in the best interests of the future of the game in Scotland. We need ALL the clubs, SRU to sit down and bloody well decide what’s the best way to take this game forward. Otherwise we will be always constrained by only having two Pro teams!!!

      2. I would like an exposition of exactly where this money is.

        If you said paying The Fat Bluffer, then I would agree, but it takes an annual budget of around £5 million by common consensus to run a Pro team. Even hacking out some of the deadwood at Murrayfield wouldn’t begin to get us there.

        Last summer SRU nearly packed in the sevens and tried to cut their deal with LS, both priced at less than £500k and you think they can find £5 million per annum.

        I repeat what I said. We do not have it. We would like to have it but, sorry, no.

        I agree with your comments about insularity.

      3. Mike has nailed it – the money just does not exist in Scottish rugby to finance a third pro team. I would say that the costs are even higher than £5m per annum which is why the SRU are trying to find “buyers” for Edinburgh and Glasgow to help alleviate the financial burden of the pro game.

        It is true that the Borders region never quite got fully behind the Borders pro team – and that could partly be down to local rivalries – but the SRU would have needed crowds in excess of 10000 at all three pro teams to have supported that set up.

        In 5 to 10 years it would be fantastic if the accounts were healthy enough to support a 3rd pro team as it would mean greater depth throughout Scottish rugby, but I’m not holding my breath.

    2. Oh dear god, another Neil who thinks money grows on trees! The SRU have a debt of close on 10 million quid and a pro side, as has already been pointed out, will cost no less than 5 million PA even on a Connacht like shoestring. The academies, which we all can agree on were desperately needed to provide a pathway for young talent have eaten up the BT money. Glasgow are well on their way to at least partial financial autonomy but I really would be fascinated to know where exactly the SRU could magic up five million. Sweeping statements like “we need more pro teams” are easy to say but are a pipe dream at present. We have nowhere near the player numbers, financial resources or government assistance the Irish teams get. We therefore have to sweat the assets we do have and get both Edinburgh AND Glasgow performing well. Perhaps in five years the SRU can revisit the possibility of an Aberdeen based team but until then…

    3. On the naming point. Glasgow has to be called Glasgow not Clydesdale or The West. It is the biggest market in Scotland and as a club/franchise is making big strides to being an alternative to the football that dominates the city. Rugby has the opportunity in Glasgow now off the back of success of its team and inspire kids to follow a sports team not laden with historical issues and hopefully broaden the playing base away from a few schools.

      A successful Glasgow and well supported Glasgow is, to me, the key to unlocking a wider playing based.

  15. Oh what a shame for Strauss. A brilliant performance last Sunday. And if that was an injury sustained a while before the final whistle, all the more heroic.
    So what’s wrong with Wilson, Barclay and Watson (if all are fit) to face Wales to start? As a key back up, what’s wrong with Bradbury too? I know he was reportedly told by Big Vern to go and brush up his all round game, but as I recall he did well in the AIs.
    Denton has hardly figured for Bath this year, and CdP is a good player but no real signs yet he can step up to Test level. Ashe, has he really had enough game time since recovery from injury? Harley? Yes ok, he’s got some decent Test form.
    Need to go with Test proven back rowers against Wales. Can’t afford to take fliers, especially in the back row!

    1. If Wilson, Barclay and Watson are all fit, and hopefully they are, then it comes down to the bench………looking at the knock Hardie took, difficult to see him being OK, so, given BVC is fairly conservative that would look like Harley.

      Can’t say the Embra guys covered themselves in glory tonight, so unlikely CdP or Bradbury.

  16. Oh Boy!… looks like Maitland might not make it also.
    Taken off injured during Saracens v Gloucester match. Replaced Duncan Taylor who was supposed to play FB but pulled out at last minute and replaced by Maitland.

    1. If so, begs the question why he was allowed to play at all? Or do the pig dogs in PRL demand their players in fallow weeks.

      1. Yeah I thought that too! Laughable…Jonny May (England & Gloucster) sitting in the stands watching the game. Gloucster dont need their star winger playing the top side in Aviva….Saracens needed the Scotland winger tho…. joke!

      2. Because he is employed by Saracens to play rugby for them as and when required unless it is an International week. This week is not so therefore Saracens have used the resource available to them. One of the risks of having your players out of the control of the SRU.

      3. Yes, Ade, I suspected as much. Another example of the malign influence of the PRL. PRL really dictate to the RFU what happens in England.

        We grumble about the relationship between SRU and clubs, but trust me, as an LS follower it is several times worse down south. Nobody, but nobody, trusts anyone else. Agendas everywhere, which only progress if they do not impinge on PRL’s turf.

      4. Not sure that is fair on the PRL. They represent English clubs, and have an agreement with the English rugby union regarding management of English internationals so that they are available to play for England when required.

        They have no such agreement in place with the SRU, WRU, IRFU or any other union, and why would they?

        Maitland is not part of the England high performance squad (or whatever it is called), so there is no obligation on PRL or Sarries to protect that asset for England. This is much the same as Glasgow using Nakarawa or van der Merwe during the 6N with scant regard for any concerns of the Fijian or Canadian unions.

        Maitland is an employee of Saracens. They asked him to work a shift today, and he has been injured. They won’t be happy to lose him as he is a key squad member, but they won’t give two hoots if Scotland miss him as they are not part of the Scotland set up.

        Jonny May is part of the England squad, and so is withheld from selection.

        Living in Nottingham I know that there are lots of machinations behind the scenes to protect the Aviva set up, and the teams that suffer most from this are the ones directly below in the Championship. PRL are no angels, but this time I think they are just doing what they have signed up for.

      5. Yeah I get that Sarries were just using the rulings as they can. Can’t argue with that. I guess I just dont agree with the rulings. They are kinda like the scrum rulings …clearly not setup for the benefit of the game as a whole. The morality of player usage has been tossed right out the window. Money wins as usual…. sigh!

  17. Edinburgh were dire tonight against a slick but not spectacular Leinster.
    In the 2nd half the pack did not operate as a unit; time and again the first pass along the line went to a player standing still; restarts mostly just gave away the ball and receiving the Leinster restart was shambolic; etc, etc, etc. Looking for a silver lining, I could say that some younger players got much needed experience. Edinburgh are not a creative team, so must learn to do the simple things well, and above all quickly.

    1. I wouldn’t pick any player for Scotland v Wales who played in that match Vs Leinster. NO player stood out at all.

    2. Hodge has done his best to keep Edinburgh going since Solomons left. But Edinburgh needs a better coach. It’s been evident since Solomons left. We are going backwards! I’m amazed they haven’t appointed a decent coach.

    3. Dire is giving them the benefit if the doubt. Truly awful. The Hodge experiment must have run its course, so time for a fresh perspective.

  18. Yes would agree about Edinburgh performance. First half was actually ok but none of the possession was turned into points. The second half was very poor. Also saw Maitland go off during Sarries game; he didn’t look in good shape. I don’t think we’ll see him next weekend. Apparently Taylor is out until European cup quarters at the earliest. Regarding Strauss replacement at 8, I think that it’ll be Barclay or Swinson (with the other on the flank). CdP was poor tonight.

  19. Have Edinburgh made any progress as a team since Solomons was binned? Some players have improved as individuals but I sense even die-hard Hodge fans recognise that its time for him and his assistants to go. Time, I think, for supporters to take action and send a strong message to the SRU that radical change is needed. What price a boycott/walk out/banners?

    1. Fairweather fans will make their displeasure known by not turning up to support a struggling team. Successful teams build support over a number of years, whereas inconsistent teams can be fooled by stadium moves into thinking their core support is greater than it actually is.

      Rather than boycott the team, which will only add further pressure to the running costs, why not get involved with the fan forums/supporter clubs so as to be able to present the club with a recognised, coherent message that current results are unacceptable. Continue to support the guys on the pitch while campaigning to put in place the management team that will allow the players and the club to flourish.

      1. Your solution appears to be what has been tried to date and hasn’t exactly worked. The Official Edinburgh Supporters Forum is full of happy-clappy comments which ignore just how bad things are.
        I can understand that traditionally rugby fans have been loyal to players and the team. Unfortunately the Edinburgh squad are more of their share of second raters, has-beens and serial failures. Do you support these, particularly when the put out pathetic displays like last night? Players don’t seem to being held to account and an acceptable level of performance by the coaching staff so its up to supporters to show what is expected of the club on the pitch.
        With regard to campaigning, I haven’t found any evidence of supporters engaging to press for change. Welcome to be proved wrong. Otherwise the team and support deserve each other.

      2. Friday was embarrassing for the Edinburgh players. For the second week in a row they looked defensively naive, out wide in particular. I didn’t see the first half, apart from Browns’ howler, but it couldn’t have been as despairing as the second.

        Fans pay their money, and luckily they, through the SRU, are the owners of both our Pro clubs. So the mechanism for protest is there, albeit a slow one via the various committees.

  20. The Edinburgh situation is a joke. Apart from the team going backwards how does it get to a point where they get Glasgow’s hand-me-downs (Bennett, Weir etc) fine players though they are. Are Glasgow better funded or what? Surely Edinburgh is a bigger rugby city than Glasgow. The fact Jones goes to Glasgow and not Edinburgh tells you all you need to know. 18 months ago Hardie went to Edinburgh when Glasgow probably had more need for him. What has changed?

    As for the 6 nations. It won’t be Du Preez, has been poor all season. Can’t see Bradbury getting the call either. If Denton plays OK this weekend i’d have no problem him getting called up. If any 2 of Hardie, Barclay and Wilson don’t make it then it starts to look like a problem.

  21. Just watched the Edinburgh match. What an embarrassment. How can a team with more than 60 % possession in the first half lose so badly and look so toothless against a reserve team? They never looked like scoring. Truly awful. Brown dropping the ball with the try line at his mercy was just shameful.
    Forget the players. A top coaching team is required before any more new players are signed.

  22. I think, as many have said Wilson, Watson, Barclay and Hardie are the obvious top 4 with Strauss out right now. Harley to come in next.

    Wales are eminently beatable, and if we don’t manage it I’ll be massively disappointed. I saw their scrum V programme and they seem to think they were great in an epic test match against England.

    I thought both teams were quite poor, with the Welsh taking the wrong options and screwing up every important set piece in a game they should have won. England were poor too, with an error count that should have had them beaten. I would hope we wouldn’t let them get away with that kind of performance.

  23. From memory (always selective), I had thought our scrum/props had done quite well in the Autumn internationals, but when I look back at the highlights of the Australia game, Australia destroyed our scrum on two occasions and successfully kicked both resulting penalties. The main things that stand out to me from re-watching those highlights:

    1) We arguably lost that match largely because of our scrum.
    2) For both of those scrum penalties, it was Scotland’s put-in.
    3) In both scrums, the ball was at the Scotland No. 8’s feet when the penalty was given. A lot of refs now just say ‘Use it’ if the ball’s at the back and available, even if the scrum has collapsed, because the refs want to avoid scrum penalties and keep the game flowing. This ref didn’t. Who was he? John Lacey, our ref for the Wales game.

    In the build-up to our third try, we had a put-in in Australia’s 22. Our scrum was being destroyed. Laidlaw, under great pressure, brilliantly picked and passed in the nick of time to Hogg, who made ground and Johnny Gray scored off the next phase. If Laidlaw had waited another second, I’m sure we would have been penalised.

    Take-away: Scotland must release the ball incredibly quickly when our scrum is under pressure or Lacey will penalise our retreating scrum. In this respect, Price’s eagerness to play quick ball may be a huge asset.

    1. The Southern Hemisphere ref in the Argentina game is a good example of saying ‘Use it’ when Argentina were dominant in the scrum and looking for a penalty. (about 3 minutes into the 11-minute highlights when Scotland were 6-0 up.) Perhaps Scotland would have lost that game if he had reffed the scrum like Lacey.

      It goes without saying (and not just because we have a weaker scrum than everyone else), I much prefer the SH ref’s interpretation. To allow a knock-on (for either side) to mean effectively a penalty for the stronger scrum, potentially with yellow cards thrown in, is just anti-rugby in my opinion. But it’s our reality and we have to find a way to deal with it against Wales.

      1. I think that is what needs to happen to sort the scrims, if you don’t get penalties then people will stop trying. The scrum was and should be a means of restarting the game after minor infractions. I think so long as the ball is at the back of the scrum and no ludicrous foul play has taken place then the game should continue. Even if a team gets smashed back on their own put in once the ball gets to the opposition 8 then it should continue regardless of how many people are on the floor, teams will soon realise it’s beneficial to have guys on their feet and ready to go rather than lying in a heap so will stop trying to collapse scrums. A key thing to sort out is the squint feeds, I know they are always squint but the French ones last weekend were outrageous, forget second row he was feeding it straight into the back row.

        Of course I’m probably being hypocritical, if our scrum was a wrecking ball I would be quite happy to milk penalties! But I fundamentally think it’s anti rugby and is killing the game

      2. You hit the nail on the head Andrew. A scrum is a means of restart get the game quickly and safely, it is not an opportunity to win a penalty if you have a dominant scrummage.

        The other main method for restarting the game is the line out. If you have 7 guys who are 30cm taller than the opposition then you are going to win lots of line out ball, but not necessarily a penalty every time the ball goes into touch.

        The same should apply to scrums, especially if the ball is at the 8s foot. Count of three and if the scrum half fannies about waving his hands in the air then he runs the risk of the scrum being reset and the put in going to the other team. Get the ball in, get it out, play rugby!

  24. Let’s not forget wales vs England in Cardiff is the biggest game of the campaign for the former. They definitely seem to be able to get up for that game more than others, can they they get themselves as up for it at MurrayField? Not so sure. Thought they played a lot better last week but their performances over the AIs and the 2 6n games so far suggest they are far from likely to back it up. One thing we do have in our favour is the vastly more superior coach which will hopefully make the difference. Hoping for some more invention similar to the Dunbar try vs Ireland.

    Regards Edinburgh, I have hoped Duncan would get the job but there’s a worrying trend developing and unless results in the league change soon it’s a formality there will be a new coach there for next year I reckon. I don’t think further progress in the challenge cup will mask the poor league performances. Think it’s unfair to shoulder much of the blame on hodge though, he took over a sinking ship playing dire rugby. Whilst the ship is still sinking the performances, for me anyway, are much more expansive and that brand of rugby is the way forward, just a pity that they can’t sustain it for 80 mins. Looks at both of the Quins games as examples, played some great stuff then almost threw it away twice. There seems to be a mental/mindset problem rather than lack of skills/good players.

    1. Missed the first half…saw the second. Even Leinster players looked bored….Edinburgh seem to really serve up error-filled drudge fests on Friday nights. Unfortunately thats most games.

  25. Edinburgh played ok for 15mins (Dean, McCallum did well) but the Brown debacle on 40mins “killed” Edinburgh.

    Du Preez (like most of his team mates) didn’t do much, it was almost like they were “going through the motions”, the lack of real quality in the backs is astonishing.

    It’s almost unfair – the discrepancy between Edinburgh & Glasgow.

    Re my Scotland back row………. over to you Vern (Denton got 20mins last week & starts today)

    1. Unfortunately Denton, who Ive watched playing for Bath, looks exactly like he hasn’t played for 5 months. Has done nothing of note at all.

  26. Alas Hodge appears not to be the man to take Edinburgh forward, I really think that the SRU missed a trick – O’Halloran & Hines should have been offered the job, with Mike Blair stepping up @ Glasgow.

  27. I really do hope I’m not being naive, but surely the SRU have already made huge strides in their search for a top coaching team to come to Edinburgh this summer!
    There is such a big run in period on these decisions, with coaches are all under contract, that the SRU would be negligent if they hadn’t started this process a long time ago.
    They were never going to be able to parachute a top coach in mid season, as almost every top coach would be committed elsewhere.
    The SRU should be as ambitious in their choice of coach for Edinburgh, as they have been at Glasgow.

  28. Wayne Pivac of Scarlets says Barclay’s looking promising for the Wales game, according to a BBC article. Scan shows injury not as bad as feared…

    1. Just as well, Wilson, Watson and Barclay are on form and fit a match for the Welsh but the cupboard is suddenly looking pretty bare after them. CDP and Bradbury are playing poorly in a losing side with no confidence and Denton, limited as he is, isn’t match fit. Hardie can’t possibly be ok after the wallop he took so we are down to the Harleys and Ashes of the world, neither of whom are test class, for various reasons (age, size, skill, speed, experience, etc). Who’s next on the cab rank? Cowan, Eadie, Ritchie, Wynn, M Fagerson? One more big back row injury and we are in the poop!

      1. If Barclay or Hardie are not fit…Id rather we played Swinson. All other options are either playing incredibly poorly, are not International quality or are far too inexperienced.

  29. If we think it was agony to watch the Edinbugh game last night imagine how Mark Bennett felt sitting watching that performance!Both wingers dropped high balls under no pressure on a perfect,windless night followed by knock-ons and Brown’s dropped pass was a shocker. The scrum-half was looping passes out to his forwards that would have been a disgrace in a school match .
    The most disappointing thing was that Leinster did nothing special apart from not making basic errors when they had the ball.
    A new coach will need an almost completely new back line to turn this team around,sad to be so negative but that was a terrible performance

    1. ..and to think T Brown was given a new contract just recently. He’s not even Pro12 standard. Was utter mince the other night…waste of a contract.

      1. T Brown had taken a knock to the head in the few minutes before half time. You could see that he went to his knees and indicated that he was struggling. He didn’t come back out for the second half.

  30. looks like world rugby have changed the rules and have allowed ulster pass the ball forward without penalty. on a serious note though does the standard of refereeing in the pro 12 need looked at??

    1. The ref is pretty much brand new i believe to pro12 level rugby , not the easiest game to be assigned this early in career, even basic clear desicions become difficult when not up to speed with the game.

      1. He was far too quick to card Harley and yet ignored two clear Ulster high tackles, which I was under the impression were to be yellow card offences from now on unless accidental, neither of which I would put in that category. However, Glasgow were terrible. Horne had an absolute howler. He simply could not get Glasgow into any sort of field position and ran up a blind alley regularly. No scots team at any level have won a game since the Sco Ire game unless I missed something. Says it all really.

    2. The quality of referees in the Pro 12 has needed looking at for a long time. Younger, inexperienced guys shouldn’t get games like this.

      As with players, they need to learn and get some confidence under their belts.

      That said, I am all for blooding new guys if some of the dross is canned.

      We aren’t frankly in much of a position to gripe given the quality, or rather lack of, of our guys.

  31. some of the quality of players that edinburgh and glasgow have been fielding this week have worried me. why are players like lamont still on the books? also i dont know if duncan weir moving to edinburgh has improved edinburgh or himself. would have preferred him to stay at glasgow

  32. To use our weather as an analogy for Scottish rugby, the spell of sunshine seems to be over, and dark clouds are gathering, perhaps for a prolonged period. Compared with Edinburgh, Glasgow have long had a superior esprit de corps, and a larger and more passionate following………but that seems to be evaporating with the turmoil attending Gregor Townsend’s end-of-season departure to national duties and perhaps the influence of Rennie, the incoming coach, on personnel. Players like Favaro, Bennett and Puafisi may be feeling a sense of rejection. Certainly the sense of “club” cohesion is being severely tested.
    Meanwhile the national side have taken a physical battering, albeit standing up to it with admirable courage, while the uplift provided by our victory over Ireland has perhaps been counterbalanced by a determination of the Irish provinces to take revenge on our professional sides. All rather worrying and sad. Under all these adverse circumstances, can we still realise the promise at the beginning of the 6N?

    1. That’s not a bad summary. Time for fresh life all round. The building blocks that are in place now are exponentially better than they were five years ago.

      A win of any sort next Saturday and the clouds will be lifted.

      Must have had too much ????. Normally glass half, or mostly, empty.

    2. I have to say this is unnecessarily negative. The period of sunshine has only just begun, and yes the national squad is taking a few hits, but I feel that we do have the depth to still get the win next weekend against Wales.

      Regarding Edinburgh and Glasgow, 2 difficult trips to 2 very good teams with diminished squads was never going to end particularly well. Yes ideally during the 6N we’d like to be up against Zebre, Treviso and Dragons, but the fixture list hasn’t been kind. Glasgow are always going to find it tough during these times due to the amount of players lost to Scotland.

      As a Glasgow supporter I can only speak from that perspective but losing Favaro, Strauss and Bennett is tough, but has clearly been identified as the right thing to do. There is a lot of time between now and September and by then we will be able to judge if Dave Rennie has managed to get adequate replacements.

      1. I didn’t intend to be negative! I simply meant that Lineen gave GT a foundation to build on. GT has given Rennie, by and large a successful team. Rennie will succeed or not according to who he signs and lets go, and how he coaches Glasgow. What is outwith his control, is what is happening now, the better Glasgow are, the more in Scotland’s squad. He needs to take a hard look at the back ups. What of course would be better, would be enough Embra guys to force themselves into the squad.

        Think we are at a crossroads, and it will be interesting to see where it heads.

        For sure Edinburgh need a top level coach, and if that means to fit the budget, the Fat Bluffer has to go, so be it. Lineen (already on the payroll), would do me just fine, in the Fat Bluffer’s role. Not sure why he’s not really rated, hasn’t done much wrong in my view.

  33. Watched Glasgow game today. Not quite as bad as Edinburgh but not far off it. To be fair, Ulster were excellent in first half and even a full strength Glasgow squad may have struggled. Positives: Cummings looks like a fantastic prospect especially since he’s only 20. Brandon Thomson was good although he didn’t see much ball. Pyrgos was fairly solid and is now likely to fill SH bench spot with Price now nailed on as starter. The rest were really poor. I thought that both Harley and Horne have ruled themselves out of any of the remaining 6 nations games barring more injuries.

    1. Cummings is a future Scotland captain. Must be very close to leapfrogging Gilchrist and Toolis.

      Thomson looked like he could be a good player ….needs to work on his kicking tho.

      Pyrgos was OK I guess…will no doubt get his spot on the bench..but really its virtue of there being no other option rather than being there thru merit. Just doesn’t look good enough to compete at the highest levels of test rugby for me.

      Harley looked like Harley….a good club player nothing more or less. Horne is a bench player for Scotland at best.

  34. Frazer, your comment on my negativity is deserved. I was hoping, I suppose, for a good result by Glasgow to wash away the disappointment at Edinburgh’s Friday performance, of which I could only get glimpses between hosting a small dinner-party! The snippets I saw, mostly in the early part of the game, suggested they were doing well, so the second-half collapse was all the more galling. My phrase “seems to be evaporating” was intended to apply to “esprit de corps” rather than the Warriors’ following, which will remain loyal, large and passionate……….and, of course, every last iota of my negativity will disappear if we beat Wales next Saturday!
    Apologies for my dirge!

  35. None of the Edinburgh or Glasgow players have done anything this weekend to enhance their 6n credentials. Denton apparently looked OK and guessing Visser will come in if Maitland is out. I’d select Swinson to start in the back row if any 2 of Hardie, Wilson and Barclay are out. Denton on the bench. Thank christ Watson is a dynamo.

    Bennett needs to stop messing about doing stuff like team GB rugby sevens as he has indeed gone backwards. I’s rather see Scott or Taylor on Scotland’s bench. Jones covers the wing and fullback. Horne will cover centre and fly half from the bench once match fit. Bennett the way he’s going will do a SHC and end up on Edinburgh’s bench.

    1. Only watched the Quins-Bath game out of the corner of my eye whilst the Glasgow game was on but Visser looked pretty good. Took his try well and popped up in defence and running decent lines. That said, entirely possible he had a shocker or two that I just missed. Either way, Maitland will be a loss. He has been good.

      Agree with DJB below, Taylor not fit, Scott is in form, will come in if there is anyone missing from the backline. Wouldn’t mind him getting his chance even if everyone is fit.

    2. Yes, Bennett should leave the Olympic 7s Silver medal winning antics to those better suited to it – Dan Parks would have been a better choice for sure.

  36. Taylor’s not fit just now. Scott is in form player just now and I think he may well be called up for next weekend.

  37. Centres –
    Dunbar is critical to Scotland, his re-signing was great news as he will be “managed” very well.
    Jones hasn’t had the opportunity to strut his “stuff” as yet, hope he gets the chance on Saturday.

    I’d likely have Scott on the bench on Saturday

  38. In spite of the injuries, I feel that we can still put a team out that will be able to beat Wales. Given the news trickling out about the various injuries is accurate, I reckon the team will look something like this:

    Dell, Ford, Fagerson, Gray, Gray, Wilson, Watson, Barclay, Price, Russell, Seymour, Dunbar, Jones, Hoyland, Hogg

    McInally, Reid, Berghan, Swinson, CdP, Pyrgos, Scott, Visser

    Offer a Scotland supporter that team 12 months ago and they’d take your hand off (props notwithstanding), especially with all the voices that were calling for a change at scrum half. Well the change has happened now, so let’s see what happens next!

    I still reckon that even with the injuries we’ve had that we’re still good enough to end the hoodoo against Wales (please, please, please).

    1. I doubt that Dunbar will be fit to play. Although he passed the initial HIA, he developed late symptoms so may be subject to the Graduated return to play protocol which takes at least 2 weeks. I hope that I’m wrong. Apart from that, I agree with the above selection with the exception of CdP who has been seriously out of form in the last few weeks for Edinburgh.

      1. He has, but neither Bradbury nor Harley have covered themselves in glory recently, and I reckon we might need a wrecking ball off the bench and Denton is only just back from injury.

        I’d forgotten about Dunbar’s HIA to be honest. If he’s unavailable then Scott at 12, Horne on the bench.

        Whatever the selection, and it has been said repeated times on this blog, it’s great to be in a position in the back row and centres to be able to absorb these losses to injury.

      2. Cammy posted earlier that minimum time for GRTP is only 6 days when overseen by a medical professional. The two and a bit week limit is for the amateur game. So, he does have time, whether he has passed or not is another thing of course.

      3. i feel if dunbar was out of the wales game we would have been told by now and bennett wouldn’t have been playing on the weekend

  39. If Dunbar doesn’t make it, I’d agree on Scott at 12. He has plenty of Test experience and has been a regular and playing well in the English Premiership, so must surely be fully match fit.

  40. I feel Strauss has a significant injury and I have to say it does not sound good.

    He has probably played his last game for Glasgow, he is out of contract at the end of the season. Not sure where that leaves him, other than in a weak barganing position at best, albeit he had the game of his life against France.

    I know we just want to talk about Scotland’s chances, what next etc, however , I have to say, my thoughts are with him right now. Is his injury likely to halt his rugby days ?

    Oh my compassion wont change anything , but it feels bad, its all a bit too quiet. If anyone has any news, let’s hear it.

    The least we can do is wish him a speedy recovery, he gave his all last week.

    1. No, Strauss injury sounds a renal contusion (i.e. bruising to the kidney) so not serious but will take a while to get better. I predict a 4 week lay off so likely to see some more game time (for Glasgow) before the end of the season.

    1. Story comes originally from the Rugby Paper so probably legit. Not sure how I feel about, still Edinburgh can’t get any f-ing worse can they?

  41. I would predict that Cockerhill will improve Edinburgh’s fortunes. However, I’m not so sure how his philosophy will blend with that of Toonie, Rennie and currently, BVC. I think the similarity between BVC and Toonie’s vision of how the game should be played has been a general benefit.

    1. Totally agree, though BVC will be out of the picture then. Could do a great deal worse, although I have to say I am not a huge fan of Mr. C. Think it might be back to Solomon’s but a bit more committed and abrasive. Running, open rugby – in your dreams. Winning rugby would be a plus tho’.

      Would rather have Lancaster, if we have to have an English guy.

      1. Ha! I don’t think Lancaster is on offer. Basically Edinburgh is somewhere cockerill will hope to rehab his reputation. Still, lots of people have bemoaned Edinburgh’s mental preparation and if there is one thing RC can be relied on to bring its a winning mentality. Not sure it’ll be a comfortable place for hodge though…

  42. Pro 12 American and Canadian franchise sounds cool

    I’m for it. Get the revenues. Leverage the Irish thing in US, Scottish thing in Canada

    English and French will be annoyed

    Who knew that rugby is the fastest growing sport in the us. Must be that scene of the beginning of the Departed

    Come to think of it wasnt Matt Damon Pienaar too

    Maybe throw in a Georgian and Romanian team (that’s not been suggested but would be a fun away game!)

    1. The inclusion of a Georgian or Romanian club side in an expanded Pro 12 would be fantastic for growing the game but is highly unlikely.

      The reason that they are looking to the US/Canada is all to do with siller. The team running the Pro 12 know that they cannot compete with the Aviva or Top 14 in terms of high value TV contracts. With less money available clubs will be hard pressed to persuade players to resist the lure of filthy lucre in England and France. And you cannot blame the players for looking to maximise their earnings in a career where severe injury is only moments away.

      So the chase for the dollar is on, and I think it would be a good fit as it looks like the nascent US pro league is unlikely to make a second season. However the Pro 12 will have to move quickly, because the PRL have their eyes on that untapped pile of cash across the Atlantic.

      Sadly, Georgia and Romania can’t offer that financial input, so they will have remain on the outside looking in for a while yet.

      1. Sounds like Eng and Fr simply cannot eye US and Canada due to relegation, so that plus Irish connection makes the Pro 12(+2) a workable option

        That and there being, two pants Italian teams.

        I do think Georgia have the cash and the crowds. Hell could invite the national.

        All good fun!

      2. Adding US and Canadian teams dooms us to only 2 pro sides until the US and Canada are big enough to spin off into their own league. Although it’d probably take that long for the SRU to save the cash anyway!

      3. 2 good/decent teams is better than 3 poor ones…with current support levels last weekend’s results would be the norm with 3

  43. I read Ben Ryan’s on the BBC that rugby skills were 30-40 years behind other sports with a degree of scepticism so I watched the Edinburgh game on Friday with his comments on his point that there is huge effort needed to improving passing skills front of mind. OMG. How right he is! Edinburghs passing was woeful – SHL in particular never made a pass that allowed a player to run on to it – passes were too high, too low, miss placed, so often behind where they should be … players were constantly standing g still and jumping to catch a pass .. a real horror show … something New Zealander’s are so much better at doing and coaching… hodge is out of his depth and I hope the officials at SRFU are working hard at finding a replacement.

    1. Probably truth there, but not many sports expect you to execute skills under such physical pressure ….something that can and should be well-practiced though.

      1. Plus a Blue Peter badge and a putty medal. Maybe even a Pointless Trophy. Couldn’t resist, apologies.

  44. I want to add my tuppence worth about Josh Strauss (-sorry if we’ve moved on to Cockerill). Having attended 90%+ of Josh’s home games for Glasgow he has been a great player and will be a significant loss to the side. I feel he has been a little unfairly treated on international performances but agree with the general consensus, he had a great game vs France. I’ve speculated on why Glasgow decided not to re-sign him and welcome any insight on this. That said, for probably a year or so, he has usually lasted c 60 mins for Glasgow and has been limping heavily when replaced. I’ve wondered if he has a chronic injury or weakness (knee, for example) which allows him to play the next match after a week’s rest. Who knows, but it seems to fit in the context of pro-sport, if your paying a big earner, you’ll think long and hard about committing to another 2/3 year contract if there’s a significant fitness risk. On the French game again, he was moving badly around the 60 min mark but by that time Barclay and Hardie were off and there was no alternative but to keep him on. Some posts have already commented on his bravery – because he continued to carry well and make ground consistently in the last quarter.
    Last comment on the mighty Finn. I suppose he got hooked because he was forcing it and VC realised he may be more of a liability in the death throes of the game. That said, was that not what he was doing with his 1/2 break and offload to Seymour (for the 2nd try). My view is the boy thought (probably realised) anything they would get was going to come from him. Last final comment on the conversion, Finn had a similar thing just a few weeks ago at Scotstoun with a kick in front of the posts when the ball toppled off the tee and he gathered and dropped the goal. Do we have the definitive account on what happened? I would start by taking the kick from 5m back . . .

  45. Sounds like Barclay, Hardie, Brown, Maitland, Bennett and Wilson will all be fit to play against Wales. Feeling more confident again!

    Any news on Dunbar?

      1. Looked at this on the latest comments sidebar and had assumed a Lazarus – like recovery from the Beard to be Feared ! :(

        Good news about Dunbar though.

      2. All of this is such good news. Wish I had a ticket for Saturday so I could attend three games on the bounce. Come on, Scotland!

      3. This is fantastic news, to come out of that match and only have 2 guys out for the tournament is lucky considering what it could have been. Pity its two of our best but Price and whoever takes the back row spot now have their chance, hopefully they take it.

  46. Glasgow are signing Magnus Bradbury ? , should help him develop well under dave rennie i guess and brings back a good ball carrier.

    1. If this is true it’s an excellent signing for Glasgow, and I agree he ought to develop well under Rennie. He’s a very different ball carrier than Strauss – more rapier than club, but can be very effective.

      Excellent news to have those 6 players passed fit for Saturday. I was confident of a win even before this announcement, now I’m even more so.

  47. The only fear I’ve for for Saturday is lack of power in the back row, we will be able to tackle all game but will we miss Strauss / Denton type physicality, to put the Welsh onto the back foot. Du Preez has it but is he in good enough form?

      1. Agree with this selection, Barclay should be captain, Watson may not be the bulkiest of back rows but he nearly always gets across the gainline, and Wilson has changed from a walking yellow card to a solid performer. Hardie as impact sub around 55 minutes.

      2. Agree, Swinson can always be used as an auxiliary back row sub too if we want more grunt, especially as the Grays will play 80 if possible

      3. Yeah, agree Barclay as captain, and also fair point Doddies Trews, Swinson could do a small shift at 6 if needed, hasn’t let us down so far, he definitely get a bench spot.

    1. Du Preez has what exactly? An uncanny knack of going missing in club games? Hardly the type of player we want to be promoting to the national side.

  48. Before his injury he looked international quality, physicality, soft hands & great off loading. However since his return he has looked a shadow of his former self. I was hoping training with BVC would give him a chance, but…….

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