Scottish Rugby Blog Podcast Episode 7 – Zero Marks Hurty

The seventh episode of our podcast is now available in the usual places. This week Cammy and Gav are joined by Andy and Rory to dust themselves down and get on with the difficult job of raking over Scotland’s performance against England. The guys take Cammy to task over his controversial player ratings and inevitably get hot under the collar about the referee.

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15 comments on “Scottish Rugby Blog Podcast Episode 7 – Zero Marks Hurty

  1. Neil on

    It would be interesting to know the average scoreline with that ref who was their on saturday over all games he has reffed. considering the massive scoreline differences with that game and the leicester- Glasgow game

  2. Andrew McGavin on

    Having previously defended your ratings blog as probably very dark humour, Cammy, I think I’ve changed my mind after hearing your justifications on the podcast. I thought you were just exaggerating to make a point, almost as a self-aware parody of ratings based on gut emotions, which I think would be fair enough for a grim laugh and to spark debate. But am I right that it seems like you genuinely believe these are valid scores??

    You say they’re professional athletes and shouldn’t be treated like children; that we shouldn’t hand out scores just because they tried hard. I agree. Nobody would expect that, but if we’re expecting them to be held to a high standard like you rightly say, then that standard has to be valid and based in some sort of reality. And if we want them to be grown-up players, then we should start to be grown-up supporters too. If there had genuinely been zero-worthy performances, then we wouldn’t have scored three tries and the score would have been 200 – 0. The most obvious example: a player who scores two tries at Twickenham can never objectively receive a zero. That’s just daft.

    Having said that, what I’ve written sounds more serious than I intended it to be and I’m grateful that you take the time to do so much great work on the blog/podcast. I actually enjoyed the cathartic process of hearing you all discuss each player – healing may still come for all of us! :)

    Also agree with the point about keeping Price at scrum half instead of Pyrgos…I’m a fan of Pyrgos but he’s very slow with back-foot ball, whereas Price could still keep England guessing and break it up.

    • Cammy Black on

      I guess exaggerating to make a point was part of it. When faced with doing the scoring I just struggled to find a way of scoring such a hefty defeat effectively. It just felt patronising giving them “points for effort” which is effectively what I’d be doing. Like Andy M said in the podcast the players hold themselves to high standards and so should we. I think we need to start expecting to win against most of the top 10 sides (All Blacks aside) and shake off the idea of being plucky underdogs. That shift in mentality is the next stage in Scotland’s development.
      Interestingly if that score had been against the All Blacks I wouldn’t have given the team 0’s.
      Some revised scores in the podcast though:
      Richie Gray 5/10
      Gordon Reid 1/10 (for spotting the mismatch for the try)
      Ryan Wilson 1/10 (for throwing in a straight line out with Brown off the field)

      I think Huw Jones got lucky with some poor English defence and happened to be at the right place in the line for the pass on both occasion. He works hard for them admittedly but I think any other centre would have put those away… Maybe 2/10 at a push but then without the try BP they were pointless given the game was lost by the time he scored which might account for poor English defending. If anything Gordy’s try at least got us back into the game until Jonny Gray gave away a needless penalty at the restart.

      • Andrew McGavin on

        I appreciate your dilemma on how to score it – it can’t have been a fun task! I also totally agree with everything you say except three points:

        1) It’s not just “points for effort”. They actually had passages of strong play, in between all the horrible stuff. Even in the poor passages of play, players will have been doing some things relatively well. I don’t think it’s lowering the expected standards to recognise that. Do you actually think they weren’t trying or didn’t care enough? I think they actually cared too much and mentally/systemically came unstuck. Give them 2 or 3/10 by all means (a very low score that reflects a very poor performance), but 0?

        2) I think that even though both tries were relatively close-range, Jones showed considerable skill to get over the line for both of them. I’m guessing 75% of other players wouldn’t have got over the line. Jones makes tiny movements that put off the defenders and he made it look like ‘poor English defence’, in the same way that England’s superb dummy runs and slick passing caught our centres in two minds and made them look like rubbish players.

        3) I thought England played really well, possibly as well as the All Blacks can play, so I don’t understand scoring it differently based on who we’re playing.

        I agree the shift in mentality is the next stage in Scotland’s development. I just think giving them 0/10 hinders rather than helps that process. Psychologically, a minority of people would respond positively to humiliation (i.e. 0/10 scoring) by angrily coming out stronger, but it’s not helpful for most and crushing for a few. I don’t mean mollycoddling them. By all means, be brutally honest, as I’m sure they will have been within the squad. But 0/10 isn’t honest or realistic, it’s just lashing out (although I take your point about exaggerating for effect and finding it difficult to know how to score it…).

        I appreciate you replying to my post, and mean what I said about being grateful for all the great work on the blog/podcast.

        Looking forward to the Italy game now! Campagnaro and Favaro out is a huge blow to the Italians’ hopes…

  3. Rory Baldwin on

    In case interested, here are the permutations for ranking this weekend:

    Scotland (fifth, 82.18) v Italy (14th, 71.17)
    Scotland win by more than 15 points – Scotland 82.18, Italy 71.17
    Scotland win by 15 points or less – Scotland 82.18, Italy 71.17
    Draw – Scotland 81.18, Italy 72.17
    Scotland win by 15 points or less – Scotland 80.18, Italy 73.17
    Scotland win by more than 15 points – Scotland 79.18, Italy 74.17

    And current rankings:

    New Zealand – 94.78
    England – 91.02
    Australia – 86.35
    Ireland – 83.18
    Scotland – 82.18
    Wales – 82.16
    South Africa – 81.79
    France – 81.21
    Argentina – 79.91
    Fiji – 76.46
    Japan – 74.22
    Georgia – 74.14
    Tonga – 71.94
    Italy – 71.17

    • Andrew McGavin on

      Thanks Rory. So this means we would be 9th again if we lose by 15 or more points?! (Presuming you meant to say if Italy win in the last two permutations). And we would be 8th if we lost by less than 15. These ranking systems are crazily fluctuating. It’s certainly been an interesting additional talking point this championship with the World Cup seedings coming up.

  4. smodie brithers on

    Seriously? I mean…do you guys even like music?

    Everyone knows Ten is a better Pearl Jam album than Versus and Nebraska is far better than the Rising when it comes to Springsteen.

    At least the guy asking the questions seems to know what he’s talking about although the Lift to Jerusalem album was reengineered and rereleased this year, not released.

  5. Ade on

    I’m sorry boys. I couldn’t listen to this weeks podcast. It was bad enough being at the game without having to listen to other people talk about it and not be able to give them a hug when the pain got too much to bear.

    Now the 6N is over and the Pro 12 is back, here’s a question for you – did anyone know that there is a Canadian team competing in the English Rugby League’s 1st Division. They are based in Toronto and play their league games in blocks of 4, home and away. With the Pro 12 considering a North American expansion it will be interesting to see how they get on. The Beeb had an article about their draw for the Challenge Cup:
    Challenge Cup fifth round: Toronto Wolfpack face Salford Red Devils –

    • Cammy Black on

      Hi Neil. We’re recording a post Italy podcast tonight which should go out early hours of Thursday. Next week we’ll have a 6 Nations review pod too.

      After that we’re planning on doing something monthly as a bit of a look back at what’s been on the blog. After next week I think we’ll probably do one around the Lions announcement on 19 April.

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