Fiji 27-22 Scotland

Fiji and Scotland did battle yesterday around 3.30am UK time in a windy and slightly grey ANZ Stadium in Suva. Conditions might have been blamed for the large number of turnovers throughout the whole match, but in truth it was a scrappy affair and Fiji were better placed to take advantage than a tired Scotland side.

Referee Pascal Gauzere was a fairly vocal presence in the first half of the game as the Fijian exuberance got on the wrong side of his brand of rugby justice.

Fiji saw two men go to the bin in the first half but Scotland weren’t blameless as Strauss also spent some time on the naughty step for a no-arms tackle on his old Glasgow Warriors teammate Leone Nakarawa.

Going into the game Scotland were potentially chasing a 4th place ranking but it was a very jumbled performance where they lacked cutting edge and accuracy in no small measure.

Henry Pygros and Ruaridh Jackson often looked indecisive at best and incoherent at worst, running up blind alleys in an attempt to play the fast paced game that Townsend wants, but without the direction and forward thrust that it requires. In the first quarter of the game first Horne, Swinson and then Visser failed to get over the line then when Fiji attacked at the other end they tried to counter from deep and got into trouble.

Fijian standoff Ben Volavola missed his first kick in the wind but made his second attempt count on 26 minutes to open the scoring.

Scotland continued to bluster aimlessly; it was a first to find yourself wishing for Finn Russell and Ali Price present to instill some direction in the team’s play.

As it was, it fell to 110 cap record holder Ross Ford who took the bull by the horns and powered over at the back of a driving maul but the lead didn’t last long as another Volavola penalty went over, even as Fiji went back down to 14 men, Peni Ravai Kovekalou going to the bin. Fiji were not finished though as a huge hit on Duncan Taylor – one that he never recovered from – by openside Peceli Yato spilled the ball loose. Showing some variation to their play, Volavola put in a kick pass to Patrick Osborne who steamrolled Jackson before popping it back to Yato to score.

The home side were very happy to go in 11-7 up. Townsend: not so much.

Half-time: Fiji 11-7 Scotland

Minutes into the second half, Fiji were attacking again were denied a try under the posts when only John Barclay had sufficient wit to steal the inevitable offload.

They settled for a penalty and if the Scots were still under any illusions that this would be a romp to a world ranking of 4th they must surely have been dispelled.

The bench was emptied with half an hour to play with Fagerson, Reid, Brown and Watson attempting to steady the Scottish ship and succeeding slightly. The set pieces went well – even more so when Toolis appeared – and a strong attacking scrum from Scotland was followed up by Watson and Strauss who managed to knock the ball loose in the tackle. It landed at the feet of Ruaridh Jackson who gathered it to score, converting to level the scores.

As was common with the Scotland we thought consigned to the past, they then bumbled the following restart and Fijian pressure earned another penalty, Volavola kicking calmly in the wind. Leone Nakarawa demonstrated a far less collected kicking effort moments later but otherwise Fiji were as in control of their gameplan as they get, and far more able to deal with the conditions and the kind of game than the Scots, who probably don’t aspire for it to be quite this crazy.

Scotland battered at the Fijian line with the fresh legs to the fore and Grigg finally showing the hard angles he cuts so well. But in the end Jackson was only able to take 3 points to level it up again.

Fiji were in no mood for a draw though and struck back immediately, Nakarawa slipping past three of his former teammates then offloading to Henry Seniloli for the try to the delight of the locals.

With 20 minutes still to play, Scotland needed to be far smarter, especially as another Volavola penalty stretched the lead to 10 points ten minutes later. The tour was ending on a sour note, as everything Scotland tried, failed. For a team with usually good skills, Scotland were let down by the basics against a team with luck, the crowd and the clock on their side.

Brown, filling in at captain, lead as Ford had for a mirror image of his predecessor’s try from the back of a maul to narrow the lead with 5 minutes to play. Then there were 4 minutes, then 3… and so on. Scotland had one last chance to break and Visser looked good for a moment but was altogether too close to the touchline for anything other than ending the game by bumped into touch.

Scotland: not yet the 4th best rugby nation in the world, that much is clear. The Australia game was an undoubted high, but there will be plenty of food for Gregor Townsend to chew over this summer after this game.

SRBlog Man of the Match: One of the harder ones to pick, especially as the replacements were a great improvement. For getting us going Ross Ford, and for almost giving us hope, Fraser Brown can share it.

71 comments on “Fiji 27-22 Scotland

  1. FF on

    Well that result is a real kick in the balls. Couldn’t really make out any of the action given the poor quality of the live stream but maybe that is for the best. We seemed to have dominated possession and territory but missed something like 25 tackles or more by the end. Nowhere near good enough and shows that our depth still just isn’t there.

    • FF on

      Scotland missed 30 tackles. Not hard to understand why we lost, the question is why we missed so many???? That is a properly bonkers stat. Were the squad in holiday mode already?

  2. Referendum on

    I think Fiji deserved that but I can’t help but feel that Pascal doesn’t referee anything like what players expect and therefore hard to play with him. Would love to know from someone who knows if others felt the same? Last Fiji try had a forward pass which seems to have been the difference. Not really good enough!

    • Martin on

      Dont think you can blame Pascal – sure the team won’t either. There are far far too many things for them to look at themselves about. Its ever easy refereeing a game that is so unsructured and I thought he was decent to be fair

    • Frozen North on

      No TMO…that’s enough to swing it for the Fiji team. How can they allow an international test that affects world rankings without a TMO?

  3. RuggersB on

    Well….that was a complete shambles vs Fiji.
    Notable complete failures…. Hoyland, Pyrgos, Jackson…
    That said, even Barclay and Gray had poor games.
    Pitch looked absolutely awful.
    Such as shame as the tour had been going so well. Showed we have a bit to go before we can say we have strength in depth.

    • FF on

      Yes, we had a strong pack despite nearly second string backline. England sent a B team to Argentina and won a test series so we are still a long way behind our 6N rivals.

      Fiji are no mugs but our experienced guys needed to stamp our experience all over that. Actually we were exposed.

  4. Martin on

    Played too loose, and never managed to make yards through the midfield. Played right into Fiji’s hands and although Toonie is looking for an expansive game, you have to earn the right to go wide and today the boys never did that.

    Beyond that our re-starts were appalling both in reciept and delivery. We lost a try directly from that and never managed to put any pressure on the Fijian exits.

    Our scrum was just about on par with their – naievly maybe, but I would have thought we could have exercised more influence there.

    That said the crucial point for me was when Tuisova (who had a great game) had no right in the left corner of his own 5 yard line managed to go through 3 tackles and gain field position for a counter attack exit – we should have been stronger in the tackle and fringe defence, otherwise you give encouragement to a team like Fiji and make it very hard for yourself, especially when we only really looked dangerous from Lineout mauls

    Dissapointing way to finish the tour

  5. Jamie on

    A number of players laughing during national anthem suggests they were not mentally ready. Your never see nz, eng or any other team be some unprofessional. I can see why Gatland doesn’t rate Gray, he is actually fairly ineffective. If he was so good he’d dominate a game like today.

    Only positive was Grigg looked ok, rest of the backs were very poor. They did however not get good ball. The pack was too lightweight and couldn’t get front foot ball.

      • Jamie on

        Totally agree. Grays is a top club player but I haven’t seen him outplay his opposite man in any of his caps. Toolis should start with Richie in autumn, have Gray on bench.

    • Occhiali on

      Jamie, you’re entitled to your opinion, however worthless, but that is total rubbish about Gray.

      If anything, he looked knackered and really shouldn’t have gone on tour. Folks were saying this before he left.

      In the 6N Wales game, both Grays TOTALLY outplayed their counterparts. Against Ireland, Tom English on Gray: “In the midst of the onslaught, Jonny Gray was a defensive rock. A total colossus. When Irishmen went down in the tackle it was normally Gray who put him there.” He had one of the highest tackle stats in the 6N – I think you’d agree tackling is quite an important aspect of the game (maybe you just play touch, I don’t know).

      Perhaps you should read this assessment from Planet Rugby: http://www.planetrugby.com/news/analysis-the-rise-of-jonny-gray/

      So, you either don’t watch enough games, watch the wrong ones or maybe you should get an eye test.

    • James on

      Have you seen the game Cavok? BBC article makes it sound like Fiji were on fire, are you suggesting we just weren’t at the races?

      Interesting that the BBC article flags a forward pass for a Fiji try but no TMO for the ref to refer to. Surely all test internationals should have a TMO these days?

      Disappointing that there was no tv coverage of the game. You can bet if it was Wales in Fiji that BBC Wales or S4C would film the game. Hopefully if the team continue to play well we’ll start to get coverage of these sorts of games. Be good to get a Scottish version of the Welsh Scrum V programme as well.

      • Andrew on

        SRU website has the whole game posted – but I could not fast forward through the anthems. Just shy of 2 hours there if you have the time. BBC report makes it sound like a mix of inspired Fiji and insipid Scotland. One step back that is for sure.

      • CAVOK on

        Watched the game live on World Rugby and wished I hadn’t. Pathetic is too complimentary for what I watched. Yes Fiji were good but they were allowed to be. They walked through the absent Scottish defence (or actually over). There was no leadership from Barclay. Pyrgos is a joke. The wings were hopeless, etc, etc. Watching All Blacks v Lions you can see that the Scottish players, on this performance, are streets away from that level. The blame must lie with Townsend. Yes our best playmaker is in NZ as a sop to the Scots but that of intself does not account for the abject failure.

      • Occhiali on

        I can understand your frustration – mine wasn’t much better. I couldn’t get back to sleep afterwards I was so annoyed.
        But…
        To be fair, Jonny and Hamish aside, I don’t think anyone in that team was remotely in consideration (or talked up to be) for the Lions. They were either injured (or in WP’s case, newly back from a bad injury) or in New Zealand, largely pulling splinters from their rumps in a couple of cases. Fraser Brown was said on Twitter to have turned a late call down but I don’t know how creditable that claim is. He did score a try though.

  6. CAVOK on

    Scotland were utterly pathetic. Totally rudderless. The backs to a man were useless, especially the wings.
    Over the years how many points have been given away straight from the kick off. That failure is down to the coaching. Townsend should hang his head in shame.

  7. Ad on

    You can’t blame the ref or one forward pass if you miss 30 tackles! Disappointing end but hopefully lessons will be learnt and congrats to Fiji for the win and some outrageous rugby.

    The backline were just awful today. Grigg looked a handful on his first cap but everyone else were well below par. It is the kind of game we could have done with Laidlaw to bring in a bit of control.

    A bit of arrogance going into it maybe? There were a lot of points turned down in the first half when we kicked to the corner. Maybe it would have been better building a lead before going for glory with tries. Barklay seemed pretty annoyed at the end and hinted that they didn’t stick to there game plan.

    • CAVOK on

      Barclay has no right to blame anyone but himself. He was meant to be the leader on the field. And in that he failed spectacularly.

      • Ad on

        Not sure he was blaming anyone – he was just disappointed he and his team didn’t play they way they had planned

      • Occhiali on

        And perhaps he shouldn’t have played anyway. According to Tom English over on the Beeb, he had to be rolled out of his bed that morning because he’d suffered a back spasm and was doubtful up to the last minute. He certainly didn’t look at his best.

        I think, all in all, this was just one match too many. But summer beckons and a new season…

    • Occhiali on

      Yes, I also thought they should have kicked the points. The particularly bad failure to score was when Horne, being a bit greedy perhaps, was running (crabbing actually) along the try line looking for a gap and instead of cutting in straight to score or recycle, passed the ball to Swinson. Fiji’s defenders ran the same trajectory as the ball and thumped Swinson. Poor play from Horne and no points.

      On the other hand, they could’ve just kicked the penalty they had.

      • Referendum on

        We should have kicked points more at times but when we got back into it at 17-14 down and camped on their try line i felt going for points there would prove crucial. It did we lost momentum and possible yellow card to Fiji. We lost territory and control and the chance to lead again by a couple of points. With the pattern of the game so far you could see with the restart it was almost a guarantee to be losing three points or worse a try. And we did that. Either we need to know how to stop restarts being so bad or play smart. We didn’t play smart so often.

  8. john martin on

    Isn’t this simply part & parcel of watching Scotland?

    Lack of depth @ 10 Scotland’s biggest obstacle, magnifies the fact – Finn Russell utterly crucial

  9. Busy Little Bee on

    Partly holiday mode, partly fielding 3rd or even 4rd choice in a couple of positions. In Hindsight picking the wee backs was an error though Grigg did OK, I feel for Hoyland who hasn’t done much wrong before today.

    If Henry Pyrgos is the 3rd best option at 9 then I’m Mickey Mouse. I was close to tears when I saw he was starting and he didn’t disappoint. First 10 minutes he box kicks out on the full under no pressure, couple of daisycutter passes then takes a tap penalty in from of the posts just outside the 22 with the score at 0-0, and he gets nowhere. I’ve watched Scottish club matches recently and I’d pick most of the 9s in those matches ahead of Pyrgos in a heartbeat. George Horne and Hugh Fraser definitely.

      • Occhiali on

        I reckon he may have screamed his way out of the team. If Laidlaw is reckoned to be slow, Pyrgos was glacial! More than a few occasions when he waited and waited and waited to pass out of the ruck and did so only when Fiji’s defence was all lined up. The key to beating Fiji today was quick recycling of the ball…and whatever happened to Toony’s fast offloading game????

    • Ade on

      You really found yourself close to tears at the selection of a certain player? Perhaps you are very much attuned to your emotions, but this would suggest to me you are investing too much in something that is only a game.

    • Greengumbo on

      Finlay Christie looked lively for the Chiefs vs Lions the other week at SH. Would like to see him as back up for Price / Laidlaw if he can sign up over here.

  10. Robert Murray on

    Very poor today. Couldn’t stop Fiji off loading in the tackle. If they went low a lot of time they were bounced off, needed to double tackle hi-low. Backs were pretty poor, couldn’t cope with the physicality.

    Still a recent tour! Good time to be a hooker with the amount of tries they have scored.

    • TeamCam on

      To be fair, it was an experimental backline with some players who were far from first-choice, Toonie’s only been in charge for three games and Fiji wanted it more. It’s not the end of the world. If this is still happening next year, that’s when we should be concerned.

  11. Jamie on

    Why go with two opensides, we can’t match the best (most physical teams) teams playing this way? Bradbury should have played for his bulk. Looking forward to seeing Denton back for his go forward ball. Wilson should be retired from the squad, he offers nothing going forward, too small for 7 or 8, not dynamic enough for 7.

    Backrow should be Straus, Watson or Barclay and Denton with Bradbury on bench.

    • GTC-Ian on

      “Wilson should be retired from the squad, he offers nothing going forward” – Really ? He would be one of my first names on the team sheet

      • Ross on

        Whatever your opinion of how good Wilson is at his best, he clearly does not produce that on a regular basis, and this liable to lose his head a bit and just give away pens. Those reasons alone are enough to argue that he shouldn’t be a starter.

        He is also more of a jack-of-all trades than a specialist. Worse at the breakdown than Barclay/Watson/Hardie/Dunbar/Brown, worse at carrying than Watson & Strauss, worse tackler than Hardie, Watson or a Gray…

        We’ve said a lot about our depth in back row meaning we can go down the ‘horses for courses’ route, so I think there is room for Wilson, when he’s going well. But I think few would agree that he’s first choice for any one of the back-row positions, let alone first name on the teamsheet…

  12. DesT on

    The way I see it was that it’s a wake up call at the right time.

    We were playing a 2nd (or even 3rd) choice in key areas of half backs and full back.

    We were a tad lucky to get the result against the Wallabies last week, but have a tremendous amount of pontential.

    Pyrgos should’ve been hooked at half time and Barclay should’ve gripped his team and steadied the ship.

    It’s done, we’ll learn from it and move on.

    • Frozen North on

      This!

      Scotland have a good couple of years to get the depth of players with a solid grounding…this match performance is very useful to GT.
      I believe it will give him all the necessary ammunition to manage the team development and selections in the near future.

      Therefore, this performance really could (should) be looked upon as a major boost to Scotland’s revival and continued spring. I believe Scotland will develop more because of this than had they edged a win.

      • Wilsy on

        I agree with this. I think this defeat could actually prove more beneficial than if we ran in a comfortable win. An easy win and everyone would be thinking we are great and there are few issues. I think its already been mentioned but the fact we were winning but still seeing things that could be worked on just shows how far we have come and hopefully how far we can go.
        I would also say it was far more important to win against (a) Italy to keep that form against them going (hopefully gives us a psychological advantage going forward) and (b) Aus to get the duck off our backs after previous close encounters – also prove we can beat proper teams away. If you offered me 2 wins out of 3 I would have bitten your hand off to have it that way round.

  13. Argyle on

    Scotland needs to groom more players in the shape of former internationalists White and Hines if we are to seriously physically compete with the big boys. I am looking forward to the return of Denton and the development of young Bradbury. Some of our players were exposed by the power of the Fijians. Finn Russell was missed!

  14. Jock in Paddyland on

    I actually watched the live stream this morning, which was absolutely awful, so it’s maybe hard to say just how bad/good the team played. I have to say though that Scotland came over as stutteringly bad as the video quality.

    I fear we got a bit carried away after the Australia match and started to believe the bit about strength in depth. There were players in the Scotland team who wouldn’t get near an England or Ireland team (though on the other hand if they were Welsh, they could be straight into the Lions squad ;-). Selecting Jackson, the 3rd choice FH at Harlequins, who hadn’t played since March, is an example of how the strength in depth is lacking. As others have noted, there is a real lack of options at 10/15 once Finn and Hoggy are missing. Laidlaw was missed too!

    In fairness, the result was still close and Scotland managed to score 3 tries, it’s just that with better handling and execution the score could have been so much more. They might also have won by taking penalty points rather than kicking to the corner every time.

    Scotland have made progress no doubt, but this was certainly a reality check.

    • RuggersB on

      The fact that Laidlaw was missed says it all.

      Must surely have showed Toonie that for some players that’s their last international test match.

      I wouldn’t pick Jackson and Pyrgos again. They have had chances at this level and looked at best average in some moments…but mainly utterly awful…not just in this match…any time I watch them. There are good young players coming through who could be be groomed rather than continually playing poor players who have had their chances …just because they have ‘experience’. Honestly don’t even understand how Pyrgos got a contract for Glasgow never mind gets selected for Internationals.

      • TeamCam on

        The thing is, Pyrgos has delivered some great performances for Glasgow, but this year he’s largely been a poor man’s Laidlaw. I hope GT learned a lot from it.

      • DesT on

        The passing of Pyrgos was good in terms of distance and speed, but that was it. Shocking game management again.

        Jackson hasn’t played since March, it was too much to expect him to play at this level. I still believe he has the ability to deputise for FH/FB, but he needs games.

  15. Old_Whistler on

    Why just 2 backs on bench? Could have done with Scott for some creativity. And it meant Price could only come on near the end in case of injury to a back.

  16. CSC on

    Perhaps some of the U20s are going to get rapid promotion to the senior ranks? Not a bad plan given that some of the current squad are not up to the job.

  17. TheSmidge on

    A terrible, hopeless, directionless, error-strewn, presumptuous, headline-believing, squad-depth-test-failing kick in the pants that we needed.

    We can cite some bizarre refereeing and a dodgy winning try, but that was awful. No one else to blame but ourselves. If we’d played even half as good as we did last week, we’d have won. The anticipation and razor sharp tactics from Sydney were left on Coogee beach.

    Player-wise, Jackson and Pyrgos were found wanting. Again. Shouldn’t be in a squad ever again. Even though we are desperately short of cover at 10/15, the oncoming Kinghorn and Hastings should be the next in line, while Horne Jr and SHC are better long term options at SH.

  18. Allan on

    I noted the backs were repeatedly guilty of going thru with set moves regardless of what was in front of them. They also passed far too early in these moves or failed to react to how Fiji were set up to defend meaning they either failed to draw any tacklers to create space or got smashed. Horne as the starting ten has to bear responsibility for that to a great extend but all the backs were guilty of playing brainless rugby. The attitude was summed up for me in Visser running out of play at the end when any player with a brain would have known to come infield. I don’t foresee any of those backs starting if we have a fit squad. Even Taylor was poor today in his brief time on the pitch

  19. RuggersB on

    ….and Pete Horne is most certainly not adequate at 10 as a back up. He is a 5th or 6th choice centre.

  20. Mike on

    Tooney will hopefully have learned a hard lesson about International rugby this morning. 12 changes from a winning effort last week is just too much. Pick your strongest team and maybe make 2 or 3 or 4 changes at most. Worries me that he has brought his rotational tinkering thinking from his time at the Warriors (who I support). We just don’t have the international strength of depth. Shambles all round from what I saw. Strangers playing together for the first time, because they were. Showed a bit of a lack of respect to Fiji as well.

    • Bulldog on

      The rotational thing worked against Australia, we were all sceptical about the selection BTW the rotation at Glasgow is related to the SRU player safety protocol. So he is used to making do with what he has left.

      It was the last game in a long season. Three tests week on week, a lot of Fatigue and complacency.

      They let themselves down. Very , very disapointing.

  21. john martin on

    Maybe this defeat will have shown GT / SRU more than a victory, lack of depth/quality is apparent, especially @ 15 & 10.

    Edinburgh (with the not good enough Weir & NSQ Tovey) are a particular obstacle pertaining to the lack of depth @ 10.

    However on a positive note Scotland have played some exhilarating rugby & 5 wins in a calendar year is a tremendous return….

  22. Referendum on

    Yeah before Fiji I was thinking we win this one then we’re guaranteed to have a positive win/loss calendar year like last year again. This match felt very like when we played United States and was it Canada when Vern came in? We won those two matches but we tried to throw them away at the time. It was only some luck and some really slick controlled play that edged it. We didn’t deserve either wins. Just like against Fiji we wouldn’t have deserved it and but for Vissers annoying habit of making the break and not recycling quickly but running into touch (Happens far too often) we could have snatched it undeservely.

    But Barclays column was very honest and so I think it’s something could be a good thing in the long term. Losing Nel and Dickinson has proved crucial to depth we have that we never would have had. Laidlaws injury has now given us options to give experience which was really needed but we do now see merit in having Laidlaw at least available. We miss Hogg but it isn’t the absolute disaster we thought. Russell is maybe the only person now we really can’t afford to lose. But again we see his merits and what he does for the team when he’s absent.

    Barclay said some good stuff and as others have said you can’t miss 30 tackles and expect to win a match. To be within a score is actually incredible. But the ball carrier was lined up and smashed too many times was that Horned fault? And I’ve never seen Scotland nor any international side give up ground around or through the ruck like we did. We just couldn’t contain there power. Yet I’m not sure who would? It was incredible to watch. What should we have done to stop them charge through us often from a standing start?

    This is where I felt the ref helped them. He seemed to not allow much time to contest for ball before shouting stop and he would allow them to slow the ball down on the ground. Those half on their feet were penalised but those clearly on the ground allowed to get away with it. we shoukd probably have adapted our game but this was an issue in the England game with this ref too. We must learn how to play to his interpretation or we’ll lose every time with him in the middle.

  23. JohnMc on

    Don’t think I will bother tracking down a YouTube recording of this match – sounds like a video nasty for any Scot.
    A disappointing end to the tour, and a reminder about lack of depth in some key areas. I’m afraid I was one of those who thought we’d win this fairly comfortably even with yet more changes, which were tbf voluntary rather than forced by injury.
    Still, nothing can erase the memory of the epic win in Sydney, one of our finest ever performances.
    Toonie and his team will have learned a great deal about the squad on this tour, and I’m already looking forward to the AIs.

  24. Raul on

    Well a really awful match! I think Toonie went for a experimental side and to check who’s in and out of the team in case we have all of them available, and for sure he got some answers after that! Pyrgos and Horne didnt work at international level and as they said they didnt play with the gameplan they had! but just remember that in 1998 was a lot worse against Fiji and next year was our last 5 nations title

  25. Frazer on

    I feel a bit for Horne. I think he’s a very good player but he’s better suited at centre and we have amazing depth there. If he’d been around 10 years ago he’d have a load of caps to his name, as it is he will always be on the fringes and covering injuries.

    I also think he’ll come to be jealous of his younger brother in time.

    Overall I think it’s been a positive tour – Toolis really showed up, Nel and Taylor look back close to their best, we have good depth in certain areas, and Ford is scoring tries for fun! However, we are desperate for someone like Hastings or Eastgate to come through to support Finn, and we need a bit more depth on the wing and at fullback, i’ll be looking for Kinghorn, Nairn, and Graham to develop a bit more this coming season.

  26. Mikelinds on

    Mostly I agree Frazier, whilst we may guddle through at 15, there has to be a serious development plan for 10. Russell is top drawer, after that we are threadbare. Hastings is now at Glasgow, so hopefully that will advance him. Eastgate needs better from Wasps than to be loaned to Hinckley in England N2N (or S), probably the best for him last season, but now needs to step up. LS in the Championship under the eye of Phil Sharpe must be an option. Can’t see him getting much, if any, game time for Wasps, so another loan would look to be the order of the day. If not LS, then at least Championship level.

    I expect Toonie has his eye on stuff like this.

    • KAC on

      Personally I would say that the best 10 I’ve seen at u20 in the last couple of years was Hutchison. Has more pace than Hastings or Eastgate. Obviously seen as a centre at Northampton at the moment but not clear if that’s where they or he himself see his long term future. At least there is more than one potential candidate (Henderson as well) – another sign our strength in depth is improving.

  27. Bulldog on

    Credit where credit is due, Fiji won, no fluke, they deserved the win. Leone Nakarawa is a remarkable player who can inspire great things. He played his part in Glasgow’s success which has raised the standards and reputation of Scottish rugby. With regret, yesterday was his day.

  28. john martin on

    A guy I like & if he can retain form/fitness he may very well force his way into the AI reckoning is Cornell Du Preez, before his injury he looked the complete package formidable ball carrying & lovely soft hands.

    Busy Little Bee – June 24th, 2017 – 6:43am – close to tears when Pygros was selected – BEHAVE YERSELF

    • RuggersB on

      Was surprised Du Preez wasn’t selected to tour. Why take a Harley, who everyone knows what he can and cannot do….and not take Du Preez who clearly has more power and natural technical ability but needs direction to be the player he can be. Du Preez is IMO our best hope for No8. Bradbury looks more of 6 than an 8 to me. Denton is far too one dimensional. Strauss decent 8 but not really a long term solution.

  29. Not rocket science on

    If Russell and Hogg are, currently, our five-star world class backs. If you should always have a world class player at 10. If you don’t lose much by playing Maitland, Taylor or Huw Jones at 15 instead of Hogg. Plan A: Price Russell Taylor Jones Seymour Maitland Hogg. Plan B (if is Russell injured): Price Hogg Taylor Jones Seymour Visser Maitland. Plan C (cheers eddie jones): Price Hogg Russell Jones Seymour Taylor Maitland. Plan D (just for practice): Price Hogg Taylor Jones Seymour Maitland Russell. Does Hogg have the skill-set to operate at 10 internationally? Did anyone watch him there in age grade rugby? He looked pretty good against Treviso. GT: “Stuart has covered at 10 a number of times this season and ran in the position a lot at training. He has all the attributes to play well there and we’re looking forward to seeing him getting even more touches of the ball this weekend.” … “The 10 and 15 are so linked these days. Tens drop to back-field quite a lot and you see 15s coming up to become first receiver all the time. With them getting so much of the ball now, Stuart’s passing skills and decision-making he utilises at 15 can easily be translated to 10.” …Gather Pyrgos / Jackson didn’t have a great games! :)

  30. Millboy on

    Just shows how much we miss Dunbar in his defence and getting over the gain line imo he is the main centre for Scotland with an other

  31. john martin on

    Millboy I agree, Dunbar adds much added beef to the backline, add to this his ability to turn the ball over/win penalties & underrated skills makes it Dunbar & Jones for me.

  32. Thankful on

    Bula, frankly we here in the Pacific a grateful to the Scots and Welsh rugby union for sending their teams down here to the Pacific, whether it be 3rd rate or 4th rate we don’t care. The Poms care too much about the money and New Zealand can’t take risks losing their players to injury and South Africa is just being South Africa. All we want is to watch tier one nations come down here and play here that is all. It not only gives us a chance to witness a tier one nation in action and help develop rugby in the Pacific but also gives you guys a chance to blood your newbies in friendly games that does not affect the rankings.

    For the game, Townsend should not have risked that 4th rank to blood new players.

    And regarding the TMO. We do have a giant screen, but whoever was in-charge of tech was probably lazy to set it up. Lastly I thought it was the Welsh/Pom team on tour in New Zealand instead of the BIL team.

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