Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Podcast: Series 4 Episode 5 – Peak Wilson


Cammy is joined by Rory and Al to look back over Scotland’s win over England in the Calcutta Cup. Such was the gloriousness of the win that the guys waxed lyrical about it for well over an hour and so we didn’t talk about anything else… and with a win that good why not?

We go through the team man by man and cover the big talking points as well as some of the searing hot takes from south of the border both before and after the match. We also petition the SRU to release a collector’s edition DVD of the game with some very specific extras.

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The Scottish Rugby Podcast brings you the best in informal chat and discussion about Scottish Rugby. Each week during the season we put out a 40 minute podcast suitable for all listeners, covering all the latest news and key analysis of the big matches. 

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84 Responses

  1. Great first half of the podcast that I have listened to. I especially enjoyed the montage at the start. Interesting comments regarding Farrell’s targeting Russell. You can see in the overhead footage that just after ‘the pass of the century’ he drags Finn back by the collar. Finn has a word with him by the look of it. Similar to Farrell’s ‘afters’ on Finn after the ‘grubber of the century’…

  2. Good podcast.

    Have to say I was also disappointed by Eddie Jones’ graciousness in defeat – although it has raised my (extremely low)opinion of him a couple of notches. He was even being mostly complimentary about Scotland prior to the game as well.

    Can I put my name down for a Shirtless Laidlaw t-shirt? Will be really disappointed if someone doesn’t make a large banner with it on to take to the Ireland game…..

    Completely agree it’s refreshing in this day to see professional rugby players being human and also being allowed to enjoy themselves – can you even call yourself a rugby player if you haven’t been shirtless with a tie around your head singing badly?

  3. Oh my god, the audio quality is so much better! Thank you for sorting that out. Much easier to listen to.

  4. Best podcast I’ve heard on here since the start (& I’ve listened to them all). Quality player & match review (with good audio as well). Well done guys, keep up the standard.

  5. Thanks for all the great feedback guys. We put a lot of work into improving the audio and seems we may have hit on a solution finally. Feel free to spread the word!

  6. Brilliant match, and excellent podcast – good to hear realistic player ratings. The Guardian’s ratings were a joke, and there was no opportunity to comment on them there. Funny how they only allow comments on some articles!

  7. Speaking of Peak Wilson, I think his assist in our third try has been overlooked. His exchange with Hughes came immediately before it. No doubt Hughes was distracted from covering the area that Jones broke through by thoughts of lamping Wilson at the next ruck.

  8. Have you signed the contract with Mattel for the Drunk Greeg Action Figures yet? Will they be life-sized? I’m going to buy 2 – got to keep one in the box in mint condition….

  9. I did find the shirtless Laidlaw funny, and I don’t begrudge the players their celebrations after a really hard-fought and well-earned victory, but you would never see Andy Murray behaving like that. His focus is being the best in the world, not just winning the odd game (or even tournament).

    1. John Barclay’s column on BBC today says exactly that. He’s done with the Calcutta Cup and moved on. He’s not even sure he’ll watch it back apart from the bits he has to watch in review.

    2. I’m glad the guys had a blow out after the game. It helps with the team spirit. I can understand people saying these are professional sportsmen and should be looking after themselves. However, I believe this team is probably the fittest ever Scottish Rugby team. Certainly if you believe the Glasgow training stats then those boys are one of the fittest rugby teams in the world so even if they are playing hard they are still working hard.

  10. We need a shirtless Mark Dodson to defend Ryan Wilson at the hearing. Wilson’s offense will seem tame by comparison.

    Or am I wrong?

  11. I’m appalled to learn of the abuse Eddie Jones received on his journey back down to England. Those people that did that have brought shame on Scottish rugby at a time we should have been revelling in our fantastic victory. Well done to those that intervened that is the proper behaviour of rugby fans.

  12. There is recorded footage of the abuse Eddie took on the street just after getting a photo with a pundit…really shameful behaviour – clearly these people are not of rugby heritage/background.

    1. That comment really annoys me – rugby has always had people like this – the arrogance of some rugby fans is disgraceful.

      Did the survey on behaviour in rugby clubs done by this site not sink in to some people?

      1. Yup. The worst behaviour I have ever seen at a sports event was Scotland vs NZ at Murrayfield must be 10 years ago. Drunken posh boys pissed out their faces playing rugby in the concourse and abusing anyone that told them to pack it in after they’d nearly rugby tackled them over the barrier.

  13. Finally got through the interruptions to get to the end of the podcast, which was excellent. Loved the ‘setting it up’ montage and the in depth review of the performances. Also have had a chance to rewatch the match both drunk and sober, following the live version (only enjoyed in parts due to the relentless dread that it would all go tits up).
    The speed, intensity and accuracy of the performance was marvelous. The breakdown has been well covered, but I think it’s worth highlighting the speed. In particular we seemed to be able to commit numbers of players to the tackle and breakdown who were in and out incredibly quickly. We double teamed England’s big carriers to great effect; tacklers then immediately getting back into the defensive line. The momentum generated was incredible and gave the impression of having a two man advantage. The fitness and dedication required are hugely impressive. Our jackalers withstood some mighty slams to hold position and win turnovers.
    Similarly, in attack the support was so rapid that the ball often had moved on before the lumps had arrived, nullifying the dreaded steamroller.
    It was largely the same game plan that has failed horrifically on previous encounters. This time it was executed to near perfection and it was a beautiful thing.
    Horne is indeed a central cog in the Toony game plan. He is an intelligent player, which is probably explained by his Fife roots. I think he is the most skilled of our inside centre options, but is also the most underrated. Perhaps a pro-weight bias due to the lack of wrecking ball-type players in the team. I would stick with the current midfield partnership until an off-the-bench appearance by one of the other candidates is sufficiently compelling to make us think again. Jones is pure test animal.
    I loved the way Scotland expressed aggression in how they played, and ignored all the off/beyond the ball stuff (take note Farrell, Itoje, Lawes).
    Grigg – nuggety joie de vivre. Brilliant cameo!

    1. Totally agree with all your points Matto. I have to laugh Year on Year when I hear people talking down Pete Horne, too wee, cannae tackle etc all myth, fantastic player and tackles like a headcase. Also enjoyed wee Nick’s brief appearance, reckon he played himself into a longer one next time.

      1. Horne has been excellent agreed. Never been a huge fan of him but he’s been one of our best players recently. Actually think more game time at 10 this season for Glasgow is helping his game at 12 for Scotland. He’s reading the play a lot more like a second fly half.

        Still interested to see what Duncan Taylor can offer though when he’s fit since I think he’s the most rounded overall centre we’ve got.

        The options we have when everyone’s fit are ridiculous considering what we had a few years ago.

      2. Grigg had 1 carry in his ten minutes on the pitch but what a carry it was. Made about 10 meters and it took about 5 English defenders to take him down. It Gave us territory, put England under pressure and took valuable time off the clock for England to get back up the pitch

    1. Pretty sure England thought the same. Surprised the Irish are confident of battering a pack of:

      Reid, McInally, Berghan, Gilchrist, Gray, Barclay, Watson, Wilson.

      There’s not a guy who will take a backward step there and with Bhatti, Nel and Swinson on the bench with Brown possibly available the intensity will only increase. Not to mention the man with the worst hair in world rugby who is also one of the most brutal carriers outside of PI born players.

      1. The author’s memory of the closing 12 minutes at Murrayfield v Ireland last year is flawed. Seem to recall Barclay stealing a line out metres from our own line, and from then until the end we battered Ireland back into their own half and earned kickable penalties from that pressure.

        I’m pretty sure the Ireland coaching team and squad won’t be as complacent as Francis in their prep for 10 March.

    2. Goodness me, what a load of patronising crud. Beating them last year was sweet. Beating them this year will be even better.

      1. He has got some things right, England won the 2nd half last week and we never nailed the try bonus. What a kick in the guts, we give Ireland a help out and he just talks over the good things.

        What a blow hard, he is overlooking the fact he has yet to play England. I think he got Dougal from Father Ted to pen his column.

        We need to be eyeing up his over confidence and keeping our powder dry.If that is how the whole of the island are thinking we are in clover.

        Only a fool would dismiss Scotland who despite his self assured tactical predictions will have a few surprises worked out.

        The man is far too fond of his own voice, to be sure.

    3. Francis is a buffoon who seems to have a bee in his bonnet about the Scots. I’m not entirely sure why; maybe he’s never got over being pumped on a yearly basis in the 5N when Ireland were a laughing stock. He was one of the many journos who had major egg-on-face last year after we pooped their Slam party before it even began. Fingers crossed we do it again in 8 days time…

    4. He’s got one thing right. Like at BTM last year probably our best chance of success is by going wide and around Ireland if they play narrow. Probably need to encourage them to play narrow though before we go wide.

  14. Horne has realised that this is probaly his best chance to cement a starting spot with the current injuries and has grabbed it with both hands, He is carrying well into contact which is somthing new he has brought to his game at the international level.
    No longer is he being viewed as a utility bench player.

  15. Right, I’ve been thinking, and hopefully this won’t come across as a bit too presumptuous. Think of it more as dreaming of the possibilities.

    …If Ireland beat us, the championship is as good as theirs. England would need a BP win against them, with no losing BP, and to overturn the points difference deficit, in order to win the championship.

    …If we beat Ireland, then everything is to play for in the final week.

    …But we need two BP wins, with no losing BP for the Irish.

    …And for England to win against Ireland, without a BP. Having not had a BP win against France.

    …For us to win the championship. We cannot overturn the points differential, so this can only be won on BPs.

    In summary:

    2 x BP wins for Scotland


    An England win with no BP, or a draw, against Ireland


    Scotland, 6 Nations champions.

    Have I missed anything?

    1. What if we beat Ireland with no Bp for Ireland.france beat England.we beat Italy and England beat Ireland.think that would make us champions

      1. Yes, if France beat England and we win our two remaining games, and England beat Ireland, then we still win the Championship. I guess my point is we might not need to rely on France beating England, assuming we’re the only ones who get BPs in the last two rounds.

        Being thoroughly Scottish, I have to assume that the perfect set of results are unlikely to happen!

    2. I think an away win against Ireland would be lovely, with or without bonus points.
      Beating England threw a ten year monkey off our backs. Winning away in Dublin would get rid of another away game monkey. Not saying we will win there, but that we are capable of winning there.
      For me this is not actually about this year’s year’s 6N but about the build towards RWC 19 via summer tour 18 and 6N 19.
      Of course it would be great if we were to win or even end up top half of the 18 6N table.
      But I’m convinced Toonie and co are focused on a build to the point in 19 where we can take on and beat, in knockout games, the Irelands, Wallabies, New Zealands and South Africans.

      1. Ireland.

        They are the team by which our next 5.5 years will be judged…i.e. to WC 23

        Beat them in the WC 19 pool and we are well set to challenge for a semi…

        Beat them more often than not in the 6N 19, 20, 21 and we can overcome their ranking and potentially be top 4 seed for WC 23.

      2. We have done chuff all in the 6N for 20 years. I couldn’t give a stuff about the World Cup – I want a 6N championship (grand slam would be even nicer).

        This increasingly looks like a special generation of players we have. If we don’t win a 6N in the next 4-5 years they will have failed to live up to that potential.

  16. I am no expert on the world rankings, but apparently Scotland could be No 2, if they have a comfortable win against Ireland, and France beat England. Can any of the number crunchers out there comment on that?

  17. Hi CSC. I believe if France and Scotland both win by 16 or more Scotland would be 2nd in the rankings.

      1. Ireland haven’t lost a 6N game in dublin since they were beaten 12-6 by England in 2013. Any kind of win would be bloody marvellous.

      1. That’s great – I hope it will bring a lot more fans to this site :)

        BTW I mean’t no arrogance in my earlier statement about Eddie Jones being mistreated – I apologise if I had caused offence.

  18. Off stream but…. Two players clash and both go off for HIA. One is penalised and yellow carded. At what point does the yc clock start?
    ( see Gloucester / Newcastle ).

    1. Presumably straight away, but the yc’d player doesn’t have a replacement come on, while the other one does?

    1. That’s fantastic. I’d parachute him straight into the 23 next week, along with Brown and Dunbar who are also back fit.

      Brown Bhatti Nel Gray Dentweezy Price Dunbar Kinghorn* is a seriously impressive bench; possibly the best we’ve fielded in the pro era.

      * – I’m going under the assumption that, if Seymour is out, Townsend will opt for the experience of Visser over an out of position neophyte in Kinghorn. Bit too much of a pressure cooker game vs quality opposition for that. I really hope Kinghorn sees substantial gametime vs Italy however.

      1. Yeah I wouldn’t be surprised. He doesn’t seem that keen on Visser. It’s fair enough as we all know his weaknesses, but he is a quality finisher.

        That said, if Toonie thinks Kinghorn is ready then great. He looks like our greatest talent since Hogg, so I’m excited to see how he does.

      2. I do not agree Doddie. Huw Jones IMO is the greatest talent since Hogg , in fact I think he is our best player we just do not want to say it.

        I am not being a pedant. I see too much dependance on Hogg who being quite honest is vulnerable in defence (though he is improving) . His very presence sends the opposition into a quandry and that alone makes him unique.

        Which takes me back to Visser, fantastic finisher vulnerable in defence, basically no team is able to carry a wing and a last line in defence who have tackle vulnerability. First name in the sheet is Hogg, so who do we play around him !

        Maitland is a solid defender and cover FB hence his selection. What is my point ? teams need balance.

        He will play Kinghorn as he is in the squad. Gregor does not turn back and Visser is called up for cover as he is out of credible cover and he will be spitting feathers at having to do that. The AI exclusion was a big statement with respect to Visser and personally , I think is crazy, but this team needs balance so I get the fact Visser might be the compromise however something feels wrong as Kinghorn is untested and this is not the best game to take risks.

  19. Have we got another 12 kicking around because I’d really love to see Pete Horne and Finn Russell battling it out for the 10 spot, the way I see it is that Finn needs competition (he looks arrogant) mainly because no one is challenging him for his spot, people keep saying that Adam Hastings isn’t ready (personally I’d disagree and give him a bench spot but as a Glasgow fan we need him more right now) so Horne is the obvious choice here.

    Fly Half :

    Finn Russell
    Pete Horne (Cover 12)

    Inside Centre :

    Matt Scott
    Alex Dunbar (Cover 13)


    Stuart Hogg
    Blair Kinghorn (Cover 10)

    1. That would be counter productive I think…with Horne, Finneus Maximus is not as exposed to overplaying things and can release to another playmaker if some move or other doesn’t work out. Put, say, Dunbar or Scott there and options are more limited.

      1. I’m going to put it out there and say that Pete Horne is our best 12 and should stay there. I really can’t remember him letting us down from 12 for a long time. People tout his defence as a supposed weakness but I think he punches above his weight and brings so much more to our side with his creativity. I also think Russell plays better with Horne at 12.

        Dunbar is a top class player and I rate him very highly but I wouldn’t be starting him ahead of Horne until he’s proved he’s fully fit and on top form. Something that incidentally despite some good performances I don’t think we’ve really seen for some time and I think he could do with a chance to get back there before put back in.

        Scott is capable of being the best option of the three though if he finds his best form and stays at 12 for Edinburgh. He’s as big and strong as Dunbar though isn’t the defensive linchpin and breakdown presence but he has a creative side to his game as befitting a former stand off.

        Oh and there’s Duncan Taylor…

  20. Good post Scrummo,

    I’m an advocate of Dunbar @ 12 – he adds beef & creates turnover balls with his sterling work at the breakdown. However fitness is becoming a real issue.

    Horne never lets anyone down.

    How do people think Mark Bennett could do alongside Huw Jones as our equivalent of the BOD / D’Arcy partnership??

  21. Why do we have to have an Inside and Outside centre, why can’t we have a left centre and a right centre, that way we could fit both Bennett and Jones into the team.

    1. I’d say Bennett is too slight to be anything other than a 13. And to be honest, on the evidence from the debacle in Cardiff, Im not sure Jones is suited to 12 either. Of course that is scant information, but the point remains he is undoubtedly a superstar at 13; let’s just keep him there.

      12 Super Dunc 13 Super Huw is a combo Id love to see

  22. My team for Ireland.

    1. Reid
    2. Mcinally
    3. Berghan
    4. Gilchrist
    5. J.Gray
    6. Barclay
    7. Watson
    8. Wilson
    9. Laidlaw
    10. Russell
    11. Visser
    12. Dunbar
    13. Jones
    14. Maitland
    15. Hogg
    16. Brown
    17. Bhatti
    18. Nel
    19. R.Gray
    20. Denton
    21. Price
    22. Horne
    23. Kinghorn

    Only difficult desicion was Dunbar starting over horne, but Bundee Aki is playing and i believe Dunbar is one of the few who can contain him well.
    Against a different team i would be starting Horne.

    Visser – Is his defense really that bad? , i think he has improved it alot in the past year and his workrate has increased. The guy is also arguably the best attacking player in the scotland team.

    I dont want to be starting Kinghorn in this game, Sexton and Murray can Expose him badly is my worry.

    Very nice bench assuming Brown and R.Gray are fit.

  23. I just re watched the first 30 mins of last year’s Ireland match. How did we win that match? Scrum penalty after scrum penalty. 5 m line out after 5 m line out. Penalties galore and a warning of a yellow card after the third scrum penalty at third scrum.

    And we were 21-5 up after 30 minutes.

    Looking back at that how far has this team come? We lost bad in Wales and score clearly showing Welsh dominance but I’d argue against Ireland we were all over the place and should have been well down by the time we approached half-time.

    It was a perfect storm of a few things going in our favour.

    1. Ireland making basic errors getting us off the hook at just the right time. Ireland gave us gifts of Bad line outs, loose at ruck time and changing lane when charging over our try line at 0-0. And yes some decent scramble defence.
    2. 3 chances of a try and we take them all. Great kicking to build the score.
    3. Managing to let Ireland score the try (more accident than design) when we were clearly going to get yellow carded had they not at least twice.
    4. Somehow getting the scrum in order. Brown taking a bang to nose to get Ford on probably helped that. Reid coming on prob helped eventually. Would Dell see a place in team now it did seem to be him at fault in scrum? It was against Furlong tbf.
    5. Bloody mindedness and great mental strength and will to win and cool heads to take it home in last ten mins.

    Overall that was a steal to end all steals of a game. Look at that in contrast to the England game. We deserved that and dominated. Our scrum is much firmer now not exactly sure why? Maybe getting a front row that is solid in scrum first rather than ability in loose?

    But we need to feel more hopeful with the way the team is going. Ireland in Ireland is the ultimate right now but we shouldn’t be as light in the scrum nor maul. Another major improvement. How the breakdown is reffed is crucial.

    And Visser was nowhere in 1st two matches but injury got him in and he took his chance.

    1. Visser comment in relation to last year. He wasn’t in team for Ireland or France but took his chance against Wales in third match. It really was an outstanding display from the big man.

  24. SRU squad update:

    Visser injures. Taylor still not part of squad.

    Dunbar, Gray, Brown, Fagerson all fit.

    G Horne added to squad (now 40 strong)!

    1. Wondered why Visser wasn’t in. I fear putting Harris and McGuigan in against Ireland. They surely won’t make the 23. I think they were a huge reason we struggled against Wales.

      1. With Dunbar, Scott and Bennett in the squad then I can’t see Harris being near the match day 23. Any news on Seymour’s fitness? Surprising that some haven’t been released – if Horne called up why keep Pyrgos with the squad? Interesting to see Hardie back – his physicality wouldn’t be a bad thing from the bench for this game.

      2. Can’t see the 23 changing much from that which beat England.
        Good to see John Hardie and Magnus Bradbury return too – if only to keep Watson & Wilson on their toes.
        Looks like George Horne is in for Nathan Fowles. Good Call IMO.
        Wonder why Taylor is shunned. Surely he’s better than Harris? And arguably a better bet on the wing than Jones or McGuigan.
        In Toonie We Trust. ;)

      3. The exclusion of Visser is unexplained or rather the explanation provided was not accurate.

      4. Isn’t Taylor still out with a head injury? He’s not played for Sarries for a while.

    2. Looks like Strauss is out as well. He’s gone as quickly as he had returned. Has he been injured playing for Sale? I guess with Wilson avoiding a ban (sensibly) maybe we feel we don’t need so much No8 cover to hand…?

      1. Merlot, I am not sure the last time Taylor played – but he’d be nowhere near up to speed.

    3. Some big calls for Toonie with the returning players. Does he stick with players that did well against England or does he roll out the tombola, especially for the front five. My guess would be that he goes with a similar starting line up but the bench could be very different. Dunbar or Horne to start at 12? Will Horne junior make the bench ahead of Price?

  25. In tootie we trust ? Speak for yourself. He got it catastophically wrong against Wales in selection and preparation. I would say on In Toonie we depend. Not sure I trust just yet.

  26. Cammy and co, really good podcast and I enjoyed it. Loved the opening soundbites. To be fair to Martin Johnson, his reply to Inverdale’s comments about RFU top brass pre-match confidence was serious and balanced.

    Watched the Test for the first time last night and was expecting, from some reports I’d read, to see a clinging on, backs to the wall type second half performance from Scotland. Apart from a couple of scares it was, relatively, more comfortable a win than I’d prepared myself for. If a couple of bounces had gone our way and a couple of passes had not gone astray, we could have got at least one more try. Not complaining here by any stretch.

    I’m glad Wayne Barnes is reffing in Dublin. I rate him highly and he doesn’t ref to the home crowd or to whingeing players. He and Barclay seemed to have a good captain to ref understanding in Sydney in June and I hope that carries into Saturday.

    One final point I noticed was that at least for the first hour, possibly because of how the rucks and mauls were going for us, there were seriously determined efforts to charge down England box and clearance kicks from their scrum-half. A tactic Edinburgh employed to excellent effect the other week against Ulster. Without wishing to revive ‘Standing Leg Gate’ it would be good to see Murray under similar pressure on Saturday.

      1. Ha, yes, forgot about this, let’s get back to targeting the standing leg (Wilson flies in in first 5?).

        Wonder what GT’s approach in the media will be this week – he had blinder against England criticizing them for being offside…

    1. I have a couple of concerns about Barnes – he’s clueless at scrum time and tends to ruin teams that compete at the breakdown.

      Ireland are probably in the same boat as us at the breakdown, so I hope his pedantry doesn’t slow the match down too much.

  27. We’ve finally got almost all of our top picks for this one with the exception of SuperDunc. Much has been made of Wales result, and rightly so but Toonie was not dealing with anything like a full deck.
    C’est la guerre, he did make some poor choices but in many ways he had little option. Wales had our number. Ireland rode their luck in Paris; zero line breaks is not an impressive statistic…
    They’re due a slip ;)

  28. Hands in the ruck nominations:

    Whiney BBC commentators during the England France game. One co-commentator who wouldnt stop going on about not being in control of the replays. One Irish co-commentator who seemed very upset with the established order of English dominance being undone.

    Also, the Scottish fandom’s newly developed habit of jumping wildly from one extreme to the other. Surely there must be a middle ground between ‘we are going to win the 6 Nations, Russell is the best fly-half in the world, Visser is an international class winger’ etc etc and ‘Huw Jones and Peter Horne are terrible – they can’t pass, Lee Jones doesn’t deserve to be in the squad’ and what not? – We have a very good team that are getting better. There is still a long way to go. Be patient, talk about what we can improve, but recognise how far we have come.

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