Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Wales v Scotland: match preview pt II – head to heads

Finn Russell
Finn Russell shouts instructions during Scotland vs Wales in the RBS Six Nations Championship at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh - pic © Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography

It’s crunch time for Scotland as head coach Gregor Townsend takes the reins for the very first time in a 6 Nations match. Ultimately, the success or otherwise in this tournament and Rugby World Cups are how his tenure will be judged – so does he have the personnel to whack the Welsh and get off to a flyer?

Tale of the tape

38   Tries   48
167   Total caps   151
59   6N caps  68
   6N debuts   2
26.5   Average age   26.4

897kg   Pack weight   895kg
277   Total caps  182
106   6N caps   71
   6N debuts   0
27.7   Average age   28.0

161   Total caps   214
57   6N caps   77
   6N debuts   2
26.1   Average age   28.6

Scotland changes from last Test (v Australia)

  • 15 – Hogg for Maitland [+]
  • 13/12 – Harris for Horne (with H. Jones moving from 13 to 12) [-]
  • 1 – Reid for Marfo [+]
  • 3 – Welsh for Berghan [=]
  • 4 – Toolis for Gilchrist [+]
  • 8 – Du Preez for Wilson [-]

15 Leigh Halfpenny
14 Josh Adams
13 Scott Williams
12 Hadleigh Parkes
11 Steff Evans
10 Rhys Patchell
9 Gareth Davies
ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland
ADV Wales
ADV Wales
ADV Scotland
15 Stuart Hogg
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Chris Harris
12 Huw Jones
11 Byron McGuigan
10 Finn Russell
9 Ali Price

1 Rob Evans
2 Ken Owens
3 Samson Lee
4 Cory Hill
5 Alun Wyn Jones
6 Aaron Shingler
7 Josh Navidi
8 Ross Moriarty

ADV Wales
ADV Wales
ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland
ADV Wales

1 Gordon Reid
2 Stuart McInally
3 Jon Welsh
4 Ben Toolis
5 Jonny Gray
6 John Barclay
7 Hamish Watson
8 Cornell Du Preez

16 Elliot Dee
17 Wyn Jones
18 Tomas Francis
19 Bradley Davies
20 Justin Tipuric
21 Aled Davies
22 Gareth Anscombe
23 Owen Watkin

ADV Wales
ADV Wales
ADV Scotland
ADV Wales
ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland

16 Scott Lawson
17 Jamie Bhatti
18 Murray McCallum
19 Grant Gilchrist
20 Ryan Wilson
21 Greig Laidlaw
22 Peter Horne
23 Sean Maitland


Backs – advantage Scotland
It’s essentially Scarlets v Glasgow in the backline. Even the outsiders have a connection – former Scarlet Josh Adams for Wales and ex-Warrior Byron McGuigan on the wing for Scotland mean Chris Harris is the only back without a direct link to either of the 2 clubs. Jonathan Davies is the big miss for the Welsh – even more so than Alex Dunbar / Duncan Taylor for the Scots.

The closest call of all is between two players who have taken to Test rugby like a duck to l’orange – Hadleigh Parkes and Huw Jones. A wee dip in club form for Jones – allied to some defensive issues and a positional switch – even things up against the 1-cap, 2-try Welsh centre.

Forwards – even
Have Scotland’s injury woes in the front row been slightly overplayed? There’s no doubt they are really stretching their depth on the bench but in the starting XV Gordon Reid was the man in possession of the loosehead slot before his own injuries; Stuart McInally has played himself into first choice at hooker no matter if everyone else is fit; and Jon Welsh is probably the equal of Scotland’s other backup tightheads in the scrum (although a wee way off top dog WP Nel).

The tight 5 certainly match their Welsh opponents for size (583kg for Scotland v 581kg for Wales) so then it comes down to technique and who can work the hardest. In the back row the visitors simply have to exploit the absence of both Sam Warburton and Taulupe Faletau – although the hosts can still field a very talented trio.

Subs – advantage Scotland
Front row aside Scotland can call some quality older heads from the bench with very little drop off from the starting selections. By contrast this is where the absence of 7 first choice players (compared to 3 for Scotland) starts to bite for Wales – if they are to maintain their intensity for 80 minutes then they will need some inexperienced players, including four 6 Nations debutants, to seize the opportunity to strut their stuff.


– There are 5 full Lions in each side’s 23. That’s down to Scotland being able to select essentially all their Lions whereas Wales are missing a substantial number from their ranks.

– Jon Welsh, Scott Lawson and Murray McCallum are all in line for first appearance under Gregor Townsend.

– If all 3 of those men make it onto the pitch that will take the total number of players used by Toony to 50 in just his 7th Test in charge – including 9 who will have made their international debuts.

– Tommy Seymour has scored in both his previous encounters with Wales. Can he make it a hat-trick to notch his 17th Test try and join (among others) Stuart Hogg and Gregor Townsend in 3rd place on Scotland’s all-time try scorers list?

117 Responses

  1. Just saw a great stat stolen from BBC that Scotland have scored 41 tries in 2017 which is 4 more than England and 24 more than Wales. That is an incredible turnaround from say even 2years ago. We would take 4years to score 24 tries in recent history.

    Doing a bit of digging I feel that we’re not as in bad a place as we might be in the front row certainly the starters. Reid and Welsh are picked not for their loose play but for the scrum. Reid is solid enough and Welsh plays for a side who are third in the premiership. That is not to be ignored. Even parity in the scrum Will be enough. I’m optimistic. Although a tight game could go either in last 20. If we get up and get a fast start can’t see anything but a comfortable win. Scotland have played the championship minutes very well recently and the last ten of matches.

  2. Come on now.. I’m all for supporting Scotland but if you think Gordy is as good as Rob Evans then you haven’t been watching any rugby over the past 12/18 months.

    I would also call Shingler / Barclay ‘Even’. I have no doubt JB is a better leader and better come ruck time but Shingler’s work in the loose has been phenomenal and is work rate on the blind-side exceptional.

    That said I still think Scotland can win. The key match-ups for this type of game are at 3, 4, 7, 10 & 15 – and I think we have the ability to be competitive in the scrum and lineout and hopefully win the breakdown – allowing us quicker ball to play with in the outside channels

    1. Actually Gordy will be up against Samson Lee- adv Wales methinks. And Jon Welsh will be up against Evans, which I think is pretty even.
      Also, you have to look at the back row as a unit, and I think Barclay/Watson/Wilson is ADV Scotland albeit by a small margin.
      So although Kevin might have got it wrong in the details, he is right in the overall summary.
      Front row – adv W
      2nd row – slight adv S
      Back row – slight adv S
      Halfbacks – adv S
      Centres – slight adv W
      Back 3 – adv S
      Subs forwards – adv W
      Subs backs – adv S
      So after all this analysis it comes down to if our forwards can achieve parity or better, and get enough ball, we will win. Which is pretty much what everyone is saying!

    2. There were some tough calls. There was no justification for advantage Wales in all 3 front row positions. Reid or Evans – I’d have Gordy as the better scrummager (witness the Glasgow scrum in Europe last season or the improvement in the Scottish scrum when he returned in the previous 6 Nations). I think people also underrate his contribution at the breakdown – the sheer volume of work he gets through. Both Leicester Tigers games last year he was the top man for hitting rucks and helping clear the ball for the glut of tries. Rob Evans clearly has an advantage as a ball player and in his all round game. They are bringing very different things to their sides but weighing everything up I thought even was a fair call.

      Blindside is also a difficult call because again it’s comparing 2 players in the same position but doing different jobs. Overall I think what JB can do can be more influential in the game than what Shingler can do.

      1. Just bumping this post. What you cannot get from stats is Gordon Reid will give his all and gets on well with Welsh. Both will be proud to pull on the Jersey one more time.

    3. Shingler and Barclay are even?
      It’s some psychiatric help you need. Barclay by a country mile.

  3. On current form you’ve got to say having the top try scorer in the Aviva Premiership is more of an advantage than having an out of form Tommy Seymour. Would also say currently McInally is a far superior hooker to Owens and that having Huw Jones in your team is far more of an advantage than Hadleigh Parkes. Finally I feel Rob Evans is a far better player than Gordon Reid and with Evans playing in the same front row as he does on a weekly basis at Scarlets you’ve got to say having Evans in your team is more of an advantage than having Gordon Reid in your side.

    My Combined XV from the teams selected

    1. Evans
    2. McInally
    3. Lee
    4. J.Gray
    5. AWJ
    6. Barclay
    7. Watson
    8. Moriarty
    9. Price ( Davies pushes him all the way )
    10. Russell
    11. Evans
    12. Williams
    13. Jones
    14. Adams
    15. Hogg

    On paper it’s close in terms of quality but with the momentum we have and our quick attacking play these days we should have enough just to get over the line.

    1. Try stats are very deceiving, especially for wingers. A lot of the time wingers just walk in after the hard work from the rest of the team. That is why Visser is not in the squad. He scores tries, sure, but lacks in other parts of the game. I haven’t seen much of Adams but I would much rather have an experienced all round player like Tommy Seymour than an untested debutant. As for Tommy’s form, he looked pretty sharp coming back from his injury against Exeter.

    2. I wouldn’t say Mcinally is a far superior hooker to Owens. Owens is a top class performer and very rarely has a bad game.

      1. I would agree he is not far superiour, you are dead right.

        McInally is on the ascendancy and at a rate of knots.

        Owens is at his peak he is exactly as you describe him.

        Now which one do I find more exciting to watch , Which one is capable of so much more than the other, which one has the momentum, who would Gatland play if he had the choice, which one is resting well tonight and which one is hoping tomorrow is not the day his opposite number hits the headlines in Sunday’s papers !

    3. Top scorer in the Aviva but it’s his international debut and it’s going to be a very different experience than playing for Worcester. I also think Tommy’s dip in form has been over done a bit. There have been some high profile errors but he’s still been in try scoring form even when struggling a wee bit and the Exeter game showed where he is right now.

      Rambo is in great form but he’s still a rookie at this level – first 6 Nations start. Owens was justifiably selected on the Lions tour. Have to admit I was tempted to call it even though! Definitely only a fine margin and McInally will keep on improving.

      On Huw Jones the positional shift isn’t ideal. There was even the opportunity for Glasgow to use him at 12 for a couple of games and they chose to go with Grigg (a player who struggles a bit with his passing). Parkes is a more natural fit at inside centre and in better form. There’s more potential for Jones but at this point he’s not quite there for me.

    4. Seymour is coming back into form as we saw in the Exeter match. Scoring tries in the Aviva doesn’t seem that difficult seeing as McGuigan is second top.

      1. He has looked impressive from the highlights ive seen of him, fast explosive runner with abit of power and could step of both feet, no idea about his defense and kicking game though.

  4. I don’t think we can call AWJ and Jonny Gray, even! Gray offers so much more as a player than AWJ. Granted AWJ is a very good leader but his days as a top class 2nd row are well behind him, if he ever had them!!

    Agree with other comments that Evans is better than Reid but, on form I’d have Owens and McInally an even.

    1. AWJ is much much better at the core skill of falling on the wrong side of the ruck though…

    2. “AWJ is a very good leader but his days as a top class 2nd row are well behind him, if he ever had them!!” Think that’s a bit disrespectful he was a world class performer in his day who has won 3 six nations titles, has 9 Lions caps and was incredible on the lions tour last summer. Having said all that still feel Jonny is now a superior lock to AWJ

      1. Who was AWJ coach in 6oo9 Lions caps and forwards coach for the other 3?
        How many people (except the Welsh ones) had him picked as a Lion in 2017 ahead of Launchbury & both Gray brothers?
        How many people (even the Welsh) had him starting all 3 tests in 2017? He has made the best of the opportunities handed to him by Gatland and fair play to him for that.

      2. “He has made the best of the opportunities handed to him by Gatland and fair play to him for that.”

        And the Lions looked better when AWJ was replaced by Itoje.

  5. Can’t agree on Parkes being level with Jones. Yes, Jones hasn’t been good for Glasgow, but this is an international and even in the worst game that he’s started he scored two tries. For Scotland he’s been excellent. Parkes scored two offside tries against a pretty rank SA team and, although I’ll concede that he’s had a better domestic season, right now I would take Jones over him without a second’s hesitation.

    Similarly, Steff Evans has been good domestically (discipline aside), but then so has McGuigan (discipline aside). McGuigan has also looked a lot better than Evans at international level, so at worst it’s even, and I’d err towards it being advantage: Scotland.

    Also, based on past performance, I think Scott Lawson being on the bench is advantage: Wales, isn’t it…?

    It’s interesting that Wales’ “injury-ravaged” side still has more caps than our (apparently not injury-ravaged) side, and I’d actual feel more confident of a win if both teams were at full strength. As it is, I think the combination of home advantage, PG’s refereeing and the burden of history/mental fragility will result in an undeserved win for Wales.

    1. Nine international debutants in the Wales 23 v four in our 23. That’s an interesting stat in itself, suggesting (to me, anyway) the Wales 23 as one unit will not over 80 minutes be able to cope with Scotland’s power and experience at Test level.

      History has no bearing on tomorrow’s proceedings and outcome; and mental fragility is, or should be, no longer something that affects our team.

      The more I think about it, the more I believe we’re not just going to beat Wales tomorrow – we’re going to gub them.

      Happy to take SR Blog pelters from all directions if it’s not a win/gubbing!

      C’mon Scotland!

      1. Isn’t there just the one international debutant in each team? Adams for them and McCallum for us? I admire your optimism, but as much as I revile Gatland, he’s a cunning bast… er, fellow with a lot of international experience. And my experience as a Scotland fan is that getting your hopes up is not a good idea!

      2. John and Cam, well done for spelling debutants correctly! Almost everyone spells it debutantes, conjuring up images of grizzled props dressed as southern belles fluttering flirtacious fans in their faces..

      3. If I’m honest, I just subconsciously copied John’s spelling… although do refer to a lock-sized friend of mine as a “blonde” rather than a “blond”. He’s got a French name, so I presume he understands that I’m being a scamp.

  6. Let’s not forget something else. We genuine flair / magic in the form of Hogg, Russell, Jones. The Welsh do not.

    1. Remind me again what was the score again ? I will tell you Wales 34 Scotland 7 great team you have , you got hammered thinking you could beat us hahaha .

  7. A draw, certainly not. Expecting Scotland to win is a good feeling in itself. Wales are good, stubborn, devious, sometimes lucky, but these days, not that great. Scotland today is on the cusp of producing a really outstanding team.

    1. Not great they beat S.Africa who beat France . Ireland have have beat them only once since 2011 .How many grand slams have Scotland won compared to Wales . Wales have won 34 championships including shared more than any nation in the tournament . I will not have you putting my nation down , the game is over and we won again .

      1. How do you intend to stop him putting your nation (apparently, could have sworn we were just discussing rugby…) down?

  8. No draw. We’re going to play them off the park. The Scarlets play expansive and that plays to our stength. There’s strength height mismatch on the wings and at full back. Kenny Logan has it right, begins his articles as follows:

    “Scotland will win in Cardiff on Saturday afternoon for the first time since 2002 to get their NatWest Six Nations campaign off to the perfect start. Gregor Townsend’s men genuinely believe they are championship contenders and they are right to do so. This Scotland side comfortably beat Wales last year and have come on in leaps and bounds since then, as back-to-back wins over Australia proved.”

  9. It’s s nicely constructed article Kevin, but I think we all know it’s not as simple as a paper comparison. We really need to show we can play away from home with the confidence we show at Murrayfield. Belief will play a big part…and avoiding silly mistakes….simple.

  10. I dont get how the under 20s can be so bad now with the academys in place, seriously horrendous and if thats the future of scottish rugby this upward curve we are on will drop steeply.

  11. Is this just a 1-off weaker crop u20 side or was the last 2-3 years of better stuff the exception?

    Senior side, to be honest I think some are going too far now. I remember thinking at half time against Wales last year that we were lucky not to be further behind, and in general our try conversion rate from visits to the opposition 22 in the last 12 months probably isn’t sustainable. If Welsh is so good how come he didn’t get a look in for over 2 years? I don’t see our front rowers as good as the Welsh counterparts at all, though McInally is now very good.

    Wales have shortened in the betting since the team announcements and that is usually telling.
    I think we will perform pretty well but lose by 8.

  12. The game will be won or lost on scrum and lineout performance. We can undoubtedly score tries – the stats are clear on that. I also think that our defence performance is amongst the best. However if we get pinged for a retreating scrum or collapse more than a few times then we’ll be up against it. Our lineout has been really solid in the last year so have less concern in this area. Maintain scrum dominance (or just even win our own put ins), then we could win by more than 20.

  13. Under 20’s were so poor. No shape. Scott and Walker are not good coaches. That was not a good wales team and a better coached side would have won last night.

    1. Only watched the first half but completely agree with you. Some solid looking individuals in the team but no evidence of a gameplan whatsoever. The backs looked shapeless in attack and the lineout was embarassing. New coaching staff needed asap.

      1. On one game?! Agreed theu were poor. However, Wales cuffed us at home by 65 points last year, went on to beat them in the JRWC. No chance against the pros of France and Eng but lets see how we do against Italy and Ire before we start demanding heads must roll, this is a very inexperienced team against a Welsh team with 11 starters from last year. I saw enough from a few players that give me hope, sort out the lineout and white line fever for a start.

  14. Forget all the hype boys , it’s time for ‘Calm of mind and speed of body’ go out there and keep on doing what Scotland do !

  15. u20s seriously poor!!!! you can forgive individual errors. but they lacked leadership and looked poorly coached. scott is a lineout coach, they lost 4 of the first 5 lineouts!!!! says it all. give coachs one game to improve if not our future talent deserves better..

    1. Terrible line out throwing and no cutting edge in the backs – looked just like the full team from a couple of years ago!

  16. Interesting thar during Scotland’s warm-ups the music was deafening, but during Wales’ the music is barely audible!

    Edit: ok, they did just turn the music up…

  17. We haven’t even made Wales play very well. Mistakes, bad decisions and naive play. Honeymoon’s over for Toonie.

    Plus McGuigan is not a test player.

  18. Scotlands backline is lacking bite with Harris for me. No forwards at joining the backline attacks either so its more predictable whats going to happen.
    Mcguigan has been exposed abit defensively.

  19. Right GT, the application of a leather suppository required and replace a couple of the backs now.

  20. The defense on second try is a worry, where was the last line of defense? We were never going to attack from there , the loose forwards were covering the blind, I dont get it , first try , forgiven, second, shambolic.

  21. We’re missing Dunbar in midfield defence- Horne at 12 2nd half? And please, cut out the stupid mistakes & keep hold of the ball. Head in hands, hoping for a miraculous turnaround.

  22. Bring Laidlaw on the bring some direction to the backline and get us in the right areas.
    Gilchrist on to bring some hight in the lineout and somewhat more carrying.
    Maitland to bring abit more confidence to the backline for mcguigan.
    Tbh im not happy either way with Horne/Jones or Jones/Harris, Dunbar would have been crucial for this type of game.

  23. Get Harris off and Horne on at inside. Maitland for McGuigan now. Give Price 10 mins to wake up.

  24. Laidlaw on now please need a cool head. Jones coolness needed everywhere, CDP off or maybe Barclay, as for Harris , if that is the best the premiership can offer , all we can say is what a mess England must be in.

    This is a shambles, they look to Hogg for everything , believe in yourselves, we did not need him against Australia.

  25. We’ve seen this before. Away from home things start to unravel. Other teams can stabilise with a good stand off playing percentages and territory. Instead we have Finn Russell going haywire. We lack the same thing we’ve lacked for the last 20 years- a test quality stand off.

  26. Brilliant Bhatti on scrum wheels. Genius move. Get Harris and McGuigan off and Horne Maitland on! This is an embarrassment. Anyone want 4 tickets to Scotland v France, will give away.

  27. Hahahahaha
    Another year, another bubble of Scottish optimism burst. What was all the hype for anyways….Scotland should be dumped from the 6 nations and add Georgia

  28. McGuigan and Harris exposed as jouneymen, not made the step up from Premiership to international level

  29. The most annoying thing is that we are not playing against a good welsh side, they just took advantanges of our stupid mistakes.

      1. Actually I would say that this is a better welsh side than normal as it doesn’t have biggar playing and it’s
        packed with scarlets who are playing soon as I heard that biggar wasn’t playing I was worried as he slows their play down.patchell speeds it up.god that was awful

  30. This is why you have Strauss, Bennett, Maitland starting. Those players could have made a better fist of it.

    Harris has been appalling. He’s not test quality, why Bennett wasn’t chosen is beyond me. He’s proven test quality.

  31. Toonie screwed the pooch big time. If this were England or Ireland it would be an absolute beasting. As opposed to this standard beasting. Embarrassing, and I’m really disappointed to have been right about how this game would go.

    Toonie better learn from this, and quickly, because even if BVC we’re willing to come back, I bet the cost of doing so would bankrupt us.

  32. Right I have read this blog for about 4 years and never posted anything. A lot of people post a lot of things. My name is my name due to this game. What a load of bottle merchants. awful first ever post.

    1. Terrible. Truly terrible. It is the hope that kills you.

      Didn’t turn up. Some difficult decisions to be made re selections

  33. Toony should make an example of the players.
    Remove Du Preez and Harris from the camp completely
    Bench Toolis Barclay Price Mcinally
    Remove Mcguigan from the 23
    Only positive was the scrum for the most part.
    I hope to see alot of 0 and 1s from the player ratings.

    1. I’d love to have seen the number of carries du Preez made. Price and Russell were a joke – no control when control was needed.

      1. The Edinburgh fans will still claim that he is a better option than Denton.

        The emperor’s new clothes

    2. I agree. Harris and Du preez have to go. Strauss needs to come in to squad.

      Hopefully Dunbar or Taylor fit.
      Well done Gatland. Proved right again. You total s**t.

  34. I am surrounded by Welsh, Irish, English and New Zealanders wearing a Scotland shirt. This going to be a long old day! Where are the adults in this team??? The only players have been Huw Jones and Hamish Watson. We have not scored a point. Sluggish and dazed in defense. Pedestrian and amateur in attack.

    1. From creating so much in November, this game has been so frustrating to watch with the number of errors made and the lack of creativity.Other than Gray running through in the first 5 minutes there has been very little else to remember that we have done in this game.

  35. Stop banging on about false dawns. One bad game doesn’t make us a bad team. Still every chance we can win the next two at Murrayfield.
    We seemed to lose confidence after the welsh tries in the first half and never recovered.
    Harris was clearly a failed experiment. CDP was awol.
    Watson carried well.

    Without taking away from the fact we played terribly and deserved to lose, I thought the referee was awful at the breakdown – quite a few penalties against Barclay that looked fine to me.

    Maybe this Welsh team is also better than we gave them credit for as well.

    1. Who knows if this Welsh team is actually good? We barely fired a shot and gift-wrapped them a 14-0 lead. Toonie got his selections wrong – Harris, Du Preez, McGuigan were all poor, but then so were Price and Russell in particular. Toonie also got out-thought, Gatland set up Wales to soak up all our lateral possession and hit back. We didn’t have to start at 100mph flinging it to the wings with abandon – we could have tried to get a toehold in the game first and hold the ball, punching holes with our forwards and getting some field position. We were naive, our execution was poor. We look in no shape to beat England at Murrayfield, even France is going to be a mountain to climb.

    2. I agree Barclay was refereed out of game. He stays as captain. Laidlaw may need to come in. Worst game I have seen price play.

      1. Not the first time that’s happened (vs. Ireland in 2016), but he should’ve known better.

      2. He should by now know the line the particular ref draws and watch what he accepts as research then adjust his game accordingly. No excuse on that particular I’m afraid. But our game doesn’t seem to suit Pascal’s refereeing style I always feel we are up against it before the match with him. But we need to learn to play the ref.

      3. Barclay is naturally hot headed however has adjusted to captaincy well. He was lucky today , both were blatant and he is no good to his side in the bin. Amber warning.

  36. Ha this has got me right hard.
    It be about time you jocks got put back in ur spot —WOODEN SPOON —

  37. Well you think it is a bad day, you don’t know the half of it, you have forced me into it, I need to do it now and these welsh leeks are bl**dy orrid.

    Love and kisses Dai

  38. I think I’m more pissed off about this than England last year, at least then we dusted ourselves down and tried to make a game of it. We were completely toothless in attack, the Welsh made ground very easily every time they had the ball. Our aimless crabbing from side to side was remeniscent of the dark old days of not that long ago. It looked like we were playing with 14 men the whole game, wide defence was completely non existant. Full credit to Wales they took us on at our own game and won big time, we were ran off our feet by 50 mins. I knew it was going to go badly when we got pinged for a squint feed, to be fair he gave one to Wales too but neither were any more crooked than the rest in the game, if a ref is going to ping that then it needs to be consistent.

    Ironic that we were fearing our scrum but it was the only part of the game that had anything like parity. Du Preez, Harris and McGuigan were terrible, was DuPreez even playing? Are Harris and Nick de Luca related by any chance? Russell and Price had one of those games where nothing worked and just needed to settle down. I thought McInally and Watson were reasonable. Gray can have all the stats he likes he needs to start hitting people, he just falls at their feet and bites their ankles, he should be smashing guys back in the tackle, makes offloading far too easy. Looked far better when Horne and Maitland came on. Jones back to 13 and Horne in at 12 if Dunbar or Taylor arent fit. I can’t even put into words how appalled I am at the midfield and wide defence, like I said it was literally like we were a man down the whole game, there was no line, it was just a random assortment of men. Barclay looked broken by about 50mins, Laidlaw looked to be calling the shots at the end interestingly.

    I think Wales won because of their injury problems not in spite of, they stopped playing Warrenball and started playing rugby, they were simple, clinical and aggressive and we couldn’t live with it, we didn’t create any chances and they didn’t give us any, fair play to them.

    Also fair play to Jiffy, he was unusually magnanimous, just as well or I would be on way to buy a new TV.

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