Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Canada 10-48 Scotland

Gregor Townsend
Gregor Townsend Scotland - pic © Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography

Scotland got their 2018 summer tour off to a good start with a confident win over Kingsley Jones’s struggling Canada side.

The hosts had Glasgow Warrrior DTH Van Der Merwe in their ranks but they struggled to involve him in a first half that was fairly close on the scoreboard but which didn’t see Canada enter Scotland’s 22 very often.

The opening moment of note after some early errors from both sides saw Scotland’s lineout maul hit top gear early on and it was purring throughout the game. That was followed by a backsmove 9-10-15 that was typically Scotland even if the personnel – Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Ruaridh Jackson and Blair Kinghorn – were different. All three players had strong halves and Hidalgo-Clyne in particular could pose some problems to the selectors come World Cup time if George Horne, Ali Price and Greig Laidlaw are also in the mix to be involved and he carries on his form.

Scotland had a new look backline with James Lang making a strong debut at inside centre and he was involved in the opening try, his first pass going to no-one but the ball bumbled back to his feet and he picked it off his laces to throw a wide looping pass to Byron McGuigan on the win who did the job to finish.

Canadian hooker Phil Barker was binned for a nasty-looking off the ball hit on Allan Dell’s knee and was yellow-carded after just 17 minutes. Scotland had a kickable penalty but opted instead for the lineout and had to make it count. Hidalgo-Clyne popped it from the base of the maul to Ruaridh Jackson who could only stretch out to place it just short of the line. At the ensuing scrum, referee Shuhei Kubo went against the visitors and the pressure was off Canada.

Neither side was kicking particularly well from hand but the Scots were more confident with the ball and keeping the territory in Canada’s half meant they looked comfortable without dominating completely, and were allowed to get away with the mistakes they did make; plenty of key passes went astray or were knocked on in the tackle.

This could have been why they persisted in playing it tight but the Canadian defence was quite miserly around the ruck and more profit might have been found wider out, particularly given the form of Kinghorn who was a reassuring presence at the back.

Leading the attack well from 10, Jackson eventually got his try with a move from the back of a maul down the short side and a short pass from Hidalgo-Clyne put him over in the corner.

The loss of Fraser Brown will have been a worry in terms of the tour overall but George Turner made a very able deputy with strong carries and clamping himself at the back of the maul. He may have not wanted his scrum half to move the ball when the pack were well in control and steaming towards the line, but he had more opportunities in the second half which he was allowed to take full advantage of.

Half-time: Canada 3-15 Scotland

The first of those came almost immediately into the second half, with a maul storming over the line for Turner to drop down and score.

Canada responded with their best attacking spell of the game with a series of phases in the Scottish 22. Jackson was lucky not to be carded when Canada tapped a penalty close to the line and he couldn’t resist the tackle, but when he went for the interception and missed it earned him a yellow card and a penalty try – automatically converted these days – for the home side.

After a solid debut, James Lang went off following a clash of heads at the restart and Adam Hastings got his first cap in a makeshift backline that also had Mark Bennett (on for Lee Jones) and Chris Harris now on the wing. When Jackson came back on, he played in the centre and Hastings distributed well and almost got through a few half gaps from 10. It was a confident start from the young man, by this time with Ali Price in support but the backs kept coming up short – Blair Kinghorn was held up over the line, where Magnus Bradbury broke through the line for his score with ease.

The best attack of the half was a breakout counter-attack by Price and Hastings with some lovely passing, but Mark Bennett couldn’t get the last pass away to McGuigan in the face of a superb cover tackle by Doug Fraser.

Murray McCallum thought he had a first try for his country but it was ruled out after a neck roll by Harris was spotted. The pack made up for it with another two tries in quick succession for George Turner to secure the hat-trick. Superb work by the pack, and coaches Dan McFarland and Carl Hogg.

Lewis Carmichael got his first cap off the bench and made a late charge for Man of the Match with some super carries, one of which he scored, to round off a good hit out for Scotland.

Townsend has some interesting selection posers ahead of next week, not least of which is who to pick at 9 with George Horne still to come into the mix and both the men who played today in fine form.

Referee: Shuhei Kubo (JRFU)

SRBlog Man of the Match: quite a few candidates here with Kinghorn, Bradbury, Ritchie and Toolis all continuing their fine club form into the tour. Jackson was going well before his yellow card but I’m giving it to George Turner for his three tries and strong defensive work

73 Responses

  1. Decent game – solid win.
    Scrappy at times, but to be expected and injuries didn’t help the continuity.
    Nobody did particularly badly, out of all the newish guys only Harris and Mcguigan didn’t seem quite up to standard to me. Forwards were dominant. Plenty of potential.

    Only real negative was the horrific camera work – far too many tight/low angles so you couldn’t see what was going on!

    1. I’m not a huge fan of either Harris or McGuigan, but I thought they both got pass marks in this one. Nobody had a bad game, but I thought they were both probably better than most.

      1. I don’t think they were bad as such, Just didn’t look like being potential first choice regulars in the future to me. Mcguigan is too 1 dimensional, strong in the tackle and a good finisher but does he offer much else?
        Harris made a few runs that seemed to go nowhere and didn’t seem to play anyone else into space. To be fair to him, he did get shunted off to the wing quite early.

      2. I would give this spat to Fraser. If they cannot standout in this game when will they. Harris is noted for his defending , he is probably worth another shot against a side that will attack , mcguigan didnt do anthing wrong , he just does not inspire.

      3. McGuigan’s never really looked like a test player and he wouldn’t be the first player to score for fun in the AP but fail to step up – Tom Varndell is probably the most glaring example. It is a real shame we let Visser slip away and be replaced in the squad by him. Wing now looks a bit of a weakness once you take into account the inevitable injury tolls. We could really use a Stockdale.

      4. Harris lost the ball in contact twice from memory. He did similar in the Wales game and I think the Samoa game too, so it seems to be an issue for him. A tendency for taking your eye off the ball when it’s a passed near the defensive line is a particularly bad problem for an aspiring centre to have, frankly. Also his neck roll got us a try chalked off. Made a stand out tackle on our try line but apart from that I was unimpressed again, particularly when you factor in the calibre of opposition. If Taylor is still injured Harris may get one more chance vs USA, but his lives are surely running out. It’s not like we are thin in centre options, and Johnson will be SQ imminently

      5. “Mcguigan is too 1 dimensional, strong in the tackle and a good finisher but does he offer much else?”

        I’m more than happy to have a winger who can do these two basics in the squad. Two from Maitland, Seymour and Kinghorn will be our starting wings with Hogg at fullback so more than happy with Lee Jones and Mcguigan in reserve.

      6. Mcguigan missed 3 tackles – including one 3m from the line – he’s not a strong defensive player.

  2. Scotland played well and should of been further ahead. We have to remember this was pretty much a scratch side for us. Forwards dominated, backline wasn’t quite as threatening but was still decent.

    Learnt a lot about Lewis Carmichael who has a big stride and runs hard. Harris was alright but still not near the other options we have at centre, lost the ball twice in contact. Hastings played well, a few deft kicks keeping Canada honest showed he has the ability to manage a game. James Lang I think the jury’s still out on, needs another start tbh, would also like to see him at ten.

    Job done if unspectacularly but this was a stumbling block. Despite playing a scratch team we knew we should fairly comfortably beat this Canadian side… USA will provide a bigger test but I expect Townsend to bring in a couple more 1st XV contenders.

    How good was DTH, played like a man possessed!

    After watching the Arg v Wales game I’m more confident of a clean sweep… Arg looked uncomfortable with the ball and made Wales look like world beaters.

  3. Argentina will be a benchmark test for us. A side of Welsh regulars bullied them into incompetency if we can come anywhere close , that would be a great result.

  4. Just watched the highlights, looks like we played like teams play against us – maul, try, repeat.

  5. Scotland turned into England of the early 2000s. Fantastic forward power and it is much needed. Forwards were an 8/10 for me with the backs 5.5/10.

    Good second half and we look fit and in good condition

  6. Carmichael, Bradbury & Ritchie really put a marker down. Ritchie has improved immeasurably over the last year. Liked the look of Lang in the backs but no blame can be apportioned as this was a patchwork of a backs selection, made more “interesting” by Lang’s injury. Who plays 10 next week will be intriguing. Can’t really understand the criticism of McGuigan, big, strong, excellent scorer of tries.

  7. Don’t get the criticism of McGuigan, I don’t think he is top quality but I do think he was our best back yesterday. Made a few great off lads and ran and tackled well.

    1. Agree he is a top professional. World class he is not but neither are any of our other players outside of Hogg and Finn occasionally. My question is who is so much better than him? On top form, Maitland and Seymour. This season? Maitland? Otherwise we have competent hard working wingers. Let’s not forget these guys are not embedded in the squad yet, haven’t had a straight run and are realiant on receiving ball from centres, not easy when they are an ever changing pairing of players trying to make an impression. I’ve seen nothing of McGuigan to make me think any less of him as a player and if RWC squad was picked tomorrow I’d expect him to be there.

      1. I’d pick Maitland and Seymour (and probably Kinghorn) on the wing before McGuigan… he’s got some scoring pedigree but not the ability of the other 2.

  8. Forwards looked good & will pose a selection dilemma for Toonie. Carmichael at last provides an athletic lock who can genuinely break the gain-line, though not sure Denton passed the ball once. However, he does provide pure grunt which has been missed in the past. Thought Lang was promising, ran hard & lovely pass to McGuigan for the first try. Thought McG did everything a winger should do – finished well & was there in support. Given our shortage of wingers, I can imagine he might feature more. Jury is still out on Harris & given the current level of riches in the centre, perhaps he didn’t do enough to warrant being picked again. Will be interesting to see Taylor back in action & could do with a bit more bit in the back line vs USA. Job done & hope we can push on next week.

  9. My team for Next week:
    1- Dell
    2- McInally (if fit)
    3- Berghan
    4- Toolis
    5- Carmichael
    6- M Fagerson
    7- Hamilton
    8- Denton
    9- Horne
    10- Hastings
    11- McGuigan
    12- Lang
    13- Taylor (if fit)
    14- Kinghorn
    15- Hogg

    16- Turner
    17- Bhatti
    18- Fagerson
    19- Swinson
    20- Ritchie
    21- Hidalgo-Clyne
    22- Jackson
    23- Grigg

  10. I was very very disappointed by Argentina yesterday. Unless they wise up the test will be decided by the breakdown battle which Wales dominated in. That said a lot can be fixed in a couple of weeks so we shouldn’t get complacent. On paper they have far more X factor than this Scotland squad.

  11. I thought Denton and Harris carried well and hard but both need to learn to pass or offload. Bennett had some great runs but was possibly guilty (as he was occasionally for Edinburgh) of trying to do too much himself. Hastings looked composed which bodes well for the future. Hamilton didn’t seem to have the same impact carry as Denton but seemed to defend better. Bradbury and Ritchie looked good. SHC showed what Edinburgh are going to be missing next season.

    All in all a good result.

    I also thought the ref had a good game. It possibly wasn’t the fastest paced game but he did better than some we’ve had in the past.

    1. Agreed re. Ref; can’t remember any errors. I remember Vipond and Mossy getting upset about a pen where they thought he was penalising Toolis, but it was for Ritchie quite blatantly playing the ball on the ground. Would certainly rather have him ref our future matches over a certain esteemed official who was running the line yesterday…

  12. I expect the team next week will be.

    1. Bhatti
    2. Mcinally
    3. Fagerson
    4. Carmichael
    5. Swinson
    6. Ritchie
    7. Hamilton
    8. Fagerson
    9. Horne
    10. Hastings
    11. Kinghorn
    12. Grigg
    13. Bennett
    14. Fife
    15. Hogg

    16. Turner
    17. Dell
    18. Mcallum
    19. Gilchrist
    20. Bradbury
    21. SHC
    22. Lang
    23. Taylor

    But who freakin knows with Townsend tbh.

    1. This squad but for me Price starting with Horne on the bench, wouldn’t want to much experience in the half backs. Would also prefer a Taylor (if fit)Bennet pairing in the centres with Grigg on the bench.

  13. A decent win on what could readily have been a banana skin. Great to see some cohesion in the forwards. The real test for those guys will be Argentina, although their game has moved on. None of the new starts looked out of their depth which has to be good.

  14. Front row went well, gutted to see Brown injured again but at least it wasn’t his head. Berghan backing up his status to be first choice tighthead for me, alright an easy game in the tight for him but looks the modern prop comfortable passing and offloading and does his share tackling and hitting rucks.

    Locks did as expected and the back row carried well, lots of potential in all the younger lads who got a run out.

    The backs all looked alright to me considering they’d never played together before. Would like to see Lang play at 10 as he clearly has a pass on him.

    1. Berghan has had a superb season. Second only to McInally in terms of boosting his standing in my opinion. Honourable mentions to Gilchrist, Kinghorn and G Horne

  15. Dougie Fife called up for Lee Jones. We have some level of drop off between 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice outside backs!

    1. I reckon Fife is really under rated! Struggled a bit with stepping up to test rugby then had a horrible season or two under Solomons but he’s a useful player and has looked good this season. 7s really rejuvenated him.

      1. Fife has stepped up , had a good game against Glasgow, will fill a gap, cannot see him being a regular. Visser – I think he was pushed away and we will never really know why.

  16. Would quite like to see this side against the USA;

    1. Bhatti
    2. Turner
    3. Z.Fagerson
    4. Carmichael (very impressed by him)
    5. Toolis
    6. Bradburry
    7. Ritchie
    8. M.Fagerson

    9. G.Horne
    10. Hastings
    11. McGuigan
    12. D.Taylor
    13. Bennett
    14. Kinghorn
    15. Hogg

    16. McInally (if he’s fit)
    17. Berghan
    18. Dell
    19. Gilcchrist
    20. Hamilton
    21. Price
    22. P.Horne
    23. Grigg

    1. I understand the need to give some of the youngsters a chance but that is a very inexperienced starting XV to put out against the potential banana skin that is USA. Especially in the 2-8-9-10 “spine” of the team. Your pack has a total of about 40 caps and George Horne and Adam Hastings are effectively debutantes themselves.
      Much as Hastings impressed, it was off the bench when the game had already been won. I think starting with Price and Peter Horne will help, as would starting Denton again with Fagerson moving to 6. Dave Denton did nothing wrong and quite a bit right.
      Bradbury misses out but I can see him starting against Argentina so a rest may work.

      1. I would beclookong to start against Argentina with:

        Turner unless FB or SM fit

        Price/Horne (position up for grabs)

        In short our strongest team as I make it. For the USA other than the half back positions which I think are up for grabs just sub in a youngster for anyone we’re worried may be fatigued for Argentina if not rested.

      2. Denton is the easiest player in the world to defend – you can happily tackle him low as you never have to worry about him offloading.

      3. Denton was battering defenders out of the way and was making metres and presenting lightning quick ball with every carry. This arrogance we have regarding someone to bash it up the middle is astounding. Some folk would honestly have Cornell “fairy soft hands” Du Preez in there making 4 yards with 4 carries.

      4. Denton is a nearly , lion, nearly Bath regular and is nearly good enough to be adequate. As for Cornell , well, he doesnt even decieve to flatter . Neither one of them is the future. Big , lovable but soft boys. Time to jog on.

  17. Again Argentina i would be looking to keep developing this alternative strategy we saw against canada, more-so with the Majority of these playses likely to be in the lesser pool games of WC with just a few youngsters in.

    1. Dell
    2. Mcinally
    3. Berghan
    4. Carmichael
    5. Gilchrist
    6. Ritchie
    7. Hamilton
    8. Denton
    9. SHC (Kicker)
    10. Hastings (Great step-up to see if he can keep his composure)
    11. Kinghorn
    12. Taylor
    13. Bennett
    14. Fife
    15. Hogg

    16. Brown (if fit) Turner if not.
    17. Bhatti
    18. Fagerson
    19. Swinson
    20. Fagerson
    21. Horne
    22. Horne
    23. Jones

    1. In the RWC we should see our strongest team against Ireland, Samoa and Japan and a complete second team against Russia (four days before Japan). Not a bad schedule at all. Who do you think are most likely to break into the first team? I reckon Toonie will at a bit of muscle to the back row if he can without sacrificing pace – Ritchie/Bradbury could sneak in at 6, maybe even Denton at 8 if his form gets back to RWC15 glory days (or Blade Thomson if he’s any good). In backs Horne/SHC could force their way in, Kinghorn has a great shot on the wing. Who knows who’ll be in form/favour in the centre by then!

      1. FF i think there are a bunch of spots up grabs still for RWC nailed on so far imo

        1. Dell (2 more spots to fight for)
        2. Mcinally, Brown (Ford and Turner fighting it out for 3rd spot
        3. Berghan, Fagerson and Nel
        4/5. Grays and Gilchrist (Carmichael or Toolis for the last spot)

        Backrow – Barclay/Watson (Huge Competition for the remaining 3 spots), Personally i think Ritchie and Denton will go with the last spot between Wilson/Fagerson/Hardie
        Thompson/Bradbury/Hamilton and i wish Strauss.

        9. Laidlaw and Price (SHC and Horne fighting it out for the last spot)
        10. Russell (surprising depth for back up spot between Hastings/Lang/Horne and Jackson)
        12/13. Dunbar/Taylor/Jones and one spot after that for 5/6 centres to fight for (I think Sam Johnson will go).

        11/14/15. Hogg/Maitland/Kinghorn Nailed on, 2 spots left one which will go to Seymour probaly and who knows after that (hope visser comes out of retirement)

        21/33 spots nailed on bar injury.

        out of those guys that could break into the first choice ? Ritchie and kinghorn will make the 23 i think, Carmichael could grab a bench spot, mabey Fife if he continues his steady improvement could get on the bench. Horne or SHC might pip Price to a bench spot also.

      2. I think George Horne is a distant fourth at the moment in the battle for 9. His box kicking is so poor that it negates all the great aspects of his game. You would have to hope that he is doing extra practice every day but he’s 23 so it might be something that can’t be fixed.

        Bradbury could be a huge player if he continues to improve at the same rate he has during the last 12 months.

      3. George Horne turned 23 last month so he’s hardly past learning more skills. I agree with you on his box kicking but its fine adjustment that’s needed. Its probably a symptom of playing lots of 7s. To be honest box kicking has never been that great from Scotland. The Irish and Welsh have been better at it for the last generation. Can remember Laidlaw getting plenty of pelters for that in the past.

    2. Argentina come into this match with a clear advantage from just having finished a two match series with Wales, a side neck and neck with us in terms of quality and ability so their players will be right up to speed by the time we meet whilst we will only have had Canada and the USA to get our players prepared so doubt many of our players will be at a high test level come the Argentina match.

  18. Can we have a thread in the Keith Russell sacking?

    Hugely depressing story, particularly for those of us who’ve thought the upturn in Scottish fortunes as the evidence of increasing professionalism at the SRU.

    Also there has been significant blowback – according to BBC article, Finn wasn’t even offered a contract by SRU/Glasgow after Racing tabled a contract offer. The inference is this is either evidence at how poorly run the SRU continues to be or even that the SRU felt better for Finn to be outside SRU professional system. Why wouldn’t they put an offer together to make Finn choose? Awful situation for our key player to be in.

    1. I heard him on the radio yesterday and was really disappointed in a number of issues.

      The lack of professionalism from both Dodson and Russell was apparent.

      But why exactly did Russell feel the need to bring his son into the story? Russell probably wasn’t offered a contract because there wasn’t much point – he’d been telling all and sundry he was leaving. Russell inferring it was because of his dealings with the SRU was pathetic.

    2. If someone writes an article, but it’s been well covered elsewhere particularly on TOL so I wasn’t planning to myself. It may well be discussed on this week’s pod which will have a post attached for discussion that might be the best venue as it doesn’t relate to the topic in hand here.

  19. I think that is spin from Keith Russell to be honest. I’d imagine the SRU were talking to Finn Russell’s representatives and were told:
    a) he wants to go to France; and
    b) he will earn c.£600k pa there

    Given these two ‘facts’ were widely reported in the press, I can’t imagine why the SRU would put a contract to him. They knew they were never going to get him, so it would have been a complete waste of resource in an already stretched organisation.

  20. Can anyone tell me how many more drubbings we’ll have to deliver until we get a 3 test series against one of the big boys?

    I know Canada were pump, and we lost to Fiji last year. But since then our 6Nations and Autumn test results results have been strong, hence sustaining 6th in WRR.

    Also, I know these things are planned years in advance.

    However the SRU should be making a strong case to TV Broadcasters and WR for a test series Vs Argentina, Australia, or South Africa. If it took two years to convert it’d be ideal RWC dev timing…

    1. I believe WR have them setup until this year, RWC next year and then a new 5yr set. So, this year for the 2020 to 2025 tours.

    2. The whole calendar is changing in 2020 (2019 RWC so no tours). Doesn’t necessarily mean all tours will be 3 test ones as it’s not possible with the extra teams involved so we might see more like Wales 1 + 2 tests but Scotland should be back on the list to at least play the big teams.

      This was ages ago:

      And this was yesterday:

  21. Decent enough hit up and a comfortable win where we never real had to get out of 3rd gear.

    Scrum and Maul – love what these Edinburgh lads are bringing to the table these days.
    Defensive shape looked good considering a scratch team.

    The perennial challenge of restarts !
    John Beattie’s obsequious and sycophantic focus on Hastings (and his mum and dad’s evening whereabouts !) – There were a few debutants who were probably more ‘deserving’ in terms of praise and attention yet he focused on his ‘mates’ son…

    I suspect the team this week will be almost exclusively different to allow for the final game against Argentina to be a composite meritocratic selection.

    With that in mind. Bhatti, Turner, Fagerson, Swinson, Toolis, Hamilton, Fagerson, Denton, Price, Horne, Grigg, Bennett, Kinghorn. Taylor, Hogg.

    Subs: Dell, Cochrane/Brown, McCallum, Carmichael, Bradbury, Horne, Hastings, Fife

    Thorough and expectantly quality article as well !!

    1. Give Hastings a chance , the guy had a great debut and deserved more than Beattie going on about his father and Bradburys mother who was famous for ???????? rubbish commentary , not a poor performance.

  22. Separately, I’d like to take a moment to enjoy what Scotland have done to England and Eddie Jones’ position. I don’t want to crow… but actually I do. And, right before a World Cup year too. The most important thing this past year was to react to the Twickenham humbling and look what it’s done to them. The bubble has burst worse than Bitcoin. Long may it continue!

    1. Let’s not get too smug, we could easily be looking at being knocked out by Japan and not getting out of our group.

      1. Our group is looking very dicey. Given that Samoa will almost certainly be the final team we have one side who we will be underdogs against, one side who we will be slight favourites over but we have struggled with historically, one side who will be as above but are the hosts. Too many banana skins in there, especially with bonus points. Id be confident we would secure BP’s across the board but equally concerned we would concede losing BP’s. We need to be able to put out a cohesive midweek 23 against Russia who will be fresh and not needed in the tests either side of that one.

        On a separate note. Bravo for a RWC in a tier 2 nation but why oh why not have a midweek bowl competition to keep interest during the knock out stages. Having a tier 2 host almost guarantees no host participation after the group stages. A bowl would be great for the likes of Japan and England.

      2. Hilarity aside, I think the squad size will be about 31 players, so the scenario of a midweek 23 not troubling the games either side won’t be doable at a World Cup…

      3. Its pretty much do-able. Ignoring injuries which you cant predict, you could easily have a couple of the 1st 23’s subs on the bench with zero intention of using them barring injury. Especially if they are coming off of a test against Samoa

      4. Sure in the course of things England will get better and we’ll get worse (hopefully even better for a few years first though). That’s why it’s good to enjoy it now!

    2. We were not the only ones to beat them. We were completely humiliated by Wales and Ali Price let them silly him in the Glasgow Scarletts game yet again. The tombola just keeps spinning. We also have our own Eddie Jones and that Wales game did happen, it was shocking , it was horrific, the selection and preparation just bravado. We pissed aff Visser our most prolific scorer as well. It was Ally McLeod 1978. Game at a time , no givens . Enjoy the tour,

  23. Argentina have a clear advantage over us heading into our match against each other. They will have just finished a two match series with Wales, a side neck and neck with us in terms of quality and ability, and they are in the middle of their season so their players will be right up to speed by the time we meet whilst we will only have had Canada and the USA to get our players prepared so doubt many of our players will be at a high test level come the Argentina match.

    Great if we could win this match to carry on this momentum, but with so many 1st team players not even on tour, lack of proper preparation and a quite tired squad would be understandable defeat.

  24. Have to start Hastings against USA – coming on in the Canada match when the game is already won is completely different than starting, and we are unlikely to start him against Argentina. Horne is the obvious partner at 9 and didn’t play in the first game ( completely disagree with the comment suggesting he is distant 4th choice 9…..). Couple of experienced guys on the bench (P.Horne, Jackson) in case it’s not going well.

    I suspect going forward we are going to pursue a second playmaker at 12 as that has been successful for us and most of the big teams seem to be going that way, so I would develop Lang there rather than switch him back and forward to 10 – better to give him a clear role, at least to start with – and he may be a very good backup to Peter Horne.

  25. Den (nearly) ton got an offload away, well that is the first rule of rugby ‘this is the ball, you can only pass it backwards’. That is ‘nearly’ a start in my book. He is not going to transform our back row, you are flogging a dead horse, a nice one , but the facts are , we have seen the best of him, keep taking the cash DD and fill that jersey #justsaying.

  26. Can we take much out of beating an amateur team without getting out of 3rd gear. Functional but, Carmichael’s cameo aside, no-one really stood out to challenge the 1st team. That said no-one was particularly poor either.

    McGuigan has defensive issues (we knew that) and Harris is unlikely to be international standard (we basically knew that). Hoped for more from Bradbury who was quite quiet.

    1. I think the whole pack stood out. The Canadians have always prided themselves on strong packs and for us to demolish them up front was a big thing.
      Much as I like Carmichael, he came on when the opposition was obviously tiring so it’s easier to stand out. Similarly Bradbury being “quiet” was a result of strong Canadian defence for the first hour. Some fans seem to think a player needs to stand out to have a good game. Sometimes it’s the unseen stuff in rucks, mauls and scrums that wins games. You fail to mention, for instance, Ritchie, who made 17 tackles and missed none.

      1. Canadians have always prided themselves on strong packs doesnt mean anything in regards to this team. Scott is correct, this team was awful and other than systems and experience we shouldnt be reading too much into it. This is not the Canada who were 11th in the world, they are in the 20’s. it takes consistent dross to drop ten or so places in the rankings, we should know we have been there. Scotland have always prided ourselves on a wide attacking game, we still went through a 15 year period where our back three touched the ball about 4 times and we couldnt buy a try!

      2. JP07 – I think you have a romanticised view of Scottish rugby thinking “we’ve always prided ourselves on a wide attacking game”. And a pessimistic view that we went through a 15 year dry spell. The truth is somewhere in between. We didn’t score many tries between 2003 and 2012, it’s true, but that’s 10 years not 15. Even then the majority were by our back 3 (just look at the tries scored by Paterson, Southwell, Lamonts and Evans’s).
        Even the great 1990 GS squad only gave us 6 tries, and only 2 by the back 3.
        My assertion that Canada pride themselves on a strong pack is still valid, according to my Canadian friends. That being said the fact that they’ve dropped out of the top20 means we shouldn’t read too much into the result, but what we can take is that our 2nd choice pack can take apart a tier 2 pack.

You might also like these:

Craig is joined by Jonny and Rory to look back at the disappointing end to Edinburgh's season and Glasgow's march towards the semi finals.
Gregor Townsend has named a largely experimental squad for the summer tour of the Americas. It's not a question of who misses out, but rather who is actually going, writes Rory.
Iain is joined by Jonny and John to discuss the penultimate round of URC fixtures as well as the recent Scottish Rugby Writers' Awards
Craig is joined by John on the injured reserve list to have a wee look at the URC action from the weekend.

Scottish Rugby News and Opinion