Doddie Weir Cup, Wales v Scotland: Player Ratings

Well, at least it wasn’t quite as horrifying as last time out at the Principality, and nobody gets a 0, but still relatively poor stuff from Scotland. Bullied at the ruck and by the defence, some major disappointments in attack, and was it just me or were Wales offside at nearly every breakdown?

15. Blair Kinghorn: Was given the restart and most other kicking duties, some of which were very contestable, but was well shackled when trying to run the ball back which is his primary skill. Did thump the ball for decent territory on occasion. To be fair Hogg would have struggled with a similar lack of opportunities – 6/10

14. Tommy Seymour: One majestic high-take, but hardly touched the ball otherwise. Has looked back on form for Glasgow this season after Lions-fatigue, but not at the races today. 5/10

13. Huw Jones: We know he’s an attacking threat, but between him and Dunbar, the lads have to sort out their defensive duties. A missed tackle on North allowed him to score, and was also caught out for the Jonathan Davies score which took the game beyond Scotland. 4/10

12. Alex Dunbar: Rather surprisingly big Eck carried more attacking threat than his midfield partner, but they need to get their communication and spacing sorted if they’re to achieve their potential as a combo. Did some decent crash-ball work when trying to get Scotland back into the game. 6/10

11. Lee Jones: Reliable, but unspectacular. Our version of Keith Earls, but not as good, and far less of a mouthy little ****. Had a decent charge in the second half once Horne-ito had broken the line and fed him in a bit of space. 6/10

10. Adam Hastings: Finn Russell Mk II comparisons were further exacerbated by missing an early penalty kick to touch. Was targeted by the blitzing Welsh defence and had little opportunity, in the first-half especially, to show his attacking flair. A couple of nice territorial kicks at start of the second half, but had nothing hopeful to work with. 6/10

9. Ali Price: After the 6 Nations horror-show in Cardiff, you can excuse him for being a bit more pedestrian this time around, but the service was painfully slow at times. His box-kicking wasn’t great either. His jacket is on a shoogly peg, especially when you consider the back-up options. 4/10

1. Alan Dell: Not much to say, a very “beige” performance. Ineffective, but not overly poor. 5/10

2. Stuart McInally (c): Wales drew first blood, but “Rambo” got his side back into contention towards the end of the first-half when scoring off a maul. Got about a bit, solid arrows, but nothing overly special in a very stop-start game. Could do more talking as the skipper. 6/10

3. W.P Nel: Won a penalty on the first scrum, but gave away two in open play, and doesn’t seem to fit the rapid-style ethos of Toonie despite an increase in his carrying work. 4/10

4. Ben Toolis: He’s in there for his line-out prowess, and that area worked well, but bit of a one-trick pony. 5/10

5. Jonny Gray: Tackle, tackle, tackle, take line-out, hit ruck, close quarter charging, bit more tackling. What we’ve come to expect from the statistician’s dream. Double movement when close to the line gave away a penalty, when he should’ve known better. 6/10

6. Jamie Ritchie: Seemed to be present at every ruck, but his over-eagerness to try and win turnover ball led to a couple of penalties. 5/10

7. Hamish Watson: Scotland’s best player. Started a bit slowly, but was the only forward to consistently carry effectively and break the gain-line. The “Pinball” wizard needed more help at the breakdown, where he won a hugely important penalty in the first-half when Wales could have broken away. 7/10

8. Ryan Wilson: Abrasive as usual – claimed a second Lions hooker broken nose inside a month when making an interception and wrapping the nut on Ken Owens – but didn’t bring much more to the party. On this season’s form, he’s lucky to be ahead of Matt Fagerson in the pecking order for Glasgow or Scotland. 4/10

Replacements

16. Fraser Brown: (55th min) Came on and instantly showed breakdown prowess. Solid darts, carried hard. Him and McInally are very, very close in terms of quality right now. 6/10

17. Alex Allan: (55th min) Couple of decent close quarter drives when Scotland were camped in Wales’ 22, but didn’t impact on the game. 5/10

18. Simon Berghan: (55th min) Got pinged by Raynal for wheeling when Scotland were taking on a 7-man scrum. Whether that was right or not, it cost good field position. 5/10

19. Grant Gilchrist: (74th min) Not on long enough to make any impact, but made his opinion known for the above penalty. Him and Toolis are very close in terms of who should partner Jonny Gray. 5/10

20. Matt Fagerson: (63rd min) He carries better than Wilson, he passes better than Wilson. Didn’t make any major inroads, but the young stalwart deserves a start at some stage. 6/10

21. George Horne: (63rd min) The Price seems wrong. Horne-ito came on, dished the ball out sharp, brought pace to the game, and was very unlucky with his little chip-kick which his big brother just failed to dot down. Should start, or at least be second string to Laidlaw, for remainder of the Autumn Tests in my opinion. 7/10

22. Peter Horne: (63rd min) As stated above, very nearly scored. Runs some very clever lines from centre, and tried to bring verve to Scotland’s attack when playing as a Kiwi-style 2nd 5/8th. 6/10

23. Darcy Graham: (74th min) The pocket-dynamo hardly got a look-in, with Wales running down the clock once he came on. Congrats on the first cap though. 5/10

 

SQUAD UPDATE

Gregor Townsend has added six players to the Scotland squad, while sending a number of his current flock back to their clubs. Richard Cockerill will be pleased at this news, as will fans of forgotten exiles.

Warriors quartet Adam Ashe (back-row), Scott Cummings (lock), Nick Grigg (centre) and Stuart Hogg (full-back) have all been added. Yes, we thought Hoggy was still injured too – turns out his recovery time from the ankle surgery was estimated at 10-12 weeks from the original announcement which would bring him back at the end of this month. So he’s about 3-5 weeks early…

They are joined by exiled (in every sense) pair Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks) and Duncan Weir (Worcester Warriors) who have both been in fine form, although Strauss has apparently been struggling for game time in a competitive Sale back row unit.

The additions follow injuries sustained by Scarlets back-row Blade Thomson (head) and Harlequins centre James Lang (rib) as they represented their club sides at the weekend. It is a shame as they definitely would have been in the mix for Fiji – although the announcement doesn’t say they have been returned to their clubs just yet so they could still play a part if the injuries are not too serious. Lang was a recent addition to the squad.

David Denton (Leicester Tigers) and Matt Scott (Edinburgh) continue their ongoing recovery from head injuries and are back with their respective clubs while Ross Ford, Henry Pyrgos and Dougie Fife have been released back to the capital side. Looks like Toony loves Darcy now…

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Warriors season ticket holder and widely renowned ne'er-do-well, Iain has been watching rugby from a young age, but developed a true passion for the game whilst in the rugby hotbed that is New Zealand. Like Tommy Seymour, his hair-style icon, Iain does not like chickens.
Follow Iain on twitter @iainhay82

61 comments on “Doddie Weir Cup, Wales v Scotland: Player Ratings

  1. Rory Baldwin on

    One thing that hasn’t yet been mentioned is the fact that this was Danny Wilson’s first game in charge as Scotland forwards coach. Surely that would cause a bit of disruption to the pack especially if given new or different things to focus on? The set piece was for the most part pretty well put together (mauls included) aside from that scrum against 7 men which could be put down to M. Raynal’s whim…

    Reply
  2. Neil on

    Finally Toony has taken my advice and brought back in Strauss.

    Squad for Fiji

    1. Allan
    2. Brown
    3. Berghan
    4. Gilchrist
    5. Gray
    6. Ashe
    7. Watson
    8. Strauss
    9. Laidlaw (C)
    10. Russell
    11. Kinghorn
    12. Dunbar
    13. Jones
    14. Maitland
    15. Hogg

    16. Mcinally
    17. Dell
    18. Mcallum
    19. Skinner
    20. Wilson
    21. Pyrgos
    22. Weir
    23. L.Jones

    Reply
    • TheSmidge on

      I’m not convinced that Strauss will go straight into the team, but a bench appearance to get him set-up for the Saffers is conceivable.

      Also not convinced that Hoggy would likewise go straight in, but again might need a wee run-out if he’s really being aimed at the Saffers as well.

      Reply
      • Alanyst on

        A gentle re-introduction then…a wee jog against Fiji then SA…yikes.

        I think this is maybe 1 part gamesmanship, 1 part keeping Hogg in-squad and up to date, and 1 part releasing Fife…doubt we’ll see him…in a way I hope not.

    • Phil on

      Strauss is a great club player but has been pants for Scotland. Neither Horne’s even in the squad but Pyrgos and Weir? No Seymour or Hastings – complete nonsense, get yerself back to 2014.

      Reply
  3. Referendum on

    Prices only positive stand out was his box kicking no idea why u’ve highlighted it as a negative.

    Think it’s been shown that Johnny Gray didn’t place forward but was a Welsh arm. Other than that. Decent summing up.

    Reply
  4. TheSmidge on

    Just saw a tweet from TopoftheMoon that has made me question what Bradbury’s current status is. He was described as back with Edinburgh last week for treatment, as was Denton, but no reference this week, yet Denton is mentioned again. Does this mean he is available for Saturday?

    Reply
      • Kevin Millar on

        Aye for some reason Scotland have never included in their press releases that he’s left the squad and been replaced (as they have with other players) but Mark Palmer confirmed he’s out. It also seems that Luke Hamilton continues to train with the squad – although he’s never officially been added.

  5. Scrummo on

    Side I would pick for Fiji:

    Allan
    McInally
    McCallum
    Gray
    Toolis
    Wilson
    Watson
    Fagerson

    Laidlaw
    Russell
    Maitland
    Dunbar
    Jones
    Seymour
    Kinghorn

    Dell, Brown, Berghan, Skinner, Ritchie, Horne, Hastings, Horne.

    Think this game is a good chance to see how the likes of Allan, McCallum and Fagerson get on, hopefully they will relish the physicality. Interested to see Skinner but wouldn’t surprise me to see how used at blindside.

    Reply
    • Rich on

      I’d be pretty happy with that team. I’d maybe drop Toolis for Gilco. Not that Toolis was to blame for anything, just figured he played most of the last game, so give him a break and let Gilco play this one. Alternatively maybe rest Gray and let Toolis & Gilco play together. Again not dropping Gray for poor performance just trying different combos, and one that works pretty well at club level.

      But they are just changes for the sake of it.

      Reply
    • 1.8T on

      Pretty much what I would have, I might go for L Jones in front of Seymour, it would be harsh to drop L Jones given he played better than Seymour at the weekend and has probably been playing better than him at Glasgow too.

      Reply
    • Greenhorn on

      My team for fiji. Allan. Brown Berghan. Toolis Gilchrist. Wilson. Watson. Fagerson. Horne Russell. Kinghorn Dunbar. Jones. Seymour Maitland. Subs Dell McInally Nel Skinner Strauss Hastings Graham Laidlaw

      Reply
      • Warks Scot on

        Interesting selection but does leave both natural skippers on the bench. I’d swap Laidlaw & Horne around. We might well need Greig’s experience & game management on the pitch from the off

  6. Martin on

    in regards to ratings, i think your harsh on Wilson who was probably marginally better than JR – both of whom looked under weight and less motivated in the hit up compared to Moriarty and Lydiate. Nel I thought was unlucky for 1 of the penalties – I thought he held up the tight a bit better than Dell on the loose. Also I think Toolis and Gray had the better of Wyn Jones and Hill in the lineout, though I would agree that they were more passive in carries and tackles than there Welsh equivalents.

    In terms of back play – Hastings was probably lower than a 6, though it was a hard baptism of fire trying to give good direction when the forwards werent winning the collisions and giving quick go forward (in many ways I also feel a bit for Price in this regard) – but realistically when we play against the other tier 1 nations we wont have forward dominance so having the cuteness to manage a backline in those circumstances is kind of a pre-requiste for Scottish half-backs – still much to learn for both.

    Same for Huw Jones – He came in all guns blazing, but we have seen now a few times that being defensively sound is so important or you will get exposed. Much to work on, but he is still young and fairly inexperienced with much more upside potential than not. Thought Dunbar was good, but he looks slow – I couldnt pin point this so might be unfair, but I wonder if Dunbars lack of pace kept Jones too narrow in the defensive line – Either way the centres arent working as a combination yet.

    Reply
  7. Gavin Barr on

    We seem to have more strength in depth these days, but we have steadily sunk in the world ratings from 4th to 7th. What is going on?

    Reply
    • Alanyst on

      We are in a bunch, so don’t look too closely at the “ranking”. Since a high of 84.4 end Feb, now we are at 82.6…USA loss lost us 2 whole points.

      Meanwhile Wales and RSA have added a few points

      Reply
    • Bazz on

      Thought our highest was 5th?

      We are 7th @ 82.61
      AUS are 6th @ 82.86
      SA are 5th @ 83.03

      But yeah…I wouldn’t look too much into that given how tight things are.

      Reply
  8. 1.8T on

    I have no medical qualifications or insider knowledge but I hope Hogg is ready to make a return. I am not a fan of rushing players back, history shows it rarely goes well. We do need him though, his telepathic relationship with Russell and Seymour (if they are all playing well) can unlock the best of defences and we sorely missed that on Saturday. Good to see Josh Strauss has been welcomed back in from the cold, he has an unorthodox style but is undoubtably a good ball carrier. Not paying much attention to English rugby does anyone know how he has been playing for Sale?

    I would stick with Dunbar and Jones in the centre, they are the two best we have in their positions (with Taylor and Scott out of the equation) they need to learn to work together. Unfortunately due to various injuries they havent had as much game time together either for Scotland or Glasgow as they should have. Jones has showed defensive weakness (I’m not blaming him for the weekend, neither try was a howler by any player, their attack beat our defence) but he can also score tries for fun.

    Reply
    • Not rocket science on

      Carried very well reportedly playing full 80 against Saracems this weekend. It was a draw.

      Strauss back is huge news. A warrior. People might not like his upright running, but he gets over the gain line and his pedigree cannot be argued against. Had established himself as the best no 8 with that barn storming performance against the big beasts of France. Before injury and being let out in the cold. A real chance to prove himself all over again with time for the RWC.

      Reply
  9. Blake Westwood on

    George Horne was the guy who impressed me the most last Saturday. 1st 60 minutes, apart from the one try we scored, never looked like scoring a try. Then wee George comes on and suddenly we are playing fast paced dangerous rugby and if it wasn’t for the inefficiency around him we could have easily scored a few tries. That kick to put Peter Horne in was a mark of genius let down by poor handling.

    Reply
    • Rory Baldwin on

      It was hardly poor handling. I get Pete Horne is everyone’s least favourite at the moment but he was taking a kick coming in over his shoulder whilst diving horizontally with space running out – a few things for him to concentrate on: being where the ball lands at the right time, not playing the ball while on the ground, catching the ball, grounding the ball in goal, landing without injury and so on. Considering he was pretty close to making it too it would have been a superb bit of skill had he just held it for that fraction of a second.

      Reply
      • thebigiam on

        I only really saw it in real time in the stadium, but it looked like one of Horne’s teammates got in his way a bit, too…

  10. Blake Westwood on

    What frustrated me most about Hastings penalty miss to touch was the Welsh guy caught it easily outside his 22.From where he took it, the half-way line, to where he was aiming for, just outside the 22, is a kick you should be getting 100% of the time.

    At least when Russell misses touch from a penalty, he is risking the odds, being ambitious and aiming for the 5 metre line, to actually give us a pretty strong try scoring opportunity.

    And to be honest i’d rather see someone risk losing possession to give us a great try scoring opportunity, as Russell has done so many times before, than boringly and fairly pointlessly nudging us 20 or so meters up the pitch.

    Hastings miss to touch should not be compared to any of Russell’s misses as unlike Russell’s misses it was a fairly routine kick that he was aiming for.

    Having said that it was his 1st proper challenge in international rugby so think some of his critcism is OTT

    Reply
  11. Ad on

    Regarding the ratings I feel it is a bit harsh on Price. Yes he didn’t provide much of an attacking threat but he also didn’t do too much wrong. Horne looked better when he came on but this is often the case with scrum halfs against a tiring team. Just think back to all the discussion on Laidlaw – Price, Laidlaw – Pyrgos, Blair – Cusiter, Cusiter – Blair.

    I am not usually a fan of R. Wilson but I also think you have been a bit harsh there. During the game I thought he looked one of our best forwards (bar Watson) and the stats back it up – he carried more than any forward, made more passes and offloaded.

    On the other hand I am a big fan of JG but he had a bad day and so is a 4 or a 5. Was a silly mistake at the try line, he gave away penalties and was ineffectual going forward. He will pick himself up though – he has been looking pretty good this season overall.

    I think Dunbar is a bit high in relation to H.Jones. While it looked like two simple missed tackles by Jones the inside defence by Dunbar did not help. Both times H.Jones was covering two players. Furthermore Dunbar actually missed more tackles they just weren’t as crucial.

    Finally I think Hastings did pretty good considering so I agree with your mark. Kicked away too much but that was probably a team/coach decision. Arguably better than Finns performance in Wales earlier in the year. However Finn has been on fire at Racing so I am very excited to see what he can now do for Scotland.

    Reply
  12. Highland Bear on

    Team for Saturday will reflect how pragmatic Toonie is. Trying to out-Fiji would see George Horne & Russell selected at half-back with a half-fit Hogg at fullback and a lightweight pack. I’m not sure that this would be the best strategy. Rather go for a heavyweight pack to dominate the set-piece and grind the opposition with Laidlaw controlling play and field position.

    Hugh Jones will be targeted by the big Fijian runners so better have his tackling head on. From viewing the 2 Welsh tries, his vulnerability is when decoy runners are deployed and he appears uncertain and slow to adjust to changes in the line of attack. To be fair both tries were beautifully crafted, but if I was an opposition attack coach I would be targeting the Scotland 12-13 axis.

    Reply
    • Alanyst on

      Do we even have a heavyweight pack? I dont think we could hit 900 kg if we tried.

      Most of our larger players are either injured or just got “dropped”.

      Pack intensity, workrate and organisation I think will be key however.

      Reply
  13. kiwi10gaa on

    Those minutes Hastings got in the brutal cauldron that is Cardiff will be an experience that he’ll definitely learn from. Thought Jones just looked a bit indecisive in defence, needs to trust those inside him. Expecting a much different performance at Murrayfield on Saturday with Huw picking up his customary brace of tries however.
    I feel that Seymour is probably in the team on past achievements at this point and with the exiles +Hogg back will not be guaranteed a place in the 23 at this rate. Would love to see Graham get a run at the Fijians, probably the form back three player in the squad atm.

    Reply
    • Big Al on

      Seymour is really at his best when he’s got Hogg running alongside him. Unfortunately due to injuries we’ve not seen too much of that since the Lions tour. I don’t see him getting dropped when he was Vice Captain in the last game.

      Reply
      • TeamCam on

        Seymour at his best is fantastic. Fast, powerful and elusive. He’s up there with the best the NH has to offer A certainly better than the line of Nowell – but I think North and Williams are better.

  14. C D on

    1, Allen
    2, McInally
    3, Berghan (regretably)
    4, Gray
    5, Skinner
    6, Wilson
    7, Watson
    8, Fagerson

    9, Horne
    10, Russell
    11, Maitland
    12, Dunbar
    13, Jones
    14, Seymour
    15, Hogg (if fit, Kinghorn if not)

    16, Brown
    17, Dell
    18, Nel
    19, Gilchrist
    20, Strauss
    21, Laidlaw
    22, Hastings
    23, Kinghorn (Graham)

    Props need to change.

    Toolis was absent on sat, and STILL not seeing enough from Gilchrist, so its got to be Skinner.

    Not a huge amount you can do with the back row.

    Horne is easily the best 9.

    Would love to see Finn/Hastings 10/12- but would require Dunbar at 13.

    Missed Maitland on Sat.

    Reply
  15. Big Al on

    I’m not sure todays call-ups will make the team on Saturday. I suspect its too short a time to learn the latest Toonie play book and I think they are being aimed at the following 2 games.

    Really hope they’re not rushing Hoggy back as no-one in Scottish Rugby wants to see him pick-up a set back that puts him at risk for the 6 nations. I can, however, see him running attacks in a Fiji style with Graham and Kinghorn against the Scottish midfield in training this week.

    Reply
    • Big Al on

      It would be fun to watch in training a team of Laidlaw, Russell, Dunbar, H Jones, Maitland, Seymour and Kinghorn being tested by a team of G Horne, Hastings, Lang, Grigg, Graham, L Jones and Hogg.

      Reply
  16. Referendum on

    After a bit research looking at Six Nations and Autumn internationals in the Townsend era. All the home matches so far we’ve had five. Lost one won four. The centre’s in all four matches were Peter Horne and Huw Jones. The one lost Alex Dunbar and Huw Jones. This was New Zealand. Excellent performance but still a loss.

    Alex Dunbar and Huw Jones have yet to taste victory starting together under Townsend I believe. That needs checked. Beat Ireland and Wales together in 2017 under VC but never started together and won under Townsend.

    Peter Horne has started alot more than I thought in the last year and a half for Scotland probably due to injuries but he seems a crucial part of the machine and probably the stuff we don’t see. Hes bound to help defence organisation and he is a shouter and another playmaker. Is it possible he’s been talking Jones through defensive shape to keep things tight and structured? A left foot can be handy too. I think we need to give him more credit for what he brings to the table.

    Gordon Reid played alot in the six nations too last time out. I think again his scrum work goes unseen and is crucial to helping Nel/Berghan work their magic at scrum time. What u lose in the loose u make up way more in solidity in the scrum.

    Reply
    • Scrummo on

      As good as Dunbar is I do sometimes think Horne is the key man for our backline. His addition seems to make the others gel and see the backline play as more than the sum of its parts which given the high quality of some of those parts is even more impressive. A very underrated player maybe should be first choice 12 even though Dunbar can be impressive with his jackaling, bludgeoning bulwark style of play.

      Reply
    • Matto on

      Nice to hear Pete Horne getting some credit for a change. He’s one of these players who i think suffers from perceptual bias – the ‘too small’ filter of negativity, and then any error is over-emphasised and his contribution is rarely objectively appraised.
      As pointed out above, in reality he has played in many of our best wins (i think he also came off the bench vs NZ) reads the game, communicates, organises and creates chances very well. He’s got a great understanding with both Russell (who generslly seems to play better with Horne outside him) and Horne-ito. He’s highly rated by the coaches for good reason. If he’s not first choice 12, he’s a top quality option on the bench.

      Reply
    • 1.8T on

      At risk of droning on I never understand the flack P Horne gets on here. I seem to recall him having a howler a couple of years ago (was it against Italy?) have people not forgiven him? Plenty of others have also had howlers (remembers the calls for Russell’s head on a platter following Cardiff before he promptly went and took England apart…)

      Anyway, I think he is the best attacking 12 we have, he runs some fantastic lines and links well with Russell, he can distribute too. Dunbar is better defensively and is strong over the ball. I would “horses for courses” who starts. Horne was our ideal guy for the bench as he was the only person who could cover 10, we now have Hastings so for me that means we can start viewing Horne purely as a centre again. I’m quite surprised too by that stat of how many games he has started but if he has started a lot of them, we have also won quite a lot of them and I don’t think those points are coincidental.

      Reply
  17. Busy Little Bee on

    This Fiji match looks a real banana skin and for that reason I’d airlift Damian Hoyland in for this one, put him up against Tuisova again after the Fijian stomped all over him last year. Face the demons head on. Seymour hasn’t done anything recently anyway.

    Will be good to have Russell and Laidlaw back. I’d like to see Matt Fagerson start. Is Hastings really all that? Looks like another Godman to me.

    Reply
    • James on

      I’m going to give this 4/10 for trolling: “bring back Hoyland” was good but then you sounded sensible about Laidlaw and Russell before comparing Hastings with Godman, another bit of good trolling. And no mention of Dan Parks?

      Reply
    • 1.8T on

      I have to give it to you, after many months / years of your ridiculous comments they are actually starting to make me laugh. Is Hoyland the new Dan Parks?! As for Hastings, the fact he didn’t get sent off in Cardiff for not tripping up Lee Byrne already makes him better than Godman.

      Reply
  18. Scrummo on

    Out of interest do we have any bigger forwards with more grunt coming through? If you picked an under 23 pack I think it would be something like:

    McCallum
    Stewart
    Fagerson
    Cummings
    Hunter-Hill
    Bradbury
    Ritchie
    Fagerson

    Weighs in at roughly 912kg which is a fair bit heavier than most packs we put out now and a few big carriers in there though some may never make it as internationals and McCallum seems likely to stay largely at tighthead.

    Reply
  19. Ali on

    Guys – honest question. I’m a rugby fan but no expert. Seems to me we had massive chances to win the game from attacking scrums in last 10 mins. They only had 14 men. We kept the ball in and won penalties. What good was that? Surely releasing the ball out to either side with acres of space would of seen best chance of scoring. But ball stayed in scrum and came to nothing. It felt like the wrong decision at the time, and that I would of expected the scrum half to take charge of the situation. I thought Horne the younger played well and don’t want to be seen putting him down, but I couldn’t help think laidlaw would of engineered something more productive. Am I wrong – is it the back row or locks who made that choice, rather than half back?

    Anyway – my two cents. Still loving that we go down there and compete after a decade and a bit of watching us get flogged without much of a fight.

    Reply
    • Martin on

      When we had the squeeze on you are looking for a penalty advantage so you can get a free play and/or if you really get a squeeze on you can get a penalty try / pushover. The problem (and one I have seen regularly) is that Raynard shouted to the scrum half to use it even when the scrums the front rows had collapsed. Technically it should be a re-set scrum or penalty of someone has infringed – i think we got the rough end of the deal this week perhaps as a result of not having Greig or John B’s ref management

      Reply
  20. TeamCam on

    For all those decrying Huw Jones after this game, Ben Smith has done an excellent article for another rugby site (good God!) that demonstrates that although his technique wasn’t quite right, the tries were scored due to systemic issues. Worth a read.

    Reply
    • Ben F on

      Well said Teamcam, I would also add Huw Jones should not have been the last line of defence in the Davies try.

      Jones (apparent) mistake (much too strong a word) was hesitating, however in doing so he avoided the risk of tackling a man without the ball but lost the momentum on taking the carrier IMO.

      Enter stage left a guy called the Full Back , but he was not there, rightly or wrongly.

      The criticism is a bit heavy handed , they had us on toast on that play and I doubt if faced with the same play in the future Jones or anyone else would do anything differently.

      Reply

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