Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


PRO14 Round 8: Teams for the Weekend

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne - pic by Al Ross
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne on the break - pic © Al Ross/Novantae Photography

Apologies for the lack of chat, but here are the talking points: Blade Thomson, Ally Miller, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, how Jamie Bhatti and Rory Sutherland have fallen, how many Ospreys have you heard of?

There should be match reports forthcoming for both of these games although it could be Monday before they appear!

Edinburgh Rugby v Scarlets
Date: Fri 2nd November 2018
KO: 19:35
Venue: BT Murrayfield

Edinburgh Rugby: Dougie Fife, Tom Brown, James Johnstone, Chris Dean, Duhan van der Merwe, Simon Hickey, Henry Pyrgos; Pierre Schoeman, Ross Ford, Murray McCallum, Jamie Hodgson, Callum Hunter-Hill, Luke Hamilton, Ally Miller, Viliame Mata.
Replacements: Dave Cherry, Rory Sutherland, Pietro Ceccarelli, Callum Atkinson, Lewis Wynne, Nathan Fowles, Jason Baggott, Juan Pablo Socino,

Scarlets: Johnny McNicholl, Ioan Nicholas, Kieron Fonotia, Paul Asquith, Morgan Williams, Dan Jones, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; Phil Price, Ryan Elias, Werner Kruger, Steve Cummins, David Bulbring, Blade Thomson, Josh Macleod, Will Boyde.
Replacements: Dafydd Hughes, Dylan Evans, Simon Gardiner, Tom Price, Ed Kennedy, Kieran Hardy, Clayton Blommetjies, Uzair Cassiem,

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (NZ)

Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors
Date: Fri 2nd November 2018
KO: 19:35
Venue: Liberty Stadium

Ospreys: Dan Evans, Hanno Dirksen, Cory Allen, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, Keelan Giles, Sam Davies, Tom Habberfield; Rhodri Jones, Scott Otten, Ma’afu Fia, Lloyd Ashley, James King, Olly Cracknell, Will Jones, Rob McCusker.
Replacements: Sam Parry, Gareth Thomas, Tom Botha, James Ratti, Guido Volpi, Matthew Aubrey, James Hook, Tom Williams.

Glasgow Warriors: Ruaridh Jackson, DTH van der Merwe, Nick Grigg, Stafford MacDowell, Rory Hughes, Brandon Thomson, Nick Frisby; Oli Kebble, George Turner, D’arcy Rae, Rob Harley, Scott Cummings, Adam Ashe, Callum Gibbins, David Tameilau.
Replacements: Grant Stewart, Jamie Bhatti, Adam Nicol, Kiran McDonald Seran, Matt Smith, Bruce Flockhart, Patrick Kelly, Nikola Matawalu,

Referee: Andy Brace (IRFU)

14 Responses

  1. The thing that stuck out about both Edinburgh and Glasgow tonight was how well coached they are, particularly Glasgow. It might be my imagination but Glasgow seem to have a lot more bite and physical edge about them this year, whereas last year you just hoped they would score more than the opposition, this year they seem more likely to physically match or dominate their opponents. Edinburgh, on the other hand, seem to have maintained their physicality from last season and appear to have finally begun to develop their attack. Both play a different style, but both are fun to watch. Looks very promising going forward. (too much optimism ?)

    1. Glasgow are great to watch and are now managing the game quarter by quarter in a way they have never mastered even when the won the Pro12.

      We all dreaded the day Hogg would not be there, I think it has been the making of Glasgow.

      He will come back into a side that has strength , depth and confidence. That will take the pressure of expectation away from him.

  2. Completely agree. I think Glasgow at full strength are getting to the point where they can challenge Leinster at the end of the season, which I was never confident of last season – not that they got close enough – This year I think they’re genuinely one of the best two teams in the league. That said Leinster are pretty impressive, so if they can get close to them then they should be challenging in Europe…

  3. Second really good performance away from Glasgow in last fortnight. A problem over the last couple of years has been drop off when the big guns are away with Scotland.

    I thought Stafford McDowell had another good game. Could add something different for Glasgow and maybe Scotland in the future.

    The blend seems better too. Kebble/Bhatti, Gibbons, DTH, Nico, Turner and the ever reliable Harley give good experience and edge to the team. Ospreys were poor in attack but Glasgow defended well and the physicality is definitely better, I think, over the past month.

    I have always said give Rennie time and judge him on the performances of the young guys coming through as I think that is his job in the SRU model. Fingers crossed, his approach and game plan now seems to be working.

    7 try bonus points on 8 games, 8 in 10 if you include champions cup is some going. Munster and Sarries at home the only games that haven’t yielded a try BP.

    My prediction to a Welsh friend was three defeats for Scottish teams this weekend. Happily take 0-3 the other way come tea time today! I really want to see Jonny Gray outshine AWJ. I think he has been part of the physical step up by Glasgow and if he can bring that to the internationals on top of his phenomenal work-rate, tackling and line-out it would be brilliant.

    1. It’s great to see them clicking under Rennie this season. I definitely had my doubts last season when the same mistakes were being made every game, but this season – Kings aside and since Sarries especially – he and his team got the lads playing powerful, attractive rugby. I really hope he doesn’t leave at the end of the season as is rumoured, because I think that with another season or two under his belt we can be genuine contenders for the ERCC, even with the might of Leinster, Sarries et al..

      Niko was MotM for me, but that was Grigg’s best game yet. Turner, Bob, Ashe, Givbins, DTH and McDowell had damn good games, too. Bit concerned for Rozza- whose injury seemed to slow him to the extent that I thought he was a prop at one point, and lead to the second try being conceded – and Kebble. Hopefully they’ll be ok, because their luck with injuries has been rotten.

      Ospreys were the least enterprising team I’ve seen playing rugby in some time. Giles was excellent – he’s wasted there and should move to a better team (like us…) so that he can develop. The commentators kept saying they’ve the best defence in the Pro14, but, even if that were true (Leinster do, I think), they still conceded four tries. Best defence vs best attack was always more likely end up favouring us, and I’m glad because their explicit commitment to kick- and penalty-based anti-rugby was gash. I feel bad for their supporters, who were more than happy to boo the ref and jeer the kicker, incidentally. Anyway, time to go and watch the Edinburgh game. Just annoying that they told us the result without warning…

      1. I could watch that side play every week. We are really not missing our star player(s). They might even get in the way when the AI’s conclude.
        Great problem to have.

      2. Scarlets scored some nice tries and SHC looked sharp again. Shame about The Blade, hopefully he’s OK.

        Edinburgh were good, but profligate – they left two tries out there in the the first quarter alone, and failed to make their kicks. They’ve still got far more to give. But Mata was brilliant again (pay him whatever he wants, Cockers!), Pyrgos was good (intercepts aside), TGS was brutal again (although he’s still a bit of a liability) and the young ‘uns showed up well. Ally Miller has certainly helped his cause. It’s a bit concerning the Duhan vdM has been nullified somewhat this season, I wonder how much of that is injury or complacency and how much is other teams paying him more attention – the Scarlets certainly doubled up on him at every opportunity. Hopefully he can adjust and get back on his upward trajectory. Hamilton wasn’t bad, either, but he looks out of shape.

        Why was o’Keefe refereeing, though? He was OK, but inconsistent – I noticed a lot of times that Edinburgh were penalised for offences that Scarlets were not, and probably vice versa. Still, he’s miles better than Clancy, Lacey, Mittrea et al.!

  4. Nick Grigg was a class act but I was also impressed with Frisby, his pass had good zip when required but he also did well holding in the extra defender (crabbing ever so slightly) which led to a few break straight off 9. It’s games like this one you can see why Rennie brought him in.

  5. I think Glasgow at full strength will need to play as a team. The differentiator last night was teamwork and not being dependant on one or two individuals.

    The most impressive aspect IMO was not allowing them to cross the gain line and forcing them to kick . Kicking is their strength, when we just absorbed it , they were back under pressure.

    In the first half we made the most of it in the second with Hughes injury , it was a bit squeaky bum, but we came through . Incidently , I thought Hughes did a good job at FB up till the injury (despite having hands like coos tits Stu).

    We have seen a number of men step back to 15 this season with very little detriment. Worth noting when Hogg starts to negotiate his contract and we all start worrying.

    1. As much as we can be pleased not too have lost too much without the safety of Hogg at the back… he will make the difference in the big games. Teams know they have to kick perfectly when he’s on the field as they can’t allow him time and space to run the ball back at you. That leads to them kicking less and running more, territorial gains are limited… he also links into our attacking play so well, drawing the eyes of defenders and making holes for everyone else, if he doesn’t draw the extra defender then we give him the ball and he breaks the gainline.

      We can cheer on the likes of Jackson, Seymour and maybe even Hughes for not having a nightmare but we can’t say all of this about any of them. If Hogg goes we will need an out and out FB to replace him.

      1. Glasgow are predictable with HoggI.This Glasgow are balanced.Apatt from that,fair enough.

  6. SRU should be moving heaven and earth to get Rennie to extend his contract. I’m sure he has unfinished business in Glasgow but he’ll also be having attractive offers thrown at him from all directions. In fact, priorities for SRU must be keeping Rennie, Hogg and H. Jones in Scotland. I’d say the same about Bill Mata but can’t see him staying when the French money-men come calling. Would love to see him join Nakarawa at Racing though.

    1. Agree extending Rennie’s contract is a priority. With him signed up I suspect it will add to the chances of re-signing many of the first choice players who are out of contract at the end of this season. Rennie seems to have the team buying into his ideas and I would like to think he will want to stay another 2 or 3 years and see how far he can take Warriors. He also has the Toony style of being positive about his players.

    2. Hogg will not leave Scotland and is a big wage for the SRU. Russell took his chances in a world XV and it worked. Jones should play where he gets the most freedom to play a free running game. That might be Glasgow. Outside of rugby I see him as being more cosmopolitan. I envisage he will embrace change and new cultures freely and seamlessly.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion