Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


European Teams for the Weekend

John Hardie - pic © Al Ross
John Hardie - pic © Al Ross

As usual, time is short, so I’ll get down to it!

Glasgow v Lyon

Time for the Warriors to back up an impressive away win. Good to see chances for Stafford McDowall and Robbie Nairn on such a big stage. Bad news for Fraser Brown who is out for 8-10 weeks but a good chance for George Turner to start pushing his credentials at the top level.

Date: Sat 15 December 2018 13:00 (GMT), Scotstoun Stadium

Glasgow Warriors: 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Tommy Seymour, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Stafford McDowell, 11. Niko Matawalu, 10. Adam Hastings, 9. Ali Price, 1. Oli Kebble, 2. George Turner, 3. Siosiua Halanukonuka, 4. Tim Swinson, 5. Jonny Gray, 6. Ryan Wilson, 7. Callum Gibbins (c), 8. Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: Grant Stewart, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. Petrus du Plessis, 19. Robert Harley, 20. Chris Fusaro, 21. Nick Frisby, 22. Peter Horne, 23. Robbie Nairn

Lyon: 15. Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14. Xavier Mignot, 13. Pierre-Louis Barassi, 12. Thibaut Regard, 11. Alexis Palisson, 10. Jean-Marc Doussain, 9. Charl McLeod, 1. Raphael Chaume, 2. Virgile Lacombe, 3. Hamza Kaabèche, 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 5. Hendrik Roodt, 6. Loann Goujon, 7. Patrick Sobela (c), 8. Deon Fourie.
Replacements: Jeremie Maurouard, 17. Albertus Buckle, 18. Kévin Yaméogo, 19. Francois van der Merwe, 20. Carl Fearns, 21. Rudi Wulf, 22. Adrien Seguret, 23. Quentin Delord,

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

Newcastle Falcons v Edinburgh Rugby

Scottish interest on both sides with Chris Harris and Gary Graham joined this week by John Hardie who seems to be relishing the chance given to him by Dean Richards.

It’s a strong Edinburgh team Cockerill has picked but that Falcons side has been boosted a lot for the Toon leg.

Date: Sun 16 December 2018 15:15 (GMT), Kingston Park

Newcastle Falcons: 15. Simon Hammersley, 14. Vereniki Goneva, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Johnny Williams, 11. Sinoti Sinoti, 10. Toby Flood (c), 9. Tane Takulua, 1. Sam Lockwood, 2. Kyle Cooper, 3. Trevor Davison, 4. Calum Green, 5. Tex Cavubati , 6. Mark Wilson, 7. John Hardie, 8. Nemani Nagusa.
Replacements: 16. George McGuigan, 17. Sami Mavinga, 18. Jack Payne, 19. Glen Young, 20. Gary Graham, 21. Sam Stuart, 22. Brett Connon, 23. Tom Arscott

Edinburgh Rugby: 15. Blair Kinghorn, 14. Darcy Graham, 13. James Johnstone, 12. Chris Dean, 11. Duhan Van Der Merwe, 10. Jaco van der Walt, 9. Henry Pyrgos, 1. Allan Dell, 2. Stuart McInally (c), 3. WP Nel, 4. Ben Toolis, 5. Grant Gilchrist, 6. Luke Hamilton, 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Viliame Mata.
Replacements: 16. David Cherry, 17. Pierre Schoeman, 18. Simon Berghan, 19. Calum Hunter Hill, 20. Luke Crosbie, 21. Nathan Fowles, 22. Simon Hickey, 23. Juan Pablo Socino

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)

Elsewhere, Sam Skinner is in action for Exeter, Jake Kerr is on the bench for Leicester and of course Finn starts for Racing. Sean Maitland starts for Sarries and while no sign of Blade Thomson for Scarlets, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne is on the bench.

42 Responses

  1. Glasgow manage to do some fairly serious rotation of players without looking like they have weakened the team at all. We also get to see the young guns McDowell and Nairn in some serious action for the first time as well.

    The Edinburgh players on the other hand look like they are in for a long hard spell over the festive period, at least until a few more of their players get themselves fit again.

    Two cracking matches coming up. What a good way to spend a cold winter weekend.

    1. Might be a very good day for Nairn as he’s very good under a high ball and it’s a kicking forecast!

  2. It’ll be interesting to see how McDowell and Huw Jones link up. It’s also good to see Luke Crosbie on the bench for Edinburgh, hopefully he starts to make an impact.

    With the weather tomorrow Glasgow should focus on the win and not think about the bonus. It’s going to be grim, the Lyon players might be used to the cold but our cold is a special kind of miserable!

    1. I think Glasgow are thinking bonus point by halftime. Then they can come out with the thermals and oil skins for the second half! Know what you mean though, the weather makes it a lottery so win by any means is fine!

  3. Not great news about Brown being out for a couple of months! Gives a Turner a great chance though!

    1. Turner will hope to be on the bench for the 6N now. Would like to see Kerr make the squad also.

      1. Just because Kerr plays for Leicester doesn’t mean he’s any good. Watch their games, he’s the epitome of meh.

  4. I like Hardie, he has the hard edge and skill-set to excel exactly where Scotland have struggled – the battle to secure quick ball from/on the ground. Watson is world class but Hardie is a brilliant option/alternative to Watson where teams simply defend flat/strong. We know the ball HAS to be in the hands of Russell, Jones & Hogg ASAP for Scotland to fire.

  5. Glasgow have done a good bit of business with Kebble! Kind of want to keep it quiet as to just how good he is in case he gets a S Africa call up before he qualifies for Scotland! Will get a good idea in a weeks time how much of a challenge he is to the current Scottish front row!

    1. If he maintains his form, I think he’ll go straight into the squad as soon as he is available. Anyone know / remember if his residency period is 3 or 5 years..?!?

      1. Is it not that qualified is qualified? So if he stays at Glasgow, he should be SQ even if not picked…unless he plays for SA.

  6. Do you think Ashe and G Horne have been given the weekend off to go watch videos of how to chop tackle Mata?

  7. Turner looks like going to be out for a long time, huge blow to glasgow. looks like we going to need to recruit a hooker. Persuade Shalk Brits to come out of reitrement for half season ?

  8. First off – conditions were pretty dire, so some mitigating factors in that performance.

    However, set piece was dire. Ok, we were on our 3rd choice hooker but I would expect them still to do the basics well.

    Started brilliantly, great try and first 20 was impressive given the weather. Then it all fell apart a bit.

    4 tries is a big ask in the sleet, but the bonus point was still there for the taking and we might rue not getting it. We should still qualify, but it might give us a much harder game in the quarter finals.

    Not going to criticise too much, but maybe would have been a good idea to have a bit more class on the bench.

    1. I agree that the game got worse as it went on. The weather did too. That is the worst weather I have seen at Scotstoun in the 5 years I have been going. Take the points and move on.

      5 points probably still sees us through.

      1. Well i would take the points and move on.

        Looking forward to the 1872 cup would like to see Edinburgh get the full 10 points with full strength side (Wrap Mcinally in wool)

        Hope Glasgow rest alot of there players with there strong position in pro 14 not needing the points, and upcoming crucial champions cup games.

        In saying that i still want a competitive game with alot of youth from Glasgows side showing what they can do, Fagerson, Cummings, Stewart, Mcdowall, Nairn.

        Matchup i want to see is Nairn vs Graham.

      2. I think Glasgow will want the points to keep Munster off their tail. With the final being in Glasgow this year getting the home semi has to be the priority over anything else.

        Glasgow have Rae, Cummins, Ashe, G Horne, Dunabr, Grigg and DTH all to come back in who weren’t involved today or on the injury report. I would expect a strong team.

  9. Glasgow down to Stewart, Malcolm and Bryce available at hooker?

    Scotland likely to pick McInally, Ford and Stewart or Cherry come 6N time with either unlikely to be capped? Or maybe one of Kerr or Miller from South of the border.

  10. Edinburgh – Newcastle a cracker of a game.
    Great defensive performance from Edinburgh and a couple of good tries in the second half.
    10-12-13 wasn’t firing in the first half and seem a little weak compared to the back 3.
    Was very impressed with Pyrgos and strong forward performance.

    Good decision by the ref on the Kinghorn challenge.

    Both Scottish teams in great positions to qualify now, in their own hands. Glasgow must beat Cardiff and Edinburgh have Toulon away and Montpellier at home – both tricky but I would target the Toulon game as the most doable, especially as they have nothing to play for.

    Also, Russell had a good game for Racing – he combines so well with Zebo, which I can see translating to the Scottish back 3.

  11. Excellent away win for Edinburgh this afternoon. RC really has toughened this side up – well the starting 23 anyway.

    Had to listen to it on the radio. Out of interest, how did Hardie go for Newcastle today? He wasn’t mentioned that often but it sounded like a tight battle at the breakdown. Still see him as very much part of our 6N and RWC if he’s recaptured his 15/16/17 form.

    1. Hardie looked very good. Powerful, tackling hard, getting turnovers, carrying well and even offering cheeky offloads.

  12. McInally, Watson and D.Graham were the stand outs for Edinburgh. Hardie looks back to his best, had a fantastic all-round game. Harris looked great just needs to convert his domestic form into the international arena which will come with experience. Can’t see the hype over G.Graham did nothing again today. Only reason for his call-ups seems to be Scotland and England trying get one over each other

    1. Blake lets not talk about that filthy turncoat please.

      Delighted to see Hardie back and firing and good to hear Darcy Graham did well again, would love to see him matched up against Seymour or Nairn next week.

  13. Great contest between the 7s. I made it a score draw. Line out really good – especially Toolis.
    Pyrgos excellent as was Harris. Johnstone took try well but centres weren’t great. They need Scott and Bennett.
    Agree about Graham.

  14. Saw Leo Sarto is struggling to find a team, pretty crazy he was one of Glasgows best players when fit, Edinburgh or Glasgow should sign him up.

  15. Hardie was fantastic ..great to see him back firing on all cylinders. A step above Graham and had a real battle with Watson all match.

    1. Hardie has a decent first half, couple of tackles and a turnover – then nothing. Completely anonymous.

      Hardie can do no wrong to some.

      1. has Hardie ever had a bad game for Edinburgh or Scotland Stu ? always gives a minimum 7/10 performance and cant think of anyone who puts there body on the line more.

  16. Glasgow could do a lot worse than bring Scott Lawson out of retirement as a stop gap to help alleviate the hooker crisis

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion