Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


PRO14 Final: Glasgow 15-18 Leinster

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A raucous crowd of more than 47,100 welcomed hosts Glasgow and holders Leinster to Celtic Park for the final of the 2018/2019 Guinness PRO14 Final and ultimately the visitors showed their championship-winning pedigree after a huge battle from the home side.

A rainy day meant a greasy ball and that offset the effect of some nice line breaks by both sides, with Kyle Steyn, Stuart Hogg and Leinster’s James Lowe in the thick of it.

It was breathless play with few stoppages despite regular turnovers. Johnny Sexton’s first goal kick was wide of the mark but Leinster’s kicking from hand was more effective, winning ball from DTH Van Der Merwe’s failure to gather slippery high balls.

Fraser Brown was lucky to stay on after a dangerous hit on Luke McGrath when he didn’t have the ball (although Brown probably thought he did) and by and large Leinster’s set piece was the difference between the two sides in physical, high tempo opening exchanges.

Two tries within a minute sparked the scoreboard into life.

After some very Irish-style forward play from the Glasgow pack, Matt Fagerson sent the locals into raptures with a short dart from the base. Almost from the kickoff, Hogg was charged down for Ringrose to dive on in goal.

Glasgow could have struck right back on their next attack – perhaps the rain had slowed a bit during this spell – had Hastings passed it on to Sam Johnson outside him rather than taking himself towards the line and into contact. Leinster would have been happy to concede just the three points to Hastings boot.

A nasty looking ankle injury to Fraser Brown after 25 minutes and a Cian Healy try after 27 were a double blow to Glasgow that left them looking a little unsettled in the ten minutes heading towards the break; a further penalty for collapsing the scrum pushed Leinster’s lead out to five.

Glasgow ended the half camped on Leinster’s line, but the blue defence had a the edge on the black attack, and they kept the score as it was.

With a different second half in prospect, those were indeed the vital “Championship minutes”?

Half-time: Glasgow 10-15 Leinster

The second half continued according to Leinster’s plan rather than Glasgow’s: Leinster content to play through the phases confident in their defence and wait for a mistake to pounce on.

Glasgow made a superb break through Hogg but Leinster turned it over in a tackle a few phases later, broke right back up the field sending Glasgow’s scramble defence into panic. Kyle Steyn, who till that point had been superb, was yellow carded for slowing the counter attack ball after tracking back to make the tackle.

Sexton kicked to the corner. The Warriors defence held firm, but did concede three points and that made the margin more than a converted try.

A physically battered Glasgow were well into their bench by the time Steyn returned and despite Leinster spending most of the time in their 22, the Warriors didn’t give away any points.

As both sides probed for half gaps going into the final stages of the game, the crowd sparked into life after Rob Kearney saw his own yellow card for taking Hogg out in the air – reds have been given for less.

Glasgow carried well throughout the game with the superb Scott Cummings, Grant Stewart and Matt Fagerson giving it their all but Leinster were secure in their defence, including a couple of choke tackles in the midfield to hold isolated runners on their feet and win the turnover.

The Warriors just had no ball to play with in the right areas, and the conditions suppressed their natural ambition to run things.

Inside the last ten minutes came a lifeline from as Stewart showed a wingers touch to finish in the corner. Hastings missed the conversion to leave the margin just three: 3 points, 3 minutes to play, and with Kearney restored, 15 men apiece. Was a draw on the cards?

Glasgow fought hard as they had all game, but as had happened more often than they would have wanted, there were too many balls slipping out of frustrated hands to get anyone through a determined blue wall and make that decisive break. They couldn’t, or didn’t, play their natural game enough.

The occasion was superb, and the intensity of the battle was huge from both teams. Make no mistake this was a contest, but by the final stages it was fairly clear that the trophy would end up in Dublin – and so it proved.

SRBlog Man of the Match: Hogg was lively but this was sadly not the weather for Glasgow’s broken field running. Grant Stewart and Matt Fagerson were very good and Steyn was probably the pick of the backs, but Scott Cummings put in a towering performance that could have Gregor Townsend pondering that extra lock training squad place.

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)

Attendance: 47,128

76 Responses

  1. Gutted for Glasgow & Hogg, that was a hell of an effort from both sides, well done Leinster.

    I think Rennie has really taken this team on now though, we have went toe to toe with the best packs in the pro14 the past month & the side is looking more complete, i’m very excited for next season.

    My MoM was also Scott Cummings he really took the pressure in his stride when a lot of the team did not play there own style that first half.

    Im delighted to see Fraser Browns Ankle was the problem & not his knee, it will hopefully not be as long a recovery now & praying he can be ready for the Warm up Games.

    Great Atmosphere btw, Glasgow really is a great sporting city.

  2. Gutted for Glasgow & Hogg, that was a hell of an effort from both sides, well done Leinster.

    I think Rennie has really taken this team on now though, we have went toe to toe with the best packs in the pro14 the past month & the side is looking more complete, i’m very excited for next season.

    My MoM was also Scott Cummings he really took the pressure in his stride when a lot of the team did not play there own style that first half.

    Im delighted to see Fraser Browns Ankle was the problem & not his knee, it will hopefully not be as long a recovery now & praying he can be ready for the Warm up Games.

    Great Atmosphere btw, Glasgow really is a great sporting city.

    1. Yeah, I’m not upset at Leinster’s win, but maybe the manner of it. I think next year, even without Hogg (who was ace), we’ll be a real threat. I suspect a lot of Leinster fans are relieved rather than elated.

      1. The best side won today and I am gutted for Glasgow. .Leinster adapted better, made better calls when they had the ball.

        We should embrace the future without Hogg. Glasgow will grow, Hogg will grow, win win IMO. He was involved in their first try and we looked lively in the last 10 mins. Yes there were a few other things going on but no one can deny we had one of our most lively periods when Sexton, Price and Hogg left the field whether relevant or not, you decide! It doesnt matter anyway , they did not let anyone down today.

        I agree with Cummings as MOM. He broke the line and made considerably more yards on every carry.

        I think Glasgow will kick on you should look forward, Hogg will not be looking back , we should not be lookimg back.

      2. I disagree that the best side won, or at least I disagree that they won because they were better, but I respect your opinion and agree with your other points. Have a good ‘un!

    2. GW and all:You have to feel disappointed for fans and all the players , we had high hopes. No need to be gutted for Hogg who is leaving for better things. This game turned twice in three minutes :13m we score, 14m we convert, 15m we butcher the clearence (and it was a howler), Leinster chargedown and score. That was a hefty blow and you just cannot get away from those three minutes. It is a huge achievement to get to the final. Failure is not fatal, the summer awaits and a new season full of optimism awaits.

  3. Hard lines Glasgow. A few errors at the set piece, a few dropped passes and Leinster’s dogged defence held firm.

    As an Edinburgh fan who made the trip across, I wish Edinburgh could generate an atmosphere like that! Celtic Park missed a trick on their food and drink service though, absolutely terrible!

    Nigel Owens was closer to the game than me but… some very strange decisions. It seems like the laws say one thing on taking players out in the air and the refs do something completely different.

    Scott Cummings seemed to be everywhere, perhaps it was just his bright blue headgear was very visible!

  4. I think Glasgow’s booing of the place kicker was juvenile and disrespectful of this great game. Shame on you

      1. Yeah it was quiet until he milked it for I think the 3 minute then folks got a bit annoyed. Fair enough. Anyway this nonsense of respect the kicker is nonsense. If I was kicking I’d much rather have a busy buzzing atmosphere where I’m less the centre of attention than a deathly quiet that says “You better no miss this son”

    1. I keep saying that 1 and a half minutes allowed for a place kick is a joke. Teams are now ‘taking the piss’ and using the rules to run down the clock. Initially the Glasgow fans were quiet (as they can be?!) but the waiting goes on and on, so the booing gets louder \and louder. The board at IRB need to take a look at this and change the rules. I feel no shame at all about this as I’m not a traditionalist in this respect.

  5. Glasgow lost it. Unnecessary errors. Steyn turned over at three critical moments, two identical. Harley’s handling was found out at highest level. Hell of an effort in defence, and nothing wrong going forward, but Hogg could do with losing a few kg to be at his sharpest – best player on the pitch, but not his best. Brown going off was the turning point. Rennie should have found room for Matawalu and Jones and Kebble from the start. Three of the best players redundant. The only good thing about today is motivation for WC game 1 – in that sense I’m glad they lost.

    1. At least one of Steyn’s turnovers was a joke – he still had the ball, Owens ruled it unplayable then gave the scrum to Leinster! He had a terrible game.

  6. Conditions played a huge part and allowed Leinster to smother the game and slow it down with endless pick and goes. Kearney should had been off permanently for that. Owens bottled it and was inconsistent. Adamson and Lacey didn’t help at all either.

    DTH seemed to struggle but even with Niko on I don’t think Hastings was quite at his best today. Harley seems to have one good game then regresses back to being average. One area weeg need to strengthen is at six

  7. Tough luck Glasgow. Really unfortunate with the weather conditions but top teams need to develop a plan b for such conditions. Hopefully Glasgow in the future can develop a variety of styles to suit. Grateful for the wonderful rugby they can play. Bring on 2019/20!

    Who is the most likely 15 for next season?

    1. Who knows?

      Jackson has been the cover in the past but they need someone better.

      Lots of Kiwi rumours and I suspect the reason we haven’t heard anything is because Super Rugby is still going at the moment.

      Hopefully they go for someone young and exciting, rather than an older steady player.

      1. Ben F
        You back Jones for Fullback! Quite a different position from centre and untried. Bit risky experiment?

        No doubt he has terrific ability and hopefully next season Warriors can finally see him in full flow.

      2. Rosco – Jones has played 15 in South Africa however that is not my point. I think we just need a full back who is exactly that. Does the basics well he does not need to be up in the line every play.

    2. I think recent events are not a coincidence but a sign from God.

      Replace Hogg the best attacking fullback in the world and sign the 2nd best fullback in the world.

      1. GW
        What inside information is God telling you? Perhaps he’s had a secret chat with Rennie.
        If Hogg is the best who is second best? If god is saying Brown don’t trust him.

      2. Rosco, God is telling me the stars have aligned and that we will sign the one who will show us the true path.

        Isreal Falou.

      3. Why not ? Nothing wrong with Falau’s on field attitude. At least he knows he is not god. An excllent shout GW.

      4. The Rugby gods were against us on Saturday. If they had been with us it would have been dry and sunny and perfect for running rugby. The conditions couldn’t have been much worse for the Glasgow style.

        Not to mention that charge down try. With the shortest in goal area I can remember nine times out of ten that ball would have rolled dead.

        Hope the rugby gods have had their fun now and all our boys will be back fit for the world cup.

      5. Big Al : Amen to that . The great gods giveth in the 13th minute and they taketh away 3 minutes later. You just manage to sit down with the pint you queue’d for since half time when we score and you get 6 minutes of beer spilling hope. When their finest servant Nigel Owens blows up , we are three points short, your beer is on the floor, your glass is being miraculously refilled with the finest rain water in the world. Your train tickets are sodden, your walking home , every pub on the way, filled to capacity with joyous Angels from Dublin and Parkhead. Yep that was the gods treating us to a wee spell in ‘Paradise’.

  8. Rennie has echoed what I have said – Glasgow got sucked into playing Leinster game and never looked like being in control when they did. Too much aimless kicking away possession – something the Scotland team also seems to do in these sort of games as well which never works for them.

    They only looked dangerous towards the end when they started to really play.

    It’s hard to gauge the impact of the bench, but I thought both Hornes and Huw Jones added a cutting edge to the attack and arguably looked better than the starting players.

    Cummings really stood out for Glasgow as well.

    Real shame Hogg got taken out (but please can we stop the conspiracy theories….). It’s stupid that the colour of the card is based on outcome rather than potential risk – he could just have easily landed straight on his head there and although Kearney was going for the ball, it was extremely poor judgement and very clumsy. Also, hope Brown isn’t out for long.

    Diasappointing game, hopefully we will get some payback in September!

    1. Also, a couple of penalties were baffling and I thought Owens had a poor game (and he is one ref I usually think very highly of).

      Scrum penalty in Leinster’s end towards the end really should have gone to Glasgow and may have been a game changer if it had. Generally Leinster seemed to get the rub of the green in most 50/50 calls.

      Finally the charge down try was awful and you could see it coming – unlucky the ball didn’t go out of play, but the pass and kick were so slow.

      Price’s service in general wasn’t as quick as it could be and again he is taking a couple of steps before passing a lot. I still think Horne is a better player.

      1. Well said Fraser, my thoughts in a nutshell. The Chargedown and Scrum penallty were momentum changers.

      2. Very good points. The charge down try was a complete game changer, Glasgow were pretty dominant up until then and it silenced the crowd.

      3. The Rugby Pass article is very good. Glasgow will be kicking themselves when they review the game. Hastings will be having sleepless nights about not passing to Johnson.

        The coaches will be having kittens over the exits. Going through phases in our 22 off restarts in that weather was nuts. An early contestable kick off 9 would have been a better option. A long distance skudder would have been a better option in the rain. Hope the Scotland coaches can sort than one over the summer.

        Fine margins! Oh well, live and learn. There is always next year.

    2. Agree that the card colour should not be based on the outcome. Was it intentional ? Possibly not but the outcome was that Glasgow lost probably their most dangerous attacker. 10 minute slap on the wrist doesn’t seem enough.
      Owens is usually a decent ref but he didn’t have a good day.
      Anyway, Hoggy and I will both be in Exeter soon, me before him and him getting paid more. Sad but true.

      1. The card decision was right, galling as it was. Owens has to play to the rules not his sense of fairness. I thought we played ‘probably’ our best rugby when Hogg went off , so I cannot agree , though it was ‘probably’ not entirely due to one factor. Good luck with the move.Keep posting , the Premiership is gripping.

      2. Ben F do you think we played our best rugby at that moment because we lost our best player or is it the fact Leinster went down to 14

      3. GW fair point but just a coincidence in among many ‘probably’s’, we played well in the last 15 mins , not just the 10 and early on up till they scored on the chargedown. The tightness of the dead ball came into play there of course, sadly a one movement kick was needed not Hogg’s natural 3 step howitzer. All water under the bridge and i think ‘our best player’ is a tad unfair, have to disagree on at least half a
        dozen others. According to the Sunday Times Hastings, Gray and Matt Fagerson came out on tops in the Palyer ratings.Personaly I think Zander bags did well against a man in the form of his life, but I did not write their ratings.

    3. Was at the match and believe that the Hogg/Kearney incident was also crutial. It would have meant no return for Kearney and Leinster at 14 for the remainder …. Glasgow may have seeked it. The Irish papers also feel it should have been red. From Irish Times ‘Kearney was yellow-carded which in truth was the minimum punishment he deserved’. Their way of saying it should have been red!

      Also just read that Sean O’Brian will miss WC for Ireland. Any updates on Hogg and Brown?

  9. I have yet to watch the game back. But live it seemed to me we were,just, the second best side. Celtic Park though……

    An embarrassment of a venue. When the pie lady tells the 350 people to line up in 6 queues or ‘naebidies getting a drink’ you have to consider why there was no planning.

    1. You couldn’t get into the fan zone at 5.45 due to ‘unexpected demand’
    2. It took us 40 minutes before the game and from Healy’s try to get a drink
    3. The guy behind the bar said they had done zero prep before the shutters went up- why did they not have Guinness and lager pre-poured?

    I was/am a Celtic fan so no sour grapes here. The organisation had me, sadly, yearning for Murrayfield. A stadium I detest for its non-atmosphere. At least it knows how to handle a rugby crowd.

    1. Agree on the venue, my father in law got asked for id buying beer! And his senior railcard wasn’t accepted as it “didn’t have his photo on it and could be anyone’s”. And when getting food they’d run out of chips and could work out what to do as all the food was meant to come with chips.

      That said, I was impressed with the atmosphere and had a good view of the pitch.

    2. Ibrox would be the better venue from a transport perspective. The underground gives an additional transport option. The blueprint for managing the Commonwealth games just needed a dustdown.

      1. The Ibrox pitch is too small. They needed special dispensation for th 7s, and even then I believe they reduced the sidelines right down and had shortened in-goal areas.

    3. It took me 45 minutes to get a drink in the South Stand, and I didn’t even bother trying in the Pro 14 zone. There were not nearly enough selling stalls outside or inside the stadium, and the organisation was strictly ‘amateur’ I’m afraid. I’ve been reading that this is due to Pro 14 staff being in charge, and that they are not used to selling drinks outside of Corp Hosp at the stadium. When faced with 47,000 thirsty rugby types (kids excluded) it seems they thought we’d only want 1 drink each.

  10. Great game despite being a disappointing result. The crowd sounded mental, at least until the charge down try. I really thought it would be our day after the first 20 mins but alas. Leinster did as they do so well and sucked the life out of the game. After a promising start we were bullied up front. Not really a day for flinging the ball about but Leinster seemed to be wise to our moves no matter how cute. Regarding Mr Owens, couple of strange ones, I think if Kearney got a red it would have been a bit harsh, reds have been given for similar in the past though. A couple of the scrum penalties were odd towards the end, you could see our players were angry about the decisions.

    Definite upping of tempo again when Horne came on at 9, surely he has to go to Japan? I think if the game went on for another 5-10mins we would have scored.

    Ach well, sadly not the fairytale send off for Hoggy, who’s going to replace him? On that subject, didn’t think he looked that great yesterday, or recently, has he lost a yard or twos pace?

  11. To come down to 3pts shows how close it was, who knows what might have happened if it was a day earlier in dry conditions, if Hastings had passed to put Johnson/Hogg over in the 1st half, if Brown had been yellow carded and then not got injured, if Kearney had been red carded – all sliding doors moments.
    As far as booing kickers its not great but there needs to be a clock (as in Top14) as I’m sure Sexton takes well over the minute, I was watching Crusaders vs Blues yesterday morning and there was cow bells and whistles and jeers going off when kicks were being taken and no-one on commentary mentions it.
    The fan facilities at Celtic Park were shocking – fan zone was like a disaster relief zone, food stalls in the stadium not ready to feed 40k people, fans who had waited for over an hour behind barriers for the buses told to move back behind other barriers 10mins before buses arrived and photographers in front on match clocks meaning no-one in west stand knew how long had been played.
    Well done to Leinster.

    1. Sexton takes about 80 secs. He should be put on the clock by refs but “Jonny” seems to be untouchable.

    2. “As far as booing kickers its not great but there needs to be a clock (as in Top14) as I’m sure Sexton takes well over the minute, I was watching Crusaders vs Blues yesterday morning and there was cow bells and whistles and jeers going off when kicks were being taken and no-one on commentary mentions it.” This would be my comment of the week Andy, were there a podcast this week…

    3. The laws say that a penalty kick must be taken without delay (60 second limit). Sexton took 54, 70 and 52 seconds for his 3 penalty attempts. A conversion must be taken within 90 seconds of a try being awarded. Sexton took 93 and 85 seconds for his 2 conversion attempts.

  12. For me the two game changing moments were:

    The chargedown – usual Scottish habit of conceding as soon as they score, yes they were unlucky and the spinning ball was just one of many Heriots bounces they got all day.

    Hastings butchering a try with white line fever – if they had scored there Leinster would have been chasing the game – instead they went back up the park and got another 3 points.

    Leinster really can be anti-rugby at times, they suck the life out of games and their pick and go is basically illegal 50% of the time it reminds me of Munster in the noughties – they seal it off so obviously it just kills any competition.

    The 3 big games against the Irish from Embra, Glasgow and Scotland have all been lost – does not augur well for RWC.

    1. a few decisions the difference. The scrum where Glasgow demolished Leinster, pen to Leinster.
      The non red card for Kearney.
      The Yellow for Steyn – no issue from me even though its unusual in those circumstances. So unusual that when Leinster did the same in the same position, Owens played adv, then awarded a second pen (the play when Hastings should have passed). We got the pen and 3pts, but no yellow despite an offence the same as Kleyn’s then another in the same play still in the 5m red zone

      1. Just watched the steyn incident. Second leinster player sealed him in while he was completing the tackle. He moved as soon as he was released. Thought it was another poor one from Nigel.

  13. With Sexton taking an age for all his kicks which really angered crowd last night – what time are the kickers allowed at penalties?

    1. 60 seconds from the moment the try is scored i think, unless the clocked has been paused.

      1. Clock paused for 2-3 mins while JS was “injured” and receiving “treatment”. THEN its 80 seconds to kick it…overall a 4 minute wait.

        The capacity for Leinster players to become injured before key set pieces, and then continue to play the 80 is remarkable. Their trainers must have some amazing talents.

        God forbid Tadhg Furlong might otherwise get tired…

  14. Glasgow and Scotland play a fast game based on movement and flair and Leinster (and Ireland) are almost exact opposites. They’re all about structure, grunt and percentages then they’ve got a couple of lethal finishers in Ringrose and Larmour (+Stockdale for Ireland) who’ll pounce on anything.
    They probably know deep down that if they keep a lid on a team like Glasgow for a bit they will force the game and make errors.
    I don’t know what the answer is. On the one hand Glasgow are relatively young, on the other they (and Scotland) can’t be a nearly team forever and have to step up and beat teams like Leinster and Ireland more often and in crunch games to be taken seriously.
    We all know that Glasgow and Scotland can run teams ragged if things go their way but they need to find a way to stay in games and keep the scoreboard ticking when the spoilers come to town.
    It probably has something to do with discipline and structure, but being disciplined and structured in crunch games is also related to confidence, and here too a team like Leinster full of champions cup, 6N and pro 14 winners who provide the backbone of the Ireland team which beat the ABs have an appreciable edge.

    1. Do they need to change, though? If Hastings passes rather than dummies during our penalty advantage and converts then we win. I don’t think a 3-point loss suggests that we need to change, simply that we need to execute better. Especially when Leinster were so reliant on Owens

      1. We don’t need to change we just need to trust our structures and not force play when things aren’t going our way.

    2. I think if we kept Hogg we would have a great chance next season. Leinster are the only team in the comp better than us and there’s not much in it. They will surely not be as strong in 12 months. They have a much older squad that is getting older and we have a young squad that is getting better and more experienced.

      Leinster players 33 and over.

      Cronin 33
      Fardy 34
      Sexton 33
      Kearney 33

      For Glasgow?
      DTH 33

      Glasgow players who are 23 or younger.

      Fagerson 23
      Fagerson 20
      Cummings 22
      Hastings 22

      For Leinster?
      Larmour 21
      Ryan 22

      Leinster will still be very good but I can’t see them dominating the way they have the last 2 seasons.

      1. Leinster have the best academy system in Europe & possibly the world… they are very likely to keep producing those types of players & the current players like Ringrose, Furlong, Henshaw to name just a few will be going into there prime.

        Besides that i want the opposition teams to be at there best every season, it will help push on Glasgow & Edinburgh.

        I do expect Glasgow to win the thing next season however.. Providing they bring in a quality FB/Lock & good cover at LH.

        Edinburgh i fear will struggle due to the WC & there lack of quality depth over that period.

  15. A sad day and a depressing walk to Glasgow Central in the rain afterwards. Think that Glasgow are in a strong position for next year, while Leinster may have 1 or 2 retirements after the world cup. Glasgow only lose Hogg that I’m aware of, and will be mentally more experienced for this kind of occasion. Let’s hope we have a couple of good signings to strengthen where we need them.

    1. Bhatti also going which I think is a big loss based on his end of season form (good timing for the world cup, suspect he’ll be starting some of the warm ups). Kebble obviously decent though.

      1. I really hope they try to sign up Murray Mcallum, there is to much depth at prop for Edinburgh & a young player like him could thrive under Rennie.

        I have less concerns about them needing a big ball carrying number 8 after this season, however, I believe we still need a to sign a really class lock to compete with Gray & Cummings so they can pushed to improve, both might be likely to be in Scotland camps after the WC also.

        If there is one weakness Rennie has not addressed yet, it is bringing in big signings & making them perform. Kebble & Nuke has not nailed down a spot, that USA no8 nowhere to be seen, Frisby has been ok but not really featured, Jones has just fallen out of picture.

        There have been some successes in Matawalu & Thomson but they have been Warriors before & still did not make the 23 for final.

      2. Scrummo i just looked at the depth for LH prop for next season.. Im shocked they did not resign bhatti now.

        This is there depth
        1. Oli Kebble
        2. Alex Allan
        3. A stage 3 prospect who prefers to play tighthead (Murphy Walker)

        Thats it…

        I expect at least 2 of Glasgows “6” planned signed to be LH props.

      3. GW I wouldn’t worry too much they have signed George Thornton from Wasps who was the other half of a superb scrummaging prop unit for the under 20s along with Nicol a couple of years ago.

        The pair have the makings of great props and I’m quite excited to see them getting game time. I have Nicol down as the best prospect in Scottish rugby.

      4. Ah ok i was not aware of that, thanks for the info. I thought Nicol was a tighthead specialist though, or can he play both sides ?

      5. Nicol is a TH and Thornton LH – both very decent prospects. Nicol in particular is an absolute unit – would love to see P. Du Plessis secure a full time forwards/scrum coach role as I think he’ll make a huge difference to the young guys coming through.

      6. As above Nicol is a tighthead, he played tighthead for the under 20s with Thornton on the loosehead side.

    1. Mrs duPlessis is moving her business to Glasgow and I heard Petrus is staying for 2 years as scrum coach and might play during WC if needed. He has playing pedigree and is qualified physio with ideas on scrum training. With the relative youth of our current props and the likes of Thornton, Nicol and Capps it augurs well.

  16. I thought Nigel was determined not to be seen as swayed by the partisan crowd and over compensated in Leinsters favour. Bhatti’s late season form very good for Scotland. Twice in big games against Irish opposition Hogg takes an off the ball shot and has to leave the pitch, coincidence? Maybe the Scottish boys should start diving around like Bernie to get the refs decision.

  17. Was there any official review of.Nigel’s decision? Dave Rennie seemed to imply there should be.

  18. I’m disappointed, and slightly aggrieved, by the lack of podcast this week.

    1. Hi Stephen. Apologies for the lack of a podcast. Quite tricky to get the hang together for various reasons. We’re back with full season review for Glasgow next week and one for Edinburgh the week after. We’ve then got a series of special podcasts going out over the summer

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