Georgia v Scotland, Summer Tests 2019: Match Preview

KO 5.00pm (8.00pm local time)
Saturday 31st August 2019

Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi

TV coverage – Premier Sports 2
(re-runs on FreeSports on Sunday 1st September at 10.00am and 7.00pm)

It’s a pretty rare thing to have a brand new away trip for Test rugby. That’s partly a result of a relatively small pool of prospective opponents but also because those building the schedules have tended to be fairly conservative with their match-making. This weekend Scotland will become the first Tier 1 nation to travel to Tbilisi for a full Test.

New away trips for Scotland in the 21st century (first full capped Tests):

Canada – 2002 (Vancouver)
USA – 2002 (San Francisco)
Samoa
– 2012 (Apia)
Japan – 2016 (Toyota City)

Georgia Scouting Report

Record in this RWC cycle

Played – 39
Won – 30
Drawn – 1
Lost – 8

Games against Tier 1 opposition

This will be just the fifth match against a Tier 1 side for Georgia since the last World Cup. The closest they have come on the scoreboard to one of these teams was a 7 point defeat to Wales, going down 6-13 at the Millennium Stadium. They have also lost away to Scotland (16-43); Argentina (29-45); and Italy (17-28).

It’s worth noting that it’s been nearly 3 years since Georgia were last defeated in Tbilisi. This is the opportunity that the Lelos have been waiting for – a chance to prove themselves on their home turf against a Tier 1 nation. While it might be ‘just’ a warm-up game, the hosts will be extremely motivated for a match and result that could resonate way beyond the 80 minutes.

Route to RWC 2019

Georgia were one of the automatic qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup after finishing 3rd in their group at the 2015 tournament. They will be looking to at least match that achievement in Pool D this time round against Australia, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay. The Fiji match in particular looms large with the Lelos having won one and lost one against the Pacific Islanders (both away from home) so far in this RWC cycle.

Danger man

One of Scotland’s biggest tests in Tbilisi will come at scrum time. Georgia have a hard-earned reputation of having one of the very best set pieces in the world. The cornerstone of a monstrous pack is tighthead prop Levan Chilachava.

At 1.88m (6ft 2in) and 128kg (20st 2lb) the Montpellier player is an enormous human being. There are props out there who get away with just being big but Chilachava, in common with pretty much every Georgian front row, adds exemplary technique to the mix to maximise his advantage.

With Scotland’s strongest scrummaging props (Gordon Reid and Willem Nel) having played last Saturday against France it will be interesting to see if Gregor Townsend asks them to back up again away to Georgia. Whoever turns out in the Scottish front row will be in for a very long afternoon indeed!

Rising stars

While they’ve had the pack to compete for a number of years it’s only more recently that Georgia have found the depth in the backs to really push their case for a further step up at international level. Hugely talented scrum half Gela Aprasidze is an indicator of how far they are progressing.

Aprasidze was part of the Georgian U20s side that defeated Scotland two summers ago. He also showcased his outstanding skillset in that same tournament with a superb solo score against Ireland. If it wasn’t for the equally precocious talents of Vasil Lobzhanidze (who is just one year older) Aprasidze would surely have made a bucketload of starts for his country by now.

The nature of the 9 shirt means it’s essential to have, at the very least, two top quality options available. With Lobzhanidze and Aprasidze, Georgia undoubtedly have the scrum halves to take advantage if their pack can provide a dominant platform to play from.

Previous results

This will be just the third time the two sides have met in a capped international. Past matches:

Rugby Park, Invercargill, 14th September 2011
Scotland 15
Dan Parks (4P, 1 DG)
Georgia 6
Merab Kvirikashvili (2P)

Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, 26th November 2016
Scotland 43
Tommy Seymour (1T);
Sean Maitland (1T);
Stuart Hogg (2T);
Hamish Watson (1T);
Penalty Try
Greig Laidlaw (5C, 1P)
Georgia 16
Vasil Lobzhanidze (2T);
Merab Kvirikashvili (2P)

Officials

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant 1: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant 2: Pierre Brousset (France)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)

M. Gauzere has refereed a remarkable number of games since Gregor Townsend took over in 2017. Saturday’s match will be the sixth time he has taken charge of a Scotland game in a little over two years (no other ref has had more than two games). The seventh occasion is just around the corner as well – the French whistler will also referee the dark blues’ RWC pool encounter with Samoa on 30th September.

By now the Scotland coaches must have a massive dossier of information on M. Gauzere, including what he focuses on and what he might be more likely to let slide. With all that previous experience and analysis to fall back on, there should certainly be no excuse for getting on his bad side either this weekend or in a month’s time!

Scotland’s last 5 games with M. Gauzere in charge:

  • 2017 – lost to Fiji (A)
    Penalties: 23 (For 15 – 8 Against)
    Cards: Scotland 1 YC (Strauss); Fiji 2 YCs
  • 2017 – beat Australia (H)
    Penalties: 18 (For 9 – 9 Against)
    Cards: Australia 1 RC + 1 YC
  • 2018 – lost to Wales (A)
    Penalties: 15 (For 8 – 7 Against)
    Cards: none
  • 2018 – beat Italy (A)
    Penalties: 14 (For 9 – 5 Against)
    Cards: none
  • 2019 – lost to Wales (H)
    Penalties: 20 (For 11 – 9 Against)
    Cards: none

Scotland Team

UPDATE 29/8

Scotland team to face Georgia: Blair Kinghorn; Darcy Graham, Rory Hutchinson, Sam Johnson, Sean Maitland, Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw; Allan Dell, Stuart McInally, capt), Willem Nel, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: Grant Stewart, Jamie Bhatti, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Josh Strauss, Ali Price, Adam Hastings, Huw Jones.

Tags:

When he's not watching Glasgow, Scotland (and even Edinburgh) Kevin can usually be found with his head in a spreadsheet working out the most obscure Scottish rugby related stat he can put out on Twitter.
Follow Kevin on twitter @topofthemoonGW

121 comments on “Georgia v Scotland, Summer Tests 2019: Match Preview

  1. Fraser on

    I don’t know that much about the Georgian team – I imagine them being similar to the Argentinians in the old days, tough up front but lacking in open play?

    We know they will be very physical, but as long as it is in a controlled manner that’s not a bad thing – we are probably more likely to have serious injuries playing against someone like Fiji where the hits are a bit wild on occasion than against a team like this.

    Despite some of the rhetoric from the Scotland camp, we should really be expecting a comfortable win, with the backs scoring a few tries in the last 20 minutes or so.

    Will be interesting to see what team we put out – we really need an away win to get the monkey off our back, but it’s the last game before the squad is announced and some players really should get another chance before decisions are made.

    Reply
  2. Big Al on

    For me this Georgian away game is a great opportunity to sort out our basics. It will be a great test of our set piece. Our lineout definitely needs some work and our maul defense against these guys will be tested. Also a chance to try out some restarts. First scrum will be interesting.

    I don’t think we need to show too much from the backs except defense. Perhaps the game plan is just to keep them moving about the pitch to tire them out and then hit them on turnover ball.

    Normally I would expect us to be fitter but perhaps not if they have been in camp for a while.

    Reply
    • Campbell B on

      I like the look of the backs, we need a backup to Hogg and this gives a chance to try a few moves with Kinghorn.I suspect Maitland will move to FB if he is hooked. We should expect full on thuggery up front.

      Reply
  3. Not rocket science on

    Would love to see Nel and Reid go toe to toe. But with some saying Fagerson and Dell are best combo, let’s see how they fare. If they get punished we know there are better props preserved for neutral knock out rugby, if they prevail it’s a bonus.

    Reply
  4. Andy_N on

    I think there is a Georgia vs Southern Kings game on tonight, but I can’t imagine they’ll be asking many of their guys to double up tonight and at the weekend, so don’t expect it’ll tell us much. If the Georgians can keep clear heads, they have a fantastic opportunity, but huge occasions like this often become a bit of a damp squib as players buckle under the pressure of expectation. From a Scottish perspective, the motivation for the forwards could be helped by having a chat with Ryan Grant – pretty sure he wouldn’t miss the mark with his thoughts on Rowntree.

    Reply
  5. Referendum on

    Scotland should know the ref inside out but clearly from results and match evidence we don’t do this with this chap.

    This is poor from Scotland and must learn how to play a ref and quicb

    Reply
  6. FF on

    Georgian backs are still dire. They have found two exceptional 9s and have a 20 year old rising star at FH but that’s it really. The incumbent FH is terrible and their other ‘star’ back is their veteran FB who is amazing at kicking but nothing else really.

    This is a great warm up for us and if our set piece disintegrates as it did in the first test in paris and the line out at Murrayfield we may be on the end of a difficult night as Georgia will be content to kick, line out, maul all day long.

    Reply
    • Scrummo on

      This isnt a fair opinion in my opinion.

      They’ve struggled at FH for a long time and Kvirikashvili if he’s the 15 you mean is indeed dreadful.

      However Sharikadze is a very decent inside centre and a real leader. Mchedlidze is a tower of an outside centre who can also play flanker and has pace and power, Kveseladze is also a promising centre. Modebadze and Matiashvili are also a step up on their previous back 3 players.

      I’m not saying we should be worried but their backs have come on a lot from where they used to be and the FH is a real prospect who could liven them up.

      Reply
  7. Rosco on

    My mix for Georgia

    Dell
    Brown (If not fit, McInally)
    Fagerson
    Gray
    Gilchrist
    Watson
    Fagerson (No8)
    Bradbury (if not fit, Barclay)
    Horne
    Russell
    Graham
    Johnson (if not fit, Hutchinson)
    Hutchinson (if Johnson not fit, Jones)
    McGuigan
    Kinghorn

    Bench
    McInally
    Bhatti
    Berghan
    Toolis
    Strauss
    Price
    Hastings
    Jones

    Rested and not selected for last warm up game at home to Georgia
    Gray
    Watson
    McInally
    Russell

    Reply
      • Rosco on

        If Zander is being considered to be in the squad he needs to be exposed to international matches. Townsend may also play a few fringe players so he has a greater balance when injuries require people to call upon. Townsend has clearly been wisely increasing the strength and depth in the squad. Injuries are inevitable and resting players is going to be part of the group stage. Nel and Berghan are probably ahead but Fagerson could do with more game time in case being called upon. Like to see him playing from start or coming off the bench.

  8. Toonie's Advisor on

    Rosco, Like to see him playing from start or coming off the bench? What other options do you have for game time?

    For what its worth, my 23 for Saturday would be

    1. Dell
    2. Brown (if fit) Stewart if not. Need to keep McInally fit for Japan
    3. Fagerson
    4. Gilchrist
    5. Gray (if fit) Swinson if not -Toolis and Cummings are already in contention
    6. Fagerson
    7. Ritchie (c)
    8. Bradbury
    9. Horne
    10. Hastings – Russell needs to be fit and Hastings needs more time in the saddle
    11. McGuigan
    12. Johnson
    13. Hutchinson
    14. Graham
    15. Kinghorn

    16. Stewart or Turner if Brown not fit
    17. Berghan – Lets see if he is a loosehead
    18. Nel – If Fagerson is struggling at scrum time we need Nel
    19. Cummings
    20. Wilson – Can cover all 3
    21. Price
    22. Taylor
    23. Maitland

    Reply
  9. Andy_N on

    Given the squad announcement next week, this game represents the last chance for those on the fringes of selection to make a claim so I expect it to be a team similar to the first match vs France, supplemented by one or two of what we would consider to be first choice players returning from injury. The noises around Bradbury and Johnson sound positive and I would expect them both to start. Brown I think will bench but I suspect we won’t see Jonny G just yet, but the injury to Skinner means he’s now 100% on the plane assuming he can recover before the start of the World Cup – I suspect that even if they don’t think he’ll be fit for next week, they’ll still select him as long as he’s expected to be fit by WC. Watch for Tim Swinson starting on Saturday and making a last minute bolt for the squad.

    Expect to see Hutchison move to 10 at some stage, and perhaps Hastings to fullback. Best Guess – starting XV:

    1. Dell
    2. Stewart
    3. Fagerson
    4. Swinson
    5. Toolis
    6. Bradbury
    7. Richie
    8. Fagerson
    9. Horne
    10. Hastings
    11. McGuigan
    12. Johnson
    13. Hutchison
    14. Taylor
    15. Kinghorn

    Reply
  10. TeamCam on

    I’m not usually one for picking teams, but I would like so see an aggressive, solid pack with some fun behind them, such as:

    Reid-Brown-Nel
    Cummings-Gilchrist
    Fagerson-Bradbury-Watson
    Horne-Russell
    Johnson-Jones
    Maitland-Hogg-Graham

    And on the bench:
    McInally, Dell, Fagerson, Toolis, Barclay, Laidlaw, Hastings, Kinghorn.

    That would be a walkin’ around team.

    Reply
  11. Ade on

    Southern Kings nearly turned Georgia over last night. They were 20-5 up with 15 minutes to go but lost 24-20.

    The big prop Chilichava and the young 9 mentioned in the article were both on the bench.

    Looking at the team announcement video on their Twitter feed it looks as if the Georgians starting XV was made up of fringe players – they don’t have the physical presence of Chilichava.

    This suggests that they will be targeting the game this weekend for the win. Scotland can’t afford to take their physical threat lightly and I think Townsend will have this in mind with his selection.

    Reply
  12. Neil on

    Assuming all fit.

    1. Dell
    2. Brown
    3. Fagerson
    4. Gray
    5. Thomson
    6. Bradbury
    7. Barclay
    8. Fagerson
    9. Horne
    10. Russell
    11. Seymour
    12. Johnson
    13. Hutchison
    14. Kinghorn
    15. Hastings

    16. Stewart
    17. Berghan
    18. Nel
    19. Toolis
    20. Ritchie
    21. Laidlaw
    22. Jones (but for full 2nd half)
    23. Maitland

    This is my mind is a very strong side that shows respect towards Georgia while trying 2-3 positions out.

    Thomson at lock
    Hutchison 13
    Hastings 15 (for WC cover)

    We all give our returning injured players some crucial shake of the rustiness time before WC – Brown – Gray – Bradbury – Horne – Johnson

    Reply
    • Ade on

      Given we have a number of decent players at lock – Gray, Cummings, Gilchrist, Toolis, and a lack of a number 8 who will consistently make yards over the mainline, what sense does it make to play Thomson in the second row? A week after being removed for an HIA at the end of missing most of the season with a brain injury.

      Also, Hastings at full back – why? Hogg is first choice and pushing him you have Kinghorn, Maitland and Graham who all have experience at 15.

      We have fewer options at 10, and Hastings had a rough game in Nice. Does he really need to cope with positional change at this point in the run up to the World Cup?

      Hutchison at 13 is worth a punt because he is a centre and you want to see how he goes at Test level, but choosing Thomson and Hastings at 4 and 15 makes no sense at all.

      Reply
      • Neil on

        To explain Thomson

        1. He played roughly 30/40 % of his time with the Hurricanes at lock.

        2. With Skinner out we lost that versatile option that can cover lock & backrow (Vital in a 31 Wc squad)

        3. Having either of Fagerson or Bradbury starting sorts the ball carrying issue, that squad has both of them, Also we don’t particularly lose a lot of a players ball carrying ability by placing them in a different position.

        4. I may be wrong but he just got taken off a precaution & was not confirmed to have had a concussion ? perfectly acceptable to play him if thats the case. (as i said when i posted the squad “assuming all are fit”)

        To explain Hastings.

        You may have a point, in my mind having a look at Hastings covering 15 is with an eye on what our best bench can offer in the WC

        I have a feeling Hastings skill set is quite well suited to 15 with his hard running lines, decent kicking game aswell as he seems quite confident under the high ball.

        If he shows he can cover that position well then it gives him massive value to a squad of 31 and a match day bench player with him then able to cover 10/12/15.

        On Hutchison

        I would like to see him play 40 minutes at 13 outside Johnson, then 40 minutes at 12 inside Jomes.

  13. sotonsaltire on

    Good to see Johnson back- decent looking team. As things stand we haven’t seen Gray, Brown or Bradbury. Depending on Blade’s head knock it could mean Bradbury is going to miss out. The other two would go you would think even if just coming back to fitness. Hopefully they will be fit for a week Saturday.

    Who is in last chance saloon: Hutchinson and Jones? Kinghorn and Graham? Fagerson and Strauss? Toolis and Cummings (probably both go now) Bhatti? Barclay?

    Looking forward to it!

    Reply
    • RuggersB on

      Yeah… I think there will be a few direct performance comparisons going on out there.
      Jones, especially, really needs to show he can counter a big physical pack to earn his spot. Georgia IMO are a less talented Ireland in terms of playing style and front pack. Will be a good marker where we are….

      Reply
  14. Scotty on

    Interesting that the three captaincy candidates are starting and it is McInally that comes out with the armband in this one. I thought that he would be most likely captain due to him being the most nailed on starter but also get the feeling he doesn’t perform as well when he has the captaincy burdon. Hopefully Greig helps him out on field so he can think about his own game.

    Very creative centre pairing and backline in general. Young Fagerson playing for a seat on the plane in a decent backrow but I do feel that now Skinner is out we are missing some grunt and ability in the second row. Hopefully Jonny can get some gametime next week.

    Reply
    • RuggersB on

      Thought that was(captaincy) interesting too. Laidlaw and Barclay not seen as starters??
      Toolis and Gilchrist are too soft for tier 1 locks, I think.Skinner was what we needed.

      Reply
  15. john martin on

    If we are in need of a 20min replacement where brutal physicality is required then the best suited to the job is Josh Strauss, he’s admitted himself he can’t physically do the same things he used to be able to do, but he’s still a big powerful ball carrier. Certainly adds spice to the game, subsequent selection when Strauss likely comes on at 1/2 time or on the hour mark.

    Reply
  16. SlimJim on

    That side should put this Georgia team to the sword by half time. At which point get Finn and Greig off. Give Hutch a full game moving him to 12 with Jones on. Looks very good. Whoever we are intending on starting against Ireland in the centres (unless it’s Horne/Jones) need to get some game time as a pair.

    Reply
  17. SB on

    Surely Duncan Taylor can’t be going on the basis of 60 minutes of rugby? If he’s out the equation then Hutchinson looks nailed on. Hopefully he gets time at 13,12 and 10.

    Hopefully we get some early scores and can get Russell, Watson, McInally and Nel off early. I think John Barclay needs a big game to prove he is back to the required standard.

    Reply
  18. RuggersB on

    Im on the fence on that selection..alot of 1st choice players …on the one hand… they need the games…and build some cohesion and match fitness…on the other..playing likes of Maitland, Finn, Watson, Johnson( just back from injury) against an especially fired up very physical front pack…1st home game against tier1 side…I can sense some more injuries. If Russell gets injured….we’re done…not even worth going to Japan.

    Is Taylor injured again? or is he being wrapped in fluffy stuff?

    Reply
    • Slimjim on

      I’m surprised at the half backs as well. Hastings is well equipped to handle Georgia. I assume Maitland in as Seymour’s unavailable and Hoggs played twice. That said Taylor can play wing.

      Reply
  19. Fraser on

    What does George Horne have to do to get a start?

    Not on the bench this week so hopefully that means he starts next week (since we should be taking all 3 9s)

    Quite a strong team – obviously not wanting to risk a bad result away to Georgia – but it does mean some fringe players aren’t getting a last chance to perform so presume most decisions already made.

    Reply
    • RuggersB on

      There is still a home game v Georgia…Id think by then tho there is likely 1 spot up for grabs at very most 2. Depends who gets injured between now and then.
      Skinner was a big blow for GT and our chances…I reckon…especially with J Gray struggling with a hammy.
      Dunno why G Horne doesn’t get a shot….he’s a better player than Price IMO.

      Reply
  20. Rosco on

    Injuries could have a big say in who’s in the 31. Were not in the know about who’s got what. Looks like most selection decisions have been made in fielding such a strong team. Will be a shame for those not selected. Scotland have now got some good depth in the team with a few stand out players. Namely Russell and Watson leading the way.

    Disappointed for Skinner. He would have been a great asset to the team.

    The attritional games is alarming and although I’m excited about watching the WC there’s also an element of concern about watching players being smashed on high impacts. Watched ‘Beyond 80 – knocked’. Documentary on concussion with players, refs and specialists giving their thoughts and experiences. I would highly recommend watching it. Especially if you are one of the critics who criticise the so called dumbing down of the game.

    Reply
  21. Bazz on

    Georgia team has been released.

    I have been a bit nervous about Georgia but having done a bit of research on their team i’m finding it hard to see us losing this…Though you can never rule it out with our away form…

    Georgia must have some injuries of their own because Wikipedia is showing they only have 10 players in the 23 that play top flight rugby.

    This really makes a mockery of Toonie calling this ‘one of the toughest challenges in world rugby’ and it worries me that he even thinks to say that…

    Reply
    • SlimJim on

      Georgia are rubbish. A physically strong but not overly skilful pack and a back line who wouldn’t do anything in the Scottish prem. as you say add on to that injuries this side is garbage. Biggest issue we have is a 50,000 crowd and pumped Georgians there is a danger of this being their World Cup final which means big physicality and potential injuries. Our visit is a big deal for them.

      Reply
      • FF on

        I don’t think they are rubbish. They are a T2 side though and probably the third best T2 side after Japan and Fiji, who they have beaten in the past couple of years as well. Georgia are a little behind Italy despite the rankings but as you say big home crowd and ugly pack could put the hurt on us if we don’t seize control of the game. I do think we have the game breakers in the backs to punish them though, we need our pack to hold the ball and dictate the tempo of the game. If we cede cheap penalties, turnovers from set piece and field position it might be a long day.

  22. Fraser on

    Cats at a rave alert – potential to have 4 “stand-offs”on the pitch at the same time. I want to see Laidlaw at 10, Russell 12, Hutch 13 and Hastings 15……

    Reply
  23. Sam Laycock on

    I’m quite surprised that people think this is a strong team, not that I don’t think it’s a good team but I feel it’s quite experimental and there are a lot of players in the 23 that I’m quite surprised to see and might well consider this to be their final chance to demand inclusion. Bhatti, Stewart, M Fagerson, Hutchinson, Strauss, Kinghorn, Jones.
    I would have also included Toolis and Cummings in that but I guess Skinners injury probably means they’re both safe.
    I assume Bradbury is still not 100% but am I correct in thinking the squad gets named before the final game so I assume he’s out. I can’t see him getting included without any game time considering the competition in the back row. Maybe only if Thomsons HIA recovery is deemed to great a risk.

    Reply
    • RuggersB on

      GT said a few weeks ago there are a few players who may only play in the last game due to injury.
      I wouldn’t say Bradbury is out just yet…considering we desperately need a player who can play 8 properly. Probably between bradbury & thomson… if Wilson or Strauss is our 8….sigh!!

      Reply
  24. Sam Laycock on

    So it turns out Richie ‘sick note’ Gray was never interested in playing for Scotland at this World Cup. At least this is consistent with the rest his career.

    Reply
      • FF on

        Neil – don’t really think you’re in a position to get on your high horse as you are a perennial WUM.

      • Neil on

        Ah the white knight arrives to defend the damsel in distress,
        how.. basic.

        I think everyone is entitled to there opinion Ff, they should feel the internet is a safe space to express their opinions (particularly on a blog)

        I would advise you to think before you type in the future.

      • TeamCam on

        Settle down, Neil. As much as I enjoy your outlandish claim to be in a position of authority, it’s not actually what I come here for, and the gents who run the blog do an excellent job of keeping it clean, so let’s leave the big boy stuff to them, shall we?

      • Referendum on

        Richie Gray has over 60 caps if I’m right. You don;t get that many from being poor and calling off whenever. He’s had a bad run of injuries and having a new baby I know that his wife will be eternally grateful to have him around. But I suppose she doesn’t matter a jot.

    • Referendum on

      And Neil Pipe down please. I was sure you rarely thought before you type so I was giving you the benefit of the doubt.

      Teamcam’s opinion is perfectly fair and I’d say is right to comment like he has. It was a thought through and measured response to a rather poor lazy comment and was helping to create a safe space you desire.

      In terms of creating a good culture and a safe space I’ll let Gary Graham know that you value him and his contribution to Scotland and that you don’t think he is a second class citizen in any way at all. Creating a safe space includes those you criticise including players, fans etc.

      Reply
      • Neil on

        Keep biting referendum, everything i say including this has a purpose you cannot yet comprehend, i wont even waste my time reading the rest of the nonsense you are sprouting on this occasion.

      • TeamCam on

        Well said, Referendum. Good “sprouting”.

        Neil, please be respectful – I presume you don’t want to come across as hypocritical…

      • Referendum on

        Shame Neil cause what I’ve written is to help you rather than get people’s backs up you could be an asset on the whole to this forum.

        Unless you are just trying to get bites then carry on the way you are. You’ll get some attention but people will lose respect for you which is a shame once again.

        Thanks TeamCam I’ll keep “Sprouting” ;-)

  25. ClanFan on

    Blair Kinghorn
    Darcy Graham
    Rory Hutchinson – England
    Sam Johnson – Australia
    Sean Maitland – New Zealand
    Finn Russell
    Greig Laidlaw

    Allan Dell – South Africa
    Stuart McInally
    Willem Nel – South Africa
    Ben Toolis – Australia
    Grant Gilchrist
    John Barclay – Hong Kong
    Hamish Watson – England
    Matt Fagerson

    It’s nae right.

    Reply
    • Andy_N on

      It’s the nature of being Scottish, we’ve always been a nation of explorers and travellers, waving off our children and grandchildren as they head out to all corners of the globe, hoping they’ll find success and bring happiness to those they meet on the way, all the time hoping that perhaps one day they, or their children, or their childrens children will return the land that will forever be home – come aw’a in, its guid tae see ye :)

      Reply
      • ClanFan on

        A’ve nae a problem wuth tha players, a thank you’ve mussed tha point laddies.

        A just thank atsa shame we are nae bringing through as many Scots born lads as wae used ta.

      • Referendum on

        It’s not quite as cut and dry as that ClanFan. Some of those are as Scottish as the day is long but may have some sort of family working away or whatever. Ask three of those eight and they’ll tell you they’e always been Scotish and always will. That gives you two thirds of a team.

        might be worth asking Kevin or checking other teams to see how many are in that position I doubt many are.

  26. Referendum on

    In terms of the free sports does anybody have any idea how to get it? How can they guarantee you get the paid channel when u subscribe or can’t they?

    I have looked at the help on premier sports so if somebody could break down their help down a bit more I’d be grateful.

    I’ve tried to retune but nothing coming up.

    Reply
    • TeamCam on

      You can watch it on their website, and if you’ve got the right stuff you should be able to cast it to your TV. That’s what I do.

      Reply
      • Neil on

        You can watch it on your mobile quite easily through the App up to 1080/720 including the paid stuff, the logging in system sucks though.

      • Referendum on

        Our wifi isn’t great as yet for everywhere in a stone wall house (trying to get boosters working presently) so we don’t use smart TV as yet. Will try to set-up the one that is close to router it should get connected to smart TV. Others may prove trickier.

        Ideally I’d like to record to watch later are you only able to watch on their website when it is being aired live?

        If I could record it to my HDD player then that would be the best option but might not be workable. The HDD is certainly not smart it’s before that time.

        Thanks for the help so far folks

        Laurie

      • Colin on

        If you have Freeview, it is on channel 252 Freesports at 10am on Sunday morning and again at 7pm.

        I downloaded the premier sports app on my phone and have found it works better than the laptop, which tends to stall after a while. Never got it working on the TV but that’s more my ignorance I think.

        For £10 a month, it’s pretty good, getting these games and all the pro 14.

  27. Referendum on

    Colin I have FreeviewPlay is that different? My 252 channel is Kiss Chat and Date which isn’t really what I’m looking for ;-)

    I now have the internet on the TV that is connected to my HDD Drive but I doubt that’ll connnect to the HDD drive but will I be able to get freesports through the internet now or what?

    Later tonight I’ll do a channel search to see if it recognises Freesports now or not.

    Reply
  28. TeamCam on

    Interesting that, as Kevin notes elsewhere, Toonie has picked such a light pack, although it’s worth noting that for all the talk of how huge the Georgians are, their pack is fairly light, too. I would have assumed that he’d pick a big pack to match them, while relying on fitness to see us through. But then the Georgians have been training with special forces, so maybe that’s just madness. All we really need is parity from the forwards – our backs are better and have more flair, so it should just be a case of enabling them to shine. I think the Georgians have a pretty good chance of winning, though – it would be an upset rather than a shock. Their 9 and 10 (and 21) in particular are good to watch.

    Hope it’s a great game.

    Reply
    • Fraser on

      The problem is, it will be the same old story with the media/pundits.

      If Scotland win comfortably, it will be because Georgia are a terrible tier 2 team.

      If Georgia win (or even come close) and show they are genuinely pushing towards being a tier 1 team, it will be reported as Scotland being terrible.

      Lose/lose situation for us.

      Reply
      • TeamCam on

        I take your point, and it is frustrating, but if it helps World Cup prep I don’t think that’s us losing. And if it helps Georgia out then surely rugby is winning.

        The media coverage is generally pretty pants and ill-informed when it comes to us, so it’s not worth worrying about.

      • Neil on

        As long as it benefits the team i care not what the media thinks.

        Half the planets problems are due to bad media and fake news

    • Jack Macmillan on

      Both my sons are south London born and bred they play rugby at London Scottish don’t anyone tell them there not Scottish sorry should have said they played at London Scottish

      Reply
  29. john martin on

    We need to play sensible & pragmatic rugby, get parity in the scrum, secure our own line-out & disrupt theirs. Play the game in their 22, kick sensibly keep their back 3 honest. The chances will come to cut loose later in the game, we have to remember that this must be earned. I know it just makes sense but how many times have we NOT done it?

    Reply
    • Referendum on

      Correct. And there is nothing wrong with practicing some drop goals too if we get chances. I think the all blacks are the only ones practising this. To me this madness. You have to try it in game situations before it really matters or more chance of fluffing it up should it be needed

      Reply
      • TeamCam on

        Elliot Daly scored a beauty of a drop goal against Wales a couple of weeks back. But I think that was just off-the-cuff rather than tactical.

  30. Bazz on

    Neil you have got to stop with this.

    You’re starting to remind me off a co-worker who got sacked for unhinged comments and lack of self awareness.

    However you have and often do add positive discussion to this blog…maybe embrace that positive side a little more and less of the negative chat.

    P.s You don’t need to be 100% Scottish born and bred to have a passion for Scotland and Scottish rugby.

    Reply
  31. RuggersB on

    ….on the side…but wales v ireland…what a poor match. SA England and NZ will be laughing at that. Wales world no1???.. if they need any fringe players at the world cup they are screwed. Look like they have practiced passing in the backyard with the kids.

    Reply
    • TeamCam on

      I swear that Ryan Wilson is the only player who’s been penalised for intentional offside from a knock on. Wales just did the exact same as he did and nothing, as is almost always the case.

      You’re right, though, neither side looks particularly good, although they’re both B teams.

      Fantastic to see Gatland defeated in his last home game, though. Enjoyed that.

      Reply
      • Fraser on

        We need to be very wary of Ireland’s ability to hold up the player in tackles and win scrums – if we go in upright it will hurt us.

  32. Saint4805 on

    Rory Hutchinson and Matt Fagerson looking very good.
    Actually I’m really liking the Johnson Hutchinson midfield and would like to see them start v Ireland. Johnson’s ability to break is impressive.

    Graham is so hard to stop and his jinking ability is second to none. I’d pick Darcy ahead of Blair.

    Reply
    • TeamCam on

      He nearly messed up a try, but you forgive him because of his bravery and skill in both attack and defence. That said, Kinghorn was very good against France last weekend… it’ll be tough on whomever doesn’t go. I think I’d pick Graham ahead of Kinghorn because Graham’s been more consistent in a Scotland shirt. But it is close.

      Fagerson is looking really good, I hope that Strauss comes on for Watson, to be honest. Nearly had a wee cry when the commentary team said he was hobbling near the start!

      Was that Toolis’s first international try?

      Reply
      • Fraser on

        Think someone stood on Watson’s foot?

        Yes, Toolis’s first try.

        I would still take Kinghorn for his versatility if you have to pick one.

      • Bazz on

        Graham is equally adept at FB form what I saw. Plenty of games there for Edinburgh after Kinghorn got injured.

        If we take 5 props we may take 5 back 3 players (England took 6) but if not I’d say its between Kinghorn/Seymour for 4th slot.

    • RuggersB on

      Agreed …Fagerson has looked good at 8. Still a bit concerned about his lack of size for an 8against the top sides….but he is aggressive and his carrying & off loading is improving.
      Id take Graham too…but would be unlucky for Kinghorn…fine player in the making. Seymour better show he was worth his spot at RWC.

      Reply
  33. Fraser on

    Laidlaw actually playing at pace!
    Decent first half – pitch is cutting up badly, hope there are no leg injuries.

    Line out still a bit ropey.

    Get the subs on early and give them some game time

    Reply
    • Fraser on

      Very – I have always been a fan, but he is really not performing at the moment and might be lucky to make the squad.

      Also Price is poor – 3rd choice 9 at the moment.

      Reply
      • Referendum on

        Strauss wasn’t non existant today. He gave us the go forward for I think Graham’s try. He punched holes today and did a decent job. Wasn’t outstanding and he came on when others were tired and against a Tier 2 side so I doubt he’s done enough but he was anonymous today.

    • RuggersB on

      He maybe does….but definitely not at the expense of either Taylor, Johnson, and Hutchinson…who all look far better players.
      Its between him or Harris for the 4th center spot….and I would not play him against Ireland.
      I don’t think even his biggest fan can complain if he doesn’t make the 31…. poor form for at least a year now….as good as his running attack lines can be (tho I have to do a youtube search to remember them)….his defense just isnt good enough against the big boys. There is a good reason why he was slipping down the centre ladder under Rennie…

      Reply
      • Fraser on

        Johnson/Hutchinson is surely the starting combination.

        Taylor would have to do something special next week to displace them I think.

  34. Fraser on

    Solid but unspectacular is really my reaction.

    Few flashes from the backs – Laidlaw looked sharp, Russell also (although another charge down….), Hutchinson excellent and the rest of the starting backs pretty good too.

    Forwards did well against a much lauded Georgian pack – scrum had at least parity, line out needs a little more work but wasn’t too bad.

    Would have liked to see us pull away more towards the end, but overall fairly happy.

    Reply
  35. DJB on

    I think that based on that performance, Jones loses out. Graham just ahead of Kinghorn for me(if it’s one or the other). Hutchison was excellent – must be in 31. Z Fagerson sadly didn’t perform at the scrum again. His brother looked lively on the other hand.

    Reply
    • Slimjim on

      Generally agree. If it’s a straightforward 4 centres then Jones and P.Horne don’t go. Other than being very good Hutch covers the entire midfield. Darcy edges Blair. Greig has the look of someone intent on making the most of his final RWC. Shame we haven’t seen Bradbury. Bhatti isn’t up to it. Z.Fagerson goes but doesn’t look great. Have to assume Ritchie goes. Strauss clearly doesn’t. Horne must be 2nd choice 9 ahead of Ali.

      Reply
    • RuggersB on

      Someone needs to sort Z Fagerson’s head out… has lots of potential…but his progression has really stagnated.
      M Fagerson definitely one for the future…but I always see him as a 6 or 7 more than an 8. Thompson or Bradbury for our 8…imo.
      Thought Barclay looked more like his pre-injury self.

      Reply
      • Referendum on

        Z.Fagerson really just did stupid stuff to rile the opposition up. It’s not even helpful anymore someone has to tell him to stop it or get out. It’s tedious. The other brother seems to know how not to do that and needs to have a word with his older brother.

  36. SkimJim on

    I get the horrible feeling Townsend going to shoe horn a 5th centre at the expense of a back three player and take Jones out of form, leaving Pete Horne out. Hugo Hinson, Johnson and Taylor are all in for me and I expect Harris to be. Leaving any of the first 3 out for Jones would be a shocker. It’s not the bad old days, we have the depth and for, to be able to leave out someone like Jones

    Reply
  37. SB on

    I think if Taylor was going he would have been involved either this week or last week. Picking a guy who has only played 55 minutes and hasn’t had back to back games would be strange.

    Jones was quiet today when he came on but the game was stop start and if the ball doesn’t come to his channel there’s not much he can do. Maitland was quiet in the second half as well.

    Reply
    • Slimjim on

      Unless he’s nailed on. I agree on the game time I just have the feeling he’s in. If he were more borderline I think he’d have had more game time. Is the announcement Monday or Tuesday?

      Reply

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