Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Scotland 17 – 14 France

Scotland welcomed France to a sunny BT Murrayfield. The fifteenth sell out match at the stadium in a row, so we are told, although there were a few empty seats dotted around the stadium with fans perhaps preferring a day enjoying the sunshine elsewhere after Scotland’s performance the previous weekend in Nice.

Despite Finn Russell returning it was Stuart Hogg who kicked off, the French struggling to collect the ball and eventually kicking it into touch.  From the resulting line out Scotland’s maul struggled to get going. Scotland went through some phases between half way and the French ten metre line without making much headway before Damien Penaud was able to pounce on an errant pass from Pete Horne, gratefully running under the posts for France’s first try of the match after a minute and a half.

In truth there was not much Horne could do, having been caught by a hard tackle mid pass and Scotland were soon able to make amends turning France over in the ruck from the restart. Scotland eventually won a kickable penalty in front of the posts. Laidlaw duly put Scotland’s first points on the board.

Peter Horne was able to right his earlier wrong putting in a huge hit which then saw Scotland win turnover ball and pour into France’s 22 through Russell and Watson. However Scotland were caught holding on and with Blue jerseys protesting a French knock on Wayne Barnes duly marched them back 10 metres. 

Despite France kicking for territory Scotland were able to repel a number of French forrays into their 22. Hamish Watson was a constant nuisance in the ruck and Chris Harris, Scott Cummings and Blade Thomson put in some big hits. 

Tommy Seymour was an early casulty of the first half going off after a head knock to be replaced permanently by Blair Kinghorn after failing his HIA. Townsend confirmed later that Seymour was unlikely to make the game in Tiblisi with the flight on Wednesday coming too early for him to pass his return to play protocols.

A big tackle from Blade Thomson on half way saw Scotland reclaim the ball with Sean Maitland charging down the wing before Ryan Wilson was penalised for going off his feet at the ruck. Wayne Barnes had some sympathy with Wilson’s claims of innocence but applied the letter of the law having deemed Wilson to have tackled his man. 

Kinghorn was then caught taking his opposite number around the collar and France kicked to the corner. A good maul defence from Scotland and some big hits again from Cummings and Thomson forced France to kick to the wing with the ball sailing into touch.

Despite France claiming the line out Hogg was eventually able to clear the ball upfield and some big hits from Harris and Skinner seemed to have pinned the France in their own half. However Gael Fickou had other ideas and sailed through a gap in the Scottish defence before sending Damien Penaud over for his second try.

Gordy Reid caught Wayne Barnes at the next scrum on half way complaining of French shenanigans in the front row. But Barnes was keen to take a look at the other side of the scrum and after wheeling the scrum and a slipped French foot the Scottish pack took a third scrum driving the French pack backwards and winning the penalty.

Neither team were able to get a grip on the game with possession passing back and forth before Blair Kinghorn took a high ball under pressure and Finn Russell did what Finn Russell does putting in a superb cross field kick to Maitland who was unable to collect but able to keep it in touch by knocking it backwards. Scotland were unable to collect the ball, eventually knocking it on in the resulting melee. 

Scotland then put the French scrum under real pressure and although France were able to get the ball away it was soon dropped with a grateful Kinghorn scooping it up and racing for the line. He passed to Harris who was brought down with the try line begging. After a few pick and goes the ball made its way to Russell who spun it wide to Maitland sending him over in the corner for the try. Laidlaw added the extras.

Half-time: Scotland 10 – 14 France

Scotland had a mixed start to the second half, claiming the restart before losing the ball through some lose passing from Willem Nel. However Scotland were able to put France under pressure at the breakdown again winning a penalty and clearing to the half way line. 

Thomson was brought off early in the second half with a head knock. He was cheered from the pitch by the BT Murrayfield crowd having put in a good shift in defence and perhaps one foot on the plane. He was replaced by Barclay who was met with an even bigger cheer. Barclay went to 6 with Wilson moving to 8.

Russell and Horne were putting the French defence under pressure and passes that weren’t sticking in the first half were finally finding their intended hands. A momentary lapse in concentration from Russell almost saw Scotland lose the ball before the entire pack shouting “Finn” seemed to bring him back down to earth.

Gordy Reid left the field to be replaced by Dell, Reid earning a handshake and thank you from Wayne Barnes for some “excellent scrums”. Something for Townsend to ponder with Barnes taking charge of Scotland’s opening game in the World Cup against Ireland. 

Despite some strong pressure from France in their 22 Scotland were able to turn over ball again at the ruck, Russell clearing down field and a huge hit from Pete Horne forcing a knock on just inside the Scottish half. 

Scotland cleared the ball from the scrum under French pressure and Russell kicked cross field to Kinghorn who gathered and raced for the line with Hogg and Horne in support. However, Horne failed to gather the pass, knocking the ball forward, and despite France claiming the ball they soon knocked on too and Barnes called play back for a French scrum. 

Scotland won a free kick at the resulting scrum and decided to have another crack at the French pack which had been under pressure from Scotland all afternoon. However the French had other ideas, the pack suddenly coming to life and winning a penalty and kicking to touch on Scotland’s 22. 

Scotland’s maul defence had been strong all game and the French were unable to make any headway from the line out, Scotland winning the ball back after a French knock on. Kinghorn chased Russell’s downfield kick like a man possessed putting French players under huge pressure and buying time for the Scottish defence to catch up and win a penalty at the ruck with France caught holding on.

Russell kicked to touch but the Scottish line out didn’t go to plan. However, the ball was knocked on by a French hand giving Scotland a scrum five out from the French line. Scotland took the ball cleanly from the scrum with Watson, Turner and Horne making big carries before Laidlaw found Harris running from deep to cross under the posts with minimum of French resistance. Laidlaw kicked the convention. Scotland 17 France 14.

Scotland were then able to sustain heavy pressure from the French attack, Turner and Barclay and Watson making a nuisance of themselves, however there was concern with Sam Skinner leaving the field supported by a medic and Gordy Reid. Skinner had been strong in defence and contributed well to the scrum. Early indications are a leg injury but further news is to come of long term prognosis. 

A high tackle from Wilson just outside the Scotland 10 metres line saw France kick ahead capitalising on advantage. However with Russell gathering the ball, Barnes decided that advantage was over and Scotland were able to clear to touch to just outside the 22. 

Scotland won the resulting line out through Wilson, and Russell cleared down field. Following some kick tennis and strong scramble defence from Scotland, France soon knocked on with Scotland winning the resultant scrum.

The crowd were then soon on their feet when Hogg kicked ahead and gathering his own ball had the line in sight before being brought down. He was able to offload to Berghan but some lose passing and a touch of white line fever saw France win a penalty and clear to half way.

Scotland continued to play a fast game, picking up the tempo in the final quarter making their superior fitness show. But sometimes the fastest brand of rugby can be too fast with Hutchinson catching a ball to the face after a series of offloads from the Scottish backs. 

With Horne Jnr. on field the game was played an unusually breakneck speed for the latter part of a game with Scotland putting France under huge pressure in their 22. However France were able too clear but were caught stopping a quick throw and Scotland were awarded the penalty.

With four minutes left on the clock Scotland decided to take it through the pack inside French half with a number of pick and gos before Russell kicked, only finding French hands. Hogg regathered the clearance and Scotland pinned France back in their own 22. 

Wilson gave away a penalty with two minutes to go inside the French half and there was the sinking feeling that Scotland might have yet again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. However some strong defence saw Scotland force a knock on and despite pressure from the French pack Scotland were able to kick to touch to end the game.

Despite some unforced errors, every player put down a marker for a place in the final 31 man World Cup squad and some of those involved in last weeks game will no doubt know their chance has been and gone. However, this was a win in dry conditions at Murrayfield. We know Scotland can win in these conditions. There are still questions about their fragility away from home. It was an unseasonal 23 degrees at BT Murrayfield but we still don’t know if Scotland can handle the real heat.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)

SRBlog Man of the Match: Hamish Watson won the official Man of the Match award and it’s hard to question that decision. He was a constant nuisance at the breakdown and carried with his usual verve and je ne sais quoi. At one point he went on the charge with a French player hanging onto his shirt tails. At another point he emerged from a pile of bodies with the ball despite having seemingly been tackled. Mentions also to Pete Horne and Chris Harris who looked strong in defence and combined well and Blair Kinghorn who grabbed an unexpected chance with both hands.

56 Responses

  1. Worth bearing in mind, we still haven’t seen our first team all playing – maybe 70% this week, 30% last.

    We need to be better to get near Ireland (and Japan), but at least we have something to build on.

  2. At least as poor as we have been…..Ireland are falling apart…and have been since during the 6N…a one dimensional …aging team.

  3. I have always liked Pete Horne but I’d leave him out the 31. From having 4 born and bred Scots as the centres 4 years ago (plus the injured Dunbar) i’d now take 4 to this WC none of whom sound remotely Scottish. Johnson, Taylor, Harris, Hutchinson. Jones isn’t good enough, can’t defend or pass – all he does is score tries. I liked the look of Harris at Newcastle, he is a very good athlete and is direct and aggressive. Was a matter if time before he started showing his quality for Scotland. He hits very hard, looks deceive.

    Thought Grigg had a decent game at 15 today. Kinghorn good but he can’t tackle a fish supper. I’d take Wilson but not ahead of Ritchie. Thomson OK but I’m not convinced….he looks lightweight, very thin waist. Stewart ahead of Turner – the latter doesn’t have it in the head. Silly penalties and what on earth was that short throw-in, it was the squintest dart i’ve even seen. Bizarre.

      1. Thomson will be in the 31…
        GT thinks he is excellent. He didn’t get many good opportunities to show his skill set…but his handling looks great and he knows when to hold or release …pretty obvious he fits the game GT is trying to play. Big lad too…though not typical No 8 body shape.
        Hope he passes his HIA. He is a better version of Ryan Wilson Id say.
        Centre surely Taylor Johnson Hutchinson and Harris. Jones just doesn’t contribute when the backs are against the wall…excellent finisher but that just isn’t enough against the top sides.
        If only 1 of Graham and Kinghorn makes the 31…the one left out is unlucky.

    1. Eh, Kinghorn put plenty of decent and effective tackles in today. Not a spectacular performance but the kind of showing that Maitland has put on regularly for Scotland and is duly appreciated for.

    2. I tell you what, it’s great to see 4 great centres like Hutchinson, Taylor, Johnson and Harris in the equation but it would be sad when we’ve brought through Horne, Scott, Bennett and Dunbar into a position that used to be dire that a world cup squad could contain no actual Scottish centre.

      I don’t usually mind foreign born players but it isn’t right.

  4. Thin waist??? Come on lol

    BLB: Did Greig play full back today (15)? I doubt it but didn’t watch the match. Trying to imagine him jumping for a high ball. Mine mine, okay maybe not.

    1. He is referring to Hoggs haircut. He cut most of it off so looked like Grigg a bit. Thought the comment above was very funny.

  5. Busy Little Bee,
    Did you and I watch the same match, who’s grigg ? Also I have a very thin waist and I’m no lightweight !! Still some work to be done before Japan but things beginning to look a bit clearer now. Nothing to fear from Ireland, going backwards it seems.

  6. I expect a lot of the 50/50 players to get a shot next week if it’s true Townsend will name his squad after this game

    1. Berghan (Yes)
    2. Stewart
    3. Nel
    4. Gray
    5. Toolis
    6. Bradbury
    7. Barclay
    8. Fagerson
    9. Horne
    10. Russell
    11. Graham
    12. Hutchison
    13. Jones
    14. Kinghorn
    15. Maitland

    16. Brown
    17. Bhatti
    18. Fagerson
    19. Thomson
    20. Wilson
    21. Laidlaw
    22. Johnson
    23. Seymour

    1. Georgia away I believe are a serious threat. We need to put out a strong team but we also need to rotate. I’ve opted for an experienced bench to turn things around if we struggle.

      * = hasn’t started yet

      1. Dell*
      2. McInally
      3. Fagerson*
      4. Gray *
      5. Gilchrist
      6. Bradbury*
      7. Ritchie
      8. Fagerson*
      9. Horne*
      10. Hastings
      11. Maitland
      12. Johnson*
      13. Hutchinson*
      14. Kinghorn*
      15. Graham

      16. Brown
      17. Reid
      18. Nel
      19. Cummings
      20. Watson
      21. Laidlaw
      22. Russell
      23. Taylor

      1. Reckon he’ll swap Graham and Maitland but think this is pretty bang on, Bazz. Final game against Georgia at home will be the full strength one

      2. Hmm not sure on this. Our away form is dire and this is going to be a proper test against a fired up tier 2 side with massive home support. We do have some players to run out before the squad is cut but I’d much rather see Laidlaw and Russell at halfback, than Horne and Hastings. Similarly that is a very green back row to start against a very good Georgian unit. I’d much rather have a strong spine in this match and use the bench and squad when we are back at home.

  7. V Georgia –
    Kinghorn, McGuigan, Jones, Johnson, Graham, Russell, Price
    Bradbury, Barclay, Ritchie, J.Gray, Toolis, Nel, McInally, Dell
    Reps – Hastings, Taylor, Laidlaw, Fagerson, Gilchrist, Fagerson, Stewart, Reid

    1. Next week is a last chance for fringe players to impress so I would expect the B team to be out – with a first 15 the week after as they need at least 1 game together.

      Also, those who haven’t played yet will get a game if fit.

      1 Bhatti 2 Brown 3 Fagerson
      4 J Gray 5 Toolis
      6 Bradbury 7 Ritchie 8 Fagerson
      9 Horne 10 Hastings
      12 Johnson 13 Jones
      11 McGuigan 14 Graham 15 Kinghorn

      Would have a strong bench in case it all goes wrong again though!

      Also, Tombola…..
      Hutchinson to come on at 10 and Hastings to 15 for 30 minutes if we are comfortably ahead.

      1. Hutchinson will start, I’m sure of it. Not sure Brown and Johnson are ready to go yet, and there’s no way I’d risk them against such a physical team who’re playing at home. I’d start some of those players, though – I think the spine of your team is correct.

        For what it’s worth, I think the only player to play themselves OUT of contention is Josh Strauss (though they were an outside bet anyway). We probably won’t see from him again in a Scotland journey unless he’s on the bench in Tbilisi. Grant Stewart (barring a hooker injury) and Byron McGuigan probably won’t be picked either; apart from those three, every player has a chance of selection for Japan.

  8. A win and a better performance and a bit of rust knocked off. I won’t comment on how individuals played as there were good and bad moments from almost everybody (apart from the Mish who only seems to have good moments!).

    However, there were two things that stood out to me today about ‘squad’ guys. To me, that’s players who’s presence in the squad and on the field are more important than just their play.

    Ryan Wilson. I know he’s a marmite player for people on these boards and I get why folks think he’s not one of our best back rowers. But he’s a total B’stard. The opposition don’t like him and our forwards always seem to have a wee bit more mongrel about them when he’s there, something that we’ve been lacking since the days of Fin and Shark. I prefer him at 6 over 8 but I’d have him on the plane in a heartbeat.

    Gordy Reid. He loves Scotland. Loves wearing the Thistle and loves being part of the squad. I’ve never met the man but I suspect he’s one of those that sees every day as a Scotland player as an absolute privilege. Him moving the medic out the way to support Skinner hobbling off the field is the kind of act that cements squad spirit. For that alone (never mind I think he’s still our best scrummaging loosie) I’d have him on the plane. (And just for the record, WTAF is he doing playing at Ayr!!!!)

    Anyhoo. Just my tuppence worth. Onwards and upwards #AsOne

    1. If only being a b’stard made up for all the brainless penalties he gives away.

      But it doesn’t.

      1. Giving away penalties means you are playing on the borderline on the laws which is where all the top backrow players operate.

        First half he got done for going off his feet. Second half he won the counter ruck for the second try. Wilson brings intensity and our defence is far, far better with him playing.

      2. Averages a penalty every 104 minutes in Test rugby over the last 2 years, so less than 1 per game. Slightly more frequent than Watson but less frequent than Barclay for penalties conceded.

      3. Interesting stats on penalties. I think it’s types of penalties Wilson gives away compared to Barclay and Watson that grate. Guessing Barclay and Watson are getting penalised for competing for the ball.

    2. What the opposition are actually fearful of is ….a very talented rugby player…which Ryan Wilson isn’t….’being annoying’ at RWC level doesn’t cut it.
      He’s a sub at best…when there are injuries to Ritchie, Thompson, Bradbury, Watson….who are all ahead of him in ablilty

      1. Some of you bloggers must have ‘Ryan Wilson is crap’ on predictive text. Another Test win, albeit a narrow one, and guess what, Ryan Wilson’s on the winning side again?
        He’s almost certainly doing more right than he does wrong now that he’s Test match fit again, and he offers more commitment to the cause than we saw from others in Nice last week.

    3. Well said BorderBadger.

      Re Reid…I think Glasgow will still sign him but wanted to see if he’s going to Japan or not before putting an offer? Strange either way though…

      I believe he’s guaranteed his place to Japan after that.

    4. Absolutely Reid goes to Japan. When Wayne Barnes commends you with a handshake on your scrummaging – universaly our other props’ weakest attribute, save Nel – then you must be doing something right. And he seems like a lovely guy, too.

      Wilson is a good player and he’s put in several great shifts for Scotland. However, I’m not sure he gets in over Bradbury, Thomson, Ritchie or Skinner. However, three of those players are currently injured or sidelined. A lot hinges on whether Thomson’s fit and picked to face Georgia at St Stanger’s. If he doesn’t get that gametime, Wilson probably travels. Maggie Bradbury needs games, too.

      Wilson’ll probably get one more chance. He might yap, but he’s got dog. So has Thomson, so it’ll go down to the wire.

  9. I love watching Scotland play, and, a million years ago, was a Scotland U20 player.

    I haven’t booked my tickets for Japan and, on the basis of the recent performance, saddening as it is to say, I suspect I made the right choice.

    That having been said, if we do get to the QFs, I’ll be on a flight!

    1. borderbadger.
      I’d have to agree with you about Wilson and Reid. Not flashy players but do represent what Scotland is about. ‘If you want to beat us you’re gonna have to play out of your skin’s kind of approach.
      Incidentally Reid will be an Ayr bull next season as he is an Ayrshire lad and played 6 seasons there before Glasgow came in for him. He is held in high regard there and no doubt sees it as an opportunity to progress into a coaching role from there.

  10. Offside line reporting that Skinner a major doubt for WC. Time for Townsend to use it as an opportunity to give Richie Gray a game??

    Cummings and Skinner looked like Retallick and Whitelock compared to Gilchrist/Toolis last week.

    Gilchrist did ok off the bench today so I guess he will go. However, I would rather Gray/Gray against Ireland if Skinner isn’t fit.

    1. Townsend didn’t sound confident on Skinner’s injury in the press conference but said he was going for a scan. He was later spotted on crutches signing autographs so maybe some small hope it’s not as bad as first feared. None of the injured players are going to play in Tiblisi. Team flies on Wednesday so team will be picked by Tuesday so too soon for Thomson and Seymour to pass tests.

    2. While it remains a mystery why Ritchie Gray is not in the squad, I think it is wishful thinking that he is going to get called up at this stage. We need to move on and focus on who is likely to be picked.

      Skinner will be a big miss if he’s injured. Thought he was immense today and would have run Hamish close for MOTM if he’d stayed on.

      Suspect we’ll see Gray and Gilchrist next week.

      1. Richie started forToulouse today. Don’t know how he did but he’s probably match fit. Give him a call.

      2. If he was the Richie Gray of 3 or 4 years ago it would be a mystery but it doesn’t seem like he is. He’s had plenty of time back in the Top 14 to show what he’s capable of but seems to have been very quiet when he did play and dropped to the bench when his team got to the business end of the season.

        He carried less than half the ball his brother does. Didn’t break a single tackle. Turned the ball over once every 4 carries. Tackle numbers were lower than any of his main competitors for the second row. He conceded 1 penalty in 615 minutes – either he’s found a cloak of invisibility or he simply was peripheral to a lot of the action.

        Now these are only limited numbers and don’t cover all a players contributions or their effectiveness. But given the guys who are making the decision will almost certainly have seen all his game actions (and possibly even analysis of his training efforts) they do maybe start to give at least some indications as to why the management team have felt it’s right to leave Richie out up to this point.

      3. Richie Gray’s boat has sailed, it is not in anyone’s interest having a stranger in the camp.

        I doubt this decision has been made on stats Kevin. Toulouse finished 2018/19 as 1st in the Top 14 and semi finalists in the European Cup. That is the one statistic we should put over all others.

        I just dont see a side of that standing fielding Gray if his performances on pitch and in training are not meeting approval.

        I am not saying the stats are wrong, I am saying Toulouse are willing to stand by him and they are one of the top sides in Europe !

        The question might be why would we not ! There have been a few half fit guys in camp ,Duncan Taylor and Bhatti to name 2.

        In fairness he had 4 fit locks when he made his choices, but Richie Gray has nore experience, more physical presence than any of them and he was and would appear, to remain fit. It must have been a hard call and I doubt we are going to get , or are entitled to, a rationale for this decision.

        Maybe Gregor just stood by those who have been loyal to him in the 6N . We will not know whether that was right or wrong , till after the Tournament.

      4. Yeah those stats are not the reason he was left out but I think they offer some indications that Richie’s performances are not even close to the level he used to produce. The judgement management made would have been based on an appraisal of everything he’s done in the 5 months he’s been back.

        Toulouse did have an excellent season. But for context the locks who started the Top 14 final ahead of Richie were a journeyman Aussie and a 35 year old Samoan who’s retired from international rugby, neither of whom will be troubling an RWC squad.

  11. A real curates egg of a performance from Scotland today. Starting with the good:
    We won
    Another Mom performance from Watson
    Big Gordy – as honest as the day is long and along with WP put in a big shift at scrum time.
    Harris showed us why Toony rates him
    The bad:
    Injuries – particularly Skinner
    Too many unforced errors particularly in first half
    Woeful start – again!!
    Pete Horne throwing an intercept – again!!
    No idea what the game plan is or what is our best line up

    Already on the plane: Nel, Reid, Watson, Laidlaw, Russell, Maitland and Hogg
    This weeks climbers: Skinner, Cummings, Wilson, Barclay, Thomson, Harris and Kinghorn
    Dropping down: Horne who along with Bhatti, Toolis and Jones must be doubtful to make the 31

    1. In these games it is difficult to take much from the performances because in the back of most players minds will be not to get injured.

  12. It’s now a real fight for that last centre spot between Horne, Harris and Jones.

    The emergence of Johnson at 12 and Hastings at 10 combined with the return of Taylor has made P.Horne surplus to requirements IMO. Jones has been found out a bit recently and has little credit left in the bank. This in conjunction with the rise of Hutchinson and a good showing from Harris who can both cover multiple positions means Jones is out for me.

    Who would have thought 12 months ago our 4 centres could be Johnson, Taylor, Hutchinson and Harris??

    1. Jones brings a cutting edge in attack no one else in the team does. When playing with Russell who brings out the best in him, he’s a different proposition. Would like to see Taylor Jones or Johnson Jones. Harris with one good game at home, and multiple fails, is ahead of him despite Jones heroics against England, Ireland, Wales, Australia in recent years – has everyone forgotten the pass of the century or cutting through England. He’s one game back from injury but the type of player people want to watch. If Hogg or Russell get injured it would look so stupid to have left him at home.

    1. Lol Horne best tacking centre. How many games have you watched Harris. Do you know who Duncan Taylor is, have you seen Sam Johnson tackle?

    2. I very much value the hits they put in. However, I think Duncan Taylor’s up there too.

  13. IMO never replaced the physicality of Dunbar in the centre, all 6 possibles are good players but no crash ball/straightening of the line option. Johnson is the closest. Glasgow/Dave Rennie used Kyle Steyn to good effect the last 1/2 of the season. Front foot ball is absolutely critical to the Scottish game-plan

    If Sam Skinner is out it may well be Richie Gray is selected & plays a week on Friday.

    1. Well done to Chris Harris not his biggest fan and I didn’t see game but listened to radio seems he had a decent game yesterday proved he is a international player.

  14. Why are referees not penalising teams for being offside the commentators were saying France were at least 2 metres offside with there rush defence causing the intercept try Scotland need to play smarter.

    1. Harris had his best game, but some people are getting a bit carried away saying he is first choice now.
      Needs to have at least a couple more games of at least that level before he has proved himself.

      France were offside a lot leading up to the interception – doesn’t seem to be getting picked up at all – but the phase where the actual interception happened, I think they were pretty much ok.

      1. Harris showed he is fast enough for international rugby . As yet his split second decision making is not in tune. He could have made a different choice on his run to the line in the build up to Maitland’s try, he had 2 men on his right, in the clear and it was less likely than likely he would make it alone. He still has a bit to go to get his judgement right. But , he has raised the bar for the others.

      2. Agreed. There is a lot of creeping offside from all of the sides in these warm up tests. Just watched the intercept. France were however miles onside at both the rucks following Russell’s failed grubber.

        On Huw Jones- he has provided some great moments for Scotland. I don’t think I have ever seen him have a good game for Glasgow and to me there is a lack of commitment. I have never met Jones and it may be he has just lost form and is trying his best but he has certainly lost zip and has never been a great defender. Whatever the reason unless he has a stellar game on Saturday I wouldn’t be surprised for Townsend to go with someone else. We are so porous in defence that we need a solid centre partnership and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Taylor at 13 come the World Cup.

  15. Greenhorn, I watched the game, Harris took his try well & was solid otherwise, given that Bennett, Scott, Steyn, McDowall all not considered for one reason or another, Harris will likely be on the plane & will play V Russia to give Taylor, Johnson a rest. Harris. I agree with Bazz re Peter Horne

  16. Mallinder appointment interesting – wonder if it will affect the Redpaths of the world?

  17. The one thing no one has mentioned in the WC pecking order stuff is the consideration of the difficulty each scotland team played against France.

    I suspect a few players playing the home game would have looked a lot less impressive if they where in the first squad to play France away… and players playing in the away match would of looked better if they were in the home side.

    This is is why i am not sure if Harris is ahead of Jones or Reid/Wilson etc ahead of the other backrowers, it will be interesting to see who Toony picks

  18. I was feeling optimistic about wining the two games against Georgia but I’ve a growing nervousness about the upcoming Georgia away game. It will be a serious test of our away confidence. Our team for that is likely to be filled with marginal players. If it doesn’t click and we underestimate the challenge or don’t turn up fired up it could be an embarrassment. Expect the bench to be filled with our first choice stars (Russell, Hogg, Watson)

  19. A better performance but still far too many unforced errors. Is this a result of GT’s ambition to be the ‘fastest’ team, but effectively just leads to overly hurried moves and decisions that lead to the quantum of errors we make compared to all other major nations.
    Individually we have as good a pool of talent as most, so why is our basic error rate so much higher?

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