Podcast: Episode 86 – We Didn’t Start The Fire

Cammy and Iain take stock of Scotland’s World Cup campaign and use the 12 Step Programme for the purposes of group therapy to try and make sense of it all.

Elsewhere we hear about the wonderful reception Scottish fans have received in Japan and speak to an Emergency Planner about the principals of preparing for natural disasters.

We broadcast the podcast live and you can watch and join in on the night. You can also choose to watch or listen back afterwards by one of our video or podcast channels:

YouTube – www.youtube.com/scottishrugbyblog

Twitch – www.twitch.tv/scottishrugbypodcast

Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-scottish-rugby-podcast/id1195370479?mt=2

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3gmKpRaLw8kBYDXpkmLnim

Or alternatively search for Scottish Rugby Podcast on your favourite podcast app.

For exclusive bonus weekly content, including Hands In The Ruck, as well as other bonus episodes you can sign up to our Patreon from £3 per month. This also gets you access to our super secret social media group where you can chat to other fans of the podcast.

Don’t forget to buy your copy of our World Cup song from our Bandcamp page. You can listen below and click the “buy” button to buy the song and help the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

Born a Souter but brought up just south of the Border in Berwick where he played for Berwick RFC as a kid any any position where cover was needed.
Follow Cammy on twitter @CammyBlack

108 comments on “Podcast: Episode 86 – We Didn’t Start The Fire

  1. Sam Benedict on

    OH FOR F***’S SAKE

    “Scotland face disciplinary hearing over Mark Dodson comments”

    World Rugby has referred the Scottish Rugby Union to its disciplinary committee over chief executive Mark Dodson’s comments in the build-up to the World Cup game against Japan.

    The match was in doubt due to Typhoon Hagibis and would have been cancelled, eliminating Scotland, if it hadn’t taken place in Yokohama on Sunday.

    Dodson had criticised World Rugby’s “rigidity” and hinted at legal action.

    The game went ahead and Scotland lost 28-21 to exit at the group stage.

    At a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday tournament director Alan Gilpin confirmed that the matter was now being handled by its disciplinary committee, adding “under tournament rules we’re careful that people behave appropriately”.

    World Cup rules state that “where a pool match cannot be commenced on the day in which it is scheduled, it shall not be postponed to the following day and shall be considered as cancelled. In such situations, the result shall be allocated two points each and no score registered”.

    Dodson pushed for a postponement and claimed more effort would have been put in to ensuring the game went ahead if it involved New Zealand.


    • Sam Benedict on

      We’ll probably be hit with a fine if found guilty (and we’ll probably be found guilty, this is a vindictive, spiteful move from World Rugby) but we could also be docked points in our pool – there’s a slight danger we could end up in the repechage for 2023.

      • Stu2 on

        Dodson is an aggressive oaf at times, but in this instance he was right to stand up to those inept clowns running WR.

        As Cammy is asking does anyone actually have any evidence Dodson threatened legal action – saying you are speaking to a QC is not threatening legal action.

      • Johnny b on

        According to the media the issue relates to a specific statement made by Dodson that decisions had been made ‘in haste’.

        This is alleged to call the game into disrepute, not the threat to sue.

      • FF on

        If they dock precisely enough points of us to be below Samoa it will obviously be appealed and prolong the bad PR for World Rugby. We’ll probably get a fine which we can wear.

    • Alanyst on

      1) In the bonus point era, a 0-0 draw is patently a stupid result, penalizing both teams.

      Every game has a predicted outcome by bookies, rugby pass etc. WR surely could get some analysts to set a ‘par’ score…its not hard. I can get all games right on superbru.

      2) WR and Gilpin have received a narcisstic injury as SRU exposed their POOPy management of a risk they took – holding a major competition in Typhoon season, and not bothering to put any contingencies in place.

      3) like all narcissists they will never admit their mistakes and will rage at those who expose them…they will blame the victims, and they will attack all who oppose them.

      4) Unfortunately, the wee big men at the top have the power, and are looking for someone to hit. I would like SRU to stand strong, but I feel we’d be doing it alone and the other unions are more likely to join in the kicking than try to stop it.

      For that reason alone SRU should back down and live for another day.


  2. JessPinkmansKilt on

    Im done with international rugby anyway. Lets drop down a tier and devote our rugby team to developing the other European Nations, win a few trophies and you never know maybe the Lions or French Baa Baa’s might throw us a tour game. then we can devote our lives as fans to virtue signalling all that is great in what we do. Still wont be as impressive as an Irish fan picking up a crisp packet or an All Black being photographed with a broom but there you go.

  3. Johnny b on

    I did think for various reasons Dodson should have kept powder dry until/ unless something happened, but how the hell is implying you might take legal action ( I’m not aware he threatened it directly) a disciplinary matter?
    Wt actual f?
    What world do these people live in?
    An old boys’ club by the sounds of it.

      • Rob on

        Sam, you have just brought the game into disrepute. You are to be summonded to Dublin and found guilty but if you turn up with the biscuits and wear a tie then you may get a slap on the back of the hand if lucky …….

    • Ruggers on

      The thing is …he didn’t threaten WRorg!…he merely stated that he had consulted with a QC who specializes in sporting issues to discover if his concerns were legitimate… got his opinion and then both he and the QC said what those opinions were and why.
      Scotland just being discredited and black listed because they made Gilpin and the World org looking incompetent. Which they are…even for just dragging this issue on mid competition.

  4. Highland Bear on

    Pleased to see that Dodson is being called to account for his intemperate pre-match comments. Will give more ammunition to his detractors within the SRU.

  5. Sam Benedict on

    “On Sunday evening, in the hours before kick-off in Yokohama, Alan Gilpin worked the media room. He moved around talking to journalists for about an hour, mostly those working with English newspapers. It would have been a surprise had some of the chat not revolved around the bitterness of the previous few days.

    He walked past the area where the Scottish press was gathered on his way in and on his way out. Not a word was spoken.”

  6. RuggersB on

    So not content with SRU publicly thanking ALL involved by allowing the match to go ahead….Scotland being eliminated…. much loved Japan through….Gilpin chooses to threaten the country that he dismissed for threatening behavior….2 days!! after they are eliminated.
    Firstly Pot, Kettle &….
    Secondly how does dragging this issue on any further help world rugby?…considering he is head of world rugby??

    Irresponsible, unprofessional, and kind of bullying…what a tool!…and what a child!

    Italy walked meekly away from the challenge…Scotland challenged the decisions and are on the point of being ostracized for it.
    I totally agreee withe SRU challenging the WRorg on their decision calling. I just wish they had kept the ‘legal action’ out of any statements. That was the SRU mistake…though I understand why they did that.

  7. Stu2 on

    You know what was bringing the game into disrepute? Eddie Jones saying the typhoon gods were looking down on England, as it killed 30+ people.

    • RuggersB on

      Well that’s just Eddie ‘the mouth’ Jones.

      Japan obviously a far better team after he left them and hired a quality coach.

  8. Johnny b on

    Dodson’s handling was far from perfect.
    He allowed this to develop into a narrative of kicking the hosts as they faced a natural disaster.

    RWC have form with this. Remember the last world cup when Scotland were embroiled in a controversy about harsh citings doled out to smaller unions?
    We nearly went into our QF minus a couple of players on marginal citings but it all got dropped amidst an outcry and bad publicity for RWC.

    I think if Dodson had held off the attack dogs until RWC actually did the unthinkable then we would have carried public opinion and RWC would have miraculously found some way to reverse the precedent set when they cancelled the Italy game. If they hadn’t then suing them would have been perceived as a just grievance by everyone.

    • Stu2 on

      And if he had waited that long and it was clearly going to be irreversible he would have had calls for his head.

      First and foremost his responsibility is to Scottish rugby and whilst his bull in a china shop routine might have ruffled some WR feathers, there is no doubt Scotland was his priority.

      • TeamCam on

        I’d add to this that, while I don’t often agree with Tom English, he’s hit the nail on the head with regards to the public response to this. It’s hypocritical, bitter, sanctimonious, pathetic, disingenuous, self-righteous and cynical. Smart of WR to set the narrative, awful of the public to buy into such nonsense. Sadly, this is the age in which we live.

      • Johnny b on

        Well I suppose he’s in a difficult position.
        He’s not popular in some quarters and right now Scotland are losing the PR battle.
        If that continues and we get a fine then there will also be calls for his head.

      • RuggersB on

        Yes I think that will be the case also but…
        Is axing someone who defended our national game and vocalized his opinion on the situation …and in fact was also speaking for Italy (something they should have done for themselves also)….Is that the message we want to send? That our SRU head shouldn’t speak out in the event of contentious decisions…because it affects how the WR org and rugby community see us??
        Thats like throwing him under the bus.
        If it becomes a common event then maybe…but I think that isn’t the stance to take at this time.
        Gilpin is looking like a petulant child in this situation.
        A mature person would have let this all go after SRU publicly thanked all involved for allowing the match to go ahead…..WRorg didn’t even deserve that imo….their poorly thought out decisions were ultimately bailed out by a severe weather situation improving dramatically on game day…and the impressive response to the difficult situation by the people of Japan.

    • RuggersB on

      Yes ..but they were never going to contradict themselves , admit their incompetent decision and reverse it for future matches.
      Dodson had little option but to try and proactively change the course of things…and that meant only one things which was challenging the integrity of the decision making.
      It was a catch22…
      Try and change the here and now…or suck up the wrong decision and hope for future change.

  9. RuggersB on

    +…all this is fueling the ultimate goal of WRorg getting their Nations League started.

    The comp that SRU rejected.

    WRorg want Japan entered into the scheme of things.

    The 8 teams in the RWC QF lineups are exactly who WR org want in their nations league. I believe that.

    We are a bee’s genitalia away from being thrown into a 2nd tier league playing USA, Canada , Italy , Georgia etc.

    • JohnMc on

      You may believe that, but it isn’t true. I simply can’t see how Scotland and Argentina , for instance, would ever be excluded from a Nations League set-up. Ok, we’re both out of this RWC, but we remain strong Test sides who continue to be competitive at the highest level.
      World Rugby are indeed rubbish by the way, I agree with that.

      • Bulldog on

        The 6 Nations will keep us on our toes. The RWC, while a spectacle, is not the 6 nations the worlds oldest tournament and incidentally the oldest rugby international in the world is Scotland versus England which was first played at Rayburn Place, Edinburgh in 1871.

        Do we as a man , need to look in the mirror and ask, what more can we do for Rugby !

  10. RuggersB on

    Its a numbers game… I bet you anything that is the ultimate agenda for them.
    You really think they will achieve their desired growth numbers with a country with 50k registered players? Not on your nelly.
    The WRorg board are being judged on the expansion of rugby. Any potential investors in their prev proposed ‘Nations League’ will be less likely to contribute and reduce investment in a league without the numbers Japan would provide.
    All those 50/50 calls in big matches that go for the big boys…the rulings that work in their favor on and off the pitch…they all add up…and this is what they’ll add upto..I reckon.
    No different to say NFL ..now looking at English stadiums to introduce NFL…etc to begin the process of making it a ‘world’ game.
    Or the evolution of football to create the Champions league…and essentially make a tier2 system in the europa league….etc
    All structuring geared at maximizing investment and numbers….coupled with sporting elitism.

    Or we can paint fairies and flowers …..and believe that Scotland could one day win the RWC.
    The heart says we could…the head says I have more chance winning the lottery.

  11. Referendum on

    In amongst all the angst and politics remember three of the tier one teams didn’t make quarters. We now have effectively 11 top teams in rugby union and that should be applauded. Bring in a few more over the next cycle and we could have an expanded world cup by 2027. USA will start to exponentially rise up and a world cup there in 2027 will cement that I’d imagine. USA don’t miss a marketing chance do they?

    Rugby is fairly different to many sports in the limited amount of top teams. There are others I know. This brings advantages but I think we want the game to grow. This will make it tougher for Scotland and we are a small player pool. Maybe not on who we have in particular players (We should prob be doing better) but on numbers playing the game we’re way above where we should be.

    Our pool became the pool of death which no one really saw pre comp. Every other pool was as form mostly. More death pools will come now and we’ll find it harder and harder. 2015 has proved to be such an opportunity missed and with each year passing proving it all the more….

    • RuggersB on

      I don’t disagree with a lot of that…its more a fear Or a sense of how rugby could go .. rather than a fact or based on a fact.
      I hope rugby is different…I hope it doesn’t sell its soul out.
      As far as USA for eg… I’m not convinced it would exponentially rise…. it’ll be pretty slow … but they do love their sports… and it’s a big marketable audience. Rugby however is up against a sport that is also full contact… NFL…same shape of ball.. some of the rulings and plays even overlap. Anyway. point being USA is saturated with sports already.

      • RuggersB on

        I live in the US …and I could see that the rugby world cup in the USA will no doubt happen some day.
        Im not sure when would be the best timeframe to do that though.
        Id say it would be better for the recently established pro league to find its feet first.
        Soccer/football has taken a long time to get where it is…and its still on the periphery of the big sports here. It was accepted mainly because it is seen as a unisex sport and sutable for a wider range of physiques amongst kids. A sport that accepts all.
        Rugby is still recognized in the USA essentially as a ‘foreign’ sport …and best case the wider public have a very basic understanding of it…but understand that its a tough full contact sport.
        That said, USA has huge potential aside from the marketing $$, as the focus and intensity of sports coaching begins very early ..they create multi talented athletes on a scale that no other country involved in pro rugby does. They have the facilities and overall infrastructure like no other country has…so that won’t be an issue.
        It cant clash with college football or NFL ..otherwsie it just won’t get the attendance levels.
        Weather wise its consistently milder throughout the year on the west coast…
        Generic interest wise…West is more heavily populated with those of Pac islander and Asian origin ..and east coast with Euro & Brit origin.
        Will be interesting how it evolves…competing with Basketball, NFL & College ball , and baseball will be a tough ask tho.

    • Johnny b on

      I don’t think there will be a world cup in the US any time soon simply because of timing.

      A US Summer is just too hot for rugby and clashes with the championship.
      We’d want the nfl fans and stadiums which rules out autumn.
      Late winter clashes with the 6N.

      So when would you hold it?

      I’d like to see a world cup centred in oz or nz where pac islands get to to host some games. If each of them could build at least 1 upgraded ground it could be possible.

      • Campbell B on

        JB: We have just witnessed WR running a Tournament in Japan at the worst time of year, so I cannot agree. The USA has 125K registered players with obvious scope to grow based on 2500 clubs. It is highly likely WR will influence the USA to bid in the next 20 years IMO.

      • Stu2 on

        The US has multiple climates and heat is better than some of the appalling humidity you get in Asia.

        I dont think there is any doubt the RWC will be in the US in the next 20yrs – rightly so too.

      • Johnny b on

        Stu2 I always thought the difficulties of holding a cup in the US was one reason world rugby was so keen on their world league. The Ireland games in Chicago were testers.
        Thinking more there is a window in April-June you could do it without NFL/ 6N/ Cship clash and weather would be ok.

      • Bass Rock on

        Johnny B , the decision to hold this 2019 tournament in Japan has to be questioned.

        The climate is not appropriate for most of the rugby playing nations , what has to be gained from playing rugby in an oven. Kobe Misaki , a stadium with a roof that retracts was left closed to boil players and spectators.

        World Rugby were not thinking about safety then , were they !
        Japan has had events such as tornado’s , earthquakes and tsunami’s in recent years.

        The USA is so vast it has both a favorable climate and stadiums. I can see absolutely no reason why the USA would not be appropriate.

        But why let common sense stand in the way, based on the Japan 2019 decision making , I would say the one thing that was missing was common sense.

        Would you not agree ? The tournament is not over yet.

      • Rory Baldwin on

        I think ideally the US would hold a tournament in a single time zone. Maybe East Coast where the heavy Scots/Irish communities can be found (despite Seattle smashing the MLR lately). You could easily have games across NYC, DC, Boston, even further south to Atlanta or Miami. Alternatively, on the West Coast you could play games in SF, LA, SD, Seattle and Vegas which surely between them have enough grounds. Especially as US college stadiums are huuuge you may not even need to bother the NFL… The main thing would be avoiding too much travel over long distances/timezones for the players.

      • Johnny b on

        I was wrong stu2 was right there will be a US world cup.
        I didn’t think it was possible or desirable because of clashes but there is a window.
        Summer is unfeasible- yes they have climate zones but all are hot in summer, hotter than Japan is now (Boston and nyc are on the same latitude as Japan!)
        Appetite for collision sport is huge and the nfl season ends in the final week of Jan.
        American sport fans are often heard complaining about the lack of football from Feb – Sept so give them rugby instead!
        You could do it April -June with no NFL, 6N or Championship clash and before weather gets really hot.
        That would be amazing and could encompass Canada too.

        Ireland filled Soldier Field the Chicago Bears home ground by playing in their bye weeks I think.

      • RuggersB on

        Climate wise USA ..is extremely diverse. I’ve lived in Oz , Europe east west nth sth USA. US ranges from extremely hot and humid..hot and dry..to mild…to extremely cold…some parts get pummeled with snow…some not a flake. Some prone to tornadoes ..some hurricanes. Like weather around the world..its getting harder and harder to predict….
        Weather from SoCal and up Pac west is the most mild Id say.
        Basically all depends on where and when…

      • john martin on

        Tremendous debate(s) on this site……..

        RWC is 2nd tournament (2019 6N) where a positive last 1/2 has taken some of the overall negativity away.

        Dreadful V Ireland (no idea what the coaches had planned but whatever it was it spectacularly failed), good against Samoa & Russia (good -tempered by the level of these 2 nations), then Japan, 1st half started very well but complete lack of game management (maybe any team would’ve struggled) and mistakes – out of position, tackle not dominant, ball ripped by smallest winger in 2nd 1/4 ish “done for us” – chances in 2nd 1/2 but simply had too many wholehearted but average players on the pitch.
        Alas overall Taylor & Barclay were shadows of their former selves, and a couple of other boys are journeymen.
        The Huw Jones situation has been mismanaged – whatever the reason for his downturn in form SHOULD’VE been rectified in the 3 month training period, Jones can be magic in attack (we can’t afford to leave magic out), and especially as we got nothing from our centres. Furthermore Hutchison was/is a young man on tremendous form, interesting decision to take Harris (who is a good club player but………). in preference, never replaced Dunbar IMO

        Going forward – the likes of Cummings, Hunter-Hill, Crosbie, Hutchison, Z&M Fagarson, Skinner, Keeble seem to have the physicality/attitude/talent to make a real difference so not all bad…
        Nice challenge in Dublin next time out

      • Campbell B on

        I used to work between the USA and Scotland and my colleagues in New England could tell you exactly the week the lakes would freeze and when they would thaw. When the first snow would fall, when they needed to have snow ploughs. You could be driving on roads with 6 feet of snow at the side , yet have confidence of getting to work. Summer was air conditioning everywhere. For all they get extremes, they are geared up for it and one thing I can say from my time there, they knew what the ‘fall back’plan was. If there was a hint of a tornado , I can assure you the Yanks would have Mobile Diesel Generators parked by every ground in case of a power failure etc. A tournament in the USA would be at risk of being over, not under done.

  12. Bulldog on

    The question on Toonie’s future is not going to go away. I wonder how we felt when he was appointed and what has changed . The best way to work it out , is to read the history books.

    On 1st March 2017 this blog published ‘cotter leaves his legacy’ and on 2nd March 2017 Rory Baldwin said the following :

    I think the main problem is that Toony doesn’t get to be saviour. Usually the coach is sacked in disgrace (or resigns in sheer frustration in Robbo’s case) and the next one comes in to try and turn around our ever-sinking ship. This time it’s not the case, Vern already has the ship pointing away from the iceberg (6N notwithstanding) and Toony will have to evolve the team to a greater level to avoid the “why did we let Vern go?” questions from the start. Luckily for Gregor despite a patchy international spell as backs coach, he has done superb work at Glasgow building on Lineen’s foundations so the track record is there.

    In terms of results , the RWC is obvious , but cotter finished on three 6N win’s in 2017 , Townsend returned three immediately (2018) and then 1 plus a draw.(2019) Can Toonie , get back to three wins and take us forward.What is forward ?

    It is worth reading the comments and report back then. Are we moving back towards the iceberg ? Or has the iceberg changed? , is history repeating itself, the ‘patchy start’ when he inherited Lineen’s team !

    • Referendum on

      Interesting thoughts. Proved to be true or maybe Rory had fed the mass madness of thinking that Cotter would have solved all our issues. One thing I think we would have been better defensively that’s for sure.

      This 6 Nations is big for Townsend. Last year the fixture list could bring us to build on success and potentially could be perfect for us (didn’t prove that way) this year could point to disaster.

      With Ireland and a potentially buoyant England 2nd we could be way out of the running before we’re halfway and facing the tricky Italians at home with no confidence. The French could be needing the win by the 4th to keep their title chances going then we’ve got that Cardiff trip which any optimism will be surely quelled due to false dawn upon false dawn even in the best circumstances like two years ago. So it could be a disaster.

    • Referendum on

      However if we could some how by some miracle manage an away win first up to Ireland the whole thing takes a whole new light.

      England where we are unbeaten for the longest time in 36 years and at home we always have a chance. From two from two we then go to Rome with huge confidence take that however we win we do then we’re 3 from 3 with two of the normal dominant forces at least one defeat on the board each. France rarely travel well and haven’t beaten us in years in Edinburgh. Then with the Grand Slam decider to the World Cup winners we might just break our duck.

      Ireland is so important we simple have to bring the miracle out or we’re in trouble for the six nations.

      • Not rocket science on

        Ireland down and out without Schmidt or boosted Ireland post World Cup win. Let’s find out…

    • RuggersB on

      I think we moved a wee bit … then the iceberg moved a lot… now we’re further from the iceberg than we were in the beginning.
      As GT has said … we improved our defense somewhat… but in that timeframe the top defenses have moved further ahead.

      • RuggersB on

        I think a very good performance against Ireland would be a significant improvement… let alone a win. That would be the time to get a result however with their new head coach. Ditto Wakes.

        Coming out of this RWC I’d like to see us reset our identity…focus on changing the defense coaching…decide who are core players to build a strong platform from… remove players who won’t be involved in the next RWC … include all the young players who stepped up in this one and make them starters .. add form and youth as time goes on.
        I’m not that bothered about the results… I want us to rebuild the team and give us an identity that mixes tough to beat.. with attacking flair.
        I think that is what Cotter was shooting for .. it suits us.. and he was getting somewhere with it.

  13. 1.8T on

    Na, I don’t like Dodson but he has my backing on this. It may be perceived as sour grapes and the threat of legal action (was that genuine or “media interpretation”) but the fact the game happened and didn’t go our way negates that. WR need to be called out on their stupid rules and decisions. I know we signed up to them (I assume all teams did). Their reaction is spiteful and frankly laughable, “how dare you criticise the Devine lords” we need to stick to our guns, if they dock us points then just whip up more frenzy about it, it’s WR that’ll look bad, we have nothing to lose.

    In short, they can ram it.

    • FF on

      I don’t think tournament participants have any choice but to ‘sign up’ to the rules so the point is moot unless it is absolutely watertight legally. So, I also think Dodson did the right thing in sticking up for our interests.

      Frankly, World Rugby trying to punish us like this is not going to endear it to the six nations committee who hold great influence in how the world rugby calendar develops so making enemies is a stupid thing to do.

      • Stripe on

        The tournament rules are one thing, but there’s a separate contract between participants and World Rugby. Apparently (I’ve not seen the wording), there’s a clause in that contract that makes provision for matches cancelled due to force majeure being moved to other venues and/or dates.

        If so, then Dodson had a legal basis for taking World Rugby to task as well as on the basis of sporting integrity.

        I’ve no issue with Japan being selected as the host nation, but playing the tournament in typhoon season was rash, to say the least. To then compound that by failing to make adequate provision to move matches affected by extreme weather is crass stupidity.

        We got to play our final pool game in the end, but let’s not forget that Italy were deprived of their shot at the quarters, no matter how remote their chances may have been. And that’s wrong on more than one level.

        But, hey, why bother admitting your errors when you can deflect attention away from you and onto the SRU for deigning to stand up to you…

      • Campbell B on

        I understood it was Dodson’s ‘behavior’ they are trying to challenge. It seems it is no longer about Scotland trying to challenge the obligations of WR in the contact which Scotland ‘sign(ed) up’ to. That is an interesting back off!Feels like they want to distract Dodson from pressing home other points to me (attack is the best form of defence tactic). What are they trying to hide I wonder.

        Being acquiesced into signing a take it or leave it, contract is an easy defence , however that depends of circumstances and interpretation of them.

        For me the original legal contention was about ‘robust contingency’ not being in place. That argument depends on the structure of the contract and the order of presidence. Scotland depended on WR having ‘robust contingency’ but WR depended on their rule about match cancellation.

        WR also claimed Force Majuere initially however as we have established , the Tornado was foreseeable.

        WR need to make a point, I an suspicious as to why ?I think it is in our interests to take this on.

        The big issue , is why are we playing rugby in Japan in the Tornado season. That put rugby people and the whole entourage at risk. 30 people dead (according to a poster in here).

        WR got it wrong but somehow that it our fault ! These are not people you would do business with. The press will love it , we have nothing to fear.

      • JB Lake on

        Stripe: This sounds very confusing. I thought the contract was between WR and the SRU , so it depends on whether the other document was incorporated. That said , I do not think this is about contract , it appears to be conduct.

        I think a lot happened in the heat of the moment. For what it is worth , I think the only option was a game behind closed doors with limited TV coverage which would not have been good for WR either. In the end , the game was played, the preparations was badly disrupted.

  14. FF on

    Unless a world class coach is twiddling his thumbs post world-cup I do think Toonie gets another 6N, but he needs to do well otherwise he’s probably on his way out. The SRU should be sounding out possible successors.

    Key is defence and breakdown where we have fallen back horribly in the last 18 months. Toonie needs new back room staff – Shaun Edwards would be the ideal type character.

    There’ll be quite a bit of movement in the squad I’d have thought. Some of the experienced players were probably past their best for this RWC which was unfortunate and I think Toonie probably needed a more ruthless streak.

    • The Emperor's new clothes on

      I am resigned to the fact he will get another year, however both Gregor and the SRU should be planning the exit strategy.

      I think he needs to change the side and that might be his savior. The pattern of bad managers is to sack your staff, one by one, as it is ‘their fault’. He can not change his spots with these lads.

      So expect even more tombola. Townsend is always looking for something, that is not there and overlooking what he has got in his hands. Management is about motivation not favoritism or fear.

  15. Csc on

    Agree that GT will still be coach for 6N 2020, but that will be his last chance. Afterward, a poor 6N is unlikely to attract any ‘world class’, coach as taking on Scotland would detract from his CV. But the SRU could benefit from a young coach who is good at game analysis, acknowledges the strengths in his players and is willing to adapt to changing circumstances.

    • J-B Lake on

      Not sure I get this , do you think Toonie is caretaker for 2020 6N or has a chance to build the side and hold it? I think he should be told to keep the seat warm , have fun and let the SRU get on with their role.

      • csc on

        Not as caretaker: that’s poor motivation. Give GT the 2020 6N to show that he can produce good results (3 wins minimum) with Scotland.

      • RuggersB on

        I would like to see GT given a shot at the 2020 6N…he has said post RWC that he strongly believes they are on the verge of becoming a very good team.
        So lets see if he can back that up!
        If he doesn’t then no-one can bemoan (cotter style) an early termination for GT. If he does winner winner chicken dinner.
        He is definitely on a shoogly peg though.
        I dont care about the results in the 6N soo much….more the level of performances and their consistency.
        All this up’n’down like a yoyo performances have to get sorted out…
        I cant see any case for keeping M Taylor….he has had plenty time to get the defense at least doing the basics right and its been a shambles. A new defense coach and defense strategy needed at a bare minimum.

  16. Highland Bear on

    Assume that Mallinder will lead the post RWC review. Townsend is contracted until 2021 and I share the belief he will be given the forthcoming 6 Nations, with specific targets in terms of results. What needs to happen is that he needs to have the role of Attack Coach taken away so he can focus completely on his primary role as Head Coach. Mike Blair is contracted until 2020 so there is an opportunity for him to fulfil the role on a temporary basis for the 6N and then bring in a specialist attack coach.
    Danny Wilson has been in post a short time so should be retained.
    Someone needs to be the scapegoat for serial underperformance in key matches so Matt taylor has to go given there have been a series of major failures of the defensive unit over the past few years. There will be plenty of international-level coaches looking for new jobs in the aftermath of the RWC.

    • RuggersB on

      Attack hasn’t been especially good or consistent either for the last year. I wouldn’t be retaining Blair either.
      If we want to seriously compete with the big boys…we have to start getting serious talented coaches in
      ..eg what Japan did.
      Our current coaching team in general just isnt of the quality we need to reset and rebuild a test winning team.
      Id only keep GT for the 6N because of loyalty really and the fact the 6N is only 3 months away.
      If they sack him..i wouldn’t complain either. The last year has been pretty poor. We’ve gone backwards in many ways..even tho his overall win loss record doesn’t strongly imply that….performances have.

      • RuggersB on

        The other aspect to put GT into perspective.
        We had a poor RWC…but watching the 1st batch of QFs ..we were not much worse than Australia or Ireland .There is essentially a top 4 or 5 teams and really..the others.
        As much vaunted as Schmitt was as a coach for Ireland he didn’t achieve much on a world scale. A couple of friendly wins against an NZ side on a long tour .Never progressing past a RWC QF isnt greatness. He built a very limited style of rugby….that today , when it really mattered, was shoved aside by NZ…Ireland showed no rugby skills at all…completely outclassed. As inconsistent as Sco are, Id rather watch their style and lose than that turgid garbage that Ireland consistently produce. GT prob isnt the answer for our team to go forward but he isnt terrible either.
        We need a quality coach and support team that can teach our team how to defend and when to defend…when to attack when to hold… and we need to improve not only our forward physicality but their rugby offloading skills too. The entire NZ team can offload to a high standard. We have a couple…and one of them Blade T is a NZ.
        Japan have clearly focused on learning from how this side NZ play. Who better to learn from?…we should be doing the same. Always laugh at the ‘NZ aren’t the team they were’ lines…they never see that they prepare and build their team for the ultimate comps…just like SA and Japan have too.
        We’ve got a lot of changing to do.

      • WestCountryTartanArmy on

        Whilst I accept Ireland have disappointed at World Cups, Schmidt has won 3 6N including a GrandSlam. I would gladly take Scotland failing to progress beyond the QF of World Cup for the next 40 Years if we could have that sort of performance in the 6N over the next 6 years or so.

  17. Sotonsaltire on

    Ireland shown up for what they are. Bust and over the hill. The only top 10 side they beat in WC was Scotland. I think SA will demonstrate how bad our group was tomorrow when the steam roller Japan.

  18. Johnny b on

    Scouting report – Northsmpton scored a win v Saracens today and their Scottish centre combo of Hutch and Dingwall were excellent.

    Hutch got a great solo try and was inside, Dingwall outside.

    • Andy F on

      Good to hear, though maybe not for Toonie – who might be forced to include him in the 6 Nations squad…..but give him 10 minutes on the wing to see “if he can do a job there”

      • Johnny b on

        To be fair Hutch has only just emerged, is very young and spent a long period on loan to Bedford to improve his defence, which is a weakness for Scotland, and Toonie has included him and capped him in the warm ups.
        What interested me was that he played at inside centre. He’s played outside for saints but inside is his natural position.

        I wonder whether Scotland should go all out attack – hutch or johnson inside and Bennett or Jones outside.

        Then you could have Harris on the bench if you need to sit on a lead or someone just to carry the ball up.

        Something like that….

        Don’t really understand this recent kick + half hearted chase game.
        I’m not sure it suits the players we have and I’m not sure it’s Toonie’s game either…..

      • Scrummo on

        Although he plays outside centre for Saints he is usually very much the second playmaker and is often in that 12 position when they’re in position. He’s definitely a 12 unless your playing a bit of a less structured gameplan where the number on his back isn’t as important as his role.

      • Campbell B on

        Andy: I think we need to stop Toonie tinkering. Work with what we already has is my opinion. If an obvious blinder comes along perhaps. Right now , he is picking also ran ‘s and overlooking good talent.

  19. WestCountryTartanArmy on

    Schmidt and Cheika both now available. To all those saying there are no options? Not to mention likes of Joseph who could be poached, or any number of club coaches.

      • WestCountryTartanArmy on

        Exactly. We have options. To all those saying give Townsend the next 6N, do you, hand on heart, think he will get the most out of our current crop of (fairly decent, at worst) crop of players? By the same token, do you think someone else could get more out of them? For me, it’s an easy ‘no’ and then ‘yes’ respectively.

    • Johnny b on

      Vern Cotter got whitewashed in his 1st season.
      If you gave any of those coaches the reins (assuming they wanted – Scotland are a great way to ruin your rep!) they’d take at least a season to understand the player resource, probably results wouldn’t be great as a result fans would be calling for heads.
      Toonie has to get another season.
      Simple things could make a difference.
      More consistent selection, less of the ‘tactical’ tinkering.
      Allowing his specialist coaches to do the grunt work in their areas and maybe some personnel change could help here. Defence looks poor under Taylor.
      Danny Wilson is rated very highly – the job of forwards is to get quick ball and slow the opposition. Let him work out how to do that with the forwards we have and stamp his authority on the pack etc.
      I think Toonie will get it right. He will be determined to snd do whatever it takes.

      • WestCountryTartanArmy on

        Sorry Johnny but I don’t think a top quality coach needs a year. As I have said on this blog before, Eddie Jones took over England in the November and won the GrandSlam a few months later. I honestly believe there are coaches who could put us in contention this Spring, but Townsend is not one of them.

      • RuggersB on

        Interesting recent interview with S Hogg. Saying he backs GT ..and that the team yet again stripped back their performances and vowed to improve….but then goes onto sound apathetically resigned to nothing changing…in hope they play better at the 6N.
        Not exactly encouraging for the 6N Also saying that he spent whatever time he could studying Exeter’s game plays in the middle of a world cup….probably not the best thing to say after such a mediocre string of performances.
        Reading between the lines obviously …but just didn’t sound good to me.

      • Bass Rock on

        Good Comment WCTA .

        Ruggers B :Why are you listening to a single word that comes out of Hogg’s mouth ? bloggers in here told you what to expect from him this RWC and they were right, he has confirmed it.

        Of course he backs Toonie for several reasons in my opinion, kinship maybe ,but mainly because he already has a new coach to impress and needs to get to know him, first and foremost to maintain his wage. His Scotland retainer is in no doubt as we are all so very grateful for his presence, are we not !

        The last thing he needs is yet another master who will be less tolerant of his shortfalls. Hogg prefers to do what he does best without the sh*t side of the job. That has suited Scotland to date.

        He fears a new coach will prefer a more balanced team, see through it all and ask him to get a bit more rounded.He will ask him to play for the jersey, play for the team. Hogg only needs a retainer from Scotland , and to not get injured for the next few years.

        He sees nothing changing , because that suits him at this time. We will not see him at his best in a Scotland jersey till his career is fading and he needs our misplaced adoration once again.

      • Cockahoop on


        That is quite some insight. Pray tell wht was it like inside the Scotland camp in Japan? Or have you come up with all of that from behind your keyboard?

      • Bass Rock on

        Cocka : Keyboard and university of life. I did say it was an opinion and this is a place of opinions , flawed or otherwise. That is what happens when you change jobs. You start working for the new boss / company , it is a very insecure time, a time of much change, the last thing you need is more change. How would you feel in his shoes. That is how I would feel . But 6 months from now much of the unknown will be behind him!

    • Fraser on

      I would say yellow – accidental contact with his face rather than the intentional elbow from France.

      To me these are perfect examples of what should be yellow and red. Intentional foul play versus a rugby incident with poor technique.

      • TeamCam on

        Looking at the high tackle framework, it’s hard to see how you reach that conclusion: it was a high tackle with arm contact to the head, so it’s either red or yellow, depending on the degree of danger. It meets all of the contact and follow through signs listed for high degree of danger, so it should have been red. Plus the carrier and the tackler were in open space and there was no impediment to Moriarty’s line of sight. It’s a red. Moriarty is a dirty player anyway, and does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

      • BruceP on

        I think it was only because of low degree of danger – Fickou didn’t need to go for a HIA – that saved him from getting a red.

        I don’t think it was accidental, he went high and completed the tackle by staying high, it was very poor technique.

  20. Fraser on

    Although SA have pulled away at the end, the first half in particular showed what a good team Japan are against a very good SA side.

    Honestly there is no shame in us losing a tight game to them – the only real black mark against us was the performance against Ireland.

    On another note – loving the fantasy league this week – May, Mapimpi (captain!) and Reece back 3. Hopefully will go up a few places if everyone else didn’t do the same….

    • Not rocket science on

      Nakarawa left before GT’s final season (16-17). Rennie’s only had two seasons. 1 – bottom of Europe and out to Scarlets meekly. 2 pants pulled down by Saracens three times and a disappointing home final lost to Leinster. He’s been a solid flat track bully, but lost every major challenge. He can’t take credit for Johnson – maybe Grigg and Steyn to the massive detriment of Scotland. Aside from some pretty non-astute utterings, midfield foolishness and a failure to find a big player for the backrow, he’s criminally underused Matawalu when we’ve needed cutting edge on the wing and hasn’t managed to persuade Hogg to get into shape. Along with dropping Jones that’s mismanaging the three most potent attacking players (GH to one side).

    • Johnny b on

      He took Glasgow to a Champions QF and pro final.

      Assuming this is true I wonder if we’ll see Cotter in the frame?

      Contract is up at Montpellier + he’s been pushed sideways.

      Wonder if we can meet his highest paid coach budget?!

      • Not rocket science on

        Not really – they played garbage in both and were tactically out thought, with erroneous player selections. Saracens was an embarrassment and Leinster a team we should beat, at home, withered away. He dithered on his contract extension, has misused/treated certain players with knock on effect to Scotland and squandered Russell’s last season. Theres also been foolish comments to the press, a complete lack of charisma, and bar a couple of Johnson signings – Gibbins and Kebble – nothing that hasn’t fizzled out with barely a whimper. He has also failed to address any of the obvious problems that need attention. Maybe I’m being churlish maybe you’re imperceptive. Glasgow were going forward. Not any more.

      • Sotonsaltire on

        Rennie inherited a team on the wane from Townsend following 2015 with Nakarawa, Maitland, Bennett, Strauss, DTH, Niko away (although the last two returned) and Russell leaving after one season, now Hogg. I think he has done a great job and has got the best out of guys like Cummings and Johnson and has brought on Matt Fagerson and Grant Stewart particularly. Clearly not all players fit into his style or gel with his approach (Dunbar, Jones- maybe a valid point re the centres!).

        He got us playing a more direct and competitive game, particularly towards the end of season 2 with a lesser team in individual terms than Townsend’s title winners.

        Wouldn’t be ideal if he was to leave now, although perhaps O’Hallaran deserves a shot, if Rennie does go and he doesn’t go with him….

  21. J-B Lake on

    It has been very average at Glasgow , not sure he has done enough to warrant being appointed into that post, but on balance, that is an opportunity for Glasgow. I take it the Wallabies didn’t fancy Walter Mitty ?

    • Stu2 on

      I’ve been underwhelmed by Rennie – his first season the Weegies were powderpuff up front and he appeared to take umbrage at the suggestion he do something about it.

      I liked the Weegies last year – but the final was massively disappointing.

      He also appears to have broken Huw Jones.

  22. Fraser on

    1 point off the yellow cap in the fantasy league this round (should have started Farrell instead of Mo’unga!).

    2nd most disappointed I’ve been this World Cup…..

Comments are closed.