Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Podcast: Episode 125 – Sins Of The Father


On this week’s bumper podcast Cammy, John and Sandy discuss the government’s announcement about the return of spectators to sporting events and its impact on rugby finances. Elsewhere we take a look at the Scotland Women’s squad, review Edinburgh’s loss to Bordeaux and get our Hands In The Ruck about overly judgemental fans and media. You can also find out why Jonny Gray’s new nickname is “RJ Gray”.

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The Scottish Rugby Podcast brings you the best in informal chat and discussion about Scottish Rugby. Each week during the season we put out a 40 minute podcast suitable for all listeners, covering all the latest news and key analysis of the big matches. 

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If you would prefer an ad free version of the podcast as well as a weekly bonus episode taking a deeper – and some times swearier – dive into the main talking points you can sign up to our Patreon from just £3 a month. This also gets you access to our super secret social media group where you can chat to other fans of the podcast and rugby in Scotland.

Scottish Rugby Podcast

45 Responses

  1. Sam Skinner at 7(!) for Chiefs this weekend. Intriguing.

    Is it bad that, although Sarries have more Scots, I want Russell’s Racing to win?

    1. It’s odd…no Scots teams left but with decent chunk of a starting XV getting game time at the highest level…there’s plenty to look forward to.

      1. Lots of SQ players doing well in strong teams outwith the Pro 14 is good news for the Test side.
        Our two pro clubs, because it’s only two pro clubs, simply haven’t enough room to accommodate growing numbers of quality SQ players. There has to be a diaspora, and if there has to be one, it’s great to see so many Scotland present and future Test players figuring in top European squads.

    2. No Teamcam not at all, I don’t want Saracens to win at all, bunch of cheats.
      What baffles me is the the people who find it remarkable Saracens have made it this far on their ‘depleted Squad’ … they still have 7 British & Irish lions in there Squad, a World Cup winning Tighthead, and the rest are current/former Internationals for the most part I think. Remarkable how long they got away with the others they had in the squad.

    3. Of course – Russell is Scotland. Racing Exeter final please. Regardless of Gatland think most secretly want him to make best case at 10 for the Lions. Taylor, Maitland, Swinson admirable but it is not the same. If there can be at 10, 15 Scots starting for the Lions suddenly that is all that is needed for interest. Whether Hogg has to face a Kolbe run will be fascinating.

      1. I think Gatland is the kind of coach who expects players to stick to the script rather than play what’s in front of them. Russell isn’t the 10 for that approach, it’s too fettering. At least those are my impressions. I think if you take Russell then your whole approach changes. It would be wonderful if that happened, of course.

  2. Cannot agree more SW90, I cannot wait. Years from now Hogg will do after dinner speaking about his career as a tackle inspector.

  3. Abandoned the radio coverage of Racing 92 vs Saracens after 30 mins, due to the banality of the commentary. Chapman and Dawson are not keeping up with play on the field and constantly spouting irrelevancies. Fine player though he was, Dawson does not cut it at the microphone.

  4. Thanks for the heads up. Tuned in to C4, it is the worst commentary I have heard in a long , long time and it is going the wrong way for me.

    1. Only found out it was in C4 for second half and it was an awful game that seemed destined to be won by Saracens unique blend of anti-rugby, until…

      1. Until that piece of Finn magic, just when it was needed, at the most intense moment of pressure, to win a huge game against a huge team? Garland better finally see some value there

  5. Delighted to see Finn pull it off and the end.. how god damn dull are saracens though.. and how much planned injury stalling Jesus…

    Can’t deny Russell a lions spot now surely…

    And Maitland an outside bet, is there a better defensive wing than him ?

  6. Russell was on fire second half. Made the try , it was all about him. He is calling the shots and finding his runners with amazing speed and accuracy.

    I cannot wait to see him back in a Scotland Jersey when we can lift the pressure from him by letting Hogg call all the shots. How much better will that be.

  7. Farrell’s face at the end was nearly as satisfying as the try. We heard a lot before the Leinster game about Farrell role-playing as Sexton, bizarrely heard nothing about him playing Russell’s role… because he can’t.

    Russell was very pragmatic and focussed today, excellent performance. Maitland was excellent, too, as was Taylor before he went off injured. Poor guy has no luck.

    Owens needs to retire, the players often seemed baffled by his decisions, understandably so.

    1. I wonder how the rugby journalists at the Guardian are feeling? They shoehorn Saracens and Farrell into everything.

      1. I can’t imagine this stopping them. They’re poor writers and poor journalists and poor analysts anyway. Next week’s piece will be about how playing in the Championship (or not playing…) is perfect Lions preparation.

  8. Finn Russell outstanding today. Chasing the game and in their own half, Racing desperately needed to find some way to breach that solid defence. An audacious chip, smart regather and perfectly timed and weighted scoring pass. No wonder the Racing fans love Finn.

    That’s two powerful but dull as dishwater sides knocked out of the Champions Cup in a week. Leinster, then the side that knocked out Leinster.

    Really pleasing to see a well-run club like Exeter in the final too.

  9. Wasn’t impressed with Dan Biggar as a C4 guest today. Basically saying Finn was just flicks and tricks and cast doubts on him producing when it mattered. Even after the game he couldn’t bring himself to give Finn credit and said ‘it was a nice chip by Racing’?! Very poor Dan. You must feel threatened by him.

    1. The worst flicks and tricks in world rugby are when Biggar is lining up for a kick. What a clown, he looks like he has stood on an anthill. Would you expect him to talk up Russell! Racing 92 or Northampton saints, which would you chose ? Residing in a world city, great wages and great cuisine or Northampton.

    2. Biggar as classless off the pitch as he is on it. If he was anywhere close to being as talented he’d probably be less bitter…

      1. I don’t think he is bitter, he’s ultra-competitive and a tw@t and sees Russell as a rival. I agree Finn is a better player, but Biggar is also very accomplished and let’s be honest has plenty of medals and accolades to mean he doesn’t need to feel bitter.

        Let’s just hope that Russell gets the recognition his talent and dedication deserve – European cups, league titles, grand slams and Lions tours.

      2. Finn was out there enjoying the match and raising his £worth on the World stage while Biggar was sat in a studio getting a pay cheque for being really bland. Very catty.

      3. “He’s a special player alright. He’s great craic,” Ryan said. “He makes a huge effort to speak French – although it gets better after a few beers! He comes across very laissez faire but he does a lot of video during the week and gets mistakes out of his head straight away. He makes the guys around him look better and you couldn’t ask more from a 10. He’s world class and it’s very hard to overlook him for any Scotland team or Lions tour.”

      4. Fair points, FF, but a thought occurs (occasionally): what has Biggar won without Gatland coaching? I think we underestimate the impact of the coaching teams get because it’s easier to focus on the players. If you gave me the choice of Mola or Baxter…

  10. I cannot wait till the final, so many scots on show. Now it has to be noted, Finn got great service from Machenaud tonight. Looking at the final , two of Scotland’s rejected, yes rejected is the right word, Half Backs are likely to get a game.

    Which brings me to who should Partner Finn. I want to say 8 words ‘hook, Price, coat goat tae be ona shoogly ‘ but Toony wont. Yet neither him or George Horne, love him as I do , feels like the kind of scrum half who can galvanise them . We have seen as much as we are going to get from them. SHC is at least out there getting noticed and experience alongside some classy players. Great problem to have IMO.

    1. SHC looked really really good today I thought. To go from barely playing for seasons, to the business end of European semi and be so assured – kicked well and zipped the pass – impressive. Gray and Hoggy looked utter class. After Finn show wasn’t expecting much more, but Exeter are some team. Happy days.

    2. Finn definitely seems a more mature (is that the correct word?) player now as this game showed; played patiently and did his magic trick right at the end when it counted.

      Not sure who his ideal half back pairing would be? Would be wonderful if SHC had a renaissance. If Townsend had the options of SHC and Russell and Horne and Hastings we could really mix our game up.

  11. All in all a satisfying weekend of rugby from a Scottish perspective and a really interesting European final to look forward to in which key Scottish players will have exposure to top level match intensity. In addition the Finn Russell haters have been largely stopped in their tracks at (least for the moment)and opinion -as measured unscientifically by trawling social media-seems to be moving in favour of him being selected for the Lions. Not that Judy Garland will probably care but great to see nonetheless. Looking forward very much to the final and who knows after that a victory over the Welsh.

  12. Now that the Squad has been released, here is my team for our run of international games..

    – Rory Sutherland
    – Fraser Brown
    – Zander Fagerson
    – Jonny Gray
    – Scott Cummings
    – Sam Skinner
    – Hamish Watson
    – Magnus Bradbury

    – Ali Price
    – Finn Russell
    – Duhan Van der Merwe
    – Sam Johnson
    – Kyle Steyn
    – Darcy Graham
    – Stuart Hogg (C)

    – Oli Kebble
    – Stuart Mcinally
    – WP Nel
    – Jamie Ritchie
    – Nick Haining
    – Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
    – Adam Hastings
    – Sean Maitland

    Not looking for Impact of the bench, we have enough of that starting, I want experience and tough players to close a game out for the most part.

    My experiment is Kyle Steyn at 13, now i will openly admit Chris Harris is the form 13 and if it was a World Cup he would be starting at this moment in time.

    I just reckon Steyn (who was excellent when playing 13 for Glasgow and only on wing to accommodate) is a more intelligent, better attacker – his big challenge would be to prove himself defensively at that level and be the defensive leader (which Harris does excellently now). I just think it’s worth a look at.

    1. I like this selection. Those forwards as a unit will be quite a bit more mental than our opponents are used to seeing from us. I would maybe start Ritchie so that Skinner can come on at either second or back row (purely to mitigate potential injury).

      Maitland is good on the bench for the back three and Hastings could potentially cover centre. Hardy, solid set of forwards and then Townsend can play his mercurial games with the backs.

      I also like that Hidalgo-Clyne is getting a shot at redemption (which will free George Horne up for Glasgow).

      1. Thanks :)

        I think overall you mitigate the potential injury situation by having 3 competent locks starting (I included Skinner here), with Haining in a very extreme circumstance having to cover. My worry was the line-out as none of the locks listed are considered tall by international standard (which is a factor I believe in performance there) I hope this can be accounted for with good coaching though.

        Another thought was the overall balance of the pack – With Watson and Brown we have two great jacklers over the ball and I thought we may need a bit stronger carrying.

        While I could see Hastings covering Centre, i think he would go to 10 and Russell to 12 as we have seen before.

        The worry would be Kyle Steyn being injured, either Johnson would go to 13 (largely untested) With Hastings-Russell. or Hogg to 13 and Hastings to 15 (again largely untested). Or Nick Haining who played centre for his Southern Hemisphere club I believe ?. Again this is the weakness I see in my squad.

    2. I’m thinking what squad too? However, raised the interesting debate on midfield, something I feel Toonie has struggled with recently, RWC no-show in that department being a result. Johnson and Harris have the shirts for now and someone needs to demonstrate on form why they should be considered. Steyn seems to be a bit of a utility back at Glasgow and if he did start at 13, you’d surely want a centre on the bench as Steyn could cover wing – definitely preferable to Finn or Hastings covering centre. For some reason, Harris has a number of enemies on this blog; he’s a good defensive 13 when defence has too often been an issue and his current club form shows he’s well capable of crossing the whitewash. Would love to see Scott involved, though think he’s injured now, as someone who offers strength and skill at 12 or 13 and then probably Jones and Hutchinson in the squad, whenever that is announced. Jones and also Steyn possibly, could well suffer from having to cover gaps in the Glasgow squad and not getting regular time in their favored position, hope that isn’t so. It’s a horrid, surreal Covid world at the moment but hope that the national team provides some ray of light this autumn. Wales in Llanelli without a home crowd has got to be a great opportunity to finish the 6N with a bang.

      1. I think we will see a return to form for Mark Bennett this season. With him at 13 and Sam Johnson at 12 it’s a handy midfield

      2. I think Wales in Cardiff is Townsend’s pass / fail this autumn.

        Harris plays week in week out with Cipriani, who is easily the best 10 in the premiership. That experience will bring anyone out their shell. Let’s hope he brings it to the Navy Jersey.

        I suspect his enemies arise from frustration, as fans consider he was not the best we had available , when Townsend picked him and excluded others. We might not agree but he is the boss. If we always got the right result , no one would be moaning, but we didn’t and we did.

        Are we justified, probably IMO. He has been an average international with 18 caps, 3 tries versus Huw Jones 25 caps and 10 tries . Yes , yes Jones is exceptional as an attacker , but even at that!

        As for tackle statistics, the only problem Huw Jones has is being brave enough to be in the right place to miss the occasional one.

      3. Re Bennett, pre-injuries he was looking like a worthy successor to Alan Tait (praise indeed). On occasion the innate class is demonstrated but I fear he has lost that “it” that makes you special

  13. Interesting selection Contorted Warturtle God of the South…………backs are good, I’d personally like Hutchinson involved in the 23 & I think if Huw Jones continues his resurgence (if we can call 2 games a resurgence) he is worthy of consideration/selection too.
    Forwards – i’d have Haining & Crosbie starting, with Bradbury out of the 23, Toolis starting too, we need a successful line out & Toolis is top man in that department.
    Ive always rated SHC.
    Finally Cameron Redpath given game time?

    1. Line out is definitely an area of consideration. Our scrum looks really good but I can see a few kicks to the corner being spoiled by sloppy line outs.

    2. Didn’t Jones win Dec 19 player of the month? There were then 3 games in Jan and Feb until the restart.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion