Scotland v Wales, Six Nations 2021: Match Preview pt II – head to heads

Two years in Test rugby can make a significant difference to a side. Just 4 Scottish starters return from this same fixture in 2019 – Darcy Graham, Finn Russell and Ali Price in the backs with Jonny Gray the only survivor in the pack. Overall just 6 of the 23 from two years ago are still involved (Willem Nel and Hamish Watson the others who featured that day).

Wales aren’t quite as far down the road in their 2023 RWC rebuild and they have 11 players overall who played last time these sides met at Murrayfield (7 who will have started both matches).

Tale of the tape

BACKS
44   Tries   54
94kg
   Average weight   89kg
221   Total caps  346
102   
6N caps   146
27.2   Average age   27.8

FORWARDS
899kg   Pack weight   901kg
18
   Tries   32
196   Total caps  518
78  
6N caps   221
26.9   Average age   29.7

SUBSTITUTES
147   Total caps   80
71  
6N caps  26
16
  Tries  1
29.4   Average age   26.7

3 changes to Scotland starting XV from last Test (v England)

  • 11 – Graham for Maitland [-]
  • 12 – Lang for Redpath [-]
  • 6 – Thomson for Ritchie [-]

SCOTLAND
15 Stuart Hogg (c)
14 Darcy Graham
13 Chris Harris
12 James Lang
11 D van der Merwe
10 Finn Russell
9 Ali Price

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ADV Scotland
EVEN
ADV Scotland
ADV Wales
ADV Wales
ADV Scotland
EVEN

WALES
15 Leigh Halfpenny
14 L Rees-Zammit
13 Owen Watkin
12 Nick Tompkins
11 Liam Williams
10 Dan Biggar
9 Gareth Davies

1 Rory Sutherland
2 George Turner
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Scott Cummings
5 Jonny Gray
6 Blade Thomson
7 Hamish Watson
8 Matt Fagerson

ADV Scotland
ADV Wales
ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland
EVEN
ADV Wales
EVEN
ADV Wales

1 Wyn Jones
2 Ken Owens
3 Tomas Francis
4 Adam Beard
5 AW Jones (c)
6 A Wainwright
7 Justin Tipuric
8 Taulupe Faletau

16 David Cherry
17 Oli Kebble
18 Willem Nel
19 Richie Gray
20 Gary Graham
21 Scott Steele
22 J van der Walt
23 Huw Jones

ADV Wales
ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland
ADV Wales
EVEN
ADV Scotland

16 Elliot Dee
17 Rhodri Jones
18 Leon Brown
19 Will Rowlands
20 James Botham
21 Kieran Hardy
22 Callum Sheedy
23 Uilisi Halaholo


Overall

Backs – even

There are plenty of parallels in the personnel selected at scrum half and from 11-14 in the respective backlines. The real contrasts come in the key positions of stand off and full back. The Welsh 10 and 15, Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny, will be rock solid performers no matter the circumstances. Their exceptional work in the air leads the charge for Wales’ kicking game.

Their opposite numbers are far more mercurial. There will always be some rough to go with the smooth when Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg are in action but with both men seemingly hitting the very peak of their careers, Scotland fans now expect the positives to substantially outweigh the occasional negatives. Finn had a settler last week to get him in the right frame of mind. Hoggy is just flying right now and looks to be loving his rugby.

Forwards – slight advantage Scotland

Scotland are missing a couple in the pack but, by and large, they look to have in place a group that will take them through to the next World Cup. Tournaments like this are about getting the troops battle-hardened. Summer and autumn games can be used for trying out options and extending depth.

The Welsh are more likely to struggle to nurse this group of forwards through to France in 2023. It may be that for some of them the possibility of this summer’s Lions’ tour presents the opportunity for a top level swan song. How Wales’ starting pack respond to a 6-day turnaround off the back of a huge defensive effort against Ireland could be key to how this match pans out.

Subs – advantage Scotland

Scotland have a solid group who performed really well in helping close out the game at Twickenham. Welsh resources are probably a little more stretched by their injury crisis but there are a few names on the bench who could be a big part of the starting side for Wales in years to come.

Miscellany

–  Gregor Townsend takes charge of Scotland for the 42nd time. Only Ian McGeechan (43) has been head coach for more matches in a single spell.

– Scotland probably need more offensive production from their pack in Six Nations’ games. The forwards have scored just 6 tries in 16 championship matches since Toony took over, compared to 38 bagged in the other 25 games during that spell.

David Cherry, Scott Steele and Jaco van der Walt are all in line to make their home debuts for Scotland. At least there are two of them with plenty of experience of playing at a silent BT Murrayfield…

Richie Gray has plenty of previous at the national stadium but it will be just a couple of weeks short of 4 years since his last outing. It was a good one though, as he featured in Scotland’s last home win against Wales in February 2017.

– Ken Owens has played 8 times against Scotland. He has been on the losing side just once (in 2017).

Tags:

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

92 comments on “Scotland v Wales, Six Nations 2021: Match Preview pt II – head to heads

  1. Big Al on

    Looks close but if you factor in the extra day of recovery, stronger bench, slight home advantage and recent form you should fancy Scotland to close this out although I expect it to be a tight scrap.

    Reply
    • Archieb57 on

      I agree. A few other Scotland advantages IMO.

      Clarity & confidence on game plan (still unsure that Wales know what they are trying to do), breakdown (they have no real fetcher in their ranks), line out (something we’ll target big style – probably why Blade is in as 3rd line out jumper (knows Ken Owens throw ins)) & form (both team & individual) – we’re winning with guys in form, they’re struggling – BTW, Liam Williams has been poor this season & is nowhere near DVM).

      Their ageing pack took a physical battering last weekend, tackling themselves senseless. After only 6 days turnaround (& limited training), can see them blowing oot their arses a lot quicker than last week. Our forward bench is massively physical, miles better & now a weapon Scotland has never had. Last 20 mins will make all the difference.

      Reply
      • Archieb57 on

        I know what you’re saying but IMHO I now think we’ve learn’t how to win games in recent times even when we’re not on top of our form.

        From last week, replay the start when the players come out & form a line. To me there’s a mentality now that I have never seen in them before. They’re looking confident, focussed & composed, not only when they come out but throughout the match. These traits have been shown big style nearing the end of recent matches.

  2. Matto on

    Discipline will be key. Can’t give Ha’penny and Biggar opportunities to pull away at the posts.
    It doesn’t really come out in the format of the head to head, but Wales could have a significant advantage in that area. We really need an +80% kicker to fill Grieg’s boots.

    Reply
    • 1.8T on

      I hope Finns been practicing this week. He’s not a bad kicker, was perfectly decent when he was at Glasgow, not on a Laidlaw, Paterson, Halfpenny kind of level of consistency but not bad by any means. The worrying thing for me is what happens if he gets injured. We don’t really have another recognised kicker in the 23, Hogg can kick from the tee but he’s not great.

      Reply
  3. FF on

    I think we’re all hoping that last weekends win was a real milestone that will put an end to the erratic improvement we’ve seen in recent years where big wins are followed by familiar slumps. If that proves to be the case we have maybe 3-4 more years with more or less this group of players to win a hallowed championship.

    So this is a must win and handling the expectation is every bit as big a test as overturning the weight of history at Twickenham.

    Wales are maybe past their best but still hugely experienced, gnarly and capable of grinding out a win. But individual comparisons aside, it looks to me like we might have cracked the mental preparation. We’ll see – if our forwards can reproduce the Twickenham performance we will win. If those coming into the side meet those levels of performance, we will win.

    Reply
  4. weeAl on

    Our biggest psychological test for this 6 nations. Crush this and we we can be quite optimistic about the rest of the Championship. AWJ is canny old dog and we need to be scrupulously accurate at breakdown. Hard to say whether our changes will affect our set piece too much, I think probably not. We need good decision making, and not play tentative rugby, i.e. second guessing what Wales are going to do. We have the players to score tries, so it’s really a case of more what we saw against England and find ways to release our runners. Can’t wait for this, win well and we are truly a team to be reckoned with.

    Reply
  5. Merlot on

    It seems quite a long time since I’ve thought this – but our bench is much stronger. The last 20 minutes might be our key to this game, as it’s pretty even in the starting XVs.
    Real shame for those injured – especially Redpath who would have cemented his starting spot with another performance like last week. Hopefully Maitland and Ritchie will be back for the trip to Paris. Great opportunity for those coming in to stake a claim.
    My biggest worry is the lack of leaders in the pack. Time for Jonny and Hamish to step up.

    Reply
  6. Ting on

    All being well I think and hope this could turn into a big game for Jones, if things are tight late he could play a big part from the bench, think we are going to need to kick sticks a lot better than we did last week.

    It is going to be a Greig wind tomorrow you would expect based on what is kicking about today

    Hopefully Thomson can bring the footballer in him to this game, in that he has really solid technical and link skills shown quite a few times for Scarlets

    Reply
  7. Daihard on

    No question, Yr Alban are favourites, they need to get over that baggage to win. I think you may have called it wrong with Wyn Jones and Beard. I would say they are every bit as good as Sutherland and Cummings. In the case of Jones , he has a lot of experience to draw on, I think it is advantage Cymru. I see you have not underestimated Wainwright , he does have the cutting edge over Blade. (Ha Ha)

    AWJ thinks this as a big test of his lions leadership quest, Liam Williams wants a Lions shirt , they have a lot of influence. I think it will be tighter than you imagine. With such a big dead ball , I can see a kick pass being an opportunity for Rees-Zammit, I would love to see that come off for him, he is a smashing kid.

    I hope the best team wins , Cymru am byth.

    Reply
    • RuggersB on

      Agree its a close call between Wyn Jones and Sutherland both very solid. Cummings, I think, is a slightly better overall rugby player than Beard but Beard is a pretty big unit.
      Liam Williams 5 or so years ago was a great player…but DVDM can be exceptional at this level and form wise it currently is’nt close.
      Rees Zammit and Darcy are very similar in attributes both very talented.
      Not sure who will win this one…Wales high level experience vs very much improved Scotland (both in player pool quality and mindset). Both teams have good players missing.

      Reply
      • Scotty on

        It’s a shame they won’t be opposite each other and that LRZ has the unenviable job of defending VDM. With Williams opposite Graham I’d imagine a few high balls will be heading that way early doors. Darcey is good in the air but Williams must be half a foot taller at least.

        Would recommend watching Smidge rugby’s analysis on Scotland’s kicking game (on BBC page). Interesting how they managed to manipulate the back three and it lead to our try. I don’t think we’ll have the same success in that department as Halfpenny always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

    • septic 9 on

      the only area Beard is better than Cumming is maul defence. He has become pretty good there!
      But in all other aspects, both playing to their best, its a no contest. I think Cumming sis a bit under the radar outside Scotland, he, not Gray has been our top lock, first pick for over a year now. Deservedly

      Reply
    • TeamCam on

      Wyn Jones isn’t a great scrummager. Sutherland is. And Sutherland is more powerful in the loose. It’s definitely advantage Sutherland.

      Hope it’s a great game.

      Reply
      • Han Solo on

        Team cam: How do you know Wyn Jones is not a great scrum-ager ? is that just your opinion ? Do you think scrummaging is all about power ? It is as much about technique IMO.

        What is powerful in the loose, speed, breaking tackles, yards gained ? I don’t understand what you mean other than you have a preference !

        I hope it is great game as well.

      • TeamCam on

        I’m confident that every comment on this article is an opinion, sport. As you’re annoyed with the subjective, why don’t you put together a statistical head-to-head and present it back to the class?

      • Han Solo on

        Teamcam: I called you on it and I got it right, it was advantage Wyn Jones : Wyn Jones scored, Wyn Jones turned over in his own 22 , penalty from the ensuing line out as Sutherland and Graham were off side, another penalty to Wales and from that Wales score a try from the next penalty. Advantage Wyn Jones IMO. . What is more he fooled the ref into thinking Zander collapsed the Scrum, 1st half. Advantage Wyn Jones and dare I say it, Gatland will have noted wyn jones. Now that is my opinion, but at least I can support my opinion and make it clear it is an opinion. Maybe you can tell the class if you ‘agree ?

  8. Bandages For Konjic on

    Cannot see the Liam Williams vs Duhan van der Merwe being anything other than ADV SCO, given current form. Agree with the rest though.

    Reply
  9. Alanyst on

    Dunno if there are stats on this for the 6N but settled teams win championships and so far we are in a pretty good spot.

    France 2 changes (both unforced), Scotland 3 changes (all forced), Ireland 4 changes (all forced), England 5 changes (all unforced), Wales 5 changes ( 4 forced).
    Italy (didn’t look)

    I wouldn’t be too surprised if that’s the final order…

    Reply
      • 1.8T on

        I can never decide which of the opposition 10s I hate the most, Farrell, Sexton or Biggar. Think on balance it’s Sexton but Biggar runs him close…

      • Ben F on

        For me it is Biggar by a mile, sneaky , not talented , just fly, whinging and always looking for a penalty. He knows how to wind us up , always playing for the penalty , in the air with his feet apart just hoping the opposition will touch him. You see , he plays to get a player carded. I bet he was bogwashed every week at school.

        Then Sexton , he is a less athletic but a whinger , I will dislike him more than Biggar from around 9pm tonight.

        As for Farrell , I just cannot imagine him fitting in anywhere in life but a rugby pitch. But he is the least of the disliked standoffs , because we have played him for this year.

      • Fraser on

        I use the “If he was playing in the same team as me, would I still think he was a dick?” method.

        Farrell you probably wouldn’t mind during the game, but would avoid in the pub afterwards.

        Biggar would get told to wind his neck in several times and you would just want him to concentrate on playing the game instead of moaning all the time.

        Sexton you would actively try to pass him the ball just as the opposition number 8 is lining him up.

  10. 小胖子 on

    Genuinely quite confident, but not getting carried away. One area of potential concern is kicking penalties. If this game becomes an arm wrestle the final score could hinge on a missed kick here or there.

    Based on recent performances and general form I reckon we have the advantage in set pieces but they will be dangerous at the breakdown. I don’t think Wales are as off the rails as it maybe seems, but if Scotland stay composed they should close it out.

    Reply
  11. Historic Banffshire on

    My God the Welsh bench is pants. If they pick up another 3-4 injuries from Saturday they will struggle to beat Italy. Looks like the days when we had the likes of Scott Lawson, Tim Swinson and Rob Harley lined up in reserve.
    Cue disgust from Tim Swinson fans….I know he was an honest pro, but we’re in a different place now in terms of depth.

    Reply
  12. 1.8T on

    I’m nervous. Last time I felt like this was before THAT game in 2018. I feel we are different this time though. We seem to have a plan now, a plan that isn’t just chuck the ball around and score mad tries, and if the opposition score….? We seem to have a team too, other than a couple of arguments and injury enforcements I don’t think many people disagree with the starting squad. Even then I feel like the enforced changes won’t influence the way we try to play. In years gone bye I think there was too much well X isn’t playing so we’re not going to do that, or Y is playing so we need to do this. There’s a system and everyone has to play to it.

    Reply
  13. john on

    My irrelevant musings – cold and likely dry conditions, this must suit our back 3.

    The Welsh tackled themselves stupid last Sunday & several of them are well over 30, fatigue could be a factor.

    Life affirming chance for Sutherland, Z.Fagerson, Watson, Gray to cement a Lions jersey.

    Surely this week we will go wide more, we have tremendous options, get into their 22 & get it to Hogg & VDM.

    No Gatland.

    I’m seeing this as 50/50 (as a Scotsman……. – we don’t do favourites well)

    I’d like to see Blade T prove (to me) that’s he’s more than a cool name

    Reply
  14. Ben F on

    The key for me is how we relate to Carley. It will be below freezing point, high ball, cold hands knocking on , lots of reasons to say there will be scrums and we are likely to be the better pack. So just watch them trying to fool the ref into thinking we are pushing early etc.

    No one is applauding the role of the referee last week. I though Brace was excellent and really in control of the game.

    Reply
    • Fraser on

      Yes – one of the key differences last week was that we got on the right side of the ref, something we have really struggled to do in the past.

      Maintaining discipline, “presenting a clear picture” and adapting to what Carley wants is very important.

      Reply
  15. David on

    As a Welshman who has lived in Scotland for nearly 30 years I can’t see anything other than a comprehensive win for Scotland. This is the best Scotland team and squad since the 1990 GS and the worst Welsh squad for almost 20 years. Too many Welshmen past their best and a coach who doesn’t know what gameplan to use to get the best of of the players he does have. Scotland are capable of winning this by 20+ but have got to believe they can.

    Reply
  16. Kilty Kilty cold Bottom on

    Here we go. David Thank you for conceding but it is what happens on the pitch that counts. Welsh excuses early and trying to point out that if we win by less than 20 we have underperformed will not take the joy out of a Scottish win .

    A win by a single point against a welsh side in todays weather conditions will be a good win.

    This is still a decent welsh squad , the best you can muster, they should be ashamed coming to Murrayfield and even considering the possibility of losing to a nation that has half the professional sides of Wales and almost half the registered players.

    No David , I do not agree, this is a good welsh side and if it gets beaten, it will only have itself to blame. We are a minnow nation compared to Wales.

    Reply
  17. Ruggers on

    Is Blade Thompson a waste of a shirt? Not that he is a bad player ….but always seems to get injured and suffers concussion regularly. Going to now need our back row to play virtually full match with same intensity.

    Reply
    • Bass Rock on

      There were many Fraser, Huw Jones was taken around the neck at 87 minutes, but there were others I just never caught them all. I thought we still played well , but we are naive. We never took a kick in the red zone and within 2 minutes they went over for second try.

      Reply
  18. Not science on

    Absolute joke. Let’s make no bones about it the English ref won it for the Welsh before and after half time. The daffodils were psss poor and deserve to get taken apart soon.

    Reply
    • Fraser on

      No, Scotland once again failed to get on the right side of the ref and made stupid errors.

      I really dislike that ref and he made some poor decisions, but at the end of the day we put ourselves in the position to lose the game.

      Reply
      • RuggersB on

        Not sure they were ever going to be on the right of dan saff ref ..after the sore buttocks he was feeling last week.

      • Callum on

        As much as it pains me I agree with this. The officiating was poor for a number of reasons in my opinion. But Scotland had plenty of chances to win that game and we didn’t bury a pretty limited Welsh side

  19. RuggersB on

    Good game to watch… really very little between 5 teams this year…anyone could win the 6N.
    Dropping to 14 is a killer at the top level…thought it was a very good effort by us down a man…but you are always right up against it. It was a debatable red…but still careless by Fagerson hot head.
    Wales need not get too ahead of themselves either …as thats 2 straight its taken the opposition to go down to 14 for them to get ahead.

    Reply
  20. Sotonsaltire on

    Carley is a terrible referee. That’s a penalty at the end to Scotland – he waited about 5 seconds to not give it. He’d decided Scotland weren’t winning when they went down to 14. Truly shocking.

    He had also decided it was red before the TMO tried to talk him out of it.

    Reply
  21. FF on

    God that was a sickener.

    Totally gutted. It was a must win game and we contrived a way to lose from a position of near total superiority.

    Wales weren’t even very good, they just waited for our mistakes

    Reply
  22. Not science on

    14 men 14 men 14 men.

    As meaningless as the France game. TMO was saying mitigation what a prk why did the ref not listen. Butt hurt from last week no doubt.

    Reply
    • Scrummo on

      I hate to say it but it was a red for me. I really don’t like the torpedoing into rucks and would have been stood in the living room arms in the air appealing if it was the other way around.

      Reply
      • Campbell B on

        I think it was clumsy but the ref had no choice. It would have been better if there was consistency , I think a lot of welsh tackles were round the neck. I do not blame Mr Carley, he seemed to be alone and got no assistance from the TMO. He cannot see everything but the TMO was poor IMO.

  23. Johnny b on

    Red card seemed to be the turning point.

    Come on boys, that was silly.

    Nevermind. Hate losing to Wales but will make battering them at the Principality next season even sweeter.

    Reply
  24. Sam Laycock on

    Our maul defense was awful and the lineout seems to have fallen apart but Carly stole the show. Wyn Jones tackle on Watson from the sid eis exactly how knees get broken. Ref left Watson hanging exposed for an eternity and then just a penatly. And the red card is a disgrace that’s just a clear out nothing else!!!! also the offside line!!

    It really looked like he was out to make a point.

    Reply
  25. Not science on

    Why can’t Scottish pundits ever defend the Scottish players. Call them out – subs didn’t make difference Zammit didnt make a difference. One thing made a difference playing XV against XIV. Phenomenal effort to almost win. Sickening. Only silver lining is that England or France or maybe Italy will destroy this Welsh team

    Reply
    • SlowWalk90 on

      The other good thing is that Pivac keeps his job for another year on the basis of two red cards.

      Around about the 35 minute mark I couldn’t help the feeling in the back of my head that it might be years until we lose to Wales again. So much for that!

      Agree on the Scottish pundits. It’s been that way for years. At least Barclay tries to stand up to the usual nonsense from Davies and Guscott

      Reply
  26. john on

    quick musings before bedtime……

    Blade T -for a NZr remarkably fragile, and still done nothing
    Gary Graham – if you’re going to have a zz top beard, make sure you are good.
    hate losing to wales, extra hate losing when there are mitigating circumstances.
    Fed up

    Reply
    • RuggersB on

      The Blade T experiment should have ended 6 months ago…good club player…not a test level player….and about as hard as a wet T bag. We missed Ritchie today.
      On the plus side… Matt Fagerson is exponentially improving.

      Reply
  27. SlowWalk90 on

    This is so typical of our games against Wales over the years. Somehow they always seem to find a way to win whether their performance merits it or not. Fair play to them I guess, but it’s a hard one to take. We should have been out of sight of them there, but instead they get a bonus point win.

    I thought that right from the kick off Carley was out to penalise Scotland. In fairness, we committed the offences that allowed him to do so, but his approach seemed one sided throughout. He seemed to make every effort he could to give Zander the red card. He barely brushed his head (didn’t see him needing a HIA) and only did that because he moved into the contact at the last moment.

    That’s two games in a row where Carley’s reffed us and he’s been the deciding factor between the teams.

    Reply
  28. Stripe on

    The ref’s, er, ‘characteristics’ were widely known before the game yet our players repeatedly gave him the opportunity to make the sort of decisions for which he’s become infamous.

    Gary Graham is a prime example of this. In giving away two idiotic penalties within a minute or less of playing time, he made it possible for Wales to not only get off their line but cross ours.

    The cumulative effect of Scottish folly was that we lost a match that we should have won by at least 15-20 points.

    Oh, and when will Toony realise that Shug Jones should be starting games instead of getting chilblains from sitting on the bench?

    Reply
    • Bass Rock on

      I think Harris poor pace came to light in LRZ’s second try. There must be a reason that HJ is excluded but I can not find it.

      Reply
      • RuggersB on

        Give ya a clue….begins with a D and ends with an E.
        Harris has been excellent the last 2 matches. He seems to get a different 12 beside him each match. Redpath and Harris could be a very good combo when they get the chance again.

  29. Tam tm on

    Townsend will be going nuts at the players. They have seriously got the ability we know it, they know it. Expect a very very well drilled team in 2 weeks time. I can’t see Gary Graham in the squad sadly for him. How many penalties did he give away ta?

    Reply
    • RuggersB on

      We aren not so currently endowed with great back row options that we can drop G Graham. Though what on earth has happened to Bradbury and Crosbie???
      The game to game rollercoaster continues.
      Up 1 week ..down the next. Bipolar.

      Reply
  30. Saint4805 on

    Bitterly disappointed to lose at home to a poor Welsh side in what was on paper our second easiest (or second from last hardest) game of the championship. I fully expect England to get their act together and beat Wales in two weeks. Hope we come away from Paris unscathed and with close to a fully fit squad for the Ireland game which will probably be our only chance to nail three wins which I suppose would be respectable.

    Reply
    • RuggersB on

      Its disrespectful to say Wales were poor…eh they won.. for starters…and they also won last week too.
      We are not as good as we were thinking and we are not as bad after this loss either.
      The 6N is very competitive this year.. Scotland are challenging.. just that.. so are 4 other teams. When we have our best 15/23 on the pitch we are a match for anyone. When we lose top players we of course start to struggle.

      Reply
      • Saint4805 on

        Fair play to them for grinding out the win but they are a declining force with many players past their best (Owens, AWJ, Faletau) and as a team unit not nearly as good as when they were coached by Gatland and Edwards. O’Mahony handed them last week’s win on a plate and I am sure Ireland would have won if not for going down to 14 men so early in the game. Today was a huge opportunity missed for us.

    • Johnny b on

      Give a bit of credit to Wales. They’ve managed to come back twice when down v teams who were dominating them.

      Yeah they’ve rode their luck with cards but they’ve clearly got a bit of spirit.

      They could win the championship! Sucker punching is a skill and maybe they know how to do it.

      Reply
  31. pytelium on

    Fagerson ran from further back and with more pace than POM last week. Surely it should have crossed his mind before he started out what might happen.

    Reply
    • RuggersB on

      He also hit the ruck with a body position that was clearly a bit high.
      Daft by him… he still needs to eradicate these moments out of his game…whilst being the player he is.

      Reply
      • SlowWalk90 on

        POM targeted the head of a player that was trapped. Zander brushed the head of a player that was moving. All clearouts can be made to look dangerous if you freeze frame them.

        It wasn’t Fagerson’s fault that we lost. We should have been almost 20 points clear at that stage. We might have been if Carley had looked at Graham’s try properly.

  32. Johnny b on

    Loads of guff likely to be written about Townsend but he took us to what? 4 consecutive 6N wins?

    We were on top of Wales and probably would’ve won it, but when you’re down to 6 men in the backs and they’ve got a player like Rees Zammitt out wide it’s always going to be iffy.

    Great opportunity to score a 1st win in Paris in 22 years up next and I would not write us off, I think we can do it.

    Reply
    • Tam tm on

      It’s just sadly unfortunate. Penalties gave the Welsh time to come back at us. We only have ourselves to blame. take that away and we win. If only! If we hadn’t have given those 1st half penalties we would have had a great second half i believe. Ritchie will be back in 2 weeks fortunately. COME ON SCOTLAND!

      Reply
  33. Nessie on

    Poor game mgmt. should have been out of sight by half time by take my pens at goal. Can understand the repeated scrums under post to milk a YC but too many earlier opportunities spurned. The RC was harsh (deffo YC) and Carly missed far too many obvious infringements.

    Reply
  34. JohnMc on

    With all due respect to Wales, who never gave up and took all their chances well, this was a self-inflicted defeat.

    How on earth can this be lost from 17-3 up and in almost complete control of this Test?

    Some brainless penalties contributed to it, like for instance in attack in their 22 and going backwards from there via two unnecessary infringements to enable Wales to get to 17-8 and give them hope.

    Townsend will have every right to be annoyed at the lack of discipline at key points.

    I thought the ref was pretty even-handed overall, apart from the Zander red card where he seemed to be too ready to dish out a red when the offence was nowhere near the thuggish level of POM last week.

    Graham was a penalty machine and needs to wind his neck in during loose play, if he gets to play for us again that is.

    We were the better side but contrived to stuff it up unfortunately.

    That Wales right winger is a serious talent.

    Still think, like someone said earlier, that we have the potential to knock the 22 year Paris monkey off our backs, but to do that we’ve simply got to get back to the ‘no penalty’ mentality we showed at Twickenham last week.

    Very disappointing day for us, really.

    Reply
    • RuggersB on

      The most frustrating thing was the ref could at least have looked at all the various TMO angles available before making the call. It was a game changing call. I thought it was harsh and a yellow more appropriate.

      Reply
  35. Tam tm on

    I believe John your right. If France win tomorrow they’ll fancy themselves which will go in our benefit. Expect possibly the best Scottish performance in 2 weeks time.

    Reply
  36. Ben F on

    My memory might be hazy and I am sure Kevin can help. I can recall Red cards in the past, however I only seem to remember the ones against Wales. I recall Scott Murray (long time ago) , Godman, Hogg in 2015, I actually think Russell was carded, maybe a yellow.

    Now I am sure it is only coincidence, however I am wondering is our red card record against Wales worse than any other side ?

    Reply
  37. pytelium on

    so the behaviour of pulling off the goal padding to prevent the opposition scoring
    at the post is ok ?..putting opposition players at risk of injury.

    also diving at the scrum half foot as he is kicking the ball on several occasions in a match thus causing great injury risk to him .This is ok?

    Running at speed from a distance into a ruck greatly endangers the health of opponents and players have a responsibility to minimise that risk.

    Reply
  38. Dark Horses on

    You can’t really mock Wales for making hay when Scotland were down to 14 men, Welsh team didn’t cause Fagerson to get sent off. What do you expect them to do? refuse to allow him to go off because “it won’t be a real win if they can’t say they played against 15 men?” …..and if you check the match history they were already in the lead before the red card incident. Worrying questions for Scotland would be…how they could not score when battering Wales’ line for phase after phase when in the equivalent situation up the other end, Wales had a couple of drives and barged their way over fairly easily? We also need to ask how Wales can be allowed to drive the rolling mauls for 25 yards at a time…

    As I said on the other thread… comments resorting to blaming the ref, and hoping that Wales get stuffed in their remaining matches….not really facing up to the facts. We follow up an epic performance in England with a pretty lame capitulation to a less-than-awesome Wales side, who yet somehow seem to know how to find a way to win.

    On the plus side, great game from Hogg and I’m looking forward to seeing Redpath back soon?

    Reply

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