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Scotland v Australia: Discussion Post

Autumn Nations Series - Scotland v Australia

I’m going to be out of action tonight so there may not be a full match report, certainly not one tonight!

In the mean time please put your post game discussion points on this post. Please keep it on topic for the discussion of the actual game itself and not immediately posting your team for next week.

How did Scotland play? Did the selections work? Where it all go wrong/right? Was it a good idea to play outside of the official window? Let us know your thoughts.

148 Responses

    1. Glen Young is seriously very, very poor. He should have seen red. Is that the best we can do? Where did he learn his rugby ? Ah Jedburgh , I get it. Well done Toony.

      1. Nigel Owens stating it was a Red card. Toony thinks best clear out ever. Is it any wonder our penalty count in so high? This man has to go and we have a huge party to celebrate.

  1. Why would you not put on Thompson for that last minute penalty kick?! His % kicking is so much higher than Kinghorns.

    Fed up.

      1. I’d bet Horne would have scored that kick. It was like they felt obligated to give it to Kinghorn…when Horne would have been the better option. Actually R Thompson would have kicked that

      2. It was just a kick away, so near yet so far. That is not Townsend’s fault. Can we stop blaming him. We should have kicked penalties instead of going to the corner twice, that is not Townesnd’s fault, stop blaming him.

    1. I heard that Finn Russell does an extra 45 minutes just on kicking after regular training for Racing. How much is Kinghorn doing?

      Feel bad for Kinghorn as this is Townsends fault.

      Love the faith shown in Ross Thompson by Townsend, What a way to build a player up.

      1. Thompson has played 25 minutes of rugby this season. If all the things to moan about this is probably the least important.

      2. I am the real Tam and Townsend did nothing wrong and Kinghorn was excellent, not his fault. The kicks were anything but sitters. Captaincy was poor. Should have taken kicks in front of the sticks.

      3. Scotland conceded 14 penalties which is not good enough Tam and thats down the players (mostly) to agree with your real point Tam.

        But guess what, Australia conceded 15. The difference? Foley got his kicks over the post.

        If Kinghorn is starting at 10, we must have a reliable kicker on the field, Horne must be given a shot.

        Desperately need a distributer in the midfield… i think that must be the fewest touches Duhan and Graham have ever had in a Scotland Jersey.

        This was a poor Aussie side which beat us. Can’t wait to see what happens against a fired up All Blacks.

      4. Toony just cannot get enough of Blair Kinghorn. I did not expect anything from Kinghorn and I was not disappointed when he played better than dire, he needs to pass consistently and not so high. But we got nothing out wide, no traction, bad ball.

      5. Everything is Townsend’s fault.
        You can’t have a coach who holds grudges and deprives the team and more importantly the fans from having the best team possible.
        Kinghorn is a third team player, no imagination, too slow and a dreadful kicker.
        Wake up Townsend and admit your mistakes and put out the best team. Otherwise nobody will try hard enough to get into the side and we’ll end up in the doldrums yet again (if we’re not already there).

    2. I think that kick is right on the edge of Horne’s range, but if he’d given Thompson just 1 minute of game time he’d have won it.

      If Tuipulotu takes that catch Kinghorn has made three try’s but of course missing two high percentage kicks and turning down another, you have to be able to take those in international rugby.

      I do think this confirms that GT will take Russell in the 6N and WC as if he was serious about omitting him he had to give RT game time today.

      The main issue today was our lineout and maul, which is now a theme and it needs fixed. I’d like to see a Gray brothers row next week.

      1. Sam: If he can get away with it, he will never have Finn back. They don’t get on and at the end of the day, it is his job to lose, so he is going to do it his way. Let’s see how he gets on this autumn. He knows the payers will never rebel.

      2. I’m sure you’re right Danny but i suppose it depends what you mean by get away with it. I still think he needs 3 options at 10 for WC squad. Would he dare go with just two? hmm maybe.
        but assuming he needs 3 it’s hard to see how he can consider RT as an option, when will he play him between now and then? RT has 5 caps but i doubt that adds up to 80 minutes combined, some of it was at Full back. Imagine if by some miracle the WC goes well and we get out of the group, even into a semi. we would be just and injury or two away from him starting in possibly the biggest game in Scotland Rugby history. I just don’t see how you could take him in a WC squad without giving him some proper game time and i cannot see when that will happen. This game was made for RT to come on and he was overlooked again. add to that that he now has a real fight on his hands to get his place back at Glasgow where he may struggle for game time this season. i feel sorry for the guy throwing him in this squad to spite Finn has done him no favours at all.

      3. It is early days for Ross Thomson. Adam Hastings is in great form. Kinghorn didnt do a lot wrong, he just never made the decisions of a seasoned 10 or got the line moving. It is those decisions they make in a split second that make the difference between good and great. Kinghorn is not a stand off , he is a stand in.

  2. Overall a really frustrating game as Scotland put ourselves in a winning position and went through the full gamut of self-inflicted miseries.

    To top it all off we still could have won but are the only team in the world top 10 who will take the field without a half way competent kicker.

    1. I think that sums it up. You could see it coming the whole week. Frustrating is a good word for it. He has taken all the emotion out of being a fan. You know what is coming and you get numb.

  3. Gilchrist and Young’s are not International level and Skinner was missed going off. Also, Turner cannot throw in at line out.

    1. Turner is an atrocious line out thrower. He is so bad its like he throws for the opposition. If Ashman isnt ahead of him moving forward ….sigh!

    2. I said it in a previous post, poorly coached team.
      No positives to be taken from this performance.
      It was a clunking awkward thing, a running 10 but a kicking 9 and a 13 at 12. (In open play BK is very good but otherwise………)
      Loads of penalties as the guys were in places/situations only because of poor play. The penalty count was horrific and the line out latterly was embarrassing. George Turner is off form.
      I’ve been consistent in my opinion that GT should’ve been sacked after the RWC 2019, it’s really exasperating to still be saying/thinking it.
      I’d assume Finn R will not get a call up and Harris will be at 13.
      Right I’m off to catch the sunrise

      1. There were plenty that protested about his appointment in the first place. They were ignored, you will be ignored, there is something wrong at the SRU . How can it be happy with this?

        As long as they pay to watch them play , it wont go away. (Rhymes as well)

      2. Agreed. Townsend is a shockingly poor selector. You could add to your list the lack of a goal kicker and the decision to select the inexperienced Glen Young ahead of multiple other candidates (e.g. Gray). And the “form” player Ross Thomson doesn’t get on the pitch.

        It is really easy for us as fans to the blame the players in question but this is absolutely not on them. Time and time again it is Townsend putting them in situations where they get badly exposed, while Teflon Toonie rides on unaccountable and unscathed.

      3. Genuine question- who is GT accountable to? I ask from the point of view if he won’t walk who makes the decision to get rid? Is it Dodson’s decision / SRU generally? Townsend with all his shortcomings seems strangely untouchable.

      4. There was a illuminating article on this site about money in Scottish rugby. If success = £££ then Dodson and Townsend are all stars. Yesterday I paid just under £300 for 4 tickets – am I a mug?

        That’s why we are playing a game outside the international window – it generates £££. As far as I can see the only way to bring accountablity would be for us fans (or customers?) to stop paying the £££ from selling out Murrayfield – because that’s the only language they understand. But then I am a simple mug – aka a faithful Scottish rugby supporter.

        What are we to do? The thing is we have no choice and they know it – we are not Welsh, Irish or English. So we can’t take our custom elsewhere.

        The article by Chris Murray was titled “money makes the world go round”, July 2022.

      5. Thanks Ian and Rory- illuminating indeed. It’s all too cosy an atmosphere within which to allow GT’s gormless experiments and damaging spites to survive. Listening to the post match interview no one seems able to ask GT any hard questions around his own performance or daft selections. It all seems too contrived in his favour. Does anyone here now think we have really improved under Townsend I wonder?

  4. should have won that game – too many schoolboy errors and surely there must be a better place kicker than BK, who did have reasonable game. And lets take the points on offer in future

  5. Didn’t see the game but heard they missed a bunch of kicks and managed to give away a more than 1 score lead going into the final quarter, mostly with errors and poor decisions.
    Any more than that?

  6. My 1st impression is that the Scotland team out there today is a poorly coached team, a team not entirely sure what they are up to.
    Kinghorn did fine (him missing kicks is not his fault, everyone knows he’s not a good kicker) Kinghorn can run, so then why is Price kicking most of the ball away?
    Not playing a proper 12 is criminal. McDowall and Dean are fit and available.
    Turner had an absolute nightmare in SA, he is clearly off form, why play an out of dorm hooker?

  7. Woeful performance against a poor Australian team. Same old problems ,line out a mess ,comedy of errors in second half leading to penalty after penalty. No cutting edge , try apart, didn’t create anything. Stand -off who can’t kick. Two simple kicks missed and one straightforward penalty declined. Rinse and repeat.

    1. I wonder if a match winning display from Finn Russell (including 4/4 conversions) will produce a U turn by GT

  8. It is quite something how we went from the team with the least penalty count to the a team hitting double figures. Roll on next week. Different centre partnership. Though wold be sad to see Bennett dropped. Let’s hope Skinner isnt injured.

    1. The penalty count was dire but we should have taken the kicks, built the scoreboard and less pressure means less penalties in my book. The root cause was leaving the red zone with nothing. They were under no pressure as it was obvious we would fritter it away.

      1. Can’t take kicks at goal when you know your kicker is mince. And the opposition will infringe at leisure if they know they can defend your line out and you can’t take the three points. Event the kicks to touch were poor.

    2. Have I missed something , what is next weeks centre partnership? How do you know. I think it is funny that you have made your mind up what will happen next week already!

    3. Tam tm: What is with the tm ? Can you explain your point , just trying to work out what you mean. The penalty count went up as it does in all rugby matches when you are on the backfoot and forced into error or on the front foot and careless. Which one is it ? What exactly do you mean and cliche’s like ‘quite something ‘. On that point are you hinting the centre pairing pushed the penalty count up ?

  9. Had we scraped a win it would have papered over some pretty deep cracks. Lineout still a shambles and the amount of soft penalties given away is still unacceptable. Maul was the poorest I’ve seen in a long time. Kinghorn will always get exposed in tight games against elite level opposition who where goal kicking % matters. Whatever beef Townsend has with Russell he as HC needs to find some sort of resolution. Mish was ineffective today. Unless he finds form we may have to consider a back row of Fagerson, Ritchie and Dempsey. Perhaps Gordon deserves a shot. We must have the weakest second row of all the home nations. Perhaps we’re missing Cumming’s skinny arms.

    1. Watson, I have thought for a while is on the career slope off.
      Was a great player at his peak. Pity Darge got that bad injury.
      Redpath surely next in at 12. Can’t play Bennet and Sione at same time…they are both 13s.

      1. It wasnt Watsons best game.

        I fancy next week the centres will be Redpath and Harris. Hastings at 10. Graham, VDM and Hogg in the back 3.

        Wouldnt be surprised to see the Gray boys in the second row.

  10. FFS, we should have buried that game, at least after first 20 minutes when we just kicked aimlessly. Same old problems – execution in opposition 22, poor line-out, more aimless kicking, poor communication, too many soft penalties. And why did we not put a decent kicker on the park??? Maybe Hornito should have taken that last kick?
    Neither Bennett or Graham really got any ball to play with, it’s as if GT wants us to try playing with one self-inflicted hand behind our backs. We need a playmaker at 12, sorely?
    BK did some good things but we desperately need a decent kicker – if we have to persist with BK at 10, we have to have Redpath (ideally Hutchinson) at 12 next match or hopefully GT does the obvious thing and puts Hastings at 10 once he’s available.
    Pack was good first half, went backward after subs came on and Gilchrist and Young not a great combo (should have had either Sykes or Hosgson on bench if looking to the future). Just feels like Groundhog Day….and please can someone just sort our f$$king line-out!!

  11. The only good thing about this game is hopefully we are one game closer to a new coach. GT is not an international standard coach. Too many errors, penalties and not enough discipline etc. Kinghorn is also not an international 10, and is predictable.

    1. I would say in Ollie Smith we have a full back that can attack and defend. Let’s just leave Hogg out for the other games, give him a chance. He made a few mistakes, but nothing that experience will not correct.

    2. We are not anywhere closer to a new coach. Toony is being let down by players that he has put his faith in. He does not deserve that.

      1. Hay Tam excuse the miss understanding. I came to the blog some 5 years ago posting and took a rest from it! Similarly we have the same opinion too.

      2. It is funny, I have been Tam for years. I am a Toony fan. He is not the problem. Too many penalties. Their last kick was yet another bad referee decision. At least this time the ref never sprinted off the pitch. Give Toony a break.

      3. Sorry but we’ve been playing terribly for quite a while now and results have been terrible this year. Why should it be ‘not toonys fault’? Yes the players are making mistakes on the field but it’s the same ones every time. He picks (or chops and changes) the team; prepares them; motivates them; gives them a game plan. What else is he for if not to influence the performances, accuracy and resilience of the players? To achieve results? He’s failing on every count. What do you think he’s doing well at this stage?

  12. Anyone who says that Ross Thompson has only played 25 minutes of rugby this season is obviously unaware of the fact that he played 60 minutes for the Ayrshire Bulls three weeks ago.

    Okay, it’s not the URC but it’s still competitive rugby.

    1. The point is that there was 2 minutes left of play and Ross Thompson is a 85% plus kicker.

      Why have him in the matchday squad if no intention of using him?

      His game-time does not matter in that situation, Even have Horne take the kick!

    2. Should have put him on the wing this evening; more game time, not much chance of an error as ball never got wide and he’s a better goal-kicker

    3. Ross Thompson looked really pissed off at the end of the game. It never looked like he’d get on the pitch. I’d have fancied him to take that final penalty. Having said that the game was in reality lost elsewhere.

      Interestingly Toony said in the post match interview when asked about Russell that the squad for the autumn was picked and it was unlikely he’d bring others in unless one of the squad was injured.

      1. I think if I was Finn, the next time Townsend phones to say, you’re in the squad i’d say, ‘sorry mate but your form isn’t good enough.’

  13. Team next game against Fiji

    Stuart Hogg – Darcy Graham – Sione Tuipolotu – Cameron Redpath – Duhan Van Der Merwe – Finn Russell – George Horne – Jack Dempsey – Jamie Ritchie – Matt Fagerson – Richie Gray – Jonny Gray – Zander Fagerson – Ewan Ashman – Rory Sutherland

    Mark Bennett – Adam Hastings – Ben White – Hamish Watson – Grant Gilchrist – Willem Nel – Pierre Schoeman – Dave Cherry

    (Assuming Skinner is Injured)

      1. while Smith took his try well his passing and kicking were poor, still needs a lot of development.

      1. Apologies Rory i did not read the top.

        However i am going to have to give you a warning. Please refer to rule 1 regarding personal attacks. My inability to read? Very offensive!

        I’ll post an updated team at a more relevant times for my fans ✌️

      2. Fantastic Neil – Thin Ice mind, however lets get this clear to the wanabe’s out there. You pick the teams, we criticise.

  14. Why does Toonie think we can win tight games against tier one teams with Kinghorn as goal kicker? Does he not realise that test matches against top tier one sides are often tight affairs often decided by a kick at goal? Does he think Kinghorn’s other strengths will compensate for his poor kicking? We’re basically gifting the opposition a 6-10 point advantage with his kicking success rate.

  15. BK has turned into a really handy squad player. He’s good enough, although not great, at 10, so can cover 10/wing/15 from the bench. And I that’s a fantastic asset at at world cup, or if playing a 6/2 spilt.

    Also, Ali Price is very good. And Smith is doing well for early in his international career.

    However, as is noted else where, the organisation/plan/direction looks shot. GT will be in charge to the world cup. We’ll have some fantastic and some terrible games on the way. And he’ll finish, like the team he’s managed having not fulfilled his potential because of the serious scottish rugby politicking.

    Urgh. Although I’ll take all of this over many periods of the last 40 years.

    1. Yes, Kinghorn is an asset providing bench cover on a 6-2 split. He is not an International 10. Hastings is. He is not a World Class 10. Russell is.

      This game could be passed off as building depth. All players are available for the NZ game. Let’s hope the best are picked.

      1. I agree Hastings is a ready made 10 playing at a high level at club level. Kinghorn needs to get at least a solid year developing at 10 at club level. Catapulting him into tier 1 internationals whilst he is learning just seems bizarre and counterproductive even if the talent is there.

        So many opportunities to win that game… and win it handily and we tossed that out the window with poor discipline.

        We have better players than Australia imo (their weakest side ive seen for a longtime). and we didn’t use them correctly. I almost prayed that Horne would get that kick…..but nope…

    1. Nothing earth shattering: maybe he just never had his lucky underpants on. He makes so many changes there is no baseline on which to build. Anyway, you cannot plan for Tui the centre not taking the ball for that try.

  16. For me there was an eventuality all over it That Australia would win.
    They didn’t necessarily do a lot to deserve it but when the home team fail repeatedly to convert possession in the red zone into points , when they repeatedly fall foul of the referee and when they turn up without a recognised goal kicker there is as I say an inevitability.
    Kinghorn played ok for 60 minutes but the body language fell away after that and should have been replaced. Even when switched on nothing went through Bennet or Graham.
    It has taken Glen Young 28 years to get a cap, let’s hope it’s his last he seemed to take forever to get back into the line after a tackle and at least 2 of his bloopers led to a 10 point turnaround. Fiji may have been a better game to blood him in.
    Line out and maul were a shambles .
    Back row won more than their share of turnovers but the forwards in general with ball in hand failed to make ground. this is a bit worrying as I feel that was our 1sr choice front 8.
    The referee to a degree had a huge say in the outcome. He was very picky which made the game very stop start and allowed the choke tactic to go on forever despite the tackled players knee touching the ground.
    Our new captain failed to get the discipline message across.
    Ollie Smith a bright light on what was otherwise a dull night.

    1. How Darcy Graham saw so little of the ball today as our most effective and in-form player today I will never know. it was criminal not to give him more opportunities to run

      1. It’s amazing how often we hear that we have a back 3 with pace and skill and yet never get them in a position to do much. We do have a genuinely great back 3 we just don’t use them or we are forever screwing up before the ball can get to them.

      2. Graham has been in fantastic form at club level…but was anonymous yesterday.

        I dunno about Graham…I get excited about him being selected because of what he can do..but then the top teams often smother him out the match.

        No test level natural 12 was a huge part of that yesterday though..imo

        Surely recognizing that Kinghorn’s main strength is ball in hand running…the coach selects a ball playing 12 with good distribution skills to compensate. Instead 2 natural running 13s were selected. Sigh!

      3. RuggersB I thought that too about DG a couple of years back in the 2021 6N (I think it was) when he simply wasn’t playing well and was getting a bit exposed in defence – but in retrospect, that was when we later found out his brother had been in that critical accident and he was simply not himself for a good few months. Since then, including last 6 nations when he was arguably our best player (think against England, Wales etc) , he’s been on top form so I don’t think that’s a worry any longer. I do think on saturday, that both he and DVDM were starved of possession – as you say, partly due to no real no 12. Which gets my goat also since Rory Hutch CONTINUES to tear it up in the Eng Prem as he has done for several seasons. But again, Toony knows best….he’d rather play him at 15 against Arg…twice; and then he gets injured and so we totally waste an opportunity to give him a go in the middle. GAAAAH!

    2. I dont think Ritchie had a great match in the captains role… he wasn’t terrible..but he made some mistakes and there were things he could do better.
      He will, however, be a very good captain with experience.. I think.
      Far better a captain than Hogg though…who I thought was completely unsuited to it.

      1. I have witnessed many an embarasment in s scottish Jersey but Glen Young floats right to the sump. I saw nothing redeemable and his attitude was wrong. He should have been red carded and was still shaking his heid like a status quo fan. Sorry, he is surplus to requirements and I question his selection was objective.

      2. I hear Toonie is saying it was a millimeter away from the greatest clearout ever! Is the point not, that it was a millimeter on the wrong side and you need to play the laws of the game as they are, not as you want them to be. A welshman would have been a millimeter on the right side and hit with twice the force. A tad naive.

  17. I was glad the Amazon interviewer specifically asked GT before the game if BK was the goal kicker. I wonder if that will be asked again in post match press.

  18. If we dont do well this autumn then I think Toony’s get out of jail will be to blame the forward’s coach. John Dalziel watch your back. Maybe we need a specialist lineout coach like Ireland have with POC but the maul wasnt great today either and they all need a masterclass/rocket in how to avoid giving away needless penalties.

      1. Richie Gray has been class in the lineout this season. Where did he get that clown, Young?

  19. Pathetic – when Scotland plays a team with such a tight record such as AUZ to turn down 3 points right in front on the posts in the 1st half was just plain STUPID! Points don’t come easy – what are you thinking!!! The missed kick for the 1st try was also incredibly frustrating but turning down that kick in the 1st half cost them the game. Period! If they do not know that they will loose the next 3 tests. COME ON! How elementary! Watch the All-Black. They NEVER TURN DOWN POINTS! A bird in the hand ….!

  20. Eventually was able to watch the game.
    I don’t think it was that bad tbh, the result was disappointing, we’d have won it with a kicker.

    But that’s the point. Why didn’t we have a kicker? It’s asking for trouble.

    What I find frustrating about Townsend is that one season he finds a way to beat England and France away then a couple of seasons later he’s doing massive experiments that fundamentally change the team (e.g. dropping a recognised world class fly half completely from the squad and taking the field without a kicker).

    When are we going to hit a consistent level of selection, tactics, playing style and performance?

    Everybody roughly knows what to expect when Ireland, Wales, even England and recently France play.

    Scotland though? Who knows, could be anything.

  21. Isnt rugby quite a simple game Edinburghs (comparative) success but at least progress is down to getting boys in their natural position doing natural things – Crosbie, Mata, Haining, Schoeman – big aggressive physical laddies gaining front foot ball (Scotlands back row not equipped to do that role yesterday). A proper 12 (changing the point of attack If necessary – Scotland playing a 13 at 12), all this leading to space created for the flair guys Bennett BK Graham. A proper kicker. Simples……Yesterday we shot ourselves in the foot in terms of squad/team selection.
    GTs petty bone headedness re Russell beggars belief.
    Dempsey Crosbie Ritchie is the way forward (Darge superb but unavailable)
    It was faintly embarrassing re BKs kicking, everyone knows he can’t kick (he’s about 5th choice at Edinburgh)

  22. My take on yesterday’s avoidable defeat:

    Our wider players – Bennett, Graham, and Van der Merwe – had little opportunity to show their skills in attack thanks to Toony’s decision to do without a genuine 12.

    Line-out throws are not George Turner’s forte – the lad couldn’t hit a bull on the butt with a bass fiddle. A pity, as he’s otherwise a useful player.

    Pinball was somewhat off-colour. Is it merely down to a loss of form or is he carrying an injury? If it’s the former then I’d keep him in the XV for Fiji in the hope that he rediscovers his mojo.

    Ollie Smith fared better than I expected, given that he’s not long returned to competitive action after injury. He’s a fine young player with, all being well, a bright future at Test level.

    Glen Young had a somewhat torrid Test debut but I wouldn’t write him off just because of that. The fault, I think, lies with Toony’s decision to throw him into what was always going to be a hard-fought Test versus Tier 1 opposition, particularly when the likes of Richie Gray were available for selection. If Toony was keen to see what Young could do, it’d have been better to have held him back till the Fiji test.

    Blair Kinghorn is the proverbial Curate’s egg at 10 – good in parts. Unfortunately, the less good parts of his game (kicking from hand/tee and, to a lesser degree, passing) are those at which a Test FH must be proficient. The lad does have talent but he’s really a FB who can cover wing and possibly 13 as well.

    Ross Thompson has every right to feel aggrieved this morning. Never mind that he should have been brought on for the 79th minute penalty, he should have been introduced for at least the last quarter.

    Gregor Townsend. There’s a lot I could say but, with apologies to Oliver Cromwell, this simple message will suffice: you have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately…In the name of all that’s reasonable, go!

    1. Ritchie Gray was not available as he was in a return to play concussion protocol.
      That said, surprised Sykes or Hodgson weren’t in the team ahead of Young.

  23. Me and my Daughter have gone to a few games now. But we were both very impressed with the kind gesture the Australian team did by spending some time with their fans. Not just taking photos but also having conversations with them. It was deeply touching.

    In all the games we have been to it looks like the Scotland team does not have the same respect for their fans, they are more concerned about getting their girlfriends/ wives on the pitch then spending any time with their devoted supporters.

    In the grand scheme of things this match may have not been important for the management/ players but it does mean a lot to us. At least show some respect and put a recognisable 10 and someone who can kick a ball!!!!

    1. I see what you are saying about the opposition teams. That seems to be the case whoever the vistors are from outside the uk. Whether it’s australia, fiji or romania or whoever.
      Welcome to Murrayfield where hope springs eternal only to wither and fade like a saturday night kebab on a sunday morning.

  24. Kinghorn’s try said absolutely everything about him as a player. He is a good back 3 player, possibly a 12, keeping a proper fly half out of a job. Ollie Smith seemed to have a decent game, had no major Hoggy screw ups and got involved. Darcy and Duhan might as well have stayed in the dressing room for all they managed to get the ball. Overall none of the teams expecting to play Scotland or Australia will be too worried based on that performance.

    Is Kinghorn playing 10 at Edinburgh because Mike Blair think’s it’s a good idea or Gregor thinks its a good idea? Have the team learrned lessons? Has Townsend? It doesn’t seem like it. Same mistakes every time they take the field. Oh the irony that our previous outing against Australia was won by a penalty kicked by Finn Russell. Here’s a lesson to learn gregor, put a guy on the field who can kick a penalty to keep the scoreboard ticking over. We could have put Ross Thompson on though who at least can kick the bloody ball and is an actual fly half.

    I was at the game yesterday and I swear I heard the announcer telling us that Duncan Weir came on as a substitute???? Was it just me?

    Anyway I look forward to the next podcast and craig manson telling john repeatedly that kinghorn is a 10. He might be, he’s just not a very good one.

    1. Couldn’t agree more with your assessment, we had nobody controlling our play and defending most of the time with no real fly-half who can open the opposition up, is always going to be problematic. Kinghorn;s try was opportunist and a good one but nearly sold the jerseys with his pass to Duhan VD Merwe late in the 2nd half! For me Finn creates more danger and opportunities and his kicking is much better than Kinghorn. Sorry
      buy GT must take the blame for this apopletic performance and Finn in myconsidered opinion is a special player who can open many teams up and create the opportunities that were missing yesterday. as far as WC 2023 is concerned if we play like we are now, no point in going to be knocked out in 1st rounds by SA and Ireland. Time for Townsend to grow up and become accountable for what he has been employed to do by the SRFU.

  25. Ultimately take away the kicking to post for a second and look at the overall performance.

    We look 1 dimensional (90% of the game). Ask yourself what 1 or 2 reasons this could come down to.

    What must Scotland do to step up into the top 5 of the world-rankings that we are not currently doing in terms of performance, and why has this not changed for a number of years now?

    Because even if Kinghorn nailed all his kicks to post today and we beat the Aussies, that performance would have resulted in us getting comfortably beaten by Ireland/France/South Africa/New Zealand and England.

    So many things to worry about less than a year out from a World Cup, this should not be happening with a Coach has now been in the set-up for 5 years.

  26. I like Smith he is brave, strong and has a good attitude, however he is not even the best FB at Glasgow and Hogg is a different class. I reckon unburdened of the captaincy and with my back row and Russell and Redpath at 10 12 we could well see the best of Hogg again.

  27. Townsends record as Coach over past year

    W: England (Home)
    L: Wales (Away)
    L: France (Home)
    W: Italy (Away)
    L: Ireland (Away)

    L: Argentina (Away)
    W: Argentina (Away)
    L: Argentina (Away)

    L: Australia (Home)

    3 wins 6 lost so far. (1 of those wins being Italy!)

    Home: 1 Win 2 Losses 33%
    Away: 2 Wins 4 losses 33%

    I cant see us beating New Zealand unless something drastically changes for us to even have a chance.

    But lets say we lose to Argentina or Fiji also, at what point do we say Townsend is no longer fit for the role?

  28. Having just watched Edinburgh’s excellent away win in Cardiff (and Glasgow on Friday night) its a crying shame that either Chris Dean or Macdowall weren’t starting yesterday.Of course at least next week we should see Redpath back at inside centre.
    Oh and Crosbie really does look like he’s got to be knocking the door down for a start next week (and a pretty good captain as well!)

  29. Well done Mike Blair and Edinburgh. It’s just sensible pragmatic rugby really. Edinburgh played properly, played effective rugby.
    Dean really superb,( Blair said 12 plays a pivotal role…..Scotland play a 13 at 12). Savala a proper 10.
    Crosbie a true captains performance.
    Patrick Harrison was superb when he came on, 100% throwing (I think) excellent in the loose.
    Muncaster a good speaker and played really well too.
    Goosen seminal tackle in 2nd half

  30. Similar to last years game against the Aussies, where we just eked out a win this time this time not so lucky. I watched the game on You Tube and it had Aussie commentators who were impressed with BK. But TBF the team was made up of Glasgow/Edinburgh which in the big scheme of things are mid table teams in the URC. Don’t see us getting anywhere near Ireland/SA at the next RWC and if not careful could come a cropper against Tonga.

  31. Why was Ben Toolis quietly moved out the door to Japan?

    Our best tighthead lock by a distance and much missed. I’d prefer him to Gilchrist.

  32. Smith, Graham, Bennett, Dean, VDM, Hastings, Horne, Dempsey, Ritchie, Crosbie, Skinner, J.Gray, Z.Fagerson, Ashman, Schoeman.

    Bhatti, Nel, Cherry, R.Gray, M.Fagerson, Price, Kinghorn, Hogg.

  33. I am not a massive Kinghorn fan but I find people who think that game showed any justification he isn’t an International 10 are looking for something that isn’t there.

    He had a massive part in the Smith try
    Scored a try
    Tuipulot butchered a sensational pass which would have then been a third score.

    For a 10 at International level in a bit of a dug of a game those are fantastic contributions.

  34. On Kinghorn – one area that hasn’t been discussed is his defence. The Aussies were clearly targeting his channel with their big boys – he made 11 tackles (only Mish and Gilchrist made more), missed just 1. One of the reasons Scotland looked pretty comfortable in defence for much of the match.

    It’s come to something, though, that adding something to litany of good things that Kinghorn did just worries me more, because you can’t play a test match without a confident kicker and expect to win.

    That try, though. Bloody hell. Pace, control, composure. Struggling to think of a better solo try for Scotland.

    Biggest worries for me are hooker and the row. Unconvinced again by Gilchrist- yet another handling error with the tryline at his mercy (albeit it wouldn’t have counted), Young looked overawed by the occasion. Skinner looked good, him and Gray feel like our best bet. Turner’s darts were all over the shop. Looking forward to seeing more of Harrison, Hodgson and Sykes at this level, but they’re probably not going to be starters this side of the RWC.

  35. All those posting that Kinghorn is not a recognised kicker should look at his stats for Edinburgh (100% this season). Admittedly that last kick was a shocker but obviously the pressure got to him and he mistimed the kick. Isn’t the only Scot to miss a kickable goal (Gavin Hastings anyone?).
    Also it should be noted that neither Finn Russell nor Adam Hastings would have had the pace/skill/strength to score that try of BK. IMO.
    It was a tough game and we deserved to win. As it’s almost always close with the Aussies we should have taken the kick in front of the posts to take the lead in the first half. Poor decision by Ritchie.

    1. We threw it away. Greg Laidlaw, and we all ribbed him, would never have missed that kick, but we should have taken the kicks in first half. I bet you some men wish they could have put the clock back by a day not an hour this weekend.

      They threw it away, the sad thing is , not for the first time and I thought that was all behind us now. Why do we never seem to mature ?

      Answer: who is we ! we do not have a settled side.

      Our Coach is the only constant. We have changed everything, except him.

      1. If you thought throwing it away was all behind us can I remind you of our last international-3rd Test v v Argentina we “threw away” a 15 point lead with what 20 minutes to go. So just carrying on where we left off I think.

  36. I felt a loss was inevitable when I saw the wider training squad, never mind the matchday selection. Omitting our best 10 due to a personal vendetta is a dick move when the country wants to see our best team play. Kinghorn is excellent in open play as was shown in the Smith try and his own try, however we needed a goalkicker on the pitch at the same time in order for Kinghorn to be a viable option. For me, Kinghorn is an elite bench option due to his utility but not a starter at the moment. Glen Young and Gilchrist should never be near the team. Pair of carthorses that offered absolutely nothing besides penalties and knock ons. Skinner was the shining light until he went off. I was deeply aggrieved to see Dempsey getting the nod on the bench over Crosbie who captained the summer tour and is also the far better player. Another terrible selection decision. Turner was dire, I thought Cherry had the better game even though he was off the mark aswell. Our lack of size in the back row continues to hurt us when it comes to bludgeoning over from a few yards. Defensively they are all superb but a Crosbie or a T.Gordon (sadly not available due to calf injury) is needed to freshen up things there. Too set in our ways in that department. Harris and Johnson are our best centres by miles. Tuipolotu was poor, Bennett didn’t see the ball enough as was the case for Duhan and Darcy who are 2 of the most dangerous wingers in the NH. Zander Fagerson cannot run to save himself. His top speed is akin to a granny with a broken hip. Outrageously slow. Horne needs more game time at 9, he’s a hell of a player. Would love to see a Horne – Hastings combination. Smith deserves another shot at 15, attacking wise he was excellent but I feel we didn’t see enough from him defensively to judge. No impact off the bench from us whatsoever but that was a foregone conclusion when the team was selected. Desperately need a coach with a working pair of eyes to select our team. I get the feeling Townsend would love to select Dan Parks and Nick De Luca

    1. To be fair, T, neither Russell nor Hastings could have played against Australia because they weren’t released by their French/English clubs. Would you have started Thompson instead of Kinghorn?
      I wouldn’t have expected Young to get on the pitch until the last 10 minutes except Skinner got injured. Gilcho and Skinner was a fair pairing for locks, given Cummings and Richie Gray were injured and Jonny Gray not available.
      You say Harris and Johnson are our best centres and yet neither was available (not released and injured, respectively) so who would you have picked instead of Tuipolotou and Bennett? The reason the outside backs didn;t get much ball was the Aussie defence – did you watch the match??
      Crosbie is a fine player but so is Dempsey on his day, and IMO neither would replace any of our starting backrows.
      None of your points make sense apart from the disappointment over the kicks not taken or missed.

  37. The head scratcher for me is George Horne enters the match with 15 minutes still on the clock. He’s first choice goal kicker for his club and his confidence is high. Is it a failure of captaincy or coach that kicking duties weren’t handed to him with Kinghorn so clearly uncomfortable?

  38. You would think Hastings has to start against Fiji, not just through our collective wishful thinking, but because
    a) he hasn’t played for Scotland for a year
    b) BK has started 5 games on the trot at 10, we’ve lost 4 of them
    c) if GT wants to start BK against NZ (just typing that almost makes we weep) then he might want to rest him and give Hastings an outing
    …if so, and Hastings plays as solidly (not spectacularly, but we don’t necessarily need that) as he has done for the last 2 years and kicks his points (which he does consistently) then it surely gives him a chance to start against NZ, or at least come off the bench with 15+ to go. With Redpath at 12 it would make a massive difference to our distribution potential.
    Ok, it’s wishful hinting, I can’t help it….an international 10 with the ability to manage a game and a reliable kicker in your 15…madness I know…but seriously, Test match rugby is no place to experiment, and we’ve all had enough of it, and justifiably so.

    1. Would it be too much to ask to see Hastings at 10, Redpath at 12 and Bennett at 13, with Kinghorn on the bench as a sort of human Swiss Army Knife? That would not only give us a goal kicking 10 but also a go-ahead midfield and a 6-2 replacements split.

    2. You would think that indeed Banffshire, sadly this is Toony we are talking about.

      It’s almost impossible to predict his 23 (i have tried for the past 5 years and never gotten it quite right), he just can’t help himself but tinker.

      1. Though when he did choose the same team despite some injuries in the 20/21 season the team performed to its best in my opinion. Naturally there will again be changes this weekend. Stipe’s request as stated above would be a selection I also wouldn’t mind seeing. Though then again Harris is also available!

      2. It is lamentable that even without injuries or unavailability Toonie changes the team. One can only hope that last weeks changes (which were mostly enforced due to injuries and our English/French based players being unavailable) were a one-off, and Toonie will finally realise FORM AND CONSISTENCY is necessary in selection, not just playing.

  39. Regardless of the individuals, if Scotland do not have an attacking 9 (as per an Aaron Smith) and a creative 10 (as per a Russell) it is unlikely that we will win against top tier nations. Too predictable and too easy to defend one out in the 12 channel. The game wasn’t truly lost (of course it was but it should not have been necessary) on the last kick, it was due to the inability to break down a defence.

    Both wingers have their good attributes, but opposition teams will target them to prevent space (Graham becoming elusive) or time (DVdM having time to build up momentum). Pretty obvious tactic, so how is that tactic countered if there is no creativity inside them to create space.

    We miss an athletic ball carrying 6 to get over the advantage line in attack. Our back row is structured for defence and turnovers which is somewhat negative.

    I do feel for Young, that could have been anyone. The video clearly showed the defender lowering his head when he saw the clear out coming. The clear out rules mean that a yellow or red could be awarded at every breakdown. All a defender has to do is put their head down over the ball, get cleared out and win penalty/cards. Something that world rugby needs to resolve as the advantage of keeping possession and going into contact is greatly reduced. Rugby will go back to the endless kicking ping pong of a few years back because there’s just too much of a lottery at ruck time.

    Agree on the GT/FR situation, if a leader can not manage a member of their team then it’s time to get someone in who can, basic rule of business performance. If the team member is unmanageable then the leader has to jettison that member for that reason and only that reason.

  40. Mac7, I’ve been saying much the same re our backrow, Edinburgh with Mata and Crosbie regular create front foot ball, Scotland with Fagerson and Watson can’t. Dempsey, Crosbie, Ritchie is the way forward for Scotland, aggressive yards will be gained, this is invaluable for our potentially dangerous backline.
    George Horne needs to play as well, he keeps the opposition honest

  41. Line out is still the thing that bothers me. This has to be a priority. Apropos BK vs FR I actually think Blair brings pace and can do fine here. We obvs need a kicker, or he needs some coaching on nerves. Altogether I didn’t expect much more, this was just about where Scotland are as a squad. Can we build on it?

    1. What ? Wee Al, that is wrong. BK is a Jersey blocker, passing is clumsy at best, the odd good line , but he can tackle, more on that later. Adam Hastings must be selected as first choice now. A natural Stand off on form must be our 1st Choice.

      Tacking, well they all need to as Hogg can and will not. He avoided any confrontation with Rees Zammit in the Glawster match. It is time this blog got it’s act together. Take a hard look at ourselves and be honest.

      If guys cannot get on with the gaffer , someone needs to go and it is usually not the gaffer. If guys shirk duties, they need to go.

      1. I noticed that as well. He will be notable by his absence in the tackle position this autumn. Wee selfish boy, feart to get injured.

  42. First the dross about FInn and his form whilst he is tearing it up with one of Europe’s top clubs. Orchestrating win after win What hubris from Townsend actually what arrogance

    Add this to seemingly endlessly anti- climatic 6 nations performances

    Yet the SRU Sit on their hands What has to happen for toonie to come under scrutiny?

    1. Well said Andy.
      I watch Racing 92 on YouTube so that I can see what we are being denied by one man (and probably the useless SRU).

      The quality and imagination that is on show is amazing.

      If Scotland don’t play the best players they have, then obviously the team get weaker and the players don’t need to try to get in the side and we continue on the slippery slope.

      Bring back Finn, bring back Cotter.

  43. General comment:
    Townsend’s determination to avoid playing Russell makes him look more like a petulant 12 year old child than an international coach.
    I don’t think Townsend should prevent the team and more importantly the fans from seeing Russell play rugby. He is world class and is playing great rugby at Racing.
    Bring back Finn and bring back Cotter!

    1. The blog is a great place to share the annoyance, upset and sometimes anger towards decisions which have been made. Some things might not change until certain changes which some fans wish to occur. But for now let’s just get behind the team and wish for success which we hope we can all share!!! COME ON SCOTLAND!!

    2. I watch Racing 92 on YouTube. The imagination the skill the determination and the teamwork is outstanding and riveting.

      If we don’t pick the best we have we will end up not even trying as it will be easier to get into the side and will have has beens playing as we slide further and further down the slippery slope.
      Bring back Finn, bring back Cotter.

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