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Podcast: Episode 236 – A Christmas Miracle

John is back with the team for the Xmas special, bringing you our unique dose of festive frivolity, loosely themed around Scottish Rugby..

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32 Responses

      1. With Kinghorn back in the side ? mind you , it looks like Glasgow have downgraded their side as well.

      2. i’m more worried by Pyrgos in for Vellacot but it’s a significantly better Edinburgh side. I expect them to get more joy from the scrum this week and Boffelli will not make anywhere near the errors he made last week. plus home advantage.

        also i don’t think Jordan and McDowall have the skills to play the way Glasgow want right now. I think McDowall is a bit agricultural. and Jordan is holding Glasgow back right now. That’s not to say he’s not worth the investment there’s a lot to like about his game but i wonder where Glasgow might be now if Miotti had been given the backing Jordan has had this season? and what of Thompson?

      3. It is dangerous to predict. I think Edinburgh looked tired last week. I think the african trip left them tired and robbed. Pyrgos is safer hands against Price and has a lot of experience now, but there is 2 risks , Pyrgos and Kinghorn, both need to be slick as the backline is strong and I expect Duhan to be brought in more this week. If Edinburgh win, I expect them to win by a lot and take the cup , but if it is a grind , Glasgow will prevail. Edinburgh have had bigger, harder games in the run in and it showed last week.

      4. Well played Glasgow, brilliant second half, Tui and Steyn sensational. And well played Jordan too best I’ve seen him play.

        Looks like you were right Bass Edinburgh lost focus at half time and looked fatigued in the second half.

    1. That is a bad word : no need to be so harsh. It is funny no-one said that when he was the Lions Scrum Half. He appeared in three tests , which is one more that Stuart Hogg’s career best and we don’t think he is S word , do we, no , we don’t . He is a bit off form like all returning Lions.

      George Horn, smallest and bravest man on the pitch tonight showed us how to tackle, a tiny wee thing can put them down like felling a tree, take high balls, kick every goal and we ignore him.

      It is time we were opening our eyes. I agree with you , Price is not great , but he is not the only one. Time for a clear out.

      Good to see Gray selected as MOM.

      1. Agreed, Price really impressed for the Lions and begs the question how much of his performance for Scotland is due to tactics.

        That said, whilst White came from nowhere I think he deserves a start as his passing seems better. Horne, Vellacot etc have been really poorly managed though as I think they all offer a different option to Price yet none of them are getting sufficient minutes on the pitch to provide an option in the event that Price gets injured.

  1. I thought Price made a difference last night, Edinburgh scrum in the ascendcy but excellent physical defence and lack of beef in the Edinburgh backs (VDM apart) were the difference.
    Re Scotlands back row debate, Dempsey has the foot work and physicality to make the most of opportunities when they arise.
    I like Tom Jordan.
    Interesting that Jaco VDW is waaay down the pecking order, he must’ve blotted his copybook.
    R.Gray and the Glasgow pack did well in defence but struggled in scrum (until Schoeman Nel went off). Interesting Edinburgh didn’t try maul tactics, that resulted in Boyle try,more.

    1. I think vdW has suffered from the BK10 project. a shame really as he looks a solid option to balance against Savala.

    2. Price seemed to bring something when he came on, hard to nail it , I thought Horne had a decent game. maybe the game just needed someone to organise it better , and I say with gritted teeth, he did. All those years of playing him in front of Horne have finally paid off . Mr Average has done it.

      1. He is average but more Lions caps than Stuart Hogg. Right , nope not accepting that one. Come on Ali.

    1. There is no shortage of talk in this country. Some even repeat what the papers say. They read far and wide for a quote from the sydney herald or France Aujordui ( which is a text book by the way) , when they could sit back and just listen tae Peter Wright.

  2. How do Edinburgh fix their losing problem? 9 bonus points from 11, points difference +48, but just 4 wins. Is it a technical thing or do attitudes need to change?

    1. First thing i would say is improve their kicking percentage at post this season. It’s been very poor and could have won us at least 3 of those games.

      I also think Edinburgh have been fairly unlucky compared to other teams in terms of injury, the reserves while solid are not at that level yet. (Improve quality of depth).

      In terms of tactics i think they need to offer more variation in attack which does not require Kinghorn or the wingers to be offering the gainline, it’s become slightly predictable and is way less effective without Graham/Goosen fit atm.

      To fix this, part of a plan B would involve Vellacott doing more tap and go and breaks from rucks as well as Dean/Bennett/Lang offering more of a Crash ball on occaision (not really there strength but ??‍♂️)

      I think the attitude is pretty good in the squad honestly.

      1. Neil – there is palpable alarm in Munster fans message board that Ben Healy might leave them for a Scottish team given his lack of opportunities for the province this year. Not sure if his recent starring role from the bench in Munster’s win over Ulster will have changed that, but he is a very accomplished kicker, natural FH and test prospect so would seemingly address some of Edinburgh’s problems.

        His contract is up for renewal this month, if he does opt to throw in his lot for Scotland he’ll be looking for an immediate release to give himself a run at the 2023 RWC squad.

        Mark Palmer has reported Townsend is renewing his overtures to Fin Smith too. I think the Scotland hierarchy see a big problem at 10 post-Russell, Kinghorn is seen seen as an inadequate stop gap and they are throwing the kitchen sink at plugging it from outside Scotland’s professional pathways.

    2. It was interesting to hear Blair’s comments about his own inexperience. It is a tough road for him to pick Edinburgh back up once a losing habit is ingrained. Perhaps his comments represent a very high degree of openness but they make me concerned he is out of his depth and not providing the leadership the squad needs. It’s a bit contrast to the influence Franco Smith is now having on Glasgow.

      1. I suggest Glasgow are actually not playing particularly well but they are winning. I will give that to Franco Smith. A dangerous side once again.

        The simple things that are working for Glasgow. Line out (especially Gray) and landing their kicks. George Horne is a nice contrast to Price, I do not see him as an understudy. He is making a difference both as a starter or impact player.

        The biggest threat of all, Huw Jones is still lurking around the training ground waiting for a suitable game. Keep him hidden for now, dont let Toony near him.

      2. Bass Rock – Glasgows run-in actually looks not too bad either, so they could get a chance at a home play-off in the URC. That would be a great outcome for Smith’s first season in charge.

        I fear Edinburgh’s season is going to be over fairly soon, unless they can sneak through to European knock outs. If that is the case Blair probably has another season to turn it around, it’s a tough gig but there is too much talent in the squad to bounce around in the bottom third of the league.

    3. To me the big difference this season is Pyrgos getting much more game time and vellacot less. Yes HP has good box kicks but the man is anathema to the concept of quick ball. Edinburgh just revert to Cockerill-ball when he plays. The pack win constant quick ball and then his dithering allows opposition to set, invites counter rucks and gifts mommentum away. Edinburgh get a lot of entries into the 22 but they almost never get in behind a team and they’re never able to play on top of teams so they must have the worst conversion rate in the league and the fact his snipping is so poor just allows the opposition to spread out and fill the pitch. i really think that is the key difference between Ed this season and last.
      Now if Cooney is to join Scotland he will probably need to move on from Ulster so changing out Pyrgos for Cooney could work wonders for Edinburgh.

      1. I concur sir, Pygros doesn’t suit BK (who really NEEDS quick ball) Edinburgh were at their best with Vellacott sniping and taking tap penalties, causing chaos………..and then space (hopefully as its not an exact science).
        Cooney wouldn’t necessarily have to leave Ulster but for me he’s the best all round 9 available right now

      2. Vellacott was injured for a while. You know I’ve been watching Edinburgh for a few weeks thinking WHATS THE POINT OF HAVING ALL THESE GOOD BACKS IF PYGROS INVARIABLY BOX KICKS IT

  3. As I’ve said before with BK at 10 there is no plan b, the better teams see this and once they shut down plan a Edinburgh really struggle.
    V Glasgow it was Tuipulotu (who has crash ball and kicking skills) that made the difference, Edinburgh had neither crash ball or kicking options on the day.
    VDW to 10
    Cammy Hutchison to 12
    This should add a couple of different dimensions.
    Is it just me or is the 50-22 as an attacking play is/has been ignored by Scotland Glasgow Edinburgh

    1. Reckon with Healy confirmed as joining Edinburgh after the summer, Kinghorn’s days as a starting FH are numbered and he’ll become a super-sub utility player for Scotland, probably play as much in back 3 as a FH for Edinburgh.

      1. I’d be giving him some practice in the Centre as well, his slightly better running yet more limited skill-set may even be better suited to 12/13 and it’s a position (12) that we have no real stand-out for Edinburgh.

        If not, at least the hopefully improved competition will improve him as a 10.

  4. (Initial) Scotland Squad for Six Nations

    LH – Schoeman, Sutherland, Bhatti
    H – Brown, Turner, Ashman
    Th – Nel, Berghan, Rae
    L – R Gray, Gilchrist, Skinner , Mcdonald, Hunter Hill
    BR – Ritchie, Fagerson, Crosbie, Dempsey, Christie
    SH – Cooney, Horne, White
    FH – Russell, Hastings, Healy
    C – Redpath, Tuipolotu, Bennett, Harris,
    BT – Hogg, Smith, Van Der Merwe, Steyn, Maitland, Kinghorn

    Rested/presumed injured first few weeks.

    McInally, Z Fagerson, Cummings, J Gray, Darge, Watson, Bradbury, Price, Johnson, Graham

    Would like to see Jones make a comeback but he needs more game-time just to prove his place (same with Walker)

  5. On form Scottish XV

    Stuart Hogg – Kyle Steyn – Sione Tuipolotu – Cameron Redpath – Duhan Van Der Merwe – Finn Russell – George Horne – Jack Dempsey – Luke Crosbie – Matt Fagerson – Richie Gray (C) – Sam Skinner – Willem Nel – Fraser Brown – Pierre Schoeman

    Chris Harris – Blair Kinghorn – John Cooney – Jamie Ritchie – Kiran McDonald – Simon Berghan – Rory Sutherland – George Turner

    Went with Gray as captain which could be considered an odd choice. 1. He is the in form player in his position 2. British and Irish Lion with a ton of caps and experience. 3. Speaks well and can communicate in French if we have a french ref. 4. Tall imposing figure.

    I’m not suggesting Berghan is very good by including him in the team but he is getting a lot of gametime ahead of Murphy Walker and is more experienced and had not been awful recently, done an average job for Scotland before.

    McDonald has been getting high praise over at Munster, influential against Ulster and SA A.

    Some of the English based players i have left out because i don’t watch that league ??‍♂️ hard to comment.

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