Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Six Nations 2023: France v Scotland Discussion Post

Give us your thoughts on the game while we beaver away at the post match content.

Please put your post-game discussion points on this post – bearing in mind our Comment Policy.

Please keep it on topic for the discussion of the actual France game itself and not immediately posting your team for next week.

How did Scotland play? Did the adjustments in the team and bench work? Where it all go wrong/right? Was this the first proper test of Scotland? Let us know your thoughts.

98 Responses

  1. Clearly horror start – since then we’ve played ok, a few mistakes in execution under intense physical pressure from a powerful French pack. It’ll take a miracle to claw our way back into the game from HT but at least we aren’t staring down a 50pt loss.

    But if ever you want an illustration of how arbitrary the high tackle framework is applied, the ref doesn’t consider any mitigation against Gilchrist despite Jelonch’s position changing last minute after Fagerson tackles him. Fine – arguable either way.

    But then the ref bends over backwards to not send off Houras after he launches a flying headbutt at White and it takes his assistant refs to step in and avoid an outrageous decision being made. If he wasn’t such a weak ref his original misinterpretation could have stayed.

    Anyway, roll on second half and operation saving face.

    1. Jelonch also made pretty reckless head on head contact with DVDM…a knee injury and the French tv director possibly saved him a carte maillot.

    2. The assistant did a brilliant job of calmly talking him round. Mountain to climb, but can’t be reckless. And we have played well in patches and lets hope the ball in play time stays high so we can finish strong.

    3. The ref missed a couple of obvious French infringements including a line out near their try line that was as straight as a politician.

      Fraser Brown’s uncanny inability to hit a bull on the butt with a bass fiddle is also worthy of unfavourable comment.

      Ho hum. Roll on Ireland.

      1. Absolutely right re ref. And Brown is a disaster at line out. Shake his hand and import Dave Cherry to the bench. Turner is automatic.

      2. That French lineout was so not straight – it was annoying as Scotland had one called against them a few minutes later. I think the ref was unsighted by the number of bodies that rose in the way (but wondered if the touch judge couldn’t call that?

    4. The ref was playing in favor of France when he looked at the the head smash on White he said it was a low level of danger , he was going to give a yellow card to the French thug and would have if the other match officials hadn’t advised him to go red. In the name of health and safety that ref should be advised to hang up his whistle.

  2. Excited to see if we can bring an extra gear as we did against Wales. Long way to go….bench will be crucial, they must all be knackered, we need to push their fitness.

  3. Well played Scotland, so close but yet….
    Fraser Browns throwing ( again)lost us that final chance and the chance of a losing bonus.
    Ref was fair for the most part but his actions during the card incidents were lamentable and twice blew us for forward passes that were debatable They would have been given by every other ref as advantage to attacking team.
    J. Grays best game in ages. Russel M.OM for me despite the interception, Fickou did little to merit it.
    Slam gone.

    1. Right re Fraser Brown. Again. And right re Fickou too. How can a guy be awarded MOM even by French TV when his side had 5% possession in the second half? Huw Jones MOM for me, for his running lines and tenaciousness. I thought this our team of choice. Poor old Mish will be back against Ireland.

      1. I watched the game from the comfort of the boozer so will need to watch the game again but my first thought for that lineout was Ritchie Gray, who hadn’t lost a lineout all game (unverified statement) had just been taken off.

      2. Because the MOTM always goes to the team in the lead at the moment the decision is made.

    2. Those two forward pass calls. I wonder if a pass of the same trajectory that went just ten yards would have been called – I don’t think so.

      1. Likely not Mikey.Eventually, the spin on the ball takes hold and causes it to drift away (forward) from the catcher-always risky passing flat if the passer is static.

    3. Richie Gray is the simple reason our lineout is functioning once again. Wasn’t happy when he came off. Had we won that lineout…..

      1. I think Fraser B was throwing to Ritchie , as he was likely slated to play the 80 , but the sending off ko’ed that and skinner couldn’t get that high

  4. France blew us away in the first 20 minutes with a big backlash from the Ireland game – we did really well to recover but one step too far unfortunately.

    No shame today, France are one of the best teams in the world and we were on top for large parts of the game.

    Can’t see us beating Ireland even at Murrayfield but hopefully will make a game of it.

    We have definitely progressed significantly this year.

  5. Would like to have seen that potential Fagerson try again…

    And a different angle for the Gilchrist Red card.

    Either way we were good enough to win that which is encouraging, but too many silly mistakes under pressure kept France ticking.

    Shows how much our lineout struggles when we lose both Gray and Gilchrist.


    1. I thought the Gilchrist red was a bit harsh…I was expecting a yellow initially. Daft by him though…it was unnecessary to go in like that. It cost us the chance to settle.
      French red was a clear red…and yet he seemed to want additional time and footage to make the call. Gilchrist had a couple of angles and off he goes.
      With player parity there was little in it…mistakes cost us in the end. We had our chances.
      When Ritchie gray goes off…our lineout disappears with him. Before R Gray returned to our team the lineout was dreadful….and as soon as he leaves the field it is dreadful.

    2. I take it you dont like Ali Price. Be careful, his family and friends will all be reading this , this site has become WOKE. Full of nice people. You cannot really even hint that he just filled a jersey , anymore.

      The red card , was a red card, theirs was blatant , ours was careless. Dry the eyes and quit the shameful protests.

      Gray should have stayed on , he is only 33 , AW Jones is 37, I want to see him playing till we have another giant.

      J gray was excellent , we broke the gain line regularly , France struggled to get over the line , we are defending with real grit, even Hogg , watch it again .

      The red for high meant we all showed we can take them low, keep it up, that is the way to tackle.

      The front row carried all day long.

      I think we should have taken 3 points more often .

      I know we always say we learned from that game , well we did, we learned how to play with 14 . Another breakthrough in confidence building IMO.

      More importantly , we are getting better and better by the game, there is still room to improve. We might just be ready for a test with Ireland at Murrayfield.

      Will the red mean Gilco is banned from the match !

      I also get the feeling , that Toony is communicating well with his players.

      Lastly , we have a captain, he is not perfect but better than most .

    3. Neil: Ali Price is not suddenly a bad player overnight. It is just that everyone around him has got better and he stands out. Would you kindly be a bit more sensitive.

  6. We hang onto 2nd…for now. Failing to get the bonus point and giving one to France may prove costly. France likely to overtake us for second but England also looming in the rear view mirror. No reason why we cant beat Ireland but must get at least a bonus point or two.

    1. Like I thought pre match….we can still challenge for the 6N ….or we we could also face 3 back to back defeats.
      Not getting any points from that will probably cost us…we deserved at least a LBP.
      We’ll have to play better to be in the Ireland match at all. Sadly mid table looks most likely ….yet again.

    2. England still to play France and Ireland so I would be surprised if they win either.

      France likely to get the full 10 points from their last 2 games and we are unlikely to match that but even with 5-7 points we should be comfortably 3rd (which, much as higher would be great, is what most expected and a good reflection of where we are).

      Shame we have such a hard World Cup group as will be difficult to get out of the group and we clearly deserve to be at least in the quarters.

    3. Don’t want 2 bonus points against Ireland that means we’ve lost the match….no losing bonus against France means championship is almost out of sight even with 5 points against Ireland and stopping them a bonus…fine margins…

      Ireland is win or bust really now.

      1. Ref : You are almost as hard to please as ref with ‘endum’ on the end. I do not agree , but you do make me giggle. Did you really expect to win the Grand slam ? Really, go from nearly men, mid tablers – 4 wooden spoons in last 20 years to slamming it ? Really. We did well against France, I am proud of them , loved it , maybe , if’s and buts, could have won. On a very very good day against Ireland at home , yes it could happen .

        But really ,’win or bust’ , I would say it is a shot to nothing against Ireland. 2 points is better than nothing. Remember Toony is yet to clearly better Cotter and we all know how much the Toony lovers hate to see us looking back, but this team, with this magnificent , top coach Toony, should better grumpy old Cotter with daylight between, no shades of grey.

      2. Bass i just mean for going for the championship it’s win or bust…certainly not for overall progress. But 3rd or even 4th again could come our way with a loss.

        4 wins regardless of championship is a huge step although Italy is no gimme.

  7. A poor game from us, but in the end no disaster and still in the hunt. I think no reason to fear the Irish overly…we will win if we play well.

    1. “A poor game from us”? What channel were you watching, pal? Gone With The Wind on BBC2? We absolutely canned the French in the second half.

    2. What? This is the best Scotland team I’ve watched. Great performance. Of course disappointing, but we had a lot to chase. Brown’s overthrow was the point it got away, real shame.. Not sure why Turner went off he was having a great game. Overall, it was fine margins, great rugby, and we were a bit unlucky on a few decisions.

      1. “we had a lot to chase” – I’m pretty sure it started 0-0! It’s time to own our mistakes…in the first ten minutes we dug ourselves a hole that we couldn’t climb out of.

    3. Yes poor: poor decisions, poor execution and poor discipline lost us a winnable game. There was a lot to like too but in the end we got zero championship points and they got 5- clearly it was not a good performance either by the standard of the 6N competition or our potential.

      1. Nonsense. To call that performance poor you have to have some standard to measure it against. Which ‘great’ Scotland performance are you comparing it to? Or what tournament standard? Over the last decade we have never put together an 80 mins with such individual talent, overall shape, attacking prowess, defence, depth on the bench, and psychological strength to stay in it. Sure there were mistakes, not many teams don’t screw it up here and there. But apart from the first 15 mins that saw us almost buried, the team rose to the challenge and were frustratingly close to taking it. Biggest mistake imo was the sub of Turner and Ritchie Gray, they should have stayed on, but easy to say now…By our historical standards that was a very good performance. We’re not a Grand Slam team, not yet, we need to make the hard yards to get to that level, and that’s what we saw. Scotland have been frankly laughable and wooden spoon contenders for most of 6 nations history. Finally we are developing into a solid side.

      2. Au contraire I would say a very good game from us. We kept one of the top teams in the world to less than 10% possession second half and had them en toaste.

        But for a wee bit of luck and a different ref we would have won. Sport at this level is such fine fine margins. Disappointed not to win ? Yes. Heartened by the fact we are now consistently challenging the top teams with an excellent squad ? Also Yes.

        Sacre bleu mate give me this over anything for the past 20 years.

  8. So much in that game. Initial thoughts. Well played Scotland. I had a terrible sinking feeling with brown and his darts !

    But we are a classy side. Absolutely we can win the triple crown

    Huw Jones and George turner with Finn wow. When is darcy due back?

  9. Referee was a dumb act. Not only looking to excuse the French red but failing to spot at least one totally bent French line out and penalising us for a couple of perfectly straight “forward passes”. Should have gone to Specsavers. Along with Fraser Brown.

  10. Can anyone explain how a player is awarded Man of the Match for two touches when his team record 5% possession in the second half? Huw Jones should have scooped the Dairy Milk today for his running lines, or Finn for calm recovery and capacity of imagination after blindspot of the interception try.

    1. Jones was immense. As was Finn, Tui and more. Missed Horne coming on and adding zip, Dempsey is great.

      Game fizzled out – opportunity lost and ref killed it with the pen plus walk back, but tonnes of credit all round.

      Gave them too much of a headstart but this team can always score.

      Roll on Ireland, test, triple crown and World Cup bragging rights. There is potentially much more to come. Need a bit of pain and drive to focus for Ireland…

  11. After the first Red card I would have bitten your hand off for that final score but after the way the game unravelled I now sit dejected.
    To be honest the French were threatening to run up a cricket score but after Haouas got carded they completely changed and as a team stopped the aggression, possibly frightened of the dressing down Galthie / Edwards would give them for subsequent card offences. They now pride themselves on their defence and discipline.
    Hard to make out if our performance was down to our own skill or the fact we were allowed free reign.

  12. Time to bring back Chris Harris ( joke )
    Well done the boy’s, I know there is a lot more to come.

    1. Joking aside – the 6-2 split didn’t really do much for us. Would much rather have a centre on the bench. Jones picked up a niggle towards the end and maybe should have come off but we really don’t want Kinghorn at centre or to have to shift Russell out.

  13. not too disappointed today – we put in a great shift to get back in the game, but our terrible start was too much of an ask. Must now get something out of the Irish game – and lets not give a 19 point lead this time!!

  14. Folk are being too hard on Brown. Ritchie was lifted too early AND, according to my lad who has watched it back, not supported properly so he didn’t get full reach. It was a timing issue that we might just have got away with even if the early lift was executed perfectly. Brown’s throw looked perfectly good to me.

    5h1t happens though. We just didn’t get the wee run of the ball at vital times. The French second try only came because the ball came off Steyn’s foot at the ruck. Their third an interception from their own 22 and their fourth only came about because we conceded field position trying to chase the game from our 22.

    On another day none of those tries are scored and we take some of the chances mentioned above.

    As for France’s first try, that was just perfectly executed bludgeoning rugby. I’m not sure anyone would have stopped that (although the penalty we gave away on halfway to give them their field position was disappointing).

    I have always said I would prefer to watch a free flowing Scotland that loses trying to play than a play by numbers Scotland that win but bore everyone to death. I feel vindicated today. ;-)

  15. Great game, France were in a match and we might just get them in the Autumn. It feels better , we were never out of it, but we lost and no point to show. Home advantage is a big one . Now I might be wrong but when the camera panned on Toony and Galthie talking after the game, I don’t think that was a friendly chat. Huw Jones and Tui , amazing. Jones must be up for one of the players of the tournament.

  16. I watched the game in the pub so heard minimal commentary and will need to watch again. Key points for me.
    Gilchrist was probably a bit unlucky, by thr letter of the law it’s probably red but have seen plenty same/worse given as yellows.
    Ref seemed to be looking for reasons to let what’s his name, Jamie Ritchies pal off with a yellow when it was a clear red all day long and twice on a Sunday, didn’t hear the commentary / refs mic to hear what was going on though.
    Hard to be too annoyed when we played very well for large swathes of the game, were the better team and played all the rugby against the no2 side in the world.
    We didn’t panic and slowly brought ourselves back into the game.
    Really disappointing to lose the losing BP at the end and give France a try BP, regardless of what happens now that will likely cost us any chance of the tournament.
    Huw Jones is immense, wrong 13 got MOTM.
    The botched lineout was the turning point and last nail in the coffin, if we secured that we would likely have taken points, may not have won but France wouldn’t have scored that all important try.
    Frances physicality in defence was amazing to watch but we dealt with it, nothing to fear in Ireland.
    Couple of the tries we gave away were fairly soft.
    Was a great and very enjoyable game of rugby to watch. Happy to watch a Scotland side going down fighting than a dour narrow loss that we never looked like winning.

    1. Agree…
      Hugh Jones looked absolute class today….what stuck out most for me with his play was his hard work around the park in defense and solid tackling.
      He really looked a great all round centre today. Hope he is fit and healthy for Ire …we’ll need him for sure.

      We really need to sort our lineouts….cant always rely on a 6’10 33 yr old

    2. Absolutely right on all your counts, I.8T. The real deal also now is no more yak on this chattery about supposed ineffectitude of Toonie, compared to couple of months ago. Interesting his comments on TV interviews this w/e about not having been made an offer by SRU. He and Russell seem to have mended their ways, and that’s a blessing for us all watching what happens on the turf.

  17. Not making excuses but I’m interested in the penalty count. I’ve not seen stats but I’m pretty sure the ref warned the french in the first half. Second half they gave away a number of penalties and penalty advantages in and around the 22… a couple of times for multiple offences. I may have missed something but no yellow cards?

    1. yes…something GT pointed out …penalty after penalty yet no card??…would have put France right up against it.

      1. Sequence of penalties against France:

        10th min – sealing off (20m from own line)

        12th min – offside (2m) – upgraded to red card for contact with the head

        16th min – in at the side of maul (9m)

        23rd min – offside (5m)

        25th min – offside (2m) – warning given

        43rd min – offside at a ruck (30m)

        45th min – in at side of maul (62m)

        47th min – high tackle (23m) – advantage played and Jones scored

        48th min – offside at ruck (5m) – advantage was played and Jones scored

        58th min – advancing in front of kicker (c. 20m) – Scotland were given the option of the penalty from where the offside was or scrum from the point of the kick and opted for the scrum

        65th min – scrum pen (5m)

        68th min – scrum (5m) – advantage was played and Russell scored

        74th min – sealing off at ruck (80m)

        Any ref is going to treat the scrum as its own entity for repeated infringement, so after the warning, I think there was 1 offence which might have given a realistic chance of a YC being shown – the offside in the phase prior to Jones’ 2nd try, 23 minutes after the warning.

      2. Good to see the actual sequence…thanks
        It seemed like there were more in the second half but was probably just the tension in the match messing with the brain.
        Still feel there were a number of French infringements that went unpunished and would perhaps have forced a card had they been penalized for.

      3. Interesting to see, thanks Kevin. I feel like, had Jones not scored, that would have been the moment where the ref may had gone to the pocket.

      4. I feel looking at that that the French pushed the elastic just about to limit without it snapping…that is a skill in itself and as happened against Ireland years ago prob 2017 we lost a try instead of a yellow which helped win the game.

        Need to watch game to get a better overall look.

        I feel we took too long to score with that scrum decision…almost 15 mins….even score at 63/65 we have a little more time.

        We couldn’t make another field position error and we did on 75

  18. A hard result to take. We were great for the majority of the game – just that old issue of daft mistakes has cost us. That lineout throw took me back to 2015 v Australia.
    Not entirely sure why Gray needed to come off. He was imperious in the lineout and the maul had been a real weapon – I have no doubt that we’d have secured the ball with his calm presence had he been on the pitch.

    Hogg also had a good game – I just wish that if Kinghorn had to come on, that he replaced Hogg as he had done in the prior two games – Kinghorns’ knock-on on 71 mins from that high ball set the wheels in motion for that last ten mins.

    Some of the play was just outstanding. Yes, Finn threw that intercept but without him we are nowhere near as good a side – I genuinely wouldn’t swap him for anyone. He didn’t dwell on the intercept and really ran the game well. Huw Jones was also immense – so good to see him back to his best.

    The ref certainly had his moments. A couple of phantom forward passes and calling a squint throw for us whilst missing squint lineout throws from France didn’t really endear him – and the less said about the flying headbutt the better. I hope that Schoeman isn’t gng to be cited for the forearm to the head/neck that happened in the second half – surprised that the French tv crew weren’t all over it.

    The Slam is gone. Let’s dust ourselves off and focus on securing the Triple Crown. Forget the 6N title permutations for now – any win will do.

  19. The tempo and eventual result reminded me a bit of the All Blacks game in the Autumn.
    Maybe a bit of nervousness at the start combined with a French backlash from their game v Ireland saw them put on a lead and in the end we just didn’t have enough, but it was close.

    We crossed the line and couldn’t ground it or were stopped an inch short how many times? 3? 4?!

    In the game v England, England led 20-12 at one stage but in that game we managed to get the ball over the whitewash.

    Fine margins.

    Ireland will be favourites next game but I think we can do them.

    1. I think that’s the point, we were held up or just short a few times which would’ve changed things.

      It was game that Horne could’ve brought something to, but beyond that a very good performance and the French crowd were totally silent for a long time.

      We’re still in the championship


  20. Looking back at the game France’s defence was pretty amazing. Their wider defence caused us some problems and they were the first team in a while to get a grip of our wingers. That wider defence did make it easier for our midfield to score though. Their defence of first phase was also excellent. Just wish one of our many mauls or scrums in their 22 had resulted resulted in a score.

    1. Just back from Paris. Yes, France’s defending was outstanding, and it probably won them the match.
      I’ve honestly never heard a home crowd in SdF be so quiet for most of a second half. They knew they were in serious trouble after half-time.
      I still don’t know exactly what went wrong at the line-out (haven’t watched a recording yet), but it was a clear turning point in France’s favour when they were under the pump.
      We looked fitter than France, certainly over the second 40 minutes.
      Such a shame. Could have been an absolutely epic comeback win.

      1. It was Fraser penalty machine Brown that had a malfunction in the line out. We should have nailed it in the last 20 but that malfunction gave them a break which they had precious little of in the second half. I suspect his confidence then slumped and we got mad ref with not straight taking advantage to remind us he was there. He did not have Gilco as he would in training. Just something that happened. Maybe Richie G should have stayed on.

        There is one other factor. See Neil’s post, the scrum half predictions made prior to the game , were probably right. We could gave done with a live wire but we got safe hands. Love and kisses to all Ali Price fans out there, he was not poor , he was not brilliant, just safe when we needed to challenge them, timing IMO.

  21. What a game, rugby eh. As a spectacle for the neutral that was something else. Yes the win didn’t happen but the level of performance, endeavour and skillset was as good if not better than the previous 2 games. We still have every chance of beating Ireland and Italy and who knows. We had no chance of beating France, yet until 5 mins to go France were being cut open and Scotland should have won that. Thats sport though, but the team should take a lot from that including being switched on from kickoff. Also bring back George Horne. Ali Price is not the 9 we need now. Maybe put Mish on the bench and start Crosbie.

  22. It’s just so frustrating that we dont get there – in the last few months we were better team v Aus,NZ and France but lost them all

    That for me is the key going forward – finding a way to win these games

    1. But others we do win ? England were ahead at half time and but for an amazing slick try at the end we would have prob lost. That’s top level sport. If we keep putting ourselves in the mix in these games then eventually we will win a championship. I’m gutted about the result but very impressed with the performance overall. France away and we bossed them !

  23. As good a match as it was to watch…and we had many players who had a good game..we came up short against a side that were well beaten by Ireland. The slow start and mistakes we produced can’t happen against Ireland. We’ll get pumped if we do.
    Thats 3 matches in a row we have started poorly …and Im sure Ireland coaches will be noting that.
    Ireland have a superior defense to France…and we’ll have to be super sharp in attack to get through. We can’t have the same failed lineouts or botched passing moves …that will just be gobbled up by an extremely efficient Ireland unit. irelands style of play is very suited to strangle ourselves and France.
    It will probably take the best performance we have produced in memory to win that one.
    In all 3 of our matches so far we have not been clean enough in our rugby so Im not super hopeful…we’ll see tho. GT needs to get that selection and game plan spot on…I’d say this match is going to be the biggest test of his international coaching to date.

    1. I’d say his selections and game plans have been excellent so far. The question is – has always been – can he get players into a headspace where they genuinely, in their hearts, believe they can beat Ireland? Fragile mentality is always what’s undone this generation.

      Home advantage can mean a lot here. France are a brilliant home team – they’ve lost one 6N game at home this world cup cycle (us in 2021). I do feel like we fans have a part to play – if we do start slow, is the energy from the crowd going to be “we’ll get pumped”? Hoping we can help them to find a level they didn’t know they had. As you’ll say, they’re likely to need it.

  24. Ben fricking White man. What a find. Smart, quick, brave in all senses of the word. Only 24, so much more to give. I think Toonie deserves credit for giving him the nod at the start of this tournament – Price at 9 would have passed without comment. But this guy has grabbed his chance and it’s phenomenally exciting.

  25. My overall feeling is we lost that with too many errors (sounds obvious) but more that than playing away from home. I don’t think we messed by playing the away from home pressure.

    I think that has gone from this side which is important. We can play whats in front of us and win a game whether crowd is for or against us.

    So much good stuff to build on….it really was close and we can probably credit France for holding on just…we are still going in right direction. Given choice of one to lose id choose France…

    …I have a feeling we’ll batter Ireland just like Gatling did us in 2018…not sure why but I’ve got a feeling.

  26. Did we not take the 3 at crucial moments??

    Did we miss that trick?

    I think we got stuck in we’re too far behind to just take three.

    Maybe something to chew over?

    1. I think repeatedly going for the corner and keeping possession worked in our favour. France had a much larger pack that were noticeably less effective in the second half having spent so long defending.

      We were smart and made a lot of the right decisions but our execution and conversion let us down a bit unfortunately.

      1. But that’s the point it’s unlikely you convert everytime. I’m guessing but might have been 1 in 2 we converted. That is pretty standard what wasn’t standard was our previous rate of much higher in prev games. You cannot expect that so you take the 3 on occasion….we exited very well in general so with French slowing tiring we get back then go for the try having built pressure.

        It took us ten mins to get the try from 58 mins to 68 to get that 7 pointer yet we had 3 points on offer from the 58th min. 25-17 with 20 mins to go you don’t need two tries you need one. Completely different picture….we needed to take the points.

      2. I think mostly the corner was the right choice but if we kick one of those penalties and then at the point where we get 4 behind, we’d only be 1 behind – that’s a completely different vibe even if we can’t do drop goals…

    2. I agree that I think we got that tactic right. I think rugby has changed a bit in the last decade or so. Back then it was take the points every time and every team did it. Problem is when you take the points you are immediately defending in your own half again. When is the last time you saw a drop goal? Same logic. The alternative is keeping the pressure on tiring them out, drawing more penalties / potential cards. The only thing is, you need to be clinical, how many times have we seen it that we do that then go and give away a stupid penalty and hand the initiative back with no points to show. Generally we have been clinical, few errors at the weekend but even so a huge improvement on recent years. When we got to around a score away we should have maybe considered it but I can’t really recall many gimmie 3 pointers at that point and we were very much on top in the match.

    3. I think we should have taken the 3 at that point to be honest. Our restart was functioning well so I would have taken it.

      I think it sends a message to the opposition that we are serious as well. We back ourselves to get 3 here and still score more to chase you down.

  27. Given everything (the way we play, it was in Paris/French home record, the Ireland v France game, Finn Russell etc) I’m not sure the result was anything but ok/acceptable/no bad.
    Do think we miss Darcy Graham too (who wouldn’t)
    Fascinating to find out if we can figure out a way to challenge Ireland, we have home advantage and we can create chances against everyone.
    I’d have Crosbie back in the 23

    1. Italy did it so we’ll have clues there…think we need to be ahead early…Ireland very tough chasing game especially if we don’t know when to take three points on occasion

    2. We certainly miss Darcy’s create from nothing abilities but I think Kyle Steyn has been solid, he’s a Sean Maitland type of player that doesn’t really do anything flash but has a knack of being in the right place at the right time and doesn’t do much wrong.

      Did we ever establish if Crosby was injured? Certainly didn’t do anything to warrant dropping and Mish, as much as I love him and know how great he can be, didn’t do much to warrant his parachuting straight into the starting 15. Fair enough he didn’t get a chance to show much at the weekend, he was the right person to take off for J Gray following the red card as he lends the least bulk to the scrum, isn’t a line out option, isn’t the captain and taking off a back would have been mental.

      I don’t think the 6/2 split worked and I rarely think it does. Back to a bench of Horne, Kinghorn and Harris please. Didn’t think Ali Price was bad when he came on at the weekend but its still Horne for me.

      I hope Toonie doesn’t knee jerk and sticks with essentially the same team.

      Ireland are a very hard team to chase if they get ahead, they just (literally) suffocate the life out of the game and few teams can break out of that. Get them having to do a bit of chasing and I think we stand a chance. Need to start the games better though, thats all 3 games now we have been fairly/very poor in the first 15-20mins.

      1. I just think that playing an out and out 7 , a smaller backrow ,is a luxury we can’t afford.
        It seems to me the test level 7s are getting bigger and bigger.
        The 7 has to be able to play 6 effectively also I think. I prefer Crosbie in there. Even Darge is bit on the small side…but he makes up for it with excellent technique and rugby awareness such that he can play 6 also. Against Ireland id be thinking Dempsey 8 Ritchie 7 Fagerson 6 … with Crosbie or Bayliss on the bench.

        Thats said GT will no doubt give me a headache with his selection…..especially after his post match ‘we played the best we have this 6N v France’ comments.

        Agree ..Horne for me above Price also…just offers much more threat…and can kick penalties better than Slinghorn. Either that or Healy gets a bench spot.

    3. Im not sure if we do miss D Graham…I mean .yes kinda…he is a very exciting player in attack..BUT…imo playing 2 attack minded wingers leaves you exposed. Steyn offers a defensive balance that I don’t think is there if we play Graham and DVDM in the same team…and against top teams like SA Ireland France etc you need that balance.

      1. Graham is one of the 1st names on the teams teamsheet, his ability to score tries/create opportunities is quite remarkable.
        At this juncture I agree re smaller backrow at 7 (at least until Darge is fit) I reckon a Crosbie type give you physicality and height.
        If we are not going 6-2 I’d say Harris gets no-where near rhe bench, Redpath for me

      2. Yes what I was trying to get at was that Graham is a great player in his own right…but that I think if we play DVDM and Graham in same side we lack balance that Steyn offers…a DVDM and Graham wing pairing sounds amazing on individual viewing but their strengths are too similar imo. I think a player like Steyn or Maitland offers good balance for either of them.

        I feel for Redpath…his injuries were not only tough ones but he’s found a way back to fitness when our centers are excelling. It’s a tough one to call for a bench spot….Harris gives you defensive stability and Redpath a creative replacement. One works incase of injury the other if things are going pear shaped.

  28. Ireland will short box kick (bring Hogg VDM into heavy traffic), they will be ultra physical in contact. Thewill attempt to own the space.
    50-22s and Finn in space will be absolutely key.

  29. I really think Ben White has made a real difference to our team. He’s added pace and offers a real threat from the base of the scrum/ruck. Horne only adds to that pace, which I think helps galvanise the team. I’d bring Horne back on the bench for Ireland and keep that positive vibe going for 80 minutes.

    1. But if he brings Horne back in. Maybe Toony will have changed his ways , however I do not think he is going to bring back Horne as it may look like he got it wrong against France.

      He also needs to cap Cooney, which might be against Italy , we can chat about that nearer the time. Italy will be desperate to avoid the spoon. I do not see that as a game to be taken lightly, a new unpredictable cap against them may be all wrong as well.

      1. GT might want to cap Cooney for self vindication but really think that’s an unnecessary sideshow, we do have strength in depth at 9 – if Price is considered by many as 3rd choice then things can’t be too bad there – and Cooney is getting on, very unlikely to make much of a long term contribution. Arguably the player that does need to be capped is Healy, though I haven’t seen play and none of us know how he’s showing in practice sessions. 10 is definitely more a concern regarding depth especially as Thompson is getting little game time, Kinghorn is an emergency stand-in stand-off and Hastings might not have many minutes this side of RWC. Italy game would be the more likely opportunity but then they shouldn’t be taken lightly and we might be in a position where winning that game with a BP is critical. Really don’t want too much experimentation as this time, though capping Healy would be an understandable exception.

  30. The general criticism of the referee is not misplaced but it was two critical errors which cost us this match viz. intercepted Finn pass and long throw over the scrum when we were in full control and threatening the line! The second half was one of the great come-backs which had us enthralled and the French crowd silenced! The lads will be up for it against a tired looking Irish side without Sexton…the trip to Paris was worth it and hopes must be high for the triple crown…truly Scotland the Brave this year!
    Alan W.

    1. If we are throwing over the scrum rather than feeding in then that would certainly cause concern ;)

      1. As I have constantly campaigned against Townsend taking over as
        Scotland coach , I am looking forward to his departure.
        I have constantly disapproved of his man management abilities. Finn Russell has missed out on a full career under Townsend, Huw Jones one of the greatest 13’s to ever play rugby was dropped for a missed tackle and replaced by a donkey that can’t play rugby and isn’t fit to clean Hew Jones’ boots . Six years ago we would have been here it wasn’t for Townsend.
        I think that the weight is off the boys shoulders now that Townsend is leaving. That’s why they are playing so free and easy.

      2. When it’s not broke don’t fix it it Townsend can’t stop being an OCD fixer . Bradbury is intimidating another animal that needs to be in the in crowd. Crosbie did nothing wrong and we won , why change it.
        The most important thing in health and safety so, unlike the round football game rugby is such a highly physical encounter that if the WORLD RUGBY UNION don’t change the red card rule…into one a player once a player has been red carded then after 10 minutes the team can bring a substitute from the bench. If this rule isn’t implemented then musculoskeletal injuries and brain injuries will increase, therefore its time to bad the spot of rugby under health and safety regulations.

      3. Red cards needs to be more entertaining, as do Yellows cards.

        If you get a yellow card you should have to sign a song to the crowd or something else embarrassing/humiliating such as serving food to the crowd while serving your time (or at half-time), something which not only better punishes & deters the player but also entertains the fans.

        Red card, you don’t just get to sit down for 80 minutes in the box, you should have to do laps round the field for the duration, others ideas etc.

      4. SAS: Townsend should never have been coach. I cannot argue with a word of what you say. I thought it might just be a bit too early for the players playing it their way and ignoring the almighty’s instructions (as the did second half of the England draw) But then again, maybe they are. We are still seeing a bit of the irrational behavior, George Horne should not have been dropped.

      5. SAS: Jones and Russell will be remembered when the other 10’s and 12/13’s just fade away.

      6. Love the idea Neil – maybe doing laps in the opposition’s team mascot costume or could bring back the ducking stool or the stocks????.
        Don’t like the idea of red card sanction being 10 minutes with a player short and then allowing a sub. Not much different to a yellow card and the offending team can bring on fresh legs for a player who might have been subbed anyway; too much incentive for cynical/“professional” red card scenarios. Needs to be more deterrent in a red card – maybe have a 10 point sanction as well as 10 minutes with a player down? Would like to see tactical substitutions removed from the game and allowing a sub for a red card just perpetuates the tactical sub scenario.

      7. > I have constantly campaigned against Townsend taking over as Scotland coach


        Whole comment manages to sound like both an AI that’s been fed purely Scottish Rugby Twitter and my dad after 5 pints, good job.

        I do agree on Townsend being a bit of an overfixer/tinkerer, though. Team is really benefitting from a bit of consistency in selection right now.

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