Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Six Nations 2024: Scotland v France Discussion Post

© Scottish Rugby Blog


2024 Guinness Six NationsSat 10th Feb 2024Murrayfield, EdinburghKick-off: 2:15 pm (UK)16-20


Referee: Nic Berry (RA)| TV: BBC Sport

Scotland return home and welcome a France team wounded by a stringing defeat to Ireland last Friday night. How did Scotland play? Did the selections work? Where it all go wrong/right?

Give us your thoughts on the game.

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.

124 Responses

  1. Scotland did not deserve to win as they were completely clueless and lacking ambition especially in the second half. Russel was utterly pathetic doing his prima Donna kicking game.

    1. Yeah we weren’t great, it was a poor game, but we were better than France, a country that rugby resources vastly outstrip ours. We were cheated out of a win, albeit a game we shouldn’t have been waiting until the 80th min to win.

    2. I cannot believe the criticism of Russell on here. The kicking impasse was created by France negativity and World Rugby’s reluctance to change a nonsense rule. Yes, we should have won and put it to bed early but to not recognize one of the greatest talents (and hard working, defensively) Scotland has ever produced is nothing short of incredible.
      In the end, there are still pictures, captured from the tv feed that show the ball on the ground. the referee asked the wrong question and then the officials were not courageous enough to admit it. The TMO seemed to panic when his original position was going to change the referee’s decision. I do admit that officials are under huge pressure and we should have won it earlier.

    3. In what way does a team who manages to generate plays which lead to, what should have been, more points, not deserve to win?

      If Scotland didn’t deserve to win what does it say for France that it took awful officiating for them to win.

      It’s International Rugby decided on the margins and generally few points, if a side engages in an act which should lead to points and the official doesn’t reward them it means they have taken away the right to win.

      The often said statement of “should have done more” and “didn’t deserve to win” since Saturday shows a complete lack of understanding of the sport

    4. I am confused on this? Scotland were leading the entire 70 minutes of the game? And how were we clueless if we clearly outlined why the try should have been allowed?

  2. I have no idea what the game plan was in the second half.we were obviously the better team but we refused to play rugby. Russell had one of those games where everything he tried was the wrong option..
    For the second week in a row we couldn’t get over the line at the end of the game (according to the tmo and ref) but at the end of the day we got exactly what we deserved…

    1. That’s pure cringe comment, the “we are not worthy of of jack” type attitude. Just agree the ref botched his job and we should have won.

      1. Who said “not worthy ” I simply said that if we had a coherent game plan ,we would have won without having to rely on a ref/tmo decision.

  3. Robbed. Clear try at the end. Absurd that semantics between Ref and TMO force the wrong decision, cazy. That was a solid and very positive game from Scotland. Sure not much for the fans but that’s what you do when faced with such dangerous runners in France. Very disappointing, but actually Scotland looking as solid as I’ve ever seen. Small small margins……

    1. Agreed. Everyone can clearly see it’s not the wrong decision. If that was the French and the try was awarded, I wouldn’t see it as remotely controversial

    2. Totally agree. We’ve been rightly criticised for 5 years or more for being naive, only wanting to play fast and loose, and therefore getting bullied by the big 3/4 teams in world rugby. Yesterday the game plan was smart, set piece was strong, we fronted up as well as I can remember, and tried to play canny in 2nd half, which almost worked against an incredible french team. Also, don’t forget we are without 2 of our best strike runners Darcy and steyn.

      As for the kicking, every other big team ends up doing this at times, which is a factor of the current laws. From memory, most of the time we came out of those pinball sessions at least on par or better.

  4. The fact that the subs came on so late was an issue. Couldn’t grab the initiative in the last quarter. Gutted by the decision on the try at the end. But too paasive for the majority of 2nd half.

    1. Agreed. When French subs came on they gave France momentum. At the point we’d stopped that (with the kick tennis) our subs should have been on to up the tempo for us.

  5. I thought we had discarded the headline ‘ snatched defeat from the jaws of victory’ however the same old problems which have plagued us in the past reappeared. Against a pretty poor french team yet again we had the opportunities and yet again our forwards huffed and puffed but couldnt blow the wall down. The French were there for the taking but our tactics in the second half were completely unfathomable. Utterly depressing.

  6. Managed the game really well I thought. Lost the lead with a bit of magic from France then had the fight and tenacity to battle down the field and score what was quite clearly a try at the end. Thought everything was pretty much spot on, we lost to a silly semantic argument between ref and tmo.

    1. Managed the game really well??
      Why then was Russell kicking straight back to them rather than put it out of play in their half and challenge the French lineout which was creaking all game..
      Agree that we were robbed especially when the tmo said it was a try at the end and then bottled it when the ref said I may award the try….End of the day we showed no ambition and had no idea in the second half

      1. France were chasing the game, it was good game management. Poor old Finn can’t win can he? Damned if he does damned if he doesn’t. We were robbed of a victory against one of the big guns by a very, very weird decision at the end.

    2. I think Russell is a good player & talented. But not really a leader. Coaches need to ensure the team play for 80 minutes, not 40. We used to come out and play better in the 2nd half. Now we seem to get ahead then sit back & relax. Lacking fire, very frustrating for fans.

      1. Russell had a good game. But captaining from halfback is always a challenge and I agree he’s not the right choice to skipper. 10s are always leaders – they have to be, they drive the whole attack. But adding more decision making to the role and ref comms etc is a big ask and I think there are better options. Without knowing the players properly, I couldn’t say who that right choice is – my best guess would be Darge.

  7. Where else was the ball going to go after the ball rolled off the boot and a Scotsman was lying on top of it without any part of a Frenchman in sight – Timbuktu? Off to fetch some groceries at Tesco

    When every other possibility has been discounted then what remains is the truth – terrible decision

  8. Lineouts went well. Gregor must of course have been reading the blog.

    Could have done with Matthews to barrel over the line. The forwards can never quite manage to pick and go can they.

    Thought game management and territory was done very well. Aside from not taking three points at the end of the first half.

    Two very bad decisions from the officials: knock on when the French were exiting their half; final grounding.

    Should have been out of sight however.

  9. Cannot believe Nic Berry didn’t just ask try or no try. But TMO bottled it in the end.
    Kick fest was rubbish to watch but only went on cos the kicks were so good that counter attack was too risky.
    At the end of the day we deserved to win and would have if the ref and/or TMO had the balls to say what they think. Either ref to change his mind or TMO to say 95% is good enough to say conclusive.

    1. Just listened to the BBC Daily podcast (Chris Jones, Ugo etc – waiting on Tam English’s coming out tomorrow hopefully).

      I didn’t know this had happened, but apparently they stopped the “Try / no Try” option for Refs as coaches / teams / players had complained that it meant the ref was deferring too much in too many scenarios to put the onus completely on the TMO, so they’ve come to this needing some kind of decision from the Ref on the field first before referral. I was wondering when I’d last heard Try/No Try and it has been quite a while.

      It’s all just really unfortunate. Still shouldn’t have stopped Nic Berry from also viewing the footage and going “that’s all right Macneice, even though you are waiting for impossible proof, I’ll just go with my eyes, thanks for the footage”. If he’d seen that much on the pitch, then he’d have awarded a try right away I’m sure.

  10. Think we might need some mods in these comments.

    Really disappointing result. Managed the game pretty well but couldn’t turn the screw. Small margins, but I think we will rue the points we didn’t take when France were down to fourteen.

    Might be the weather, or Paterson coming into fullback very late, but our back play lacked coherence. Even when we did get it into hand, we looked like we couldn’t find a way around the blitz and were going backwards.

    I haven’t had a chance for a second look, but was the Penaud knock on really sideways? Looked forward on first viewing.

  11. Two things :
    1)You need to score points when they drop to 14.
    2) You need to win at home.

    Other than that , there was a lot of things to be positive about.

  12. Watched on TV in Spain as I could not make my trip this year to stadium.
    Ridiculous ending, robbing us of a needed win.
    Hard not to highlight what a poor support Scotland has at Murrayfield. I was there last year for the Scotland Ireland game and it was a home game for Ireland – you could have heard Fields of Athenry all around Edinburgh. Scots fans make no noise in key moments. Marseillaise booming out on BBC today …. Feel sorry for our players as all other teams have passionate supporters.

  13. Mate showed me a view of the last minute try from Youtube that showed a Scot arm with downward pressure that wasnt shown on the game. It was clearly a try. Dont know what you moaners want. Stick to footy. It was a more professional performance from Scotland than I’ve seen in a while. In the past being ahead a Scotland team and Finn would have tried to throw the wonder pass, go wide that would have had us lose by 2-3 tries when no openings were there. We played like winners do by playing territory and we should have won if the ref had got it right. Finn pinned them back with brilliant kicking, our forwards gave them no momentum and we controlled the game. A kick through for them bounced in the hands of their speester got them back in. I’m reminded of Ireland on their way up, so long, so close nearly beating the All Blacks but failing. Then they did. Scotland have shown the magic not the nounce to win, today they showed they are on their way to doing that. A poor mistake meant a game we came back to win was wrongly scored.

  14. Overall another one that got away, would Ireland, England or France have got that end decision at home.. yep
    2nd half, dropped off a little too much and some wasteful kicking.
    Shame as think we will beat Italy and England, so a grand slam finale against Ireland although highly unlikely to win it, but to be in it would have be good fun.

  15. Hats off to Paterson who I thought did well after being dropped into the team. I have to question why Steyn was ever in the team with his wife due to give birth.

    The kicking game seemed to suck the momentum out of the French after their subs had come on and given them some go forward so it seemed like the correct idea. However, I do feel we kept it going a bit too long. I know we had a lead but it wasn’t an insurmountable one and after quietening the French we should have gone back to our attacking game that was causing them problems at the start of the game. For me, that meant the bench should have been used earlier to see if fresh legs could have affected the game. Still feels like Toonie doesn’t get his use of the bench right in games.

    We really need to work on how we get over the line from close range.

    So disappointing to lose a game it feels like we were capable of winning (and quite probably did win!) and again only really having ourselves to blame.

    1. Agree with lots of that. Except ….we did get over the line from close range. I’d argue we did last week as well.

      Thought the kicking was spot on. Sucked the fight from the french when momentum was building and it took a great bit of play to get that try for them.

      Russell superb. Just willed that chance into existence with his awareness at the end. TMO a complete disgrace. Changed his mind when it was so obviously a try.

      1. Not mentioned elsewhere; yes Russell won the turnover with sheer grit that should have won us the game.

  16. Can a mod come and take away the right wing troll. Completely ruining this usually great blog.

  17. wow likes like a psycho is on here.

    Last post not mine btw.
    On to rugby. I thought Paterson looked the business, big plus. I was really worried about the line out without Ritchie Gray and how well did we do. Said to my mate this losing performance (wrongly called) gave me more hope than even last year that Scotland have a small potential to win the 6 nations with this group. Sadly with lack of talent coming through it might mean its our last chance for a while. Three years maybe. Also Ireland need to fall off their pinnacle for anyone else to have a chance. Well teams do fall off. Look at France.

    1. Also Ireland need to fall off their pinnacle for anyone else to have a chance. It might be awhile
      as Ireland have won 3 of the last 4 years u20 6 nations ,completing grand slams on each occasion. One of the more recent recruits got Man of the Match at age 22 in the recent 38-17
      victory in Marseilles.

  18. I’ve no real complaints about today’s result. Went toe to toe against a still very good France side, were the better team overall and couldn’t capitalise on a dominance up front that took me by surprise.

    I did wonder how Fickou had so much space to run in his try. And I thought the second France try came after a clear forward pass.
    If the ref at the end had signalled an onfield try decision, the TMO would have endorsed it.
    Small margins, as they say. C’est la vie.

  19. Not posted in here for a long time, thought there might be some interesting stuff about the game but apparently the lads who run the site are happy to have obvious trolls spouting off about “trannys” on their rugby website

  20. Unfortunately this entire post may as well be deleted due to one seemingly pished bellend who’s bolloxed it for the rest of us.

    1. I think that would probably be best. Ctrl-alt-del called for on this one I think.
      Good night.

  21. More depressing than today’s result has been the gutter level trolling by a so-called Scottish rugby supporter on this site. Off piste and derogatory personal attacks going unmoderated. If this site wants to nurture and encourage genuine debate and engagement then it is going to have to set the entry bar far higher than the swamp life that has infected tonight’s exchanges. Nothing wrong with disagreement and heated debate but the vitriolic and frankly bizarre attacks on posters are out of order.

    1. I don’t get why you are so worked up? Its a public forum and he gave a legitate opinion on the rugby. People took offence to it – I guess because it was scathing on Russell and then he insulted those people that insulted him first.

      who cares ? seriously arnt you the baby ? what makes your stance better ?

    2. “More depressing…” Totally right. Thank you for intervening. Have also alerted site owners, as per my post several below.

  22. Scotland have lost in the past and Ive been very proud of how they have played and represented themselves. But never have they won (as in last week) and Ive been so embarrassed with the result. You would have thought they would take something, learn something from that ? But today was similar, and at least they lost and they deserved to lose. You have to ask serious questions as to why this is happening in the team and why fans and people on this forum think this is acceptable.

    If this is the mentality of the sport and the nation I may just stop watching now.

    1. We’ve lost in the past and you’ve been proud, we won last week and you were embarrassed, you’re glad we lost yesterday?

      Sounds like you might have misunderstood the point of playing sport!

  23. Is no one from ScottishRugbyBlog monitoring these posts? Until this week, it was a home to informed and respectful comments about a sport and a team we all love. We don’t want the abusive language and flagrant misogyny of some self-styled “character” lowering our collegiate tone. Please remove all his disgusting posts and block all further from that source.

    1. Totally agree. I once got banned for a month on this site within a couple of hours of posting my opinion that the women’s game wasn’t worth watching and was bleeding necessary resources that the SRU couldn’t afford.

      I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that this is now accepted. The “character” on the podcast called anyone who shared that opinion an “absolute knuckledragger” this week. So it seems this kind of discourse is now what they’re going for.

      I think I’ll vote with my feet and give both this site and the podcast a miss from now on. Shame really, a few years ago both were brilliant.

      1. Sadly have to agree with you SlowWalk90.

        Woke brigade took over the original blog, turned it into a podcast and alienated everyone away to TOS sadly by mainly talking about stuff non-rugby related, and only allowing 1 opinion on it. Only Rory and Kevin Millar had really tried to keep things going, by talking just about the rugby. (I see Rory is still trying).

        Best thing this site could do is distance itself from the agenda podcast and just keep things focused on what matters… the rugby.

        Really sad to see what became of this website, i remember their used to be multiple articles a week and a bunch of different writers… what happened?

  24. Please, he played the man not the ball. His opener was Russell is a “fat lazy alcoholic” and “arrogant fool”, while drunkenly repeating himself, in which part of the game – where Russell excelled – was this observed exactly?

  25. I don’t think the site owners can be blamed for not monitoring 24/7. They were probably watching the game. No doubt posts will be removed in time.

    The “tranny” stuff is such a non-issue, this idiot is worked up about it one way, Cam got worked up about it another way at another time. The statistical likelihood of such a minority being involved in such a minority sport in Scotland means is just a tool to cause others outrage.

    Every now again someone has too much and is kicked out the pub. It’s not the end of the world.

    Still can’t believe didn’t come away with the win there.

  26. After a fitful sleep (2 extra Singha Beers after “the try”)
    Was the kicking more from hand due to the absence of Graham Steyn Hastings Hogg Kinghorn and a (perhaps unconscious) lack of confidence in the boys on the field??
    Fed up with “the try” clearly a try but not given, not at all sure why it wasn’t but……….
    Paterson VDM Darge GG Schoeman played very well. Finn played with control, maybe too much control but his “steal” right at the end was superb.
    Missed Crosbie in the back row Fagerson and Dempsey were subdued.
    Finally re Paterson, is it not time that the best of the younger players are promoted into the full Edinburgh Glasgow squads, getting professional game time

    1. Agree with all of this John. Frankly a disappointing result but not really a disappointing performance. Patterson and Rowe need some serious credit for jumping in with both feet and playing well. Turner also had some excellent go forward, and the apparent quietness of our backrow is imo just testament to playing very physical world class French pack. We did well. We don’t need soul searching, we need some fine tuning and maintain course. Russell for all the abuse he’s getting is finally a calmer, more thoughtful player, resisting the urge to pass wide on his own line. I think fans just expect vdm 60 meter tries every game and easy wins, which in an age of data and diagnostics is not likely, teams get studied.

  27. Having watched the two under 20s games and being pleasantly surprised and to be honest, suitably impressed with the general performances (yes two defeats but both very close games) and also the performances of individuals in each game (some outstanding individual players coming through, we can be excited again & those boys are just a stand off away from winning games against the big boys).

    Add to the above, the performance of Paterson yesterday. 8 games in to a pro career & starting a huge match at zero notice and excelling…

    The future is brighter than we perhaps realise.

    What is absolutely essential is that these promising young players are given game time at our two pro clubs. Our two pro clubs becoming three pro clubs surely must be priority #1 for the SRU now?! It has to be, we need more game time & exposure for our young players.

    In the case of Paterson, outstanding on debut, does he even get into the Edinburgh squad post 6 nations?! No doubt Boffelli, a fine player, will keep him out. We need to Scottish up the pro clubs, same as the Irish regions do & get that third pro club established to increase the game time and opportunities for our young Scottish players ASAP…

    1. I fully agree with more game time for Scottish players and getting a third club as a way to do this. Question is, at what cost and can it be done whilst maintaining the standards at Edinburgh and Glasgow? You only have to look east from Ireland to Wales to see how the club game can become stretched too thin and result in problems.

    2. I agree. I watched the match expecting the worst….and instead was impressed by the level of play from our players and also that we looked far less like boys v Men as we did the last few years. Physically we looked stronger. France deserved their win…and we made some crucial errors…but we closed the gap for sure. There were some lads that stood out more than others…but I thought they played for each other ..which is more important imo.

      The pathway may well be working far better than I, or the majority of folks expected.

      Paterson was superb on his debut…one of the few statements where I agree with GT. I don’t see how he gets dropped…that sends a poor message to both the youth and snr lads.

  28. It’s a sad day when we have to read comments like this about our national team and sour a site that I look forward to. Leadership takes time to master and it’s easy to sit back and give pelters as they say. Its hard work being a Scotland fan and if your not prepared to dig in and support the lads then leave and spend your time doing something you enjoy.

  29. So frustrated with yesterday’s game on many points but with the try/non try I just feel that that try is given if your NZ SA IRE ENG WAL FRA and not given if YOUR AUS SCO ITA ARG JPN or an PI team ,also Georgia Portugal etc but hey-ho we must take it in our stride and so congrats to France on their win,good luck to all teams in the next round.

  30. Scotland’s disallowed try – the overwhelming weight of objective non-partisan professional punditry on TV and in print saw it as a try – shines a spotlight on a failure of refereeing procedure.

    If the referee on the field isn’t sure about a grounding, what right or logic is there in his declaring an on-field decision at all? It’s not a decision, it’s just an opinion, a viewpoint, a hunch.

    Have a read of this nonsense from the World Rugby’s TMO Protocol:[]

    “The referee will state an on-field decision and ask the TMO to provide specific broadcast angles that help in the making of the decision.” Read that carefully. It says the TMO helps the referee to make the decision he has already made. That’s plain wrong-headed and stupid.

    The only fair procedure is that the referee shouldn’t make an on-field decision at all if he isn’t sure. He should leave it to the TMO with the benefit of slo-mo pictures to decide. The TMO should not have to start from a position of supporting a referee’s opinion that the referee himself doesn’t have confidence in. As a start-point, it makes an ass of the whole TMO role and protocol.

    1. It was a comedy show from Berry and the TMO. Granted there was a pile of bodies but Berry had the best view and IMO played it safe by saying held up and passing the buck to the TMO for further review. The TMO then made a dog’s dinner of his review by firstly declaring the ball had been grounded before he’d completed his review of all the angles. Berry then says he was going to change his mind and award the try based on the TMO’s grounding claim which IMO spooked the TMO into seeking further evidence as Berry was distancing himself from the review which was really poor and the TMO didn’t want to shoulder responsibility. The two should have worked together and Berry should even have sought the opinion of his two assistants. There was no collective review/collaboration between the officials. Just two officials passing the buck to one another with neither wanting to take responsibility.

    2. In such instances where the referral relates to the scoring of a try, the referee (and the assistants where applicable) will state an on-field decision and ask the TMO to provide specific broadcast angles that help in the making of the decision. For clarity purposes, the on-field decision may comprise one of two scenarios: ▪ ▪ , with reasoning to substantiate such. , with reasoning to substantiate such. o Should the broadcaster provide an angle after a conversion takes place but before the restart has been taken, that clearly shows an infringement has taken place, then the TMO/referee should use the video referral process to deal with the infringement. o In such instances where the TO4 are unable to establish an on field decision of Try No Try their disposal the ability to indicate that the on field team are unsure as to whether a try has been scored nor not, and request the TMO to provide angles from which they can collectively make a more accurate decision.

      This is the protocol, The option to simply say “we don’t know, tell us what you see.” remains.
      The words conclusive evidence simply don’t exist in the protocol.
      And the guiding principal is for the team of 4 to simply make the most accurate decision.
      None of this was done!

  31. I hope Scotland rugby, rudderless as it may be, is considering contesting the result. Here is the line of thinking:

    – This was the last play of the game with a completely binary outcome.

    – If hypothetically the referee mistakenly counted a try for 7 points and awarded the wrong team victory, this would be overturned (manifest error etc). That has to be right, there would be a route for this by reference to the rules / administrative principles.

    – If the ball is over the line and shown to be by footage, and the TMO which says it is not is from a non-independent nation (with an interest in the result), are there any grounds for review?

    – Suspect if you get a top barrister on this the answer is, yes, there is an arguable case.

    – The Six Nations, France and World Rugby would hate it. But Scotland should argue this one. It’s break week. Don’t think it matters if there is no precedent or not in line with amateur rugby principles, this is the professional era, Joubert WC was bad enough, and there ought to be accountability.

    – It would also make great TV for Netflix, and more a hill to die on than the typhoon in Japan.

    Is anyone better-informed?

    1. Yes, I had wondered about this too. There should be right of appeal in (extreme) situations like this. Panels review RC decisions (and sometimes overturn them) so why not controversial decisions like this too? Obviously limits would need to be set. How they then go about overturning results I don’t know but I think the 6N especially (and the WC) is blighted by officiating like this, and it does lead to accusations of bias.
      Perhaps the easiest thing since such a review process would indeed be difficult would be to remove the sanctity of the “on-field” decision. That said both officials looked set to rule it was a try and suddenly the TMO backed off. It was weird to listen to!

      All that said, what really bothers me about Scotland’s performance is how in both 2nd halves these last two games, the Scots’ intensity dropped. Score more tries? Get a bonus point win? Such a contrast to the WC where Scotland hammered Romania and Tonga with big scores. The other thing is how at the end in both games the team seem to lose their heads to white line fever and fail to recycle and pass out to secure an unequivocal try. Failed twice. They were almost identical situations.

      1. Agree it would be simplest if there was a clearly defined right of appeal.

        Absent that (which I assume is the case), I would have thought that in having rules for the competition there is inherently going to be some level of challenge or review for at least the most extreme mistakes. And, how far does sanctity of on-field decision-maker go, what if the ref simply rules a try is worth ten points bc the person who scored it is an Irishman or decides the game should finish in the 60th minute?

        Would have thought that a last-act-of-the-game, binary outcome, error on TMO footage, with apparent bias of the decision-maker would make a pretty decent test case.

        I don’t know that, but again suspect a sports barrister/advocate could outline the position and get creative.

    2. Yes …It is interesting that a players actions can be cited and reviewed post match ..yet a referee’s decisions and performance never seems to be matter of debate and potential reverse.

      It was the most bizarre refereeing moment Ive witnessed for a fair while.
      Imo… it should have been a try awarded automatically and only then reviewed to prove otherwise. The ref said he didn’t see conclusively…yet players and ball were on or over the line.

      Simply poor officiating.

      Are Rugby officials saying that the benefit of doubt goes to the defending side ? How is that good for rugby and its promotion to the world?

      Why does this never seem to happen to teams outside the WROrg ‘favs’?? It just doesnt seem a level playing field for all teams to me.

      All that said, it was yet another game where, on the balance of play, we shouldn’t have been in the position to lose anyway…yet here we are.

      1. No issue with any of your points, but just wish to observe that save for ordering the game to be replayed, as has recently happened in the Belgian Pro League (soccer), there’s little that can be done to rectify an officiating error that, as we saw yesterday, undoubtedly affects the outcome of a match.

    3. Ordering replay could make sense in other extreme cases, but do not think would need to order a replay on this one. This was beyond the 80th minute and the last play of the game, with the ball either in or out (win or lose for Scotland). More like a tennis challenge. One of the reasons why it could be an exceptional case. Wouldn’t need to decide what happens in cases where the problem is at ten minutes in.

      1. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to allow teams a limited number of challenges as per the NFL. It would, however, require there to be officials who deal only with such challenges and are independent of the TMO.

        Another positive change would be to require all references to the TMO to be neutral: e.g. the question posed should be “try/no try?” rather than “the onfield decision is no try”. Placing an onus on the TMO to disprove the referee’s assessment is stupid, given the tools available to the former.

      1. Word rugby walk into the trap
        and fail to give any reasons, now for the challenge… error, bias, refusal to give reasons.

  32. I hope Scotland rugby, rudderless as it may be, is considering contesting the result. Here is the line of thinking:

    This was the last play of the game with a completely binary outcome.

    If hypothetically the referee mistakenly counted a try for 7 points and awarded the wrong team victory, this would be overturned (manifest error etc). That has to be right, there would be a route for this by reference to the rules / administrative principles.

    If the ball is over the line and shown to be by footage, and the TMO which says it is not is from a non-independent nation (with an interest in the result), are there any grounds for review?

    Suspect if you get a top barrister on this the answer is, yes, there is an arguable case.

    The Six Nations, France and World Rugby would hate it. But Scotland should argue this one. It’s break week. Don’t think it matters if there is no precedent or not in line with amateur rugby principles, this is the professional era, Joubert WC was bad enough, and there ought to be accountability.

    It would also make great TV for Netflix, and more a hill to die on than the typhoon in Japan.

    Is anyone better-informed?

  33. Hello all thanks for the reports we received last night. This isn’t a full time job and we don’t have 24hr mods. Comments that @ us are automatically hidden so that you can report concerns in safety, along with certain words – it’s not the mods somehow deleting you and allowing other things to go through as “proof” we’re ignoring you.

    I’ve cleared up a bunch of those comments which are absolutely not allowed as many of you rightly pointed out. Once I get to a computer I’ll remove any replies that don’t add to the debate but I can understand the frustration that led to those responses.

    I’d also like to thank those of you who do come to the site and contribute on the regular, post 6N we’ll be carrying out some research among readers and listeners to get feedback on the content of the site and podcast including things like this comments section.


    1. Thanks Rory. We appreciate you are all volunteers and the majority of us use the site for its intended purpose. It generally contains well thought through and respectful commentary. The nonsense that we saw yesterday was unique in all the years I have been enjoying the blog. It sounds like we won’t be hearing from him again. No loss.
      I am sure we all look forward to getting back to some sort of normal dialogue.
      All the best,

    2. Thanks Rory much appreciated ! Hopefully we can get back to the rugby chat :) I’ve never seen anything like that on here before. Usually brilliant contributors whether I agree with them or not.

    3. Thanks Rory. I know its hard, especially when talking as much utter p*** as that idiot the other day, some of which was just flat out offensive, but remember the #1 rule of the internet everyone.

      “don’t feed the trolls”.

  34. Hello,
    I’m french and I believe Scotland deserved to win yesterday. They played better than we did. We had quite a bit of luck troughout the game. And yes, for me, it was a try for Scotland.
    I am not happy of this kind of “victory” because it will hide the poor quality of our play at the moment. We need to face it quickly if we want to improve. Otherwise…
    I hope Scotland will keep improving and really would like to see Scotland win the tournament in a near future.

  35. Nothing further to add to the try that wasn’t debate other than nothing is going to change the result. Felt we were in control despite the awful kick tennis and I actually thought Finn had a really good game and took on the responsibility of kicking and returned well. If he had run it from the back and got turned over what would we have been saying today? Maybe if he had had Kinghorn and Graham alongside him it would have been different but I thought he protected Harry Paterson ( outstanding debut) really well.
    My issue with yesterday was around Toony’s (non) use of replacements. How often in an international, let alone against a top team like France, do you ask your TH to play 80 mins?? 3 of our replacements went unused and a 4th (Redpath) came on so late that we didn’t know he was there seems bizarre. I thought after the stoppage for Alldrit we should have freshener things up and shut France out.

  36. I didnt watch the game so cant comment specifically, but all reports suggest that we had plenty of opportunities to put the game to bed and not be reliant on the whims/mercy of the ref in last minute.

    We are now in a position where we can assume we will lose the Irish game and both the other games are games we can lose or win. I always feel 3 wins is decent, 2 wins a bit disappointing and 1 win a poor campaign, so plenty at stake

  37. For me,against the French,it got personnel for Russell(I can do that crap aswell)to the detriment of the team.

  38. Just another game that got away. The final moments were frankly ridiculous. Try was scored. This needs addressing, i just foresee wide-spread agreement on this then a contentious try being given against us !

    But we should have beaten a limited France. For me Townsend should go. We have seen a callow Wales re-building, Ireland so far away form everyone else. We should beat England and Italy with this squad.

    I just believe the group need new ideas and a focus on closing out games. One thing i disagree with a lot of posts in relation to Finn. Fantastic player, and co-capt. for me so far. Just my view and opinion however

  39. I just watched the ‘No try’ incident again and perhaps I’m being paranoid but it looks like France 19 drops his (massive) arm to the ground to obscure the view of the ball (from both Berry and the cameras). If that was deliberate then he won them the game. Like I said I could be wrong. Either way I still maintain that Berry and the TMO failed to work together effectively. Berry played it safe by saying held up on field and passed the buck to the TMO who backtracked after Berry made it clear that he was going to change his mind solely based on the TMO’s grounding call. The TMO then got spooked and backtracked. Neither took responsibility and it was an example of the officials failing to work together. Berry should have sought the opinion of his assistants when looking at the big screen but put it on the shoulders of the TMO and didn’t want to get involved in the on field review.

    1. Yeah its a weird one, the way Berry played it I think he got it right, he said on field decision held up and therefore needs conclusive proof, there wasn’t any as you can’t see the ball actually touching the ground (even though it clearly was). He really needed to ask “try or no try” which means it can be based on “probably grounded” rather than the requirement for definitive proof to reverse a decision. Even if the TMO stood up to the plate and said, I think that ball is probably on the deck, which he kind of did in a beating about the bush kind of way, I don’t know how that stands as the referee has asked him a specific question which requires a different burden of proof.
      I can’t really blame Berry for his on field decision, it was on top of a boot initially and his view after that must have been obstructed, presumably by some girthy limbs so he asked the right question based on what he saw. I think it needs guidance to the referees, just ask “try or no try” in these circumstances rather than driving it in a direction that is highly unlikely to do anything other than support his initial whim. What the referee thinks he saw essentially becomes irrelevant by going to the TMO anyway so make it so. I guess it opens a different can of worms about the the whole ethos of the referees decision being final and not wanting the game officiated by a committee meeting all the time, but we already have that now with the bunker system which has all but removed the referee from the process of giving a red card.
      I was certainly apoplectic at the time but quite simply we shouldn’t have been relying on a TMO decision on a red clock try to win the game, the game should have been won when they were down to 14, we didn’t put a single point on them. I think this decision definitely falls into the category of sometimes you get them sometimes you don’t and just because its in the last play it doesn’t mean it decided the match, even though it did, if you get what I mean.

      1. Yeah can’t argue with that. As things stand the ref has to commit to try or no try even if he’s not sure. After that the ‘clear and obvious’ kicks in which means there has to be 100% conclusive evidence for a decision to be overturned. Circumstantial evidence isn’t enough. Evidence showing a probability of 99.9% isn’t enough. I personally think a ref should have a third option where he is allowed to say “I didn’t get a good enough view. No on field decision – lets review what video evidence we have and then collectively decide based on the balance of probabilities.

      2. That’s interesting I didn’t know they couldn’t ask that, I knew there was the “on field decision is x” or the “any reason I cannot award the try” but I thought they could also ask try or no try if they didn’t know. If not then they absolutely should be allowed to.

  40. Rambilngs,

    What on earth has happened to Scotland after 1/2 time, in Wales after the VDM try Scotland retreated into their shells and almost let a callow poor Welsh team win and v a shell-shocked France decided to play a game of no risk kick tennis when they were there for the taking.
    Easy to blame GT but the co/vice-captains/ leaders must be culpable too.
    No 50-22s?
    Still not taking the points?

    I’d have have GT sacked after Japan, however in his defence he has improved and Scotland have had some famous wins, however ,for me, there’s something missing, something no right.
    Hope Graham, Nel, Kinghorn, Steyn get some game-time this weekend.

  41. Two games in & I think I’m even less convinced by GT than I was before the tournament. And after the last world up. And during last years 6N… and so on and so on.

    A point away from possibly our worst defeat of all time during week 1, given where we were after 42 mins & then failure to despatch an understrength and underperforming French team at home during week 2. A defeat at home vs England would leave us in real danger of going in reverse with the looming monster Ireland in Dublin to come.

    You can’t help but feel the next game is crucial for both Townsends position and how much enthusiasm we supporters maintain for the rest of the tournament. A defeat there and a very likely defeat against Ireland to come & we are very obviously going backwards under the present leadership and regime…

  42. I am rather irritated by that result. 2nd half was messy but ultimately we were in control until the scored (with what looked like a forward pass if you ask me). But the decision at the end really confuses me. They are asking for conclusive proof that the ball was grounded. I’d note that this is a lower bar than “certain”. So my question is, “What would have been conclusive?” If we’re looking for a camera angle that shows green grass and a ball then in that situation you simply aren’t going to ever get that. “Conclusive” really means beyond reasonable doubt and give that they said the ball was grounded, the foot moved away and there’s nothing under the ball, I’m not sure what else would not lead you to the conclusion that the ball was grounded, noting too that the ball was clearly at ground level. Yeah, we should have won that game without the decision, but…well, it’s deeply frustrating. The standard to officiating really has dipped in the last 2 years or so; the refs just seem…..confused, hesitant and not really in control. Oh well. Still on for the Triple Crown……

  43. It was clear from the outset who the team’s captain is, as Darge presented the players to Princess Anne and did the majority of the talking to the ref during the game. Russell had his moments too, but Darge was the main man. I’d thought he might lack match fitness and be subbed for Christie, but clearly not.
    As far as the game generally was concerned, it was cold and wet and that did affect play. Balls were dropped, passes weren’t quite as accurate as you’d expect, so the defence had plenty of time to close attacks down. France misses DuPont hugely.
    We should have won that match, but the effort to extend the lead was right, even if unsuccessful.
    The officiating generally was not good enough. What looked like a punch from Tuilagi merited a check and maybe got one, but there were other areas of contention, such as a forward pass, that were not called. Then there was the try that wasn’t a try, but was.
    I heard it at the time, as those watching on tv will have, “I have to change my onfield decision.” That is the ref’s call and should have stuck. That he accepted being overruled by the TMO despite what he could see for himself is simply unacceptable at this level. This is professional rugby with a lot at stake and some considerable expense for spectators. Both the referee and TMO should be stood down.
    Had the review been correctly reviewed, we would have played two, won two, with two weak teams to come next. Now, the championship is Ireland’s already, as it was likely to be after they trounced France away. Very, very disappointing.

  44. I had droves of fans pass me heading home from the match…and I’ve never had a feeling like that from both fans…the Scots felt robbed and crest fallen…there was an air of despair.

    And the French they weren’t much better….they looked embarrassed and some said so. They weren’t celebrating a win but feeling the pain of Scotland coming second.

    No one won on Saturday…a pretty bad advett for a sport which can thrill. The Calcuuta Cup should be between two unbeaten teams.

    It was a try but they couldn’t give it. Terrible states of affairs

  45. It was the dark graphics on the ball that was touching ground..couldn’t see it in the gloom…. An all white ball?

  46. Glad to see the SRU are taking action. This was a real chance for a Grand Slam, could cost us millions in prize money. England at home is almost a banker (as much as a Calcutta Cup can be), I am more worried about Italy away. Expect the Ireland game to be closer than people are saying – they flattered to deceive against Italy and France are abysmal. I’d take all of our backs over theirs. Forwards are where they get us. McCarthy looks good.

    1. I don’t think we can compete against Ireland unless they are having a really off day and we are having a great one. Both unlikely events. Not to mention its in Ireland this year on a special day, huge influence on ref.

      However, it definitely risks us missing out on a first 2nd place finish, which is still a significant sum.

  47. I see that the SRU and Townsend are getting a lot of stick on another rugby forum for seeking an acknowledgment of the ‘No try’ mistake on Saturday. It’s amazing how many opposition fans think whiney little Scotland should accept injustices, know their place and just be quiet. I don’t agree with publicly criticising officials in the same way Rassie has done in the past but I don’t see anything wrong in seeking clarification from the governing body via the proper channels/processes in order to obtain learnings and get some closure.

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