Has Andy Robinson been reading the comments sections across the internet? Nick De Luca is no longer playing at 12, and Sean Lamont is no longer on the bench, but surely no-one realistically saw this team coming.
According to STV news Joe Ansbro, Hugo Southwell and Rory Lamont will all sit out this weekend’s game with Ireland due to injury. Unlike the England Internationals, our exiles were back in action this weekend and Joe picked up a head knock after a collision with Butch James, he has been rested from training as a routine precaution and is unlikely to feature.
I am not just talking about the cold and snowy weather that has kept my southern colleague Al “working from home” a lot recently. I refer, of course, to the crappy game against Ospreys at the weekend where through a combination of their own inability to hold on to the ball and, um, welsh people, they came away with a result that is fairly unflattering.
So I am not going to dwell on it, save to say that if you want to see the undeniable foul play that put Mossy off the park before half time, check this video out, while it lasts. It seems that a kiwi 7 getting away with murder is not the sole preserve of the All Blacks. Ross Rennie and Tim Visser were the usual bright sparks (Visser got a try again), with no-one else really covering themselves in any sort of glory, however mildly haggis flavoured.
I would also raise the point, that if all the Aviva Premiership games were off (as they mostly were) and Leinster managed to get over from Dublin to play the Scarlets (they had to suffer home ref Nigel Owens instructing the Scarlets props in Welsh), could steps really not have been taken to secure a neutral Irish or English ref (or two), possibly one with the ability to see? By the time James Jones realised he was supposed to be neutral in this fixture, Edinburgh had a player replaced and were 20 points down. Bring back George Clancy, all is forgiven.
Actually, maybe not.
UPDATE: Marty Holah has indeed by cited for his trip: BBC Article.
Edinburgh finally reversed the losing streak that has dogged them since the end of last season, and did so in some style against a Leinster team that boasted most of its all-star Lions (save for Nathan Hines) returning to action just in time for the start of the season, I mean um, the Heineken Cup. Oh, and Tim Visser scored. Again.
Player’s Player of the Year: Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
Coach of the Season: Paul Turner (Dragons)
Young Player of the Season: Tim Visser (Edinburgh)
Gilbert Golden Boot: Chris Paterson (Edinburgh)
Try of the Season: Ken Owens (Scarlets)
Best Disciplinary Record: Cardiff Blues
Chairman’s Award: Michael Bradley (Connacht)
Magners League Dream Team:
15 Ben Blair (Cardiff Blues)
14 Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
13 Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster)
12 James Hook (Ospreys)
11 Tim Visser (Edinburgh)
10 Dan Parks (Glasgow Warriors)
9 Tomas O’Leary (Munster)
1 Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues)
2 Ken Owens (Scarlets)
3 Adam Jones (Ospreys)
4 Leo Cullen (Leinster)
5 Ali Kellock (Glasgow Warriors, captain)
6 Jerry Collins (Ospreys)
7 John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors)
8 Jamie Heaslip (Leinster)
Congrats to all the winners, especially Mossy, Tim and dream team skipper Al Kellock.
Two of Scotland’s long lost wounded full backs, Rory Lamont and Chris Paterson, are returning to Scotland duty for Andy Robinson’s summer training camp in St Andrews. They come back into a Scotland side finally finding its winning hat and find their favourite shirt (well, Rory’s at any rate) filled by a vastly improved incumbent (Hugo Southwell) and a young tyro pushing for honours (Jim Thompson).
Head coach Andy Robinson has today announced a 36-strong squad as Scotland and Scotland A begin their preparations for next weekend’s matches against their Italian counterparts.
The squad will gather at Murrayfield on Sunday (21 February) ahead of both Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Italy at the Stadio Flaminio, Rome, on Saturday 27 February; and Scotland A’s match against Italy A in Biella on Friday 26 February.
Additional players will be called in for Scotland A duty next week but the enlarged squad will train together on Monday and Tuesday.
Both lock Nathan Hines (Leinster) and flanker Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester) who missed last weekend’s game in Cardiff through injury, are expected to be fit to take an active part in training.
Squad: Backs – Mike Blair, Ben Cairns (both Edinburgh), Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors), Simon Danielli (Ulster), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Max Evans (Glasgow Warriors), Phil Godman (Edinburgh), Alex Grove (Worcester Warriors), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Lamont (Scarlets), Rory Lawson (Gloucester), Graeme Morrison, Dan Parks (both Glasgow Warriors), Mark Robertson (Edinburgh), Hugo Southwell (Stade Francais), Nikki Walker (Ospreys)
Forwards – John Barclay, Johnnie Beattie, Kelly Brown (all Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Dickinson (Gloucester), Ross Ford, Roddy Grant (both Edinburgh), Scott Gray (Northampton Saints), Richie Gray, Dougie Hall (both Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Edinburgh), Nathan Hines (Leinster), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (Gloucester), Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors), Scott MacLeod, Alan MacDonald (both Edinburgh), Euan Murray (Northampton Saints), Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester), Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors).
Unavailable to train through injury: Jim Thompson (Edinburgh).
Invited to attend squad training: Simon Webster (Edinburgh).
Scotland’s cap centurion Chris Paterson is returning home from Cardiff today as medics are satisfied that he has recovered sufficiently from the kidney damage he sustained in Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Wales last week.
Meanwhile, Scotland wing Thom Evans has undergone a second operation on his neck at University Hospital in Cardiff and surgeons are pleased with his progress.
Scotland coach Andy Robinson visited both players in Cardiff yesterday. He said: “It was uplifting to speak to both players and hear first-hand that they’re both feeling better. Once again, on behalf of the Scotland team, I want to thank our own medical team, the Welsh Rugby Union medical personnel at the Millennium Stadium and all the staff at the University Hospital in Cardiff for the quite magnificent care they have delivered.”
Scotland team doctor James Robson said today: “Mossy (Chris Paterson) was discharged from hospital in Cardiff on Tuesday night. He has rested for a couple of days further in Cardiff and is now well enough to travel home with his wife Claire, which is excellent news.
“Thom, after discussion with his family and the surgeons who performed his initial operation, elected to undergo a second procedure to enhance his recovery.
“This surgery has now taken place. Thom is in good spirits and the surgeons are delighted with his progress.
“Thom has asked me to pass on his heart-felt thanks to the thousands of people who have expressed their support.
“At this stage I would expect that, if Thom’s recovery continues in the same vein, he will be able to return home next week.”
So near and yet not actually that far. Shane Williams had a great five minutes. Dan Parks had a great game. George Clancy: not so much.
5.7 (e) If time expires and the ball is not dead, or an awarded scrum or lineout has not been completed the referee allows play to continue until the next time that the ball becomes dead. If time expires and a mark, free kick or penalty kick is then awarded the referee allows play to continue.
Still, all of that is of little consequence in the great scheme of things. Full reaction will of course take place through the week, but for now all of us at Scottish Rugby Blog send our best wishes to Thom Evans for a swift and complete recovery from his injury (the exact nature of which is unclear), and our thoughts go out to Max and the rest of the family too.
UPDATE: just in case you wanted to see the full interview with Andy Robinson post match you can find it here. Much angrier than the short version they broadcast!
UPDATE: Update on Thom Evans injury condition, it seems he has undergone neck surgery but is able to move his arms and legs which is good news I should think.
UPDATE: Another update on Thom Evans, Chris Paterson and Rory Lamont injuries (from Dr James Robson), all of which it seems will keep them out of the remainder of the Six Nations but thankfully all will have full recoveries, it is hoped.
Just wanted to make a quick post to congratulate Chris ‘Mossy’ Paterson on (hopefully!) becoming Scotland’s first Centurion! As has been mentioned across media reports Mossy has played for Scotland during a era of huge change in the game and it is testament to his ability to adapt that Mossy is still a key part of the Scotland team. He may not be the biggest or, these days, quickest of players but his adaptability, game awareness and one of the best kicking boots the game has ever seen has ensured that he remains a key player for Scotland.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the man and he was a total gent – considering he was the only sober person in a 500 meter radius it was some achievement. He happily spent time talking about rugby and even disturbed a grumpy looking French policeman to get a pen to sign a programme for Rory…legend!
So here is a salute to Mossy, may you get many more caps and points – you are a great ambassador for Scottish Rugby and I for one appreciate all your efforts in the navy shirt.
Assuming the games go ahead as the freezing weather continues (a couple of Magners games have already been called off), here are the teams to take the field in Dublin and Edinburgh respectively.
Glasgow Warriors to face Leinster: Bernardo Stortoni, DTH van der Merwe, Max Evans, Graeme Morrison, Thom Evans, Dan Parks, Chris Cusiter, Jon Welsh, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Alastair Kellock (capt), Richie Gray, Kelly Brown, John Barclay, Johnnie Beattie.
Replacements: Fergus Thomson, Kevin Tkachuk, Dan Turner, James Eddie, Colin Gregor, Ruaridh Jackson, Rob Dewey.
(Probably on BBC Radio Scotland, Friday night).
Edinburgh team to face Cardiff: Chris Paterson (capt), Jim Thompson, Ben Cairns, John Houston, Tim Visser, Rory Hutton, Greig Laidlaw, Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, David Young, Jim Hamilton, Scott MacLeod, Alan MacDonald, Ross Rennie, Roddy Grant.
Replacements: Andrew Kelly, Kyle Traynor, Craig Hamilton, Scott Newlands, Ross Samson, Nick De Luca, Mark Robertson.
(Live coverage on S4c, Saturday from 6pm-ish)
Can’t say I’m not a little intrigued to see what Hutton can do, given what is a massive opportunity for him… but I wouldn’t expect miracles straight off the bat. Highlights of both games are also on STV as usual on Sunday. Given the lack of games this weekend they will presumably pad by talking about either the upcoming 6 Nations or perhaps porridge: ie the new Scott’s limited edition packets that are to feature Ross(y), Mossy and Thom. Hopefully this will help boost the sport at breakfast tables everywhere, especially during the current wintry spell. Speaking of, um, spelling, can someone tell me when they changed the spelling of porridge?
UPDATE: The Leinster vs Glasgow game has been called off due to late weather complications: more info on the BBC. Glasgow want to sue people given the cost of getting to Dublin has already been undertaken by the team after advice that the game would go ahed… Most of the weekend’s scheduled GP matches are also off, with just a few top flight rugby fixtures still hoping to go ahead including Munster, Leicester and Edinburgh.
During whiteout conditions at Murrayfield on Saturday where the weather played a larger role than either of the teams for a chunk of the first half, Edinburgh managed to grab a victory against Bath. It was a pity the snow came in when it did, as both teams were showing a willingness to throw the ball about, but when the ball became invisible in a sea of white it became time for a game of Very Cold Hot Potato (mixed in with a little Dead Ants).
Mossy’s boot saved them as it has so often, and while I have often been reluctant to wade in on the whole Mossy at 10 thing, Godman’s form seems to be on the wane while Mossy seems to have gained a yard of pace, gets turned over in the tackle far less and his tactical kicking is miles better than it was and miles ahead of Godman. He’s surely done enough to be the front runner for the Scotland 15 shirt with Hugo a close second (who honestly believed he would be a regular at Stade?), but is he worth a look at 10 for Edinburgh as so many have suggested? (This is assuming Rory Lamont remains in the injury information black-hole he is currently in). While Robbo has been telling anyone who will listen about Scotland’s deficiencies in the 10 position, is Mossy finally worth a shout, having made his tactical game a bit, well, more Dan Parks-esque?
Speaking of Parks, he controlled the game against Gloucester extremely well in the first half while Barclay led the forwards in a masterclass in frustrating the opposition. For a game with so many Scot on Scot match-ups there was plenty of niggle, and no doubt a sign of what is to come next weekend (worryingly for Edinburgh, the Weej seem to excel in this area). Yet in the second half Gloucester came out and pretty much reversed the situation, bullying Glasgow off their 0-6 lead and the ball and sharpening up their attack enough to take the victory. A raft of late-term substitutions probably didn’t help Glasgow – much in the same way as it buggered up Edinburgh last week – with Cusiter going off and replacement McMillan then having to hide at the back with an injury while Gregor filled in at scrum half. This only served to rob Glasgow of Gregor’s running lines and pace from at the back, which they were already short of with Thom Evans out. The Gloucester Scottish showed up well too with Scott and Rory Lawson and Al Strokosch showing good skills in attack, although Kellock and Gray were all over Lawson (hooker) at the lineout. And one more thing: does Graeme Morrison ever pass? You’d be as well playing Richie Vernon in the centre, who unveiled the pace that has Glasgow abuzz while the rest of us were initially wondering why Beattie was left on the bench in favour of a guy with two first names…