Things round here are getting almost as combustible as a Fedex parcel on the 5th of November. Not to mention fairly complex. The Scotland squad have no idea how easy they’ve got it! Sure they have had to do days of “minging bosh” (Jim ‘The Bear’ Thompson) on a windswept park in St. Andrew but, then, they have everything neatly set out for them.
Thom Evans has returned to Scotland. Apparently he was even up and moving about last week. What a trooper.
Moray Low is out for the rest of the 6N as he requires knee surgery. Get well soon Moray!
Here’s the Scotland A team for the weekend too:
Scotland A: Colin Gregor (Glasgow Warriors), Mark Robertson (Edinburgh), Alex Grove (Worcester Warriors), John Houston (Edinburgh), Simon Webster (Edinburgh), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh, capt), Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors), Andrew Kelly (Edinburgh), Kyle Traynor (Edinburgh), Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Scott MacLeod (Edinburgh), James Eddie (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Gray (Northampton Saints), Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors).
Replacements: Fergus Thomson (Glasgow Warriors), Ed Kalman (Glasgow Warriors), Craig Hamilton (Edinburgh), Roddy Grant (Edinburgh), Mark McMillan (Glasgow Warriors), David Blair (Edinburgh), Peter Murchie (Glasgow Warriors).
Good to see Colin Gregor at full back. Not sure about the rumours of Jim Thompson moving west, I’d like to see him stay and compete with Mossy for the Edinburgh 15 shirt – he’s sure to get a chance as soon as the league resumes anyway and it would be a shame to nail down a place then move. I’d also like to see Gregor given more of a shot at 15, yes he is wee but so is Ben Foden and Peter Horne has looked good at 15 on the few occasions I have seen him too.
Also good luck to the boys playing in the British and Irish Cup this weekend. I’ve got some stuff on this weekend so I’m not even sure if I’ll see the Italy game (gulp), but one of the other guys will chip in with their thoughts I am sure. Thanks for all your feedback on the blog (2 articles down from here), keep it coming!
Edinburgh 9-7 Stade Francais
Mossy once again picked up all the points in what despite the low score was a fairly enterprising display from the home team. Jim Thompson – who must have been emotionally all over the place after the minutes applause for his grandfather the late Bill McLaren – was probably the standout back for me, although it was also hard to argue against Greg Laidlaw’s MoM performance at scrum-half that saw him dart Edinburgh seriously close to the Stade line on a couple of occasions. Jim Hamilton was very industrious for a man of his size and seems to have upped his workrate in the loose considerably. I reckon it could force a tricky decision for Robbo as to the make-up of his pack against France with Al Kellock, Richie Gray and Nathan Hines in good form too. Special mention should also go to returning vagabonds of various descriptions: Malkovich was able to conduct one of his darting runs but with Edinburgh’s new look back row in support he didn’t actually turn the ball over. On the opposition team, Hugo battled valiantly at scrum-half providing a (mostly) crisp service and his new-found versatility may see him on to the bench for Scotland at the very least. Good to see Simon Taylor back from injury too for the last twenty, he seemed to be relishing taking on his old teammates at his preferred position of Number 8 and must have been vaguely perturbed to see a small ginger openside filling the shirt he held for so long. Back in his day they used to work around the Number 8 with Hoggy, Callam and Taylor all competing. These days it is the 7 shirt that hold the embarrassment of riches.
Edinburgh: Paterson, Robertson, Cairns, De Luca, Thompson, Godman, Laidlaw, Traynor, Kelly, G. Cross, MacLeod, J. Hamilton, MacDonald, Rennie, R. Grant.
Replacements Used: Webster for Paterson (52), Houston for De Luca (41), Jacobsen for Traynor (64), Ford for Kelly (52), C. Hamilton for MacLeod (64), Newlands for Rennie (33). Not Used: Young, Samson.
Stade Francais: Beauxis, Gasnier, Messina, Bousses, Camara, Mieres, Southwell, Roncero, Szarzewski, Gerber, Palmer, Pape, Haskell, M. Bergamasco, Leguizamon.
Replacements Used: Bastareaud for Bousses (47), Slimani for Roncero (66), Kayser for Szarzewski (50), Ledesma for Gerber (58), Taylor for M. Bergamasco (52). Not Used: Vigouroux, Barraud, M. Bergamasco.
Edinburgh: Pens: Paterson 3.
Stade Francais: Try: Pape; Con: Beauxis.
Biarritz 41-20 Glasgow
at Stade Aguilera
Glasgow played some excellent stuff for 60 minutes, scoring one of the tries of the tournament in the process and putting the expected home victory in serious doubt. With the impressive Richie Gray going off at half time, the under-powered pack was then obliterated by substitutions as the strong Biarritz bench took serious advantage of Glasgow’s second string deficiencies. Sadly Biarritz prop Campbell Johnston is not from Jedburgh – he has an All Black cap, just another antipodean whose parents came over all nostalgic when dishing out the names. Pluses for Scotland though: Thom Evans looks back on form, Low, Kellock, Cusiter and Parks seem to have maintained theirs going into the Six Nations (just keep Dan away from the high ball/pitch) and the three Bs back row was an infuriatingly dominant force at the breakdown for most of the match. Minuses for Scotland: on this display, the second string just aren’t good enough. To be fair though, this is the second string that Glasgow have had for a while and the young players leap-frogging through (Gray, Jackson) look like they will be good enough given game time which must come soon.
Biarritz: P Couet-Lannes; T Ngwenya, A Mignardi, L Tranier, I Bolakoro; V Courrent, Y Lesgourgues; E Coetzee, B August, M Moala, P Taele, J Thion (capt), M Lund, T Hall, I Harinordoquoy.
Replacements Used: Balshaw for Couet-Lannes (66), Hunt for Lesgourgues (54), Hughes for Coetzee (71), Terrain for August (71), Johnstone for Moala (45), Carizza for Taele-Pvihi (67), Alaxndre for Hall (70).
Glasgow: B Stortoni; R Dewey, M Evans, G Morrison, T Evans; D Parks, C Cusiter; J Welsh, D Hall, M Low, R Gray, A Kellock (capt), K Brown, J Barclay, J Beattie.
Replacements Used: O’Hare for Dewey (56), Jackson for Parks (64), McMillan for Cusiter (65), Tkachuk for Welsh (61), Thomson for Hall (59), Turner for Low (41), Eddie for Beattie (59).
Biarritz Tries: Coetzee, Ngwenya, pen try, Lesgourgues. Cons: Courrent 3. Pens: Courrent 5.
Glasgow Tries: T Evans, Cusiter. Cons: Parks 2. Pen: Parks 2