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  • Put the kids to bed and having another think about the game, Scotland's achievement of first win for donkey's years at Twickenham and the fact they played a semblance of decent rugby, and beat a/the traditional heavyweight in England, has probably inflated the perception of the quality other performance. Fair play to Townsend who had a terrible start to his tenure, was absolutely pilloried in many corners saying he's too inexperienced etc and not a patch in VC, then had to 'deal with' Finn Russel but now has shown some exciting selections and game-plans and that he warrants respect and support.

  • Just going to leave this here....

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  • France should walk this tournament and I hope they do. Technically, they’re miles ahead of any other team in it. But, France being France...

  • @Markyboy hits the nail on the head. Lots of superlatives being heaped on Scotland. They were ok. But ok was plenty good enough and that’s all you have to be.

    I disagree. England are so one-dimensional if you really take on their pack and power game they don't have the ability to problem solve on the field because of the way Jones has coached them. Ok it may not make make for a beautiful game, but England have world class players throughout their pack (even with Mako and Underhill missing) so you have to be more than just good to neutralise them, but Scotland dominated them up front (I don't remember England getting a single turnover at the breakdown?). They also kicked really well to pin England back in their own half and keep the pressure on. Scotland varied their game nicely too when required, e.g. England put pressure on Ali Price early on, after that he faked to box kick, passed the other way which let to Redpath making a line break. Agree that Scotland will get better. The Russell / Redpath partnership is going to be exciting to see develop.

  • I never said who they would grind out wins against! I was right about being boring. Absolutely abject.

    Scotland showing the benefit of picking in form Exeter players in Hogg and Gray, England showing the folly of picking Sarries players ;-)

  • Who in that England team, ignoring yesterday’s performance, is genuinely world class apart from Itoje?

    Scotland played well enough, but were against a team with Saracens players who aren’t playing any rugby and a team that couldn’t catch, couldn’t kick, struggled at the set piece and gave away 15 penalties. Much was self-inflicted and Scotland forced a lot of it, but with 70% possession and 68% territory, they scored 11 points and won by a single score...

    And players not taking a knee before kick off

  • I really struggle with Eddie Jones selection at times, I understand that he picks people who have done a job for him in the past, but he seems to completely ignore form.

    I mean I might be slightly biased as a chiefs fan, but can anyone say that Vunipola was better than anything Sam Simmonds has done this year??

    And where are the wasps players?

    I think our 9-10 axis is incredibly predictable and quite frankly boring. I would love to see both Joe Simmonds and Marcus Smith given a go, completely different players, but both of them have a Plan A and B.

    And genuinely why do we even bother having centres and wingers when we attack? Their job seems to be just to chase overcooked box kicks.

    The thing is there is no way that Jones will change, he is too stubborn for it.

  • I agree. Which other teams would Slade, Daly or Watson get into?

    A terrible 6 nations is probably what England needs. I don’t really follow the game these days, but my heart is with France after an accidental season there many years ago.

  • I meant you were right, plan a was disrupted...

  • Which other teams would Slade, Daly or Watson get into?

    Two of them in Gatland’s Lions side

    (Yes, that was a while ago)

  • Mako

    Biggest loss in personnel were him and Sinckler. Any subtlety in England’s power game (if there can be any in that type of game) is lost when the carrying props can’t move the ball like those two. Couple that with key forwards (and a fly-half) who really aren’t at the races and need matches under their belts and that game doesn’t work against seasoned players.

    With Scotland, I thought Hooker would be a problem position. But with Turner (who I’d not seen before) coming in, they lost nothing from having McInally or Brown.

    I’m still with @Markyboy, 11 points return from that match was not good enough for Scotland. After the celebrations, Townsend is a savvy enough coach that he will surely hammer that point home too.

  • See this is the most frustrating thing... Slade for example has been playing brilliantly for Exeter, constantly breaking the line, great passes taking out opposition players and incisive kicks. But for England, he is chasing kicks and hitting Rucks, might as well just play another couple of second rows in the centres at the moment.

    I don’t think any Sarries players should have started, they have had zero game time.

  • I don’t think any Sarries players should have started, they have had zero game time

    Massively this. Especially with my 20:20 hindsight.

  • Well yes, hindsight is 20:20, but I think this is one where even some foresight might have thought it was sensible to start players who have played some games. It wouldn’t be so bad, if everyone is in the same situation, but Scotland certainly hit the ground running.

    I didn’t realise that they can’t change the squad apart from injuries, so more of the same coming up....

  • Why has no one mentioned Scotland’s line speed - they were brilliant. Oddly, I would compare their speed yesterday to England’s speed last year.
    I’m still confused by one of the commentators mentioning that Joe Mahler was watching the match from home with his family as he didn’t want to play. Has anyone info on this? I presumed it was Covid related.

  • hindsight is 20:20

    I didn’t mean you, it was looking back at my previous comments really.

  • England are in a bubble for the whole 6 Nations, no meeting friends/family. Marler doesn't want to leave his family.

  • Scotland showing the benefit of picking in form Exeter players in Hogg and Gray

    Johnny going to Exeter could be the making of him as a world class player IMO. For a long time he has dominanted the carry and tackle stats in pretty much every match he has played in, yet has never made as big an impact as his stats suggest he should be doing. Since going to Exeter he has developed some real dog and aggression in his play something that I'm very grateful to Mr Baxter and his team for.

  • Yep, he has been excellent. Have also been impressed with Hidalgo-Clyne, with him and Redpath, there are 2 good scrum halves.

  • but with 70% possession and 68% territory, they scored 11 points and won by a single score...

    To be honest the fact that they ground out the win is a sign that things are starting to go right mentally for the Scotland team (this is by no means likely to last but as a long suffering fan I remain hopefull). Scotland played the percentage game well in conditions that deteriorated throughout the second half. Two years ago at 60 minutes in the same position they would have panicked that given the territory and possession they had they weren't on for a BP win; tried to force the game and would have subsequently gifted the match to England. The fact that they didn't and were confident enough to grind out a win away from home in tricky circumstances shows developing nous and maturity - something that we have missed for a long time, remember the 2015 quarter final against Aus? Instead of sticking it up their jumper for the final 2 minutes they for some reason tried to play flamboyant rugby that decision and some poor refereeing lost us a semi final spot having outplayed a team that went on to the final.

  • Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sign of improvement and, if I were Scottish, I’d be delighted with the holy grail of a win at twickenham. As a neutral, I just found it a dull spectacle and saw it as a close win against a poor team.

  • Thanks for that, it does make sense.

  • I don't know if this is a serious question but come on now!! They have all had international performances that would see them walk into any team (see the quarter final against Australia in 2019) and i reckon they'd make every international squad, at least one of them probably making every international starting team, depending on the incumbents... Yeah they weren't able to get into the game much yesterday but i don't believe you're seriously saying they're crap?

  • Where did I say they were crap?

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