Six Nations: round one takeaways

Iain Morrison picks out some of the main talking points from the weekend's action which saw wins for Ireland, England and Scotland

Was there a lack of leadership in the Scotland squad when things started to go wrong on the pitch during the second half of Saturday's game against Wales in Cardiff? Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Was there a lack of leadership in the Scotland squad when things started to go wrong on the pitch during the second half of Saturday's game against Wales in Cardiff? Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

1. Scotland lacks leaders

Scotland rode their luck and need to improve massively if they are to call this season a success. Wales were almost unimaginably bad in the opening 47 minutes but they got a bit of luck, a new fly-half, some self-belief and Scotland collapsed in the first puff of wind like a house of straw. Where was the leadership? Where was the rallying call? Who was barking out the orders? Or is this squad so beholden to the head coach that they can’t change tack on the hoof? Certainly the Netflix series shows Gregor Townsend as a little authoritarian in his outlook. We are constantly told that the national squad has a leadership group but, if so, they went AWOL on Saturday, every man Jack. The Cardiff ‘victory’ raised far more questions than answers. How could a professional side like Scotland concede 16 penalties? How did the Welsh maul score two tries without breaking sweat and, if Wales’ middleweight forwards can do that to Scotland, what damage will the French power pack do next weekend? Never have Scottish fans been so dejected with a win in Wales!


Six Nations: Wales v Scotland player ratings

Six Nations: Wales v Scotland reaction: second half collapse evoked memories of 2010

Six Nations: Wales v Scotland reaction: Finn Russell laments Scots complacency


2. Ireland RWC hangover is over

As Andy Farrell joked after the game, it’s a bad hangover you can’t shake after three months! The twin cards to Paul Willemse was a distraction, little more, they certainly didn’t determine the outcome. France were so bad you suspect that Ireland could have beaten 16 men, never mind 14. Farrell’s side, and it is very much Farrell’s side, were ruthless and relentless, back to their best, picking the right options time after time and executing with the minimum of drama. David Flatman is smarter than most rugby pundits and the ITV co-commentator made one point repeatedly: “I watch that and I think they [Ireland] are so well coached, so well prepared.” “Dynamic and efficient,” he said after a maul try, “very well coached indeed.” He was on the money. Ireland have good players, obviously, Joe McCarthy among them, but they boast brilliant coaches in Farrell and his team. Rarely if ever do you see a man in green stutter. Everyone knows their lines, word perfect. Can any other team in Europe give them a game? I hope so, but …

3. Three point reward for cynical play

Three cheers for Ben O’Keeffe who refereed the match in Cardiff. Some think the Kiwi is a little trigger happy on the whistle but I can forgive him almost anything because he pinged Josh Adams for a small act of cynicism that is all too common in the modern game. Finn Russell kicked a 50-22 so Scotland had the put in at an attacking line-out and Adams picked up the ball and popped it over the hoarding, preventing Scotland from taking a quick throw. O’Keefe, or perhaps his touchie, saw what happened and instead of turning a blind eye, as almost every referee does these days, he awarded a penalty to Scotland. Russell kicked the three and Scotland won by one point. You do the maths, Josh. Players get away with this nonsense far too often. My next award will be for a referee who persuades a fly-half to kick the ball (to touch) within five metres of where the penalty was marked.

 

4. When is a red card not even a penalty?

And while we are talking about O’Keeffe, he made an interesting point on Saturday but one that is almost always ignored. When Luke Crosbie crunched Sam Costelow at a breakdown around the 35 minute mark it looked like a red card to me (or a yellow with the crossed arm signal that means, I think, crucify the bastard). Instead O’Keefe made the point that since Crosbie was bent at the waist and had wrapped his arms he was not guilty of anything! Costelow was also bent and effectively offering his head to be hit. Crosbie duly obliged, having little other choice. Most referees ignore this fact, heads are often hard to avoid, but still it is difficult to see how O’Keeffe’s nonchalance squares with the current thinking on head injuries which is to protect players against it at all costs, carding any blow to the head/neck whether or not it was accidental/avoidable?  Has World Rugby instructed referees not to ping accidental head hits? If so, the former players who are suing World Rugby might like to know.

5. Farewell Fickou, my old friend?

The centre personified France’s failings at the weekend. The poor man, who has given so much to French rugby over the years, looked lost and vaguely disinterested as he made a series of howlers over the course of the 80 minute match. There must be better centres in France? And I say that as a Gaël Fickou fan. France as a whole were lifeless and lacklustre. Was the absence of their talisman Antoine Dupont to blame or is it something more fundamental? Personally, I think that coach Fabien Galthie (and his designer glasses) should have stepped down after RWC’23. Just imagine what all the talents in the French team could achieve with Farrell or, marginally more likely, Stuart Lancaster giving them the structure/shape they so badly needed on Friday evening!?

 

6. Something amiss with England

What is it about England that causes good club players to look hesitant and indecisive when pulling on the white shirt? England won in Rome, job done you might argue, but it was the closest Italy have ever got. A three point win against a side that has one Championship victory in eight seasons is not the stuff of dreams. The way Italy twice carved England open in the first half was embarrassing and I was bigging up Felix Jones (England’s new defence coach) in the preview piece! The Irishman has work to do, and is maybe now discovering that not everyone tackles like a Saffa with a chip on his shoulder. I think England will be better when Ollie Lawrence gives them a gain-line specialist in midfield and Steve Borthwick could argue about being rusty but there is something missing from England rugby because at least some of the players still look like they learned the game from a book. Any theories are welcomed below?

7. The King is dead, long live the King

If France missed Dupont, Ireland barely noticed that their leader of leaders Johnny Sexton had hung up his boot and was hollering at the TV with a beer in one hand like everyone else. Jack Crowley has had to bide his time while Ireland tried various options including the Leinster brothers, Harry and Ross Bryne, Munster’s Joey Carberry and even Ulster’s Billy Burns who sat on the bench in Farrell’s first season with Ireland. They have come and they have gone and Crowley is the last man standing. He only made his Six Nations debut last season against Italy but already Crowley looks like he is sewn into that number 10 shirt. He looks well placed to pick up Sexton’s mantle, even if he goes about his business in a quieter, more thoughtful manner than his mentor ever did. His pass to send Tadhg Beirne over for a try was sublime, he kicked pretty well and at 24-years-old he is going to be there for a long time to come, injuries allowing.


Six Nations: Wales v Scotland report: Cardiff curse lifted in game of two halves

About Iain Morrison 151 Articles
Iain was capped 15 times for Scotland at openside flanker between his debut against Ireland during the 1993 Six Nations and his final match against New Zealand at the 1995 World Cup in South Africa. He was twice a Cambridge ‘Blue’ and played his entire club career with London Scottish (being inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame in 2016). Iain is a lifelong member of Linlithgow Rugby Club. After hanging up his boots, he became rugby correspondent for The Sunday Herald, before moving to The Scotland on Sunday for 16 years, and he has also guest written for various other publications.

34 Comments

  1. …first person he needs to tell to not do that is himself … Fair point Septic, I’m perhaps being a little hopeful

  2. point 4
    “Has World Rugby instructed referees not to ping accidental head hits? If so, the former players who are suing World Rugby might like to know.”

    I agree, they would. It is also abundantly clear that the introduction of the bunker at the RWC was less about getting consistency and more about downgrading what were in the previous season stonewall red cards to yellow ones. And that has followed into decisions this season. I am certain that those involved in the law suits would want that confirmed, yet I have not seen a single article pondering that, never mind criticising it or seeming to be asking questions.
    Why is that? Seems a prime topic for some real journalistic investigation

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    • Perhaps the ‘Bunker’ system is a belated indication and realisation that the initial WR diktat was an over reaction to head contact and was in effect offering the ‘Plaintiff’ an argument: “If World Rugby are making such an effort regarding even the remotest contact then we have a case”. The Red card is for foul play, Yellow for cynical cheating or technicality and that should be all they are for, not accidental or careless play that is not World Rugby’s responsibility anyway.
      Consider my points below, how can you justify offering up a Yellow card when a Referee considers no danger? Gilchrist a case in point first and second incident the referee commented ‘I’m not seeing danger it’s just a Yellow’, but why even a Yellow? Derisory under the circumstances, no danger – no Yellow penalty only, somewhat arbitrary Yellow’s leading to a Red! That can’t be justified against genuine foul play, that is surely what a Red Card is all about.
      Then you have a situation as viewed by O’Keefe who correctly identified both parties were six of one half a dozen of the other, how in that instance can you justify an arbitrary card on the basis that one of the players didn’t have the ball? Ludicrous: logic says neither or both. It’s another example of World Rugby failing to engage a logical, some would say any, intelligent thought, never mind common sense.

      • the point of being harsh on head contact was to deter high tackles. It was a correct, necessary and belated dictat, which was both good for player safety and just as important for WR (forgive my lapse into cynicism) an attempt (in the face of the law suits everyone knew were coming) tp cover their backsides – showing that WR were doing everything in their power, showing a duty of care etc etc
        Now like that or not, lifting it does the opposite – clear that WR are not doing everything in their power. So they face a huge lawsuit which could bankrupt them, plus falling numbers everywhere Even NZ!) is in part down to parents fearing for their kids.
        Rugby faces an existential threat, WR have stuck their ostrich heads back in the sand

      • George, the point of sanctions is to change behaviour. It has to change. WR knows that and there have been trial lowering tackle height which have been successful. Fewer cards will not change behaviour – neither that of the player who tackles high nor the coach who coaches that – but lower tackles will

        O’Keefe got one right on Sat (stopped clock etc) but I’d rather he got one wrong and sent someone off than encourage another early dementia case. I’m afraid life is more important than a minor rule change in a sport

    • In response to your reply below, It seems there are areas of agreement between us and areas that we obviously don’t agree however: looking back we might agree that initially it is World Rugby [IRB as was] that has brought this about with changes to the Laws and the introduction of professionalism that automatically along with the changes takes/took the game into an area where the emphasis on bish bash bosh crash-ball has bulked up the players removing the game from a Sport for all sizes and skills: where forwards are allowed to ‘clear out’ potentially more likely to be injurious to a head injury but in the tackle only the person without the ball is deemed to be at fault, a factor that plainly is wrong.
      Personally I think the game lost its way in Governance when those in charge could only consider profit not the sport.
      As for Tackle procedure, I wonder why under the Laws of the game as were when I converted from Athletics to Rugby and asked for advice almost the first thing I was told was ‘they can’t run without their legs, tackle low’ perhaps we could find a way of pushing the toothpaste back in the tube, of course we can’t but there has to be a better way than exists at present.
      For instance to allow a ‘tackling’ player holding up the player with the ball so the tackle fails [how’s that for a misnomer?] that encourages a more upright stance going into the tackle, more so than bent at hips etc. What about the Mark, a shadow of its former self, what about leaping to take the ball in the air, a recipe for head contact as was seen in the RWC, where the catching player coming down from height collides with the potential tackler, causes injury and who was the one that got carded!
      Anyway stuck in the middle of Europe where Rugby Clubs are as rare as a Samoan side step, the OSL is the closest I can get to leaning on the bar having a chat and offering up my thoughts over a beer, we might not agree but at least it’s better than just a ‘thumbs down’. Enjoy the rest of the season, fingers crossed, and thanks for the ‘Chat’.

  3. Point 4: Perhaps I am wrong, but I got the impression that in some fashion Mr
    Morrison is admonishing O’Keefe [nonchalance] and endorsing World Rugby who along with their previous persona the IRB have been ignorant of introducing or changing the Laws of the game without the slightest consideration of unintended consequences.
    Mr. Morrison correctly offered up that Costelow was as responsible for the head contact with Crosbie, correct, so O’Keefe correctly identified one of the unintended consequences.
    World Rugby have by themselves endorsed ‘clearing out’ how do you square a player bending and an opposition player ‘standing up’ at just the wrong moment, Fagerson a couple of seasons ago as an example. Closer to date Gilchrist getting a cumulative Red for two, I would suggest innocuous contacts, just as the Referee commented: ‘no danger’ with the collisions/tackles but RW diktat says two yellow equals one red, ludicrous if the Ref says no danger, then why give a yellow card? IF there is no danger, offer up a penalty.
    I’ve said before that there are many more dangerous potential injuries front row collapse or the maul where RW seem content to offer penalties and I am certain contact with the ground in a collapsed scrum or maul or ‘unseen’ head on head in the Melee occur yet both offer up only penalties or penalty try.
    The fact is that the lack of Common Sense and the ‘somebody has to be blamed for my problem’ approach has made a nonsense of a physical contact sport with ever bulkier forwards and backs: and whose fault is that?
    As far as I am concerned O’Keefe Judgement is a common sense solution, if any player doesn’t realise that physical contact sport could mean injury of any sort then he is as ‘blunt a pencil in the box’ as Mr. Adams chucking the ball away in front of the Ref and Linesman.

  4. Just a thought, are France too big?
    – too big to get to the breakdown fast
    – too big to move around at the line out
    – too big to lift quickly
    – too big to reajust and get low in the tackle

    Perhaps Ireland simply played them off the park by playing at a speed they could not cope with.

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    • SA are just as big as France and they are back to back world champions!!! Oh for the Scotland pack to have a Meafou, Taofefenua or Willemse. We might get lucky and not see any of these juggernauts lining up against us on saturday (Willemse will be banned and Meafou and Taofefenua are both carrying injuries).

      • A fair point, SA are big but, Meafou 145kg, Tuilagi 149kg v Etsabeth 123kg and Snyman 130kg, there could be a point at which size may not compensate for speed and dexterity, still think Scotland might benefit from moving them about a bit.
        It may not be the only reason but they seemed so off the pace that it may be part of the problem.

  5. My first observation from the games at the weekend is that discipline is absolutely key to at least having a chance of winning. You simply cannot go a man down for a considerable period of the match and expect to compete. Yes clearly you need a team with the requisite skill set to win but equally important is having 15 guys on the park who can maintain their composure and do not lose the plot mentally. Unfortunately we have a few in the forwards who fall into that category and are constantly on the verge of doing something stupid. Turner’s yellow on saturday is a prime example of utter stupidity which had far reaching consequences beyond Wales scoring 5 points. Townsend needs to be brave ( no laughing at the back) and ditch these guys where there is a viable alternative e.g. Matthews for Turner. He also needs to swallow his pride and accept his favoured back row just don’t cut it and there are better options for Scotland out there. I would go with Crosbie(if fit)or Darge, Christie and Dempsey or Bradbury.

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  6. “Certainly the Netflix series shows Gregor Townsend as a little authoritarian in his outlook” That is because he has zero man management skills and the biggest ego in world rugby. We have all heard stories over the years of his lack of empathy with players that he refers to condescending as his men. Could imagine Townsend as a WW1 general in his Chateau and blaming his soldiers for all getting killed by not following his great plan.

    Forcing Dobsons hand to appoint him over Stern Vern will go down as one of the poorest decisions in Scottish rugby history. Unless you are Finn the Scotland players are scared to take decisions outwith the Townsend play book and view on how to play the game.

    In contrast as mentioned Ireland look superbly coached, confident and happy to be playing whereas our players literally to a man looked totally bewildered, lost and did not know how to respond. A bit like the first day on the Somme but instead of unbelievably brave lions who were told to advance at the walk we had lambs led by a donkey.

    I have never seen a Scottish rugby team capitulate like that but then again what do you expect from Townsends team of imported talent. The natural fire in the belly of your Calders, Armstrongs, Deans et al is simply not there and will never be there. 27 nil up and playing against the worst Wales team I can remember and we would have lost if not for a poor decision over what was a stonewall penalty try.

    These players are paid a fortune by the SRU via Glasgow and Edinburgh as indicated in the finance report of players earning over 250K a year. It is a ridiculous position that we find ourselves in and we should all be ashamed of how we have let the Murrayfield ruling elite gamble everything on international success to the detriment of club and grassroots rugby.

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    • Agree that GT has poor man management skills, this has been displayed in public quite a few times. However, to claim that Fern Cottor would have / should have done better with this team is nonsense. Fern has been a failure since the day he left Scotland with a string of failed positions. If anything, it has shown that his success with Clermont was due to his massive budget than his management skills and even then he lost about 5 semifinals and finals. The Scottish rugby improvements were kick started by Glasgow success with GT. GT was the one who gave Hogg and Finn a contract, he was also the one who reached out to international scouts to try and get more players into the fold using ancestry (obv you think that’s wrong but think its fine) – and he is Scottish which apparently means you have more fire power in your belly according to your comment. He is by no means perfect nor is the team but he has made progress.

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      • Correct Cotter was and still is an utter charlatan. Even Fiji got rid. That said GT is now past his sell by date and falls out with too many vital players.

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    • The rugby laws say – ‘A penalty try is awarded between the goal posts if foul play by the opposing team prevents a probable try from being scored,…’
      A try was scored, so I guess, penalty try was not an issue.
      Good job we won, can you imagine the outcry if we’d lost.
      🙂

      • Correct Michael, never at any time could the referee have awarded a penalty try. If Wales had failed to score while playing an advantage, however, he would then and only then, had a decision to make.

    • This anti Townsend rhetoric is getting old, making assumptions on his character and guessing. While the mythical Vern Cotter was amazing continues.
      We won a game many times over the years we would have lost, we were 27-0 due to Townsend selection and tactics we wobbled and still won in a place we rarely win.
      You want to talk capitulation try Twickenham 2017 losing 61-21 to England, our coach that day Vern Cotter.

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  7. Let’s not kid ourselves, the big takeaway from that second half collapse is that Scotland still can’t put together an 80-minute performance and there is no discernible progress in the team’s so-called ‘journey’. We now face three very high hurdles indeed against opponents who will tear us a new one if we perform half as badly as that again.

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  8. The main takeaway for me is that Ireland are street ahead of the rest, the Irish have turned into a test level machine and there is no stopping back to back grand slams from what I can see. France are also a top top side but clearly they had a major hangover on Friday from the RWC, put in a bad performance all round and miss the incredible Dupont massively. They will be back though and wont be anywhere near as poor again in their remaining games. Ireland’s efficiency, decision making, skilset and organisation is straight out the top drawer. They have an incredibly strong combative set of forwards and their depth of talent is admirable. Unfortunately I think they might well wipe the floor with all of Italy, Wales and Scotland at home. They will have it slightly tougher at Twickenham but will be too good for England.

    In terms of Scotland moving forwards…
    I think with big Richie most likely out we need Gilko back in at second row, Skinner is ok in moments but for me everyone fit he is about 5th choice for us, ie not the answer. The back row has alot of competition in there but they were fairly quiet against Wales to a man, Crosbie the pick of the bunch but he might be gone until the England game now. Surely against the French the manager will need to bring a Dempsey and/or Christie in there? We need some aggressive belligerence in there or we will simply get whacked around at the breakdown. I thought Rowe acquitted himself well in Cardiff was fairly assured and his positional sense was ok for a guy who is naturally a winger. If Kinghorn is back he goes right in at 15, if not it looks like Rowe again and that will be a huge test for him although Lucu’s box kicking appears to be not on the same level as Dupont’s (thankfully for Rowe)

  9. #4 Iain seems unaware of World Rugby’s Head Contact process used to establish how potential high tackles are penalised.

    The first question is ‘has head contact occurred?’
    The second question is ‘was there any foul play?’

    Head contact alone has never been sufficient for a penalty. As O’Keefe clearly explained, Crosbie was bent at the waist and knees, he entered contact low and he wrapped his arm. So please explain how this should have been foul play?

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    • good point FF, but I agree with Mr Morrison that credit to the ref, who was otherwise his usual unpredictable inconsistent self. And he, his TMO and Mr Morrison are all inconsistent in not bieng interested in the hit which caused Crosbie to leave the filed and likely miss this week’s game. It was a very similar hit, in that tackler was bent at hit, as was ball carrier. But there was no real attempt to wrap arms, so immediately it is foul play; nothing from ref (who may not have had a decent view, no TMO intervention this time, and not mentioned in the article or many other articles

  10. Irrespective of yesterday’s game, sad news from Wales today with the death of Barry John. Following so soon after JPR. Because of their exploits with the Lions these guys transcended nationality. Not just Barry and JPR, but John Dawes, JJ, Gordon Brown, Duckham, Merv, Charlie Faulkner, Doddie and others. Rugby men first and foremost. Only became opponents once a year when the 5 Nations came round. These guys seemed indestructible. Intimations of mortality. Thoughts go to their families. Will post about yesterday’s game once my heartbeat returns to normal. Scots Whahae!

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    • I can only consider some people need to go to Spec-Savers because they can’t distinguish between the thumbs Up or Down. A respectful post.

  11. Don’t agree with some of the author’s comments at point 2. To suggest that the Paul Willemse red card didn’t affect the outcome of the France-Ireland game is nonsense. Willemse was dismissed after 30 mins yet by the 60th minute a below par France with only 14 men were still in the game at 17-24. France eventually ran out of gas as would be expected, which enabled an impressively clinical Ireland to put them to the sword in the last 20 mins. Paul Willemse has been out injured for a good while and has only recently returned to playing (hence he was not initially included in the France 6N squad). Anyone who has access to live French games on TV will have seen he was outstanding for Montpellier in their recent wins over Toulon and the Lions. Had he not seen red the outcome would have been much closer notwithstanding France were not at their best on the night. On Flatman’s comments about Ireland, add in “streetwise” and “gamesmanship”. The penalty count against Ireland (13 to France’s 8) was almost as high as Scotland’s but interestingly Ireland only had one player sin binned. Good management of the referee, whilst some of our lot were persistently irritating the hell out of Ben O’ Keefe. Ireland’s game management is very streetwise – they are masters at reading what’s happening in front of them and adjusting. It’s called situational awareness – e.g. slowing the game and momentum of the opposition at the right times, a player going down injured just as an attacking opposition line out is being set, a subtle word with the referee to do less coaching and more refereeing at the rucks etc etc. It’s all about game management and exercising control. This feeds into the author’s comments at point 1 and whether there is a lack of leadership in the Scotland team. There clearly was on saturday night, which was further confirmed by the complete indifference shown in the post game comments by Toonie and Finn about the second half meltdown.

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  12. If we’re talking about leaders and leadership when the All Blacks were struggling a couple of years ago they didn’t make wholesale changes to the playing personnel. They Sacked John Plumtree and Brad Mooarr and brought in Jason Ryan and Joe Schmidt. Their results improved and they were RWC finalists last time around. Head coach Ian Foster has since been replaced by Scott Robertson. Over to you Mr. Dodson.

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  13. I’m a RFU coach who coaches at grass roots. The emphasis in junior rugby training is almost exclusively on open play gamezones. The only things taught to a uniform technical template are tackling, scrummaging and some elements of rucking. Other fundamentals including how you pass or catch a rugby ball or agility are left almost exclusively to the coaches who generally use a play and discovery model or in some cases don’t coach these things at all.

    You get kids arriving at u14 – the 1st intake to professional academies – who’ve never been formally taught how to pass or do a sidestep. They’re then introduced to a world of complexity they haven’t always practised the skills to thrive in.

    I think this approach has 2 roots – 1st is the amateur, recreational heritage of the game which rejects taking it too seriously. The 2nd is a paranoia that taking it too seriously might drive players from the game at a time when participation is dropping.

    It contrasts with football, which is taken very seriously from the age of about U10. Coaches have a clear technical template to coach to and have to have FA badges.

    The one advantage junior rugby does have over football is a ‘no player left behind’ ethos. Every player finds their level. In football the lucrative pay offs for unearthing a professional player can mean those not attracting the attention of academies find themselves on a heap, not getting picked.

    There probably is a middle way that could deliver and acceptable mix of the benefits of both models however. Kids should not be thrown into academies at U14 to learn complex moves and strategies when they haven’t even learned a uniform way to handle a ball.

    Of course the end result is inhibiting.

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  14. I think point 1 is a bit off the mark and it’s more about a general mentality around the Scottish team and Scotland in general. Stemming off a general ‘if we beat England then all is good’, but we’re more than that now.

    It’s not the leaders at least beyond what FR said about people taking instruction.

    No one in Scotland takes comfort in a commanding lead as in no one believed this is how the game would end. Like Sam Warburton alluded to, we can’t stand on the neck of the opponent and finish them off. The Scottish mentality is bringing everyone a peg down to the same level and it doesn’t exactly click with high-level professional sport or beating a so-called lesser team. None of that highfalutin stuff.

    It’s all about the results at the end of the day. I’d happily see Scotland collect a Grand Slam with penalties all the way in from here.

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  15. Agree with all of these but some of the stuff under point 1 is harsh. Why put ‘victory’ in quotation marks? They won. Ok, it would have been great to beat Wales by 40 but we’re not Ireland! Better to see the complacency / lack of leadership issue highlighted in that winning performance than in the first half against the French?

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    • Yup, let’s take the win.

      Leadership, Grant Gilchrist has to be back in next week. He was perhaps the key ( and perhaps unexpected) missing link this week. I think it demonstrates nicely what goes on under the covers. GG tells you to stop doing that, you probably stop …. We’ll see next week

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      • Also I try not to criticise when people are obviously trying their best, but GT has to take the lions share of the blame for the team not listening to him. Let’s hope he fixes it.

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      • Gilco will be back. probably best option.

        But to follow your point, first person he needs to tell to not do that is himself. At least one needless and daft pen every game

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