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Argentina is the game Scots will rue losing most

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John Beattie | 12:02 UK time, Saturday, 1 October 2011

Do we, as Scots, have a national failing?

As I write this, Scotland can still qualify depending on the result on Sunday. Argentina play Georgia and Argentina need to win that or lose with a bonus point to qualify. Georgia can throw Scotland a lifeline.

The trouble is that Scotland played really well in the 16-12 defeat by England. I liked the way Dan Parks came on, ran straight, attracted defenders and caused England problems. England, for their sake, abandoned their previous game plan, panicked for the first half, and played a game so foreign they looked as though they would imitate France in the process.

I didn't understand the way England played.

Just a mistake by Nick De Luca, who might have scored, and we were thinking about Billy Bremner 1974 and a sitter against Brazil in the football World Cup - and poor Gavin Hastings in 1991.

Whatever, Scotland could be on the plane home and England are through as group winners.

I feel sick writing this as the game ends, such a sad, sad day for Scotland if this is our last performance in this tournament.

We know that Sean Lamont is such a great player, the lineout held up, Joe Ansbro added punch, Mike Blair played well, but this game was a game too late.

The scrum, though, did not hold up and England had the ascendancy.

The big problems for Scotland came before and during the game against Argentina. Mistakes were made in selection, with the dropping of the captain and a rash substitutions plan. Scotland should never have been in this position today.

The cold analysis will show that Scotland lost a game they were in a position to win - Argentina. And that's what will be the legacy.

This is also devastating in terms of losing tries late in the game. Scotland and the fitness men prided themselves on getting the players fit, but both Argentina and England scored tries late in the game.

In the end, it was glorious failure. England were the better team, especially in the second half, after losing their way. Scotland's try-scoring woes continue, managing to get out wide without making huge ground.

I'll write again tomorrow once I know the final analysis.

Great game, feel sick, blew it against Argentina, how do you feel?

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    A little disappointed, but I must say congratulations to both sides for a really cracking game of Rugby.

    And Dan Parks has redeemed himself in my eyes. Well deserved man of the match.

  • Comment number 2.

    John - totally agree.

    Today - unfortunately - showed how wrong AR got it against Pumas. Ansbro constant threat and looked good with Lamont.

    Need to build team around those two in my opinion.

  • Comment number 3.

    Very proud of the effort, and although Scotland have failed to get through to the qf for the first time, this is one of the best squads ever put out. They will get better.

    Yet again a scottish 9 seems happy to put in one substandard box kick after another, it happens match after match. If Blair had only passed to Parks on each occasion they could have kept the pressure on instaed of allowing England to run it back. In fact they kicked away good possession too often yet again.

    Don't agree with John about Kellock, he was poor in the first game and needed a good kick up the axxx. The mistake against Argentina was leaving Parks on the bench too long.

    A bit worried by Andy Robinson post match saying " I have been proud to be the coach of this group of players" Is he off to a club , if so Scotland will struggle to replace his quality as a coach.

  • Comment number 4.

    Glorious failure? Really? Or just failure? In the final analysis you blew a game you should have won against Argentina, and were 12 points - a lifetime in rugby terms - off the minimum you needed to stand a chance of going through in this game. Even had you achieved that, there would have been no guarantees of Argentina getting a bonus point against Georgia - face it you didn't even manage one & they aren't exactly try machines either - in which case you would still have been going home.

    In the final analysis England stepped up massively in the second half, winning it 13-3, and Scotland's only genuine try-scoring opportunity came from a kick and chase rather than moving the ball through the hands. Unless/until you can find a genuinely pentrative back division (rather than the odd individual who can make a break a la Lamont) then you will be unable to make any impact on the world stage.

    Not unlucky, not glorious, just failure - and until Scotland accept that, nothing will change for them.

  • Comment number 5.

    As a massive England fan I have to agree with you John, your guys had us beat for most of the game. While we blithered around in a state of shock (as if we didn't know that Scotland would throw the kitchen sink at us, shock horror!), the Scots played well, were tenacious, forced mistakes, and actually ran nice lines in the backs. If for a little more fortune, you could've easily send us crashing out - in fact, at times I almost wanted that to happen, and maybe it would finally cause English rugby to have a long hard look at itself.

    It was only with ten minutes to go that England looked like they knew what they were doing - the players finally found their best XV, clicked and started to actually play with cohesion and brains. For the first 60-70 though, it was a farce. The referee was on us like a hawk, and although he was harsh (many of the scrum pens against us were a joke), I can't blame him for being harsh on us - it's our fault for developing such a bad reputation for discipline in this tournament and even back through previous tests. MJ has a mistifying loyalty to certain players, including his golden boy JW - I thought we figured this out? Flood starts, then Wilko comes on to ping over drops with 10-20 mins to go and close a game out. Now ever since a few poor performances in the warm-ups, what was a not perfect, but settled XV that had room to be improved on has been shaken up to such a stage that MJ now has no idea of his first XV, and is being punished for not giving more players (particularly centres, and perhaps Waldrom at 8) a chance in the warm-ups. Who's in form? Who isn't? We don't have a clue - they can play a great game one week, then horrible the next.

    Obviously this all comes back to the coaches, and the SAME triumvirate that have overseen nearly half a decade of mediocrity (bar the odd blip). Hence why I almost wanted a Sco win today - it may finally be the impetus to get the blithering Leicester mafia out after so many years of inconsistency, fundamental errors (that were YET AGAIN out in force today), and bewildering tactics/selections.

    The odd thing is...I'm ranting and raving here, and yet England are through. Somethind doesn't seem right with that. Not that I think Scotland should be through instead - they had their chances, and though they were the better team for long periods, they blew it again - but I have really no faith in this current England team to make much more of an impact in this tournament, yet bizarrely the final route is looking easier than it was four years ago! Another meeting with France, then (assuming we make it past France, who are looking even more indifferent than us) either Wales or Ireland, or an outside chance Italy, then the final! Crazy.

    So to summarise then - well done Scotland, you did very well, and although you're heading home, you may well have given us the kick up the arse we so desperately needed. Then again, we got a kick up the arse from Georgia, Argentina, Wales in the warmups, Ireland in the 6N, South Africa before that...and still we haven't learnt from it. We're the only team in the world that can beat Australia home and away with great performances then regress rather than build on it. Instead of building and getting stronger for the WC, we've frittered it away, and now we arrive at the knockout stages somewhat punch-drunk and full of uncertainty. It can only get tougher from here...

    Adam

  • Comment number 6.

    The only national failing you Scots have is the midges, apart from that you´re fine. You dominated the tough Argentines and you stepped up to the mark against mighty England. Now if you can just get a change in the rules concerning the length of the game to say, 70 minutes....

  • Comment number 7.

    Sitting in Jordanhill, Glasgow where it is pi**ing it down I'm exhausted after that game. Just hope my daughter (Scottish) and son-in-law (English) are still speaking to each other as they were at the game together. Sorry if this is off topic.

  • Comment number 8.

    Sorry John

    There is no such thing as a "glorious defeat"! Early plane home and deservedly so. We yet again failed miserably to get across the try line (which I am led to believe is the main idea in rugby). The team had plenty of posession but didn't know what to do with the ball when in hand. Usual lateral running, desperate kicks ahead and slippery fingers!
    How many more times do we have to read the truly grating "Plucky Scots lose again....blah blah blah"?
    Blame must go to the coaches for the Argentina display (or lack of it), and to be honest the paltry amount of tries (4 from 4). It just isn't good enough!
    I can't fault the effort, but thank goodness it was a pretty average England display today, or we weren't playing a better side, or else we would have had a steaming. I won't be spending anymore money watching this lot, plucky or not.

  • Comment number 9.

    A very solid performance from Scotland, it's that age old story, we've got to compete for 80 minutes. I thought Blair & Parks at #9 & #10 were excellent, it was Parks' best match for Scotland by a long way.

    We've all failed at various times to pick the ball when the run, unfortunately De Luca's handling error will haunt him forever! At that moment I turned to my 8 year old son & said, "that will cost us the match & getting through to the 1/4 finals". We had some great passages of play, we played with so much intensity, it was great to watch, unfortunately not quite enough.

    Lamont's found his position at inside centre, we need to continue to play him there.

    Feeling a wee bit low, but very proud how the boys applied themselves.

  • Comment number 10.

    I am fed up with near misses. Watching Scotland continues to be a painful experience. We just can't score tries. I don't mind watching a close, hard fought game with no tries - some of these are the best matches - but Scotland continually comes up short.

    We did not sustain the pressure against England today. I could not understand why we tried to run penalties,particularly in the weather. Far better to get down in the opposition half and then try a little adventure from there, particularly with Dan Parks there to kick us deep.

    Some of the team selections puzzled me. Rory Lamont just does not seem to get a look in - he has to be a better defender than Paterson and is much better going forward. Cusiter - what a frustrating time it must be for him to watch Mike Blair make a mess of various options. Nick de Luca reverted to type and fluffed the few opportunities that came his way.

    It's going to be a long year. As a life member of my club, Glasgow season ticket holder and debenture holder at Murrayfield, I will still turn up for my punishment. What punishment awaits the coaches - strange selections and tactics, no discernible improvement in our back play (what does Gregor bring as a coach - he never knew what he was going to do on the field; sadly we all know what our backs are going to do - nothing much).

    Individually we have good players, collectively we had a good pack today. And some of the backs did some good things. But when will we ever learn to score tries. I just don't know.

    Time for Paterson and Hines to retire - with thanks for past contributions. It's agony watching Scotland so in some sense - while painful to say it- we can now enjoy the world cup as Scotland are out.

  • Comment number 11.

    Isn't it funny, how hard we are on our teams. We support them and cry when we win and again when we lose. Scotland did what they always do, play spoiling rugby and live of the scraps, England for their part filled the role of headless chicken for 40. I wonder if AR pre match talk said spoil, spoil, spoil. MJ has seen this, even played it at times and it was only after half time England stepped the pace up a notch and the rest is history. JW is still an awesome player and played well Flood came on and also played well but for me this game is a bit special it always is, the result normally is the same but not always and today was one i thought was going the way of the Scots. Well played both teams. i did have to laugh at the ITV team making so much of the Scottish weather, cause it never rains or blows in England does it

  • Comment number 12.

    Hello all. I've said it before on these boards and it is worth repeating. With Robinson, what you see is what you get. As coach of England he had a unidimensional game plan that worked once in a while but more often than not blew up in his face. His selection policy was often baffling and he lost the players' trust about half way through his reign. The loss to Argentina at Twickenham was the nadir and you could see the players almost ignore AR as they left the pitch.

    Much like Kevin Keegan was for the English national football team, Robinson is a one trick pony and at the highest level, with the relatively modest resources he has to bring to bear, he gets found out. We were glad to be shot of him after his time at England and you ultimately will feel likewise, when he leaves to go back to club rugby and you find someone with something approaching a vision who can harness the players correctly.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Dissappointed for Scotland as I really thought this is the best Scottish team for many years and thought they would beat Argentina and push England all the way. (the latter, they did). First half definitely the better team - but as previously mentioned, the game is 80 mins.

    John, you are right about the Argentina game, this is where Scotland failed to qualify. The failing is to close out tight games even when you aren't playing well and that comes from confidence and belief that you can still win games going into the last 10 mins. England, despite their inconsistency and at times decision making, have now done that against Argentina (when Arg were the better team) and now against the Scots.

    Lamont, Danielli, Ansbro and Evans are all more than capable of scoring tries but in reality this match (especially in the wet) was never going to be a try fest. Eng V Sco games in wet conditions are nearly always a very close, kick orientated battle and tend to be very tight games.

    For that reason, I'm not too worried about the England performance as they did get better as the game wore on (with the exception of some decisions made by very experienced players). If SA or AUS had played like that and still won, people would be saying that shows a good team - not playing well but finding ways to win. It will be a totally different game against the French.

  • Comment number 15.

    To be honest, I'm absolutely fine with our performance. Yes, a few penalties not to give away here and there, but very solid.

    England scored at the end because they'd pushed on at the same time as us, but we needed to go for a try, and abandon all defensiveness. Had it worked, we'd have been rugby heroes for overturning the odds and beating our old enemy.

    Still, now we've got to look forward immediately to the 6 nations. Wales and Ireland did it in 2008 & 2009 after being knocked out, so why can't we? This is one of the best squads we've ever had, and I've full confidence that when Paterson retires either Parks or Jackson have the ability to replace him as key kicker, and Southwell at fullback.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    richardtsblyth

    "unfortunately not quite enough."

    The phrase containing the words "record" "old" and "same" spring to mind. We lose matches we should win (England like Argentina were beatable today and would have been by even a mediocre side), but cannot cannot cannot score tries. All the other good work goes for a ball of chalk as a result of this failing.

    A victory today would have only papered over the cracks (chasms) and put off the inevitable for 80 minutes.

  • Comment number 18.

    Certainly was not a glorious failure. Scotland played well today and could of won, but they have been so disappointing in their previous three matches. They should never of put themselves in the position they were in before the game. Qualification for the quarter-finals should already have been secured. One decent performance out of four does not constitute glorious failure. They gave it their all today, but if I was a Scotsman I'd be bitterly disappointed with the campaign.

  • Comment number 19.

    RWC 2011 has been so dissappointing from a scottish point of view - we did really well to put ourselves in a position to win both of our last two matches and came up short both times.

    No question we have passion and put in 100% effort - today especially in the first half our intensity made england look very ordinary. Passion however is not enough we also need self belief and that was lacking in both games.

    That self belief leads to a patience and purpose that marks out the tops teams - these teams have a belief that inevitablely they will succeed.

    Last sunday we lacked the patentience to wait for the right moment and not rush the drop goal attempt to win against argentina.

    Today with 5 mins to go 6 points up we were in the red zone and off the first phase Parks went for a scrambled up and under which conceeded possession and territory to england at a crucial time - effectively ending our rwc hopes.

    If self belief is the missing ingredient then how we add it is a more complex question. The answer may be in the coaching as has been suggested but i think it goes deeper - our players are too used to losing important matches - we need more players playign consistently at a higher level more later stage exposure to heinekin cup, a deeper pro pool to select from, better partnership with the semi pro clubs, a 3rd pro club, more work in the schools etc however all this costs money we dont have.

    Looking at the new emerging talent in world rugby I'm wonderding if scotland will ever be a top 4,6 or even 8 team again. Perhaps the occassional glorious defeat is all we can hope for.

    Good luck to england who i think can (and will) only get better - I agree with a previous comment and believe that they will surprise a few people and make it to a 3rd successive world cup final.

  • Comment number 20.

    Our real problem is still at stand off. Teams know that neither Parks nor Jackson have a real break and will not beat them for pace. Therefore all they do is drift and defend in numbers against our back moves knowing that our 10 is not going to attack and if he does their back row will cover it! Hence no space and no opportunity to have a man on man situation! We really need to find a 10 with more than good hands and a good boot on them - we need someone that oppositions need to defend against and who can create a bit of panic in the opposition defence. Someone like Matt Scott needs to be given a chance at 10 to see if he can develop into an international 10! When Engeerlaand brought on Flood the difference was clear to see - suddenly we had to face an attacking threat at 10 and it sucked in our defence!

    I feel sorry for Scottish backs who often get blamed unfairly for not creating - think how much easier it must be playing outside Carter, Flood or Cooper!

  • Comment number 21.

    Well said *13, LetsBe_Avenue.

    Many of the long -winded contributors to these postings, could do with rcalling the saying ' less is more ' !

  • Comment number 22.

    What is 'glorious failure'? It doesnt exist and judging by the performances of the so-called 'minnows' of the World Cup, it is not going to keep Scotland in the top 10 rugby nations for much longer.

    Despite the usual knee jerk reactions to get rid of everyone, now is the time to keep faith with Andy Robinson and give him a contract until after the next world cup.

    Or maybe the SRU should hold a strategic review.........

  • Comment number 23.

    Agree with 15 and 16. We can go forward with this squad plus a few additions. When is Visser available in 2012 is it in time for the 6N.

    John not sure if i agree about Georgia throwing us a lifeline, leaving us to play the Blacks, is not exactly a get out of jail card.

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    I'm sorry but I can't buy into this 'near miss' mentality of Scotland. If we're talking football we're talking about a side that has NEVER been into a second round of a world cup, let alone a final/semi. Even Wales and Northern Ireland have achieved that. Try losing a final or semi-final on penalties if you want to know what a near miss is truly like.

    As for the rugby history, well, yes a close semi-final was lost in 1991. One appearance in the last four in six tournaments. Try losing a final after having a good try disallowed if you want a genuine near miss.

    As for today's rugby - well how many near misses did Wilkinson have in the first half? Near misses work both ways, it isn't just Scotland how had them. With or without the try Scotland were going out.

  • Comment number 26.

    Many of the long -winded contributors to these postings, could do with rcalling the saying ' less is more

    *********************

    Is uppose when compared to two lines, two-and-a-half paragraphs is long winded, sorry, I'll wind my neck in deary.

  • Comment number 27.

    #13 and #21. These blogs are posted under the "comments and analysis" section of the BBC rugby website and are purely for the purpose of providing an opportunity for bloggers to provide us their opinion and then for the rest of us to squabble like five years olds afterwards.

    What you seem to be after is the match report which can be found at this link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/15124512.stm

    Now stop annoying us so we can get back to our bickering...

  • Comment number 28.

    I feel pretty good! But then Im English. Lets be honest Scotland have never looked convincing since the start of the world cup and to expect them win by 8 points against a tight English defence was asking too much in the end. The last twenty minutes was all England, Croft was nicking balls at the lineout and the maul sapping already tired scottish legs.

    How far can England go? well we can beat France but feel we will come a cropper in the semis.....

  • Comment number 29.

    Letsbeavenue

    Hey-if we want to feel sick and hurt then that's our perogative-so get lost and go to another site and feel smug there. If you want to hear about what happened on the field, buy a paper. This is a forum for rugby fans to vent their passions when winning or losing. JB's blogs suit me fine-they aren't perfect, but they are hearfelt, and I like that approach.
    We were well beaten in this tournament and deserve to be homeward bound (I don't believe in miracles).

  • Comment number 30.

    The Scottish Rugby team of today reminds me of Wales in the early years of this decade. Glorious failures undone by simple, basic mistakes. Great on the training ground, but an inability to play off the cough and think for themselves on the field (with a few exceptions), and then a complete failure to understand why things are going wrong since they seem to work so well on the training ground!

    There was one moment late on in the game which shows Scotland's weakness:

    Scotland started an attack from within their own half. The ball got passed along the line and it looked promising. It got into the hands of the great Chris Patterson. However two players were outside him - Ansbro out on the wing and another (can't remember who, sorry). There were only 2 English defenders. All Scotland needed was for the support player to straighten the line and come between Patterson and Ansbro, and for Patterson to pop a short pass to this support player - there was a gaping hole there - massive. But the support player cut inside and Patterson had to ship the ball onto Ansbro on the wing before he was bundled into touch. Patterson also got clattered and suffered a mighty headache.

    Why oh why did the support player cut inside into the congested mid field? Silly.
    A try went begging...and a victory and a place in the QF.

  • Comment number 31.

    I see the BBC moderators are in top form aagain today, zapping any hint or criticism of the dear old BBC. Stop dressing up blogs as "news content", it's not what you're supposed to be doing with the money. People do want to comment, so open up the real articles for comment not the so-called blogs, which we all know they are is no way shape or form.

  • Comment number 32.

    No try vs England, Argentina or Georgia. See you later.

  • Comment number 33.

    Hey-if we want to feel sick and hurt then that's our perogative-so get lost and go to another site and feel smug there
    **************************************

    I don't feel smug by the way. The point is, this is the news site, for emotion and random rants you can go to 606. If you want the news you go to the news/sports page. If the BBC has to water their factual news pages down with fictional blogs that's up them, but I don't think it's on presenting partisan "blogs" on the news site.

  • Comment number 34.

    Nav - says it all. Not unlucky, not glorious, not plucky - just not good enough.

  • Comment number 35.

    John - Slightly disagree about the scrum, that Scotland did ok there apart from the latter half of the Second half when the first choice props came off.

    Apart from that agree that it was too little too late for Scotland and had a feeling all week that they would massively rue the argies game.

    The fundamental lack of ambition in Scottish Rugby really worries me, which I believe is the reason why we are suffering at all levels. Why are we not promoting this great sport? Why are we not getting every kid the length and the breadth of Scotland playing a game which is suitable for all shapes and sizes.

    I spent a bit of time coaching a bunch of kids the game in Easterhouse, Glasgow - as far from a rugby heartland you could get. They loved it because there was a position for every kid and they could all utilise there strengths. Unlike football, its a game for everyone.

    In terms of getting crowd numbers why don't the SRU promote touch rugby? A nice, non contact, fun game anyone can pick up really quickly and keeps you fit. It will help any person to start to get a basic understanding for the game and just maybe get them coming down to watch a pro game on a Friday night.

    Lets try something new! What have we got to lose, we can be good a rugby... It's nothing to do with the size of our population or our climate! Look at Ireland, Wales even New Zealand.

    Come on Scottish Rugby lets give it a go, lets change the sport, get kids playing, get adults interested in watching. Lets just enjoy the sport first and let the rest take care of itself.

  • Comment number 36.

    Letsbe, it's not dressed up at all, it says "Blog" at the top of the page not "Match report". This is a forum for people to discuss rugby, not how to run the BBC sport website. If you want to take it up with the BBC I would suggest this is not the place to do it as all you will get is abuse from irate rugby fans. All you are doing is making yourself look like a pedantic fool who can't get a very simple concept.

  • Comment number 37.

    I thought Scotland were brilliant and I am very proud of the way they played in a very fierce group and horrendous conditions.

    Credit to England and Argentina, we lost the battle and the war.

    But we were 2 game points away from a quarter final with New Zealand, and 7 game points away from topping the group and playing France.

    I am glad Scotland is keeping Robinson till 2015, we have improved immensely under him.

    We're not out yet but... Next time.

  • Comment number 38.

    Another performance that the team failed to deliver,the game was Scotland's at half-time,so why did we fail to take control in the 2nd half? .Its been a very disappointing world cup as a Scotland supporter,though at times we did play some lovely rugby but it didn't put the points on the board. I would like to thank Andy Robinson for his time as coach but hes failed to deliver & he has to go the failure is not acceptable. The 6 Nations next we have to regroup & give it all or it will be wooden spoon time again

  • Comment number 39.

    Re 38: Who is at the top of your list to replace AR?

  • Comment number 40.

    tartantommy

    You are wrong about andy robinson, he has to stay, in the short time he hasn been in charge we have improved in lumps. Regrettably i think he is about to take up an english Premier job, and we will be looking for a replacement in time for the six nations.

    i hope i am wrong and he is in charge until 2015.

  • Comment number 41.

    I am not sure if Johnson got the team selection wrong, or it was just that key players did not perform, but I am sure that the problem was not assessed and fixed quickly enough. Scotland played with a superb passion and commitment that disguised their shortcomings as a last-eight nation. But England would not have been on the back foot, especially in the first half, but for serious under-performance in three key positions. Loose head prop and half backs. Matt Stevens was not in control of his position and England lost possession time and again because of his binding or head position (below hips –actually, in the dirt). Youngs was indecisive throughout taking far to long to release the ball from the back of a scrum or breakdown. He let the ball stay within the scrum too long, so never any quick ball, and often so long that the England eight too often lost control of the set piece before the ball was released to the backs. Youngs kept taking an extra step or two before making a pass, and gave some awful ball to next receiver. Too slow and too indecisive. There was never a proper link between the forwards and the backs. These were the main two culprits for starving England of a platform, but the half back combo also came to grief because of Wilkinson's newly developed kicking frailty. Clearly, no longer a one-off blip. Quite apart from the poor kicking return, Wilkinson then tried to compensate by making bad game decisions. The biggest culprit of all though was Martin Johnson. The said three players were not performing, and should have been substituted in the first half, and at half time at the very latest. Yet they all trotted on after the interval. I get the impression that substitutions were largely made according to a pre-match plan rather than what was actually happening on the field. Thank goodness, when Corbisiero, Wrigglesworth and Flood came on, their impact transformed the match. I do not understand why Johnson is so slow to adapt more quickly. Personally, I would prefer Simpson to Wrigglesworth and a berth has to be found for the terrific Tom Palmer.

    Conclusion: strengthen the front row; quick ball off the back of the scrum or breakdown; kick penalties. Simple game. BTW, does anyone else wonder wonder what Lewis Moody is actually contributing to the matches?

  • Comment number 42.

    I disagree with 20. Jackson is young and has not had many caps. He is picked for the big matches before Parks precisely because he can get the backs going. He is maturing as the all round stand-off Scotland needs. Losing him so early changed the whole complexion of the game and nobody seems to have picked up on this critical point anywhere on the internet or TV. Parks' natural and seemingly only instinct is to kick; and so fundamenally that's why he's an Ozzie reject. Scotland's backs had to feed off speculative kicking to the wings by Parks and almost no other ball - when Parks did run he ran too straight at precisely the time when Scotland's hard earned ball should have been moving outside. Scotland lost v Argentina when Jackson went off and Parks came on and lost v England when Jackson went off and Parks came on. The poor talented Scotland backs' hearts must sink when they see Parks coming on, I would imagine. Robinson's mistake in bringing him on v Argentina. This should be his last cap for Scotland

  • Comment number 43.

    All you are doing is making yourself look like a pedantic fool who can't get a very simple concept.
    ********************

    It appears that the BBC don't get the concept. Blogs are not "paid for" articles, well, not proper blogs aren't.
    Either this is a match report, or this "piece" should be linked from the Sport page to 606 or a similar forum. I'm all for comment, but the BBC don't allow it on actual reports/pieces. That's my point. If you don't geddit, I can't help you...

  • Comment number 44.

    @25: Stop your ranting. I bet you're just one of those England fans who was preparing for the World Cup by guaranteeing England would win everything and beat everyone, and what happened there?

    Also, why don't you look around on the internet for things. I think you'll find:

    1) It was not a try. I have seen several pictures online proving this.
    2) You'd have lost anyway. SA were always going to dominate you.
    3) You were lucky you came upon an awful Australia and a crippled France.
    4) No-one cares about what you have to say about that final. Its history. Deal with it.

  • Comment number 45.

    Yesterday morning as a Brit first and Englishman second, my ideal result was Scotland win by less than 7 points with four tries, England to score four tries and we both go through with England top -
    Then Nick De Luca reminded me of how much you guys hate us by saying 'it would be a "bonus" if a victory over England on Saturday were to knock England out of the World Cup' and guess what:-
    This morning my dream score changed to wanting to give Scotland some hope and then blow away their dream of going through right at the end.
    Well, I got my revised wish, but, in truth I'm not proud of feeling that way, just disappointed you guys try so hard to make us dislike you.

    Well done Nick

  • Comment number 46.

    A glorious failure by the Scots? Probably. But having read the post-match report I'm coming down on the side of those England supporters who have resented the negativity displayed by the BBC on-line writers.

    England defended magnificently. Johnson assured us that England would put up a 'knock-out' kind of display. It didn't seem like that in the 1st half. Rather, that England were keeping an eye on the scoreboard and doing the sums.

    3 factors contributed to an eventual aggressive posture:

    1. Half-time team talk.
    2. Bringing on Nick Easter
    3. Replacing Wilko with Flood.

    I though Scotland were really excellent. But they're not as good as England. Sorry.

    Delon Armitage is going to come up trumps in one of the KO matches.

    Last point, to back up the earlier claim that we (English) were score-counting is that there was very little 2nd-phase play from England. The was ball hoofed up or kicked into touch from the ruck.

    England are slowly improving. I watched the game in France and I can tell you that the French are worried.

  • Comment number 47.

    is anyone else going to see the glaringly obvious that scotland were extremely unlucky to lose their l pin in R Jackson so early in such a massive game. D Parks comes on and as usual perpetually kicks the ball or runs too straight. the backs have no chance of scoring a try with him on the pitch. Nobody but nobody has said why Scotland cant kill teams off they just say they cant kill them off and that maybe they lack confidence or the killer instinct. what a load of vague rubbish. the hard facts are the scotland backs need quality ball and parks never gets them going enough with this, he just wastes possession all the time. this is why we cant kill teams off. losing jackson so early was the worst luck that could have happend to scotland in such a big game.

  • Comment number 48.

    Ré: 46

    Typo: 'the BALL WAS hoofed up..' &c.

    Sorry.

  • Comment number 49.

    @ Hawkeyethejock

    " england like Argentina were beatable today and would have been by even a mediocre side"

    so what you are saying is Scotland are what worst than Mediocre say rubbish?

    i think Scotland have a fine team but have the mindset of underdogs whatever team they play, take the Georgia game you guys thought that was a good performance it wasn't at all it reminded me of Ire vs Georgia 2007. Until someone takes over that team who believes in there very soul that Scotland should win every game they play, you will always have your Glorious defeats.
    England have not play well at all but they still have the mindset that they will win every game, unfortunately that is called the English Arrogance, so i guess none of the so called Celtic Nations will ever win a world cup, as that is just not done.

  • Comment number 50.

    Just like our Scottish football team we always have to do this to our nation more long living painful memories. As a young boy i was dragged along with the thought that Scotland would win the World Cup in 1978. These dreams were shattered. Then i went to listen to a charity night with Frank Mc Avennie who boosted how he and others had sneaked out of their rooms after being told not to by Alex Ferguson and going partying with Rod Stewart and then playing in an important match the next day and here is me thinking why cant we ever win anything. Hence my respect for him dissapeared i thought what about all those supporters who have travelled the world to support Scotland and he tells us that. Anyway sorry to rant but my point is that we love our country but we stumble from manager to manager and we never change our mentality or game. We have the team and one day with the right coaches it will click and we will start to realise that we are capable of beating England, South Afirica etc I agree AR has taken us forward but now we need a coach who is forward thinking and will introduce the modern game to Scottish Rugby and if that needs a foreign coach perhaps from Newzealand then so be it otherwise we will always be the glorious failures. I love my country and i will always support them through thick and thin but i also want to see them win !!!! c,mon Scotland.

  • Comment number 51.

    ROBINSON MUST STAY.

    Anyone who thinks he should go, hasn't got the slightest clue about Scottish rugby and is talking complete and utter waffle. You must be football supporters who tuned in for one match. Go away.

  • Comment number 52.

    #43 "It appears that the BBC don't get the concept. Blogs are not "paid for" articles, well, not proper blogs aren't.
    Either this is a match report, or this "piece" should be linked from the Sport page to 606 or a similar forum. I'm all for comment, but the BBC don't allow it on actual reports/pieces. That's my point. If you don't geddit, I can't help you..."

    First of all, I already posted the link to the match report page if that's what you're looking for. Secondly, 606 has been closed since June. Thirdly, as I already pointed out, this article/blog is posted on the BBC sport website as opinion which other people can then comment on. If you have a greivance with the way the BBC runs it's sport website take it up with them not with people who are posting opinions on a rugby forum. So you can in fact help me. It would help me very much if you would take your pedantic point and go elswhere with it.

  • Comment number 53.

    The usual much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    I really don't understand why we get so upset, we should be used to it. I for one am proud of both the team and management. They gave it everything.

    I have said it before.........

    We DO NOT have the resources or player numbers to regularly beat the big guns. We will do it very occasionaly, and it is a minor miricle that we do. We competed well in the amateur era but in this professional time, no chance . It is massively unrealistic to expect us to. It is a simple cash and numbers problem. It's a pity because rugby suits our national psyche. If only we could get rid of the awful round ball game!

    I'm gutted but look forward to 6N as always. And will be 100% behind the team whatever.

  • Comment number 54.

    Same old, same old from Scotland. No creativity, little imagination and when the big moments come, they fluff it. Every. Single. Time.

    Pathetic.

    Since 2000, Scotland have scored 70 tries in the 6N. Italy (the proverbial "whipping boys") have scored 73. In the last 4 years, Scotland have scored 16 tries in TOTAL. Not difficult to see what the problem is, but no-one in the higher echelons of the Scotland setup seems to be able to do anything about it.

    Gregor Townsend - must go now. Failure to score a try in 3 out of 4 WC group matches is a disgrace. Whatever he's doing, it isn't working.

    Andy Robinson - used to support him, but he's lost my respect. Watching his reaction at the end of the match with Wilkinson (big slap on the back, and having a huge laugh) is not the reaction I'd expect from a man who should have been devasted at his side's failure to qualify. The only Scotland side to fail to qualify from their group makes them demonstrably the worst Scotland side ever.Yet in his post-match interview, he completely ignored Scotland's anaemic performances and instead boasted about how many "friends" they'd made in Invercargill. Wake up man - you were there to win matches, not friends! His only contribution to Scotland in the 2 seasons he's had is to tighten the defence a little - they still show no ability to scare the opposition by scoring tries. And if anything, they are now even worse at taking their chances than they were before - as soon as they have a chance of a try, they freeze, panic and lose the chance. Not to mention the rewards for mediocrity (Dan Parks should not have featured at all after his woeful performance against the Pumas). Scotland would have been better off with 14 men than this liability.

    Robinson out, Townsend out, and many of the players must also go. Parks (should have gone years ago), Hines (too old, & never forgiven him for his petulant red card against Wales), Paterson (thanks for the service, but your pathetic failure to tackle in the Argentina match shows your time is up), Murray (YOU don't get to pick & choose the matches you play in - either you make yourself available for ALL of them or your place goes to someone who demonstrates commitment instead of personal selfishness), Danielli (inept), de Luca (ditto), Lamont (fat idiot who likes to prove how "hard" he is by running into the opposition instead of round them).

    How much longer do we have to be patronised with the "brave" tag? Scotland weren't "brave" - they were cowards who have got out of the tournament exactly what they deserved - an early plane ride home. Only when everyone in Scottish rugby stops being satisfied with losing will anything change - and I'm not holding my breath.

  • Comment number 55.

    agreed. stick to the point that everyone is blind to ie. the stand off position wins or loses matches for a rugby team who gets enough ball from their forwards over 80 minutes. scotlands forwards did mange to get enough ball with which to win the game and most times Parks took the wrong option. boot him into touch not robinson. robinson didnt pick parks and can be forgiven for making the mistake of putting him on v argentina towards the end. im sure rbinson will learn fromthat and never pick parks again.

  • Comment number 56.

    Well I know The Truth hurts but that was some rant there fella.

  • Comment number 57.

    #51 I have been a Scotland fan for many years and have played Rugby at Army level so i do understand a lot about Rugby i mearly used the Frank Mc Avennie story to illustrate a point but if you think that AR is the man who is going to take us forward to be a great team you are living in a dream world. We still go from 6 nations to 6 nations playing the same game the same way still not scoring tries. We have great individual backs if we could gel these we would be a much more dangerous side. Our tactics are wrong against Argentina, Georgia and Romania we should have attacked instead we reverted to type and tried to stifle. We are better than that. The tactics are down to the coaches and if you think thats forward thinking your are stuck in the past. Everyone hailed Frank Hadden after we beat England when he took over but again he ran out of ideas. I agree Robinson is better but again he and the coaches have run out of ideas and that is why we may be going home tommorow not even reaching the quarter finals for the first time in history.!!

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 59.

    I hope you are right and i will be there to watch!!!!!

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    Andy Robinson is a fantastic technical coach. Probably one of the best around. He knows the game inside out and knows most tricks to get the most out of players. For all Sir Clive Woodward's bluster, it was his then assistant coach, Andy Robinson, who spent the most time with the team. The reason he is not the best team manager is that his team selections and man management stink. He was exactly the same when in charge of England. I'll never forget him pulling Charlie Hodgson off after half an hour on the pitch. What message does this send? I have no faith in you and if you mess up once then it's curtains. JB was absolutely right in his blog that the Argentina game was where Scotland got knocked out of this World Cup. And the reason they lost that game was team selection. How can you select a captain and the not play him? What message does this send to the players? He has done a good job for Scotland, but he has taken them as far as he can now.

    #53, Coaching issues aside I believe you're right, but I was just wondering what do you reckon could be done to address the problems in the Scottish game at the moment and produce players that can compete?

  • Comment number 62.

    There are more than a few who think that getting rid of AR is the solution. Who is going to replace him? Are there coaches out there who would be happy to havetheir ambitions stifled by a small pool of players, a smaller budget, general apathy from the Scottish public, red top tabloids who still peddle it as a posh school boys sport.

    Is Sean Lineen ready to step up to the mark? Or do we wheel out Telfer and McGeechan again for the umpteenth time?

    Be glad we have Andy Robinson

  • Comment number 63.

    This whole article is symptomatic as to why Scotland are never going to get back to where they should be - blue coloured spectacles. They DID NOT play well today (and they most certainly didn't play 'really well') - they shaded the first half on effort and could easily have been behind at the interval: after it they were totally on the back foot.

    They can cause trouble in any game and can always get 'up' to play England, but generally they just aren't good enough. They and the tartan clad, die-hard type of supporters seem to think giving the other team a good game is enough; whereas the more thoughtful amongst us would like to see the rugby issues addressed.

    Their attacking play in all 4 games has been inept and today, as against Argentina, they never looked as thought they might have the game won even when they led!

  • Comment number 64.

    The future of whether I continue to support Scotland will be determined within the weeks coming. We cannot get rid of Andy Robinson unless we have a sizeable alternative. Gregor Townsend should be the immediate priority; it's out attacking strategy that is at fault, he's the attacking coach, get rid of him. I'd like to see Sean Lineen move into his post.

    Really though, what happens next will be determined by whether or not the propaganda is trumped up as "brave" and "honourable". There is no such thing in defeat. Heads need to roll and Scotland needs to grow a spine. The future of our team is dependent on it.

    I'll be watching closely, but to be honest I think it's likely we'll receive the same vocalised pat-on-backing that the SRU are known for, rather than the reform we so desperately need.

  • Comment number 65.

    agree with 63. Scotland were unlucky to lose Jackson so early as Parks is inept at getting the backs to play. Scotland lost when Parks came on and lost when against argentina when he came on in that match too. and another thing - would people stop going on about Toby Flood coming on towards the end of the game and turning the game for england without mentioning that as big or a bigger influence on the whole game was Jackson being forced to go off at the beginning of it!!!!!!

  • Comment number 66.

    #61
    Sadly Tom I don't have many ideas.

    Changing management will make no difference. How do we encourage kids to play rugby instead of football in this country? Somehow show them that rubgy is a better sport. A more honest and worthwhile pursuit. I have 3 sons who laugh at me if I watch football on TV. "how can you watch that" they say? "Look at the state of them", or words to that effect. They all play and love their rugby.

    Scottish rugby has to make a serious effort to get into the unfashionable "East Ends" of the cities to somehow tap into the possible talent there. Achieving disillusionment with football in this counrty may take some time though. Maybe never.

  • Comment number 67.

    Hi. Just to be clear, I think that Andy Robinson is the man for Scotland, he has brought in an urgency and standards that are superb. He has blown a fresh wind through Scottish international rugby.

    As I write this I so hope that Georgia can provide enough of a problem for Scotland to qualify.

  • Comment number 68.

    In 3 games (that's 4 hours of rugby) against Georgia, Argentina & England, we have scored 39 points, all from the boots of Parks, Patterson & Jackson - 13 successful kicks. During that time we conceded 35 points - 2 late converted tries, 6 penalties & 1 drop.

    It would be interesting to see the stats on possession & territory over the 3 games. I suspect we have spent a lot more time in our opponents 22 - the Red Zone - than they have in ours. It's our composure & patience that are in need of development; we have to stop trying to play the killer offload/pass/cross-field kick. Trust our ability to take contact then maintain & develop possession.

    SO fed up with these supposed glorious failures, would be happy to win ugly every time !!!

  • Comment number 69.

    I don't understand where the "glorious" part of the failure is. Scotland knew what they had to do: win, and by no less than 8 points. Yes, they did have the lead for 69 minutes, but they had the margin they needed for ONE of those minutes. And Scotland only did as 'well' as that because England missed 50% of their penalty kicks. Was that the tactic - hope Wilkinson keeps missing?
    I was looking forward to this fixture because instead of the usual drudgery of recent Calcutta Cup tests where Scotland just kill the game and hope to scrape a penalty more than England gets, the team would come out and play, do or die, winner takes it all. What we got was the same fare as every winter fixture. It hasn't worked for 26 years, (and that's not how Scotland won their games before that), so why would it be different today? Well, it wasn't.
    There was only failure here today, and the Scotland players should go home ashamed that they have let their long suffering supporters down - not because they lost, but because they didn't play.

  • Comment number 70.

    what a load of rubbish 68. we do contact and maintain and develop possession. we just then take the wrong option when the backs need to run it and run it wide. thats what it is. we have enough phases but dont do enough with the ball. the stand off dictates this and we will get nowhere without a decent stand off. jackson will develop and is already much better than parks who wasted our possession today by always taking the wrong option. totally ruined the game for scotland. jackson would have scored that drop goal and long penalty but wld also have run it far more often. its infuriating that people talk about robinson and about scotlands game when its about the stand off releasing the backs - providing the right platform after the forwards have won possession. we are not far away we just have to never ever pick parks again and robinson i think has learned that but robinson just wanted to kick for safety v argentina to protect a lead by taking him on. robinson will learn frm that mistake because parks allowed argentina to come on to scotland late in the game. remember parks was very much a lower leagues footballer in australia, nowhere near international standard ans scotland shld never have taken him on. hes far too one dimensional in such a critical position for any internatioal rugby team. its not as if jackson cant kick and can only run.

  • Comment number 71.

    I am surprised no one has commented on what I see as being a major issue. At previous world cups we have always had quite a good world ranking and it would have been an upset if we had not qualified for the quarters. When the draw for this tournament was made we were ranked outwith the top 8, so were always going to have to beat a team ranked above us.

    The reality for the future is that we will drift in and out of the top 8 in the world [probably more out than in], and with other nations improving, qualifying for the quarters will be the best we can hope for.

    Yes both defeats were frustrating but we were not good enough when it came down to it, although i think some credit must go to the players for their efforts today. Certainly in the first half we played quite well, and the match was not the 'three english tries in the first 20 mins' anti-climax I had feared.

    As for Robinson I think he has done a good job, he served his time as coach of Edinburgh and got to know the scottish game before taking on the job.

    Finally I fear that one day soon we will be recalling the 'glory days' of these types of near misses as judging from how our teams are doing it what was the Magners, there is not going to be any great improvment in the performance of the scottish team despite the vast sums of money invested in the game by Sport Scotland. The gap to the 'big' nations like England will grow, and we will struggle to stay ahead of those presently ranked below us, although I will still continue to support my nation although it will be forever more in hope than expectation as that it what it is to be Scottish.

  • Comment number 72.

    A great game but how many glorious defeats can you take

  • Comment number 73.

    Time to recruit a samoan or fijian in the backs.. that was the difference today, without manu tuilagi england wouldn't have been in the game come the 70 minute. An absolute monster in defence and a constant threat in attack. england can go on all they want about the fact they won and that we didnt perform but at the end of the day its going to be the same result for them.. a trip home without a trophy! im sure new zealand were watching and laughing at the standard of rugby..

  • Comment number 74.

    How do I feel? Like I've been firmly kicked in the crackers, John my boy.

    Toonie has to do the right thing and step aside here - the problem is not Robinson, Steadman nor any of the conditioning staff. We know what the problem is.

    My dearest wish is that the SRU would grow a pair and look to the Super 15 where there is an abundance of great specialist backs coaches. Surely the offer of coaching an international team's set of backs would be of interest to the likes of Daryl Gibson (Crusaders backs coach), Phil Mooney (the guy who got Queensland Reds backline firing) or the excellent Allister Coetzee (Stormers coach)?

  • Comment number 75.

    Think I've eventually calmed down enough (and imbibed enough alcohol...) to finally put my thoughts down...

    This was a game that we should have won (as was the Argentina game), but until we learn how to ruthlessly kill our opponents off, then we should continue to expect the same kind of results. Gregor Townsend needs to go. Stat. Asap. Right now. A backs coach, an attack coach who says that we don't need to rely on tries to win games isn't someone who can give us the killer edge that we so desperately need. At 3 - 12 up and with us knocking on the door of a try, I'm convinced that has we scored, we would have been through. As it was, knock on from de luca, bish bash bosh, and we're out. I even said on twitter that de Luca's mistake was what would lose us the game. We need a backs coach who will train our boys to run angles, straighten up defences and make our opponents guess. Ansboro has been a revelation in this tournament and we need to make his kind of play the basis of us going forward (ditto Lamont).

    The odd win over Australia, South Africa, even Ireland can only sustain us so far. We need to move it up to the next level and kick on with belief that if we can sort out try scoring issues out, then we'll be a force to be reckoned with.

    And I have to say how impressed I was with Ali Kellock's post match deportment. Despite being on the losing side, he composed himself with grace and humility, and I can see why Robinson opted for him as captain. He seems like a stand up leader and someone who isn't afraid to own up to his mistakes. We need more like him in the team, and I for one will continue to stand behind the team and wish them all the best for the Six Nations next year.

  • Comment number 76.

    #71 I take it that you haven't noticed the RaboDirect scores this weekend. edinburgh comfortably beat Munster, and Glasgow have just scored 4 tries in Cardiff.

    We seem to have a failing as a nation that we blow it when in a good position, be that football or rugby. Again we failed to claim the restart after going 12-3 up, as per the Argentina match, and lost a crucial score. That said, if we had won by 9, we'd have been dependant on either Argentina failing to beat Georgia, or scoring 4 tries.

    I agree with #74 that we need someone to sort out the backs, as we had enough possession in good positions to score several tries. England had fewer chances, and yet scored. we could possibly say the same about Argentina.

    Kind of lays a lie the old adage that forward win matches and backs decide by how many.

    What I would say about England is that, while they have many many failings, they do have good defence, particularly in the back 3. I thought that Armitage was outstanding in this department.

    Oh, and another thing, there is no glory in failure. Never has been and never will, and I wish that we'd drop the assertion that there is.

  • Comment number 77.

    Scotland did play well and I'm truly gutted for the players as they gave it everything yesterday... but just like the Argentina match they failed to close a game they had in their grasp out. Not scoring tries is really holding this current squad back.
    Fair play to England they managed to dig deep and find the score that gave them the match and ticket to the QF.
    Have to agree with the English fan - Adam - that this England team are truly lacking something and need find their best XV and a game plan or a decent side that can score tries will finish their chances.

  • Comment number 78.

    76.
    Totally agree with your last paragraph... what I admired about England last night was that they knew this and stepped up when it really mattered. England know there is no glory in failure and that for me was the difference.

  • Comment number 79.

    The replies here have made interesting reading so thought I'd add my thoughts:
    To those who don't think the Scottish team have the heart to play for the jersey - I think that their faces at the end of the game said it all. The obvious emotion in Al Kellock's voice at the press conference also spoke volumes of the man.
    To those who have criticised individuals - Rugby is a team game and the team stand and fall by the team performance. I do not think that for a single moment any of the Scotland team (and by team, I mean everyone who went not just the players) will blame de Luca not collecting the ball and crossing the line as the reason for the result.
    To those who say that Scotland haven't got the killer instinct to close out games - That's where I agree. Is it time for a new backs/attack coach to come into the Scotland set up? I would say that this is the main area of concern at the moment.
    What can Scotland do to improve on their world cup performance? Well, time will tell in Feb 2012 when we meet England for the Calcutta Cup at the start of the 6 Nations.

  • Comment number 80.

    As a Canadian looking in on Scotland's situation, I have to say that the comments about "inability to win" are rather unfair and inaccurate. When games are that close, it really is anybody's game; much of the win comes down to Lady Luck, the odd poor choice, and even who is quietly playing injured, that sort of thing. The Argentina and England games were anyone's to win, and both winners and losers showed no lack of effort. I take exception to the comment about "no glory in failures"; I see no failure in the team's efforts, concentration, and work in the Argentina and England games. However, for the country, there is no glory in LOSING, which is quite different from "failure". Which gets me to my next questions, and hopefully someone can help out:

    1) I have heard criticism of Parks for years, and I couldn't quite see why....but now I think I understand the gist: many complain of his game control strategy he follows and the backs are stuck with it, is that it? Is his strategy dictated by his own limitations, by the coaches, by the available talent in the backs...? Frankly, I thought he had a pretty good World Cup and was great against England.

    2) Has anyone looked at the time Scotland spent within the competition's 22 yard and calculated a points earned per minute ratio? It would be interesting to see where the team ranks against others....

    3) I have to think weather was something of a factor in the low try scoring? Didn't three of the four games feature awful weather?

    I for one thought the Scots showed plenty of enterprise in ball running and attempting to throw what they could at the English side. No fault in that, and I for one was proud of their work.

  • Comment number 81.

    #80 Canadian Bacon;

    Thank you for a very fair and well balanced comment.

    I can never understand the criticism levelled at Dan Parks, over the years, either. However, I think the items you list as potential contributors to that criticism make sense.

    Likewise your comment about the weather conditions. When Scotland is being criticised for not scoring tries, the weather is seldom mentioned. In fact Scotland played in lousy conditions over the four games, with the possible exception of one half of the Romanian game. In the Georgian game where the plan was to throw the ball around a bit, that plan was curtailed because of lousy weather.

    Your suggestions of a time spent in22 versus tries scored would make for interesting reading. I hope someone does the calculations.

    Cheers CB.

  • Comment number 82.

    I still think the main reason we have not progressed (lets not kid ourselves about tomorrow) is not Argentina but the first two games. We were not clinical, we didn't finish Georgia and Romania the way we should have done especially not taking the bonus point against Georgia, that was criminal.

    We needed more experience as skipper last weekend against Argentina not a youngster, a older head that would have kept those last ten minutes under control.

    We have lost the ability to break the try line Scotland needs to find players whose great great granny was born in Scotland and know how to cross that line. wevare going backwards in the sport rather than forwards and that is the damning result of this World Cup, spin how you like but that is the flat truth

  • Comment number 83.

    look i think little scotland did really really well and should be pleased with themselves - well done you celts - you can make up songs about it too

  • Comment number 84.

    Xcoach @23

    It seems Visser will not be eligible until June 2012.

    The Truth @54

    "Andy Robinson ... at the end of the match with Wilkinson (big slap on the back, and having a huge laugh) is not the reaction I'd expect from a man who should have been devasted at his side's failure to qualify."

    I understand what you mean, but given that he knows JW well, what do you expect him to do? Snarl at the man? Hit him? Burst into tears? He'd just be labelled a bad loser. I think AR is a proud man and this will have hit him hard as it did anyone else. I'm sure at the very least he'd have loved to have got one over his former employers. And I think he is passionate about Scotland. I'm sure he'll certainly learn from his selection errors.

    I'm all for AR staying. This is a better team than the one he inherited fromHaddock and it will get better but for that to happen, I think Toony should spend time with the family in NZ learning his trade. A new backs coach will greatly help as will more bounce of the ball (Lady Luck wasn't there for Danielli and de Luca as Canadian Bacon says).

    And maybe there is a silver lining to today's cloud: Edinburgh and Glasgow beating Munster and Cardiff Blues respectively. I wouldn't have put money on that!

  • Comment number 85.

    Hello John/everyone

    I refer you to my comment 216 on John's Blog after the Argentina match: "The Scots are now free to do what they do best - suffer a 'glorious' defeat to England and then go home."
    I see John's used that word "glorious" today, and that in turn has caused some reaction on here.
    It's a shame, but it's the predictable, all-too-familiar Scots story: Yes, the football World Cup 1974. But also v Holland 1978 and virtually every sporting tournament/qualifying group since. Perhaps it's some sort of historical curse/recurrent behaviour pattern that stems from coming so close in 1745-6 before bottling it in Derby and traipsing back to the Culloden heathland?

  • Comment number 86.

    John you are absolutely correct, Argentina is the game to regret. However lets be quite clear, when the make up of the pools was confirmed (18 months ago??) we all knew that the make or break game was the Argentina game, win and we were through, lose and it was unlikely. Why then was there so much more passion, aggression, physicality and intent against England last night?
    Looking at the pools though the glaringly obvious is what we all know, tries. The second place teams in pools at the moment are as follows - France 13 tries, Ireland 12 tries (with a game to play), Wales 14 tries (with a game to play), Scotland 4 tries. Argentina have 7 with a game to play. Only Romania and Georgia (with a game to play) have less. We don't deserve to go any further.

  • Comment number 87.

    Got to say over the group stages the worst thing about Scotland has to be Robinson's selections. No Morrison or R Lamont for this game were outrageous calls. Did he not watch last week's match and see how Paterson struggled in the wet? Poor guy again missed a tackle during the last ditch scoring.

    Parks showed that he could still control a game on wet night and with the better service ( Blair needs to be kicked into the long grass and told to stay there) from Cusiter or Lawson and with Morrison outside him we could have built a bigger lead and made England really chase the game.

    Please, please, please never let Dickinson near our squad again. As a loose head prop he is a joke and any pretence that he can play tight head is actually beyond being funny, he is simply out of his depth. Looking forward to how badly Sale go with Dickinson and Buckley in the jeff this season.

    Last but not least can Robinson admit that whilst Nick De Luca can make a good break he has the composure of a startled rabbit caught in the headlights of one of those giant trucks that speed through the Australian bush. He simply hasnt got the temperament for International rugby, which is a shame but there you are. If we didnt have Joe Ansbro instead it might be worth giving him a 20th chance to prove his worth, but we do, so it isnt!

    If the right backs in the squad had started we would have given ourselves a much better chance of winning rather than finishing as gallant losers, yet again.

    This is the first time we havent got out of our group: Andy Robinson and Gregor Townesnd take a bow. Robinson was found out as a tactician and selector when at twickenham and it looks like history is repeating itself, at Scotland's expense.

  • Comment number 88.

    When Nick de Luca said that winning the match would be the priority, but putting England out of the World cup would be "a bonus", he all but booked an early plane home for Scotland. It was fitting that it was his blunder on the pitch that printed out the tickets.

  • Comment number 89.

    Scotland are (99% likely to be) out of the world cup - incredibly disappointing.
    The only people to blame are themselves, they lost the games due to some lapses in concentration, late tries all round. However, they don't have the luck either....against Argentina, should've had a penalty for the offside - changed their tournament!

    So - we leave New Zealand with not much to be cheery about, however, at least the England front row got schooled.....there is a little consolation in that.

  • Comment number 90.

    It's really very simple. If you don't threaten the line and your attack is restricted to the flanks then you don't score tries. If you don't score tries then you don't win games. If you construct a side that, season after season, relies on the precision of the undeniably freakish boot of Chris Paterson, with absolutely no plan B, then you are simply broadcasting strategy to your opponents.

    Scotland played ten minutes of running rugby at the start of the Romania game, five minutes at the end of that match, then kicked possession away constantly for the next two encounters. Against England, we were lucky that Wilkinson was kicking horribly (I was there, and conditions were not the reason for his compass being so wildly awry) and their minds were somewhere else. There was no doubting our commitment but until we start looking at the technical ability of the Southern Hemisphere sides - who can break the line all over the park and not only on the flanks - this is where we shall forever be.

    We're lucky that we have Geography and History on our side; otherwise we'd be scrapping it out in the same division as Georgia, Romania, Russia et al. I think we have the players and the coaches but not the optimism or confidence in playing the game any other way than that which we do.

  • Comment number 91.

    As an England fan ...sad you might be/are going and well played (to a point) you gave us a bit of a scare there! You were very competitve but difference is we just seem to know how to turn up a gear when needed & work a try and Scotland just don't seem to be able to do that ...but then we struggled to do that with AR in charge in the grim old days!
    One question, sorry if dumb but why no Rory Lamont? Always felt he was a world class full back and dangerous, sort of player that could give you that x-factor esp in open running rugby ...who knows even leading to one of those things called tries. Speaking as the opposition I'd rather have Patterson against us than Rory Lamont.

  • Comment number 92.

    #80/81 - Canadian and Saltire - I can let you have these numbers, but they're horrible.

    In the Argentina match, the Pumas spent 2 minutes and 7 seconds in Scotland's 22 compared to Scotland spending 10 minutes and 50 seconds in Argentina's.

    I know. just went to the bathroom a little bit myself there.

    Four numbers that tell you why Townsend has to go.

  • Comment number 93.

    Felt worse after the Argentina game to be honest - kind of knew we would come up short yesterday, if you can't score tries you don't deserve to progress, its that simple really. If we can just learn how to take the opportunities that we create through some otherwise decent play we'll be able to compete in the coming 6N. How many times have we seen a Scottish back make the break only to find himself isolated? We need to look at that and ask serious questions about Gregor Townsend in particular. If he can't find the answers quickly he needs to step away.

  • Comment number 94.

    This was some of the best rugby, I've seen Scotland play for a long time. We had passion and I felt that we believed in our ability. But as so often with any Scotland team, we seem seem scared of inflicting a defeat on the other side. I'm proud of the way we played. And I see hope for the future. Hold your heads high boys, you did us proud.

  • Comment number 95.

    Don't believe the De Luca error on the pick up was significant. Looked to me that Wilkinson had him lined up and he does not miss tackles. We can play the "if only" game all we like (if only it was Max Evans who got those two passes that Ansbro received on the wing in the second half etc.), but the fact is we are not coached for scoring tries. We have a great pack now with some depth when everyone is fit. I think it's time the SRU got a proven world class attack coach in place to bring on the backs we have and change their belief and mindset. The complete inability to run in tries from our back division has been killing us for years and nothing will change until this is addressed. This has to start with the coaches.

  • Comment number 96.

    John where do we start!!!!!!! Well let’s start at the bottom and work our way up the tree.

    Glorious defeat my back side!!!!!!

    Players: why "Ladder his tights", "Couch the ball up" and "Light weight" were playing yesterday, why oh why oh why!!!!! The yet again "Couch the ball up" cost Scotland the game, anyone want reminded of his previous convictions. It’s a shame the Edinburgh players let us down again.

    I have had enough of AR strange team selections: "Ladder his tights", "Couch the ball up" and "Light weight", but name a few are always on the team sheet. His replacement timings are shocking, his game tactics are one dimensional, and his selection of attack coach is a laugh, attacking!!!!, they did eeyore yesterday. Its official Hadden’s back!!!!! "Robinson states desire to stay on" do we want him?


    Let’s move up the tree to the top of the house. SRU or as I like to call them “The Rupert’s”, you’re called the Scottish Rugby Union not the ERU, 2 professional teams, still a fee paying school game even in the 21st centaury, Edinburgh professional (I use that term loosely) team gets two thirds of the budget and does nothing for it, just have to look at the list of ex and current Glasgow players in the current squad.

    Want me to keep going, because the list is endless.

  • Comment number 97.

    Well said, John. But Scotland won't get anywhere in world rugby until a) they cut out basic errors, and b) got over that try line on a consistent basis. These have been Scotland's problems for as long as I have been watching rugby.

  • Comment number 98.

    Yes, the loss to Argentina is what Scotland will rue most. But England found the Pumas tricky, too - the Argentinians are genuinely tough opponents, and the All Blacks won't be underestimating them, I'm sure. More worrying were Scotland's performances against genuinely weak sides. Scotland scraped home 34-24 against Romania, who were beaten 43-8 by Argentina and 67-3 by England. Argentina got 3 tries against Georgia and England got 6, but Scotland got none. The Scots raised their game against England, as they often do, but it would have been an injustice if they had squeezed through into the last 8 at the expense of Argentina.

  • Comment number 99.

    *54

    Well said! It maybe a "rant", but at least it's the truth!

    As for you John with:

    "He has blown a fresh wind through Scottish international rugby.

    As I write this I so hope that Georgia can provide enough of a problem for Scotland to qualify."

    They didn't and we haven't. What "fresh wind" would this be John that you are talking about? A dire Six Nations, and a dire World Cup. You said yourself "You don't leave out the captain" in the most important match (Argentina). Skill levels are poor, stamina good for 70 minutes only, attacking prowess laughable. The team look good in the press conferences prior to games, and always use the word "Confident" to describe how they feel before kick off. Then reality sets in (usually at the first whistle).

    I enjoy your blogs John, but I think you fail to gauge the anger that long-suffering fans feel here. Unlike you, we have to pay to watch this dross, and nothing I have seen in NZ makes me believe that attendances at Murrayfield will increase next year. The other three British teams have stepped up to the plate and performed well. The Scottish team is where it belongs-at 35,000 feet, no doubt listening to Ipods and trying to forget the poor handling, inept running and poor decision -making.

    Upwards and onwards? More like Upwards and backwards!

  • Comment number 100.

    Lets be honest here. Scotland struggled to beat both Georgia and Romania. The weather conditions in both the Argentina and England games favoured their only game. The kicking game. No tries Against England Argentina or Georgia if memory is correct. Scotland are out of the world cup due to lack of ability score tries against the bigger teams. Scotland have to change the way they play. You cant just keep on kicking goals from distance all the time.

 

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