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Scottish players must become more streetwise

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John Beattie | 15:07 UK time, Sunday, 3 June 2012

I don't know if you agree with me, but this Scotland tour of Australia, Fiji and Samoa is hugely important.

As I write this I am filming for Sport Nation in Duns and we've just edited the rugby section of the programme for Tuesday night (7.30 pm on BBC 2 Scotland) which talks about the "project signings" that I touched on in the last blog.

My old friend and team-mate Jim Calder is the chairman of Edinburgh rugby and he talks of his hopes of competing with some of the best teams in the world by bringing in one or two good players who, after three years, will be eligible to play for us - just like Tim Visser.

It has since transpired that former Scotland stars like Doddie Weir are against it, yet in his new role at Murrayfield in charge of recruitment Sean Lineen's job description will include finding a handful of such "project signings".

For the record, I'm not against it but it has the potential to get out of control.

Edinburgh's Matt Scott will start for Scotland against Australia in New South Wales on Tuesday. Photo: SNS

Edinburgh's Matt Scott will start for Scotland against Australia in New South Wales on Tuesday. Photo: SNS

But back to the tour. I'm excited that the likes of Matt Scott and Ryan Grant are getting their big moments. Both are good players.

Ryan Grant looks to be a tough-as-teak loosehead who doesn't take a backward step, and Jon Welsh could be moved to tighthead. Matt Scott is young and has a future ahead of him as a distributor.

Now, what's acceptable for this tour? I would argue that for Scotland to win one game would constitute success.

Nobody in their right mind would argue that all three need to be won. History tells you that these things don't happen.

I don't accept that we are behind other sides in terms of guile. Oh, you hear backs talk about the lack of cutting edge in Scottish rugby but the truth is that we lack the power in midfield.

We don't have a Jamie Roberts.

Should the team suddenly spark and score tries, then questions will be asked of the new Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend, whose role was to instil such a threat in the national set-up.

I believe that Townsend has been maligned, that he wasn't responsible for Scotland's failure to score tries and that he now has a hard job replicating Glasgow's success.

So, what will I be looking for from Scotland?

Well, if we look as though we have parity at the scrum, mauls, lineouts and breakdown, then the fate of all three games depends on our shape.

Will we threaten to score tries? Will the players look as though they know where they should be? Will there be an eager and capable cutting edge? Can we punch up in midfield?

Will we be as cute as the Welsh, who stand in the defensive line and obstruct and, as we saw in the Barbarians game on Saturday, cleverly hold a player in place when he is trying to get away to ensure that he - in this case Francois Louw - gives away a penalty?

In other words, I'd like to see a cuter and more streetwise Scotland. I keep writing this, but we are one of the countries that appears to play more within the laws than others.

For example, I see Al Strokosch is talking about putting his body on the line in the summer Tests, but I am pretty sure he and his team-mates aren't coached to illegally hold a player down to their advantage.

In fact, if anyone out there can name more than 20 Scottish "cheats" they deserve a prize.

I can't think of one deliberate one: remember, "project signings" are within the rules...

As I say, one win is OK, but more important than the results is getting over the line to score tries.

This is not an easy tour in any sense, and tours, remember, are where reputations are made and lost. I wonder who will come out of this one with his reputation enhanced.

You can follow John Beattie on Twitter.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    It's a very different and better backline than previous years so if they do well, GT should not be questioned. Matt Scott will need to play well. This could be his "s Hogg" opportunity to cement his place on the Scottish team

  • Comment number 2.

    I reckon we will beat a drastically weakend Aussie team and Fiji but will lose to Samoa.

    Samoa have some great skillfull backs and some "street-wise cheats", as you put it John, in the pack.

    Still think Duncan Weir is the man who should be playing at 10.

    Also Al Strokosch is not good enough and Barclay is not an international no.8

    Harley or Barclay should be at 6 with Vernon at 8.

  • Comment number 3.

    Mr. Beattie, I am not that closely related to the Scottish rugby scene. I still subject myself to big dollops of hope and fantasy with every 6N season. I have no problem with the "project signings" anything that will help is a welcome idea.

    With regards to Scotland and it's ability to score tries, I recall times when Mr. Calder, White and Jeffery played the back row we, Scotland did not dominate the opposition in scrums, line-outs, we were somewhat undersized while we played well above our weight feeding off the scraps, mistakes and the alert rough and tumble of our back row imaginative free flowing rugby.

    When they secured the ball they created havoc with the oppositions defence, they, the opposition never really appeared to have any ability to deal with this chaotic style of play with the ball taking many different direction of the ball and passes making more possible to link up with the backs out wide to run in the necessary tries.

    I noted in the past two 6N seasons that when Scotland posed the greatest threat to the oppositions try line was when the likes of Blair would make one of his quick tap penalties and hooked up with both the back row and the back line playing in close chaotic passing amongst themselves resulting in the current style of brick wall defence standing flat footed with the Scots having broken their line.

    It seems that fast moving and direction changing passes, almost like a practise drill where the squad with more that ball keeps moving in all directions and at the same time keeping to move the balls and retaining possession.

    The current plan seems to be too "set-up" and the modern defence will only stand their ground until you cough up the ball.

    The unpredictable, chaotic quick close passing throws one or more opposition duffers of the line to get out of position and subsequently loose the "focus" letting the rolling passing ruck to make the brakes and establish continuity.

    Just like Calder, Jeffery and White did back then in their hay days.

    We, Scotland that is, won games, Calcutta Cups and even the odd Triple Crown or Five Nation Championships.

    Finally, as for the cheats of the game, I once retained a coach who had a whole repertoire of such finer sides of course rugby. One of my best player's father approached me and specifically asked that I instructed the coach to refrain from any further tuition and that was the end of it for me as a coach.

    I believe those players who wanted to be aware of such dark arts continued to seek th

  • Comment number 4.

    Not quite sure how comment #2 can say Strokosch isn't good enough for international rugby, when fit during the 6 nations he was class, consistently made tackle after tackle after tackle and disrupted huge amounts of ball on the ground slowing it down and giving us half a chance. He's our best option at 6, Barclay is an out and out 7 but an able deputy for 8, would rather see some of the young guns get a run. Vernon can't even get into his club side at 8 so theres not much chance of him playing there for Scotland until he does for Sale.

  • Comment number 5.

    Very concerned by this move to sign "Project" players. The IRB need to look at eligibility rules and address them, I don't blame the SRU for trying to exploit them - every other top International side does and we risk being left behind but the likes of Tuilagi, Barrett, Botha, Hape, Flutey and Vainikolo had no right to represent the country they did.

    As for the side being selected for the Aus game. I'd argue that our best option at 6 isn't playing, we have a 9 playing at 10 and quite how NDL has retained his spot on the back of 1 good performance in last 5, and 2 yellow cards within that time, I do not know?

    The point on Strokosch is an interesting 1. He is very good at being a traditional 6 and making the tackles, slowing the ball and just generally being a brick. The best teams nowadays though have 6s who offer more than that notably with ball in hand and Strokosch offers nothing going forward. In fact that whole back row selected offers nothing as ball carriers and Richie Gray will have a heck of a welcoming committee for him every time he receives.

    I fear a loss to a very much 2nd string Aussie XV.

  • Comment number 6.

    The Irish are especially good at the dark arts and Leinster are outstanding. At times it's like watching American Football and sadly the referees seem to lap it up. You are right, we need to stop complaining and learn to play the game the 'grown-up' way because I for one do not see anyone else changing their tactics any time soon!

    My overwhelming feeling is that we not only lack streetwise-ness, we also lack a really focussed and driven captain, or even a natural leader, who drives the team through such means.

    Martyn Williams turned the game for Wales against the Baa-Baas with some outstanding examples of how it should be done. He undoubtedly bent the rules, but as all of us who have genuinely played know, half the fun is in bending the rules and working the referee. If not for this it would be a very boring game and rucks would be a waste of time.

    Oh for a Calder or a Jeffrey who understands where the 'fine-line' lies!

  • Comment number 7.

    Tim Visser is a quality player and would be in the squad of any of the home nation teams if eligible, so good on Scotland for rewarding his commitment in seeing out his residency. A shame he will not get game time against Australia as his presence would give Scotland a real edge in a game they have a good chance of winning.

    The Aussies midweek team will be strong if the Super 15 is anything to go by and I would expect the Scotland forwards to have the advantage and the backs parity (especially with a few players being promoted to the first team as injury cover). It should be a Scotland win, but may be a close match if the forwards are unable to get the scoreboard ticking over from the start.

    Fiji and Samoa could be harder games with both sitting around Scotland in the rankings. I have seen Wales lose out to both on tour in the mid-nineties when they were struggling for form. Samoa could have beaten Wales in the World Cup last year and Fiji will not be the dejected side which shipped lots of points in the World Cup.

    If Scotland can come out of the three matches with two wins then they will have done well and it will be a sign of progress. One win is the norm and a whitewash would be a backward step. Three wins will be great, but may herald a false dawn (I've seen enough with Wales to know what they are like) and lead to a bit of complacency in the Autumn Internationals and 6N. The players need to stay hungry and have something to work for.

  • Comment number 8.

    "I don't accept that we are behind other sides in terms of guile."
    "I keep writing this, but we are one of the countries that appears to play more within the laws than others."
    "....but I am pretty sure he and his team-mates aren't coached to illegally hold a player down to their advantage."
    "In fact, if anyone out there can name more than 20 Scottish "cheats" they deserve a prize."
    "As I say, one win is OK, but more important than the results is getting over the line to score tries."

    Mr. Beattie surpasses even himself as a master of drivel and abject nonsense.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm not so sure about these 'project signings'. I think it could be something that could get out of hand. I have no problem with playersa coming over and qualifying through residency but I think snaring them from other countires is something which shouldn't happen. It would worsen the plight of countires such as Fiji and Samoa even more and that's not something to be encouraged.

    All countires have their peaks and troughs...just accept it. Scotland will have talented players come through and already we are seeing that. Stuart Hogg is as talented as any young outside back in the world in my opinion...and i'm a die-hard All Black fan!

    As for Scotland's series south of the equator... Samoa and Fiji should be easy beats. I say this because bot hcountires are in dissarray. Fiji have picked a squad which is nearly all locally based players while Samoa have been infighting and no-one seems to be in support of their coach! Their local newspapers have been calling it a farce how he has left so many experienced pros out of the team such as Schwalger, Tuilagi etc.

    What will be interesting will be to see how the Scots' new attack coach Scott Johnson influences their fortunes. Will he add a bit of invention or will he simplify the processed as it seems the Scots seem a bit confused at times.

    There's a great article which i've linked below on the Scot's tour down under. Quite amusing too.

    http://dumptackle.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/andy-robinson-is-more-ron-burgundy-than.html

  • Comment number 10.

    This is a great opportunity for Scotland to do the Wallabies on Aussie soil. It 's a weakened team beset by injuries and a disregard for Scottish rugby. The Wallabies are holding back for the Welsh tests and so will not risk any of their top players. As a Scot living down under I would really enjoy watching the boys coming down here and winning-even if it is a virtually second string Wallaby team. As for Fiji we should beat them as they are still rebuilding after their WC debacle. Samoa will be tougher but there has been talk down here of disharmony in the Samoan set-up at coaching and managerial level. Some of the Samoan players who are based in NZ complained of the unprofessional coaching and widespread corruption throughout the management. They (Samoa) are there for the taking- COME ON SCOTLAND!

  • Comment number 11.

    Gregor Townsend maligned? Just take a look at the individual number of tries scored by each of the team members selected to play tomorrow. Not one of them has got into double figures, not even Sean Lamont, a winger and finisher. Hopefully that poor stat will change during this tour.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think that scotland are not try scorers is because of a lack of confidence.It is easier to have 3 points in the bag than trust yourself to attack the opposition line,not lose possession and score a try and get 7 points.Once scotland scotland start to believe then the tries will come,look at the players in the backs :Stuart Hogg,Sean Lamont,Joe Ansbro,Nick De Luca and Max Evans all have the ability to score tries and with Tim Visser joining the ranks there is more talent,I think scotland just need to find the belief and a settled partnership in the halves and then the tries and results will start to come.

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    Ah the curse of the moderator what was this time my reference to SRU and its resemblance to the WRU in the eighties ? or was it to question Mr Beatties thought that the solution to scotlands woes was to "import players" and advocate "cuter play" oh come on how is it a grown up response to that which i wrote, to just cut it and tell me i have been a naughty boy that is the action of a condecending parent at best and a dictator at worst. As for me bring on the abolition of the licence payers fee god knows why i bother to pay it democracy in action i do not think so

  • Comment number 15.

    Or was it my reference to Beatties assumption that if you could name twenty scottish cheats you should get a prize ?? no i did not attempt to name any all i wrote was that scotland conceded as many yellow cards under pressure as any other nation.If what is said hurts, then it cuts close to the bone there is no change with out honesty and when you need change the most is when you need to be honest to oneself, seemingly the defenders of the Organisation i mentioned in my original statement are not able to do so or enter a reasoned debate. I did say turkeys wouldn't vote for christmass but they will obviously complain to a moderator. Wooden spoons to them all, any way i'm off to a grown up forum, where those people who hide behind usernames and some who don't even post, (you know who you are) do not feel the need to resort to Boo Hoo he hurt my feelings

  • Comment number 16.

    How comes we only get to comment on Scottish Rugby? what about the far more interesting and exciting Welsh, English and Irish series. Scotland will beat Fiji and provide no attacking threat against Australia.

  • Comment number 17.

    Not sure they really should move Welsh to tighthead. With the new IRB regulations on subs you want a complete front row on the bench, which means two players of equal capability in each position. The standard pick of Chunk/Ford/Murray has been obvious for too long, so it's good to see some alternatives finally coming through. Having Welsh and Grant both competing for the loosehead berth at Glasgow has done them no harm.

  • Comment number 18.

    "I don't accept that we are behind other sides in terms of guile. Oh, you hear backs talk about the lack of cutting edge in Scottish rugby but the truth is that we lack the power in midfield.

    We don't have a Jamie Roberts."

    What is power? Look at all the tractor boys we've employed in the Centres

    Henderson
    McLaren
    Dewey
    Morrison
    Slamont

    We've not had a decent centre partnership since Leslie & Tait.

    We need a skilful footballer at 12 not just another tanker. I like Roberts as a player but look how much time he's spent injured recently because he's crashball, I'd far rather have a Hook in my team than a Roberts

  • Comment number 19.

    John! there is so much concern about it, 'cheating'

    "Will we be as cute as the Welsh, who stand in the defensive line and obstruct and, as we saw in the Barbarians game on Saturday, cleverly hold a player in place when he is trying to get away to ensure that he - in this case Francois Louw - gives away a penalty?

    In other words, I'd like to see a cuter and more streetwise Scotland. I keep writing this, but we are one of the countries that appears to play more within the laws than others.

    For example, I see Al Strokosch is talking about putting his body on the line in the summer Tests, but I am pretty sure he and his team-mates aren't coached to illegally hold a player down to their advantage.

    In fact, if anyone out there can name more than 20 Scottish "cheats" they deserve a prize."

    THAT'S WHY I BECOME TO BE FED UP witth RUGBY, too much cheating, very close to soccer now days!

  • Comment number 20.

    John I am fed of hearing that all other teams are "streetwise" except those clean living Scots (anyone remember John Jeffrey and Calder ,both offside most of the time) and all those refs are against Scotland in the 6N etc.It becomes tedious and smacks of victimology against little Scotland (who incidentally in the days of the old IRB

  • Comment number 21.

    Sorry John pressed the wrong button !! Scotland ,in cahoots with England kept France Italy and others out of the IRB ,wanting to keep it among the English speaking old boys club, so what goes round comes around. As for "project signings" I am totally against it ,yes I know every other country does it but it's about time the IRB did something about.Wales with Howarth ,of grannygate fame and a second rower who was pure Australian.we've had Laney ,steps off a plane and lo and behold 2 weeks later he's MIMING Flower of Scotland 12 days later ,not to mention Leslie who after being banned in RWC 2003 ,he never steps foot in Scotia again ,some Scot.recently we had Ricky Flutey in England going home to NZ and that fine "French" player ,Tony Marsh. I know rugby players like the rest of the world move freely but lets have some integrity. most of these imports are mercenaries pure and simple. Dodie Weir is right ,do'nt have any truck with it

  • Comment number 22.

    I don't understand why internationals are organised right in the middle of Super 15 season. I wish the Scottish the very best vs. the Wallabies. It will be tough but you have a good chance with a lot of key players injured and lack of prep. I'm just craving some international rugby FINALLY. Summer is here!

  • Comment number 23.

    Very chippy Danny. The Leslies and Laney qualified through relatives so should we have discounted them just because they didn't live and play in Scotland at the time? Did you see what Laney brought to Edinburgh off the pitch? Have you looked at their records. It sounds like a bit of a villagist attitude I'm afraid. Project Scots are different but not these guys

  • Comment number 24.

    John,
    You say 'if anyone out there can name more than 20 Scottish "cheats" they deserve a prize.' How many people outside of Scotland do you think could name 20 top class Scottish Players? If you then narrow it down to countries not playing in the Pro 12 how many would it be?

    Scotland is a small country punching well above its weight in rugby in the main with its own homegrown talent.

    Every country has people coming to work there whether it be as a banker or a rugby player. If someone is genuinely living in a country I see no reason why they shouldn't have the chance to represent them. I'm not Scottish so don't think I should comment on your project signings.

    However when I see Scotland play, I want to see a team that represents Scotland. Please don't go the way of Japan, they now have so many imported players it sometime seems like watching a super rugby franchise rather than a national team.

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi John,

    As usual a debate provoking blog. Firstly we should never bring in foreign players and let them qualify on residency as a "project". I would rather lose with 15 true blue scots than suffer the shame of mercenaries celebrating a win with the thistle on there chest.
    If at 6, 10, or 15 you haven't woken up from a dream of scoring the winning try at murrayfield then the Scottish jersey isn't for you. Let lee jones get 50 caps rather than visser.
    On the subject of the team for the aus game, welsh should start. Tight head could be an option. Murray hasn't had any form for a long time. RV is not good enough to be an international back row. Fact. Get Harley involved soon. Weir at 10. Barclay to the bench. can we get either mr Taylor or Hogg back in the set up?

    Just my thoughts

  • Comment number 26.

    Visser is a special case for me. He is Dutch, of course, meaning he won't ever play International at a meaningful level unless for an adopted country. He is intent on playing in Scotland, and is quite obviously genuinely beaming with pride at the prospect of representing his adopted nation.

    The 'project signing's' on the other hand are abhorrent. Far too cynical for me, I'm afraid. I speak as a Scotland fan who travels to Murrayfield from his home in Wales, and was born in England, where I lived till I was 18 and elected to move to Scotland at the time. But I always dreamt of playing for Scotland, with a Saltire on my bedroom wall. My family are Scottish, and while it probably helped that I was bullied for arriving at School with a Scottish accent (which was soon lost, but never forgotten), I think the main reason is that I was raised to be proud of Scotland. I wasn't raised to hate the English, quite the opposite, but there was no praise for the English either. So I dreamt of representing the side myself and family cheered on.

    For this reason, I do believe that ancestry should be a legitimate qualification, but I would only permit direct parentage to be the minumum standard.

    I would ask you to look at two footballers, who will hopefully both play for Scotland soon (if that loon Levein is booted) for examples of times we really ought to allow residency and heritage to be qualifications for international representation:

    Andrew Driver, born in England but raised all his life in Edinburgh, feels Scottish. So let him play for Scotland.

    Steven Fletcher, born in Shrewsbury, moved to Scotland aged 12 after the death of his English father led to his mother being keen to move back to her hometown. Again, he ought play for Scotland (and of course has, but isn't!).

    WP Nel oughtn't play for Scotland. Neither should many of the kilted kiwi's. If you'd consider playing for anyone else, if you're only playing to further your career, then you really oughtn't.

    On the subject of tomorrow/today: I really think I need to see Fusaro and Harley in Scotland shirts, and Robbo is a mug for not picking Weir at ten.

  • Comment number 27.

    Regarding 'Project Signings'

    I don't think that time spent in a country as a mercenary rugby player should count towards residency - they are playing rugby in the country, not living there (to paraphrase a comment I made to an expat when whinging about being asked to help out on a Saturday - 'They live here; you're here to work').


    I had the pleasure of watching Malaysia - Thailand at the weekend
    http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/355252-international-rugby-fixtures/page__st__50#entry5355367
    and the Malaysian team had the benefit of two or three big Fijians who dominated play; though the Thais prevailed through greater commitment, play that gave them the opportunity for good fortune, and forcing errors from their opponents.

    SC

  • Comment number 28.

    Dodson has been a breath of fresh air in the SRU. He is now a Chief Executive who has a passion for rugby and wants the rugby and business side of the SRU to succeed. If that means getting players over to Glasgow or Edinburgh and after 3 years are better than the players they are keeping out of the Scottish team then we should all welcome them into the team and watch them play well and win for Scotland.
    If you read the article in the Rugby World by Gordon Darcy about how the imports in the Leinster set up improved him and others as a player..What have Leinster done? 3 Heineken cups in 4 years..
    When Telfer was in charge it was all let's copy the NZ model, now it is let's copy the Irish model.. SRU should adopt their own 'model' and if that means bringing in non Scottish quality players to the pro teams, helping the pro teams get into the Q-finals of HC on a regular basis, the play off and hopefully win the rabo12, we should all applaud this.. Get behind the teams and stop complaining who they are and where they have come from..
    Our goal as a nation is at least Quarter final stage of RWC, win at least 3 games per year in 6 nations..We need to adopt a model now that will allow this. Not one Scottish supporter wants another season where we fail to get into the Quarter finals of the RWC and win the wooden spoon.!

  • Comment number 29.

    ''Project signings''. If we,or any other country,is so desperate to win that we resort to this,then the silverware and baubles are tarnished,as are our dignity & pride.Consequently,they and we aren't worth a damn.
    Support Doddie Weir.

  • Comment number 30.

    Hugues @ 19. I am with you on that. The most frustrating part is that the IRB allow it to happen. For example, the dummy runner (blocker). When the ball is passed behind him he is off-side and must, according the laws of the game, retire to an onside position before proceeding forward. Often this does not happen and the referee lets it go "in the interests of keeping the game flowing". That is utter tosh. If referees penalised sides for this type of behaviour it would soon stop. Same for lying over the ball and keeping the ball at the back of a ruck when it is clearly out.

    Regarding project signings. This is nothing new and Scotland are a bit late to the table. IMV if a player arrives in a country after the age of 18 then they should not be able to represent that country if they do not have any relative ties to it. However, I see NZ, Aus, and France getting round that little niggle already. Mark Bennet needs to be capped by the A side soon or we could lose him to France. Money talks. No, money shouts!

  • Comment number 31.

    The New Zealanders and Australians have been giving scholarships to the promising south sea island kids for years, who then go on to represent them at international level. So why not a couple of project signings for Scotland. England have a huge player base, but still see the need to do it!

  • Comment number 32.

    I cannot believe people here expect scotland to beat australia. I'm always optimistic, but that's ridiculous.

    The aussies are bigger
    They are at home
    The scots are slow starters, they usually need a battering from someone to wake up.

    Hope springs eternal, but temper your expectations, seriously.

  • Comment number 33.

    A great result against a strong Aussie team. Scotland played the weather perfectly and the defence was outstanding. I also saw some signs of the 'streetwise' play that John was calling for.

  • Comment number 34.

    John,

    I am very much a British Citizen but this is ridiculous. They are called the BRITISH Broadcasting Association and yet on the front page of the Sport website they have Scotland's victory of Australia relegated to a small box on the right. If this was the RFU it would be the main story where they are still harping on about Man U's deal with Kagawa which is old news. Why is it that this happens?

  • Comment number 35.

    A second win against Australia in less than ideal conditions. I suspect that if the weather had been fine we would have lost. That said congratulations to the team for grinding out a determined performance. I'm still of the opinion that, in this years six nations, Scotland hadn't been subject to awful refereeing, we would have won at least 3 of the five games. The next big test is Samoa at home. A Scotland team should win this game but it will be extremely physical. Lets not spend 40 of the 80 minutes kicking them possession.

  • Comment number 36.

    Bushwacked! Dreadfull conditions and 10 man rugby. Scotland did not make any subs in the forwards and to make that defensive effort in those conditions was simply fantastic. #2 hope you were watching, Stroker was oustanding, possibly MOM for his effort. I've said many times before that Greg Laidlaw does not like losing, how cool was he with that kick in those conditions.
    Lets hope we see a bit of back play in the Samoa and Fiji matches. By my reckoning that puts Scotland back up to 10th in the rankings just ahead of Samoa.

  • Comment number 37.

    John

    Great result today. I have felt Scotland are on the verge of breaking through and I think more emphasis on the back play will help reward the effort.

    I hope your son Johnnie breaks back into the set-up also great to see his play for the Baa Baa's. Well done from an admiring Taffy today.

  • Comment number 38.

    Great result I just hope all the anti Robinson brigade will give him a break now. We made it difficult when will Blair get it into his head that a box kick into a raging gale is not wise. Nor is kicking penalties to touch, or passing out of the ruck to a first receiver who cannot get accoss the gain line , pick and go should have been order of the day.

  • Comment number 39.

    Haggers41 and Venachar01

    Haha Strokosch has made me eat my words on this great morning and I am glad he has.

    His best performance in a Scotland jersey.

  • Comment number 40.

    Great team performance - that's made my day!
    Let's hope this brings the 'confidence' we need to cross the line a few times and build on this result.

    #37 Agree regarding JB, he was impressive for the Baa Baa's and hopefully will be back in the squad before too long.

  • Comment number 41.

    I take most of what I have previously 'blogged' about Andy Robinson back!
    Great team performance. It shows the fine line between winning and losing at this level.
    Perhaps we should play the All Blacks in the Murrayfield shower room the next time round!

  • Comment number 42.

    Mr Beattie,

    Are these the sorts of 'cute' attributes you're accusing my fellow countrymen of?
    Take a look at a masterclass from a former Scottish international!:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8soVSySmqjI

 

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