View Full Version : Where do Scotland go from here?

27-03-08, 04:38 PM
Despite the words from the management and the senior players about learning from mistakes and making progress (the same was said after the world cup), Scotland have really made no progress at all over the past few years. If anything the team has gone backwards.

One win against England on home soil does not constitute a successful 6 Nations, and I do believe that unless there are some major changes in direction then Scotland are really going to struggle for a number of seasons to come. Now there are some good players there. Hines, Blair, Strokisch, Patterson (with regards his kicking) are all good players and could all argue their inclusion into the Lions squad for next year's trip to RSA. And the recent Scotland A performances (beating Ireland A 67-7 with a great display of running rugby) shows there are players with talent coming through the system. Where is it in the chain that it falls down???

I do believe the buck stops with Frank Hadden here. Yes he's a lovely guy, but Scotland need a change in management. Hadden's persistent defensive tactics, constantly relying on the boot of Patterson to see them through, are dire to watch. And why he persists in playing Dan Parks I will never know. I believe it's mainly down to parks being in possession of certain photographic evidence, though I can't be sure....

I have heard rumours about Jack White being interested in the Scotland job should it become available, though personally I don't think the Scotland job would be big enough for him. It would be a hell of a challange though. Just look at what Warren Gatland has achieved with Wales to see what a change in direction can bring.

The capitulation against Italy though, after being in such a commanding position, really has to be the last straw. It's time for the top brass at the SRU to stop playing it nice and safe and really push the boat out and inspire both the fans and the players with a change.
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27-03-08, 05:18 PM
We have the potential to be a big rugby nation again I think, we just need to include and get rid of certain players.
Ben Cairns is one man that should be included in the side, we don&#39;t have many choices in midfield that will last until the next world cup. Rob Dewey is a definite prospect, if he can keep himself fit and avoid injuries I mean.
Nick De Luca was introduced to international rugby in a terrible way, going up against one of, if not the most dominating forces in NH rugby (France).
Edinburgh play some fantastic rugby, there is no reason why that can&#39;t translate to the international side.
Also, Gordon Ross is one man I want to be seeing a lot more of, if he can get some game time at Sarries that is.

Dan Parks needs to f*** off, he has been average at best in a Scottish top and when we have guys like Phil Godman in the wings I can&#39;t see why he hasn&#39;t been utilised, lest be said about his performance against Italy yesteryear.

Hopefully things can only get better.

Incredible Schalk
29-03-08, 05:57 PM
Perrenial mediocrity surrounds the Scottish side, we have been here before after the 03 world cup and have never managed to get any sort of continuity together. I think Robinson needs to come in, im sick of Haddens "we will make the country proud" comments because scraping a win over England and losing every other game doesnt fill me with pride. Also the time when Dan Parks is out of the Scotland team for good is the time we can look to actually move forward, his lateral runs **** me off.

lineens weegie army
31-03-08, 04:53 PM
Think the criticism of DP is unjust - he went out and proved the doubters wrong and inspired Glasgow to their first win at Rodney parade in over 5 years. Maybe if the press got off his back he could do the same for Scotland!

However Hadden must go! He seems reluctant to play any scottish based players - Moray Low has done more than enough to get into the team (even some Ulster fans ive spoken to cant understand why he hasnt played) and the Glasgow back row are one of the best units in Europe. (only one of them even got a look in for our final games) Meanwhile Carins would probably be a fantastic addition to the team. Infact, so would Thom Evans for that matter - hes been called up for training several times, yet despite looking very dangerous in the ML hasnt been called in. (and there is no denying Scotland need people who can score tries!)

But its more than just the National team that needs sorting. At the moment the Pro-teams are also failing, and until that is reversed I cant see much success on the international stage! We need to market our teams properly, bringing in support for the team, along with cash that can be used to make the sides competitive - in turn meaning we can raise our stars of the future in a winning culture.

Incredible Schalk
31-03-08, 05:45 PM
Beating a dreadful Dragons side doesnt make him international class, i mean he can do a cross kick for Scotland but it hardly proves hes a good player. The day Dan Parks is permanently excluded from the Scotland is squad is the day we move on to better things.

lineens weegie army
31-03-08, 07:42 PM
Beating a dreadful Dragons side doesnt make him international class, i mean he can do a cross kick for Scotland but it hardly proves hes a good player. The day Dan Parks is permanently excluded from the Scotland is squad is the day we move on to better things. [/b]

And repolace him with whom?

Im not saying Parks is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but he is by far the best option at SO. Patterson is alright, but can be shaky at times aswell (NZ?) and Godman... well, does no-one remember his Scotland performances? Ive heard Edinburgh fans saying all season hes been playing well for Edinburgh. Well, Parks has been playing well for Glasgow and look what they have to say about him!

OK, we do need a world class stand off, but atm Parks is the best, (the ONLY) option at SO (although I would like to see Mossy play there more) until someone else comes through - and thats a few years off.

I know im going to get the inevitable "your deluded if you think Parks is good" coment, but anyone who thinks dropping Parks will solve all our problems is even more deluded.

lineens weegie army
14-04-08, 06:33 PM
I hope all the people he claim Godman should replace Parks watched the 1872 cup game on friday. Parks was easilly the winner, scoring 2 tries and collecting a full house.

OK, he hasnt done it for Scotland, but the more i think about it, the more i suspect thats down to either the pack not giving him anything to work with (with several embra players that were pushed around by their glasgow counterparts on friday) or the most probable option, FH.

Incredible Schalk
14-04-08, 07:02 PM
There both two average fly halfs but atleast Godman has some idea of how to attack. I would prefer Paterson over them but unfortunately we are blessed with no particularily good 10s unlike our fellow home nations.

14-04-08, 07:31 PM
I hope all the people he claim Godman should replace Parks watched the 1872 cup game on friday. Parks was easilly the winner, scoring 2 tries and collecting a full house.

OK, he hasnt done it for Scotland, but the more i think about it, the more i suspect thats down to either the pack not giving him anything to work with (with several embra players that were pushed around by their glasgow counterparts on friday) or the most probable option, FH.

I&#39;ll give you that, no player is going to shine with FH&#39;s tactics, which have gone from "throw it madly from side to side" to "pick and drive and never let the backs have the ball". However, I was listening to the game on the BBC and the commentators made the point that both tries were from 1st phase ball and weren&#39;t the product of going through the phases and creating gaps in the defence. When Glasgow did try and create long periods of sustained pressure, they didn&#39;t seem to get anywhere. That is the area that Scotland have been struggling with while Edinburgh have been getting attention for their attacking play and Godman/Cairns/Houston/De Luca have been at the heart of that.

I don&#39;t want to make this into an Edinburgh vs. Glasgow thing, we&#39;ve got enough problems without going down that path. One thing I think Frank Hadden or whoever is coaching should look at is starting to pick players who play with each other week. I think alot of Ireland&#39;s success was due to the fact that the &#39;units&#39; played together week in week out i.e. Centre partnership: D&#39;Arcy and O&#39;Driscoll at Leinster, 8/9/10 axis: Leamy, Stringer and O&#39;Gara at Munster, Lineouts: Flannery, O&#39;Callaghan and O&#39;Connell at Munster as well. It gives a fluency and understanding to their play that I think would be missing if they only get the chance to play together at internationals. Wales took it even further this year when they had 13 Ospreys in their side.

Scotland should follow this approach. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow have two excellent first choice back rows. Go for either for Brown, Beattie, Barclay or Hogg, Rennie, Callam. This isn&#39;t the cinema, pick and mixing with Kelly Brown sometimes at 6 or sometimes at 8 combined with Dave Callam and Ally Hogg just leads to confusion and mistakes. The lineout used to be the one area which you could guarantee would go well because you had Scott Murray and Nathen Hines playing together for Edinburgh. That partnership&#39;s been broken up and the consistency has gone.

We only have a small player pool, and to get the best out of them they absolutely need to be seeing alot more of each other. Get Euan Murray to Glasgow and let him, Moray Low and Fergus Thompson start forming a front row that can hold it&#39;s own. I may be overly optimistic in the ability of the players available, but this can only benefit them in my mind.

lineens weegie army
14-04-08, 07:48 PM
agree that the last thing we need at international level is a Glasgow v Edinburgh debate (I do however think its EXACTLY what we need at club level), but TBH FH seems to be anti-Glasgow and Edinburgh with some of his selections!!!

Dont think the comentators were watching the game all that closley though, Dans second try came after several phases when he suddenly decided to chip ahead for Barclay, who passed to Evans who in turn offloaded for Parks to cross without fuss. (theres an amature video on Youtube, search "Glasgow v Edinburgh" and sort by date added) And after the opening try Glasgow had edinburgh pinned down on their line for a fair while (having worked their way there from outside 22) and were looking dangerous. but thats for another thread.

I agree we need units that are playing together - like the Glasgow back row (who were getting pluadits from all over europe earlier in season yet dont get a look in come 6N time) and i suppose you could include the embra half-back partnership in that (Mike Blair was the one Edinburgh player to stand out on friday)

Would really like to see a backline of:

9 Blair
10 Parks
11 T. Evans
12 Cairns
13 M. Evans
14 S. Lamont
15 R. Lamont

for the tour to Argentina. I know you will disagree at 10, but im sure you can see thats a deadly backline if you can find a genuine 10 to fit in!

(also, would like to see a younger SO taken to the CC - Jackson for instance? or is there someone else?)

14-04-08, 09:06 PM
There&#39;s David Blair, Mike&#39;s younger brother, but he hasn&#39;t got much game time and I think he should get a few games for the A team first. That might be taking the units idea too far though if we start only picking people with Lamont, Evans and Blair as their surname. :)

I really think Rory Lamont needs to be on the wing, he&#39;s got 8 tries in 10 games for Sale this year and playing him at fullback limits his ability to go forward. Southwell is okay there, generally solid in defence and has a huge boot.

22-04-08, 05:34 PM
Well it looks as if change is in the air. The SRU has had an overhaul of the national side&#39;s coaching team, with Alan Tait and George Graham axed in favour of the respective Glasgow and Edinburgh coaches, Sean Lineen and (former England coach) Andy Robinson. Both coaches who could possibly step up and take over from Hadden.

Hadden has managed to hang onto his job, despite a poor world cup and a poor 6 Nations. He&#39;s remaining in place for the summer tour to Argentina, of which afterwards there will be another review. I feel that a poor performance over in Argentina would spell the end for Hadden. Whilst I obviously want to see Scotland do well, I do feel that it is time for Hadden to move on. Despite his protestations about the Scotland national side continuing to make "progress".

lineens weegie army
22-04-08, 08:23 PM
Good Luck to Lineen and Robinson, and heres hoping they can help Hadden make a few decent decisions (espc. hoping Lineen can show Hadden - and Scotland - how to deploy Parks effectivly)

HOWEVER, can someone explain how the buck stops with Graham and Tait but not with Hadden after a poor 6 Nations?

22-04-08, 08:57 PM
I have no idea, but if Lineen tries to convince Hadden should play Parks again, I will open up a can of whoop ass on him so big his mum&#39;ll feel it. That useless Aussie may play well in what is, at best, an average team but is whaaaay out of his depth at international level. He&#39;s had more than a fair chance, and despite a decent world cup, he&#39;s just not stepped up to the mark. Let&#39;s look at other options now.

Ok, now that&#39;s the Parks-abuse out the way....

I think the appointment of Robinson makes sense. Edinburgh didn&#39;t really bring in any big names, and alot of big players left us. Yet Robinson has taken youth players, and players from Prem 1 and up until 2 games ago that side was still in with a shout of the league. We&#39;ve beaten Leinster, Leicester, just fallen short of Toulouse and Munster twice and aside from the Cardiff game at Murrayfield and the Leicester game down there...we&#39;ve played consistant, entertaining rugby and played it well.

Lineen is a little bit more interesting to me. Part of me says yes, he was a part of a coaching set up with the &#39;a&#39; side, and they got some really impressive results. But another part of me wonders just how much of it was really Robinson? And look at the money Glasgow were allowed to spend in the summer in comparison to Edinburgh. Yet they&#39;re lower down the league and haven&#39;t really achieved what they should have for the players they brought in.

At any rate though, both Robinson and Lineen are a welcome addition. The fact that they didn&#39;t sack Hadden is perhaps a bit of spineless-ness from McKie and the SRU. Nonetheless it&#39;s a, albeit conservative and cautious, step in the right direction.