Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by TRF_heineken, Jun 21, 2017.
Venue: ANZ National Stadium, SuvaTime: 04:30 CAT (SA, GMT+2)
This is Scotland's chance to crack the top 4 on the rankings table. If they get a win by 15+, they've made it. No matter what else happens this weekend.
They only reached 5th place for the first time earlier this year - Feb 25th vs Wales in the 6N.
Finn Russell is only a "very good" player, but I'd argue the drop off from him leaving the team is possibly the single greatest drop off in international rugby from one player. Scotland have nobody at 10 to stand in. No depth at all. He is the only fly half Scotland have produced or naturalised in well over a decade.
Rhuaridh Jackson is the best option but has never been better than poor in a Scotland shirt. Horne is a centre. Weir is completely ostracised by Townsend and lost his starting role at Edinburgh. There is nobody else.
I slightly favour Fiji here if they pick a stronger side than against Italy. A low scoring affair awaits!
New Zealand Warriors
Good forwards for Scotland and a stronger backline than against Australia but 9, 10, 13 & 15 are very ordinary.
I'm already utterly baffled by Townsends selections and he is rotating heavily. Two wins though so I'm guessing he knows what he is doing and is confident of a third.
Okay team for Fiji. Mckee is resting some players and trying others. Tuisova will make his debut at 15's for Fiji, that will be a big plus. Osborne joins the team, but imo Tim Nagusa is better, but Mckee is resting Nagusa after two good games. Unfortunately Botia has gone awol. Not sure why Talebula still hasn't had game time, don't know if he's gone awol or injury or if Mckee just hasn't picked him. Would definitely had him instead on the bench at least. Had a feeling he wasn't gonna play Matawalu either . Matawalu screwed up with one of his kicks last week but overall you could see he was still better. Other surprising selections are the omissions of Fiji's two most experienced props Manasa Saulo and Campese Ma'afu. I would have thought with Scotlands looking to attack Fiji's forwards and scrum, Mckee would have had these two in the side. Especially Saulo.
From what you are saying of the Fiji selection I expect Scotland to do well up front and win narrowly. Something like 22-16.
One man Joshua Tuisova.. Probably the most deveststing winger in world rugby right now, the Scots will need to keep him quiet..
Ross Ford due to become Scotland's all time record cap holder on 110, well done, always liked him....
Half Time: Fiji 11 Scotland 7
Only caught the last 15 mins. Scotland could still turn it around if they keep doing those driving mauls. Referee has handed out 3 yellow cards already, could see more if Scotland keep doing those tactics. Also saw them doing the same offside tactic Italy did against England in the six nations, that's pretty sad to see smh. What a brilliant scrum from Fiji though when their pack was down to 7 men under their own goal post. Scotland tried to go for the push over, but the Fiji scrum held up. Pretty impressed with that. Esp since there's a local Fiji prop, Tawake thats scrummaging against these professional players too. From what I've seen Osborne is making a good case for himself. Losts of competition in that position.
Fiji win 27 - 22
Really wasn't expecting that, but I was hoping. Great win for Fiji, first over Scotland since 1998. Really knife on edge stuff, a couple nervous moments and brain explosions from Fiji where it could have turned. But thankfully we got the win. Good stuff from Tawake, the local prop holding his own against Scotland. He impressed for the Fiji Warriors but to hold his own against an international team is great. Tuisova, Yato, Osborne and again Nakarawa all played great. Next focus is the World Cup qualifiers against Samoa and Tonga. Hopefully we'll still have enough for those games. Tuisova and Nakarawa's freakish abilities are game changers for any team and if either of these guys weren't there I don't think we would have won.
As predicted Scotland did as many mauls as possible, tough forward pack as they showed against Australia, but this time wasn't enough to win. Scotland had to earn it if they wanted to be 4th in the world. With those tactics they didn't.
Great win for Fiji and the people of Fiji to witness back to back victories.
I should have stuck with my gut on calling this (except for the low scoring part). Scotland were poor at 9, 10, 13 & 15 - journeyman players at club level who should never be near an international side in my opinion. Scotland have zero depth at fullback and fly-half. The drop off in quality is terrifying. Serious question, how to Rhuriadh Jackson get a game for Harlequins? He consistently offers nothing in a Scotland shirt.
Hugely entertaining match, Tuisova was sensational to watch and this victory was thoroughly deserved. I recognised him from the 7s and the commentator was saying that was his international XVs debut? What a future.
Delighted to see a Tier 2 side knock off a Tier 1 side at home. Its essential for the growth of the sport that sides like Fiji, Japan, Georgia and Romania get a crack at Tier 1 sides on their own home turf and beat them whenever the Tier 1 side is understrength.
The only downsides are why no TMO? And why was the crowd seemingly a fair bit smaller than against Italy?
Also, did anyone watching it live have any issue with 5 minutes of play being added at the end? I was worried it was a case of "Tier 1 side is losing, quick, lets give them more time to pull out a win". But hopefully I'm totally wrong on that.
Scotland down to 6th and Fiji stay 10th, but within 1.3 ranking points of Argentina.
He doesn't, when everyone is available, nowhere near, 3rd choice FH, 3rd/4th choice FB at best...
Thanks. That explains a lot.
Jackson looked promising at ten when he came through (about ten years ago) but never really developed. In hindsight he probably just looked good because we were desperate for a ten. Don't think he's ever looked good at fullback...
Not too worried about 15 as Maitland and Taylor can cover adequately. Ten cover is an issue - Horne is fine at centre but not ten.
The development of young Hastings could solve the issue but I haven't seen him in action and don't know how much of a prospect he is. Hopefully he'll benefit from working with Dave Rennie and Jason OH.
Would like to see the following 15 start next year's 6N:
5. J Gray
13. Jones (if fit)
Sounds like Scotland are pinning their hopes on the young Hastings lad and really, they are as well putting in a kid as perservering with Weir, Horne or Jackson. I never thought Scotland would regret letting "Tommy" Allan slip through their hands, but he's done well in June and finally looks like he could be international standard. If I was them I'd be scavenging the whole world for a "project player" at 10 before the residency rules make it unfeasible. Maybe even try and convert Tovey at Edinburgh if possible (not that he is any great shakes).
Not seen much of Hastings either but heard some good things so I'm hopeful. Even getting Weir back to a dull, but mostly competent, ten would be a huge help!
Hope we don't go down the project player route but that ship hasn't so much sailed as circumnavigated the world.
Don't tell me you aren't dreaming of Dan Parks mkII.
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