Paterson is on bench - but FFS he needs to play! he is Scotlands best stand-off, but he will only play to his full potential if he gets a couple of moral boosting games under his belt (ie. Portugal and Romania)
as for muffles, he IS injured, hence he isnt in the team.
would like to have seen Ford start, but Lawson could also do with match practice so i shalnt complain.
All in all, this should be an easy victory for Scotland, but even in my short time supporting scotland i have learnt not to take anyone lightly. i wont be happy until i see a scotland a good 20 points to the good.
I think Parks is playing ahead of Paterson because he didn't feature much in the 2 summer tests so Hadden will give him an 'easy' 60-70mins to prepare him and shoe what he can do to put pressure on Paterson. I presume Parks will kick. Same sort of idea with Ford and Lawson.
Di Rollo has had a poor year for Edinburgh and hasn't really played for Scotland much recently. I hope maybe he can get his head up with a decent performance to, again, put pressure on Rob Dewey. Dewey is just a very fast and big man, very limitied elsewhere. He did well for Edinburgh, because by and large inside centres in the ML aren't that big. For Scotland we're yet to see his real power, and I think he's struggling at outside. But I wouldn't for one minute think about dropping Henderson who is going to be a really big player for us this world cup.
I do think we'll beat Portugal comfortably without really hitting top gear. The biggest problem against 'weaker' opposition is injuries and if we can stay clear of them against Portugal and Romania then we can give the All Blacks a good run for their money and get revenge on Italy.
But surely Paterson needs some more game time to settle into the no. 10 slot with more confidence? In the warmup game against Ireland he was sublime, but he showed some serious lapses on defense against the Boks. Was pretty much expected, as the lines of defense at flyhalf differs substantially from that of wing/fullback. I`d have rather given Paterson a good 60 minutes, and maybe ease Parks into some feel with the last 20. That is, if I would have selected Parks at all for the squad.
I personally don't think you should worry about Portugal the same way we should have worried about Canada.
Scotland's forwards, after some serious gym work, are looking beastly. You'll have the strength, fitness and skill to overcome this side.
The only problem you may encounter is yourselves.
Not being clinical enough, being sloppy on moves - you know the things that plague all the home nations.
But, seriously, the words: "Rampant", "Trouncing", "Beating" are all going to be used in this match today. Hell why not throw in a "Raping" as well?!