An insider's guide to Scotland v. the Wallabies - Green and Gold Rugby
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An insider’s guide to Scotland v. the Wallabies

An insider’s guide to Scotland v. the Wallabies

You’ve heard of the Accidental Tourist, right? Well Scotland may well be willing tourists, but somewhere, out there in the vast unfamiliar hemisphere, there are some accidents waiting to happen.

Which sides the accidents befall may largely depend on how many accidents have already happened, though.

Australia have well catalogued injuries and omissions. Scotland have a disaster of a last year behind them. That is the national side that have been poor, though. Like a flock of Assanges they tried to take on the world, built up by an activist support, only to fall in front of the global media. The World Cup and Six Nations were almost laughable in the way they played out.

Hoggy: a standout

However, hope is being found somewhere as Scotland’s only two pro sides performed well in the Heineken Cup or the RaboDirect Pro12, with Edinburgh semi-finalists in the former and Glasgow Warriors semi-finalists in the latter (in a country where our heroes are drunken comics or Andy Murray success is measured in participation).

The fans are buoyed, the course has been plotted and new caps corralled. So in games against Australia in Newcastle and Fiji and Samoa on their home turf there will be some expectation of big, big changes.

Which is just it. Scotland have been hapless for so long that by appointing a new unpredictable Aussie coach in Scott Johnson and loading their backline with young guys they may actually stand more chance of scoring some tries without design.

Edinburgh centre Matt Scott and Glasgow’s fleet-footed fullback Stuart Hogg are young men who have had stand-out seasons. They have more skill than many predecessors and possess that raw quality the team have lacked for so long. They bring others into positions and Hogg in particular is drawing plaudits from across the isles, already being talked about as a British Lion.

Although he is not eligible until the last two games, Dutch-born try-machine Tim Visser comes into the side to support these two. The winger is powerful, fast and the top try scorer in the Rabo for three years in a row. He is Scottish after his very own ‘Occupy Edinburgh’.

In the forwards Scotland are without their abrasive new back-rower David Denton, a Zimbabwe-bred Gunner who is again being heralded around Britain, but they have an in-form Ross Rennie, also of Edinburgh. He may be sent to arm wrestle at ruck time as their 7.

Scotland also have Warriors who are workaholics and who are not shy of bending the rules a little. Add Lions sho0-in second row Richie Gray into the mix and there could be some friction.

Laidlaw: 'Bring it Quade'

In the first Test a lot could strip down to what Scotland’s 10 does. Both starting options from Edinburgh and Glasgow, Greig Laidlaw and Duncan Weir respectively, like to control a game from the pivot. One is more adventurous and the other is the O’Gara-like field finder. I hope that Scotland play with adventure and that rustiness gets the better of Quade Cooper….

If not, regardless of how many crocked crocs there are it may be a scary second half in that first Test. Will Australia be cautious against this foe? I doubt it, so Scotland have to attack from the off and try to catch their opponents cold.

If that does not happen then it could be a long tour of bumps and scrapes. Taking on the Islanders after a Test like this Newcastle one could hurt. A few others may do themselves a mischief, so best to forge head-on. We can worry about expectations after.

  • Patrick

    My biggest concern is that the U20s last night will serve as motivation to the Scots!

  • Ian

    Quade is not playing.

  • muffy

    I have recorded the U20s and will watch it at lunch time (long lunch today :)) in preparation for the big one toninght.

    Bloody hell, If Zimbabwe could keep all their players, they would have a competitive side… Beast, Pocock, Mujati, Godwin (U20) David Denton, Prior….

    • Cantab

      Forget the list, all you need is Pocock to make RWC Semis.

    • Mart

      Heath Streak

  • AJ

    but thankfully he likes enjoying rugby now…

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen

    Anyone else think our practice kit may well come to bite us? :(

  • Bruwheresmycar

    nice write up, cheers.

  • RJ

    Deans needs to go after tonights performance. No excuses. Poor selections, poor Game plan. Pathetic. Here comes another painful season

    • Pride Goest

      or perhaps the better team won…

      • Trys NOT Kicks

        Poor selections is pointing out that it was not a first string Australia side-in fact that was probably the most amount of debut and inexperienced players who have ever won Wallaby gold. Added to that it takes place right in the middle of the Super Rugby session where any training time in the Wallabies camp is extremely limited. However well done to Scotland, they still won.

    • murph

      Deans must go. Selections were okayish but too much just goes wrong under his stewardship

  • jerry

    Worst wallaby display in years. Those boys should be embarrassed, they were totally outplayed in every regard. Scotland’s line out was crap, and they couldn’t even benefit off that. Po**** should never captain the wallabies again after that.

    Im in absolute shock, embarrassed to be a supporter of the wallabies. I guess it shows the lack of depth in Aussie rugby. Looks like we have one squad, and half of them are injured. They were representing Australia when they played, but they didn’t give a rat’s ass when it came down to it. Is it just me, or have the wallabies been inconsistent, and hard to watch over the past year. Looks like 0 points in the Rugby championship unless they can pull their heads in.

  • Fatflanker

    A cheap Wallabies scalp laid at the feet of the Scots. Deans will be kicking himself his substitutions cruelled what was a reasonably solid scrum, ultimately costing Oz the game. Other than that he’s had to play wtjh the cards dealt him – no preparation and tired players. Good on ya ARU – damn near treason if you ask me.

  • Robson

    Atrocious conditions, but the same for both sides.

    Fact is that in the first half the Wallabies played the right game plan into a rain blizzard and what seemed to be freezing temperatures. The second fact is that in the second half they continued to mindlessly do what their first half tactics were – when they had the wind and rain behind them. No other game plan existed but to endlessly bash their way upfield with forward drives which admittedly came close to being rewarded with a try, but there was surely, surely a great case to vary the tactics with some chip kicks into the corner followed by a hard chase or a bomb or two (only used once as I recollect and then not well directed either). When you go through phase after phase of forward drives in such awful conditions, someone is going to make a mistake sooner than later. And so it – tiresomely – was.

    If ever there is a case for putting the ball behind the opposition it is when they are playing into the wind and rain; like the second half last night. But the Wallabies kept it for the most part in front of them and physically they were equal to the task. The Wallabies on field leadership was just not switched on to the alternatives that existed and in that I blame Genia more than Pocock, and both of them more than Deans. Where is the rugby intellect in the Wallabies that characterised so many great Wallaby sides in the past?

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen

    Of course IF that try would have been awarded it would almost certainly have changed the way the game was being played.

    However, even allowing for the foul conditions (I know, I know… same for both teams) what really peeved me was that with so much time in the Scottish 1/2 & 20……we seemed devoid of many ideas to actually score a try or pressure them into penalties. What didn’t we see the weather forecast come up with some ideas on how to win the game?

    The kicks into that strong wind would indicate that we are slow. Goal posts swaying, flags fluttering a million miles an hour, umbrellas turning inside out and we somehow feel a box kick in the smart option? At that stage I was getting worried. :(

    Clearly the Scots were coping well with our attacks but somehow we must have sensed they would crack & therefore persisted with the pick & drive, and persisted with it and well …….. you know.

    For me that was THE opportunity for Sharpey, Genia, Pockcock & Barnesy to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, show some initiative, lead the new chums to their first win in a gold jersey, build confidence and get this campaign off to a good start. But nope!

    From here what?

Scotland

Alan Dymock is a student in Scotland working towards a masters in journalism. Formerly contracted to Edinburgh Rugby he has played rugby in some far flung places like Dubai, Canada and Germany. He has also played against the likes of David Pocock and Danny Cipriani, but thankfully he likes enjoying rugby now... Follow Alan on twitter @AlanDymock

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