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Match Thread: Wales v Scotland, Cardiff, Sat 03 Feb 14:15, BBC1

  • 02-02-2018 1:15pm
    #1
    Subscribers Posts: 36,268 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Venue: Principality Stadium Date: 03 Feb 2018 Kick-off: 14:15 GMT Coverage: Watch live on BBC One.
    WRU-Logo-wales-3858125-166-241.gifthistle2.jpg



    Wales
    |
    Scotland

    01: Rob Evans|01: Gordon Reid
    02: Ken Owens|02: Stuart McInally
    03: Samson Lee|03: Jon Welsh
    04: Cory Hill|04: Ben Toolis
    05: Alun Wyn Jones (capt)|05: Jonny Gray
    06: Aaron Shingler|06: John Barclay (capt)
    07: Josh Navidi|07: Hamish Watson
    08: Ross Moriarty|08: Cornell du Preez
    |
    09: Gareth Davies|09: Ali Price
    10: Rhys Patchell|10: Finn Russell
    11: Steff Evans|11: Byron McGuigan
    12: Hadleigh Parkes|12: Huw Jones
    13: Scott Williams|13: Mark Bennett
    14: Josh Adams|14: Chris Harris,
    15: Leigh Halfpenny|15: Stuart Hogg
    |
    16: Elliot Dee,|16: Scott Lawson
    17: Wyn Jones|17: Jamie Bhatti
    18: Tomas Francis|18: Murray McCallum
    19: Bradley Davies|19: Grant Gilchrist
    20: Justin Tipuric|20: Ryan Wilson
    21: Aled Davies|21: Greig Laidlaw
    22: Gareth Anscombe|22: Pete Horne
    23: Owen Watkin|23: Sean Maitland

    “Ambition is Critical”

    The big question for wales this tournament is not whether their inexperienced players will rise to the occasion but more so whether they have a coach who can alter his very rugby DNA to get the best out of this ‘Scarlets and friends’ welsh team. Wayne Pivac has Scarlets humming like a well engineered machine over the last 18 months, playing an exciting brand of rugby that dismissively swept aside the best the Irish provinces could throw at them on their way to the Pro12 victory last season. They play with ambition. They carry out their plays with a clinical efficiency of skill, steel and a team playing as one mind. Can Warren Gatland either get this team to play in the manner he wants, or can he himself change his philosophy to suit these new players he has found himself in charge of. First impressions to me say no. Everything good the scarlets do is based on an engine room of tidy fast breakdown work. Central to this is James Davies, who must have a room at home overflowing with ‘man of the match’ awards. Hes a tackling, rucking and turnover machine. Not the tallest flanker in the world at 6’, he uses this lower centre of gravity to great effect over the ball, latching like a limpet. He quite useful in the loose as well, 9 tries in the last two season.

    However, Gatland has firmly focused on bulk and power with his back row selection of a 5.5 and two no. 8’s. He intends to attack the line out with the inclusion of Shingler at 6 to compliment Hill and AWJ. Josh Navidi has deserved a shot at 7 for the last few years, but personally I think it’s a case of too little too late for him. Hes not consistent enough for the Blues in my eyes, though when hes on form hes excellent. With Moriarity at 8, it’s a strong but not particularly mobile welsh back row. It’s a selection based on an attacking style of ‘same old same old’ of fold around and bash up, rinse and repeat to the trams, then spread.

    Out the back, Rhys Pratchell is lucky to have found himself at 10, or unlucky, depending on how you look at it. Primarily a 15 these days, hes there as a result of Biggar and Priestland picking up injuries. Gareth Anscombe never lived up to the hype when he first came over from kiwi-land. The big question for welsh fans will be can he steer the ship, especially in periods under pressure. His scarlets team mate Gareth Davies will take some of the kicking pressure off him, but if Pratchell cracks, this welsh team wont function. The backline is fully Scarlets apart from the debutante Josh Adams, who has been excellent for Worcester recently and deserves his place. With him, and Evans on the other flank, wales have real speed and deadly finishing ability out wide…… but how many chances will they get?

    The one area in the back line I think wales are stronger than their Scottish counterparts is in midfield. Scott Williams has found himself back in the fold and will be eager to impress. He was unlucky to have found himself vying for the same shirt as the Player of the Lions Tour last year. It cannot be underestimated how much positivity and threat comes from Jonathon Davies at 13. Can Williams offer more than his size and bulk allow for?
    Hadleigh Parkes is another kiwi convert who has had an excellent last 2 season, again as an integral part of Pivacs system. At 30 however hes not the future of welsh rugby and cant be seen as anything more than a decent stop gap. This will be his first true test of high pressure tournament rugby and questions exist over his ability on this stage.

    Wales aren’t coming into this competition in any real form. Last November saw them go down inevitably to yet another defeat against the Aussies (their 13th in a row). That was an Aussie team that were humiliated by Scotland two week later. They followed that up by a very below par performance against the Georgians before a 2 point victory over the (very poor) Bokke restored some pride. Parkes shining in this one on his debut, with a two try return.

    With Dan Biggar, Jonathan Davies, Sam Warburton, Rhys Webb, George North, Taulupe Faletau, Liam Williams, Rhys Priestland, Jake Ball and Dan Lydiate all unavailable…
    does Gatland have the ambition to release and allow these Scarlets players play in a manner they are accustomed to? Does Gatland think that style will work in the pressure cooker of a Six Nations tournament?

    Does Gatland have the ambition?





    “Proud to be Scottish”

    Can you feel it? Is it nagging you as well? That little birdy in the back of your head whispering about a decent coach, with a good rugby brain, and decent attacking exciting half backs, maturing together, an exciting open style…. Something tells me this could be Scotland’s breakout year. They certainly should be targeting three wins at a minimum, and having England in Edinburgh must have them salivating.

    Yes, we know Scotland are decimated in the front row. They are down six props and three hookers (there’s a joke in there somewhere). We know they recalled a 36 year old hooker to the bench who made his debut 13 years ago and hasn’t played test rugby since 2014. We know they’ve called in a 34 year old debutante hooker to the squad. One Glasgow front row in the six named says it all. But…. But….

    Its time for Scotland to stand up and be proud of itself. Proud of its current standing in international rugby, proud of its recent form and results. 2017 started with home victories against Ireland, Wales and Italy and a narrow loss against France in Paris. The rest of the year saw them beat Italy well again, and then two victories against the Aussies, the first hard fought in Sydney, the second a comprehensive humiliation of them in Murrayfield. Oh what wales would give for such results! Sandwiched in between was a narrow 5 point loss to the world leaders. These are results that Scotland can look on with pride and to stop looking on as punching above their weight.

    At the foundation of this resurgence of Scottish rugby has been the Glasgow influence of Townsend as coach, but more importantly in my opinion the two Glasgow lads at half back. For years everyman and his dog could see that Laidlaw was the blunt cog in the wheel of what they were trying to do. Ponderous meekatting was slowing down an exciting back line. But, he was captain, and he kicked. Now that Ali Price has overtaken him things have improved vastly. Now we have a 9 who is slippery around the ruck, quick and accurate in his pass, and has no fear throwing to 13 or blindside wingers off the base. Outside him he has, in his club team mate Russell, a very exciting 10 who likes to play on the edge of the line. Hes a 10 who is quite happy to take it into contact as his support runners know he has the hands to look for the off load at every opportunity. He has now mixed in a maturity to his play that he lacked when he first broke onto the scene. Hes more adept from the tee and very comfortable from hand. These half backs are complemented with a third playmaker and outstanding player in Hogg at 15. Probably the best full back in world rugby right now (until Ben Smith comes back after his hiatus). Hogg is a fans dream. Always exciting to watch and eager to try the unexpected. When he steps into the line he draws defenders attention every time, either leaving space out wide, or, if he gets a soft shoulder, he away himself.

    Outwide Seymour is seasoned at this stage and we know what we will get from him. On the other flank the Sale winger Byron McGuigan has impressed in his first two caps. The first Namibian to play with Scotland?

    The big question is up front, and especially the front row. Is the drop off in quality to the dirt trackers too big to overcome? Gregor has gone for experience in this area, hoping that they can hold their own in the scrum. Behind the front row Scotland have a slightly more dynamic five than wales, in an attempt to turn this into an open game rather than an arm wrestle. In my opinion the backrow of Barclay, Watson and du Preez is more balanced than the welsh, and it’s an intriguing contest as the team that wins the collisions wins the game.

    Does Scotland have the pride in itself that it needs to win this game?



    Prediction

    All previews have this as a coin toss. Some have gone from wales less than 5, some for Scotland less than 5. The bookies have Wales in and around -2. Personally, I think that not only are they without the quality of the players who are unavailable, they are without the leadership that these players bring. Warburton, Biggar, Davies, Falateau are all big game players who lead by example. Can their replacements raise their game to make up for this loss?
    In such a closely predicted game, the referee always becomes a source of conversation and, more often than not, controversy. Pascal Gauzere is a referee not afraid to make big decisions and wont be intimidated by the home crowd.

    All in all I think Scotland may just edge this. Better Half backs and more dangerous weapons in the back line. However, if Gatland can somehow give these Scarlets players the permission to plan open and expansive, which comes natural to them at this stage, then they certainly have the ability.

    Scotland by 2

    I think the odds for a draw at 20/1 are attractive by the way ;)


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,716 ✭✭✭✭ Interested Observer


    I'm reaaalllllyyy looking forward to this match, has the potential to be a cracker if both teams go out and play the way their selections promise they can. I fancy Scotland to nick it, I know Wales have a ton of injuries but their selection is still pretty strong, lot of players in very good form in that team.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,641 Dog Botherer


    I reckon if the Scottish set piece can function to the point where they hit 80% of their lineouts, and not picking up a penalty at every single scrum, they have the quality in the backrow, half backs, and backline to win by a couple of tries. If Wales turn it into a dogfight and make mincemeat of the Scottish pack (very possible), then it'll be very close.

    Cracker of a game to start with.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,230 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    This should be a brilliant game but there are a lot of variables at play and I think it may end up being quite loose given the team sheets. Scotland can carve it up in a game like this but I think we might be collectively underestimating the seriousness of their front row limitations.

    On off the ball on Wednesday Keith Wood was saying that anymore injuries and they will be risking seriously under prepared players. He expects to see Scotland fall back to uncontested scrums at some stage during the tournament.

    Otherwise a great write up and good talking points before the game!


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,338 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    Getting aside from the Welsh injury list, I still say that they have enough to edge this. They have Warren G to get them home, and is it bad when you can say that that's about as classy as this Welsh team gets. He will have them dragging the game down into something really really dour, and possibly ugly at times. You can expect a lot of slow ball, a lot of mauls, a lot of 9 man ball and a lot of bone grinding scrum sessions; anything that it takes to stop Scotland using their best back line since the heyday of the brothers Tukalo and Hastings. That said, I would love to see the visitors win as it will open the season up no end.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,191 ✭✭✭ swiwi_


    I always bookmark a sydthebeat preview. That way I can find the right chapter & page when I have a moment to keep reading.

    Nice work syd!


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  • Subscribers Posts: 36,268 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    swiwi_ wrote: »
    I always bookmark a sydthebeat preview. That way I can find the right chapter & page when I have a moment to keep reading.

    Nice work syd!

    Thanks swiwi

    Gonna try make a prediction on the result?
    It's going to be a cracking opening game to the competition


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,191 ✭✭✭ swiwi_


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    Thanks swiwi

    Gonna try make a prediction on the result?
    It's going to be a cracking opening game to the competition

    Scotland. Because I’m a romantic sort of guy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,371 ✭✭✭ peckerhead


    Speaking of which... that Glenisk ad? Seriously, Horgan?


  • Registered Users Posts: 870 FCIM


    I think this could be one of the more open and exciting matches of the tournament. Wales are based on the Scarlets team, particularly in the backs and Glasgow provide a strong thread in the Scottish line up. Both are decent try-scoring teams in the Pro 14 and I expect their styles to come through. Whilst Scotland are improving, I see home advantage providing the edge for Wales and think it will end with a home win of between 3-5 points.


  • Registered Users Posts: 870 FCIM


    Getting aside from the Welsh injury list, I still say that they have enough to edge this. They have Warren G to get them home, and is it bad when you can say that that's about as classy as this Welsh team gets. He will have them dragging the game down into something really really dour, and possibly ugly at times. You can expect a lot of slow ball, a lot of mauls, a lot of 9 man ball and a lot of bone grinding scrum sessions; anything that it takes to stop Scotland using their best back line since the heyday of the brothers Tukalo and Hastings. That said, I would love to see the visitors win as it will open the season up no end.

    Wales' style has changed a good bit recently. It's not necessarily going to be the Warrenball of old. That said, as a Welshman and a Welsh fan I still don't like Gatland for a multitude of reasons.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭ coco0981


    Wales by 6, think this could be the best game of the championship hopefully


  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,316 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Peregrine


    Ugh, I thought Conor McNamara wasn't involved with TV3 rugby this time. Everything else has been bearable. At least he won't be at the Ireland game.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,899 ✭✭✭✭ BBDBB


    Scotland by 3


  • Registered Users Posts: 870 FCIM


    One thing which is creeping into rugby which I hate is booing anthems. The stadium announcer said "first, the Scottish anthem" and you could clearly hear some numbskulls booing. Happily they either shut up or were drowned out during Flower of Scotland but this soccer mentality (and as a soccer fan I hate it in that sport too though unfortunately it is to be expected) of not having the manners to respect others is something which should be stamped out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,318 ✭✭✭ Dave_The_Sheep


    ... and tv3 **** up the start of the game by missing the kick off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,782 ✭✭✭✭ whatawaster


    Scotland looking dangerous already


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,295 ✭✭✭✭ Mint Sauce


    ... and tv3 **** up the start of the game by missing the kick off.

    Seriously!

    :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,230 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    Scotland looking dangerous but a bit disorganised there at the breakdown, left Navidi far too much time to get the claws in.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,220 ✭✭✭ cameramonkey


    some poor kicking so far


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,480 ✭✭✭ bloodless_coup


    Does BBC HD look a bit off. It's looks really "digital". Like watching a clip of America football.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,128 ✭✭✭ mangobob


    Scotland to win by 5-10. Home advantage is big for Wales, but I just feel this Scottish side are on the up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 870 FCIM


    Yes!

    What a start (by both teams fair play)!


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,184 ✭✭✭ Burkie1203


    Dear wales.
    Happy christmas
    Scotland


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,218 ✭✭✭✭ bilston


    Price has had a dodgy start. Well spotted by Davies.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Price has been Toxic so far.

    Gave away the penalty sniping and getting isolated.
    They had a 5 on 3 after the turnover and he held the ball and that pass.


  • Registered Users Posts: 233 ✭✭ chatticusfinch


    Some run from Thomas there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,045 ✭✭✭✭ vienne86


    Well that cost Scotland....big time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,782 ✭✭✭✭ whatawaster


    Scotland defence all over the place


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,899 ✭✭✭✭ BBDBB


    Great move but Scots are just disintegrating


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,150 ✭✭✭✭ LuckyGent88


    Ah that’s a pity. Would have been a beaut of a try.


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