Six Nations Thoughts – Scotland

23 01 2010

Despite the best Autumn international series for many years, here at the Compulsive Hooker, we are finding it very difficult to be particularly positive with regard to Scotland’s Six Nations prospects. Strength in depth in Scotland is sadly lacking and with only two professional sides to choose from it is difficult to see their prospects improving much.

There are however some positives as both Edinburgh and Glasgow are riding high in the Magners League. How much this is to do with the Welsh and Irish (in particular) teams focus on the Heineken Cup, rather than the innate quality of the Scottish sides, it is difficult to say. Evidence perhaps can be found in the fact that neither Scottish side will again qualify for the quarter finals of this competition.

Much maligned as England Head Coach, Andy Robinson, does appear to have instilled a sense of purpose and a steel core into the Scottish team. This approach has been based on creating a rock solid defence and worrying about attacking play later. Famously this approach reaped massive reward when in their game against Australia at Murrayfield, the Scots won despite having only about 30% of the ball. This was in the end more due to Australia’s failings but it was a wonderful boost for the players and Scottish supporters who have suffered many an indignity in recent years.

In attack it is crucial that whoever Robinson chooses at fly half plays more positively than in recent games. Phil Godman did a job in the Autumn but how the fans must be willing a similarly mercurial talent as Gregor Townsend to come through. In the Evans brothers they have threats out wide along with the ever willing and still dangerous Chris Paterson. In the eyes of the Compulsive Hooker, Paterson is one of the most underrated players of the last decade. His kicking of course remains nigh on faultless.

Prediction: 5th. Scotland to struggle although they will fancy Wales as a possible scalp. England too should be careful.

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