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The players, teams , issues involved with the Rugby World Cup 2015

Scotland ambition will see them top Pool B

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Scotland should be targeting a win against the Springboks. Hopefully we will see a Scotland that are going to try beat whoever they come up against. Painfully I’ll remind the Scots of their former coach, Frank Hadden’s policy of choosing a b team to face the All Blacks. Vern Cotter is a far different coach to Hadden and the current Scottish squad is far better than Frank Hadden’s 2007 squad.

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Vern Cotter

Scottish rugby is on an upward curve. Edinburgh and Glasgow have become well respected European teams. This is translating to much improved performances by the national team.

If you look at the results in the Six Nations Championship, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious improvement. The same can be said if you look at their placing or their results but the performances are far different. Scottish teams are trying to beat teams rather than trying to stop other teams beating them.

Most rugby fans would suggest that South Africa is expected to top Pool B and Scotland and Samoa will fight out who the runners up in that pool will be. This likely scenario has many factors that could affect it.

Finn-Russel

Scotland’s exciting no.10 Finn Russel

First off Scotland play two tests against the U.S.A and Japan before they play the Springboks. Both these Tests are going to be difficult but this could be a positive for Scotland. It could be the best preparation for the massive showdown with the South Africans. It could be a great build up and the Scots might be hitting their straps just in time for their encounter with the Boks.

Scotland have come into this Rugby World Cup rather covertly. Not by design , it’s just that they havn’t had anything dramatic happen in their build-up that has caused others to take notice.

South Africa will have just come off a bruising encounter against Samoa when they play their third match against Scotland. The South Africans will only have a week to lick their wounds before another tough battle against the Scots.

South Africa last lost to Scotland, a match played in Edinburgh back in 2010. South Africa’s loss on this occasion could be put down to complacency. South Africa definitely never expected such a tough match.

Worryingly from a South African fan’s point of view, there has been more talk about who they’ll meet in the quarter-finals than Scotland or Samoa or U.S.A or Japan. Most South Africans feel it’s a forgone conclusion that the Boks will beat all four of these teams. I think they can talk all they like in the build-up to the matches about respect and being prepared but I don’t feel they are this far out.( 6 days before the kick-off of RWC)

South Africa will go into the Samoa test I feel with the wrong attitude. The Samoan performance against the All Blacks in Apia in July should have sent out a warning to all rugby nations. They really challenged the Kiwi’s and took physicality to another level.I don’t think the South Africans took this seriously enough if at all.

South Africa could be entering the Scotland test already with one loss. Scotland may not want to play a backs against the wall Springbok team but if they do they could win by winning the psychological battle.

JS51912232

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers suffered a career ending injury in November only to have a miraculous comeback THEN suffering a broken jaw, which he is still recovering from

South Africa could quite easily implode. With the Springbok fans already divided on Heyneke Meyer’s leadership and coaching ability. An unexpected loss could turn ugly for Meyer and his Boks. This could quite easily unhinge some players.

The amount of coming back from injury players in the Springbok squad could backfire on them and may cause unexpected changes for the crucial Scotland Test.

Scotland will face up against the Boks in Newcastle which is very near Scotland and thousands of miles from South Africa, it could be considered a Scottish home game.

Anyone old enough to remember ‘that’ Grand Slam decider against England back in 1990 you will know just how passionate the Scots can be, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Scotland could top Pool B.

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11 thoughts on “Scotland ambition will see them top Pool B

  1. Firstly – the Grand Slam decider was either in 1998 or 1999. Definitely not 1990 – South Africa was still in exile. I agree that Scotland or Samoa) can upset the Boks and that there are huge question marks on the Boks’ fitness levels, but let’s be honest: the most bookies would put their money on the Boks to be winners of their pool. Should that not happen it would be an upset. How big that upset will be, only time will tell.
    As for the Scots being the winners of the pool – hold your horses boys! There is 4 games to be played before any one – especially Scotland, will know the final outcome.

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  2. Wow Steve. I love passion and there seems to be a lot of passion here. There is also a whole lot of ifs. I’m of Scottish descent and I always support them as my 2nd team. I have then noticed that they are on an upward curve. As much as all of these facts and passion come into it, I think even the most die hard of Scottish supporters will think your scenario is a long shot. But hey, even long shots sometimes kill, so bring it on.

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    • Anthony thanks for the comment. It is a long shot but not beyond the realms of possibility. In one respect I wish South Africans would take heed of such warnings, then there would be no unexpected losses and in another respect I hope Scots are encouraged by the progress made under Vern Cotter.

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  3. Pingback: What do South Africans know about their opponents? | at the ground

  4. Great article, the only thing you were off about was assuming the Boks would beat Japan! It changes thing a bit going into the Samoa game.

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    • Thanks Nate. To be honest I never saw the Japan thing coming, Scotland quite possibly, Samoa maybe but I never expected Japan to beat the Boks.

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  5. ……and then there was SA vs Samoa…..46-6

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    • Diek thanks for commenting mate. Do you think the Samoa game has got SA back on track? Has it made up for the loss to Japan?

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      • I am hoping it has got them on track, I was happy to see the boks play for a full 80 minutes against Samoa and not get 10 points up and rest on our laurels as they have in the past.

        It was not a pretty game in the sense that there were still lots of areas for improvement. I thought Janie in particular had a shocker so am surprised to see him get a starting berth this week.

        The other factor that was immense against Samoa was our physicality we significantly over power the team that over powered the All Blacks at the contact point. We returned to our strengths of holding the player up in contact and trying to initiate the maul, a tactic we should have implemented against Japan.

        Its also please that we have some strike runners back in the team DDA, Vermeulen and for the game against the Scots Willem Alberts off the bench. If we stick to what won us the game against Samoa, play with the same level of heart for a full 80 minutes and shore up on our scrum, handling and discipline there is no reason the Scottish game can’t be a one sided affair.

        The Scots are a good team, fantastic at slowing the ball at the breakdown and point of contact , they also now have some big South African beef of their own. The Boks will need to be clinical and on their game or we do face the possibility of two pool losses. Thankfully I think DuPreez will be Vital in secure quick phase ball which will decide the game. Also With Bizzie back we have an extra fetcher as well as additional grunt in the loose.

        Go Bokke, you are going to have to work hard for this win. Hopefully the Japan loss has re-hauled the attitude of a previously complacent team

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  6. Steve, I would say that the Samoa game is a good foundation, Power play with forwards, but still missing the principal of forwards play for possession and backline play with possesion. There was a sparkle or two from the backline but again the Boks will need more than a few. Accuracy with the forwards was much better but not 100%. As for the backs, not enough oppurtunities is ceated by the Nr 10. Guess we could it was somewhat like the AB vs ARG came where ABs was not 100% convincing. Only time will tell

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