Rugby World Cup:Scotland v Georgia-a fan perspective

With a battling victory over the Georgians, Scotland secured their second win of the Rugby World Cup. Alan Dymock from the Scottish Rugby Blog gives us his take on the action.


Dan Parks

At no point today were we at risk of seeing a game of rugby breaking out.

Scotland beat Georgia 15-6 as Dan Parks kicked every point, but in truth he played poorly. This was demonstrated when, on the stroke of half time, he tried to nonchalantly dab the ball into touch and hit a Georgian in the back. It was heart in mouth stuff and we almost coughed up a try.

This was the only time it looked like Georgia might score a try. The rest of the time they were banging up with their seven, eight and 12 and then heaving an up and under kick around the halfway line.

What worried Scotland the most was the Georgian defence. When the Eastern Europeans attacked and then kicked, Scotland could launch a counter attack and let the Lamont brothers run with abandon. When they did this though, they often opted to keep hold of the ball themselves and refused to pass. The Georgian hits came rolling in like thunder and with the rain already pumping down Scotland made hard work of retaining possession.

The amount of handling errors will worry Andy Robinson and the way we tried to force offloads at the wrong time will no doubt have frustrated Gregor Townsend who would have wanted to see his powerful strike runners make it to the tryline.

It was what many had hoped it would be, though: a Scottish victory against stuffy opposition.

Of course every rugby fan would have been disappointed to see both teams careering into defenders, instead of space. It was a game full of collisions, but very little open-field running. However, those with Saltires painted on their faces will have been encouraged by a few things.

Our defence was staunch and aggressive. Our scrum was much improved and, at times, even knocked them back. Rory Lamont, although still refusing to look for support, made some fantastic half breaks. Nick De Luca impressed with some of his support and decision making. Jim Hamilton looked to be running through treacle at points but was a very willing runner. Allan Jacobsen was more of a presence than the last game.

Scotland now have 11 days to prepare for Argentina and they will be looking to combine some of the positives from the Romania and Georgia games. We will want the scrum, defence and breakdown work from today to be married with the try scoring and supporting antics of the Romanian outing.

What will be concerning Robinson is how to make his team selections for the Argentina game. The back line looked more dangerous with Rory Lamont in it and if we have a back three of both Lamonts and Danielli or Evans we look like we might score some tries. The issue is that Dan Parks, despite his four penalties, drop-goal and 15 minutes of playing the corners well, did not cover himself in glory. If we start Jackson could we get away with not playing Paterson?

I do not envy the Scottish management here. They will have to weigh up whether they want to score tries against Argentina or just win the game.

In my opinion, for what it is worth, they will have to pick Parks. The Lamont brothers, Kellock and Kelly Brown therefore have a responsibility to ensure we remain belligerent and direct. The ride won’t get any easier against a Pumas pack close to besting England. We will need today’s stoic approach as well as Saturday’s cutting edge.