Ireland 27-3 Scotland: Talk is cheap for Gregor Townsend’s side

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From Tom English
BBC Scotland
It appeared that 100 times had passed since they first met up as a team to get ready for the World Cup after Scotland completed their media conference at Takanawa in Tokyo on Saturday.
One hundred days of training meetings and sessions, of course travel and matches, of previews and testimonials and preparation to the opener from Ireland.
Sunday was day 101, that was sort of appropriate given its connotations because George Orwell (an anagram of the name being Ell Gregor Woe) wrote about people being tormented in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. You have Room 101 and now you have Rugby 101; Townsend’s disturbing present and Orwell’s dystopian future.
It’s hard to know how many times the management and players of Scotland talked during these 100 times, however, it was from the heaps. Fighting talk, too. They threw their shoulders back and gave about how good they can be it large.
Before the Ireland game, they talked about how hard they’d been operating on defence, just how much they were going to aim Johnny Sexton, how a herd of rampaging wildebeest would not create them take a step against the Irish, how they were saving their very best stuff for your World Cup.
Of course the Scots have to back themselves in people. They could hardly don the cap and pass a World Cup passing sentence , but they had to deliver a performance and they never came close. Should they came on in the first location, their lights moved out early.
Scotland are offered in their own promise, which only manifests itself. They win a few games and everybody becomes giddy, including us at the media, that are starved of positivity after reporting on this group that each and every large victory at Murrayfield is considered as a turning point.
It becomes a turning point when they turn, maybe not before entering reverse by delivering one win in five games in the most recent Six Nations if they approach the turn. They have one success, against Italy at home.
Following a few minutes in Yokohama, they surrendered the very first try. By the moment the Iain Henderson ran with Grant Gilchrist and Stuart McInally, you knew the score came.
Because the dent always comes in those moments, you’d have bet the house on it. Scotland’s defence was dumb to catch across the corner at James Ryan and the ruck moved over. Easy.
After 14 minutes, then they conceded a tries off. Anyone who watches this Scotland team would have gone on an Ireland score, once more, the that maul started to move forward. Some groups have the organisation and belligerence to maintain out teams in these crucial times. If their defence is worried Scotland fold. Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt understands better than anybody. He played on it.
A one came after 26 minutes down the end of this area away from a Scotland error. That one from Tadhg Furlong, A scrum, some hard-running from CJ Stander, much more slackness from another soft touch try and Scotland. Not even half an hour played and the game was done. One hundred days of prep – because of this?
There’s a view out there – shared that Scotland have confronted in recent times – which when it comes to the abilities of the team a number of these have a little too much to say to themselves. Around wanting to play the fastest brand of rugby in the world, listen incredulously into the discussion from some Scotland players and trainers – a headline replicated after the beating of Sunday by one of the number.
Ireland and scotland are cousins but in rugby terms there’s no relation. This season has been hard their kind diminished, for these Irish players, their assurance ruined, their critics louder and louder. No amount of silverware out of their all-conquering 2018 has shielded them .
They men, however. Relentless. Tough physically and mentally. Power of character – and quality of player and coach – looks to be receiving them. They’re a re-emerging force that could have drunk in Scotland’s chat and quietly fed off it.
Just the hopelessly optimistic (or delusional) Scotland enthusiast would have predicted that the victory on Sunday. There was evidence. Since Schmidt entered the scene as 15, ireland had won five of their six meetings. They scored 21 attempts in those games and won by an average of 14 points.
win implied they were getting back to the things they were, although yes, their 2019 form had been bad up until their most recent triumph over Wales in Dublin. It was a portent of doom because of the Scots.
Ireland were favourites and also there would have been shame in Scotland losing to them. They talked the talk and fell in a heap. The thing isn’t that Scotland lost, it’s that Scotland never turned up.
Townsend’s entrance in the aftermath they lacked strength and aggression at the start of the game was a shocker although we had heard, and seenthe same thing before. And lately. And over once.
Last month, even when passive at a 32-3 defeat against France in Nice, the Scotland defence coach spoke about the team’s lack of urgency.
“On reflection, perhaps we ought to have poked and prodded and fired up the boys over we did,” he said.
They need poking and prodding to get up themselves for a Test match?
“We simply left it to the players to get themselves in the perfect frame of mind,” he added. “With it being a warm-up game in a nice place like Nice, we only assumed that amount of intensity was likely to be there and it was not.”
It was not there in Yokohama to get a World Cup match, it wasn’t there at Nice, it was not there in the opening 30 minutes in Twickenham when England scored four tries, it was not there against Wales and Ireland in Edinburgh or from France in Paris.
In their past 11 competitive games, Scotland have surrendered 12 tries in the opening 14 minutes. In precisely exactly the identical interval, Ireland have surrendered two. The absence of aggression and power is a weakness that Townsend hasn’t fixed.
On Monday they head to get Kobe, in which they and Samoa play with per week later. Shorn of fund and their gamers poached by other countries, the Pacific Islanders continue to be subjected to the treatment by the world game. They’ve dropped to Australia, Fiji and the USA in their previous few matches, but there were signs against the Wallabies they’re beginning to put something together again. Four years ago, the wits frightened .
Nothing that Samoa, or even Japan, will probably have observed on Sunday will provide them any concern. The set of them remain underdogs but they’ll smack a target on the backs of of these Scotland gamers and go with intent. In the case of the Samoans, a poisonous purpose.
The countries have already met on the watch of Townsend. It was in the autumn of 2017, a 44-38 win in Murrayfield. Scotland scored six tries daily. Samoa scored five. Scotland should win this match, but they’ll be battered in the procedure. This week will probably be gloomy. They are in a hole. A one.

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