The Scots conceded the game to New Zealand yesterday before it had even begun. Frank Hadden selected a weakened team to face the tournament favourites, hoping to save his best players for the match with Italy next weekend.
To be fair, the second string played reasonably well, although they couldn’t muster a point against the All Blacks who scored 40.
In my opinion, they would have been better served taking them on with all guns blazing. The Scots have a good lineout, with Alistair Hogg and Jason White providing additional options to the second rows, and they should have targeted this New Zealand weakness. As it happened, the All Blacks played pretty badly, and so with home advantage you never know, they could have caused a big upset.
The pack would have been battle-hardened from the confrontation, and with a good performance, confidence would have been boosted.
At the very least, they would have avoided irritating the crowd – this fixture was the main attraction at Murrayfield, and those that bought tickets were let down. Hadden’s tactics violated the spirit of the World Cup and of the sport itself by saying, we don’t think we’re going to win, therefore we’re not going to try.
What are your thoughts?