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Scots skipper on All Blacks: 'We have looked at how to beat them'

Scotland captain John Barclay

Scotland captain John Barclay reckons it’s not worth dwelling on the past matches between his side and the All Blacks in the lead up to their test match in Edinburgh this weekend.

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Instead, he says the team has focused on the times the world champions have slipped over the past couple of seasons.

“What they do is very good but we have looked at how to beat them, how teams have done it,” Barclay told the Herald Scotland.

“We don’t have time to sit and watch 80 minutes, 80 minutes and 80 minutes. We tend to look at patterns, areas of focus. We’ve looked at a few clips from then but more recently we’ve looked at the Australia game but also games the All Blacks have won as well but where other teams have given them problems, like France, for example, at the weekend.”

He also claims that Scotland have been buoyed by the All Blacks’ recent loss to the Wallabies in Brisbane, a side they beat in June.

“It’s hard to compare, (but) that was a pretty good performance. It’s funny, people were suddenly saying ‘oh Australia are not very good anymore’ then they beat the All Blacks a few months later so they’re obviously not that bad. We played well and that definitely sticks out as a good game. We played with good intent that day and a lot of accuracy. They will be key things this weekend.”

Barclay is unconcerned about Scotland’s record against the All Blacks, which is winless after 112 years of test matches.

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“It’s a stat. It will still be the stat come one minute before kick-off on the weekend. We’ll then have 80 minutes of rugby to play. We’ll go out, it’s a huge challenge but an exciting one to try and change that record. We’ve got to do a bit of homework on the All Blacks but if we sit back and talk about them and how fantastic they are there’s no chance.”

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Shaylen 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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J
Jon 11 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Ioane is going to be more than good enough to lock up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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