Argentina v Scotland: tourists bounce back to take Test series to the wire

Gregor Townsend says his side have only scratched the surface of what they are capable of

Matt Fagerson scored the third of Scotland's four tries against Argentina. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Matt Fagerson scored the third of Scotland's four tries against Argentina. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Argentina 6

Scotland 29

GREGOR TOWNSEND claimed that his Scotland side only scratched the surface of what they are really capable of when scoring 21 unanswered points in the second half of this clash to secure a comprehensive victory which squared the series, setting up a winner-takes-all third and final Test in Santiago next Saturday night.

The tourists were under pressure after a lacklustre performance in defeat to the Pumas in the series opener last weekend, and they remained out of sorts for the vast majority of the first half of this game, although a try by Hamish Watson – who celebrated his 50th cap with a man of the match performance – gave them a two-point lead at the break.

They then fired out of the blocks at the start of the second half, playing with conviction and tempo, to score three more tries through Mark Bennett, Matt Fagerson and Sam Johnson. Argentina kept plugging away but a combination of Scotland’s determined defence and the hosts’ inaccuracies at key moments meant that the Pumas failed to trouble the scoreboard operator during that second period (although they did have three tries chalked off by the TMO and two more by the referee without reference to the fourth official).


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“I’m satisfied with the result and especially with how we started the second half,” said Townsend afterwards. “We started the game well, but it was a mixed performance after that, and then at the beginning of the second half we really took the ball to them. I thought some of the running lines and some of the effort in contact was outstanding.

“We’ve lots of areas to improve but to win a Test match in Argentina takes a lot of hard work so a real credit to our team for that today. There is a lot of togetherness in the squad. You could see that with how they reacted to tries or when they were defending their own line. They are a group who care about each other but also care about playing for their country.

“We knew we would get a response this week, with how the players had trained and how committed they were to improving. We can improve further, though, we’re just scratching the surface with that performance, and we’ll be really working to bring our best performance out next week.

“I thought our pack wad outstanding, the back-row in particular, up against a quality opposition and away from home in tiring conditions. So, it is a good foundation to build on next week and next season.”

A dark cloud on an otherwise glorious day for the tourists was the injury to Kyle Rowe, who came off the bench late in the first half, but was the forced to retire from the game 10 minutes later.

“For Kyle Rowe, on his first cap, to pick up a serious injury we really feel for him,” added Townsend. “He was so proud to get this opportunity and he played well when he was on with a crucial jackal before half-time, so it is really unfortunate for him to pick up an injury and I’m sure he’ll miss next week. Rory Hutchinson is a doubt as well, but we’ve got a big squad so someone will get an opportunity.

Townsend added that it is unlikely that changes for next week will be limited to those forced by injury. “There is players who deserve opportunities, who missed today – like Jonny Gray who has played a lot of rugby for us – so we know we will have guys who are very motivated to improve on what we did today so that we take home this series.

“We’ve just got be better,” he concluded. “We were better today than we were last week, and we’ve got to be better again next week.”

This win secured an unprecedented away from home clean-sweep for the northern hemisphere sides against their southern hemisphere rivals yesterday, with France beating Japan, Ireland beating New Zealand, England beating Australia and Wales beating South Africa earlier in the day.

 

Scotland started well and edged into a third minute lead after a good clearance from Ben White and an excellent scrum established the field position for Blair Kinghorn to fire him an offside penalty, but then a neck-roll from skipper Grant Gilchrist allowed Emiliano Boffelli to square the contest just two minutes later, killing that promising early momentum.

The line-out was scrappy, at best, and when they eventually did manage to string a sequence of phases together a mix-up in midfield between Sam Johnson and Mark Bennett saw Scotland surrender 40 easy yards.

A moment of magic from Darcy Graham, when he leaped heroically to claim White’s box kick, created Scotland’s first proper attack midway through the first half, but when the ball was shipped left, Duhan van der Merwe allowed himself to be squeezed into touch.

It was all just a bit hesitant, leading to a high error count which meant Argentina were never really stretched for any meaningful length of time in defence.

A high tackle by White on Rodrigo Bruni handed Boffelli three easy points to Argentina just after the half hour, but this time Scotland responded positively, turning down three easy points following an offside by Gonzalo Bertanou and going for the corner instead. It was a bold which paid off when Watson burrowed over from the line-out drive.

Kinghorn’s conversion floated harmlessly to the right of the posts, but Scotland were ahead, which was important psychologically after dominating possession during that first period without managing to click as an attacking force.

In a repeat of last week, Scotland fired out of the blocks straight after half-time and quickly stretched their lead when some hard running and fast recycling culminated in White feeding Mark Bennett on a brilliant line, for the outside centre to zip home for his second try in two weeks.

A Rory Darge and Watson double tackle then won a scrum as the visitors turned up the heat, but Argentina were not going to go down without a fight, and they thought they had pulled a try back through the rampaging Guido Petti, only for the TMO to identify a forward pass earlier in the move.

Argentina were then reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes when Boffelli was sin-binned after referee Mathieu Reynard lost patience with the number of penalties the home side were conceding, and Scotland took advantage with Fagerson muscling over for try number three.

Despite being a man down, Argentina battled their way onto the front foot and a last gasp tackle by Darge on Santiago Carreras was required to dislodge the ball in the act of scoring just before the hour mark. Scotland then won a huge penalty at the scrum-five which should have allowed them to clear the danger, but they lost the line-out – a recurring theme in this match – which meant absorbing another period of pressure

Sam Johnson then repeated the trick of his midfield partner Bennett earlier in the half when he hit a great angle to score under the posts which killed off the match off as a contest.

Scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou and replacement hooker Agustin Creevy had other ideas, however, with the former getting over the line but then being turned onto his back by Kinghorn before getting the ball down, and the latter managing something similar although the TMO was required on this occasion to make the final decision.

Then, with four minutes to go, Bennett managed to rip the ball from Boffelli as he tried to wrestle his way to the ground inside the Scottish in-goal area.

 

Teams –

Argentina: E Boffelli; S Cordero, M Orlando, J de la Fuente (M Moroni 69), J Imhoff (D Miotti 76); S Carreras, G Bertranou (F Ezcurra 72); N Tetaz Chaparro (M Vivas 50), J Montoya (A Creevy 55), F Gomez Kodela (J Sclavi 55), G Petti, M Alemanno (L Paulos, 68), JM Gonzalez Samso, M Kremer, R Bruni (F Isa 46).

Scotland: R Hutchinson (K Rowe 39, R Thompson 49); D Graham, M Bennett, S Johnson, D van der Merwe; B Kinghorn, B White (A Price 58); P Schoeman (J Bhatti 69), D Cherry (G Turner 58), Z Fagerson (J Sebastian 69), S Skinner, G Gilchrist (S Cummings 69), R Darge, H Watson (A Christie 70), M Fagerson.

Referee: Mathieu Raynal

 

Scorers –

Argentina: Pen: Boffelli 2

Scotland: Try: Watson, Bennett, Fagerson, Johnson; Pen: Kinghorn; Con: Kinghorn, Thompson 2.

Scoring sequence (Argentina first): 0-3; 3-3; 6-3; 6-8 (h-t) 6-13; 6-15; 6-20; 6-22; 6-27; 6-29.

Yellow cards –

Argentina: Boffelli (51mins)


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About David Barnes 4011 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

46 Comments

  1. A good second half performance from Scotland but a disappointing end to the first half.
    Scotland were leading 8-6 when they were awarded a penalty just inside their half and near their left touchline. A fantastic opportunity to set a lineout deep in Argentina territory. But the half time hooter sounded and they kicked the ball out to end the first half. What a waste of an opportunity to add another score with forty minutes of the match remaining.

  2. Have a look at your own post to FF, JW you old hypocrite you😂😂😂. Pot kettle black, ringing any bells there pal.

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    • I’ve been quiet on here for a while, but i must admit i did laugh out loud when i saw JW post that, most of his chat are insulting one liners 😂 indeed as you say Shug, pot kettle black.

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  3. From my memory of the game we spent most of the last 30 minutes in defence (some very good defence) so I thought Id rewind to Fact Check – regards the BK v RT debate. RT came on at 49 minutes just before our 3rd try. There were only 2 passes completed by RT in his 31 minutes one being the pop pass to DVDM. Suggestions that the backline was more fluent when RT came are not supported by these facts.. Despite scoring 2 tries during that period we were largely defending in our own half and were under the cosh. The only fluent rugby largely came from Argentina during that period. No criticism of RT but I wish people would at least base their opinions on what actually happened. Perhaps with the injuries Ross will get a full game this weekend and a chance to show his skills over a longer period.

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  4. So let me get this straight, you’re now saying that RT had one more touch than I gave him and that this touch somehow ‘led’ to a try. Sorry but you’re still talking rubbish. I’ve nothing against RT but your assertion that he was the difference is ludicrous. Rugby 101 pal, the forwards to a man, with Watson and Darge to the fore, were the difference. Simples!

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      • I didn’t insult anyone on any personal level, I challenged an assertion made erroneously to say the least. LF is entitled to have an opinion but an assertion not based on facts is out there for others to have a go at. Might I respectfully suggest that you check the difference between these types of comments before having a go at me.

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      • And I suggest you re-read your posts. Just one example “Sorry but you’re still talking rubbish”.

        Assertions can be challenged without insults as I respectfully suggest you learn.

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  5. One of our best performances this year. I though BK had a good game and I’d be happy to see him as the back up 10 from now on considering he can cover the back 3 if need be. Johnson/Bennett my new favourite centre partnership.

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  6. Hi Shugg55
    For the record watch BK pass to no exact player
    In minute 45 !
    then watch RT pass to VDM minute 50
    who then broke up play leading to White setting
    up the Fagerson try.
    Then watch RT releasing Bennett in minute 62
    All snippits but revealing .
    I like BK at full back and Hogg needs some
    competition so that he can improve

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  7. Positives and negatives there. Lots more urgency and the pack showed up this week – which was great to see. Ben White was good too and both wings saw lots more ball than last week. I do agree with those saying that we looked a lot more balanced with BK at full back and Thompson at fly half (I know BK wasn’t the only one making mistakes in the first half but some of the passing and kicking unforced errors were pretty soft). Such a shame it doesn’t look we’ll actually now see Hutchison in the centres now too.
    BUT – some of our defence was again pretty suspect despite the scoreline; If just a couple of the disallowed Argentinian tries had stuck then it could have been a very different game.

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  8. I think the scoreline flatters us a little bit. Argentina left a lot of points out there. Still a significant improvement on last week. the backrow was brilliant, likewise Bennett and Zander.

    Biggest concern is our attack. We looked very stale until they started playing directly off 9. I am sorry to say it, but BK just isn’t good enough to play 10 at this level. We’ve seen enough now and this needs to stop. I can see he’s a talented player and a threat with the ball in his hands but 10 is not his position. He is a good fullback/winger so leave him there.

    While he shows a few Russell-esque flashes of brilliance, unfortunately once he’s under pressure too many of his passes are mistimed hospital passes, fired 3ft too high or behind the target meaning we go backwards against any decent defense. His tackling is very poor too, even Edinburgh try to hide him in the back 3. Good opposition teams will exploit this.

    The less said about his goal kicking the better.

    What is frustrating me is that I don’t understand the point of forcing this position change. We have Finn and Hastings who are both better than BK, Ross Thompson who is a good prospect and Jaco vdw or Weir to cover any injury crisis.

    All this experiment achieves is damaged confidence, and restricts the development of Thompson. We looked better when he came on and BK moved to 15.

    I hope we start next weekend with the backline that finished the game yesterday.

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  9. Well done Scotland . One observation – suggest keep
    Thompson at flyhalf and put BK to full back .
    You could immediately see the difference in speed
    accuracy of service to our dangerous centres when Thompson came on

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    • Absolute and utter bull💩.I’d be first to admit BK didn’t have his best game, he was as guilty of forcing things as much of the rest of the team in the first half, but to claim Thompson made the difference when he came on is risible. He only touched the ball 4 times,3 of those were kicks and the rest of the time he was totally anonymous. I actually think he’s potentially quite decent on his performances for Glasgow and I get you don’t like Kinghorn but making up stupid stuff to support your theories is petty.

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      • Agree with this 100%. BK didn’t have his best game but there were several players in that first half who didn’t cover themselves in glory. It’s grating that Kinghorn gets the blame for every single thing that goes wrong in every single game. Perhaps people need to take their blinkers off.

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  10. An excellent result and it looks like there was both some seriously incisive backplay and grunt from the pack.

    Let’s win the series.

  11. Well done Scotland . Back row terrific , front row strong
    odd glitch in line out but overall forward rucking , mauling
    and defence at times outstanding . A lot of tidying up
    to be done in the backs but Bennett and Graham dangerous
    and White a good controller . BK is a full back from where he can be a dangerous runner and the difference in the timing
    of passes to the centres was noticeable when Thompson came on – stick with him for the 3rd test

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    • Just watched the game again to check before posting. Can’t agree. Thomson only received 3 passes in the half. He hardly touched the ball. Mainly because we spent most of the last 30 mins defending. Both tries by the centres were direct from the scrum half, he wasn’t involved in any of the tries. He got to take two conversions from in front of the posts and they didn’t even give the poor lad the kicks to touch.
      Both BK and Thomson need time at 10 as neither is the finished article, one to adjust to the position – club rugby is a different game – the other to get experience and continue to build. I hope both of them keep improving as we will need a replacement to Russell in the not too distant future.

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  12. Well that was the reaction we were hoping for. Not perfect but who cares as it was very, very effective. Scrum looked dangerous, front 5 carried well, toony got the back row balance right (how many turn overs). White is more of a starter than an impact player, back 3 had some time on the ball and not only did we cut some fantastic lines in the red zone but defensively we held the argies out on their own patch and on their independence day. Shame about Rowe. Massive result and all to play for.

  13. A welcome relief that after 120 minutes of mediocre, error-strewn rugby the team finally started to get it together and looked half decent. Perhaps the winning margin flattered us, but I’ll take it and look forward to the final game not being a dead rubber – especially important after the excellent performances put in by the other British and Irish teams against much stiffer SH opposition yesterday. Positives: the back row boys did a grand job; our scrum stood up well; and some determined defensive work was put in to stop the Argies crossing the whitewash with ball still in hand (Darge’s subtle spoil was a standout when all looked lost). Negatives included injuries, particularly to Hutchinson – who is a class act ignored for too long – and Kyle Rowe, who must have been bursting to show us what he can do at this level. The lineout performance was also truly shocking at times – even allowing for the Andean winds – and Blair Kinghorn’s goal-kicking I’m afraid to say is still as erratic as a supermarket trolley with a wonky wheel. It isn’t ‘bashing’, it’s a fact. And if it isn’t capable of being sorted, it will cost us matches in an age when slotting your points – even the difficult ones – is almost taken as read by other teams. What an exotically diverse range of options we have in our number 10 selection box. It’s just a shame that the Gloucester lad and his trusty boot were considered surplus for the Six Nations (what an utterly bonkers decision by the way). And how ironic he wasn’t available for this tour to prove the error of the coach’s ways. Overall, a seven out of ten for our lads (five at best for the first half, eight for the second). I look forward to more than ‘scratching the surface’ of which the big man speaks. It would be nice of him to back up his eternal promises, for an incessant diet of ‘jam tomorrow’ fills no one’s belly.

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  14. Definitely looked better with RT at 10 and BK at15. What must it do for Thompson’s confidence when he is not allowed to take restarts or drop-outs or penalties to touch?
    Then BK misses touch!
    Give the boy a chance and stick BK at 15. He is certainly no better than Thompson at 10.

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    • I agree, BK kicks better from hands than from the T but RT is perfectly competent to do both.

  15. You could see the difference once Thomson came on
    In the timing and accuracy of his passing to his
    centres . BK is still lacking in this key area and is
    more of a running threat from full back .

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  16. Much better from Scotland, Fagerson,Darge and Watson went well, as did White at 9. Some great defense to deny Argentina several tries. Hope the injured guys are all OK for next week. My slight problem is in a cup tie series winning game, Gregor is not going to try anything new. I think the 12/13 axis is not quite working it might have been interesting to see Hutchinson with Tuipulotu or Bennett and even better had he been there Hugh Jones with Hutchinson. Still that was a great day of ground breaking rugby with the RWC23 more open than it’s been for years.

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  17. Feel a bit for Bennett. Possibly the one player getting chance from absences who must know that whatever he does, Harris will still be first choice if available. Good on him for giving GT something to think about anyway with HJ coming back to form too.

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  18. That second half is the best attacking and best defence ive seen from us since the 2021 six nations…will give them their dues 👌
    Some very good line breaks and tries constructed, some really resolute and stuffy defence aswell. Matt Fagerson never has a poor game for Scotland he is class, Ben White looked very good at scrum half and both Watson and Darge very handy at the breakdown. Finally, Mark Bennett is far more of a threat at 13 than Harris, he is a proper footballer and matchwinner if given the ball in the right areas. Big win against a strong Argie team and with a number of our key players out too

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  19. A win is a win – but it wasn’t a 23 pointer… Pumas left 4 even 5 tries out there where we took ours.

    Great for Watson, real shame for Rowe, and really hope Hutch is ok as still really want to see him where he should be, at 12!

    Why can’t we get re-starts right? As others have said, if we are only scratching the surface – what are the coaches not doing? Not like the side is full of new caps in their teens….

    Is it just me or did we look more balanced when Thomson came on at 10 and BK went to 15…. Others seem to be more involved in the game when BK isn’t trying to do everything – both the centres tries also came off 9.

    Long way to go, something to build on for next week but still think that we should start with White/Thomson/Hutchinson🤞/Bennett with BK at 15 and Smith on bench.

    Forwards a lot better, I’d start Cummings and Skinner on bench – both just more industrious and better in loose then Gray. Also like to see Ashman start as others haven’t lit up the games so far either.

    My last post seemed to disappear? – so apologies if they now both land.

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  20. I was beginning to wonder if the ball was made of soap at one stage, as both sides seemed incapable of keeping a grip on it. Sweaty palms in the heat could well have been the cause.
    It would be unfair to the Scots defenders to blame them entirely for some of the missed tackles, as Argentina’s backs are no mugs, but there were too many for comfort. I would apportion blame for that to a backline that isn’t used to playing together and lacking the organisastion and effectiveness of Chris Harris, but the attack was inconsistent too. It was unfortunate Hutchinson was injured when he was, as we might have seen a reshuffle of that back line that allowed him to play at centre, but it seems we’ll just have to wait and see if that happens. What impact the injuries to Hutchinson and Rowe will have on selection for the next game, who knows, but Smith might be too inexperienced to start at 15.
    I don’t know who coaches the restarts, but maybe someone else could take over, as we don’t appear well organised and put ourselves under pressure immediately after scoring too often.
    White didn’t linger at the back of the ruck when clearing the ball and the ref did say to Price when he delayed too long he had warned White. Was that warning not passed on?
    It wasn’t a great advertisment for the game, but a win’s a win and the series could be clinched next weekend. That would be great for the squad, but there’s still a lot of work to be done before the World Cup.

  21. Great response from last week particularly in the forwards with a much more abrasive and dynamic display. Never perfect and always a few mistakes to cut out but that was a serious win in Argentina.

    I see already comments having a go at Blair Kinghorn. This is totally unreasonable and almost could have been written before the game actually took place. He wasn’t bad yesterday and yes probably a few mistakes but there were many on the pitch who made a few errors. The wild passes were thrown by others yesterday. Thought he was quite decent overall. The backline didn’t quite fire in the first half but that was partly due to the strong defence from the Argies. Kept it a lot simpler in the 2nd half which worked well.

    Good to see DVDM getting on the ball more – just needs to be more aware of the support round about him rather than run into people and he gave away a daft penalty in the 2nd half when he was tackled and regained his feet when we were in a strong position.

    White at scrum half looked good and really ran hard round the fringes.

    Overall a strong performance and need more of the same last week please.

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  22. Lets not get carried away we were lucky. Argentina crossed the Scotland line 5 times – the difference was their tries were disallowed ours were not. So the scoreline is totally flattering. The best 10 on the pitch played for Argentina and the guy keeping him from playing regularly is Hastings, so a real shame he is injured. This was a small step in the right direction. It is good to hear finally, that the group is really gelling and enjoying being there – building a great team spirit is not one of Townsend’s strong suits.

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  23. A game of two halves would not quite encapsulate it as that phrase typically implies one team dominated early doors. Argentina have looked pretty ordinary both games thus far.
    Still and all, at home they are stuffy and a hard nut to crack so credit to the lads. The first-half was slap-stick stuff from both sides. Yet from the off I felt our forwards were on top; our backs were not functioning correctly because…
    Kinghorn is not a ten. A stand-off is required to make so many decisions during a game – key decisions at that – Kinghorn is plainly incapable of seeing through effectively. With Kinghorn, questions arise not around his skill-set (and he actually made a reasonably difficult tackle!) but his temperament. He looks dottled and panicky under duress – consistently so. A couple of good showings against Connacht and another URC team prove little. For me, stick him on the wing, give him less decisions and let the lad run on open prairie. Otherwise for the rest of his career he is going to be this “work in progress” with constant excuse-making sent his way by peers and coaches.
    In the forwards, Skinner doesn’t typically attract plaudits but I thought he was tremendous, as were most of the pack. The winning brand in world rugby at the mo are teams who boast dark arts practitioners at lock. Our closest answer right now is Skinner. Gilchrist shirks nothing. M Fagerson’s work has really come on (he has looked very abrasive and physical this tour) I feel and brother Zee looked more like his auld self. Week three should, shooooould, be a win.

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  24. To me it looked like the difference in the second half was that we were running onto the ball and thereby hitting the line at pace, rather than taking it at a near standing start and just shovelling it sideways. I’m really curious what changed at half time, and why we didn’t do that in the previous 3 halves of the series. (Were we even trying to? It was almost impossible to see what our attacking game plan was up to that point. Was that a failure in execution, or a failure in coaching?)

  25. Great for Watson on his 50th cap, real shame for Rowe, and hope that Hutch is fit for next week as I still want to see him at 12 with Bennett outside. Forwards a LOT better, and I’d leave Gray out of the squad again for next week as Skinner and Cummings much more industrious.

    A win is a win, but that wasn’t a 23 point victory. First half was woeful and the Pumas left at least 4 if not 5 tries out there.

    Playing at altitude, with a breeze, and hot for Scots at 28C, then it is pass marks for the win – but why can we not get our restarts and line out right and simply not good enough for international level.

    Agree with TT here, why are we only scratching the surface?? Hopefully that was meant as motivation to the players…. Coaches simply don’t seem to be getting the foundations and mix right for the players to perform and that rests with them.

    Was it just me or did Thomson’s 30 minutes pass without him being obvious in a good way? Those round about him seem to be more involved when he’s on the pitch as opposed to BK thinking that he has to work wonders? Both Centres tries came off 9.

    Still, something to build on for next week and would still really like to see that White/Thomson/Hutch/Bennett mix. Also like to see Ashman get more time, and Young.

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  26. Excellent win, I liked White today controlling things behind the scrum, his passes to Bennett (Darge in the lead up) were very nice indeed. His thrust was crucial in the Fagerson try too. Bennett gives you that extra threat from centre that can be absolutely priceless in tight games.
    Darge was excellent as was M.Fagerson, Kinghorn looked more comfortable at 15 and circumstance may see him there next week.
    1st half was scrappy but away in Argentina isn’t easy.
    With the players we have we SHOULD be beating Argentina

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  27. Excellent turn-around victory, especially given location and opposition. Success on tours like this can presage the beginnings of great things on the international stage.

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    • Correct David Blair, Darge Fagerson Johnson taking the ball at pace, what a difference front foot ball makes.
      I do think Jason O Hallorans influence has been badly missed.

  28. Great result. Well done to the guys fighting back after last weeks game.

    Still sloppy at times so more work needed but sitting much happier today than last week.

    And a clean sweep for the Home nations. Don’t think anyone saw that coming.

  29. Another mixed bag performance. Although we had lots of possession in the first half our execution was woeful. Whoever is coaching the line outs needs replaced immediately. The forward effort was a definite improvement on last week and why wouldnt it be with Watson and Darge in the back row. As to the backs I thought White was excellent and really took the game to Argentina. Kinghorn however was a complete disaster. Please stop this nonsense and play a 10 at 10. Yes we scored a couple of good tries from centre but generally our attacking play from first phase was grim (especially in the first half). Also thought Darcy played really well. A wins a win but we were not 23 points better than them and as the article said they had 4 or 5 potential tries disallowed or bungled. On another day it could have been a lot closer. Better but nowhere near good enough.And Gregor “”if we only scratched the surface of what we are capable of” is that not indicative of your failures as a coach.

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    • This incessant Kinghorn-bashing is tedious and unnecessary. Ok, he made mistakes but when did St Finn of Russell last have what you’d call an acceptable game. Kinghorn is the best we have available right now with all TV and radio pundits (who know more than 99% of us on here) saying Thomson plays far too deep and isn’t an international 10 – at least, yet.

      And why is it “sack this/that coach”? I’m sure the line-out coaches, to use that as an example, don’t instruct the players to get the timing of the lift/throw out of synch even though everything thing ran well in the week’s training. These are international players and must be able to adapt on-field and not rely on coaches all the time.

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      • I’ll tell you what is tedious this group grinding out the same crap performance game after game.players being played out of position. Inferior players being selected.the same mistakes being made, churned out like a sausage factory, no discernible tactical pattern . That is what is extremely tedious.

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      • It’s a knee jerk reaction to blame everything on Kinghorn now or demand the sacking of coaches and contrary to what people are saying about Thomson I actually thought he was pretty anonymous.

  30. Editor RE: NH clean sweep – Japan is not in fact in the SH so their game against France is irrelevant to the NH/SH match ups.

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    • Dancing on the head of a pin, FF?

      While most people will recognise in David’s comment that Japan (situated across in the EH) is significantly closer to Oz & NZ than to the main body of the NH’s principal rugby nations, the inherent point that 5 of the 6N teams (i.e. all excepting Italy who weren’t playing) defeated their tour hosts is indeed impressive.

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      • You think Japan’s geographic location is a subject of arcane scholastic speculation? Or you don’t know what that phrase means?

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