Hopefully you were all watching the match as Scotland clinched a historic victory in Argentina at the weekend, but if you weren’t then you can see some highlights here.In addition to being the first test series win in the Southern hemisphere ever by a Scotland team, it was also notable for the following reasons:
- Scotland now have three back to back away wins under their belts, the first time in 26 years that Scotland had recorded such a feat. In all three cases, tightly fought games that were close come the end but that Scotland managed to grind out a win in. Oh and they beat Japan too.
- Al Kellock has emerged as a leader of some calibre. Andy Robinson apparently told him he needed to be more than a lineout specialist to feature regularly for Scotland, and the work he has put in is really showing. He has now filled in as captain for a famous victory or two which should see him well in the future. McLeod showed up well too when he came on for Hamilton, and it looks like Robinson now has 4 very decent locks to choose from for his RWC Squad, and one imagines Richie Gray will only improve next season to be a fifth. Gone are the days of squeezing a Taylor or a White into the second row, I feel.
- Moray Low may have solved our “Sunday” problem. His comprehensive display on Saturday against one of the world’s great scrummaging nations and a vastly experienced opposition front row put him firmly in pole for the 3 shirt in the autumn. He shows up well in the loose too. Gauntlet thrown down!
- Rory Lawson emerged as a test scrum half the equal of Blair and Cusiter, not just “the third guy”.
- There is of course still a lack of cutting edge in the backs when a defence is on its toes as Argentina’s was on Saturday. The multiple line breaks the week before may have been an aberration, they can’t all have been down to Nick De Luca. Hugo Southwell looked solid at the back and Max Evans did provide a bit of cutting edge. Support work is still the over-riding problem – apart from Rory Lawson who was everywhere in the first test.
- Our depth is still a bit weak when injuries strike and we are forced to put together a pretty inexperienced A Team. They were beaten in all three of their IRB Nations Cup matches by Georgia, Namibia and Argentina A.
- Jim Telfer thinks that the team now “has very good hard men, mentally hard men, Brown and Barclay especially.” (BBC Sport). As he has been lamenting Scotland being a bunch of pussy boys for quite some time now, this is refreshing. Even Ross Ford is mixing it up a bit these days. Bring back Nathan Hines and you’ve got a team scrapping for every point.
- This silly photo.
Next up: The All Blacks, who look to be peaking just at the right time – one year before the World Cup.