I’m out of the country this weekend, we hope to have a match report in this space soon but for now you can let us know what you thought of the game in Toronto.
Having watched the game finally, here are a few thoughts ahead of the Argentina game.
I thought the back three combined pretty well. The lack of distribution from the centres was eased a bit by Horne, but he had a nervy game, and there were still at least three occasions where Maitland was put into space but had the pass been better timed or aimed he would have been in.
Blair Cowan had a much better time of it coming on after the injury to Strokosch, putting in a solid shift in the breakdown. We Scots seem to like an openside who spends plenty of time ferreting about in rucks and tackling things and he certainly did that. He might not be everybody’s cup of tea but if he keeps playing like that we may warm to him. Of course, he’ll be off home to London Irish now meaning we can’t see him really tested. Colleague Kieran Low was less impressive at Number 8 and with Denton and Wilson not travelling and Beattie away home too suddenly Scotland’s natural back row depth looks wide and thin.
Finn Russell was due an off game at professional level and he probably had that against Canada, with a few hospital passes and several ineffectual kicks. I have no doubt he’ll bounce back, and along with Hogg and Maitland should be part of a younger more confident Scotland under Cotter.
The scrum was good with Cross and Reid on, and okay with Low on. For me Reid and Cross should be first choice for the bigger games. Cross has already doing more than could be expected in light of his bereavement but he is stepping up against Argentina alongside Ford and Dickinson who offers a more mobile option than Reid perhaps.
The lineout was wobbly but Scott Lawson did quite well in the loose. Ford, now given another chance, has a lot to live up to if he wants to keep the hooker shirt when Cotter has all his players available in November.