Scotland recorded a last-gasp win over Argentina in dramatic fashion at BT Murrayfield this evening.
Greig Laidlaw kicked the winning penalty – his fourth of the game – with the clock well past the 80-minute mark to secure a dramatic victory.
The captain’s 14 points were added to by a second-half try from Sean Maitland, giving Vern Cotter’s side back-to-back home victories over Argentina.
The Scots came out firing, and just two minutes in, skipper Laidlaw opened the scoring with his first penalty after Argentina infringed at a ruck. The Scotland captain knocked over the 30-metre penalty following a superb kick-and-chase from half-back colleague Finn Russell.
A scrappy 10 minutes ensued thereafter, with scrums aplenty, but Scotland enjoyed the majority of possession inside the Argentina half.
Martin Landajo looked the visitors’ biggest threat in the opening quarter, making two breaks from quickly-taken penalties, but Tommy Seymour was on hand to deny the scrum-half.
Laidlaw was then handed a chance to double the Scotland lead after Argentina were penalised at the scrum. The captain, winning his 55th cap, duly landed his second penalty of the opening half hour to make it 6-0.
The Pumas then burst into life, as a superb move took them up to, but not over, the Scottish line. Referee Ben O’Keeffe then awarded the visitors a penalty on the line, and they turned down a three-point chance in favour of a scrum.
A second penalty followed, but superb work from John Barclay won the ball back, and Laidlaw hacked to safety.
A scrappy opening 40 minutes concluded with the first points for the Pumas, as stand-off Nicolas Sanchez belted over a long-range penalty after Hamish Watson was penalised at the ruck.
Half-time: Scotland 6-3 Argentina
Argentina started brightly, and won a penalty after good work from their pack. From inside the Scotland 22, Sanchez landed his second kick of the game to level the scores on 44 minutes.
Scotland started slowly, and the visitors capitalised a second time as a superb cross-kick from Juan Martin Hernandez found centre colleague Matias Orlando, who bulldozed over Stuart Hogg to score.
Sanchez added the conversion, and after an encouraging opening 40 minutes, Scotland found themselves 6-13 down.
A moment of magic propelled Scotland back into the match – that man Huw Jones again to the fore as a superb run, and offload, allowed Sean Maitland to dive over out wide.
The Scots had won position after the Pumas gave away a penalty, and a strong maul laid the platform for Maitland’s fourth Test try.
Laidlaw converted to lift the crowd, and level the scores at 13-all, but the Scots were not having it all their own way – not by a long stretch. To prove that point the visitors re-took the lead on 62 minutes, after a marauding scrum had replacement Moray Low, who entered the fray for Fagerson 10 minutes previously, in reverse.
The Scottish response was immediate, with four minutes of pressure and possession almost exclusively in the Argentina 22, which eventually yielded a penalty.
Laidlaw once again made no mistake to level the scores once more as fellow Borderer Ross Ford entered the fray at hooker.
Russell pushed a drop-goal attempt wide with eight minutes left, but all the action remained in the Pumas half.
A lovely weighted kick from Hogg forced the visitors to run the ball out, and after O’Keeffe deemed the visitors had pulled down the maul, up stepped Laidlaw, but his effort – for the second week in a row – cannoned off the post.
Of course, the drama was far from over, and the hosts continued to press for the win, and got their reward when Juan Manuel Leguizamon was penalised in injury time, allowing Laidlaw an opportunity to make amends and secure victory.
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
SRBlog Man of the Match: John Barclay, rapidly becoming a stalwart of this pack. As usual Jonny Gray ran him close, with Hamish Watson also scrapping hard.