Argentina v Scotland First Test: Summer Tour 2022, Match Preview pt II – head to heads

Ten of the Pumas’ starting XV also featured the last time Scotland played in Argentina. For the visitors, Magnus Bradbury, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Blair Kinghorn and George Turner were all involved in that 44-15 demolition – comfortably Scotland’s biggest winning margin of the last 30 years against their hosts.

Tale of the tape

BACKS
65   
Tries   47
88kg
   Average weight   93kg
382   
Total caps   178
30.1   
Average age   27.4

FORWARDS
897kg
   Pack weight   924kg
33   
Tries   19
434   
Total caps   241
29.1   
Average age   27.6

SUBSTITUTES
22   
Tries   3
257   Total caps   55
28.3   
Average age   25.3

5 changes to Scotland starting XV from last Test (v Ireland)

  • 15 – Hutchinson for Hogg []
  • 13 – Bennett for Harris []
  • 11 – van der Merwe for Steyn [+]
  • 6 – Bradbury for Darge [=]
  • 7 – Crosbie for Watson []

Head-to-Head

ARGENTINA

Juan Cruz Mallia
Santiago Cordero
Matias Orlando
J. de la Fuente
Emiliano Boffelli
Nicolas Sanchez
Tomas Cubelli

N. Tetaz Chaparro
Julian Montoya (c)
F. Gomez Kodela
Guido Petti
Matias Alemanno
J.M. Gonzalez
Marcos Kremer
Pablo Matera

Agustin Creevy
Mayco Vivas
Joel Sclavi
Lucas Paulos
Facundo Isa
Gonzalo Bertranou
Santiago Carreras
Matias Moroni

ADV Argentina
ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina
EVEN
ADV Argentina
ADV Scotland

ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina
ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina
EVEN
ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina
ADV Argentina

ADV Argentina
ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina
ADV Scotland
EVEN
ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina
ADV Argentina

SCOTLAND

Rory Hutchinson
Darcy Graham
Mark Bennett
Sam Johnson
D. van der Merwe
Blair Kinghorn
Ali Price

Pierre Schoeman
George Turner
Zander Fagerson
Grant Gilchrist (c)
Jonny Gray
Magnus Bradbury
Luke Crosbie
Matt Fagerson

Ewan Ashman
Rory Sutherland
Javan Sebastian
Sam Skinner
Rory Darge
Ben White
Ross Thompson
Sione Tuipulotu

Overall

Backs – even

To take a fairly reductive view on things it’s a bigger and faster Scottish backline against a far wilier and more experienced Argentinian unit. An oversimplification maybe but with a 200-cap deficit to overcome and three regular starters (and Lions) left at home it’s down to the physical gifts of a talented group of backs to bridge the gap.

Forwards – advantage Argentina

This is the heaviest pack selected by Gregor Townsend for any of his 55 matches in charge – in no small measure due to selecting an oversized back row trio and eschewing a traditional jackalling option. That would seem to stem – at least in part – from a desire to win the battle up front against an aggressive Pumas eight and in particular to counter the sizeable impact of Marcos Kremer and Pablo Matera in the back row.

Subs – advantage Argentina

The eight players on the Scottish bench have a combined 55 caps among them. The only time there have been fewer previous appearances for a set of subs in the Townsend era was in the first game of the 2018 Summer Tour against Canada (48 caps).

Miscellany 

– Grant Gilchrist is the only player aged 30+ in the Scotland matchday squad (Argentina – 9 over 30s).

– 12 of the Scottish starting XV were also capped at under 20s level by the dark blues – the most for a match in the Townsend era.

Ali Price will play in his 24th consecutive match for Scotland (23 starts and 1 sub appearance). He hasn’t missed a game for the national side since flying home injured from the 2019 RWC.

– This will be Mark Bennett’s first Test start since November 2016. In the interim, Scotland have played 60 times, while Bennett has made just five sub appearances. If it weren’t for injuries the gifted centre would surely have passed a half century of caps a long, long time ago.

– If hooker Julian Montoya is replaced by Agustin Creevy before either of Argentina’s props is subbed off then at that point the home side’s front row will have a combined age of 106 (in fact only one day short of 107 as Francisco Gomez Kodela turns 37 on Sunday).

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When he's not watching Glasgow, Scotland (and even Edinburgh) Kevin can usually be found with his head in a spreadsheet working out the most obscure Scottish rugby related stat he can put out on Twitter.
Follow Kevin on twitter @topofthemoonGW

72 comments on “Argentina v Scotland First Test: Summer Tour 2022, Match Preview pt II – head to heads

  1. TENC on

    Every picture tells a story . We are light on international experience ( Caps) we are heavier but also younger. Average temperature tomorrow 31 degrees ( sunny and cloudy) . I wonder if Toony saw Kevin’s stats before selection ? So what are the predictions based on that ?

  2. Bass Rock on

    That Head to Head should bring out our Cassandra’s planting predictions of doom and wisdom both ways. I look forward to it.

    Sort of backs up what I think and that is they are 23rd in the world but have an experienced side. I doubt Toony had a choice but to play a heavy pack. It is where the Arg excel.

    My observation is Creevy will bring experience and leadership when he comes on , he has been doing that for LI all season, I think we had better get the jump on early in the match as the heat will take its toll and we may not get much out of the last quarter. If we fall asleep in the 3rd Quarter as Glasgow and the A team did last week we may have a hard afternoon.

    My prediction :
    1st Quarter , settling in,
    second, piling it on,.
    third must win,
    fourth – hang on

    On balance – hard game to win. Hats off if they do it.

    • Merlot on

      I think Argentina are 8th in the world, just behind us in 7th. Chile (last week) are 23rd.
      I’ve a horrible feeling the pumas will come out all guns blazing and have the match in the bag by half time. We’ll come back in the second half but not enough. Argentina by 10.

      • Bass Rock on

        Yes , 8th they are indeed , my mistake sir, thanks for being so gracious in remedying that.

        All in all , the more I thought it out quarter by quarter, it is hard to see how this team can dominate them at home.

        The Pumas beat the All Blacks as recently as 2020

    • Sam Laycock on

      Really Bass, a hard game, well duh. Did you come up with that all by yourself? How about you put you ego on the line and predict a score? or are you too gutless?

    • Bass Rock on

      I thought that was a good game all things considered. Hutchinson looked very good, not Hogg but showed he has a skill set of his own. Bennett , showed grit. Frustrating but , good game. B

  3. FF on

    Interesting comment on the jackel-less back row. Toonie used to regularly field Glasgow with a similar backrow. Pro12 winning final was Harley, Wilson, Strauss after all.

    Obviously forced by Watson injury by obvious choice would have been Darge to start so perhaps Toonie is thinking of ways to toughen up our pack which tends to get get bullied by sides like SA and Ireland.

    • Scotty on

      Tend to agree and also think it’s a way of managing Darge back after injury. Also, as commented above, it will be very toasty so having some impetus on the bench could prove vital. Darge, skinner, Tuipulotu and Ashman will all bring a bit of energy…if Toony remembers to use his subs before 70 mins of course.

      Great to see a younger side gain some real experience. Argis clearly not doing the same, is it just me or does it feel like Sanchez has been playing for about 30 years?!

    • The voice of reason on

      Sounds like Toony, Let’s fool them by playing our backs out of position and Let’s out bully the bully’s in the pack. Yes , that is a dastardly plan.

      Na look at them, are they the new hardmen of world rugby !

    • Broono on

      Harley , Wilson and even Strauss on his good days have a bit of dog about them. I just think , he has adjusted based on injury. We have the advantage of a heavier pack, maybe that will out.

    • Big Al on

      Toony’s Glasgow used to regularly play with centres that would have high jackel rates, eg Dunbar and Vernon, and that allowed them to play without a stereotypical 7. Also played with some former back row players converted to hookers with high jackel rates.

      As for the game, if you believe the rankings then number 7 in the world away to number 8 should be very competitive.

      • Warmer on

        It takes a club side months to organise to do that, and a few bad days later , it works, maybe. Even get a backrow to play centre and, Toony can do it with a International side in a few weeks. Let’s not overthink it. We have injury’s and I suspect if our set piece is solid he will plan attacks bringing Hutchinson into the line. Now I am overthinking it.

        Toony’s Glasgow had Nakarawa in the boiler house with Jonny Gray. A huge ask for Gilco to fill those shoes. Even on the winegums , I can not see that arising.

  4. Sam Laycock on

    I don’t like this team selection. Turners form doesn’t warrent starting neither does Gray’s. Even just back from injury Cummings is now a class above all the other locks. back row is three 6’s. Johnson doesn’t have the hands to release Bennett and we’ve got a center at full back. Argentina to win comfortably 27- 15. Argentina to go 2-0 up in the series. Scotland will pick up the last when Cheika picks some fringe players.

    • Danny the coach on

      Tell you what I think Sam,I am not going to lie to you, if we do not score more points than them , we lose.

      • Sam Laycock on

        You too Danny, how about you offer more than just childish trolling or does it get a bit difficult for you when you have to show some insight? predict the score if you dare. Or is it easier to just hide behind fake names, coward.

      • Danny the coach on

        ‘You too Danny’ What too? Lost me there. The chances of getting a score 100% accurate are so low, I question the validity of saying it. If I could tell you the exact score, I would have better things to do, genius.

      • Danny the coach on

        I could not , in all good faith predict the score. You are very brave , and I am no fool, you are being unreasonable. The bookmakers favour Argentina who are at home , on a ground we have never played on previously, no history and according to the Scotsman it is likely to be hostile.

        But who (other than you) can predict an exact score as there are many things that turn a game ? From my experience there are numerous risks other than the team selection, such as weather, referee bias, loss of key players early on, who wins the toss, position of the sun in both half’s, wind stability, proximity of crowd to players (Is there a running track distance or are they right on top of us), is it a football stadium, which might bring into question the size of the dead balls, is the pitch at the maximum permitted size under the laws or less, how much less etc. That is how us coaches think.

      • Sam Laycock on

        Changed your tune now! and here i thought you, Bass Rock and Tik Tok Tam like the stupid, childish, playground games and insults. Suddenly your challenged to do more than sit on the sidelines making snidey comments about other peoples posts and your hole puckers up tighter than a snare drum. It appears all the old playground rules apply to the likes of you three but at least you didn’t just run and hide like the other two.

  5. John on

    I reckon Johnson is the stabilising influence in between Kinghorn and Bennett. Injuries and resting players have sort of forced GTs hand. I’d have likely played Darge and Cummings but strangely finding myself largely agreeing with the selection…… we’ve got threats all over the backline (I’m old enough (actually you don’t have to be that old) to remember having few threats in the backline).
    A win would be tremendous a loss would just continue the meh

  6. Campbell B on

    I found an on line prediction app for rugby scores earlier this week. It stated 60% likely win for Argentina , predicting 18-17. I cannot find it today. My guess is the game will have between 30 and 40 points scored in total and the difference will be no more than 5. It will be a good start if we win , but I don’t think anyone expects much of this tour. If it is a good game and we get to see a few players emerging, I will be happy enough.

  7. Gaffer on

    Well after Irelands humbling defeat against the All Blacks and Englands embarrassing loss to a 14 man Wallabies team the onus is on Scotland to put one over on the Southern Hemisphere.
    The Pumas have a seriously strong team out there and playing at home will be looking confidently for a win.
    We could do the business comfortably too but the weak link at 10 and untested 15 the game becomes a 50/50.
    I think our team would have fared better over the last 5 years with an assured presence at 10 like Sexton, someone who calls all the plays , gives his forwards pelters when they don’t deliver and is assured in his kicking. We have instead a maverick 1st choice who relies on himself too much to be the difference and now an enigma as 2nd choice.
    Someone needs to tell Toony the 10 doesn’t have to be in his image

  8. Saint4805 on

    Don’t worry folks. Some tactical adjustments and an inspirational half time team talk from Toonie will sort this lot out.

    • Neil on

      Perhaps put Tuipolotu on at FB (a toony masterstroke), and play White and Thompson for 5 minutes at the end.

      We are doomed.

  9. Juan Simmo on

    There is no change tin the demeanour, identity and personality of the team. Continuation of 6 nations/ Shambolic. They have no leadership in the team. Kinghorn, again, is not at this level.

  10. alythman on

    rather typical Scottish performance – too many errors and penalties. Killer moment was to concede a try straight from the kick-off after getting back to 18 all. Criminal!

      • Neil on

        Can i pick the coach also?

        Oli Smith – Kyle Rowe – Mark Bennett – Rory Hutchinson – Duhan Van Merwe – Ross Thompson – George Horne – Magnus Bradbury – Hamish Watson – Luke Crosbie – Sam Skinner – Grant Gilchrist – Zander Fagerson – Dave Cherry – Pierre Schoeman

        Sam Johnson – Blair Kinghorn – Ali Price – Matt Fagerson – Scott Cummings – Murphy Walker – George Turner – Rory Sutherland

        Darcy Graham i would usually start and is clear 1st choice but Kyle Rowe really deserves a cap.

      • Broono on

        Please do pick the coach as well Neil. Oh I thought Darcy was his usual plucky self and must play. Dave Cherry , I see where you are going. Hutch and Bennett, that will give us something to talk about.

  11. CAVOK on

    I have seen many woeful Scottish performances over the years but this must come close to the worst. Absolutely clueless. Kinghorn is worse than a man short. Clownsend must go

    • Buddie on

      Well he will not be going anywhere IMO and I thought he gave a good interview. To be honest Argentina looked good , but we can raise our game , I think. In among all of the noise Duhan was close to a score , the forward pass was poor and they look vulnerable to 50/22 , we should have taken advantage of the flight of the ball at altitude.

  12. Saint4805 on

    We are still terrible at re-starts and Kinghorn kicking out on the full at a crucial moment in the second half. Sigh

  13. Warmer on

    Nice post match interview Gilchrist, really excellent. Such a difference to the usual oh and em-ing rubbish. ‘ Good captain , he deserves a test match win. I feel with his leadership they can build on that performance. There was lots of good performances. Take a bow.

    • King of Fife on

      Good Captain maybe, but let’s not be praising someone just for his diction. Considering he was pretty anonymous the whole game, there should be less questions about his leadership and more about whether he deserves a starting berth

      • TENC on

        I think those questions about his berth were there and have been for 2 years now. Skinner was lively when he came on for example, Cummings is back and 80% ready. But we do not have anyone else on tour who is a captain. I listened to Gilchrist all the way through and I usually just walk away when captains summaries.

  14. James on

    Too many errors compounding errors. When we managed to string phases together we looked ok but too often a mistake killed any momentum.

    Kinghorn needs to work on his kicking. Bennett and the wingers never seemed to get the ball in space so midfield doesn’t seem to be working well (could just be good Argentinian defence).

    Forwards were ok and seemed to match Argentina but I always feel the Scottish pack lacks a bit of agression.

  15. Rob on

    What did we learn that we all knew already? Kinghorn is not a standoff. Hutch deserves a start at 12. GT does need to go etc etc etc

    • Not science on

      Also that we drop from being a legitimate top 7 side to second tier the moment you take Russell and Hogg out the team.

      Frankly without Hastings, Jones, Harris and Nel – to test combinations this tour doesn’t have a whole lot of point.

      • The Voice or Reason on

        I would counter Hogg would have made little difference yesterday. His frustration would boil over. Russell , perhaps, but there is a problem when he is in the Scotland Jersey and I think that problem is not Russell himself, it is related to who is around him or being constrained to a plan that limits his skill, I think , just an opinion. Hutchinson needs to get in the centre and Kinghorn to get back to Full Back. If we could leave this tour with a centre pair that bring an alternative to Harris paired with anyone we would at least have settled a plan B pairing. One last thing, Argentina are an experienced well organized side with a new coach. We will get one test back, hopefully next week to set up the third test as a guts and glory test. I think that is what we need to build confidence.

      • Not science on

        Everything you say is good common sense (that’s a compliment): yes Kinghorn could be an international level 15 for when Hogg is injured or off form, yes Hutchinson should be tested in his regular playing position. But I’ve given up thinking GT has two brain cells to rub together for some time now. Let alone a modicum of
        charm

  16. campbellb on

    They were very flat on the offside line. I think the ref was looking in the wrong direction too often, but these are just things we need to adapt to .

  17. Big Al on

    That was ugly. No-ones going to fear our attack if we play like that, we cant pass the ball out to the wings and cant fly in Russell and Hogg. Maybe start Thompson at 10 next week. Stick Kinghorn on the bench for the next game. I guess it depends on who Toony decides to try next at 15, I think Hutchinson was way out of position at times but thats no surprise when hes played out of position. I dont think Johnson was bad but maybe its time to give Hutchinson a game at 12.

    I thought Fagerson went ok at 8 and was our only player to make crucial turnovers but generally we were second best at the breakdown so the backrow needs tweaked. I’d start Cummings over Gray.

  18. rugby on

    Not sure the prospect of more boys being chopped next week is what the squad needs in weeks prep to try redress tonight’s shortcomings. Or that they’re settled on a team/plan that can win series from here and they’re in part thinking of who to send home.

  19. JohnMc on

    Really poor first half performance. Just sitting back and soaking it up.
    Much better first 20 minutes of the second half and I thought we’d go on to win it actually.
    Basic errors and silly penalties were once again our undoing, as has been the case in so many Tests in recent years that we could/should have won.
    Saw enough of what was good though to believe we are capable of winning the second game.
    Argentina are a very good team, and I’m glad we’ve got a three Test series against them.

    • Stripe on

      Could have. Should have. Would have.

      Didn’t.

      Again.

      Toony’s Tombola, aided and abetted by the usual smattering of schoolboy errors and generously donated penalties, yielded yet another turgid performance against opposition that is decent but hardly world-beating.

      It won’t happen, of course, but the SRU really ought to be handing Toony his jotters.

  20. Big Al on

    Was just looking at the player stats on Rugby Pass, which may not have been the official numbers, but they had VdM with with a total distance carried of -1m!!!!

    Never seen that before but probably a fair reflection of the game.

  21. Fraser on

    Very poor game – made no effort to play any rugby in the first half. However, I think people massively underestimate the Argentinian team – packed full of top level players and some of their backline moves were outstanding.

    Kinghorn did ok for our tries but really offers very little and doesn’t seem to take any control of the game – Russell or any other top level 10 would be marshalling people much more and it really makes a big difference. Please give someone else a start next week.

    Hutchinson I thought did pretty well at 15 – good under high ball and offered a lot. His positioning wasn’t perfect but never in a way that really caused any issues. Deserves to start at 12 next week alongside Bennett.

    Forwards did ok but really missing Mish and Ritchie in the backrow.

    Pointless having Graham and VDM on the pitch when we didn’t use them at all – need a change in mindset when in possession. Although I thought VDM could have had a try given as he looked to have downward pressure on at least the edge of the ball and didn’t seem to get reviewed properly.

    Can’t be bothered with all the Townsend bashing – first of all this is a development tour in a lot of ways since not taken a number of key players, second the players need to take responsibility for the way they played which was dire from most of them.

    Hopefully we will have a good day and sneak one of the tests at least but need to pick up our game massively

    • TENC on

      Hutchinson has only a handful of caps and was a out of position , but actually. in perspective, that was a very good performance. Hogg , is an out and out full back, he still makes mistakes and was clumsy as Hutchinson at the same stage.

  22. King of Fife on

    Looked like what we are: a touring team that left its two best players at home, being coached by a guy who has either run out of ideas and throwing things at a wall in the hope something sticks, or he just has bad ideas.

    Kinghorn is not an international standard fly half. That experiment needs to be confined to the dustbin of history immediately. Hastings has never set the heather alight, but he’s miles ahead of Kinghorn. Not sure Thompson will ever be up to it either, but he has more chance of succeeding than Kinghorn. Should say, while he generally had a poor game, he did well for our tries and had a couple of excellent kicks – but they’re far outweighed by the errors.

    Bennett looked bright in spells, and Hutchison proved he’s a very decent option at fullback – and deserves a start at 12. Johnson hasn’t really done much wrong but can’t shake the feeling that Hutchison plus a runner is the best combo going forward.

    Thought Gilchrist was anonymous, Gray ponderous, and the flanker combo lacked balance.

    Matt Fagerson and Darcy Graham were willing and committed, Price was Price. Not much else in the positives column

  23. John on

    I reckon Dave Cherry is our most dependable hooker.
    So for my 1st stab at the team for next week
    Smith, Graham, Bennett, Hutchinson, VDM, Thompson, Price
    Fagerson, Darge, Crosbie, Skinner, Cummings, Fagerson, Gilchrist, Cummings, Cherry, Schoeman
    Reps
    Kinghorn, Johnson, Horne, Watson, Skinner, Walker, Turner, Sutherland

    • Confucius McBain on

      John could you look at that again , The back and second rows look odd, too many Cummings. You are right on Cherry , though on his day, Turner can by more dynamic and I think Magnus was one of the better performers yesterday much as I raised an eyebrow at his selection in the first place. (That was not a complement BTW, they were all pretty rusty)

    • Sam Laycock on

      I defo agree with you on Cherry and Cummings. I’m not sold on Crosbie, he is improving all the time but i’m not convinced open side is his best position. Bradbury was on fire at the start of the season but since he got his contract with Bristol has gone back to playing within himself. Fagerson is comfortably our most effective ball carrier in heavy traffic. I think Darge has to play and i’d like to see what Chrystie can do. I’d advocate a 6/2 bench split for the second test. Obviously I don’t for a second think GT will go for this.

      Schoeman Cherry Fagerson Gilchrist Cummings Chrystie Darge Fagerson Price Kinghorn VDM Hutchinson Bennett Graham Smith

      Bhatti Turner Sebastian Gray Skinner Watson Horne Tuipulotu.

  24. Johnny B on

    Personally I think this is not a great tour.
    Argentina will see it as an opportunity to get some confidence in a strong, settled side while our side looks a bit experimental and would you want to play rugby 5000 miles away at the end of the season v a side which is good but not the Boks or the All Blacks?
    Argentina will want it more.

    I think we might win 1 test.

    Not being a doom monger, it’s just how I think this stacks up.

  25. RuggersB on

    To me this entire tour is a mismatch…is it really what we need to progress? Confidence has been sitting on a shoogly peg for a while and this might make things worse. It’s entirely possible we could lose all 3…..

    I think we would have been better resting all our players…and coming in fresh for an Autumn series of high level matches.

    We have a small national playing pool to contend with anyway…and we are just making a pigs ear of developing what talent we do have. Playing players out of their natural positions before they have even settled into test rugby isnt the way to do it imo…
    The autumn series could be painful and humiliating …let alone the apathetic upcoming World Cup performances everyone can see coming.
    GT just isnt the coach we need imo….he’s had plenty of time to get us to a better place than where we are at. It’s like it suits GT much more than it benefits Scotland….the goals seem unclear and expectations are not as high as other nations and we are constantly in this ‘learning’ ‘developmental’ ‘lack consistency’ ‘up & down’ modes..however you want to term it.

    Never mind we always have the next promising u20 batch of youth to come through…err..that’s right…we dont..

    • Johnny B on

      The U18s look good but something happens in the transition. Don’t think the S6 is working as intended.

  26. Angerine on

    Damn, Kinghorn’s a frustrating business. 35 caps now, 13 off the bench. 11 caps on the wing, 8 at fullback, 3 at stand off. Coming up to the famous 40-cap threshold where you’re supposed to really know what you’re doing at international level, without really having any time in any position.

    He’s the kind of player who could have been designed in a lab – tall, strong, fast, good hands, big boot, solid tackler, decent brain – and was so exciting when he first came into the Edinburgh team and tore it up for the U20s. But he’s never been allowed to make a position his own. It’s like Mossy never happened.

    • Johnny B on

      Kinghorn would have been a mainstay in most Scotland sides of the professional era, but in this side he’s had Hogg, Maitland, Russell and Hastings to compete with.

      Pick him in the 2nd row?

      • Angerine on

        Ha! I’m sure he’ll be asked to fill in there at some point.

        I do feel like we’re underestimating the bareness of the cupboard when we talk about kiboshing the Kinghorn experiment. Hastings has been the heir apparent for so long, but there are really worryign flaws in his defensive game (3 missed tackles in his four 6N minutes last season).

        After that there’s Thompson, who’s developing into a solid pro, and I’ve got everything crossed for the guy, but he hasn’t shown much more than that. Certainly Kinghorn outplayed him in the 1872 this season.

        “But Thompson’s still young”. Well he’s ages with Marcus Smith and older than Garbisi. In fact, he’s only 2 years younger than Kinghorn. They’ve both probably got the next 2 world cups, 3 if they go full Sexton.

        I’d persevere with KH10 for the tour. But is Fin Smith doesn’t work out, We’re in a world of pain post-Finn.

      • FF on

        Angerine – such a good point well made.

        The disaster zone of the u20s really fills me with fear. Who are the Hoggs and Russells coming through? Let’s face it, we’ll never be short of decent flankers but if we can’t produce or find a world class 10 to replace Russell we are going to fall behind again. Italy are going to be a serious force at senior level in 5 years. What’s our future plan?

        IMO things look bleak for us and the SRU are trying but struggling to get a handle on the situation.

      • Tryhard on

        @Angerine

        Completely agree.

        Personally, I think Ross Thompson seems to be the Scottish equivalent to someone like Ross Byrne. A solid player who, when given good coaching and a proper platform, can execute a game plan to high effect at club level but utimately doesn’t have the class for international rugby. I hope I’m wrong there and that he comes back next season absolutely firing but currently isn’t an option if we’re looking to be challenging the top teams.

        There have been glimpses this season for Edinburgh of what the BK10 project is all about. He offers something completely unique there and, when played correctly, it can be absolutely devastating to have a runner of his quality in the 10 channel. His kicking has got better as the season went on but has still been reliant on Vellacott and Lang doing a large amount of playmaking and game management. Hopefully this can be coached and given the potential upsides and that he’s only had one season there, I’m willing to reserve judgement for time being. If we’re still having this discussion in a year’s time though, then I think we are justified in panicking slightly.

        Watched a Worcester game with Fin Smith recently and he does look good. Rough but clearly quite a natural.

      • Angerine on

        Cheers FF and Tryhard for the interesting comments. Love the Ross Byrne analogy, feels about right to me.

        Yeah, I feel like there’s still enormous questions to be asked about our grassroots and youth development. Because we went from “absolutely nothing” to “at least something” in the mid 2010s, and this bare-minimum development happened to coincide with a mini-golden-generation (Kinghorn, Graham, Hastings, Zander, Cummings, Ritchie), the SRU happily ticked “youth development” off the list and haven’t thought about it since.

        I’m sure this is being harsh, and there are a lot of committed professionals working with the next generation. Super 6 will help in time as well I’m sure. But I can’t shake the feeling that, as with the disastrous mistakes of the late 90s, the SRU is working with a level of complacency and assumption that could hurt us badly medium-term.

        KOF – yeah, I hate to say it, but I could totally see Kinghorn as a quality 12 for Scotland. I assume that at some point we’ll try it, give him two games to figure it out, then declare the experiment a failure and move him on to tighthead.

    • King of Fife on

      Totally agree with what you say about Kinghorn and he should definitely be a part of the squad going forward – but he’s just not a realistic option at 10. Utility back is fine, where he covers 15, 14 and – only when in need – 10.

      I could see Thompson coming in and just playing it very simple – as a natural 10 – with Rory Hutchison outside him calling most of the shots from 12.

      For want of adding more complexity, I kind of thought Kinghorn might have been a better centre than fly half. Has all the attacking qualities to play there, and certainly isn’t a defensive liability. Might want to add that to Gregor’s tombola!

  27. Danny the coach on

    If I were an Puma’s fan I would be saying that they gave away soft tries, much too easily. They were a bit shaky in their own 22.Kinghorn almost nailed them on a 50/22 second half , they will need to set up better next week.

  28. CSC on

    Anyone else think that the Pumas first score should not have been given. Price looked to have brought down De la Fuente before he crossed the line and then turned him on his back before he could ground the ball That’s what it looked like on TV – comments?

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