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

Argentina v Scotland
Graphic © Scottish Rugby Blog

Until last Saturday, Agustin Creevy was the only member of Argentina’s squad to have played in a win over Scotland (in both 2009 and 2011, Juan Imhoff was an unused sub in that latter match). Scottish fans will be hoping the Pumas haven’t developed a taste for these sorts of victories…

Tale of the tape

BACKS
57   
Tries   46
87kg
   Average weight   93kg
295   
Total caps   138
29.3   
Average age   26.7

FORWARDS
895kg
   Pack weight   891kg
25   
Tries   15
375   
Total caps   214
29.1   
Average age   27.8

SUBSTITUTES
20   
Tries   13
228   Total caps   125
28.7   
Average age   26.5

5 changes to Scotland’s starting XV from last Test (v Argentina)

  • 9 – White for Price []
  • 2 – Cherry for Turner [=]
  • 4/5 – Skinner for Gray [+]
  • 6 – Darge for Bradbury [=]
  • 7 – Watson for Crosbie [+]

Head-to-Head

ARGENTINA

Emiliano Boffelli
Santiago Cordero
Matias Orlando
J. de la Fuente
Juan Imhoff
Santiago Carreras
Gonzalo Bertranou

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

Agustin Creevy
Mayco Vivas
Joel Sclavi
Lucas Paulos
Facundo Isa
Felipe Ezcurra
Domnigo Miotti
Matias Moroni

ADV Argentina
ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina
ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina
ADV Argentina

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

ADV Argentina
ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina
ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina
ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina

SCOTLAND

Rory Hutchinson
Darcy Graham
Mark Bennett
Sam Johnson
D. van der Merwe
Blair Kinghorn
Ben White

Pierre Schoeman
Dave Cherry
Zander Fagerson
Sam Skinner
Grant Gilchrist (c)
Rory Darge
Hamish Watson
Matt Fagerson

George Turner
Jamie Bhatti
Javan Sebastian
Scott Cummings
Andy Christie
Ali Price
Ross Thompson
Kyle Rowe

Overall

Backs – advantage Argentina

Scotland’s backline definitely felt a little bit less than the sum of its parts last week. With another week on the training paddock, there should be a bit more cohesion there but surely the main goal has to be that staple of schoolboy rugby – give it to the big lad. For a couple of his defensive efforts, Duhan van der Merwe looked like he was on fast forward compared to the Argentinians he was chasing down but with only two carries he never got the opportunity to show his speed (and power) in attack.

Forwards – advantage Scotland

With Pablo Matera dropping out and Hamish Watson and Rory Darge dropping in, the on-paper battle tilts towards the visitors. Last week there was generally a good contest around the setpiece but Argentina’s pack were far more precise and accurate and dominated the contact areas for much of the game. Will the loss of their talisman and Scotland’s selection of two scavengers be enough to disrupt the Pumas’ ball?

Subs – even

Scotland should have a bit more leadership and experience to come off the bench. Having worked their way back into the game but then lost the run of things in the First Test just as the replacement roundabout was getting into full swing, Gregor Townsend and his staff will be looking for some level heads who can step straight into the pace of the game in Salta.

Miscellany 

– In their last 20 games the only other occasion that Scotland started a Test match with no Exiles in their pack was the fixture versus Tonga which was outside the player release window.

– 8 is the equal most Edinburgh players in a starting lineup during the Townsend era.

– There are no Edinburgh players on the bench – the only other time that has happened in the Townsend era was against Samoa during the World Cup.

Jamie Bhatti hasn’t featured for Scotland since the game versus Japan last November. Dave Cherry has had an even longer wait – since his try-scoring outing against France in Paris more than 15 months ago in fact.

– After playing in 20 consecutive matches from his debut in summer 2019 to the 2021 Six Nations, Scott Cummings has only featured once in Scotland’s last 12 outings prior to the Second Test.

Zander Fagerson has been selected in 27 of the last 28 Scotland matchday squads.

– This is the first time in 2022 that Scotland’s replacement scrum-half hasn’t been called Ben (Ben White five times and Ben Vellacott once).

71 Responses

  1. Interestingly our tries per cap is better in the forwards, backs and substitutes. So we might as well have a go! Having said that this is still a very experienced Argentinian team.

  2. Some good stats here:

    The lack of exiles in the pack is interesting. Especially since that is possibly our first choice pack give or take a Ritchie, Cummings or Turner (who all also play in Scotland).

    Ridiculous that Duhan only got two carries last weekend.

    Lmao at the replacement scrum halves named Ben.

  3. This so called ‘BK experiment’is not an experiment at all..it’s the‘cancel FR project’.

    1. I wish the SRU would put the ‘cancel GT’ project into effect.

      No harm to the bloke, but it’s time for him to move aside and let someone else have a crack at the job.

      1. International rugby is about confidence, and coaching is about taking talent and building it up IMO.

        Can anyone imagine how it might feel to be in this side. Knowing that at any time, you may be singled out for a bit of a humiliating drop.

    2. This week it is the new experiment. Put Kinghorn alongside Ben White and see what happens. I would like to see Ben White alongside Finn Russell.

  4. Let’s hope they cut out the errors. What’re the stats on errors in games we win v games we lose? It always feels in the games we lose that we play against ourselves by making (and compounding) silly errors.

  5. Ireland 23-12 winners against the all blacks in New Zealand, a feat we have never done nor will we in the foreseeable future .
    Yet, When i started watching rugby 1990 onwards Ireland couldn’t buy a win against us. Since the advent of professionalism we can’t live with them such is the difference in development systems in both countries.
    For that Dodson and his team have to take some responsibility but a bit like Brexit the clubs too have to accept responsibility as they have failed to embrace any change. Given the capitulation of the under 20’s i can’t see anything changing soon. I don’t have high hopes for this evening , if we win it won’t be pretty.
    There is no doubt we need more professional teams in the league which would provide more opportunities for players but also give us control of player welfare.
    A change of head coach of course would help, someone who has experience at every level of the game . i would go all in and lure Lancaster over from Leinster.

    1. Good comment. Feels like we need a complete rethink about our rugby. Not just at club level but starting at school – Irish school cup rugby is now at a level where it’s getting tv coverage and big crowds. Need to build some momentum from the very base of the pyramid.

      I know rugby here is competing with football but we’re not very good at that either. Possibly we need a complete national rethink of sport from school age onwards.

      1. It is all about the schools. Get the comprehensives playing, give kids of all backgrounds the opportunity to play, not just those kids at a rugby club. That is how it will start. Back in the 70’s my school turned out 165 kids a week, how many do you think they do now ? NADA. Last times, this begins in the schools. I don’t want to hear about development officers or any of that tosh, Schools need to play schools, not mini rugby where the kids get screened and your father counts. That is the elitism that kills our game and keeps the welsh game thriving despite the challenges.

      2. But Ireland is competing with the GAA and that is huge draw in Ireland for kids

      3. Rob: Not sure I get the point, are you saying that despite GAA in Ireland, they still attract kids to rugby ?

    2. There’s no reason we shouldn’t beat New Zealand. We have the same population as them.
      Rugby is their number 1 sport, that’s the only difference.

      In Ireland rugby is bigger than here and by some measures might be the no.1 sport but they’ve built that up.

      They have intense youth rugby competitions organised by province and school. Ireland is quite a well off country and famous rugby schools like Blackrock have fees which are less than preschool in this country, so relatively ordinary people can send their kids there. They also offer sport scholarships.

      We have some schools mostly in Edinburgh playing a very high standard of rugby and that could be a similar kind of bubble to those in Ireland.

      One of the issues I think we have to address is what to do about the Borders. Professional rugby seems to have bypassed it because only 120k people live there and the borderers themselves didn’t embrace their pro team, but it’s a true rugby bubble and still produces most of our best players.

      Giving them a pro team isn’t realistic but we’ve got to find some way of integrating their intense rugby tradition with professionalism better.

      They could probably have another S6 team. If it was Hawick could you imagine them playing Melrose!

      Just my opinion.

      1. Jonny, I think you will find that the Borders does not produce most of our best players. Where did you get that from ? What is more there is no case for it, I would argue there is more of a case for the North and Midlands , as it contains a larger club infrastructure.

      2. Jonny: Why don’t we start by beating countries that have less population than us, like Wales for example.

      3. Of our homegrown players (not the anglos or saffas) disproportionate number of the best come from the Borders. Still.

        Think Hogg, Graham. And the coach.

        No other country has just bypassed the only area of their country where they take the game seriously and assumed it will just look after itself.

      4. Jonny: The problem we have is the border legacy and it may be why the SRU have shown loyalty to Toony (bias of the decision makers) .

        You are still wrong, you just cannot help it. There are more players from other regions , in fact we had as many from just one house than Hogg and Graham last night. (Just in case you missed it Fagerson and they are from Perth)

        Your argument is flawed , go back and rethink it , I can argue against sinking and losing our money in the borders once again, all day long.

      5. Jonny that is just utter drivel : The home grown scots are from many places , not just the borders and that keeps the enytire nations interest as they have a local man in the side. Much as we love the borders , we are now ‘Levelling up’ and so we should , and so we should have done much sooner.

        You forgot to mention Sutherland in your summary of Border greats. What is the matter with him?

    3. Even though we beat Argentina, I couldn’t help thinking that the Pumas were able to go out and hire a very experienced coach with a troph-winning record in different countries (Heineken Champion, Super Rugby Champion, World Cup Final etc) while it feels like we’re archaically trying to help GT get to a similar level while learning on the role.

      We should be the country that could have hired MIchael Cheika and GT could have been off learning the trade in the same way Cheika did earlier in his career. It still makes no sense that we pushed out a successful coach to allow a relative rookie to take charge and the lack of progress over 5 years is bearing that out.

      ALL that being said, it was a good win on the weekend, but only after another horrendous first half and any of the other southern hemisphere sides would have been out of sight by half time. ARG played horrendously after a good performance last week.

  6. Ireland, England and now Wales all win in SH. Just our boys to go…no pressure like

    1. Wales’ win shows why they are so much better than us despite appearing to not have a significant talent advantage over our squad. They are 100% more cussed and full of self-belief.

      1. You’re so right, we used to totally smash the SH and dominate the 6N before Toonie – the glory days!

      2. And we never had so many talented players to chose from and throw away like confetti at a wedding.

        Unless of course you have changed you tune, that this lot are no better than the the teams since the turn of the century. Make your mind up !

      3. Wales did very well but the Boks did make 14 changes from their normal starting lineup.
        It was almost South Africa A.

        A reckless gamble. Most of the Welsh team have experienced beating South Africa so they know they can do it. Confidence is everything.

      4. FF: no need for the nippy sweetie , the only one we have never beaten is NZ . As for 6N , Toony has never actually got us any higher on the table than Cotter.

      5. FF: back in the glory days we never lost to the USA or Japan. Actually we even beat Ireland with Cotter in charge and with a less options. It is not like you to be petty and lacking in substance. Even the least talented of sides got wins in Argentina, japan, the Islands and Australia. They even Beat SA at home once I recall (stinker of a game mind). Nope , you have missed the point.

  7. How/why is our passing so bad? And what is the structure/game plan for our backs in attack?

  8. Hutch now off injured so no game time at 12! BK has to go. Not an International 10 🙄

  9. well that was better! Not great in first half but took bull by the horns in the second. Great defensive effort in final quarter too.

    Always think Argentina arent dissimilar to us – they do some good stuff but make plenty of errors. Dont think the decider next week will be easy.

    We also got the rub of the green with refereing decisions today – wont always be the case

  10. I thought Watson and Darge were excellent. Forwards altogether better than last week. Our best defensive performance for a couple of years. We had a bit more luck this week but I think we knew the Ref better and played him better.

    Once we stopped making mistakes we looked pretty good in the backs as well. Pleased for the two centres as both played well and took their tries well. Not sure we will get to see Hutchinson at 12 on this trip with his injury. Also think Thompson did ok when he came on although he was steamrolled a couple of times.

    1. Yep, good win but Toonie has messed up by not allowing Hutch to play at 12 – WHY? We already know what SJ can do (and he played quite well).

  11. Our best performance of 2022. What a player Darge is! That win earned us more ranking points than Ireland got for beating New Zealand, I’ve always said that system is spot on ;). Delighted to have been way off with prediction.

  12. Much better in the second half. Cut out the mistakes. Kinghorn looked better at 15 than 10. Great defence to keep them tryless. Definitely seemed to get the better of the ref.

    1. Kinghorn again did not look like a 10 never mind a test level 10. Looks far more natural a 15. At least Thompson looks a 10.

      What on earth is the point of Hutchinson at 15? Barely involved at all.. what a waste of a talented 12.
      Skinner is a much better 2nd row than Gray.
      Darge is a fantastic player.
      Awful 1st half.. much more like it 2nd.
      Our attack coach needs his p45. The backs looked like they had no idea what the system was at times.

      1. Isn’t it this Zondagh guy from Toulouse? Great credentials but our attack seems to have misfired ever since he’s been with us.

      2. FF: Doh , Really ! Our attack has misfired because we have the Tombola selection policy. No stability.

        Right man, wrong environment.

  13. Darge and Watson made a massive impact and completely changed the game from last week, for me they were the main difference.
    White was good, Price should be concerned as he didn’t look nearly as sharp when he came on (although can’t see him getting dropped for the big games any time soon).
    Apart from his try Johnson was poor, if Hutch is fit then should start at 12 next week and Kinghorn at 15 as clearly more suited there.
    Backline was a mess particularly in the first half – getting in each others way and some shocking passing. Kinghorn probably most to blame but the centres were not good either – should be much better than this with the time they have had together now.
    Shame for Rowe – looked very dangerous then possibly a knee ligament issue from what it looked like? Might be out for a while.
    VDM doesn’t seem to be making the impact he did previously – got a fair bit of ball this week but not quite firing, not sure if just targeted by the defence or poor decision making.
    Zander Fagerson was all over the park – he is an excellent player when he cuts out the silliness.

    Argentina did seem very off the boil this week so can’t get too carried away. Scotland really need to back up that performance next week.

  14. A better performance and result than last week, but some niggling issues need to be addressed.

    Mish and Darge were excellent, White had a good game, as did the Fagerson brothers and both hookers, and wee Darcy showed up well when given the opportunity.

    On the negative side, Kinghorn isn’t an international 10. He looks so much better at 15.

    Price was off the pace, the centre pairing was somewhat disjointed, and VDM wasn’t at his considerable best.

    Argentina were a bit peely-wally yesterday. We can’t count on them turning in another performance like that next Saturday, nor can we count on being the beneficiary of as many decisions from the ref.

    Depending on who’s fit and available, I’d like to see Toony give White the nod at 9, start Thompson at 10, move Kinghorn to FB (with Smith on the bench), have Hutch at 12, and leave the pack unchanged.

    The man himself may, however, have other ideas…

  15. For goodness sake GT!!
    QUOTE ‘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.’

    Of all the players you could highlight who ‘deserve an opportunity’ you select J Gray. A player who has had soo many opportunities to impress…he’s not even my 4th choice lock!
    We’ll achieve nothing at the top level with such a soft 2nd row player type. Just a static tackling lump lock. What ‘opportunity’ does he need that he hasn’t had many times already?

    And GT just said the pack did really well….so yeah great idea… lets change that..SIGH!!

  16. Yes it was a very odd statement by Townsend that possibly wasn’t quite what he meant.Very important we win the series surely so no time to be sentimental towards anyone next week.Strongest selection surely ie same pack ,BK at 15,Thomson at 10.Ollie Smith and Tuipolotu to the bench (unless,of course,Hutchison recovers in time.)

  17. Whatever was said at half time this week needs to be said just before the start next!

  18. I was keen they took the points before half time , ‘sticks, go for sticks’ but the kick to the corner was a risk which worked. Had we been turned over , as we sometimes do, it may have been a different game. But it worked , was it right to take that decision, was that good captaincy ? What do we think !

  19. It became clear early in the Test that the pack had upped its game from the previous week. Scrum looked really solid and the Watson, M Fagerson and Darge combination worked well. Not a great first half, but a big improvement on last week’s appalling first 40.

    I think Matt Fagerson’s coming of age as a quality international number 8 was in the Calcutta Cup 2021 at Twickenham. Very good now, and young enough to get even better.

    Though I hate slagging our players off, Blair Kinghorn just isn’t a Test class 10. A number of promising attacks broke down as a result of his passing too late, too soon or inaccurately, putting receivers in trouble. And few if any chips over the top of advancing defenders. Tall, strong, fast and capable on occasions of doing Finn-type good things – but just not consistent enough to be a good international 10.

    1. re Kinghorn passing …. there were times a ‘move’ was called and he went through with it when Argentina had read it and receiver got creamed. It is as if he can’t change his mindset at times. Heads up rugby

  20. Thought this was one of our best performances of the year. Kinghorn for me did really well and I would back him for the bench 10 from now on. Bennet has always been class and glad to see him get his reward. Can see us closing out the series now

  21. The front 5 were stable, that was a heavier scrum, generally it felt like we were in control. Why is no one giving them credit ? Lets hear it ! A bit of love for them will not go amiss and for the replacements.

    I suspect next week Argentina will be working on how they can stop us getting scrum and line out ball.

    Kinghorn : the guy is only just capable of making up the numbers at International Level in any position , even full back. Mind you , good tackle , never saw Hogg put one in like that.

    He is not a playmaker and in both tests he has kicked out on the full , his kicking skill needs remediation.

    Hastings keeps Carrara out at Gloucester, Hasting’s is our backup 10 while Ross Thomson is still maturing. There is no need for Kinghorn at 10. However we occasionally get deep injury problems in the 6 nations , so we know he can plug a gap in a crisis, but for me, the experiment has run it’s course.

    Next week is must win : Kinghorn needs moved aside , he is not a test class 10.

    If I need to come back here next Sunday and rant about how we lost the series because we did not pick the best backline , I will not be pleasant.

  22. The good – Mish, Darge and M Fagerson were all excellent. Jackaling, snaffling and ball carrying. Exemplary stuff. Hard to say if one single unit won the game for us, but they were at the heart of everything that was good and provided the platform for everyone else. Z Fagerson had one of his best games in dark blue and I thought Ben White, Darcy, and Bennett were all very lively. Skinner also showed up really well and added much needed grunt.

    The bad – for once, the opposition. Thought Argentina were really complacent in that game. Ill discipline, coughed up the ball in good positions under pressure, and unable to execute in the set piece. We can’t expect them to play like that again in the third test. They still have enough grunt and stardust to unsettle any team so we’ll need to be ready for a big improvement in the next test

    The ugly (or stuff to work on) – I feel bad saying this again because I think he’s a decent player, but Kinghorn had another poor game at 10. It’s not his position at test level and it’s time to stop repeating that mistake. As others have said, this feels more like a swipe at Russell and Hastings than the coaches doing something they think can really work out in the long run. Thompson didn’t do much, but deserves a shot in the third test. After a pretty decent game at 15 in the first test, thought Hutch’s limitations at full back were pretty obvious here. The slick hands aren’t quite as slick when he first has to get into the line at second receiver before making a play. Injury aside, it’s crying out to have him at 12 (although SJ did nothing wrong, again). Duhan looks like a big man out of form. Just needs a break to go his way and I think he’ll be right as rain though. Price looked off the pace – maybe just a long season catching him up. Then there’s what to do about Gilchrist. He’s been getting plaudits for his captaincy on tour but, on the evidence of the Argentina tests, still has a long way to go to be convincing as a first choice option. Skinner is now well ahead of him, along with Cummings. And, unpopular on this board certainly, but I still think Gray has a lot to offer. Gilchs is 3rd or 4th choice for me – is that good enough to stay captain?

    1. Duhan had the most metres, most carries and most offloads. 11 carries for 40m, mainly hard yards. He had an excellent game.

      1. Just one thing.He ‘fends’ with the ball…it’s maddening and comical at the same time.
        I wouldn’t bother asking him to get me a bag o’ chips at the seaside.

      2. Rugby is a game of opinions. I’m not sure many of those breaks were particularly great or that he was even hitting the right lines. Could maybe blame those inside him for not creating the right opportunities, but overall I think he looks out of sorts and much less threatening than Darcy, who seems capable of breaking the game wide open at any moment. Duhan feels like a number 8 playing out wide right now, not the sharp but bruising finisher we know he can be

      3. He was well marked in both tests – They tackled him in numbers. He did break through them , but it was all close quarters stuff, biffed one off , into the next one before he could get any momentum going. I suppose the trick is to know that and get him running decoys and draw space.

      4. I think DVDMs move to England has regressed him a bit. I think that the game there looks at this massive bloke and sees him more as a forward. He looks confused by how coaches want him to play.
        He needs to improve his positioning and defense awareness… but overall imo he is a cracking rugby player that isnt being used properly.

      5. Ruggers, what is the problem, it is confirmed : Duhan carried the most meters, why you not getting it; that stat machine says he was top carrier despite being snuffed out. We need guys on his shoulder. One other thing , Duham goes looking for work.

    2. I am sure AWJ is not the best 2nd row in Wales but he is a great captain. Gilco seems to have parted company with the The Ancient and Honorable Society of Ruck Inspectors and is solid in the Lineout. What more do you want!

      1. To me Skinner is a better option to be a captain as he looks to have the game skills and leadership skills combined. Hopefully move to Edinburgh helps him progress,

      2. I think his carrying on first phase in traffic is a big weapon for us. Getting over the gainline and drawing multiple tacklers is how to win rugby matches.

        He was a workhorse on Saturday and is also very useful on goal line attacks. It would be nice to see him turn on the jets in open ground but as long as he’s contributing he’s an important player.

  23. Had a look at the stats on ESPN. The front row did will. Not a single penalty from the starters which must be a first for us. I think Zander has been good so far and unlikely to ever be invited to join The Ancient and Honorable Society of Ruck Inspectors.

    One point I noticed is that Mish missed a tackle in an international for the first time I can remember. Somebody must have got in the way! Still justifiably man of the match. I wonder if he’s feeling any pressure from Darge. Hard to see either of them of being dropped after this match. Same for Fagerson. Will be interesting to see if Ritchie comes straight back in when fit. Hard to see many of the alternative back row contenders getting much time going forward unless there are injuries.

    1. As good as Watson and Darge are….that combo leaves the team undersized against some sides and too much of one thing and so doesn’t always work.
      Darge is very close to replacing Watson as 1st choice 7 for me.

      1. I must admit during the anthems of the first match Darge was standing close to Tuipoluto and I was thinking between those two you’d put your money on Tuipoluto in a fight. When you look at the stats Darge 6’1″ and 98 kg and Tuipoluto 5’10” and 104kg that backs it up but Darge makes up for the lack of weight with talent and attitude. If he could keep the pace and add a few kg of muscle he’d be ideal.

      2. Exactly my fear sir, quite a quandary at 6,7,8.
        Dempsey, Crosbie, Haining add some grunt/dog.
        I don’t think 3 more mobile but lighter back rows cuts it against Ireland,France, South Africa

  24. I get why people endlessly call for an end to BK10 but it’s just not going to happen. Toony is a fully signed up member of the fanclub. He’s in the Dougie Donnelly presidents lounge on the BK10 Patreon, so it’s here to stay. And I agree that he’s horribly inconsistent but he will get better and his ceiling is potentially very high. I personally doubt he has the mental steel to realise that potential but you never know and it’s no bad thing to develop another 10 so I accept it as the new pet project. My main concern however is that Hastings doesn’t get marginalised, His omission from the 6N squad was baffling. Hastings is far closer to Russell than Kinghorn is to Hastings so Kinghorn’s development must not come at the expense of Hastings.

  25. I know we’re Scottish and so a half-full glass isn’t even half empty, it’s like somebody has replaced the half pint of beer with bodily fluids. But COME ON guys, we beat a side that was above us in the world rankings, playing at home with the confidence of having beaten us soundly only 7 days previous. And all without four of our star players in searing 40-degree heat. Tom English said there was a lot to turn around after last week’s defeat, and I think Toonie and his team did just that.

    Our front-row stood up to the Pumas impressive set piece. We seem to have strength in depth at lock where old stalwarts like Gray and Gilcho are under pressure for their places (and I still wouldn’t mind if the two of those started on Saturday). Darge and Watson were magnificent – showing that playing with two 7s is not a step backwards. Matt Fagerson was my man of the match, which is saying something when his backrow partners are playing that well.
    We’ve found a real live-wire in Ben White for when Price isn’t firing (and he sometimes doesn’t).
    As for the threequarters, we seem to be building a set of backs that can be deadly, but also as stingy as last year. Keeping a top 10 side from scoring a try is rare.
    Kinghorn at 10 hasn’t quite worked, but with the world cup just around the corner having a player that can cover 10,11,14,15 with reasonable assurance is no bad thing. Best to give him the experience now rather than later.
    That being said, time to give Thompson chance and BK the run-out at 15.

    Kinghorn; Graham, Bennett, Johnson, DVDM; Thompson, Price;
    Schoeman, Cherry, Fagerson; Gilchrist, Gray; Skinner, Fagerson, Watson.
    Bhatti, Turner, Sebastian, Cummings, Darge; White, Tuipolotu, Smith.

    1. That is a really positive outlook Merlot – well said. I don’t agree with all of your comments but it is good to hear an upbeat assessement of the some of the player options for Scottish rugby.

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