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

Across the three Test series, Scotland have selected 33 of the 34-man squad that travelled on to Argentina following the ‘A’ fixture against Chile.

11 players have made all three matchday 23s (including 5 who have started all of the Tests); 14 have been involved twice; 8 have managed a single selection; and Murphy Walker is the only player not to feature.

Argentina have picked 35 different players. 13 have made all three matchday 23s (including 3 who have started all of the Tests); 9 have been involved twice; 13 have managed a single selection; and from the original 34-man squad named only Gonzalo Garcia, Benjamin Urdapilleta and Santiago Chocobares have not featured.

Changes

8 changes to Scotland’s starting XV from 2nd Test

1st Test

Hutchinson
Graham
BENNETT
JOHNSON
VD MERWE
KINGHORN
PRICE

SCHOEMAN
Turner
Z FAGERSON
Gilchrist (c)
Gray
Bradbury
Crosbie
M FAGERSON

Ashman
Sutherland
SEBASTIAN
Skinner
DARGE
White
THOMPSON
Tuipulotu

2nd Test

Hutchinson
Graham
BENNETT
JOHNSON
VD MERWE
KINGHORN
White

SCHOEMAN
Cherry
Z FAGERSON
Skinner
Gilchrist (c)
DARGE
Watson
M FAGERSON

Turner
Bhatti
SEBASTIAN
Cummings
Christie
PRICE
THOMPSON
Rowe

3rd Test

Smith
McLean
BENNETT
Tuipulotu
VD MERWE
KINGHORN
PRICE

Sutherland
Ashman

Z FAGERSON
Cummings
Gray

DARGE
Watson (c)
M FAGERSON

Cherry
SCHOEMAN
SEBASTIAN
Young
Christie
Horne
THOMPSON
JOHNSON

11 changes to Argentina’s starting XV from 2nd Test

1st Test

Mallia
Cordero
ORLANDO
de la Fuente
BOFFELLI
Sanchez
BERTRANOU*

CHAPARRO
Montoya (c)
KODELA
PETTI
Alemanno
GONZALEZ
KREMER
Matera

CREEVY
Vivas
SCLAVI
Paulos
ISA
Imhoff*
CARRERAS
MORONI

2nd Test

BOFFELLI
Cordero
ORLANDO
de la Fuente
Imhoff
CARRERAS
BERTRANOU

CHAPARRO
Montoya (c)
KODELA
PETTI
Alemanno
GONZALEZ
KREMER
Bruni

CREEVY
Vivas
SCLAVI
Paulos
ISA
Ezcurra
Miotti
MORONI

3rd Test

Mallia
Delguy
ORLANDO
MORONI
BOFFELLI
CARRERAS
Velez

Gallo
CREEVY
SCLAVI
PETTI
Lavanini
Matera
(c)
Grondona
ISA

Ruiz
CHAPARRO
KODELA
KREMER
GONZALEZ
BERTRANOU
Albornoz
Cinti

Red – change to starting XV
CAPS – selected for all 3 Tests
BOLD – started all 3 Tests for Scotland
BOLD – started all 3 Tests for Argentina
* Cubelli was injured and withdrawn before kick-off – originally selected to start at 9 with Bertranou on the bench and Imhoff not in the 23.

Tale of the tape

BACKS
34   
Tries   32
88kg
   Average weight   92kg
205   
Total caps   138
27.3   
Average age   25.9

FORWARDS
912kg
   Pack weight   897kg
27   
Tries   18
359   
Total caps   240
28.5   
Average age   26.2

SUBSTITUTES
8   
Tries   17
195   Total caps   67
26.8   
Average age   27.2

Head-to-Head

ARGENTINA

Mallia
Delguy
Orlando
Moroni
Boffelli
Carreras
Velez

Gallo
Creevy
Sclavi
Petti
Lavanini
Matera (c)
Grondona
Isa

Ruiz
Chaparro
Kodela
Kremer
Gonzalez
Bertranou
Albornoz
Cinti

ADV Argentina
EVEN
ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina
EVEN
ADV Argentina

ADV Scotland

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

ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland

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

SCOTLAND

Smith
McLean
Bennett
Tuipulotu
van der Merwe
Kinghorn
Price

Sutherland
Ashman
Z Fagerson
Cummings
Gray
Darge
Watson
M Fagerson

Cherry
Schoeman
Sebastian
Young
Christie
Horne
Thompson
Johnson

Overall

Backs – advantage Argentina

A simplified approach reaped significant rewards for Scotland during the second half in Salta. Strong carrying off 9 really put the pressure on the Pumas’ defence and will likely continue in Santiago – Duhan van der Merwe and Rufus Mclean will almost certainly need to come looking for work rather than expecting the ball to find them.

Forwards – even

It has been nip and tuck calling the battle between these two packs during the series. For the decider, Michael Cheika has opted to bench half of his previous starters and has lost skipper, Julian Montoya. With Thomas Gallo and Tomas Lavanini available for the first time this summer and fit again Pablo Matera restored, Scotland’s task doesn’t get any easier though. Win the battle up front and there’s a strong chance victory in the match will follow.

Subs – even

It may be four each in the direct head to heads but with five players on the Argentinian bench who started both Tests 1 and 2, the home side will be expecting (and possibly need) more of an impact from their subs in the final quarter of the game.

Miscellany 

– It has been nearly 7 years since a Scotland 23 was named that didn’t include at least one of Fraser Brown, Stuart McInally or George Turner in one of the hooker slots (27/9/15 v USA – 2. Ross Ford; 16. Kevin Bryce).

– This is the youngest Scotland starting XV (26.1 years) named for any match during the last five years with the exception of the game against USA on the 2018 Summer Tour (25.0).

– Last Saturday, Matt Fagerson became the 50th player to score a try for Scotland in the Townsend era. The current top five try scorers during this period are:

  • Darcy Graham – 12
  • Stuart McInally – 11
  • Stuart Hogg – 10
  • Sean Maitland – 10
  • Duhan van der Merwe – 10

Mark Bennett is the first player other than Chris Harris to wear the number 13 jersey for Scotland in three consecutive games since Nick Grigg during the 2019 Six Nations.

– In the First Test, Argentina’s starting XV had a 397 cap advantage over Scotland’s. That has been reduced to 186 for the deciding match.

– Sam Johnson is in line to win his first ever cap as a replacement after 26 starts in the centres.

Tags:

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

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

  1. SB on

    Ali Price is going to have to have a great game if we are to win here. Kinghorn and Tuipoluto at 10-12 is likely to see us right back in the mire of the first Test. Maclean and Smith are both ropy defenders, Tuipoluto has a terrible habit of rolling on the ground with the ball and Kinghorn can’t kick goals. The question is how many points will this gift Argentina?

    They may surprise us but I think the best we can hope for here is that Townsend learns a few harsh lessons.

    • Tasmanian Tiger on

      Townsend never appears to learn any lessons especially when he has pinned his dogmatic colours to a particular mast.

  2. Big Al on

    I’m sure Murphy Walker will have learnt a lot from being with the squad. I think the lad has a good future.

    I dont think this pack will do as well as last week and the backs might have to work with scrappy ball again and that wont help the backs at all. For me the only reason to play Tuipoluto at 12 is for crash ball through the middle and if you’re going to do that then Id rather see Johnson and Bennet have another game to see if they can work on their mutual understanding.

    • Bass Rock on

      The Pack is 4 ‘advantages’ each , but my eye is drawn to the front 5 . It is 3/2 Argentina and I think that ranking if for the pre lions Sutherland. This model is struggling for fitness and game time. That makes it 4/1 in my eyes.

      I think they look stronger in the scrum. Hopefully we win our own ball in the lineout.

    • Rob on

      Don’t blame ref! This was Scotland’s fault. 19 points up with 15min left. Line outs crap and how did Gray not score from the line out move. No, players at fault not ref

      • FF on

        I didn’t – that post was from the first half immediately after Argentina’s first try. It was a honking decision though.

      • Buddie on

        FF: Well you are silent now the game is over. I do not agree with you however if you had said he should have given Argentina a warning about the amount of penalties in the second quarter, that would have been a smart observation and one he may get from the match day officials at his post match evaluation.

      • Rory Baldwin on

        Buddie/Confucious/ToonyTiger/TENC – he’s already clarified his remarks were regarding the first half (the kick chase advantage?). Drop the accusatory tone please. Also please read Comment Policy Rule 6.

    • Bass Rock on

      FF: Nonsense: BOK is an international referee and he makes decisions week in week out at a high level. He never ‘screwed us over’. We did it all by ourselves.

  3. SB on

    Rufus McLean cost us 10 points through sheer stupidity.

    As soon as his name was on the team sheet we were beat.

    • FF on

      We lost because our line out was very poor and we couldn’t handle restarts. We would have been out of sight otherwise.

  4. RuggersB on

    Oh boy!!! Starting to dread the RWC instead of get excited about it. There is Bob Hope & No Hope playing like that……….

    • Neil on

      I hope we don’t use half our bench during the world-cup also, that was a tactical masterpiece by Toony.

    • Ian on

      Yes – RWC23 script is already written. And then it is rinse and repeat – as non-qualifiers we get pushed outside the top eight and world rugby do the seedings really early in the cycle before there is a chance to recover top eight ranking

      Although I can’t see scotland ever recovering under this coach.

      • TENC on

        I would add that if he continues in post he will take us so far down it is impossible to recover. We are now in a cycle of first round elimination from the RWC as you have explained.

        I think World rugby are promoting Japan, as they have a fan base, playing numbers and money to sustain the game. I do not think they don’t like Scotland , it is just good business to bring them on. However we could have avoided if we got out of our group.

        Toony made poor choices , for example Duncan Taylor first choice after a year off , or burnt the squad out before the tournament on his superfast rugby dream. I think he built his vision based on a logo he read on his kid’s anoraks.

  5. Keith on

    Never mind the lack of discipline endemic under Gregor and the selection lunacy. Line out and defence coaches need a good examination. However the real problem is the coach. What a diddy. Enough is enough

  6. Sam Laycock on

    what is the point in having a bench if you won’t use them!!! Ali Price with a fatigue error in the 75th minute kicks out on the full and then zander loosing the scrum in the 80th minute, he’s a tight head prop!!. Can’t blame them, they should have been off. What is the point having a player on the bench if you’re not confident to bring them on?? Townsend lost this game.

    • Stripe on

      Ah, it was just Toony’s latest tactical wheeze: iron man rugby.

      Maybe his next ploy will to make the players do laps of the pitch at the interval rather than retreating to the dressing room…

      Congratulations to Argentina for sticking with it when the game looked (and should have been) beyond their grasp.

  7. Ian on

    I suppose this will be more “lessons learned”.

    I would like the coach to be more specific about these “lessons” are.

    Can we focus on why game after game we don’t see any improvement on receiving kick-off? Can we “learn our lessons” in this part of the game?

    Can we focus on why game after game the lack of stability in selection costs us dearly? When something goes well – it gets changed next game! Today it was most apparent in the lineout in which players looked like they’d never met each other before.

    I suppose we have to endure Townsend till after RWC23 but it is really painful watching his failure to “learn his lessons” costing us test matches we should be winning.

  8. SlowWalk90 on

    Well it was far from our strongest XV,but what a way to throw the game away. Jonny Gray has a lot of explaining to do. Game turned when he failed to execute a set play from 2 yards, and then gave away a stupid penalty to give them a scoring position.

    Very disappointing. We had that game in the bag.

    • RuggersB on

      Yup…Skinner has a great game..then gets booted from the 23 for a decisive test..lets bring in Lame Johnny..well done GT!
      The expected result of changing a winning side.

      GT will be lucky to get a gig in the super6 after RWC23.

    • TEE CEE on

      perfectly executed set play which should have put us out of site until Gray inexplicably decided to reverse over the line.

      • Tam Tok on

        He was bullied by the Argentine , momentum changer and you could see it coming. Test match rugby you need to finish.

      • Alanyst on

        JG I think is dumb as a dish on the field. No evidence of brain use at all.

        Teams are beginning to use the held-up rule to get out of jail…Argentina forwards smart to retreat and JG dumb enough to fall for it, thinking he would score…

      • Angerine on

        Indeed. That rule changed (where you now get a dropout if you hold the other gas eam up) worked for and against us in the last year (remember England in the 6N?) . Overall I really like it – it means stronger teams can’t just pick-and-go teams to death – but we have to adapt to this. I bow to none in my admiration of gray, and overall I think he’s a smart player, but he has shown a white line fever tendency in the past.

  9. Andyc on

    Townsend surely has to look at himself? That’s a shocker We are going backwards. 6 nations look a worry World Cup not a snowballs chance in hell against the opposition we have been drawn against. So depressing

  10. Munro on

    Genuine question – what would be the mechanics / process for Townsend to be axed I was wondering please? Disappointing results, constant tinkering with the side, not taking the team forward obviously not enough for this to happen.
    Are there one or two decisions makers at the top of Scottish rugby making this potential call. Townsend seems untouchable – is there a closed shop / cartel in place?

  11. Johnny B on

    We threw away a 15 point lead in the final quarter. A team with patterns and combinations that are confident in each other that knows what it’s doing doesn’t do that.
    I backed Townsend but after 5 seasons it’s difficult to see the direction he’s taking the team in. Who are we, what are we trying to be? Who are our key combinations? Who’s going to come in and add to it? When? How?
    Townsend seems to become more inconsistent with every season.

    How can you establish an identity or patterns of play if every single game players come into the team while others drop out, sometimes from the squad?
    Gray
    Skinner
    White
    Price
    Johnson
    Tuipulotu
    Graham
    McLean

    The list of players who’ve come in played a test, been dropped, been picked again goes on.
    And it’s not OK to lose Argentina. They’re a team that with a bit of confidence could leapfrog and cement their place above us in the rankings. It’s not OK at all.

    It’s too late in the rwc cycle to get rid of Townsend but unless he works out what he’s trying to do and which players are going to deliver it he’ll be gone straight after the tournament.

    • RuggersB on

      Exactly…we have no identity. I just dont know what we are trying to do each match. There was a period when Tandy joined that his defensive structures made us look like we were building a proper system that players could come in and out of ….but for a long while now we just look clueless and are back to appalling mistakes and coughing up of easy ball for opponents.
      I watch their social media video clips of training and think ok so they’ll at least be in good shape for the match…and then match time we look like we have practiced in the car park in between grocery shopping.
      What a pigs ear we are making of a talented group of players.

      I really dont know how GT achieved any success at Warriors…must have been a fluke. He seems f’n clueless as a coach to me.

      Our most talented players dont even seem to want to play for him.

      • RuggersB on

        It’s like the SRU ….are waiving merrily to the Titanic passengers at the departure port despite knowing the outcome.

      • Sandy on

        The structures and systems worked when Tandy came because the team whigh was picked remained the same.
        On one hand it could be argued that (as many here and elsewhere have stated) if the team who played today were the same as last week we would have been better off. Though on the other hand we went out there with a squad to learn and experience. Which is what they have done. What we now have are more players who will push each other for the starting jersey. Or possibly more players to be picked and shifted around each week!! We should by now know the strongest team and keep it consistent.

      • RuggersB on

        Yeah…on the flip side..those same development players have just experienced losing to an average, at best,team we would expect to beat.
        That’ll do wonders for their confidence!

    • Toony Tunes on

      Jonny: You should have listened and come over to the dark side a long time ago. The hallmarks were always there, and you were told.

      I thought it was a great game for a neutral. The guys on the pitch were excellent, so many individually stonking performances , they just lacked maturity to close it out.

      I do not think this was Townsends darkest moment by a long way, however the damage has been done going as far back as the lead in to our last world cup.

      We only need 23 players for a game , but I could net tell you who is our best player in any position except Tighthead and Stand Off.

  12. Tam Tok on

    FF: So it was not the referee’s fault now , it didn’t take you long to change your mind, all credit for doing so. The man who never changed his mind never changed anything according to Churchill.

    Keep me posted on what the papers say tomorrow.

  13. Charlie on

    The final collapse, with such a lead, is sadly unforgivable. You can’t but help think that substitutions could have been made, but in the end, we are watching an ongoing and failing science experiment of failed position switching, favouritism in positions which is unfounded, and players in and out of the squad, players who must be as confused as the fans. Meanwhile you read about the coach saying how great the camp is. I not of the soccer, change the manager mentality, but in this case I’m rather fuming about the ridiculous team selections of late. So a first post in a forum, which I enjoy following and for the first time want lend my voice to Townsend must go. Preferably immediately

  14. Warmer on

    You said it was the ‘referee screwed us over’ . Make your mind up.

    Personally I just thought we lacked experience and it is not the first time. However I cannot blame the players for that . A team binned long ago learned that one , and then another team, and here we are 10 reiterations still learning the same lesson because toony cannot build stability. It seems to me that Toony has actually never invested in a settled side.

  15. Buddie on

    Could have , should have , didny . I would like to Blame Townsend, but I don’t. Not for this, I think he brought a squad , gave them all a go which is what a summer tour is about. They made a few calls on kicking to the corner when the lineout was poor . They just pushed their luck too far. However Ireland and Wales look like settled sides who went to prove a point and they will build on it. Not sure which is right !

    • RuggersB on

      Yeah other sides introduce inexperienced or new players into their respective test series….not just us. GT constant tinkering with selections is just making him look clueless he is just selecting players he wants to look at without a solid sequence of results and performances as a base. Does anyone know what our best 23 is? I bet it would be easier to name all the other nations 23 rather than our own.

    • Fraser Reddick on

      Exactly this – Summer development tour. We made significant progress from the first game (although a step back from second to third). Argentina are a strong team and there seems to be a lack of acknowledging that.

      Add in the 5 or so key players missing and it stabilises things massively.

      We have learned what works and what doesn’t, who might be genuine international class and who isn’t. Hopefully we take this information forward into next year (which from now on needs to be with as consistent a team as possible).

      Several players have earned their place in the main world cup squad if not team (Bennett, Darge, White particularly), several have had their chance (Kinghorn at 10…., Tuipulotu) and some showed flashes but need more game time (Hutch, Rowe).

      It’s not all doom and gloom.

  16. Warks Scot on

    I’ve not been one to call out GT in the past but really beginning to worry that there is just so little consistency in the team and RWC could be a massive humiliation. Every other team has been relatively consistent barring enforced changes from injury but GTs selection policy seems to be names out of a hat and we’ve paid for it. Players out of position or dropping players after a good performance doesn’t make sense to me. I didn’t watch the game so can’t comment on specifics but sounds like re-starts are a nightmare again. He may be more interested in his clowning punditry these days but Ryan Wilson seemed to bring some competence and order to that part of the game. Yes, teams do squander decent leads – a certain Calcutta Cup match springs to mind – but to keep collapsing in the second half as we have frequently done shows a lack of smart match control and determination not to lose. Hope we can get a refund for early departure from the French hotel next year.

  17. Ali_boy on

    1. Why are Scotland so awful at their own line out?
    2. Have Scotland ever been good at lineouts? It’s been so long I can’t remember us ever showing sustained competency here.
    3. If Scotland could win there own lineouts, how good would we be? Top teams win 90% +.
    4. What did we have to do to be better at line outs? Do we have a specialist coach in This area?

    Please repeat above analysis for kick off receiving. Seems to me we work our socks off for possession, and then hand the ball back 50% of the time at line out. And when we do score, we hand the ball back in our own 22 at kick off. Fix these areas and we at least give ourselves a chance.

  18. Alanyst on

    I think the team is full of fairly immature and/or insecure ‘local hero’ players with a tendency to overplay their position. When forward momentum is lost this causes a cascade of errors.

    They need a coach & captain who can maintain simplicity, discipline and straightforwardness…The Toony & Hogg combo is the opposite of that.

  19. Tasmanian tiger on

    There were 3 unforced changes made to last weeks team which pretty much sums up townsends tenure in a nutshell for me. Completely confusing and utterly pointless. Price for white. White last week took it to the opposition always on the front foot. Price solid but caused them no problems slow at times and prone to the odd brain fart . Gray for skinner. Skinner abrasive dynamic. Gray passive and woeful in the line out. Tuipolotu for Johnson. Why oh why. As in his previous outings did virtually nothing of note.simply not international level.

    • SB on

      Price had a great game for 65 minutes. Why he played the final 15 which scum halves rarely do unless forced to by injuries can only be answered by Townsend.

      Dropping White for Horne then refusing to play Horne defies all logic.

      • Broono on

        You could feel them coming back into the game and I suspect Townsend did not want to dismantle everything by bringing subs on. Lets be open, did we expect to be that far ahead ? I thought this would be a tight game, which is how it ended .But I suspected it would be penalty festival with a try or two .

    • Confucius McBain on

      Horne has got a raw deal this test series, with Vellacott emerging and White showing form, I think Horne would be as well to do a SHC and pick up a few contracts here and there, make some cash , abandon the Scotland dream. I suspect Toony will eventually feel he owes Shiel a game or two . I also think Scott Steele may feature again, he has done nothing wrong.

      • Big Al on

        I think Horne has a great opportunity when he gets back to Glasgow. Price will be rested because he’s played a lot of games in the last year and Dobbie is off to Bay of Plenty for a few months so Horne should get a run of games at the start of the season to show hes back to his best.

  20. Angerine on

    Helluva series for the neutral, 240 minutes of rugby decided in the last 7 seconds. Lots of brilliance and brainlessness from both sides, and a fair few bright sparks among the pain. Top of the list for me were the Fagerson boys. Matt’s work rate was prodigious (18 carries and 15 tackles in the last game), and while Zander also carried and tackled well, his most important stat was zero penalties conceded. Both a full World cup cycle from what would be considered the prime of the respective positions. If we look after them, they’ll get even better.

    The defeat felt psychological more than anything, and the really worrying thing was that the team looked like they expected it. There was a “not again” vibe, even from the newer players. And boy, was it replicated in the fanbase. A national sickness.

    And I cannot fathom Townsend’s reticence on subs. According to the ESPN stats, Thompson had zero inputs of any kind when he came on. What does that teach us? Is it maybe because he’s expecting long shifts at RWC? With Tonga being far from a foregone conclusion after mopping up ex-all-blacks (godammit it’s a ridiculously terrible draw), he may be planning to give his big players more minutes than in previous world cups. Is he trying to prepare them for that? I don’t get it.

    • Johnny B on

      Re: psychological loss and national sickness I’m afraid I suffer from that. I thought we’d win a test but not the series.

      The tour didn’t feel right – end of season, tired and missing players, tricky and motivated opposition, selectorial tinkering. It was a hybrid development tour against a peer nation and I thought Argentina would want it more.

      Of course there were bright sparks and we did throw the game and series away rather than being soundly beaten, but losses like that are dispiriting.

      Townsend did a lot of tinkering and the questioning is whether any of that leads anywhere.

      E.g. Picking players like Bennett/ Hutchinson imposes a significant change in style and focus on the team over Tuipolotu, Harris or Johnson. Will we see continuation and development of this or will we revert in the Autumn and 6N, in which case what was the point?

      I don’t understand the working of Townsend’s mind and he’s proven me wrong often enough but it’s difficult to see the way we threw the series away after all that experimentation as progress.

      • Toony's last stand on

        For goodness sake , I just do not agree . He picked the best sides he could from the players available. He never deliberately left anyone at home.

      • Johnny B on

        He made 8 changes to a winning team only a couple of which were forced.

        How do you get the kind of precision and continuity required to win test matches doing that?

  21. Johnny B on

    We did a lot of experimentation on this tour, some of it looked borderline impulsive (at least to me), a lot of the experimenting was suited to a different, more attacking style of play from the defensive style the team had been developing in the last few seasons and the question is whether this leads anywhere.

    Will we, for example, see players like White, Bennett or Hutchinson getting starts v tier 1 nations in the Autumn or 6N?

    If not then why did we bother?

  22. James on

    Part of the problem for me was that the team got a big lead and then seemed to think it was job done and switched off a bit. Needed the senior players to step in at that point and demand more from the players (I can’t imagine POM or AWJ would accept players not giving their all even when the game is won).

    Agree with the comments about Toony’s use of the bench. Horne definitely should have been on at some point to life the speed of the game again.

    But look back at the comments before the game. No one was giving this team a hope in hell of winning and if Jonny Gray knew how to get the ball down we would have. So there are definitely positives in there and it isn’t a complete disaster. Not good enough but not a complete disaster.

  23. RuggersB on

    Townsend told Sky Sports: “We are obviously really disappointed because we were ahead for most of the game and we had chances – chances to score a try and were held up over the line, and chances just to be a bit more efficient with our exiting in the last five minutes.
    “I really feel for the players because so much of their display was full of courage and skill.
    “It was our best display of the tour and would have been a famous win but the feelings just now are the opposite of that.
    “The way we played away home in front of noisy crowd, against a very good side, I am so proud of that effort.

    OMG….I think I watched the wrong match!

    If that’s what GT really thinks…..we are in for utter humiliation the remainder of his head coaching tenure.

    And yep…Argentina such a good side GT!!
    Last Rugby Championship…..Last position
    P W D L PF PA TF TA TB LB /- BP Pts
    6 0 0 6 60 195 5 23 0 0 -135 0 0

    Sigh!!

    • Johnny B on

      Tbf they do play the All Blacks, Boks and Wallabies.
      I’m not sure how we’d do if we competed in that competition, probably not much better ie getting the odd win mostly over the wallabies.

      They have beaten the all blacks in the last couple of seasons and don’t usually get trounced, they deserve a bit of respect.

      • RuggersB on

        Yes… but then they are teams I’d class as very good…not Argentina. That said, 6N sides like France or Ireland are just as good if not arguably better at the moment.

    • Tam McDade on

      I think what he meant to say, but couldnt quite form the words was : they are an average bunch of players with an excellent coach who knows how to bring out the best in them and build self belief by the application of his motivational skills, consistent messages and stability in selection policy.

  24. RuggersB on

    And I dont get all this but its a development tour excuse…

    We were missing probably 3 stick on starters… the rest who knows!? ..and I’m not sure I can even call Russell a stick on starter considering his relationship with GT and his 6N performances.
    The last team v Ireland in the 6N..
    Scotland: 15-Hogg (capt); 14-Graham, 13-Harris, 12-Johnson, 11-Steyn; 10-Kinghorn, 9-Price; 1-Schoeman, 2-Turner, 3-Z Fagerson; 4-Gray, 5-Gilchrist; 6-Darge, 7-Watson, 8-M Fagerson.

    Replacements: 16-Brown, 17-Dell, 18-Nel, 19-Skinner, 20-Bayliss, 21-White, 22-Russell, 23-Bennett.

  25. RuggersB on

    Negatives aside…

    The positives for me were that…
    Skinner is our best lock…by a fair bit too.
    Fagerson is developing really well at 8…and better than I thought he would. Don’t think a Dempsey offers anything more than Fagerson and I’d rather see a home grown player get the opportunity.
    Darge is a technically gifted rugby player …smaller in size but more than makes up for in game intelligence and sheer effort …future captain.
    Ashman.. should have been used more…and his line throws need to improve…but he is , imo, by far our best hooker and at a good age with a higher ceiling than say Turner or Cherry.
    Zander if can keep the needless penalties out his game is our best TH.
    DVDM is our best winger…never just hugs the touchline…goes in where most wingers dont. Still needs positional development but cracking player.
    White is more effective than Price.
    Bennet played pretty well…offers more in attack than Harris and his defense has clearly improved.

    • John on

      Agree with most of you say sir apart from Dempsey offers much more from 8 than Fagerson, Dempsey consistently makes the very hard yards, he has the hard edge, Fagerson is a fine player but IMO not a Tier 1 international 8 (maybe a 6).

      • RuggersB on

        Yeah but then one could argue that if Dempsey was a tier1 level 8…Australia would be selecting him for the last 3 years…at the very least he’d have been in their squad.

      • FF on

        Ruggers – don’t think that’s necessarily true considering their overseas selection policy. They’ve ignored Skelton for example who’d walk into their team now but they have limited numbers of foreign based players in their squad and an enormous cap threshold to meet.

    • Stripe on

      But will they take it?

      Probably not…

      I suspect we’ll be lumbered with him for the AIs, 6N, and what will prove to be a very brief RWC campaign.

      • Ian on

        Post RWC there will be a vacancy for a coach to do a “Cotter” and lift Scotland up from the doldrums of becoming persistent non-quarter finalists. I like to think that it might be an attractive option and that there will be an immediate uplift from having a coach that the players play for and who is a better more consistent selector.

      • Angerine on

        Getting out of the group is now “doing a Cotter”? This guy is like the Princess Diana of rugby coaches, the way he’s romanticised.

        We had the easiest imaginable group in 2015, and we were seconds from going out to a bang average Samoa team.

        “But we did well against Australia.” The same Australia that Townsend’s Scotland has beaten every single time they’ve played?

        I’m not slagging off Cotter, I don’t think there’s much between him and Townsend as coaches, and I wouldn’t have got rid of him. But my goodness.

      • RuggersB on

        Yeah…Cotter is romanticized a bit.
        That said, I think most on here believe GT has a more talented group of players and players at a better age than Cotter had…and he just isnt bringing them on like we hoped and thought he would. We’ll never know if Cotter would have done more….but at least , for me, anyway I could see the playing style identity he was building….I have no idea what our identity is under GT…and he’s had about 5 years at it.

      • Bass Rock on

        Angerine and Ruggers : I do not agree, Are you talking about Cotter that got us out of the RWC pool stages? The same Cotter that beat Ireland, the same Ireland the Gregor Townsend cannot beat and are the top of WR rankings today ? Is it that Cotter that you are trying to bring down !

      • Broono on

        How memories fade. The decision to let Cotter go so soon has divided fans, but lets stop undermining Vern Cotter and Toony. Cotter lost to Australia by 1 point in a controversial decision which World Rugby finally admitted was wrong.

        Gregor’s Townsends much improved side have beaten a 14 and 15 man Australian side , which is an achievement however lost to the USA which was an underachievement.

        Cotter is not romanticized , but the legacy side he inherited was dire and he made incremental changes to the side which took us to 4th in the 6 Nations, a statistic which Gregor Townsend has only equaled in his much longer tenure.

        I do not see Toony and Cotters as equals, I think there is years of experience separating them and a very different style. Toony has opened our eyes to so many possibilities, a quite expansive player pool. The argument has to be is it better to stick with a side, build experience and continuity , bring in changes due to attrition or build a wider player pool and select a team that can win a match on the day.

        I think Toony has more than enough players to chose his side and back them.He needs to deliver something and the time is now.

        Personally, I think you can only do so much off the field and leave it to the players to play the game that faces them on the pitch. Coaches don’t win games on whiteboards and video clips.

      • FF on

        Honestly the Toonie v Cotter ‘debate’ replete with Cherry picked statistics is really boring.

        The decision was made years ago, it’s done. They are both good coaches but not world class, working with a Scotland squad that has some talent but is still obviously worse than our main rivals. They both had some good days and some humiliating ones. It’s just a totally irrelevant issue to the Scotland team now and the questions about whether Toonie should still be in place.

        Personally i couldn’t care a jot about the World Cup but I desperately want to live to see Scotland win a 6N. I’d be happy to replace Toonie now if we could get a coach that would take us closer to that. It’s probably better to be in the market for a new HC post-RWC, so waiting until then isn’t a big deal. What’s important is who we can attract to the role.

      • campbellb on

        FF: You are correct , water under the bridge. All we have is here and now. I have a question and with your wide knowledge, you may know this. If someone is in our squad are they paid even when not picked. Are we paying our players a retainer and if they play a fee for playing . Does anyone know how that works ?

  26. Big Al on

    Frustrating end to the tour and those players will be feeling that all summer. Tours are great for building depth but the boys on the bench for this game will just been feeling that Townsend didnt trust them to come on to finish the game. For that reason Townsend needs to take some responsibility. Zanders 50th didnt mean he needed to stay on for 80minutes. Id have liked Thompson to come on for the last 25 minutes and control field position. Price’s kick out on the full near the end suggests tired decision making and Horne should have been on earlier. I’d also have been tempted to put on Johnson for the last 5 minutes instead of McLean to give an extra midfield defender.

    As for the lineout shambles all the hookers need to go away and work on their throwing. If Ashman can sort that out he’ll be the first choice for some time.

  27. Big Al on

    Some observations from the stats in this game.

    We had the majority of possession at 52% but didnt control the territory. Overall in the game we had just 38%.

    It was obvious that our lineouts were a mess. We lost 6 out of 15. Argentina won 7/7.

    We had the better tackle completion rate with 94% or 146 out of 156. Out of the forwards only Zander missed tackles. Its unusual to be that effective in defence but still to lose 4 tries. Argentina made 453m off 98 carries we had 321m off the same number of carries. However, we beat 19 defenders to their 10. That suggests our cover or scramble defence wasnt as good as theirs if they broke through our first line of defence or we didnt support the players making the line breaks as well.

    Stand out for us was Matt Fagerson who demonstrated a high workload. 18 carries for 57m, 2 offloads, 2 defenders beaten, couple of turnovers, 16 tackles with no misses and no penalties conceded.

    Our penalties conceded was 8 whereas Argentina had 11. Thats as good as its been for us in quite some time.

  28. JohnMc on

    Climbing towards another good win to clinch the series then, as happens too often, cut the rope ourselves.
    Clueless last 20 minutes, to gift Argentina a series we should have won.
    Still, a few players have been given proper Test match experience against a good side.
    Kinghorn had imo his best game of the series at 10.
    It’ll be interesting to see how our comparative form in Argentina shapes up when the Wallabies go there soon.
    Lineout an utter shambles and an embarrassment at Test match level.
    I don’t think Johnny Gray is one of the first names on the teamsheet anymore.
    Mountains to climb to get anywhere near the levels of SA and Ireland in our RWC group, but there was something about the solidity of the front five in the tight and the performance of the back row that gave me some hope.
    The forthcoming AIs should be treated not as tómbolas but as efforts to find our best 23 for the 6N and the RWC.

  29. Neil on

    So what is our best 23 going forward?

    Here is what I think, along with any experimentation in the Autumn in brackets.

    1. Pierre Schoeman2. Stuart McInally3. Zander Fagerson (Oli Kebble)4. Sam Skinner5. Grant Gilchrist6. Jamie Ritchie7. Hamish Watson8. Matt Fagerson9. Ali Price (Ben White) 10. Finn Russell11. Duhan Van Der Merwe12. Sam Johnson (Cameron Redpath)13. Mark Bennett14. Darcy Graham15. Stuart Hogg (Huw Jones)16. George Turner17. Rory Sutherland18. Oli Kebble19. Scott Cummings20. Rory Darge21. Jack Dempsey (if picks Scotland)22. Ben White23. Blair Kinghorn

    6/2 split as our opponents come WC will be very physical, and Kinghorn covers enough and will be at least competent with another year of Fly-Half experience.

    Kebble to get a year as Tighthead. Townsend clearly does not trust the current options to come in and do a job of the bench… and Dell must be coming over for a reason.

    White to get more game-time after his excellent performance. Along with Redpath and Jones starting a few games in positions that we have not tested out depth very well.

    • RuggersB on

      Pretty much agree with that selection though perhaps a few players I’d switch out…
      I’d rather see Ashman start or as a replacement
      Sutherland and Cummings both are amongst our best players in their spots but their form has fallen off a cliff since injury…hopefully they find that again.
      I’d rather have seen Hastings have that role Kinghorn is being primed for. Just a more composed player imo.
      Redpath?? Will he come back? Neck injuries can often be career ending in full contact sports. If he does get himself back to fitness and form…surely our best 12.

      I’d hate to see Darge’s growth be stunted by playing Dempsey instead.

      Kebble always plays more like a TH than LH to me anyway…surely considering the lack of TH options he gets expedited into that role.
      And I agree ..just dont see a 23 spot for J Gray…just not good enough imo….has had plenty opportunity to grow into that and hasn’t.

    • Angerine on

      Like this a lot. I’d say Harris is a cert and rightly so, but Johnson and Harris doesn’t work. So Id go redpath and Harris. If it happens to be a day ending in “y” and redpath is injured, then Hutchinson and Harris is the next best thing.

      Would absolutely love to see Kebble get some gametime at TH. Looked like both Glasgow and Scotland we’re trying to make that happen for a while, but both seemed to have stopped recently. Makes me wonder whether it was a decision by the player, because otherwise it’s such a no-brainer.

      Other than that, I like it. Great to see White get recognition, hell hopefully be pushing price hard by world cup time.

    • Sam Laycock on

      Hi Neil, This is the 23 I will hope to see in the AI Figi game. I think this is our strongest 23.

      Schoeman Ashman Fagerson Gilchrist, Cummings, Ritchie(cpt), Darge, Dempsey, Price, Russell, DVDM, Redpath, Bennett, Graham, Hogg.
      Bhatti, Turner, Sebastian, Gray, Watson, Fagerson, White, Hutchinson.

      I Agree with you on 6/2.

      I think Keeble to TH project has been scrapped TBH. I thought when GW signed Mcbeth that this was the sign but it never happened and I no longer believe it will.

  30. Andyc on

    Hi Neil Like the look of that 23. Disagree slightly over absence of Harris. Also fan of Hutchison. Would also have ashman ahead of turner. However looking at some of the players we have it is a poor reflection on Townsend the below par performances we have had

  31. CSC on

    Looking at the recent run of games across the southern hemisphere, it is interesting to speculate on how well Scotland would perform under any of the coaches from the top eight teams. Would Andy Farrell have tolerated such sloppyness? Of course, the quality of the players is also important: Irish rugby owes much of its success to a solid foundation at school and club level, while in Scotland a cohesive structure seems to be hampered by bickering and parochial attitudes.

  32. Ben F on

    So now the disappointment of losing the series in the closing seconds is over , shall we focus on the positives of this tour. What made you proud to be a Scotland fan ?

    For me seeing Duhan VDM joining the rolling maul to get Ashman over, He can have my babies anyday.
    Darcy Graham taking ball in the air ( second test) , gutsy
    The Fagersons in tandem and playing so well, and I suspect there is more to come.
    Hutchinson at last getting game time ( I understand people loving Redpath but for me , Hutchinson is one of the players of the Premiership)
    Kyle Rowe emotional singing the anthem on his his first cap (that is the way it should be)
    A much better rapport with the Referees, I know this divides people , but I felt we got a better rub of the green and seemed to have much better interaction with the man in the middle.
    On the same theme Mathieu Raynal a Frenchman communicating in both English and Spanish.

    So what made you smile this tour ?

    • Not science on

      For me it’s not the disappointment of losing the series, it’s the disappointment of losing this generation of players.

  33. John Martin on

    Interesting going ahead……. IMO M.Fagerson doesn’t cut it at 8 for me, Muncaster should’ve been given game-time over last 3 weeks.
    Harris should be nowhere near the squad
    Kinghorn struggles to make the 23.
    J.Gray doesn’t do enough not in squad, I like R.Gray for an hourish he disrupts the opposition line out like no-one else we have.
    Hastings & Russell stand offs.
    Poor old Redpath, no luck at all. It’s horses for courses and for the big games RWC 2023, Hogg Graham Bennett Hutchinson VDM Russell White
    Dempsey Ritchie Crosbie R.Gray Cummings Fagerson Ashman Schoeman

    Jones Hastings Price
    Darge Skinner Kebble Matthews Sutherland.

    • RuggersB on

      Yeah…forgot about that …Muncaster should have at least stayed with the squad coupled with some more game time. We have such a dearth of no8 that sending him home made no sense. He is a more natural 8 than Fagerson…but have to say Fagerson might have a ceiling at 8 we haven’t seen yet and he is definitely improving each game.

      It’s no coincidence J gray was not a B&I lion….now I’m not a fan of Gatland…but one thing he excels at is forward packs…and he would not touch Gray with a barge pole. No aggression, no dynamic forward gain, lack of leadership. A soft lock.
      The coaching staff need to decide sharpish what on earth our playing identity and core structure is…if they have…I can’t see, for the life of me, what that is.

      Finally, how can professional test internationals be soo bad at a basic rugby skill…the line out…we are dreadful ..a shambles.

    • Broono on

      Hopefully Redpath gets back to playing, gets game time, picks up where he left off , in time for the RWC.

      That is a lot of if’s to hope for. Look how long it too Mark Bennet to get back to form and get another cap.

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