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Scotland v Argentina: Autumn Nations Series 2022, Match Preview pt II – head to heads

Scotland vs Argentina - graphic © Scottish Rugby Blog
Scotland vs Argentina - graphic © Scottish Rugby Blog

Just 127 days will have elapsed from the last time these two sides met – on that occasion in Santiago del Estero. Despite the proximity of that encounter the teams who go head to head at Murrayfield will be very different with just 6 returning starters for the hosts and 8 for the visitors. Overall there are 21 changes to the matchday squads.

Tale of the tape

68   Tries   42
   Average weight   87kg
318   Total caps   302
Average age   28.0

926kg   Pack weight   909kg
   Tries   39
318   Total caps  428
Average age   27.1

107   Total caps   319
   Tries   35
25.9   Average age   28.6

2 changes to the starting XV from Scotland’s last Test (v New Zealand)

  • 4 – J. Gray for R. Gray [=]
  • 6/7/8 – Dempsey for Watson [=]

Head to heads




15 Hogg
14 Graham
13 Harris
12 Tuipulotu
11 vd Merwe
10 Russell
9 Price

ADV Scotland
ADV Scotland
ADV Argentina
ADV Argentina
ADV Scotland

Mallia 15
Delguy 14
Orlando 13
de la Fuente 12
Boffelli 11
S. Carreras 10
Bertranou 9

1 Schoeman
2 Brown
3 Z. Fagerson
4 J. Gray
5 Gilchrist
6 M. Fagerson
7 Ritchie (c)
8 Dempsey

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

Gallo 1
Montoya (c) 2
Bello 3
Alemanno 4
Lavanini 5
Gonzalez 6
Kremer 7
Matera 8

16 Turner
17 Bhatti
18 Walker
19 Young
20 Christie
21 White
22 Kinghorn
23 Redpath

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

Ruiz 16
Chaparro 17
Medrano 18
Paulos 19
Isa 20
Velez 21
Sanchez 22
Moroni 23


Backs – advantage Scotland

This is the 7th time that Gregor Towsend has named an unchanged starting backline for consecutive matches during his time in charge of Scotland. With the exception of Sione Tuipulotu replacing Sam Johnson, this is the same backline that started 2022 for the national side with a win over England at Murrayfield. There is a sense that if the World Cup was to begin tomorrow instead of in 10 months’ time, that this would be the selection to take on both South Africa and Ireland. What changes might the next 298 days bring though?

Forwards – even

The Scottish forwards have taken a bit of a battering with Dave Cherry, Sam Skinner and Hamish Watson all dropping out from the pack that started against Australia. Add in Scott Cummings picking up an injury before the action even started and Richie Gray copping a ban after rolling back the years with his performances against Fiji and New Zealand and it’s not been the easiest of times up front for the Scots.

Subs – advantage Argentina

The Scottish bench has undergone a major overhaul, primarily due to injuries. It’s a youthful group that the coaches will hope can bring some energy to proceedings after the dark blues rather faded out of the last 20 minutes against the All Blacks. With an average age under 26 there’s doubtless one eye on the potential for development as well.


– 37 – the number of players selected by Scotland across the four Tests in the 2022 Autumn Nations Series.

– In the squad for the Autumn Tests but not named in a matchday 23:

  • Scott Cummings (injured before first game); Jamie Hodgson (late call-up); Callum Hunter-Hill (late call-up); Josh Bayliss; Luke Crosbie; Nick Haining; Stafford McDowall; Rufus McLean; Kyle Steyn.

– In total, 53 players have played some part in Scotland’s 12 Tests during 2022. Just 3 men have featured in every game:

  • Zander Fagerson (including 11 starts); Ali Price (11); Pierre Schoeman (10).

– In the last five years there have only been two occasions when Scotland have named a more experienced 23 than this lineup (743 caps) – although that’s still more than 300 caps behind the Pumas’ squad for this game (1,049).

– At 926kgs this is the heaviest starting pack selected for Scotland during the Townsend era.

– This will be the 25th time Ali Price and Finn Russell have started together in the half backs for Scotland, still some way short of the 36 starts for Russell and Greig Laidlaw. The only time Finn has started at 10 outside a different scrum half for the national side was against the USA during the 2015 RWC (Henry Pyrgos).

– Last week against New Zealand was just the second time in the last five years that Scotland’s ruck success rate dropped below 90% (also South Africa 2018).

Scotland have received yellow cards in three consecutive games for the first time since the 2015 RWC.

16 Responses

  1. This is an interesting reflection and one that should have us rather uncomfortable about the prospects. I really want to see a good entertaining game tomorrow, running rugby, lots of points, it is a fine day for it, no rain forecast, but this analysis is leaning towards a tight niggly affair. A day for Hogg to get in a few long range penalty’s perhaps.

  2. For me Argentina play textbook rugby. They have a solid set piece and when you look at the number of tries their forwards have scored you know they can pick and drive and control a maul. They are happy to let the opposition have the ball and put lots of pressure on them waiting for a mistake and when they do their backs work very well together to finish off a move, without relying on genius of any one individual. In other words like a South American Wales. (At least the kind of Wales we habitually lose to in the 6N).
    We have the kind of kick receive that they will take advantage of and Hogg and VDM are merely average under the high ball.
    Doesn’t sound like we will have an easy afternoon and I think Ritchie Gray will be a sorely missed however,
    I think if we keep the head and our back line continue from where they left off last weekend we will win by a score.
    If we fail then no doubt about it, the Autumn has been a disaster , there will be no hope of a turnaround before the World Cup.

  3. Well done to Georgia for smashing Wales at home, time for a professional team in the URC i reckon. Replace the Dragons.

    Portugal also beat USA to secure a world cup spot, now is the time to expand professional rugby and make these ‘tier 2’ countries tier 1.

  4. I think Harris is proving his critics correct today… so many certain tries butchered (we got lucky to recovered the Graham one).

    At least his defence is good.

  5. Hmm… same as last week .. we have wasted good opportunities. The laughing and high fives after coughing up the ball needlessly is getting my goat.

    15 v 15 Argentina the better side… and still well in it at 14 men.

    Our forwards are absolute powderpuff… and our attack wasteful. Some of passing has looked forward.

    To be honest I’m pretty concerned we won’t even beat Italy in the 6N.

  6. Jonny Gray and Gilchrist offer nothing in the 2nd row. Line out back to being utter mince.

    Time for GT to go … we can’t go to the RWC like this… absolutely awful.

  7. well that was better – obviously not perfect but some great stuff, particularly from Finn. His performance really makes GT look foolish.

    1. Dunno what was better about that.

      15v15 Argentina the better side..poor discipline cost them the match.

      Russell Graham VDM our best ..the rest poor to meh.

      Argentina will be a tough side at the RWC if they keep their heads.
      SA and Ireland will steam roll us.

      1. Did you even read that?

        I said Russell , Graham and VDM our best … the REST poor to Meh. I don’t need sorting thanks.

      2. Ruggers: Don’t thank him ! He has clearly not understood, and got a bit forthright and overbearing. Dont thank him, demand an apology !

  8. Hard to judge the performance based on the early red card.

    Numerous frustrating disappointing moments to work on, but at least it was a very entertaining game of rugby. Enjoyed the niggle between Ritchie and the Pumas captain, but at the same time that was when we should have converted a lot more opportunities instead of getting sucked in.

    Would like to see a Redpath – Tuipolotu midfield against the more defensively strong teams such as Ireland and SA, a decent balance of cutting edge and power there, not convinced by Harris

    1. Thought the Redpath/Typed centre pairing looked much better balanced and would like to see it from start

  9. Hopefully the Kinghorn at 10 experiment has been put in the rubbish bin after back to back masterclass performances from Finn.

  10. SW90m: Be careful, borderline. I think you may have misread, I do not think this was a day where we could judge the backs, but with 3 men off the pitch, we should have turned the screw and did not. No leadership at that time.

  11. Two points
    1. So over the last 4 weeks we’ve seen Sexton, Mo’unga, Barrett, Smith, N’tamack, Farrell,

    Finn Russell is not just world class, he is the best in the world, and by a sizeable margin.

    2. Yes, Tuipulotu may be best at 13, but can we please drop the idea that he cannot play 12.

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