Iain Morrison's Argentina Diary: 'I thought you'd be happy with that'

WHAT DO you mean you don't like paying the licence fee?

Last week the good old Beeb came to the rescue of Scottish rugby when the video analyst Gav Scott needed to offer Scotland coach Andy Robinson another camera angle at one training session. Jim Mason, the BBC's roving reporter across the vast pampas of Argentina and Leith, happily put his expertise behind a lens at Scott's disposal and filmed one session. After poring over the resulting footage, Robbo declared himself unhappy with the result. "You didn't follow the ball," he complained to Mason. "I followed the dummy runner," was the BBC man's excuse. "I thought you'd be happy with that." If only the Pumas were as obliging, life would be a lot easier for Scotland's back division.


THE Argentine No.8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon is a big bruiser, a great athlete and a good ball handler. In short he has everything in the arsenal of a modern international forward. However, if you want to wallow in a little schadenfreude then type his name into YouTube and enjoy the clip of him playing for London Irish, doing a huge swallow dive over the opposition try line and… dropping the ball.


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ONE unfortunate and less than intelligent hack sent to cover the tour in Argentina had an unhappy time on his first night in the country. Waking up with jet lag, the clock in his hotel room showed 5.30am and since he had a taxi booked to take him to Tucuman at 6.15am he got up and showered before heading downstairs to pay his bill. He was about to head for the front door to catch his cab when the receptionist pointed out that was in fact two in the morning; something that his own watch confirmed. I won't make the same mistake again.


IT IS difficult to ignore the football World Cup no matter how hard you try. It dominates the airwaves over here like nothing else on earth with the build-up to yesterday's match starting three hours (yes, three) before kick-off. Even the television channel that is dedicated to tango (the dance, not the drink) wants to get in on the act with Lionel Messi, Juan Sebastian Veron et al advertising everything from Gatorade to life insurance. The well-worn features of Maradona also appear far too frequently advertising, well, mostly himself.


IF YOU happened to catch sight of a ginger-headed figure sitting in the stands yesterday, squeezed into an assortment of rag-tag clothes that barely fit him, that will be Edinburgh prop Kyle Traynor who left the A squad in Romania in such a hurry that he also left most of his clothes behind.

He has been begging, borrowing and, who knows, maybe even stealing from the rest of the party since he arrived.


THE central square in downtown Tucuman is ringed by orange trees which are dripping with fruit at this time of year. At least the excitable locals don't have to pay anything extra for their missiles!


And finally it appears that the local Feds were expecting trouble.

When the Scotland team arrived at the stadium to go through the captain's run on Friday, they were faced with several of Tucuman's finest all armed with rifles that appeared to be held together with swathes of sticky tape. A bit like some of the players I suppose.