Another international at BT Murrayfield, another controversy over foul play. After Siyya Kolisi’s head butt, Fraser Brown was penalised yesterday for a tackle on Argentina’s winger Ramiro Moyano that looked both high and late but elicited no card. So what did Mario Ledesma make of it?
“There was a tweet about all the red cards and yellow cards that should have been awarded to players and this is one of them,” said the Pumas’ head coach.“Clearly he is late, he applies force, it ticks all the boxes, but that’s the way it is. The ref didn’t see it that way, the TMO didn’t see it that way, it’s just the way it is.”
In truth if Ledesma failed to sleep much last night it probably wasn’t Brown that kept him up. The coach was forced to watch as his side missed four kicks at goal although he conjured one more miss from somewhere.
“I think we missed 15 points and a couple of line breaks we should have scored especially in the last five minutes. So we have to learn something from it, we need to put away the opportunities presented to us. The boys were up to the challenge but sometimes it doesn’t go your way.”
This one went Scotland’s way and while you could argue that they just about deserved it after scoring the only try of the match, this one could have gone to either side. Coaches always talk about the importance of winning when their team manages just that while playing poorly and Gregor Townsend was no different yesterday afternoon.
“The conditions led to a game where there was going to be more kicking, more forward carries, less width in our game… for both teams,” said the Scotland boss. “ A lot more defence at time as when teams can keep the ball by just playing off nine a few phases. So maybe not the aesthetics that we see when we’ve got dry conditions but you’ve got to make sure you put pressure on the opposition in different ways.”
Much was made of Scotland starting two stand-offs in Finn Russell and Adam Hastings. While it might have paid dividends in dry conditions, and both men had their moments yesterday, the ploy wasn’t an obvious success.
“Nothing will be perfect the first time you put people in new positions in international rugby,” Townsend backed his men. “Adam, I felt, got more into the game as the first half went on. I think he had two line breaks, which was pleasing to see and I thought that Finn really took a grip on the game when he moved to ten.
“It is up to these players now to kick on between now and the Six Nations. We will have players coming back from injury too which will add to the competition, especially in the backrow and in the centres.
“At times we have not executed things as we would have liked but that is international rugby. You need to be adaptable, what is working, what is not working.
“It is good to finish with a win, with a game when we had to fight hard in an arm wrestle, fight hard to get ahead of the game and then hold out at the end.”